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Old 07-08-2009, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Kennesaw, GA
167 posts, read 806,051 times
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I'm curious to know if anyone is embracing the idea of tiny house living. It seems like this would be a great idea for those wanting to live intown, but not with the hefty price tag. And it would be nice if the house did not consume the entire lot. If you are building something really small (like say, 200 or 300sqft), what problems have you run into? We plan to ditch the big house in the suburbs and purchase somewhere out further so that we can simplify and build something really small ourselves. The "bigger is better" mentality that consumes Atlantans is a sham to me, and we have realized through experience, that it would suit us better to have a small house without a mortgage built better and greener. Am I speaking to anyone's heart here??
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
7,862 posts, read 15,744,309 times
Reputation: 3588
Quote:
Originally Posted by mezzogirl View Post
The "bigger is better" mentality that consumes Atlantans is a sham to me
I don't knock your desire to live in a tiny house, please don't call my desire to be comfortable "a sham" as you make a huge generalization. You just have different priorities for your life and desires that I don't share, and vice versa.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mezzogirl View Post
Am I speaking to anyone's heart here??
Nope

Last edited by neil0311; 07-08-2009 at 07:18 AM..
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:19 AM
JPD
 
12,159 posts, read 16,256,408 times
Reputation: 7966
Quote:
Originally Posted by neil0311 View Post
I don't knock your desire to live in a crackerbox, please don't call my desire to be comfortable "a sham." You just have different priorities and desires that I don't share, and vice versa.



Nope


In asking not to insult your choice, you have insulted their choice. See bold portion.

The idea of a smal house is intriguing, but I think 200-300 square feet is too small for just about any household of two or more people. I could maybe do 500 square feet, depending on other factors, such as proximity to parks and shops. Even with 500 square feet, I'd have to rent a space for mym music equipment, so it wouldn;t be practical for me.

Do you have any links to these types of houses?
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Kennesaw, GA
167 posts, read 806,051 times
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JPD,
Actually, 200-300 sq ft would be too small for my family as well (I have 3 little ones), but I think that 600-800sq ft is very do-able. Most of the people who are buying into the tiny house concept are singles or young couples, but I think families could do it too. It is definitely a wave against the consumerist culture- but I think it's cool and it is a solution for those who cannot afford something big. (taxes, maintenance, heating/cooling, furnishing, etc.)
If you are interested in reading up more on the idea, check out the tiny house blog. I don't know the exact link, but I follow it on my favorites. Also, Jay Schaeffer is a tiny house designer and his company is called Tumbleweed Tiny Houses. Very small, but it is neat to take some of the ideas and run with it. One more designer I like is Sheldon Design. I think alot of people use their designs as vacation cabins, but some of them would work for a year-round residences.
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:06 AM
 
2,685 posts, read 5,513,811 times
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Try these links: I too like the idea but of course for a family it wouldn't work, but 1800 ft instead of 3000 would.

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

Clayton Homes introduces the i-house, the new Revolutionary thought in home building.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:00 AM
 
9,124 posts, read 34,329,249 times
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Look at what Ross Chapin and The Cottage Company are doing in Washington State- it's something I'd like to replicate here in Atlanta. I'd think long and hard about trying to squeeze 5 people into 600-800 sf though- 800 maybe, but 600 is going to be tough in today's era. The houses I referenced above go as small as 500-600 sf, but they're geared toward singles or folks with no kids.

Back when I was growing up, we had six people in just under 1,000 sf, and it worked out OK, but if we tried to do that today with all of the "stuff" that comes with modern technolgy, it'd be a bit more of a challenge. If you're able to do without a lot of the trappings of today's life though (everyone having their own computer, Xbox, tons of toys/clothes/crap), it may be possible.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:25 AM
 
593 posts, read 2,717,246 times
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200 sq feet = a 10'x20' room.
My master bedroom is larger than this.

A novel idea but you're not going to live in comfort like that.
If you'd like to try, it's not a new concept... studio apartments in buckhead are <1000 sf

I would agree that we have a mentality where we try to get the biggest house we can for the money. At least that was my mentality.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:45 AM
 
2,685 posts, read 5,513,811 times
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You can certainly live in comfort in 1,000 square feet. Studio Apartments? There are many 2bdrms at 1,000 ft and if laid out right they are not bad at all. The question comes down to, how many rooms in your house do you actually use each day. A good side effect is when you have less space you are more efficient and don't buy crap you don't need or really want.

A 1,200 square foot house was a typical house in the mid 1900's, now most consider it tiny as houses have doubled and tripled in size.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagbark Hickory View Post
200 sq feet = a 10'x20' room.
My master bedroom is larger than this.

A novel idea but you're not going to live in comfort like that.
If you'd like to try, it's not a new concept... studio apartments in buckhead are <1000 sf

I would agree that we have a mentality where we try to get the biggest house we can for the money. At least that was my mentality.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:04 AM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,191 posts, read 31,708,516 times
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Americans tend to accumulate "stuff". We have more stuff than pretty much any other country in each of our homes. Small homes are attractive to some people, provided they still have enough storage (walk-in closets, basements, etc), but when you pair a tiny home with small closets (as seen in some places), people will pass them by, rather than get rid of all that stuff they have.

There was an article in the papers a couple of years ago before the housing bust about how a couple of contractors (not those listed above by others) were starting to build "quality smaller homes" to meet a growing demand for them. The only problem was, even though these places were a more manageable 1400-1800 square feet (compared to modern homes), they cost a $premium$ - as much as larger homes - due to the finishes and higher end stuff they were built out of. In other words, they were smaller, but they weren't necessarily affordable. If people have a choice between spending $350,000 on a 2400 square foot house, or a 1500 square foot house for the same price, the Ca-ching noise rings in their heads and they will most likely pick the larger home, even if it's not built as well.

In the 1950s, the average "starter home" in America was around 1500 square feet. I think today they said it's around 3000 square feet - for a STARTER home. That's insane. Young 20-something couples with one kid think they need 4 bedrooms and 3 baths, and the Master bedroom has to be 20x30 feet with a bathroom larger than my current living room. I'm not sure what the last generation of parents piped into their kid's heads, but they sure have lofty "this is what I NEED" ideas, that's for sure.

I could as a single person live in 750-850 square feet. Having a roommate right now in a house, I'd have to say I could "get by" with 1500 square feet if it was a more private split-bedroom floorplan (my current house is 2100 square feet, but it's a ranch with all bedrooms on one side). I'm sure that's still "large" by many standards abroad, but by new standards my place now is apparently a box that no one wants. sigh.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Penobscot Bay, the best place in Maine!
1,895 posts, read 5,539,942 times
Reputation: 2694
For those that are interested in the Tumbleweed houses, I suggest looking at the book "Tiny, Tiny Houses" by Lester Walker AND browsing this site: Cavco Park Models Homes Cabins & Lofts

eta: I live in a cabin-ish house, 15'x40', 1 1/2 stories. I have an entry, dining room (though we use it more for a tv room and crafts...), separate kitchen, living room, 2 bedrooms, reading nook/office/loft, a surprising large bathroom, 2 walk in closets and a relatively adequate amount of storage. Seasonal "stuff" is stored out in the shed. This tiny house currently holds 2 adults, 1 10 year old boy, and a small herd of cats, very comfortably. I do value my deck (40'x10'), though, as we do use it during the warmer months as an auxiliary living space.
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