The Pros, Cons and Future of Tiny Houses

The Pros, Cons and Future of Tiny Houses

A “tiny house” search online will bring up a myriad of enthusiastic bloggers showing off their unconventional home and describing their transition to the tiny house lifestyle. Images, articles and TV series focusing on innovatively designed and furnished interiors that creatively maximise space have heightened interest in the merits of living small at some stage in life.

Why Go Tiny?

Many advocates see tiny house living as a return to a simpler way of life less focused on material possessions.

Tiny house construction involves less raw materials and waste, which is attractive to those who want to make lower impact environmental choices. It is also significantly cheaper, typically ranging from $20,000 to $45,000. Lower costs and less maintenance mean more time and money for tiny homeowners to enjoy life. Enthusiasts also point to the increased mobility that a home on wheels allows for.

The interior of Harmony House, which is fully winterized.

The Downsides to Downsizing

Tiny house living features a degree of uncertainty that may not be for everyone. Tiny homes on wheels fall into a legal grey area that can make finding a place to legally park them a major challenge.

Uncertainty about sustainability, code, zoning and certification issues limit the investment potential of tiny houses. Connections to local services such as water, hydro and internet may not always be available. Finally, lack of private space or room for children to play are factors that have led some tiny house dwellers to abandon the lifestyle.

The Future of Living Small

Perhaps the biggest impact of the tiny house movement will be that it has helped to legitimise and even glamourise living in small spaces. It has helped to separate the image of small homes from that of shantytowns and shack living. This has contributed to an increasing willingness from municipalities to review dwelling size mandates and consider alternative sources of affordable housing.


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