Tiny Houses Suck!

No the website hasn’t been taken over by Russian Hackers, they are trying though, No you haven’t entered into the twilight zone or some rift in the Space-Time continuum.  But I was answering an email of a reader who asked about Tiny Houses and hurricanes.  It got me thinking….

just say no

I am a very opinionated person, I love debate; What I love even more is debating an indefensible position.  I like to indulge the opposing view on strongly held beliefs, so that I can see if my stance needs adjustment or potentially, I could be wrong about it all.   The point is, I try not to only listen to people who agree with me on things.    It is like a Christian (let’s not get bogged down by the topic of religion on this example) talking with an Atheist about God, it allows both parties to test their views, to adjust their idea and bring new thoughts to both sides.  So here it goes!

Tiny Houses are completely impractical!  They are too small to be a viable option for a normal person’s needs.  From the get-go, you instantly outcast yourself because of social norms and influences.  Social norms, regardless of if they are right or wrong, still exist and to go against them, will be to your disadvantage.

There are tons of examples of how going against the grain with your tiny house can impact you in a negative way.   With your tiny house, you often have to live under the radar of building code and tax assessors.  This poses a big risk if you are discovered and turned in.  Potentially you could be removed from your own land; you could be charged fines/back taxes or at the very least, your neighbors could begrudge you.house maze

Since you have to build your house and keep it on land where building codes prohibit it being there and you don’t pay your taxes because you haven’t been assessed, you are, by law, illegal.  You are no longer a law abiding citizen.  Your neighbors will never appreciate someone who doesn’t pay thousands of dollars in taxes, like they have to, but still uses all the services of the town/city.

Speaking of money, many people will see a tiny house as a cheapskate’s way to live.  In this world, unfortunately money talks, you have to have it and without it,  you can’t do much in this world.  Let’s say you are a single male, you met this great girl.  After a few dates, things are going well, which leads to you bringing her home.  What the hell is she going to think when your car is bigger then the house you live in?  Even if she goes with it, it’s possible at this point that you might have been drinking on your date, but now – as you make your way to the bed – you somehow have to navigate a tiny ladder and hope not to break your neck.

Even if she goes for it, even if she has a good time, what is she going to do the next morning?  Go tell her friends.  Now if you are in a hippy town, you might be able to capitalize on this, but for the majority of you, this will not be the case.   That girl is going to tell her friends who will then make a comment like “so he lives in a mobile home?”  or “is he so cheap he can’t afford a house?” or “he sounds immature, he needs to get his life in order”.  Regardless of how great of a time she had social norms will force her to never talk to you again.

Bigger IS better, bigger house, bigger bank account, more space to store things you just have to have, and a bigger rock on your fiancés finger.  If you can’t do all these things, your social and professional life will suffer.  If people at work find out that you live in a house on wheels, they will think of you as homeless, a transient, and most likely think that you live the way you do because you managed your money so poorly.

Why would a person making $70k a year live in a 100 square foot house unless they were so broke that they had to?  This will come back on you; your boss starts to wonder how well you can actually handle a budget, because in your personal life your finances are managed so you seem “poor”.  Even if you explain it, that it was a choice, it is from so far left field that no one will believe you.Inside a Tiny House

Lacking of space for key things is a huge issue.  There are some things you simply have to have which take up a lot of space: a washer and Dryer, a real toilet, regular fridge.  All these things take up allot of space.  They are necessities and not having them is not practical.  Doing laundry at a laundry mat is a pain in the ass, it costs a chunk of change and undoubtedly there is that one really sketchy person who feels the need to talk your ear off!  A small fridge and no pantry means you have to make extra trips to the store for things you can’t fit, here’s to saving the environment.

The biggest concern is safety/liability.  Living in a tiny house means that it is very susceptible to high winds, severe weather and if a tree fall on your roof, you’re dead!  Fires can rip through the entire house in no time flat and being that it’s on a trailer; people can steal your whole house!  Take this and compound it with the fact that you can not insure it, you essentially have a $20k-$50k liability.

Of course all these things don’t matter unless you have a fat bank account, because you can’t get a loan to build it.  No bank will take on this loan; it is an unsecured loan because the house, in a normal market has literally no value.

So to sum it up.  Living in a tiny house means several things: You are cheap, you social and professional life will suffer, which means you seemed “poor” but you are now actually are poor.  Forget about getting married, because her family will never approve, and her friends will call you cheap.  Your house will be swept away in a flash flood and you didn’t have insurance on it so you are out 10’s of thousands of dollars.  All in all it doesn’t make a strong case for tiny houses.

  1. Wow….now this guy harbors the kind of consumer-driven, “greed-think” that is flushing this country down the toilet. Buddy, have fun working your fingers to the bone only to pay for BIG things you don’t necessarily need, only to end up unhappy (as this guy seems to be) in the end anyway. This guy’s life is already all the “revenge” that his opponents need, and he’s the ideal mindless, all-consuming, puppet-type that companies and product pushers LOVE! This idiot’s email made me laugh, but at the same time made me just a little sad for this guy. Its people like this that will never get it, so there is really no use trying to speak any sense to him.
    Also, I don’t have the time, but there are about a dozen holes in his weak argument and I’m thinking this guy must be a banker or loan officer, brainwashed by his own agenda.

    • You’re an idiot. Keep sacrificing an abundant and free life in the name of your rampant stupidity,

  2. Good food for thought, in all but the “what will the hot girl think” argument – that’s just silly. As a hot girl myself, I would much prefer the guy with a lots of money in the bank and modest housing. But, I think it’s a good point about skirting building codes, etc. Because of my professional ethics, I would never be in a situation of intentionally violating the law. That said, that’s the reason laws need to change.

    To me, the 100 sq. foot concept represents what is truly *necessary*. Would I ever live it? Well, maybe, but 400-500 sq. feet is more practical for me long term. At the end of the day, however, our whole society needs to reassess the idiocy of 3500 sq foot McMansions. Talk about impractical! A home gym and home theatre? That’s just absurd.

    • Itchy. You just proved his point that bigger is better. instead of 100sq you would live in something 4 to 5 times bigger.

      • I wouldn’t say she is proving his point. Because his point is not about practicality, but a particular lifestyle. His biased approach is not based on fact but assumption. A tiny house is considered to be any structure under 500 square feet. Coding laws based on banks getting money and people living in debt. I’d prefer a practical home that fills my needs versus a home that I might get my money back on in a unstable economy. I currently live I. A home that is 4000 square feet and it is full of things that I rarely use…. I’d say those who have a house full of things and a lot of debt are more irresponsible then those who could careless about paying a $400,000 dollar mortgage. There are extremes on both sides of the spectrum, but i think actually $50,000 a year in my bank is more professional then a house full of liabilities that you do not generally own… The bank does..

        I think any smart “hot girl” would go for the guy who can provide a comfortable home and several trips a year who is debt free…

        • Amen to that message!

        • I’m not seeing “comfortable” as the adjective of choice for a hot girl, or any girl for that matter, when describing the house she has to live in if its under 130 sf….just sayin.

  3. I guess this takes a certain amount of bravado to reply to, but here it goes. Of course you are looking at this from the standpoint of the Devils Advocate, so I wont take offense at anything youve said. 😉
    Now … as far as a response, Why live in a tiny house (on wheels or not)?
    Sometimes its as simple as this, for some people, who ARE poor, it is their only option. But for the rest of us, it can be a combination of finances and ecology, and a host of other reasons. And many of the shortcomings youve mentioned in most smaller homes and tiny homes, are negatable by planning, intelligence, research and usually just some good old American ingenuity.
    I submit to you that if youre dating someone, and you live in a tiny house, and that person is weak enough to be swayed by a bunch of uneducated or ignorant people who want to talk about you behind your back without getting the full story first, then I say you dont need her-him, find someone else. Another “For instance”, The issues with high winds, is easily combatible with tie downs which are effectively anchors that go in the ground that you can chain your house to. And there are many many more work arounds for all of the issues youve brought up. And you CAN get insurance for tiny houses on wheels, so that statement isnt correct. Basically you need insurance for an RV, not regular homeowners insurance. And fires, as well, are both easy to fight as well as escape from in a tiny house since the windows allow an escape exit which is closer to the ground than a second story window in a “normal” home. Keep fire extinguishers on hand as we all should (and I do in both my regular house as well as in my tiny house). And as far as floods, if you have a movable home, and you are stuck in a flood, thats just stupid (for you). Because having a movable house on wheels MEANS that you, as the owner, SHOULD be aware of your surroundings more than the avarage person and should be keeping an eye on weather and enviornment, and even still, if you are surprised by a storm, you can still move it to higher ground, thus eliminating the risk of a flood loss. Which you cant do with a regular home.
    There are also now smaller washers and dryers for tiny houses as well. And for many of us, this isnt about the house itself, sometimes, sometimes its ABOUT sticking it to the “Man” (meaning “the powers that be”.) sometimes its about doing something others say “you cant do that” when you and I both know that we can do anything we damned well feel like doing (within reason, logic and law)as long as its not hurting someone else. This country was built on the backs of tiny houses. There is no reason to abandon the use of tiny houses simply because of its size. And for people that face or are experiencing homelessness, this is a great step for them to move up from the cold wet streets and into something a bit more comfortable, warm, safe, secure, and clean.
    As technology improves, the downsizing of many appliances and electronics will continue, making for an even better fit of those items in tiny houses. But of course fitting an entire family in a tiny house is both impractical as well as sometimes dangerous, but I remember as a child , my family had huge family reunions in and around a tiny house lived in by my great grandmother, and out of that house came 14 children (my grandmother with her 13 siblings)and they didnt have indoor plumbing until the 1940s for the kitchen and 1950s for the bathroom. They didnt have washers and dryers either or a dishwasher (unless you count my great grandfather). They did their own wash individually and hung them out to dry on a line. (Can you say “save electricity?”) And about the thing where if a tree falls on it,….. DONT PARK IT UNDER A TREE! (so that really isnt a drawback of a tiny house, its a shortcoming of anything not built of reinforced concrete or a cave. if anything tiny houses are smaller targets to be hit by trees. I had a friend who had just bought a house a few years back, and a ENORMOUS tree fell on it because a storm came up and the house was directly under the tree. He didnt think about it in advance or had it cut down, a storm came, winds picked up and the tree fell and split the house in 2.
    But his tiny shed 8 feet away was perfectly fine, ( it was a much smaller target).
    So of course there are always going to be naysayers, about anything that is unusual or odd, or out of place, or different, but remember, these are the same people that said the sun moved around the earth. This country is about freedom, the right to be different, unique, and happy. I say if someone wants to be happy living in a tiny house, on wheels or not, I say more power to them.

  4. Thanks for view, from the other side. Anyone who wants to live smaller, should hear both sides, so they can decide how small to go.

  5. The original poster is a poster child for conventional thinking in America today.

    Tiny houses can be built to withstand hurricanes, tornadoes, and even earthquakes. Pity the poor tree that falls on my house, it will break itself and become firewood. Tiny homes can also have full-size refrigerators, bathrooms, flushing toilets, washing machines, and similar conventional amenities.

    The building codes are a real issue, and this needs to be addressed. This is part of the purpose for organizations like Tiny House groups across the internet: to open people’s minds and change conventional thinking.

    As to bringing the “hot girl” to a tiny home, I can attest to success along these lines. Was it the hardwood floors? The neon-lit glass bar? The cozy woodstove? The sound system? I can’t answer that specifically, I can only say that chicks dig my tiny home.

    The recent real estate bust and its effect on our national economy has created a backlash against McMansions and their attendant conspicuous consumption. The time is ripe to develop and make acceptable the notion of doing more with less. The negative environmental impacts of a giant house is no longer something to be proud of. To live on an appropriate scale with appropriate technology is something to be proud of. Small is the new big.

  6. Interesting… however I would have to agree with the responses posted! There are actually people that genuinely believe in having a smaller carbon foot print. I myself have children and am ashamed of what we’ve done to this world already… and this is the legecy we hand off to our children. Make them responsible for our mess without giving them the tools to repair or prevent this tragedy of global warming. Not to mention those parents out there could agree that time passes very quickly and one of the major advantages of tiny living is having your family so close… soon enough they will be on their own and family game nights will be harder to organize. And once the kids do move out parents aren’t left with massive houses designed to accomidate a large family… when the kids are gone you want to start living your life, not just keep up with the bills of an excessively large house. Living tiny allows the financial freedom to offer your children the pleasure of enjoying the more expensive hobbies without absentee parents. Therefore opening your childrens eyes to a much larger world… as parents we are suppose to provide our children with adequate tools to live in this world.

    Tiny living has evolved out of direct needs, but in some cases simply out of the pleasure of life. However if any research on the subject has been done, it clearly states that small living isn’t for everyone. I’m just thankful that I have the option to choose for myself… take a look at the Asian countries! Many don’t have a choice but to live in even smaller confines then the tiny houses discussed here. Just watch as the years pass I believe we will see more advances in the industry of small living… as the world seems to be changing paths and acknowledging the concepts, and practices of Green Living.

    Thanks for your time… and I hope the writter of the original blog reads these posts with an open mind, and will one day be willing to evolve with the rest of us.

  7. Don’t agree with any of his statements except maybe that some people look at us weirdly or make derogatory statements about how we are living. Hmmm….who cares!! Not me. I live my life, they live theirs. We are still friends. And family! I think at least some of the negativity is envy. We are doing what we want right now, not waiting for someday. Hooray for small houses.

    • i am a retired 67 year old gal. because of restrictions, i live in a 658 sq ft mobile home. my new home is a 2 bed, i bath with everything. it just looks like a small colonial house inside and out. i live in the best community in my area with plenty of room, city streets and water. the recent hurricane, i grew grass. i picked my lot with underground utlities, no trees and very safe parking. my electric bill runs around $50.00 a month and i love it. i hope that anyone who wants to down size will do it. happy holidays.

  8. I believe Ryan was taking the opposite views to make a point. These are many of the arguments against tiny houses that are out here today. Since his site is The Tiny Life, I think he is all for small houses and smaller living.

  9. While it would be interesting to hear an argument against tiny houses, this little rant isn’t particularly useful. Food storage, laundry, these are factors. Dating issues not so much. Personally, I’d like to hear about some of the “issues” that worry me. Tiny houses, for example, could well have ventilation issues, but no one talks about that. Having lived in a handmade mini-house, I can also attest to the security issues. A more detailed discussion of that would be good too.

  10. WOW! What a douche bag! First of all, McMansions are grotesque and ugly. You just bought them because you follow the leader.

    Secondly, define what you mean by ‘poor’ or ‘cheap’. Your average McMansion is made out of drywall and cheap lumber. Tiny houses are build by hand, and use solid lumber with big beautiful windows. (like the one above) Not to mention you have more land to grow veggies and enjoy the birds singing. I think it’s a superior living. You can’t get more rich.

    LASTLY, I like how this guy is a speaker for women. That certainly tells me a lot about his character. I know lot’s of women who love small homes and a simple lifestyle. Those are the classiest ones.

  11. This is a interesting discussion, pointless in my personal opinion, but interesting any way.
    I don’t think that Tiny Houses are completely impractical, just because every single person has different needs, so, a tiny house could be really impractical for someone who lives a “living large at all cost” lifestyle but not everyone in the world lives that way, I lived in the US and now I live in Brazil, and I can really notice that because micro and macro societies are completely different from each other.
    The “Social norms” that many people like to mention in this kind of discussion are just a behavioral expectations within a society or group have to determine what they would call an “inappropriate behavior”, but not every social group in the US have the same expectation. Take for example fundamentalist Mormon societies, what they call as an actual viable option for a normal person’s needs is completely different what an NY citizen would call as normal person’s needs.
    Live under the radar of building code and tax assessors is not a crime if you know how to use the laws and codes in your favor. In Brazil for example, most of the cities have an different exempt houses smaller than 750 sq ft. of paying property taxes, and most of the states exempt users from paying electricity and water bills according to the consumption of the house, and this is not to a plain strategy try to avoid to pay what your neighbors pays, is in fact learn to use the laws in codes in your favor as much as you can. This is called Tax avoidance, is a completely legal way of using the tax regime to your own advantage to reduce the amount of tax that is payable by means that are within the law, if your neighbors don agree with that is because they don’t know how to use the laws, so is not you problem if you think about it.
    No one should be ashame of being a “cheapskate”, in my personal belief if a girl is more interested in what you have instead of being interested about what you are you should avoid to have any kind of relationship with her, because sometime in the future you will have problems with her and she will ask for a alimony that worth a house per year.
    Sometimes bigger IS better I know, but bigger houses or bigger bank accounts does not mean that you are happy (or at least, live in a “bigger life”). You can have as much money in your life, but will keep having more and more problems because of it. If you like to live like that I really don’t care it you keep it for yourself, but at the moment your problem starts to affect someone else’s life, (like the housing crisis) you should take responsibility for that instead of crying for government help to pay your food.
    Why would a person making $70k a year live in a 100 square foot house unless they were so broke that they had to? Well, I personally like the answer of Thoreau about that, “ I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived”. If you are competent at you work but your boss does not recognize that because you live in a tiny house that problem is with your job and your moron boss, not with you life.
    To end this, to believe that everyone should “live large” is much worst that to live in a tiny house. Not everyone in the world should live as an average American on their McMansions just because you care how a date or your neighbors will think about you, otherwise we would need to live in almost 4 planet just like earth to be able to sustain this kind lifestyle.
    I believe the guy who wrote this “live large manisfeto” should read more and open his mind to think about new ways of life, because this mentality dragged the US (and the whole world in fact) to this stupid economical crises making millions of people around the world to live a even more miserable life.
    Living small in a tiny house has disadvantages, of course, but if you check the benefit-cost ratio you will probably notice more advantages rather than disadvantages of living this way.
    Sorry about my English, I lived in the US but I’m Brazilian, so I’m not so good to write long texts directly in English. 🙁

  12. So I read the whole thing, and then I got to the picture, and I just thought, “man, that house looks really nice, I could totally live in a place like that.” Maybe you need another thousand words…

  13. Having lived in both large and small homes I can only share some of the things I have learned on both sides of the debate.

    Our first home as newlyweds was 308 sq ft with an attic loft that had another 154 sq ft, but only standing room directly under the ridge beam. We lived there for 2 years and I still have warm fuzzy memories about it.
    At one point, when our 3 girls were ages 8, 10, and 12, my family lived in a 1940’s farm house that was all of 800 sq feet – that included the upstairs attic/bedroom for the girls, and 4 rooms downstairs and a single bath room.But because we had a wonderful porch – it never felt crowded. Even now three years later, the girls often mention how they miss the “Lady Bug House” (There were so many lady bugs inside when we moved in, they were falling from the ceiling like rain!)

    On the other end of the spectrum I have lived in 3000 plus sq ft homes, and weirdly it often has seemed as though there was less room. The kids play outside less often when there’s a bigger house. It’s harder to keep clean. And clutter seems to really sneak up on you until it’s of gigantic porportions (sp?).

    Both of the smaller houses were not legally an issue – both were old enough to be grandfathered in. They were both built before such things were a concern.

    When you have a smaller home, you can afford to put nicer materials in the construction/repair, because you don’t need as many square feet: i.e. x dollars will buy a small,solid wood floor (nice!) vs a large, vinyl floor(ehhh..).

    The perception of being a cheapskate – one of those issues where you really need to decide if you care what others think. I had a neighbour who muttered about us being cheapskates, because I used a reel mower to mow our 20×60 ft square of yard (really – it was way too small to actually crank something up for!) Little did he know we had spent significantly more for the push/ reel mower than the typical cost of a gas mower. But, I really don’t care; I knew I was doing the right thing in this case.

    Ultimately, the key is to know your own priorities and what they are based on. The point being made – looking at both sides of an argument will help you decide and better understand why you choose your lifestyle – is valid.

  14. Ryan, you’ve already received several good comments so I’ll keep mine brief.

    First, I make more than your example of $70K a year and made the choice to live in a tiny house. (Admittedly my tiny isn’t as small as a Tumbleweed.) While I have certainly been perceived as marching to the beat of my own drummer, I’m not aware of anyone in my personal or professional life as having labeled me as cheap or incapable of managing a budget.

    Second, having asked a couple of bachelors who’ve lived in tiny homes about their experiences dating, it sounds like the novelty of tiny homes has actually worked in their favor with girls rather been a strike against them. And, honestly, if it was a strike against you, you’re probably dealing with someone who’s going to have incompatible values with yours anyway.

    Have fun with the pot stirring. 🙂


  15. wow. this guy is very bitter and needs a huge. maybe in a studio apartment…
    i am a woman and i would not judge any guy who lived in a small home. i would rather be out traveling the world with him then sitting at home being a homebody!

  16. I actually enjoyed this whole thing. Yes, I am searching for the right “contraction”…small sailboat( i have done the liveaboard thing before), earthship (unfortunately only in the southwest that will heat up unbearably because of permitting problems in other “liveable” areas), tiny house on wheels (love Tumbleweed designs but looking for something that will fit for an older person, I am not sure about a loft at 80)…I think there needs to be more design improvements and I am tracking the blogs…a lot is blooming that should meet the need…I think regs and permits will lag behind and that will be the problem…much of the hassle Mike Reynolds ran into with the state of New Mexico and his earthship wars…here’s where the conventional thinking sticks it to the innovators…I am waiting for this to change too

  17. It would be easier to take the ranter seriously if
    he could spell..

    dryer not Dryer
    a lot not allot
    laundromat not a laundry mat

    And if he wasn’t such a sexist!

  18. Ok, but how’s this. For a change, keep most of the money you make, and really enjoy your life. And, if this lifestyle really bothers you, put the same house on a foundation. Now you have a small home!

  19. Disregarding what other people think, how could one build a tiny house (say < 300 sq. feet) in Arlington, VA? What are the hurdles to be jumped with zoning, building code, and other legal requirements?

    • This is exactly what I would like to know, as I am also looking into a Tiny House in Arlington, or a nearby area in VA.

  20. Funny; I think I broke up with this fellow in favor of a guy who would prefer to tent camp for the rest of his life. Granted, I’d rather not use a trowel for trips to the bathroom! Anyway, the hubby and I can’t wait to investigate a small house eventually.

  21. man. that guy is an ass!
    he probably uses a pc and drives a hummer too =)

  22. For some/many, small will be impractical; but that’s not the point. “Tiny” is only impractical if you have experiential knowledge of the concept, thus providing experiential confirmation. Small is simply another flavor of ice-cream that society should encourage others to taste.

    You’re personal life will thrive because you have removed most/all pretenses regarding some major lifestyle preferences. In essence, you have created a very visible, very obvious niche piece of the puzzle that only a very specific, significant other can fill. You’re far more likely to find the right fit as a result.

    Regarding wind damage, a small structure, particularly when properly situated, will have far less surface area; and, due to the short spans for joist, rafters, beams, etc, can easily be “over-designed” in a cost-effective manner.

    A loan kinda defeats the purpose of living small. Build what you can afford. And if you’re skirting county ordinances, you can always insure the structure as personal property.

  23. I’m an urban dweller in a in a medium-tiny apartement. I love the idea of tiny – or at least small – living. I have a great job at a non-profit organization but I don’t make straight bank, so small is the way it may be for me whether I’m urban or off the grid. The way I see it, if I bring a fella home to my awesome and compact dwelling, which I personally had a hand in designing/building, he might respect that, no matter what his lifestyle is. There are other people who like tiny living after all. Am I right? Hey, maybe we need a tinylivingmatch.com.

    I agree with ealier posts: this guy is sexist, annoying, and doesn’t know how to spell.

  24. I’m 55, married, 3 adult children, 5 grandchildren. I recently downsized from our 3,000sq/ft to a 1,200sq/ft and I have decided that giving up a huge kitchen and huge masterbath might be my biggest regret. We have been here 3 months and can not be in the bathroom or kitchen at the same time. The only way I would change my thinking is if I lived by myself.

  25. …..oh yeah tiny for all the wrong reasons really does suck!

    There is nothing wrong with having enough elbow room to be absolutely comfortable.

  26. The older I get the smarter I get. No one will throw you off your own property unless you let them.

    There are so many ways to live tiny and stay away from those that mean for you to support their angst, that it is now incumbent for me to do live this way.

    I have had huge old houses in my past life. I think one of over 4000 sq ft, five acres and such. I might not have even gotten into all the closets of that place during the couple years living there. I was working too many hours to have time to search!

    I don’t care what others say about how I live now. I just answer to myself and my own god-who happens to also be me! hahahaha

    I can now live in my tiny house, a tent or just a sleeping bag on the ground, here on my 27 acres…

    Go in peace my friend who thinks that bigger is always better…but go!

    • It sounds like you would be a great person to start a tiny house community with your 27 acres.

      • Hi all,
        I have been thinking more and more of how to best use this land in a way that will benefit the most people.

        I might inc it and add a little house community, maybe skirting local yokels with the ‘camping’ title to take it out of local zoning control. Might turn it into an educational campus and bypass that way.

        Many ways to play, and I love the game against the authorities.
        Anyone got any other ideas? Many people in this area are nice enough and I can get trees and landscaping up to isolate the property. Neighbors are a good ways away.

        bee well;peace….dan

        • Great idea. Where exactly is your property located? I love the educational idea. You actually could do both. Have a tiny house community and use the community and their talents to teach at the education center (perhaps an adult type camp) or the community could do service projects in the area. We are an “outside the box” creative crowd.

          • Located in the ‘thumb’ of Michigan. Almost to the tip, in the county of Huron.

            Thanks for the encouragement and ideas. I can see this is going to get legs.

            bee well;peace….dan

  27. First, the majority of people buying tiny home plans and attending workshops are…wait for it…WOMEN. Which is not to say that the majority of people building are women, but the “movement” is buoyed up by chicks. La and I are two of them.

    Also, I have recently realized what really matters in life (to me at least), and it has nothing to do with a big car or a big house. If I can keep my “needs” low, then I can do what I want (travel, navel gaze, write, figure out what’s next, etc.). I can experience more of the world around me when I am not chained to a mortgage.

    And finally, I couldn’t care less what people think. I know who I am. If our tiny house makes me cheap in your eyes, then look away. By spending less on my housing and “lifestyle,” I am actually able to be more generous with my time and money. Tossing around a credit card doesn’t make me a better person, and anyone who gets their self-worth from that has a big surprise coming. I would hope that we had all learned as a country from this latest disaster, but I don’t think so.

    And finally (finally), as far as community and outcasts, I have met some of the nicest, like-minded people from all over the country, as part of this movement. We don’t always share the same political, religious or social views always, but the one common thread has been respect and a genuine interest in helping each other. That, to me, is priceless. There has been a net cast under La and I to catch us when we stumbled this past spring, and I am grateful. I feel more a part of this community than most others, and that’s pretty cool. What’s more, it’s global, so when we build our tiny house, expect us to come visit (I’m talking to you, Frodi!!!!).

  28. I wish I hadn’t read that. This is the kind of superficial, ego-driven, unintelligent thinking that causes me to doubt the future of our species.

  29. Those tiny houses might be swell for a bachelor, but there is no way it would work for families. Just the books and school supplies my kids need for one year couldn’t be housed in those shacks. Then there’s our musical instruments (yes, we all play), our dogs, two computers, work space for my husband and for my kids’ studies. I can’t imagine how sorting and folding laundry is supposed to work, or meal preparation, or even simple clothing storage. Assuming we could each live with nothing more than 2 pairs of shoes, 3 pairs of pants or skirts, 5 t-shirts, 2 long shirts, 1 sweater, 7 pairs of undies, 1 coat w/gloves and hats, bras for the girls, 2 sets of sleepwear, and 1 swimsuit, we’d still have to store all that stuff, multiplied by 4 in the case of my family. We all need personal grooming necessities, towels, cleaning supplies, and office supplies (even simple living acolytes need to keep records and pay bills). We need plates, glasses, and cookware. Then there is gear for sports, including bicycles, skateboards, cleats, helmets and other protective gear, balls, bats, gloves, & sleds. Of course, homeowners also need tools for home repair and gardening, as well as a lawn mower.

    In a normal house, people have basements and garages to stash this stuff. And none of the stuff here is particularly excessive…I’ve included no small appliances (toaster, mixer, coffee maker, blender, crock pot, hair dryer, vacuum), television, board games, crafts, or even toys. All I’ve listed is the minimal clothing, personal supplies, books, sports equipment, tools, and instruments for an active family of four. Or is all the talk about encouraging enriched and involved lifestyles just a lot of hot air?

    I think tiny houses are a nice pipe dream for young people who haven’t really built their lives yet, or for anti-social hermits, but they will never gain ground as a viable living option. The closest success of simplified living seems to be mobile/manufactured homes, yet I suspect most tiny house enthusiasts are not exactly itching to move into a trailer park..the snob factor in the tiny house movement is palpable.

  30. Coming from someone who just spent 7 months of their life in a 40sqf truck camper, I am against the tiny house movement. I feel that it is not sustainable to live in a tiny house for more then a couple of years. “IT GETS OLD”. Especially when you have a professional career and actually enjoy doing things with your life ( skiing, biking, fishing, climbing, etc)

  31. well i must say i have no regulations on building where i live…i own my own property my own well and septic…down with the government and just so you know if a woman could she would take all you own great or small…so in turn my bosses in the professional world are jealous at the end of the day because i answer to no one

  32. Hello. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. In my opinion, it’s up to a person if they want to live simply and cheaply. Who are they hurting? And they still pay PLENTY of taxes.

    I won’t touch all the debate here, but, honestly…

    And they are 100% legal, and are seen as rv’s as long as they are on wheels.

    Happy camping!

  33. ONE QUICK THOUGHT… the ONLY problem I have with tiny houses is that they can sometimes cost just as much as a huge home. What’s up with that one? Seriously?

  34. My main problem with this is that it does nothing to address much harder issues in the U.S. — such as massive, deliberately-enforced inequality and a huge income gap that prevents the poor from getting ahead. We should beware of thinking that buying something — even a tiny house — will act as a panacea for our problems. Tiny houses are a non-solution.

    The quality of life in our existing communities — our present homes, schools, public institutions and infrastructure deserves to be maintained and upgraded with new innovations. We should be able to take pride in our communities and fight to keep them decent, not run and hide in a cute new shoebox.

    Moving to tiny homes to compensate for the sins of Wall Street is a bad idea. We are broke because CEOs of greedy energy, insurance, banks, etc continue to gouge us out of our former expectations for our lives and the lives of our children. Huge American corporations pay no tax to the U.S. and we are left to compensate with our relative pittances — to fix the roads, pay for the schools and everything else we use as a society. Our clean energy initiatives are routinely blocked by these same interests. We need to ask the question — how much of the corporate “externalities” will we agree to bear as working individuals? Where do we draw the line?

    By the way, I currently live in a two-room house, which I rent — because it’s all I can afford. I’m paying back a student loan. It’s true, my house is tiny. But it’s not new or trendy. And I do not consider it a solution for what we should change as Americans.

    Tiny homes are not a lasting solution to being screwed by greedy special interests and corrupted politicians. They will soon find ways to extort more money from your tiny life. In fact, if it really catches on as a trend, soon it will cost as much to live tiny as it used to cost to live in a big house. The “market will adjust” — just like it did for a shoebox-sized apartment in NYC.

    The “system” (if you can call it that) we currently have is not working. Sooner or later we are going to have to think outside of the box. We need to think in terms of having a real society that works for working people instead of the extremely wealthy.

  35. I’m kinda on the fence about this. I live in a Keystone Cougar 5th wheel and its the best thing that I have ever done for myself. But on the same hand – I hate the tiny house fad. Comparing rv’s to tiny houses is almost like apples to oranges. In my house, I have a washer and dryer, a full fridge, designated bedroom (that I don’t need to climb a ladder to get to – and can sit up when ever I feel like it) and SLIDEOUTS! That is the biggest difference between these tiny houses. You can buy a wonderfully made trailer or 5th wheel with up to five slideouts (that I have seen) and quadruple your square footage of that in a tiny house. I understand that people want a custom House that gets designed for their exact needs – but who said a trailer can’t be painted and renovated. I have three separate rooms in my trailer and one was just a bunkhouse but I took out those bunks for the washer and dryer. I never have to worry about where to park it because I can easily go to an RV park and have a monthly spot in there for less than a mortgage on land (out here in CA that is). I may not make sense to some people, but the tiny houses are quite literally a fad and will be forgotten in about 5 years. I paid a fraction of the price that the new tiny house owners pay for their home and I have more square footage. To each it’s own – bit after I had a long night I just want to jump into bed.. Not climb up a narrow ladder than crawl into bed because remember you can’t stand up.

  36. This guy’s rant is awesome. It even appears to be genuine. Kudos to the site owner for posting it and engendering a much needed dialogue. The tiny house movement is going to make some people uncomfortable because it questions the size of the life forced on us by builders and corporate American. I’m talking about the life created by living in huge houses filled with unused rooms and gigantic closets and kitchens, not to mention basements, attics, and garages that often become personal dumping grounds for Stuff we don’t even remember we have. Corporate American pushes bigger spaces because it accommodates conspicuous consumption. Big houses are a symptom, not the disease. They mask a larger problem.
    Big houses and lots of possessions require enormous resources (time and money) to maintain. It is a life suck on a scale hard to rationalize. If you have lots of stuff you need a place to put it. If you have lots of storage you tend to fill it. Large spaces that contain and hide our stuff enables us to avoid the reality of the hoarders we have become.
    It’s OK to want to live small and moderate and efficient and it’s OK to live tiny if that’s your thing. What’s not OK is to follow the herd without questioning the direction you are going or the impact of your choices. Yes, Tiny houses are extreme, and No, I don’t think I could live in one. But if this movement helps just a few people rethink their lifestyle, question their consumption of resources, make better choices, and live a richer life with less stuff, then I say it’s a very good thing.

  37. I question the tiny house movement because there already exist small houses that cost less than most of these tiny house builds. The smaller environmental impact of “recycling” small already-built houses vs using new materials to build from scratch is rarely if ever mentioned in tiny house websites.
    In most towns across the country wherever there were early 1900 to 1940 industries, there were mill houses, in mill house villages. Small homes with one bath, two bedrooms a kitchen and a living room near the amenities(and now-closed factories) of a small town. But since these homes don’t have the snob factor for the tiny house movement, they, like mobile home parks, are ignored. Even though mill houses are usually much less expensive and have more room for living than tiny houses, even though they are generally sound and craftsman-built (before the era of particle board.) Now, even though old mill houses actually do have a “smaller environmental footprint” than the tiny houses that must take new materials to build, new land to subsist upon, new (and sometimes dangerously unsanitary) waste management practices, they are ignored by the “green movement.”
    Just saying if you believe in living a smaller footprint, sustainably, where are the articles about those really cute old houses being a good option for living?
    Tiny house movement is a statement, and a snobbish one at that. A house on wheels is nothing new: trailers/mobile homes/rvs have been around for a long time.
    A small homes village is nothing new: mill houses near closed factories are already there waiting for folks to renew them for another generation: small business owners and small towns would welcome revitalization. If you want to help the “little guy” and “stick it to the big corporations” small towns don’t really have those multibillion dollar corporation headquarters in them, do they? So living in a small house in a small town (with actual plumbing!) might be an option for sustainability, right? It just doesn’t have the snob factor.
    When the tiny fad is over, when the movement is flushed away by the flow of time, where will the antiquated, built just for your personal needs (and no on else’s)tiny house on wheels be then? Most lkely under yet another landfill. And where will the mill houses be? Probably right where they have been since 1918, 1925, 1939, 1945 or so: providing a “sustainable footprint” for yet another generation.

    The trouble is the tiny house movement wants to say it’s “brand new” “custom-built”
    “the latest thing” much more than they really want a “smaller environmental footprint.”

    • /slowclap Ken Roscoe

      Tiny Houses™ = eco-chic conspicuous consumption. In that way they are the exact same as the derided McMansion.

  38. I live in a tiny studio apartment. 346 square feet. I have lived here for a year. I absolutely HATE IT! No room for anything at all. Even my cat is depressed. My utilities are outrageous and my friends and family can’t visit because there’s no room. I’m in my mid 40s and couldn’t imagine being older and have a health issue and no one would know because no one comes to see me anymore because it’s so uncomfortably small!! Tiny homes are horrible unless you are young and playing fort! 🙁

  39. Living in a box on wheels is funny. No resale value. They are against zoning laws. You cannot insure them. You have to find somebody to let you live on their property. It is called being a leech. Anyone remember little things like running water and sewage? The list of why this whole thing is stupid goes on and on.

    Yes, alot of people have houses that are too big to impress. Moving into a packing crate is stupid.

  40. Well, hubby and I have some stuff… not mindlessly greedy stuff. I am a painter… I have easels, big easels.. brushes, paints etc. He is a software architect… computers, computers, couple of other computers. He has two guitars, he makes mosaics, we both cross stitch.
    I paint, I knit, crochet, make lace, embroider. I make us costumes for pop culture conventions – I have sewing machines. I make our clothes, bags and hats. I have all the things that go with that. I also play the dan-bao and the erhu. We have a bocce set, tennis gear, badminton and cricket gear, all of which sees use, along with the treadmill, kettlebells, exercise ball, yadda yadda. I also have woodworking tools, and make small furniture items. We enjoy our lives, and make a living. Between us we have 4000 odd books, which we read and refer to constantly. I would have to give up ALL those things to live in a tiny house – it would strip us of every pleasure that we have in life – why?
    Tiny houses are great if you read a bit, or watch a little telly in your leisure time. Not much chop if you spend your life learning and doing.
    It would have been great for me between the ages of 14 and 20, even then I’d have struggled with space for books. Kindle didn’t exist back then.
    Not something I’d fancy when getting elderly, either… struggling up a ladder to a coffin-like bed… it passes it’s sell by really quickly.

  41. Not to mention that I’ve done my bit for having a smaller carbon footprint – we are deliberately child free. The last thing the planet needs is more people! No one talks about that though… they make out it’s ok to have six kids, as long as you bring them up to live in a drawer.

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