Sustainable Home Living Ideas for Minimalism and Comfort Explained in a fun way, plus beautiful examples of Tiny Homes!
When I found out about the tiny house trend, my first thought was “why on earth would anyone want to live in a house the size of a shoebox?”. As it turns out, this is a superficial way of looking at things. Let me explain the potential reasons why the tiny house movement is so popular.
While the average house in the US measures 2,600 sq. ft., a tiny house is no bigger than 100-400 sq. ft. Let’s say you want to buy a typical single family house that costs roughly $290,000. The bank requires a down payment of about $60,000, if you want to save on mortgage insurance (almost all conventional home loans with less than 20% down-payment will require an additional monthly payment in a form of mortgage insurance), so the principal is $230,000. Even at current low interest rates, you are still paying a fortune over the life of a 30-year loan. Does this sound like something you want to do?
According to CBS News, at least one third of an American’s income goes into his house. This is one of the reasons why many people are living paycheck to paycheck. 29.3% of US homeowners have mortgages compared with 68% tiny house owners who don’t. Moreover, 55% of tiny house owners have more savings than the average American who has about $10,000 in savings.
So, the first reason is related to costs and if you extrapolate, people who have more money to attend to their pleasures are happier than those who spend most of their income on what’s needed to have a decent living. Other reasons revolve around environmental concerns and the fact that some people feel more comfortable in a cozy small home. That being said, let’s see 15 tiny house designs that will hopefully make you consider this more efficient way to live.
Toy box house
Based on the idea that a home is place of peace and simplicity, this design combines modern elements with Eco-friendly materials. The white roofing membrane is made of thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) to address the issue of durability commonly encountered with EPDM, and to provide superior energy efficiency. The walls are made of fiberglass and natural cedar, while the base that’s also made of cedar wood makes the outline of this tiny house on wheels. On the other side of the house you will notice a large sliding door made of glass that ensures proper ventilation and allows natural daylight to come inside the structure. The size of the construction is customizable and the base price is $79,000.
Water Woody houseboat
The single most important feature of this design is that it runs on both water and land since you can attach it as a trailer to your car anytime you want to go on a road trip. The house is very self-sufficient having solar panels for electricity and a system that collects rainwater for later use. There is also a composting toilet onboard. This house is perfect for anyone who wants to sail and to travel the world by car. The minimum price for this marvel is $125,000.
Wind river tiny home
Believe it or not, this house on wheels costs less than $50,000 ($47,000 to be more precise). The design is based on the principles of minimalism and comfort. Downstairs, you have a surface of 160 sq. ft. and the loft measures 110 sq. ft. where you can put a bed to sleep peacefully. If I were you, I would install big windows on the roof to be able to watch the stars from my bed and literally fall asleep under a clear sky. The entire structure was built with efficiency in mind to allow its inhabitants to live a simple yet comfortable life.
The Kidd Cottage
You’ll say that the construction looks a bit shaky and old. You’re right about the old part because 99% of the house was built with reclaimed materials. Some people can’t get used to this look while others see the construction as what it could be and not as what it is. A few layers of paint and a tasteful designer knows how to make it look more lively. The house actually has a full second story instead of just a loft. The wraparound porch gives you some outdoor space where you can add some vintage furniture. The downsize is that there is no real kitchen or bathroom because the house covers only 63 sq. ft. There is however a separate bathhouse on the premises where you get complete bathroom facilities.
The Apple Blossom
This is such a colorful prefab cottage that would make even the grumpiest person sketch a smile. Located in Vermont, the cottage is currently available for rent to anyone who’s willing to pay about $92 per night. The house has one bedroom with a single/double bunk like you see in the pictures on the hosting site and one living room. So, it is livable — up to 5 people, assuming 2 of them don’t have a problem with sleeping in the living room. The DIY shell kit is available for as little as $16,338 or you could have it shipped directly assembled for about $65,000 provided that you live in the north-eastern part of the US. The house measures 312 sq. ft. and can be made energy efficient by adding proper wall insulation and solar panels for electricity.