POLL: Tiny Houses - Yes or No?

Emily H
June 24, 2014
last modified: June 24, 2014
Do you see tiny houses and long to pitch your belongings and live a simpler, smaller life, or does the idea of extreme downsizing put you in a cold sweat?

VOTE and tell us about it in the comments!
Other - Tell us below!

Comments (382)

  • mswannabdesigner
    I have to agree with you about the feeling of getting rid of things to make space. One of my closets off from my living room is packed and it can be a feeling of being overwhelmed. The sooner I start giving to Goodwiil the better I will feel.
  • pcmom1
    Just start with a drawer a day. Dump everything out and put only half back in.
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  • litehearted
    Whether you have a hut, or McMansions, thoughtfully curating what to keep, use and display is a worthwhile goal, rather than having a bunch of meaningless stuff that ends up in landfill. "Shop" from what you already own, instead of automatically heading out to the mall. :) This info graphic is too minimalist for me, but does put things into perspective...and if you had a truly tiny house, I guess you would have to make do!
  • rinq
    Have lived in a 270sqft/25m2 studio apartment for 5 years by myself, loved it! I did have a garden the same size though. Now we live in an 800sqft/75m2 house with two (3 next year) and the only thing we'd love to have extra is a room for our crafting/hobbies, which we have quite a lot (might call it a room for our stuff).

    So I'd say small instead of tiny.
  • Christina Espinosa
    I'd love to live in a tiny house, but don't think I could pull it off. We moved from a 2000 sqft house to 1000, and it's a bit too small. We're building a 3000 sq ft house plus 1400 sqft of porches. There are five of us, yes I'm one of those over breeding Catholics, haha. But when people come to visit, they stay for a while. And we all have multiple,hobbies. But on the plus side, we are having an elmira cook stove installed to use up the fallen trees in the winter, a four acre yard for a garden, preserving is one of my hobbies :) as is using essential oils to make most of our own stuff. Taking beekeeping classes, learning to sew, hunt on our own land, and will install solar panels at the first chance. So you take a little and give a little. To each his own.
  • PRO
    I think that the typical American could learn hope to economize of space and take advantage of multi-use space. But these tiny houses to me are like the "apodments" being built in my city of Seattle a march into third world status.
  • Laura Lang
    As I wrote once before, much too anal for me. Nowhere did I say someone HAD to live in a tiny house. What I have said over and over again (all of which is on my website) is to stop WANTING so much. Instead of a tv in every room, try just 2 in the house! Instead of a 3000 or 4000 square foot house, try a 2000 or 2500 square foot house. Instead of driving a vehicle that gets 13 mpg just for the fun of it, try one that gets 20 or 25 mpg. The vast majority of people want something WAY beyond what they need! The book I mentioned isn't about tiny houses! It is about how to take a typical 2500 to 3000 plus square foot house and make it into a HIGHLY energy efficient (hopefully at 0) 1800 or 2000 square foot house that lives almost exactly like that 2500-3000 square foot house. It can be done. Why on earth would someone spend an extra $100K or more to get a house that lives the same way as the smaller one and uses twice as much energy? Makes no sense to me! I would rather save that money and use the savings to help make the world a better place. Most people do not even realize that smart design can give you what you 'want' (more than what you need) for much less in cost, materials and energy efficiency. They don't even think twice about it so it doesn't get done. They do the same old, same old because all their friends and family do it as well. Step out of the box and think smart about your living quarters! (And mode of transportation and utility bills.)
  • PRO
    Gilmans Kitchens and Baths
    I've been down sizing for the last few years, and it would take me a bit more to fit into a tiny house. But I think I could do it. Definitely love the idea
  • PRO
    Gilmans Kitchens and Baths
    You can make any space work. I like a challenging so I don't mind small spaces.
    -Angeline, GKB
  • kristinanadreau

    love tiny houses because they are often beautifully designed for function with good materials. we have just bought 600 sq ft house, which is small but not tiny. 2 adults, 4 dogs and a cat.

  • Tara
    Hawaii most house are not that big any way already live under 1000 sq ft with two kids before this 600sqft with a stint in a large house for a break between small house easier to clean up but my crazy side longs for a workshop or barn cause crafting in a tiny house is crazy small to tiny house might be awesome but larger place to store your habits ???
  • PRO
    Interior Affairs -- Vickie Daeley

    I downsized many years ago! I love it!

  • headhearthand
    Just moved to a small home - 1000sf so not tiny but small. The nice thing is it has a front and backyard. So entertaining outside is an option. I think the hardest thing about buying tiny was people's perception. I was honestly worried about how my family would react because they all own large beautiful homes. But, it is easy to clean and my hoarder side can not get carried away. It was extremely hard at first to get rid of some stuff (still more to go) but in the end it feels freeing. No kids here so maybe small might be way to hard then. Still thinking about a tiny guest house in the backyard. Nomad home because it is AWESOME!
  • kellyolin

    Jealous! I would love the simplicity!

  • Joan Craw

    I am fascinated by tiny homes and have a tiny motorhome for travel and camping but could not give up my house and my stuff to live in one full time. At least not right now.

  • pcmom1

    Probably a house around 600 sq feet with a large garage!

  • PRO

    Having recently downsized considerably, I am loving being weighed down by only half my possessions. I can honestly say that I do not miss any of the stuff that I let go.

  • Alex Pointing

    Really these are awesome..

  • dirtrag99

    It might be OK if I was living the single life but being married with pets and grand kids, its not feasible to live in a tiny box. Way back in my single days, I actually lived in a mountain "A" frame cabin but that didn't compare to the water tower converted to a small apartment! It had a 28 ft diameter. Had a apartment sink/stove combo thing, full shower and bath room. The full sized fridge was downstairs but there was a small dorm sized thing up stairs. The whole thing sat on top of a framed tower. Of course it had windows and all the girls I dated all thought the thing was slightly romantic in that one could hear the rain pitter--patter on the tin roof. Ah yes- - those were the days! (Note here, I have no idea if the thing was ever used after it was built. I always thought it was rather LARGE for a water tank!)

  • kristinanadreau

    No to tiny. Yes to small. Stuff is a waste of money when in an uncertain economy, like we have now. I miss my art work and I will get over it. Told my husband that our new small house was for us to live in, not to provide a roof for things

  • Lisa R
    I'm currently in the process of designing a house for my retirement! While it isn't tiny - it isn't considered large either.
  • ahill6853

    I can go smaller which I'm in the process of doing but not tiny. I'm at the age where climbing in a loft is out of the question.

  • chiflipper

    It all depends on the number of occupants AND their temperament. My husband and I both need "space", so 2,000 sq ft works for us. I have lived alone in 700 sq ft with two large dogs and was very comfortable.

  • kim8640

    Yes... But only if I lived alone. It would be hazardous to my husbands health to share a tiny house.

  • Ben Hart

    Yes! We live in a 970 sq ft home with two small kids. It is intelligently designed, so we are perfectly comfortable. In fact, we've talked about that we could do with even less!

  • stlouisgaltoo
    As my quilting sanctuary! But it needs to be added on to the house....walking to it in winter is not my idea of fun. ;) so..I guess the answer is really......not realistic. Fun idea tho!
  • stlouisgaltoo
    Why enable a tornado? Another issue.
  • Bev

    We moved from a small ranch house last year. It was too cramped and I did not have a sewing room and my husband did not have his wood workshop!

  • rollinggirl

    Absolutely . If it weren't my physical restrictions I would now. We had down sized with each home over the years. Fifteen years ago selling the 2000 sqft family home for a 1500 sqft mobile home. ( Hated the mobile home) Sold that for a 1400 sqft house . When we moved this last and final time we went to just under 1200. I would have gone far small but I share a home with my Mother/caretaker. Ideally even now I would be happy with 800 sqft for the two of us. On my own up and mobile I could do 2-3. I've kept everything I owned down to one room all my life as it is.

  • artsyphartsy_home_maker

    I voted NO. Just not practical for a family with hobbies which require stuff & therefore 'space'. Cooking & doing Art require much equipment & supplies. We don't require a house too big or too small, as goldilocks once said we need one"Just right". {*However if I were younger in my 20's with very little 'stuff' a tiny house might have been a nice alternative to a rented apartment, --but is too small for grown adults with 'stuff'.}

  • templeofm

    What I would like to see more of, are smaller smartly designed houses. Most new homes I've seen in my house hunting are too big with lots of wasted space and poorly designed.

  • rollinggirl

    Nothing bugs me more than these mc'masions to stupidity. Why do you need a three story foyer? Or a bathroom big enough to roller skate in? My Mother loves to watch House Hunters . It just makes me grind my teeth. The average now is 500- 1000 square feet per person in the upper middle class. We grew up with two families, ten of us in not quite 2000 square feet. No one ever whined that they needed vaulted ceilings and a teen space. The teen space was out the back door. It was shared with the play space also known as ' go outside.' We had a bedroom for the girls , bedroom for the boys and one for each set of adults. I'm not saying when my extra family moved out we didn't all do a little dance but it wasn't done then. I just don't get it. Ranting again , shutting up , Bye now.

  • Tribbletrouble44152k7 Trek

    Haha, I just sent my teen outside. It's sunny today.

  • Lynnie

    For some it is fantastic! I will say that they are well-thought out from what I have seen. I also think that it is not for everybody. If a person loves camping they would probably love it. Or if they are not home much, they will not feel cramped. At least a couple could draw close to each other and not feel "alone" while being at home, which happens.

  • rollinggirl

    It's a great way to own and be mortgage free, it's a smaller environmental foot print. There are families all over the world choosing tiny homes. Not because they want to camp etc. Instead because they don't see the need to have massive houses full of things. They chose to have small houses spending there time and resources on family and experiencing things .

  • PRO
    CK Hoffman Design

    I love tiny houses, I think they're awesome, adorable, earth friendly and affordable! That said, unless you're just one person who is super neat and organized, it's really not practical. You'll have to be constantly cleaning up and putting things away, there will never be any room just to leave a project out, or do a jiggsaw puzzle. I see the appeal and with owning "your own home" too expensive for a significant portion of the population - this really is a good alternative. I just think the people who decide to go this route really need to think it through, beyond the romanticized hype, and decide if they really can live in such a "spare" way. Maybe it's better to rent a little longer, work a little harder and save that same money you would spend on a tiny house and put it towards a down payment. Real - Real Estate typically appreciates and you're usually able to sell it later for more money. I doubt this will be the case with tiny houses.

  • rollinggirl

    To be clear to those who don't understand. A tiny house isn't always on wheels , it isn't always 150 square feet. A house is considered tiny in most areas if it is under 500 square feet. In others 600 square feet. If a house is over 225 square feet it will obviously be on a foundation. A house of five hundred sq ft can hold two modest bedrooms and a bathroom plus kitchen and living area. Not all small houses have to fit in a garage. In the 1940 a house of 600 sq ft was considered perfectly acceptable to raise a few children in. The reason people feel constrained now is the amount of things they own.

  • Ben Hart

    Amen, rollinggirl!

  • rollinggirl

    Thank you Ben I'm just tired of people acting like it's some a bunch of hermits in boxes on old pickups. My house is 1100 sq ft , we couldn't go much smaller due to the wheelchair. Although I would have gone to 800 had I found one. We found out from neighbors that it was originally 900 they converted the garage. It has three modest bedrooms and before the last owners added a bath on the back one bathroom. The first owners that built it in 1962 raised seven children in it. By the stories I hear from all my friendly elderly neighbors they were a happy good family. Interesting no? Now they would ' need' at least 4000 sq ft . Food for thought.

  • Chris Kordel
    I suggested a tiny house to my husband he said he could not conceive of living in a 300 square foot house this made me laugh since the apartment we lived in New York for 10 years was 250 square feet
  • Lisa Williams

    I've spent the last 5 years downsizing. From a 4,200 sf mini mansion to an 1,800 sf townhouse, a 900 sf apartment and now a 1050 sf townhouse. There were 6 of us in the biggest home, then 3 in 1,800 sf, now just 2 in the last 2 homes. About 1000 sf is comfy for my daughter and I :) And I do like having 2 stories and a 2-car attached garage. With each move, I cleaned out and purged possessions on every level!

    I've realized I'm happy with lower costs, less cleaning and maintenance. I do enjoy a nicely appointed and decorated home. Smaller is the best of both worlds for me. I love the idea of tiny but only if I were living alone! And while a sleeping loft looks great, the ladder and low head room seem impractical to me in middle age!

  • PRO
    Impeccable Nest

    One room open to the beach would work for me!

  • PRO
    Urban Futons - Dr. Futonberg

    For those of you interested in downsizing your home to a tiny home, I am in full support of this. We need a solution for affordable housing, especially for people who earn less than $50K/year. Nobody should be spending nearly a third of their monthly income on mortgage or rent. Nobody should work 30 years to pay off a mortgage. The zoning laws of many American cities needs to change. I propose that home owners with fenced in back yards should be able to rent out tiny homes or RV trailer homes to prospective tenants. If you own land and property, it should be able to produce a nice passive income for you. Think about how many single non married millennials who can't afford the standard market rent of many apartments. Why can't home owners rent out a camper or tiny home in their backyard, out of site from neighbors? Imagine how this could benefit so many people.

    As for furniture for a tiny home, the most important pieces are the sofa and bed mattress. Because many tiny homes have low ceiling sleeping lofts, the best solution would be to use a high quality futon mattress on the floor. As for a sitting/sleeping solution for a sofa bed, a futon sofa would make perfect sense for these small spaces. A futon allows you to choose the style of frame, the finish of the wood, the comfort level of mattress and style of futon cover. Futons are very interchangeable unlike conventional sofa beds because your dealing with piece by piece set up.

    Read this short blog post for furnishing a tiny home:

    Best sleeping & sitting solutions for tiny homes, sleeping lofts, RVs & cabins

    Futons For a Tiny Home, Sleeping Loft, Mobile Home, RV, Cabin & Small Spaces · More Info

    Futons For a Tiny Home, Sleeping Loft, Mobile Home, RV, Cabin & Small Spaces · More Info

    Urban Futons- Your Online Source for Small Space Living · More Info

  • Abby T

    Tiny houses are cute but i wouldnt want to live in one

  • Idietolive

    400 sf would not be bad for one person IF everything was on one level. The problem with tiny houses that we see is most of themare mobile. That means they can only be so wide to travel on the road. But if you took the same r00 sf and laid it out like a house or apartment, there is no reason you could not have a living, dining, kitchen area with small bedroom and bath.

  • lmfi

    Tiny houses end up more difficult to organize and clean. Lack of enough space brings clutter. Tiny spaces need to be constant cleaned as they are overused.

  • Christie

    I love the idea of a tiny house. in reality, it would only work for me if I was a single person. I could never live in one with my husband and two rowdy sons and 3 dogs.

  • artsyphartsy_home_maker

    I think if 'Tiny houses' had been a trend readily available and affordable in my 20's I would have loved to have had one. It would have been a welcome alternative to renting and sharing. The question would have been where to park it? However I am not in my 20's and the thought of living in a tiny house now would be ridicules. I'm an artist, and art supplies take up A LOT of space, at least mine do. I require a room just for doing art. Where would canvases of wet paint be left to dry? My family all have STUFF including the dog. I am older now and have a desire for being 'settled', and for 'permanence'. The idea of not having any roots and instead being perpetually mobile is disturbing now. Younger me would have loved a tiny house though!

  • Richard McAnulty

    It's not the living space but where do you put the lawn mower, weed eater, garden tools. Watering cans, dog food and supplies. Several of the Tiny House plans I have looked at have no closet at all. What about someone that is semi professional and needs to wear a suit from time to time. You can't wad that up and put it in a box. Hair dryers, curling iron, razors this list goes on and on. Most of the things that I just listed I consider necessities. I wouldn't mind the living space in a tiny house but I would have to have a storage building as large as the living space to make it work.

  • zabba23
    I always think about having the flu or a sprained ankle—would I really want to climb up and down a ladder?!

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