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The Tiny House Movement and its Organic Growth

The tiny house movement has been growing organically over the years.

I say organic because there haven’t been any loans or official communities for tiny homes yet. So it’s been a slow and steady growth of pioneers who have been building tiny houses themselves from scratch.

These people have plowed through challenges like zoning, financing, and social norms. They are now living proof that tiny house living has major benefits.

In this video by Jackson Loo for The Daily you’ll get to see the latest happenings in the tiny house movement across the country, from Washington State to Washing, D.C.

You’ll see the home of Dee Williams, Logan and Tammy, Brittany Yunker and Boneyards Studios’ attempt at a tiny house community in the city of Washington, D.C.

“It’s got less square footage than a roll of toilet paper,” says Dee Williams about her little home.

Today there are a growing number of people attending workshops, open houses, and visiting blogs like this one to learn about living in and building a tiny house. Below is a photo of the Boneyard Studios showcase/community project. Jay Shafer also has a tiny house village in the works.

Boneyard Studios: Tiny House Showcase Shows What a Community in the City Would Look Like

Photo Credit WatchTheDaily/YouTube

Although these homes are designed to be pulled down the highway most tiny home owners prefer to leave them in one place until it’s time to move because of their weight.

“Once it gets where you want it to be, I found a lot of people just want it to stay,” says Dee Williams on moving around with a tiny house on wheels.

So if you’re looking to travel around the country, a travel trailer or a motor home might be a better option because they’re lighter and more aerodynamic. But if you’re looking for the simple life, a tiny house on wheels might be just the trick.

The Tiny House Movement And It’s Organic Growth

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 16 comments… add one }
  • david m. furey
    December 21, 2012, 11:44 am


  • LaMar
    December 22, 2012, 2:10 pm

    The problem with these videos is they make people think you have to be a minimalist and go without things like running water to have a small home and that just is not so. It also focuses on houses on wheels when the real movement is to small permanent residences under 400 sqft.

    My cabin is 14×14 200 sqft but with the loft I have 400 sqft of useable space and all the amenities of a larger home with full size appliances, shower, office, etc.

    I also have solar and wind power and being off-grid means no utility payments and that lifestyle is going to be more common in the future.

    So I would like to see less focus on the house on wheels micro homes and more on on small residences because that is where the future is. JMO

    • Sharon
      December 22, 2012, 2:17 pm

      LaMar – I agree, I am more interested in permanent tiny houses rather than ones on wheels. How about posting a video or pictures of your house? Thanks.

      • LaMar
        December 22, 2012, 2:33 pm

        Hi Sharon, I have lots of vids of my cabin, homestead and power system and designs for other cabin sizes for anyone interested: http://www.youtube.com/solarcabin

        I am not trying to discourage anyone from houses on wheels but that is only one alternative and people need to know there are lots of small home alternatives.


    • Alex
      January 7, 2013, 3:38 pm

      That’s a great point LaMar. Small homes around 400 square feet are more practical too.

    • Nick
      January 9, 2013, 12:23 pm

      One of the main reasons the tiny house movement focuses so much on “houses on wheels” is because it is so difficult to get plans approved for permanent structures that small that people are willing to bypass the red tape and just put their dream on a flat bed.

  • SteveR
    December 23, 2012, 12:38 am

    The tiny house movement has been a ‘movement’ for a while now. The question is, is it gaining traction? if so by how much? and what is its future?

    Is it under the radar specifically because there is no interest from the banks or is this the intent of the tiny house homeowners. Ie: Do people own tiny houses (fixed wheels or otherwise) because a) they can’t afford a mortgage? b) they can’t get a mortgage for this type of housing? or c) they don’t want anything to do with banks or don’t want to have a mortgage?

    Consider this though. In 2009, residential mortgage debt in the US was worth $10.8 trillion, yes, that’s trillion! You don’t get to that number selling tiny houses.

    This means that banks will never be interested in having tiny houses be anything other than a fringe movement and since we all know how the elites defend their positions, tiny houses will always have difficulty climbing out of the movement status. Any tiny house success will be met with resistance or loopholes will be closed or new laws enacted to make it difficult.

    • Byron
      February 6, 2014, 12:33 pm

      One of the allures of the tiny house option, for me, is that you should be able to build something without getting the bank involved. I understand people want things instantly,but if you build it over time as resources become available, whether it’s trade or as money is earned, it shouldn’t be that big of a hurdle. We built a house about 7 years ago and if I had it to do over again, I would cut the floor space in half, at least, as we never use much of the house except for storage. All this extra space is just a pointless waste of money, unless the need to impress others is worth it, for me it’s not.

  • Glema
    December 27, 2012, 1:57 pm

    Personally, I love the Tiny house on wheels! It ever gives me the option of staying in an area or moving with seasons or reasons etc. a stationary home, small or otherwise doesn’t give that option so readily! So, tiny on wheels, off wheels, stationary small, off grid small, ad infinitum are all worthy of tiny house movement! Let the huge home people or banks be the ones giving a hard time if they must. If you are part of the tiny house movement then stay a “part” of it. We need more encouragement not added discouragement. Keep up the great work everyone! Nice job Alex.

    • Alex
      January 7, 2013, 3:35 pm

      Thanks Glema!

  • January 7, 2013, 2:53 pm

    Hi Alex. Christina from the Tiny House Blog here. Thanks for the great video! Dee’s quotes are priceless.

    BTW, your header should be “its” rather than “it’s” which connotes “it is”.

    • Alex
      January 7, 2013, 3:35 pm

      Hi Christina, thanks for pointing out my typo, fixed it! I love what Dee has to share. I actually have an excellent interview with her I’ll be sharing soon which I think you’ll enjoy.

  • May 5, 2014, 7:26 pm

    I’ve been dealing within the Atlanta, GA area with building code regulations of 1,100 min. square ft and a 5-12 roof pitch. I know that money is power and I am hoping that some investor somewhere will buy a huge chunk of property that will allow this sort of lifestyle to be “legal” for a single person as myself. I’ve been following this movement for a while now and would love to sign up!!

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