Tiny House Movement Gathering Steam In The US

Travel News — By Carlo Alcos on December 14, 2010 at 9:00 am

As anyone who’s backpacked for a length of time can attest, it really is about paring down right to the essentials. This is the main tenet behind “tiny houses” — a relatively new phenomenon in the US housing market. As reported by the Associated Press, there is a movement in America in which people are building very small homes, to save money or simplify their lives.

Says Jay Shafer, co-founder of the Small House Society:

It’s very un-American in the sense that living small means consuming less. Living in a small house like this really entails knowing what you need to be happy and getting rid of everything else.

Shafer originally lived in an 89-square-foot home that he built himself. Of course, with the addition of a family he had to provide something “roomy”, so they now live in a massive 500-square-foot house beside the tiny one. His business of designing and building mini-homes has increased significantly since the onset of the US housing crisis. The houses can cost around $40000-$50000 ready-built, or half that if you do it yourself (he sells blueprints for between $400 and $1000 each).

The Tiny House Blog, run by Kent Griswold, is averaging 5000-7000 visitors per day, further illustrating the growing trend. I’ve never understood the desire to have a big house. All that cleaning and maintaining just sounds like a headache to me. Besides, think of all the traveling you could do with the money saved!

[Image: Whittled Down / Flickr]

Tags: environment, housing crisis, sustainability, tiny house

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