Part Two – Solutions To The Top 5 Barriers Of The Tiny House Movement

This is the second installment of this post, I posted the first part of this here, this is the second part of a post I wrote on the solutions to the top five barriers to living in a Tiny House.

Social Pressures

Social Pressures was something that Lloyd over at Treehugger took issue with because, as he pointed out, much of the rest of the world lives in small houses.  I guess I need to clarify that these pressures I speak about are not on a macro level, but a more micro, person to person, local interaction pressure.  This fact certainly wasn’t lost on me and ironically I had a moment of pause when it came to this article because I know living smaller is pretty status quo for most people.  But ultimately I decided not to go into all that for a few reasons: 94% of my readers are from the United States, an individual will typically get direct social pressure from their friends, family, and those around them, not from someone in another country, finally we are talking about Tiny Houses, not small houses; Building a small house typically can be done within the current legal confinements and are more widely accepted as just being practical, frugal, or a product of density.  Ultimately in the US, Tiny Houses are an extreme and only serve to spark a conversation about how much house and possessions do you really need.

As for dealing with these pressures I think it is very important first have a firm understanding of yourself, from there understanding the issues and engaging in respectful dialogue with opposing view points.  In the end you cannot convince everyone, but knowing yourself, the motivations, the convictions and gaining the support of those close to you can help you manage this.  Most often this is a pretty moot point because those you socialize with are of the like mindset, the rest are often fascinated by how cool your Tiny House is.  Just keep in mind that it isn’t for everyone.


The final point kind of extends the points from the previous heading, but understanding that to build a Tiny House you must pay a good chunk of change to do it is stressful in some ways.  I guess for me, spending $30,000 in one shot is very stressful and evokes doubts no matter what.  When purchasing my first new car, I remember just before signing the line I had a brief moment of fear hit me, what if I crash the car, what if it’s a lemon, what if, what if what if.  Simply put, for me, spending that sum of money is scary no matter how sure I am, because you are taking the leap.

Things that help with this is to be intentional about what you do, do your homework, think it through, look at ways to mitigate risk.  I always try to put it in perspective, that if I were to live in my Tiny House for 2-3 years, I could walk away after that because I would have broke even when compared to paying rent.


What Are your Other Solutions?  Let us know in the comments!

  1. A bit off topic but the major thing that scares me about tiny houses is living in Tornado Alley. I think I would rather go with a Small House that is on a foundation for safety. I would love to see an article about what those with tiny houses do when bad weather comes. Do they move their homes, shelter at a friend’s house, or just stay put and hope for the best?

    • You can put cement piers or these giant auger piers in the ground the use strapping to tie the tiny house into them. This will prevent the Tiny House from getting picked up and the way we design tiny houses (because they need to withstand forces on the road while being transported) actually make them safer that a traditional home.

      ground anchor website:

      • Kat,this was my worry too. Wow Ryan,I appreciate your response. Thanks for the link too.

    • Great question and not off topic at all. Thank you for asking what was on my mind as well.

    • I’m not sure how small you’re trying to go, but if you can get insurance on it they’ll cover it if you ‘try’ to move it out of the storm but couldn’t get everything loaded in time

  2. I can think of several answers to this: 1) move to a safer area of the country, at least during tornado season; 2) build a tiny house that is dome-shaped to withstand high winds better than a thing with corners (earthbag domes would work well!)3) Build your tiny house bermed into the ground, fully or partly underground. Check out the underground house book – it’s pretty cool, and if I lived in an area like yours I’d definitely burrow underground. I live in the mountains, in mudslide country, and I’m building half-bermed into the mountainside. My house ain’t goin’ nowhere!

  3. When you are digging into the hillside to berm-in, be sure to check the topography and know which way the “land slides”. I don’t know any other way to word it. Years ago, in geology class, our professor told us how to successfully cut away at a hillside, for protection. If you do this wrong, it will cause the hill to come down on you. He was telling us what the construction companies were doing , on a regular basis, that caused these disasters. Men think they can construct a barrier that will hold back what they are whacking up. Even though something “looks” good right after it is built ….. can it stand the test of time or severe weather? Be safe.

  4. Have a storm cellar installed in the ground or build a storm cellar yourself with steel beams and concrete. Save rooms are ok but storm cellars work best in my own opinion.

  5. Oh yeah. Some states require that all mobile home dealers offer customers an in-ground storm cellar/shelter options to be included into their payment plans now days too:)

  6. One option that I’ve been considering for parking a unit is to buy a cheap house with a decent size back yard and rent the main house out and park your nice, new, THOW in the back.

  7. this tinny house stuff is the stuff i love mine its mazing i love my tinny house it is the best i can live beside the school i go in

  8. What is the situation if I call up the local electric utility and ask them to run a power line with a meter over to where I have my tiny home on the back of some property? Will it be considered a dwelling and be subject to permits if I try to run power to it?

  9. I’ve wondered the same. I’m still unclear about ADUs in the northeast. Is the building dept the first and last place to get info.
    1. how many ADUs are permitted?
    2. Is there a min/max sq ft?
    3. If it’s taxed, how is that determined?
    4. Is acreage a determining factor?
    5. Is there a min/max distance from main house?
    6. Can an AUX exist w/o a permanent structure?
    7. If not, does the permanent structure require a C of O before tiny house can be built?

    I’d appreciate anyone who can point me towards a clear book/site. Thanks.

  10. Deb you should check with local government for specifics. It varies dramatically from locale to locale, even can be different rules in one city. Where I live the ‘granny flat’ rules are the closest, and are different in it is attached versus separate. Also is a percentage of main house, so trying to be the sole bldg on a lot is a pain here. Also cannot have separate meters. If on wheels might be feasible if behind a fence, since RVS cannot be visible from street. I’m guessing RV rules are closest for a tiny wheeled. Some cities have embraced tiny houses and have specific codes, but alas not here

  11. I have always wanted to have my own tiny house. Is it expensive to start building your own home by yourself if your 17 years old who Can give me some advice.

  12. i am only having problems with my rv because of a person in the neighborhood, is causing problems for everyone i mean everyone. code enforcement stated that they dont even check on nothing unless they get a complaint, and well we got a complainer, but she is complaining on behalf of the entire area, and that is a no no, and is being called out for that, we are in a poor area, well lets just say that there aint no rich people down here, but she is snooty cause she has a stick built house where 85 to 90% of the houses here are trailers, and a lot of people have RV’s too. now i got a camper / rv towable, so my kid and her family could stay there cause they are broke, and they were bothering me, they say you cant be in it at all… cant have any hook ups and no one can live there. im like really why is this such a problem, i have paid for the trailer, i have paid for the license, i have paid the taxes and insurance, why is it such a problem? i am going to go to a city planning and zoning meeting on Tuesday to ask about changing that section of the code, and implement something different like getting a yearly or semi yearly permit. is there any thing els i can do? you can e-mail me at to let me know of anything you may think of.

  13. I was trying to buy a storage shed and finish the inside. I checked with a mobile home lot and the osner said if it had the appearance of a home more so than a storage shed and it was ok with zoning she’d love to have me. When I checked with zoning they knocked it down from the jump, saying it was illegal and consideted it a detached dwelling. Really?! I looked up the definition of a mobile home and it says if it is on wheels or brought in on a flatbed, is finished for the most part ehen its rolled in, its a mobile home. The zoning committee is just trying to be difficult. The mobile home lot is very nice, quiet, nice lots and the lot she has open is in the back of the park and lookz over a pond. I want to do it so bad!! Anyone having any info on what I might do to accomplish this, please contact me at

  14. There is a TV network with a whole series of shows on tiny houses and tiny living so it’s becoming more mainstream and accepted, or else those shows would have been cancelled long ago. Choosing to live tiny just takes more legwork and time than going the traditional route.

  15. Can anyone see this working? Here’s the vision: My family owns 6 small lots in Bandon, Oregon – a bustling golf resort beach town with lots of tourism. These lots just became approved for residential zoning/development, and are above the flood plain, so they’re safe in a tsunami. My mom is not a business minded person, so these lots are just sitting there, making no money and costing property tax. If we built a tiny house on each lot for the purpose of Airbnb, i think it would be immensely profitable. I see that tiny houses don’t cost much to build, but I don’t have the money to build the first house. I have excellent credit and about 10 grand in savings and that’s it. SO: conceivably, can anyone see a builder being interested in building 5 homes for free, in exchange for a number of years of free rent on the 6th lot? So, say someone could build the first home for himself, and live in it for free, for say, 5 years or however long. And in exchange for long term free rent and housing, he would build the other homes one by one? At a reasonable, agreed upon pace? This person could also have the option to play host to these Airbnbs and make 20% of the rental income. If he had a wife or family member living with him, someone should have time to clean between guests. I make a very good income off of a single listing that i co-host, when I only keep 20%, so I can only imagine how lucrative managing 5 listings, all next to one another, would be. Lucrative and convenient. Airbnb rates in Bandon are very high as it is. And if the builder had no interest in hosting, I could use a co-host from Airbnb or a management company. Does anyone think this would work? And how would I find a builder who would might be interested? I feel the need to do SOMETHING with these lots. They’re just sitting there covered in gorse for the last 5 years. Couldn’t I at least list them for RV parking? What do you guys think? Anyone know a builder who is working in Bandon or needing free housing? Is this a crazy idea?

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