From Dean Dowd on October 27, 2009 in Green Remodeling
Did you know that building a too small house is actually illegal in many states? People want to downsize mortgage payments, minimize their carbon footprint and live the tiny house lifestyle, but there are still some difficult regulations in place. Once they do make the switch, however, the tiny homes are above-board in cost, efficiency and environmentalism.
A Little Background on Small Housing
Jay Shafer, a small-living expert and owner of the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, believes that the policies against small dwellings were endorsed and pushed by the housing and banking industries to increase profits. The result? A trail of unsightly McMansions, construction waste, higher CO2 emissions, and more recently, an exorbitant real estate market. Concerned about the environment, Jay downsized to his 89-square-foot hand-built California home, smaller than some peoples closets, where he lives happily today.
Xtra Small House
The size on this houses tag would read XS. With 65 square feet of living area, hiring a maid and fretting about overnight guests are no longer concerns. Neither is applying for a building permit since the home is on wheels. Designed by Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, a house like this only costs about $37,000 ready-made. Do the work yourself and the house is yours for $16,000.
Torontos Smallest House for Sale: $179,000
Built within a driveway, this 300-square-foot-house has a small yard, tumbled stone entrance that leads up to the front door and a fenced patio. It is believed to be the smallest home in Toronto, Canada. The completely redone interior includes one bathroom and one bedroom designed with a Murphy bed (to sleep anyone under six feet tall).
The Micro-Compact Home
Park your Smart Car in the driveway of your Micro and enjoy a low-maintenance, simple kind of lifestyle. The compact house is nearly as tiny as the smallest Tumbleweed home, measuring in at 77 square feet. A rolling entrance triples as an atrium, bathroom and clothes drying area.
Voglreiter Auto House
And speaking of smart cars, believe it or not, this car creation is actually a two-story home. Yes, those are staircases and furniture inside. It was renovated from a 70s style suburban house that sat on a corner lot in Austrias historic Salzburg district. Keeping energy efficiency at the forefront of the project, the auto house design cost between $60,000 and $80,000 to remodel and create kid-friendly spaces.
Grandpa Dons Tree House
Don Botsford, known as Grandpa around Ann Arbor, Michigan, bought 20 acres in 1975 and turned it into a nature preserve. On the property, the 79-year-olds tree house has a sleeping loft, two bunks, a woodstove and solar-powered lighting. He encourages school tours, eager to share his naturalistic approach to life.
Small Houses for the Big State
Brad Kittel is a Texas homebuilder who advocates small building and big recycling. No two of Kittels houses are alike because he uses salvaged lumber and building materials from demolitions. Inside even the smallest of the structures, a 200-square-footer, is a loft, shower and toilet.