What is a Tiny House? How Small is Tiny? Why…….

Do you want a tiny house? How big is still tiny? How small is too tiny? Does a tiny house have to be on a trailer? Does a tiny house always have a loft? What is a composting toilet? Can I put a tiny house in my backyard? What is the “tiny house movement” ?

Let me start with one simple statement:  Your tiny space can be any thing or any size you want it to be. You can be completely off grid, hooked up to local utilities or a combination of both. Your house can be on a trailer, on piers, up in the trees…… It’s whatever you want it to be. It doesn’t even have to be a house. Maybe it’s an art studio, a meditation space or just a place to take a nap. However, if we set our goals for the space first, then we can determine what type of space meets those goals.

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What elements must be included in your space?  Do you need a full size shower? Do you need sleeping room for two adults? Is using a ladder to reach a sleeping loft going to be difficult for anyone? The answers to these questions will determine the size we need to build. As an example let’s say we need a small galley kitchen than can feed 4 people on occasion but one or two normally. We need a queen size bed. We need a living area that preferably has a sofa and a desk area. We also need a dining area, but it’s okay if the desk serves double duty. Our bathroom needs to have a stand up shower at least 30″ x 30″, a standard toilet, and a small sink.

Where are we going to put it? Do we need to be able to move our house often or will it be semi permanent? Remember, even if it doesn’t have wheels, it can still be moved if this is taken into consideration in the building process. Will this be a second house in a suburban neighborhood or located on a rural piece of land? Are there any codes that specify what type of building we can, or cannot build? For our example we are going to build this house on a small rural piece of farmland as a second home for an aging family member. We review any county building codes and find that there are no restrictions as to the minimum or maximum size that we may build. County building codes does require any waste water to be connected to an approved waste water treatment (septic tank or other approved method).

What type of house should we build? We could build a house on a large flatbed trailer but then we would need to consider maintenance of the tires and axles and we would need a large truck to move it. And the need for a full size shower and queen size bed limits how “tiny” we can really build. In this example we could build a house that was 10 feet wide and 24 feet long. Probably built on 6″ x 6″ runners so that it could be moved on a large trailer if necessary. We could incorporate an efficient hot water heater, LED lights and even air conditioning for those hot southern summers. Traditional lumber can be used for framing and our exterior could be cedar lap siding for that rough finished look. A sofa with built in storage! Or maybe a hidden attic/loft for children to play. Large windows so we can enjoy our country setting and maybe a covered porch so we can have a nice glass of sweet tea in the afternoon. I can small the smoke from Barbecue Pit…………

Is this still a tiny house? Of course it is! What’s your dream for a tiny house?

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Kevin Catlett
Owner, C3
Outdoors & So Much More!

 

 

 

 

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