Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

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The Conversation We Haven’t Had…. Until Now

There is something that hasn’t been talked about on the blogs yet, something that is THE topic of conversation for many of the Builders, Bloggers and others.  It is that of tiny house safety.  At first it started out as small one on one conversations, but in the past few months what once was side conversation has grown to serious discussion with most of the Builders and Bloggers coming to a single table.  We have been meeting to try to figure out how we can take tiny houses to the next level, to make them universally legal and to make them safe.

CaptureIt came about when some began to notice instances where we saw tiny houses being made in an unsafe manner.  In most cases it wasn’t out of malice or unethical behaviors, but of not knowing any better.  Honest mistakes that could have fatal consequences.

So as a group, both Bloggers and Builders, came together to discuss how we could empower tiny house people to be safer and to be more informed.  We knew starting out we didn’t want to do anything that would hinder tiny house folks, DIYers or Professionals, but we also tried to balance that with the need for safety.  How we do that is something we have been wrestling with as a group and also as individuals.

Tiny Houses have long lived in legal limbo in some places, some people have found solutions that worked for them, but others still struggle with it.  There is a large part of the Tiny House Movement that never wanted to become legal because they see it as their protest, civil disobedience or other things;  Some don’t really care either way, they just want to live in a tiny house;  There are others that want to be fully legal.

At the end of the day, you can live in a tiny house, it is absolutely possible, right now, in your own town; I have no doubt in my mind that it is possible.  However this group is working on a different level, we are seeking a universal legal solution, which is tricky.  If we can achieve this, then you can choose to participate or not, it would be up to each individual to make their own decision.

Beyond legal issues and frankly way more importantly, is safety.  We want you all to be safe, we want you to be informed, we want you to be empowered to build the best house you can.  The Bloggers and Builders do what they do because they love tiny houses, because they care about the movement, and most importantly because they care about the people.

So when it comes to safety we realize that many people want to build their own tiny house, that’s a given, but the question then becomes how can I teach you to build it safely if you have never build anything before.  There are plenty of people out there that don’t need my help at all, in fact I could learn a lot from them, but there are others that do need a helping hand.  Coming together as a community is what makes us strong, it’s what makes this a movement.  Viva La Tiny Revolution!

 

Your Turn!

  • What are your thoughts on Tiny House Safety, how can we address it?
  • How can we at The Tiny Life help people to become empowered to build amazing and safe houses?

 

 

Tiny House Living: Security and Simplicity?

After Ryan’s post earlier this week, I got to thinking about sense of security. Living in a tiny house definitely decreases dependence on money but living the tiny life does not necessarily mean a life free of worries.

happinessBefore jumping in, I have to say that the completion of La Casita came at a time of great upheaval in the lives of my fiancee and I. Our rental had been foreclosed on, the bank had kicked us out, the tiny house was 3/4 done and we were essentially homeless. Luckily I had family in the greater Charleston area that took us in but it was a harsh reality for a couple of months. Since moving in to our house, life has been easier in terms of money but in terms of legal shelter there have been distinct challenges.

I guess my first question for someone thinking about a tiny house would be:zoning do you mind living in an illegal situation according to most zoning codes? If this doesn’t bother you then my second question would be: does possibly not having a home address, which can make acquiring a driver’s license, a post office box or your citizenship difficult, concern you?

These are some of the realities we’ve faced living in a tiny house. Without a home address, it is very difficult to get our driver’s licenses in Vermont. Without a home address my fiance can’t start his citizenship application and in Charleston I couldn’t get a po box without a street address. Not everyone has this issue when it comes to tiny living but it has been a constant for us since moving in to La Casita and I never considered this would be one of the issues I would face.

Having just moved to a new community in Vermont, we’re slowly meeting folks and people are incredibly nice and open to what we are doing but we’ve already had a town official contact us about living in the house and its questionable legality. In a town of 3800 people, it’s not going to take long for us to be noticed. In a city of 100,000 it was much easier to hide from zone enforcement although they would roll by in their truck about once a month. They never stopped and asked questions but the possibility was there and we knew it. La Casita was a “temporary studio space”  to anyone official who asked but it was fairly obvious we were living in it. Luckily, we planted it in the ghetto where cops and officials were more worried about busting drug dealing than some illegal zoning issue. Don’t get me wrong, I loved that neighborhood and living there was wonderful. We had great neighbors and no one ever messed with us but if we had parked anywhere else in the historic district of downtown Charleston, I’m certain we would have been forced to move.

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