Living Large In Tiny Homes
It seems like tiny homes are popping up everywhere. This movement is about downsizing, but people are joining for many reasons. Those reasons range from environmental concerns to financial concerns to a desire for more free time. Many Americans spend one-third or more of their income on housing. That translates to 15 years of work to pay off a house. People live paycheck to paycheck and all the stress that comes with such a lifestyle.
The tiny house movement is one solution. By downsizing your life, you need less money to live on. This frees up time and finances to focus on other important things in life like relationships and experiences. Living in such a small space makes you approach spending more intentionally. You just don’t have the space to store anything but the necessities. Of course, this lifestyle is not for everyone. Before embarking on such an adventure as living in tiny homes make sure such a change aligns with your values, family and lifestyle.
Building Versus Buying
There are many options when it comes to tiny homes these days. Tiny homes are usually 400 square feet or less. When this movement started, there were not many choices when it came to living on a small scale. These days it is much easier to find ready built homes or contractors that specialize in tiny home building.
That being said, many individuals and families make the decision to take on the building project on their own. There are pros and cons to both approaches. For many, it comes down to time and money. Building your own home usually takes more time but less money. Hiring a contractor will cost more, but you will have a home quicker.
Pros and Cons of Building
There are many things to consider when building your own home. Although a tiny home is on a much smaller scale, there are additional hurdles to overcome. Some individuals have run into legal issues. Zoning laws affect the dimensional requirements of different types of buildings. These laws were meant to protect individuals from slumlords, but they can be a bit of a headache today. There are a few ways to get around these zoning laws.
- Backyard – If you build your home in a friend and family member’s backyard, you can categorize it as an accessory dwelling unit (ADU). ADU’s are habitable living units located on the property of single family homes. This can be risky since you don’t own the land.
- Trailer – Many tiny home builders choose to construct their unit on a trailer. Many places have less stringent regulations on dwellings that are portable. There are many advantages to this route. If you are living on someone else’s land, you can simply move your home if your situation changes or the relationship turns sour. One of the downsides is that you are limited the size and shape of a trailer.
- Vacation – Another option is to live in your home seasonally. You could rent out your tiny home when you aren’t there to make some extra income. Many cities allow smaller dimensions on homes that are temporary as opposed to permanent homes.
Pros and Cons of Buying
Because these small dwellings have become so popular, contractors have started building companies around the movement. This means you can contract out to a builder that specializes in tiny homes. If money isn’t tight, this might be a less stressful route. Few individuals have the skills necessary to build a home. The build becomes a learning project. Mistakes are made and time must be invested. Some individuals love the adventure of it, but there is definitely an advantage to hiring a professional.
North Carolina is a popular state for this type of lifestyle. Tiny Craftsman Homes in Raleigh are fairly easy to find. You can purchase a pre-made home or get involved in the design. Either way, you are likely to be greatly pleased with the outcome. By purchasing a home, you can start your tiny living adventure sooner rather than later.
Making the decision to go small is only the first step. Building your own home sounds very romantic, but it can be a large undertaking. Consider the pros and cons of all your options before strapping on your tool belt. No matter the path you choose make sure you are familiar with regulations in your city and state.