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Old 03-04-2015, 10:23 AM   #21
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I'm a fan of the tiny house stuff, and read a lot about it.
There are plenty of people who use these as aspirational purchases for second (or third) homes to feel like they are embracing minimalism. Those are the really pricey ones.
There are also younger folks, priced out of the mortgage market, or not wanting to do what it takes (go into big debt) who chose to build one of these while they save money. Those are the ones being built for way less than $100 a square foot.
I've been interested in the whole small house movement dealie since reading about Susan Sasanka and her Not So Big House book published back in 1998.

Here's a thread about my own not-exactly-tiny-but still pretty small house build plan: ADU backyard cottage or granny flat

I've gotten back this sketch from a nice guy who was working up SIP prices for me. Though I think we've decided, based on cost and the fact that I have two free laborers in my house to supervise and feed, that we'll stick build. I plan to have it completely dried in (all exterior walls/windows/roofing) for under $10k. We based it loosely on a Cusato cottage that was originally designed for rebuilding post-Katrina. It is under 500 sqft.
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Old 03-04-2015, 10:26 AM   #22
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I have been inside a number of these and they are appealing and then you think well wait a minute. I own a suit, a sport coat and a tuxedo and DW owns the female equivalent where do you put more than a spare pair of jeans.
Wow, I don't. I saved one thin "little black dress" from my working days, to wear to funerals and such. It takes no room at all in my closet. I'd like a lot of closet space, but not so much for clothes as for other stuff.

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We like to cook, where are the pots/pan/appurtenances of cooking? And then there are the books.
I have gotten rid of most of my books, and read entirely on my Kindle these days. I am just about ready to get rid of the rest. I could probably be perfectly happy with one half-height bookcase. As for cooking, I think the pot hanger can be very helpful although it wouldn't solve the problem. I would need counter space for my Vitamix, my rice cooker, my coffee maker, my electric kettle, and so on. So, I think that kitchen cabinets and counters are a valid use for some space.

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But what does appeal to my wife and I would be a significantly smaller home, one bedroom, kitchen, library/living room and bath, with a significant out building for the shop.
Sounds nice!
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Old 03-04-2015, 10:29 AM   #23
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we would kill each other if we lived in a house that small
I know you were joking, but seriously I think that often the need people have for huge houses is just to have enough space to get away from one another.
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Old 03-04-2015, 10:35 AM   #24
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Wouldn't it be roomier and cheaper to live in a mobile home?

I'm not getting it.
It would be, most likely, cheaper to just buy a mobile home. However, many places put a ban on them, unless you put it in a mobile home park. They're banned in my county, for example, and most of the counties that are near Washington DC. I think lot rents usually run around $600-800 per month, and then you have the cost of the mobile home on top of that.

However, I'm sure there are going to be even more bans and restrictions on these "tiny homes". In many cases, they're just homes on wheels, which is a fancy way of saying a trailer.

One advantage, however, is that you could probably just take one of these tiny homes and park and level it pretty easily, whereas a mobile home would take up more space, and might require more effort to level.

Mobile homes aren't designed to be moved around a lot. Usually, just from the point of manufacture to the trailer park. The more you move them, the more likely they are to start falling apart. But, you never know, those tiny homes might have that same problem.
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Old 03-04-2015, 10:41 AM   #25
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Not for me, although I can appreciate the folks who can downsize that much and make a go at it.

As un-green and environmentally wasteful as it sounds, I like my space. Lots of it.

The house I rent right now is about 3000 square feet and it's just me living there, which is fine. Yeah, it's a little too big for one person, but not by much. Both houses I had in Colorado were about 1100 square feet, and I found them too small.

2200 to 2500 square feet is probably perfect for me, with all my hobbies and stuff I keep around the house (home theater alone eats up one bedroom).

I would never be able to downsize enough to something like a tiny home. I'd feel way too claustrophobic in such a thing.

Smallest place I've lived for any length of time was an Extended Stay hotel for a month while I was looking for a house to rent. A month was all I could take of that.
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Old 03-04-2015, 10:48 AM   #26
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I hear ya. Especially if it's in the loft. I'd need a parachute when I needed to go to the bathroom.
How about a fireman's pole?
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Old 03-04-2015, 10:49 AM   #27
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I know you were joking, but seriously I think that often the need people have for huge houses is just to have enough space to get away from one another.
I wasn't joking that much - each of us needs our space, and lots of it

hence the 5250 sqft behemoth we live in now - we won't move again tho
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Old 03-04-2015, 10:49 AM   #28
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After owning our first home we discovered that we hate maintenance (a lot of it for an 80 year old home) and yard work. We also had 1200 sq ft + maybe 600 sq ft of bonus space (finished garage/attic) but most of the space was wasted and unused. 800 sq ft or so would probably be an ideal size for us although we could go somewhat smaller.
Homes on the West coast in the cities are usually very expensive for old homes that need a lot of update. I refused, actually reneged on, a job offer to move to an aerospace company in Santa Monica in 1985 after seeing how much I would have to pay for a home.

Quote:
I like the atmosphere and open layout of this home (although we need a bigger kitchen area):

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/23/ga...uare-feet.html
That does not look too bad. Remember that plenty of people live in apartments with the same square footage. What also helps is that this couple has a yard and a shed with a small workshop. A good climate that allows you to spend time outside would also help a lot.
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Old 03-04-2015, 10:53 AM   #29
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When I was 12 years old, my grandparents took me on an 8 week trip across the US in a '76 GMC crew cab pickup with a slide-in camper in back. In retrospect, it's probably a miracle that we didn't drive each other crazy in that small space. However, since we were constantly on the go, it rarely felt claustrophobic. We were also outside a lot, and usually weren't back inside the camper until it was dark, and soon time for bed. The camper had a chemical toilet in one of the closets, but we never used it, so we used the bathrooms and showers at the campgrounds.

As a kid, it was fun. And as an adult, I could see it being fun, with the right group of people. For a few weeks, maybe. But I don't now that I'd want to live in something small like that. FWIW, that camper was about 7x10 feet, with a dinette that converted to a bed, and it had another bed over the cab. At the time, I used to think it was a real treat, getting to sleep in that upper bunk.
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Old 03-04-2015, 10:59 AM   #30
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I could live in a tiny house, as long as I had a full size barn with heat, AC, and plenty of electric.
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Old 03-04-2015, 11:07 AM   #31
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It is pretty amazing what he did with three feet. Not that I'd want to live there, but he really did make the most of it. The glass, angled roof and high ceilings go a long way towards making it far less claustrophobic than you would think.

Those concepts can be applied to a more typical, but still on the smaller size, house. Or even a large home for that matter.

Our house for example, was a very plain, rectangular layout. We've added some bay windows and bump-outs over the years as we have re-modeled, and it's amazing how much larger a room feels when ~ 1/3rd of an outside wall is bumped out just ~ 2 feet. Not much actual square feet, but it just makes the room feel larger and open - day and night difference. Same with some open, high ceilings.

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Old 03-04-2015, 11:23 AM   #32
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I could live in a tiny house, as long as I had a full size barn with heat, AC, and plenty of electric.

+1.


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Old 03-04-2015, 11:30 AM   #33
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I could live in a tiny house, as long as I had a full size barn with heat, AC, and plenty of electric.
I can relate. In my last move, went from a 1250 square foot condo that had a 1 car garage (maybe 200 square feet) and some attic space, to a 1500 square foot house with a 12x16 outbuilding. And within a couple years built a 24x40 (960 sq ft) garage. And it STILL doesn't feel big enough!

Oh, almost forgot...the condo had a small deck that was maybe 9x11 feet. I have a lot of houseplants that I'd put out there, so much that it would make it feel nice and private. The house has a small deck, around 9x15 feet. But, now that I have a whole yard that I can play in, for landscaping and such, the house plants almost seem like a burden. They've also grown and multiplied since my condo days as well...and I took on a few more when my Dad had a bunch he wanted to get rid of.
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Old 03-04-2015, 11:33 AM   #34
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Remember that plenty of people live in apartments with the same square footage. What also helps is that this couple has a yard and a shed with a small workshop. A good climate that allows you to spend time outside would also help a lot.
All other things being equal, our preference would probably be apt-condo > townhouse > detached home. But some areas don't have many options in condos/townhouses.

Another drawback is our dog who may be subject to size and breed restrictions for some HOAs.
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Old 03-04-2015, 11:51 AM   #35
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How about a fireman's pole?
Hey....now there's an idea!

But...I wouldn't be able to shimmy back up that pole. My tiny house would have to have an elevator....
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Old 03-04-2015, 12:19 PM   #36
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Wouldn't it be roomier and cheaper to live in a mobile home?


I'm not getting it.
It's the fantasy dude, just the fantasy. After all, once you have saved a bunch of money and you are no longer young enough to spend all your time thinking about sex, how do you keep those brain cells that you still have employed?

One way is to take on a very unhandy lifestyle, but even better is to fantasize about that unhandy lifestyle while continuing to live in your 3000 Sq ft ranch in a nice suburb.

Ha
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Old 03-04-2015, 12:22 PM   #37
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One way is to take on a very unhandy lifestyle, but even better is to fantasize about that unhandy lifestyle while continuing to live in your 3000 Sq ft ranch in a nice suburb.
I still don't get it


I'd rather think (fantasize) about my golf game
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Old 03-04-2015, 12:29 PM   #38
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I think this is really just a fad. Of course there will be folks that embrace this but for the most part I think in 5 years you won't see many more tiny homes than you see now. I think the DW and I could do well with a *smaller* home, but even as much as we like each other, I don't think we could do well with anything less than 1,000 S.F.


We have been considering the best way to maximize space and minimize cost for our "forever retirement" home, but it's really tough to get all we want in less than 1,500 SF and this is made with consideration that we tend to do just about everything with each other. Not only to mention, I would prefer to have more acreage (natural, not something we would have to deal with in old age) than square footage of a house.


My GP's designed/built their "forever" home when they were in their 40's and even in the late 70's it wound up being 2,200 S.F. but as they grew older, they only used about 1/3 of the space (for living). Today, it's a smaller home (especially in the area where 4,000+ SF houses are common) and wouldn't appeal to many of today's buyers.
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Old 03-04-2015, 12:31 PM   #39
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The family in the video below have two tiny houses - one for home and one for a craft business. Maybe instead of a craft business a second tiny house or storage unit would be enough to hold excess stuff that would not be needed day to day, like camping equipment and golf clubs. We keep that stuff in an unheated garage now and in our climate that works out fine.

Shotgun shack redux: mortgage-free in 320 square feet - videos - *faircompanies

I find it fun to consider tiny house living - maybe just for a vacation home if nothing else:

House of three tents vacation cabin in California:
http://faircompanies.com/videos/view...in-california/
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Old 03-04-2015, 01:02 PM   #40
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Wouldn't it be roomier and cheaper to live in a mobile home?

I'm not getting it.
We have once exchanged our timeshare to stay for 1 week in a "resort" on the Californian coast that consisted of cottages built with park models. Never been inside one before, I was impressed that it offered real comfort.

It had full-size bathtub and bed. Bathroom size was OK, while the bedroom was not much larger than the bed. Other furniture pieces were scaled down to fit the smaller space, and stayed functional. Bathroom fixtures and kitchen appliances were good quality. So, it felt like a nice small home, and we did not feel like living in a mobile home at all.
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