I ran into this news segment on the Tiny House Movement by Global News 16×9 in Canada.
The episode takes you on an adventure into a few people’s lives who live very tiny lives.
And the question is, for these people, do small spaces mean more freedom?
But it’s not just that. These micro homes are also much better for the environment.
What do you small spaces- including tiny homes- mean to you?
Tiny House Movement: Small Spaces More Freedom?
I encourage you to enjoy the rest of this article on the tiny house movement, watch the 10-minute documentary video below and see how you may even want to become a part of the small movement for freedom, too, below:
Jay Shafer of Sonoma County and Four Lights Tiny Houses
As you watch the full news segment or what I’d call a micro-documentary below you’ll get to head over to Sonoma County in California and meet Jay Shafer who has been a pioneer for the tiny house movement for over a decade now.
“Living small is living in a conscious way,” says Jay Shafer.
Young Family going Tiny in Canada
Next, you’ll get to meet a couple with a young child who are building their own family tiny house which they plan to park and live out of behind their parents’ backyard.
Their reasons for doing it? To live more sustainably, scale back, and to financially live below their means so they can build the best future possible for themselves.
6’5″ Tall Law Student Joel Fleck Living in a DIY Tiny House
Why did Joel do it? Because it’s a smart and affordable shelter.
And for those of you tall guys (and ladies) out there just so you know he is 6’5″ and about 260 pounds.
And he still comfortably and happily lives the simple life in his less than 200 sq. ft. tiny cabin on wheels.
So if you’ve got the desire to live small you can do it even if you’re tall. Joel built everything in his house from scratch and yes, his couch is 7′ long.
The downfall? He’s too tall for his shower since there’s a loft directly above the bathroom. But he found a unique solution which I’ll let you find in the video below.
Canada’s Tiniest Foundation House (317 Sq. Ft.)
After you visit Jay, Joel and the young couple building their own tiny home, the documentary takes you to Canada’s smallest house on a foundation and yes- you’ll even get to go inside and meet the current owner/tenant.
This tiny home is now one of Canada’s most famous homes (even Ellen has featured it on her show).
For 317 sq. ft. Joseph (the owner) paid $173,000. Which, in Toronto, normally only buys you a parking space.
“I don’t need more space. All the things that you feel that you have to possess to be somebody, this is a misunderstanding of life,” says Joseph on his interview (owner/dweller).
What’s Next: A Tiny House Village?
That’s what we’re all shooting for since during the last five years we’ve been experiencing a sort of tiny house boom where the concept has gained a lot of attention worldwide.
Now the question is, how do we go about creating communities of small housing to serve people who want to enjoy more life and a lot less house?
Full Story: The Tiny House Movement, Small Spaces More Freedom?
Why Go Tiny?
If you’re looking into the small house movement chances are that you are thinking of downsizing for several logical reasons:
- To be better to the environment
- So your housing costs less
- So you don’t have to clean so much
- So you can have more free time
Then and Now
According to the census, in 1975 the average sq. ft. inside of a newly built American home was 1535 sq. ft. (source)
Fast forward to 2010 and that average has crept up to 2169 sq. ft. (source)
All the while, families have actually gotten smaller.
In 1975 there was an average of 2.94 people per household (source).
And by 2010 down to about 2.63 people per household (source).
So what’s all the extra space for?
To me what it really comes down to is sacrificing space for more choices in our lives and in most cases, it’s worth it (but not always).
The Biggest Challenge: Where to do it?
The other sacrifice for going tiny (specifically) is that it’s challenging finding a place to park and live in your newly built DIY tiny house. And some people are even doing it illegally and under the radar, because minimum house sizing standards are not allowing them to live in a micro home.
But there’s good news: 1) it’s totally possible because others are doing it right now, 2) there are places to do it legitimately, 3) you can always find a small cabin, cottage, live out of an RV or find yourself a micro-apartment instead, and 4) tiny house communities are coming soon!
It Might Not Be For You?
For some people, the idea of tiny living just won’t work. If you have a large family, plan to have a family, work from home, have enjoyable hobbies that take up space, or if you simply enjoy having more space so you can have guests over more often without it invading your privacy.
But maybe a small house will still work great for you and you can still enjoy the benefits of choosing a smart housing option for you and your family.
Other Ways to Use Tiny Houses
If you can’t live tiny but you’re still fascinated with the idea you can still dive in and you might even want to get yourself a micro home for another reason since tiny houses can be and are being used in so many ways, like:
- Affordable second homes for vacations
- Backyard guest houses or rentals
- Vacation rentals on your own land or campground
- Backyard writing, yoga, meditation, and art studios
The options are only limited to your imagination. The next question is, what would you design and build a tiny house for?
Sources and Resources
- Original news segment (source)
- Jay Shafer’s Four Lights Tiny House Company
- Jay’s Tiny House Plans
- Jay’s Proposed Village of Tiny Homes
How to Get Started
- How to draw your own floor plans
- More photos of tiny homes
- Learn more by watching this free 1-hour long documentary on tiny living
- How to build your own tiny house step by step
Do YOU think the tiny house movement is growing? Yes or no and why (if you want) in the comments down below please. Thanks!
If you enjoyed this story on the boom of the small house movement you’ll love our free daily tiny house newsletter with even more!