Small is Beautiful Blog

Written by Jeremy • The Movie, Tiny Houses

Why are you interested in Tiny Houses?

Sketch Book ideas for a tiny house

This is the first page of my notebook from nearly two years ago. Why build a tiny house??Why am I interested in Tiny Houses?

I talk about why I don’t have a tiny house and instead have a documentary about Tiny Houses in this video.

My ideas were to have:
– A small portable and self built home
– To encourage others to help build it with me
– To focus on the Kitchen/Entertaining aspect of the house (I love to cook and have lounge room dance parties)
– To design the Tiny with a purpose. Making sure each element of the design had multiple functions and was there for a reason.
– Mix modern design and architecture with recycled/found materials
– Take inspiration from found materials and the Australian Bush.
– To end up living much more simply, using less water, gas and electricity.

Why are you interested in Tiny Houses?

– Do you want to build a Tiny House yourself?
– Do you like the idea of a more green/sustainable lifestyle?
– Are you just fascinated with small spaces?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

122 comments

  • Hannah T

    I like the idea that I get to build it myself and learn along the way – I expect the building process to be really rewarding. After that, I think living in a small space would be so challenging and exciting – a totally new way of living! There’s so much to be learnt from the whole experience.

    I had a meeting with a planner at the council today in Glasgow who had a conversation with me about a tiny house but at the end, still referred to it as ‘just a caravan’ in a derogatory way, as if it was a gypsy lifestyle and therefore somehow shameful – it was a bit demoralising. But I still want to build my own, that’s for sure.

    My notes look like yours! How cool is it to have a thoughtful home – to compost your own poo and to be aware of every drop of water! That’s cool.

    I’m starting designing this week :D

    • smallbeautifulmovie

      Don’t worry about the council person Hannah!

      Keep on trucking with your plan. And compost that poop! :)

      Feel free to share your designs here, I’d love to see them and I’m sure others would too.

      • Jyn Watson

        I have owned my 1700 sq ft house for 7 years now and while it’s a lovely home I do not want to spend the better part of the next 20 years spending the majority of my income on it. I was saying to someone a few months ago ” if I could I would build a tiny off grid house ” my thoughts where when my kids get big and start there own lives I can downsize. I spend the last few months thinking about that…. Why wait? Teaching my kids to downsize too will be a valuable gift to them.

        I’m excited to say I bought my trailer yesterday and my family and I will be building it togethor. It is a bit bigger than the average tiny house. I found an old fifth wheel trailer from 1989 that has already been stripped down. It is 32′ so I guess I’ll call it a little off grid house for a family of 5 :)

  • Greg

    My reasons for wanting to build small include:
    – No Mortgage/Debtor prision – I’ve had mortgages for $350k+. The thought of losing your home because you can’t make a payment is stressful.
    – “Living within my means”
    – Life should take you outside your home more than it does inside to experience the world around you rather than staying couped up and experiencing it unnaturally.
    – Use less energy and resources to heat/cool/maintain.

    • Greg, your motivations are great and you’re not alone in that boat at all!

  • justsaying

    My interest is based around the same things but key for me is designing for small spaces – I probably won’t build a tiny house. I want to make the most of the space I have already. I have always found small space design interesting – train sleeping compartments, caravans, etc.

    • Cool! There is definitely a huge benefit of using what you already have. You don’t need to build anything new, it doesn’t require any new materials and you’re able to be super creative within the existing space. Good luck! I hope the film helps inspire some interesting design (Ben for example made a really really cool bed).

  • Hi there! I’m interested in the Tiny House movement because of its focus on living with less, making the most of the space that you have and lifestyle affordability.

    I was thinking about this a couple of years ago when contemplating the future. I live in Sydney with my husband and children–in an area where house prices have skyrocketed (we’re in the inner city). We really love living here because of the interesting people, the lifestyle (good cafes, good schools, lovely parks everywhere) and the infrastructure (good public transport options everywhere, plus councils are proactive about encouraging people to walk and ride). But if we ever want to own a house in Sydney, we will need to move out of the inner city and further west where a lot of the things we enjoy here don’t exist. Or we would have to enslave ourselves to an impossible mortgage that would increase our working ours, thus taking time away from our kids.

    I was feeling rather depressed about this whole thing when I stumbled across the Tiny House movement and suddenly considered a third option: staying put. We currently live in a two bedroom flat–the sort of setup that many would consider unsuitable for young children. However, as I started reading and watching YouTube videos about the Tiny House movement, I realised that we actually have a LOT of space–that two bedrooms is actually enough for the four of us (particularly while our kids are young)–that we could probably manage quite well (with a few changes to the setup–for example, we’re in the process of thinking through how to move things around so that the kids have the master bedroom with more space to play, and we have the smaller bedroom)–and that by staying here, we would be able to live the sort of lifestyle we want, whereby we aren’t slaves to our jobs, we get to spend quality time with our kids and we get to enjoy the wonderful area around us–plus we’d probably save quite a bit as well so if things become unmanageable with the four of us, we’d be in a better position to purchase something bigger in, say, 10 years or so.

    High density living has its challenges, but I dare say so does living in a big house: there’s more housework to do (I like that at the moment, it only takes about half an hour to clean all the floors in our place), there’s yardwork (which I hate; I have a black thumb), and when major things break, you have to work out how to get it fixed (whereas at the moment, strata takes care of all that). I know it may not work forever, and there are still quite a few things we want to do to make our space work for us, but I think it will be good for us while it lasts.

    • You’re so spot on Karen. What a great story to read and hear your inspiration from the movement. I’m really excited to hear how you fair with four kids in a small space.

      An idea I have is to make “bedrooms on wheels” a thing in Melbourne, where I’d be able to park in someone’s backyard in the place I want to live (just like you, good cafes, good public transport, internet, bike riding etc). Affordable housing, in places people want to live!

  • seastardodell

    I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about going tiny and am of the same mindset, for the most part. I don’t want to be one of those people, but in the vein of efficiency, here it is?I wrote a post about it on my blog: http://thelittlefishhouse.blogspot.com/2014/10/why-do-i-want-to-live-in-tiny-house-and.html. Since then, I’ve become more interested in the “greenness” of going tiny and am eager to live a more sustainable life.

    • Fantastic, thanks for sharing your post!

      “The little fish house” is a super cute name. Love it :) *high five*

  • Denisedancer

    Also live in Sydney, one of the most expensive cities in the world. I have a son who at best may be able to one day buy a tiny studio apartment. We are both interested in the way tiny houses are designed, how all the furniture fits in and has multiple uses. It’s amazing just what can be managed in such a tiny space. It also draws my attention to the fact I have way too much stuff and it is inspiring me to downsize my possessions.

    • Thanks for sharing Denise.

      I couldn’t agree more. Housing prices in Melbourne are just as crazy. It is basically forcing everyone to live in apartments, without any interaction with other people in the building and creating really strange interactions between people and a complete lack of community in the home environment. Which I’m sure people will discover in the future is needed for a happy life!

  • Josh Stauffer

    I’m interested in tiny houses because I like the idea of having a dwelling that is paid in full. Having less to pay for seems to be the quickest path.

  • twocrows

    I have this thing about the environment. I’m kind of fanatic about it. Years ago, I would have loved to build my own tiny but, hey, I’m 67 now. And besides, recycling an existing house is a Good Thing unless I plan to use recycled materials exclusively – – not always an option. My last two homes were turn-key ready and I had given away most of my tools. Oops.

    So, I just bought a small [611 sq ft] home that, if it hadn’t found a buyer soon might have been torn down. It needs a lot of work [a new roof has been added, and a heat/AC unit, electric wires were just attached today, and it has termites (tenting is scheduled for next week.)] So I will likely buy tools again [unless I can borrow back the ones I gave away. Hoping.]

    I AM taking my solar panels with me and will build a deck adjacent to the house to mount them [they won’t all fit on the roof.]

    And going from a $15,000 per year mortgage to $0 is a major plus. That’s money I can plow into the house, after all. That will be the adventure. And that, also, is a Good Thing.

    • Great solution! And you’re right. That is a Good Thing :)

  • Elizabeth Patterson

    I love tiny houses because I dream of someday living rent free! The only way to own a house these days is to build your own. Cant wait to see the film!

    • Thanks for the encouragement on the film Elizabeth. Really appreciate it!

      There’s some great builders out there like Derin from Shelter wise building Tiny Houses for people. It does cost more than doing it yourself, but it depends what you’re after. If you want the experience of building your own, then that’s an awesome way to go. And super challenging. If you’d prefer to work more to pay for the extra cost of getting someone else to do it, that can save many headaches too!

      http://www.shelterwise.com/

  • Linda Finlay

    I like the idea of tiny living for simplicity! I hate lugging around a fully furnished home every time I move. Also the way real estate prices are headed I have come to the realisation that I will never be able to afford a mortgage and quite frankly the idea of spending the next 30 years paying it off sounds like utter hell. I pride myself on being completely debt free and buying things only when I have saved up enough money.
    Of course a tiny house that I can take with me when I travel is an absolute dream!

    • Awesome Linda! If you do end up with a tiny for that purpose, I’d suggest building the smallest, lightest one possible.

      Dee Williams has a beautiful little house she took on tour. The best part is she can just hook it up to her car and move it in 5 minutes. The bigger tiny houses are a little trickier and scarier to move.

      http://padtinyhouses.com/big-tiny-tour-on-the-road-with-jolene/

  • nichole bijelic

    I’m interested in the Tiny House movement because it means….. less “stuff” and more “Living”

  • Jeremy Miller

    On a personal level, my interest in the concept of tiny houses stems from wanting to de-clutter and simplify my life and possessions and accept that less is more! Being able to create a dwelling that is appropriate and inexpensive so that I am not burdened by a mortgage is another driving factor. Professionally, I am interested in how to create modest dwellings that are thermally comfortable, using innovative, high quality construction methods, that have low embodied energy and will stand the test of time. Having some experience in planning I am also really interested in how tiny houses can be ‘approved’ and allowed – how this can become mainstream rather than fringe activity, and how the concept of tiny house micro village communities (eg: intentional communities) in urban and rural contexts could be built into our planning system rather than excluded through regulation.

    • Awesome man. It’s as though you’re in my brain sharing the same experiences, haha!

      I’m meeting and chatting with some architects this week about these very points! There are some safety concerns and definite problems to over come, but like any problem – they’re solvable :)

      If you’re interested in some tiny house communities, there are some cool things happening in Olympia and Eugene.

      http://www.opportunityvillageeugene.org
      https://www.crowdrise.com/emeraldvillage
      http://quixotevillage.com/

      • Jeremy Miller

        Cheers, thanks for the links. Was thinking you should seek to screen the film at The Transitions Film Festival http://www.transitionsfilmfestival.com/ I’ve been involved in the Adelaide festival for a couple of years (company is a sponsor – Sustainability House). Would be great to explore the Tiny House movement in this forum!

        • Awesome! We just missed out on the deadline actually, total bummer. Perhaps next year?

  • Michelle April Rivas

    Hi Jeremy!

    I have been following the tiny house movement for about 4 years now. I’m all about small spaces and living minimally. My studio apartment looks like a show room. All areas of my apartment are considered a ‘slow’ space. I’ve worked on de-cluttering for 3 years and I take pride in keeping an easy to manage home.

    As for tiny house living – Initially I saw myself in a tiny house on wheels, but after reading books and blog posts from authors who live in a tiny home, thorough research on options, and reflecting on what kind of house would be best suited for my needs/desires – I came to the conclusion that I want to live in a stationary home that’s between 550 and 850 square feet. There are a few pre-fabricated designs that I currently like (e.g. WheelHaus). Otherwise I would buy a plan and have it built. Affordability is still a concern. I find that as the tiny and small house movement gains popularity, the cost to purchase is increasing. For example, a small house between 500 and 850 sq ft can cost anywhere between $96,000-$150,000+. I realize that’s still very affordable compared to most houses on the market, but if you decide to purchase a pre-fab home you have to factor in the cost to ship. Unlike purchasing a pre-owned home you need to purchase a plot of land, unless you choose to rent but that’s another challenge since you have to find someone who is willing to rent their land. Also, depending on where you want to live taxes can cost a pretty penny.

    With that said, I still think it’s a worthwhile investment. Unfortunately I won’t ever be able to afford to purchase a small home in full. I have too many student loans and hardly any savings. I could only work towards saving a down payment of roughly 20%. Of course this all depends on whether I am single or married down the line.

    • Michelle,

      Thanks for taking the time for such a detailed response. You’re awesome!

      You’re onto to something really important there, and something I’d love to chat about in more detail. Student loans in the USA is such a crippling load on people’s shoulders and it takes up so much of “life after university” to deal with.

      Just running some numbers a 100K mortgage, taken over 15 years at 6.25% is around $850 a month to pay off. Which certainly isn’t cheap by any means, but it also isn’t unattainable. And it means it’s yours. You own it and it has value in the future (as opposed to renting). I’m really looking forward to how we approach housing for the next generations and what solutions we can come up with.

      Keep in touch and let me know how your journey progresses! As a community we can hopefully make the world a more affordable, fun and friendly place to live.

      • Michelle April Rivas

        Jeremy,
        Thanks for your reply! You make a good point. I will continue researching. I don’t want to make a long term commitment that is unattainable.

        At this time I’m assuming the total cost for a small pre-fab or home will run anywhere from $100-$150K. That doesn’t include the cost of land, and ideally I see myself living in Oakland or Berkeley. I’m also open to other cities within a reasonable commute to San Francisco. A small plot of land in the Bay Area is anywhere from $65-$90K, but I”ve seen other plots between $100 and $300k. The cost quickly adds up and that doesn’t include annual taxes + insurance.

        The home I purchase in the future will largely depend on my current relationship. My boyfriend is open to a house between 700 and 850 square feet. So if, by the time I’m ready to make a down payment, we’re no longer together, I will likely lean towards a smaller sized house – between 550 and 700 square feet. That will reduce the cost, which means more savings for me :) However, if my boyfriend and I go in together on a house it will definitely be more affordable since I won’t have to take on the cost burden alone. I’m looking forward to that day, regardless of the outcome. And, it’s not 100% certain the Bay Area is where I’ll end up but it’s good to have a goal in mind. I just hope the cost for a small house doesn’t escalate. As this movement becomes more and more popular, I see some architects are already offering their designs for more than the cost of a townhouse in PA!

        Anyway, I’d love to hear what you have to say about student loan debt.

        • Can I say all the curse words possible about student loan debt?!?

          Higher education should be free, if not free, then heavily subsidised and with no private/corporate interest. It’s one of the markers of an advanced society – one that has free education.

          Student debt ends up putting so much stress on young people that they feel they can never do anything with their lives but work. It’s a horrible pressure that I wish didn’t exist. There would be more creativity, more happiness and less consumption. Everyone wins.

  • Jean-Claude Noel

    I was/still am interested in tiny houses because they make you become aware of your life/lifestyle. In that sense, tiny houses are tool to help you understand and figure out what is essential to your life. I think tiny house are only one variable part of a much bigger equation. A tiny house in a cohousing project makes a lot of sense to me. A tiny house, all by itself, not so much. At this time, I am looking at small apartment rather than a tiny house.

    • Have you found any co-housing apartments Jean-Claude?

      A friend of mine lives in this one (in Melbourne) and it seems to work really well. Maybe that is the next thing in housing?

      http://murundakacohousing.org.au/

      • Jean-Claude Noel

        No, there only cohousing community I know is in Quebec City, QC, with both townhouses and appartments that were all for sale. I think that they are all occupied now. See: http://www.cohabitat.ca/ There is a cohousing project in Montreal but it looks like it still at an early stage. As for me, I will probably end up getting a small condo in Montreal. Cohousing is still very young.

  • Anita Flower

    Hi Jeremy! I?m a huge
    fan of your style of filming and missed you when you were on location in
    Portland, OR. I just moved into my tiny
    house on wheels this past Autumn. The
    reason I built a tiny house was to lessen my impact on the earth, increase
    sustainability, and live more in harmony with nature. Rooted in the belief that the earth freely
    offers the resources to sustain a balanced life, I?m now on the path to living
    more gently in my wee house named ?Lilypad? with solar energy, rainwater
    catchment, wood heat, composting toilet plus beginning to grow much of my own
    food. It would be sublime if my house
    serves as both shelter ? and ? springboard to others interested in self-sufficiency
    and utilizing renewable energy sources. Dreaming of the ripple effect. Full photo galleries are online if you?d like to
    check out Lilypad at: http://www.lilypadplanet.com

    • Really cool design Anita! I’d love to come and check it out when I’m back in Portland in April. Are you going to the Tiny House Conference?

      • Anita Flower

        Hi Jeremy, I live in Portland and it would be awesome to give you a tour of my little eco-sanctuary while you are here! I don’t plan on attending the conference, but hope to meet up with many visitors from the TH community. Keep in touch? My email is lilypadplanet@gmail

  • Lorrie Knittel Humpal

    I stumbled across my first exposure to the Tiny House concept about a year ago and was instantly hooked. I became mesmerized by the idea of a minimalist lifestyle and what that would mean to me. The biggest draw is getting rid of a $1300 mortgage. What could I do with $1300 extra every month? ALOT! A new adventure is the second draw. I’ve been living in the same house for 16 years. The idea of starting fresh in a tiny house in a different state is a very exciting thought. So hopefully if all goes as planned, I will be doing just that in 18 months with my daughter. Wish us LUCK!

    • Lorrie, what an exciting adventure! You’ve got such an awesome opportunity to have adventures with your daughter. Good luck! P.s. I’m in love with Oregon and Louisiana if you need some suggestions of places to move too :)

      • Lorrie Knittel Humpal

        I am actually looking at Southern Oregon. :) I am going to be attending the Tiny House Conference in Portland in April and then doing some exploring afterwards! I’m super excited! April can’t get here fast enough.

  • Hello, I have always wanted to build my own home, I think this is a very primal thing that many of us carry with us all our lives, I fell in love with the Tiny House movement thanks to Jay Shafer and in particular the Tumbleweed ‘Fencl’ – Unfortunately it isn’t possible to have a trailer permanently on my land and the Fencl wouldn’t comply with the Building Code… so the attached plan is what I’m building, not quite a Tiny House in the general sense but I believe the smallest house I can build that is a permanent dwelling. I can’t wait to see your movie once it’s available :-)

  • lilacEyes

    I am so very interested in the Tiny House movement for one main reason: to be free! Free from crushing mortgage payments. Free from weekend-stealing housework sessions. Free from expensive upkeep. Free from big utility bills. Free from having to buy more stuff to furnish it, etc, and correspondingly, free from having the room to store a bunch of stuff. That’s why I’m interested in the Tiny movement. I feel a little freer just saying it.

  • Roxanne Danderand

    I love Tiny Houses. It’s just me so the tiny houses is perfect. It’s my dream home and hopefully some day i can afford to build one.

  • Jennifer Harris

    The financial freedom associated with Tiny Houses originally drew me to the movement. However, since reading and learning more, I’ve discovered it’s more than financial freedom and the ability to move your home wherever and whenever. It’s about happiness, connections, compromise, and believing in something. It’s about breaking the ‘norm’ and building something that’s yours. It’s ownership. It’s love.

    I tend to get sappy about Tiny Houses (if you can’t tell), because it’s the first time in my life I’ve truly wanted something and believed in something with every fiber of my being. I’m still in the learning phase of Tiny House living – saving, looking for land, finding/designing my dream plan, learning about composting toilets, etc. – but look forward to the day I can join the Tiny House movement with a Tiny House of my own.

    • That’s incredible Jennifer. Thanks so sharing! You’re already a part of it, even if you don’t have a TH yet :)

  • hallsemporium

    My interest is both from the design aspect and simple living aspect.

    I Feel like so much of what’s needed to create happiness in life doesn’t require a large amount of “house” space. The home is a place to recharge, have some alone time, and be with loved ones. So much of the other activities can be accomplished outside, or in public spaces.

    This is an odd concept, but at least as a Canadian I have access to all the things a millionaire or billionaire might put in their personal house/mansion, it’s just accessed all around my city and not owned exclusively by me. Swimming pool, bowling alley, fine dining, all at my fingertips. The fact that I have to do all of this with other people around is a GOOD thing. The happiest people spend time with their community.

    The design aspect just tickles my organizer/designer/techy bone. I think it’s amazing what can be accomplished in small spaces with technology and design. Furniture that slides, folds, bends for multiple purposes is amazing.

    From a financial standpoint it also means access to the most amazing locations at a fraction of the cost.

    • Exactly! That’s one big point that doesn’t get talked about enough… Interacting with the community. You’re so right!

  • Jacob

    We’re looking forward to this documentary!
    We first became interested in tiny houses after watching “We the Tiny House People” on YouTube. Kiva and I were living in a one-bedroom apartment, and we realized that we didn’t even NEED the amount of space that we had. So we started down a long path that has led to us building our own Tiny Nest on wheels, that we designed from scratch using Sketchup, and we currently have a YouTube channel which is about to crack 200k views on the 25 episodes that show our project’s progress. We’re excited to be working on the interior now. Search “Tiny Nest Project” if you’re interested in seeing what we’re doing.
    Cheers!

    • Hey Jacob, Thanks for the kind words! Kirsten did a great job on “We are the Tiny House People” didn’t she?! It inspired me as well. *high five* Yeah I’ve checked out your stuff, good work! If you are putting out new videos, tweet at us and we’ll retweet them :) http://twitter.com/smallbeautmovie

  • Scott Vassell-Pittman

    It makes a logical choice on many levels. I like the idea of less material stuff in my life. Less of a carbon footprint, less waisted energy. I have been following the tiny house movement for over 6 years now but can’t get my lovely wife on board. We live in a 4 1/2 room bungalow and really only use 2 1/2 of the rooms. Too much clutter. I just don’t see the need to have a large home just to fill it with more stuff. I don’t have the skill to build my own tiny home, but I do have the desire. Look me up on Pinter’s, scooter V-P, ‘Tiny house revolution’.

    • Good luck convincing the family Scott. That’s gotta be difficult. Hopefully you can inspire her with the documentary :)

  • Andrew Callaghan

    Can’t wait for the documentary.
    My interest in Tiny House comes from the current property market in many western countries around the world at the moment.
    Option 1: buy a new build with rooms the sizes of matchbox’s, no imagination in the design, 100 of the same property next to each other and badly built.
    Option 2: Build yourself a standard house, pay an architect to design, apply for planning, get lots of the design denied due to planning laws which are out of date and then need huge amounts of cash for each build phase, because self-build mortgages only pay out when each stage of build is complete.
    Option 3: Tiny House which I personally would look to have someone build for me, all I need to find is some land where I have permission to place it or purchase some land. Create a unique property which has all the space two people need to live without the 3 spare rooms for guests who come once a year. Be free of mortgage debt and help the world understand how crazy the property market has become and there is an alternative.
    We all don’t need huge houses, planning laws are rigged in favour of large developers, planning wants boring standard houses and no one on normal wages can now afford to buy in Sydney or other capital cities across the world.
    It offer an opportunity to recycle materials and push the limits of house building.

    • Thanks for your input Andrew. I agree, I’d probably have someone build mine for me (especially after just spending a year filming with people building their own!)

      Looking forward to what the future holds!

  • Sylvain Gingras-Demers

    Pourquoi suis-je int?ress? par les petites maisons?

    – J’adore vivre dans un petit endroit o? l’espace est calcul? et est utilis? de mani?re efficace. L’utilisation efficiente de l’espace est un sujet de conversation que j’aime bien.
    – J’aime la notion de vivre mieux, avec moins.
    – D?finitivement parce que c’est pas tr?s cher et que cela me permettrait de meilleures ?conomies pour mes voyages.
    – J’ai pas encore construit un tel projet, mais bon, peut-?tre que dans le futur, je vais me lancer, ? suivre!

    • I wish I could reply in french, but Google Translate will have to do it for me…

      I hope your travel goes well and you decide to build a tiny house in the future, you won’t regret it :)

      —-

      Je aimerais pouvoir r?pondre en fran?ais, mais Google Translate devra le faire pour moi …

      Je esp?re que votre Voyage va bien et que vous d?cidez de construire une petite maison dans le futur, vous ne le regretterez pas

  • Tina Stepan

    Why my interest in a Tiny Home? Well I have several….1) hate housework so smaller to clean is a good start. 2) I unfortunately , at this time , live on a provincial disability and the idea of owning my own home is not a viable financial reality on a disability , however, building my own on wheels as I go eliminates the need for mortgages and loans. 3) Lower environmental foot print….less u renewable resources needed to heat , light and provide for a home….4) I want to travel and see more of the world without having to struggle with cost of hotels etc….and to be able to take my animals with me as I go.

    • Great Tina! I really hope you can work on getting your own Tiny :)

  • Janice Carol Feagan

    Greetings,

    I ve been fascinated with tiny home living for years … because I m tiny!
    And …

    Tiny spaces seem cosy to me and they make me feel safe.

    Living tiny means I can live more cheaply, so I can
    study, travel and volunteer more and also do the kinds of work I truly love, versus doing the highest paying work.

    I ve always loved the idea of co-housing, and would love to join a co-housing community. I d start one but I only have a half an acre. I have always shared my own housing by renting rooms, house-sharing.

    I d love to see the cost of housing decreased for everyone, because it’s our greatest expense.

    And what s not to love about Portable?!!

    I ways have tons in common with tiny-housers!

    I love form following function!

    I love the look and smell of wood!

    I d love to build the Conestoga “Serenity” log home.

    I love living simply, and only having the possessions that will fit comfortably in my tiny space.

    I want to have the smallest possible footprint on the earth. I love green/sustainable.

    I d love to live in a tiny home in a small neighborhood of tiny homes.

    I m retiring in August 2015 and I plan to practice mediation, psychic counseling and Trager massage.

    And thanks for “listening!

    Jan
    Moyock, NC

    • That’s a great list Jan, thanks for sharing :)

      And good luck with retirement!

  • Steve Griffith

    Like the idea of tiny living. I’ve kicked around the idea of starting a business building tiny houses.

    • I’m not sure there is much business in building tiny houses for others just yet, but maybe in the future… Would you ever live in a tiny house yourself?

      • Steve Griffith

        Maybe. A company, building tiny houses, started in a town about 60 miles north of my location in Asheville, NC.

  • I have always thought that small houses are so much better than large ones. It seems crazy to get lost in the many rooms of a large house. I live by the quote in one of the recent smurf movies (this will be a terrible paraphrasing) that small houses are great because you get to be all squashed up with the ones you love (ahem…if you look for the real quote, it will be quite different from that, but my version has it’s heart in the right place!)

    My Mum was born and grew up in Scotland in the 1930s and they lived in tenements with the family living in one or two rooms (altogether – not one or two bedrooms, plus the rest of the house). It was normal to live all squished up. And it was normal for grown children to get married and for them to live with parents until they could afford a home.

    It’s too easy to get caught up in big,big,big and flashy. And lots of possessions clogging up what room there is.

    I live in New Zealand and the creativity and beauty in housing is so inspiring. I adore living more rural (when I get the chance – I’m in suburbia at the moment but there’s paddocks of cows and horses close-by so not so bad). I have my own home which is small (not tiny) and we have a small garden which we make the most of by growing edibles in the garden beds, have garden boxes with herbs and veges on the edge of the decking, and want to design vertical gardens.

    I may never get down to a tiny size, but there is so much inspiration from the movement. One day – hopefully within the next ten years – I’d love to buy a little piece of land in the country (even just a quarter acre would be sublime), and the thought of building a tiny house that is cheap to create, and will look beautiful and be functional, is a very exciting proposition. I love the innovation and clever functionality of them. I also really like the idea of being completely freehold with my property. And using the spare money to create a edible oasis – full of cute furry animals too, of course.

    • Thanks Deborah! I love that it’s inspiring your to think smaller, without the need to go all the way tiny. It’s perfect!

      I’d love to come to NZ one day… Maybe I can bring the film over there :)

      • Bringing it to NZ would be awesome. We are a country of DIYers and giving it a go. You’d get a great reception.

  • Jonathan Appling

    Hello, My life has brought me around the world , having been in the US Army . Living in tents, limited space requirements per person, and communal areas made me realize as a single person with no dependents that I do not need a large amount of space to thrive. It is almost ludicrous to me to spend an entire life working to the 3rd power to pay off a huge house where I would only go to rest, eat and wash clothes.
    The smallest barracks room I ever had was 9′ x 13′ = 117 square feet/SF. My 1st mobile home is a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom with 980 SF . Can barely keep it warm enough in winter. Realizing mobile homes do not appreciate value in the real estate industry and the need to constantly repair it , its time to cut the money pit off and turn on the equity value of my property.
    I believe in economic freedom. Being credit free and fully paid property , possessions and home enables my freedom to maximize my happiness. This is actually a religious belief , because it is scriptural to : Not be in debt to any man except to love everyone equally.
    When I realized that I have a whole half of the house I only store things in, use 1 bathroom, falling asleep on the couch watching a movie , realize I do not need a large space. Time management and limited quantity of reusable items are better manageable for daily routine activities. The larger the area of living area the more time, energy , expense management is needed to do routine activities.
    I think I could make a decent size home having full size appliances using what I call as a self discipline equation to life of a single person living in a 1 person dwelling. Following the principle of organization- Everything has a place and everything in its place is a key element in living in a small area. : 1x 3 x 7 + 1= SF/cost .
    Rule #1A) Single = 1 person. 1B) Only need 1 item to function in any type activity so- 1C ) but you also need a single place to store it. D) Utilities and appliances. Do you really need a sink in the bathroom and the kitchen? No, this brings your cost down on appliances.

    Rule # 3 A) The average full size appliance , utility fixture and furniture piece is roughly estimated at 3 ft or increments of 3 ft in volume of the appliance or furniture. 3B) The size of a location to place these items needs to be roughly 3 ft volume or increments of the number 3 for ease of placement and repair of each item. Who wants to repair something they cannot get to ? Not allocating this space will make repair costs go up later on. This includes cabinets 3C) need to be roughly 3 ft deep and 3 ft tall with 9 SF space to accommodate the appliance or utility. 3D) Average personal space to stand , sit , talk face to face , is 3′ x3’= 9 SF. So create movement space limited to this principle. The less space to manage, the more time you will have to manage the home and other activities because everything will be more purpose placed.
    Rule #7 Time is manageable considering the limitation of quantity of items will initially be reduced to 1 type each as mentioned before. 7A) So there are 7 days in a week, usually 4 weeks / month. For this example you need to wash clothes: So going to work, school/ hobby, church following rule #1 & 3 . You can limit the amount of clothes to warm and cold types of weather. Summer wear= 7 pair of each under garment ( t shirt/ bra/ boxers/socks ,7 shorts / week to wear. Have different colors. 7B ) No more than 4 quantity of 1 type special function wear such as suits, jeans to go to church and work is needed. Why? 1+3 = 4 .You may change clothes 3 times a day, not realize it. That is 4 items of clothing a day x 7 = a whole day of laundry chores. You will use 1 of each type clothing in each activity. You may just wear only 1 type of clothing all day. 7C) What is the +1? You need to wash clothes ! You still need a pair of clothes on when you answer the door or leave the house while washing clothes. But even more importantly , the + 1 also has the discretionary principle of meaning something significant to other people by being able to give back your blessing to those who need help or borrow from you.
    Its amazing how reducing the square footage of a home can amplify a person’s time, energy, resources and possessions in relation to those around them. 1x 3 x 7 + 1= SF/cost of the build per square foot by a professional builder.

    • Hey Jonathan,

      Thanks so much for your detailed comment. I think you summed it up perfectly right here:

      “Its amazing how reducing the square footage of a home can amplify a person’s time, energy, resources and possessions in relation to those around them.”

      Cheers,

  • Why do I want to live in a Tiny House? Do you have a moment? You see, the answer isn?t simple. The answer is?my life?s story??
    I have worked since I was 15 years old. Most of those years have been spent in front of a desk, and a computer, and working for someone else. Problem solving and resource management has always been my strong suit and I enjoy my work but I have no intention of sitting in a cubicle till I?m 70 years old. (or even 60!) I want to explore more creative, active, and social career endeavors. Having a paid-for Tiny House will give me the flexibility to do just that. It?s finally time that I put my problem solving skills to use for myself. And I can?t wait to get started!
    I have been married and divorced twice. Each time, I designed and then supervised the construction of ?our? home. I landscaped, and painted, and stenciled, and mowed, and put all of my emotional and financial self into our new space. With each divorce, the house was left behind, in the pile of carnage, that was once (twice) the plan for my life. I have, since then, vowed to never let the success or failure of a relationship dictate my domestic security. I?ve been on my own, dependent on nobody but myself, for over ten years now. My Tiny House will finally fill that void, the hole in my soul, it will be my emotional security blanket. It will be the end result of my creative and financial efforts. I?ll finally have my own space in this world that nobody can take from me.
    Words can hardly express how excited I am to be moving on to the Empty Next phase of my life. I am a single mom and sole provider and have devoted my life to raising responsible, respectful, children. My youngest is going off to college next year and, as such, there will no longer be a need to maintain an expensive, suburban, three bedroom, two bathroom, yard and garage lifestyle. So far, however, this transition hasn?t exactly been easy for me. Redefining my role with my children (my oldest is already 18 and in college) and redefining my role to the world has been harder than I thought it would be. Who am I? What do I do? ?Mom? has always been the answer. Granted, I will always be ?Mom? but to a much lesser extent than before. They won?t need me. My job is done. It?s time for me to find, me, again.
    If there is one thing I have learned, it is that nothing in life goes according to plan. My ability to roll with the punches, and get up after being knocked down, is one of my best attributes. I don?t even think about where I want to live when I retire because I know that no matter how I see my future now, reality will be very different. I don?t know if I?ll live in a bustling city where strolls to the coffee shop or farmers? market will be a part of my everyday life. I don?t know if I?ll live on a farm, and raise animals again, or next to a lake where I can greet the sunrise over the water with my pen and paper in hand. My Tiny House can go where I go, it can be where I need and want to be. Whether I am alone, or with my love, I will be where I want to be.
    My love is one of my biggest fans. While he occasionally feels the need to inject reality into my Tiny House Fantasy (?You have over 50 pairs of shoes! Even they won?t fit in a Tiny House) he also understands that once I get something in my head I won?t be talked out of it. And although the exact logistical details of our future together remain a mystery, the Tiny House will provide us both with options we had not yet considered. Maybe we?ll rent out his houses and pull the Tiny House to another state where we?ll live for 6 months, then move again. Maybe I?ll live with him and we?ll park my Tiny House on his lakefront land for use as my personal escape space or a place where the kids can stay when they come to visit. Maybe we won?t last long enough to know the details but we?ll part knowing that I didn?t put undue pressure on him to take care of me. Life is full of maybes, but with my Tiny House, I?m not afraid of them anymore.

    • Thanks for sharing your story Michelle.

      Congrats on making it this far with your children and getting ready for the Empty Nest stage. I hope you do follow the dream of a tiny house! Your plans sound great.

      Good luck!

  • TKnTexas

    I have moved from 1100sf to my current 600sf apartment. I could easily live in half this space. In looking at the various designs, I feel 260-300 would be optimal for my retirement, currently just turned 60. I had a stroke 3 years ago, so I am interested in main level sleeping, versus a loft. However, I have seen the ones with stairs that might be manageable.

    I like the designs with a double door on the side for entry versus on the end. I have done some finishing work, i.e. carpet, sheetrock and painting. But I would need professional assistance to get the shell build for me to finish out.

    • There’s designs out there with the bed on the ground level, could be well worth looking into! Thanks for sharing your story too.

  • Els

    Hi there!
    I’m living in the Netherlands. A small country so……
    We started designing a tiny house and planning to build it in a couple of months. This way of living fits us because we would like to spend our time and money on the good things in life. The idea of living a simple life in a tiny house feels great! It’s really inspiring to read al these stories, especially because in Holland all of this is very new. So keep posting, we keep following you from the other side of the world!!!

    Many greetings els and koen

  • Karen

    Hi Jeremy,
    I have always enjoyed small cosy spaces; the treehouse, the cubby house, the henhouse. When I was very young these spaces were exciting and mine! To deem in, to read, to draw, to simply be. I would create new spaces whenever I could. When I married, we bought a small 7 square 2 bedroom home, no hallway, just 6 tiny rooms, on a nearly 1/4 block. We wanted a small home with lots of garden for children. We then had two boys and two girls.

    We did extend. First we put in a bay window to replace the flat high window; that gave us a meter of extra floor space that fitted the Christmas tree very year. We then added 2 more bedrooms and enlarged the back closed in verandah to create a family room. Then a few years later rearranged again and added a master bedroom with an ensuite. We did as much of the work as possible for these extensions as owner/ builders with a limited budget. Our house, like our family ‘grew like topsy’. Obviously it is bigger now and we relish the space where we can be together or have some quiet.

    Mostly our small home was cosy but the windows were too high to see out of from a seat. We opened up our home to see the garden. We did find as the boys grew that we needed more than 7 squares of space. We did bump into the kitchen bench and each other as we moved around! Many times I have wanted to move but we became attached to this homegrown house. We can’t build a garage because we would have to take down the tree with the treehouse.

    I would love to build a really smart small space with rounded bench tops. I like the idea of designing with less and being creative and thoughtful with how rooms and furniture are placed. Besides the environmental and cost reasons to build smaller homes, part of me is still like a ‘Borrower’ and likes the idea of humans occupying small spaces where family is nurtured and dreams can grow.

    Regards,

    Karen

    • Hey Karen,

      You have a beautiful way with words! “the idea of humans occupying small spaces where family is nurtured and dreams can grow”. Absolutely love it. Maybe that should be the tagline for the whole tiny house movement in general, haha!

      • Karen

        Hi Jeremy,
        My typo in my post was meant to be to dream, not deem! Anyway, all the best with your film, looking forward to seeing it soon.
        Karen

    • Karen

      Thanks Jeremy!

      You are welcome to use my words as a tagline! Your reply reminded me to buy tickets for the film too.

      All the best with the premiere next week. Karen

  • Dody

    I am in the process of building a Tiny Home and purchased a shed measuring 12×32 with 4 feet of front porch … Its made of pressure treated wood with a metal roof and sits in my daughters side yard … Most of the insulation & drywall has been done with framing of 500 BTU remote a/c and framing of rooms have been done with exception of the closet which we moved from bath to outside hall … When you come in the front door which is situated on the right and a small living area to your left with full size kitchen behind that with cathedral ceilings with a ceiling fan … We moved the loft from the back to the middle & height of ceilings are approx 7′ high over the bath which has a small fiberglass tub, a toilet under the window and a smallish vanity … Out in the hall a window is facing the bath for a cross breeze and the bedroom is in the back with a queen size bed and a wall mount fireplace for heating … TV will be across from bed higher up the wall and a custom headboard with a overhang with direct lighting for reading … The bedroom and bath doors will be barn doors , the bedroom being on the inside and the bath on the outside … The bedroom will also have cathredal ceilings with a ceiling fan … In the hall I will have a pull down attic stair which will help with extra storage and will have lights on either end… Of course most is still in the building phase but after the drywall and spackling goes up and painted I can put my vinyl flooring down which is a texturized wood look … I have purchased a full size flat top stove and refrigerator … Tub is purchased also and plumbing will be minimal as I am hooking up with my daughters water line & septic tank ergo: no dishwasher or clothes washer but she is right next to me so that’s no problem … I have downsized after selling my house & moving from an apt I lived in for 2 years and sold most of my furniture and gave special pieces to my children … I could go on and on but you get the picture (I hope) and am looking for a move in date of June – July … Thanks for listening and hope to have more news in the next few months.

    Best regards,
    Dody from Tennessee

    • Hey Dody, Thanks for sharing your story! How exciting, that’s not far away at all. Post a picture when you move in :)

  • Darby Kilmer Rudolph

    My husband and I are tired of being slaves to our mortgage. We make decent money, but we never have any money, you know? We don’t have a savings, we don’t have a retirement. We will be working until we’re 80. I’m exhausted all the time. I work, and I work and I never see the benefits. We currently live in a home that is too much for us to handle. We have three bedrooms, and only two being used. We usually do well to keep the main floor clean, which is our main living space, but the upstairs and basement are always dirty. Not to mention that our utility bills and property taxes and all the other extras just eat us alive financially. Why? Why do we have to live with so much financial stress? We don’t need this much space. Owning a tiny home will solve so many of these issues. We are also concerned with being environmentally friendly. But we mostly want out of the rat race. We look forward to owning a small piece of land with a THOW that is fully bought and paid for. We look forward to not having to work so hard to maintain our lifestyle. We look forward to decluttering, to simplifying and finally having some savings. We’re not there yet, but it’s a plan for about four years from now. I honestly can’t wait. But myself and my husband are struggling with depression, and I think a lot of it will be lifted when the debt is gone.

    • Hey Darby, sorry to hear that. I really hope you guys can get through it and that a Tiny House helps relieve some of the pressure(s). Good luck!

  • Chloe Flack

    Hi there – I’m interested in the idea of a Tiny Home for the financial freedom and the idea of living with less.

    As a young 22 year old who just got married, there’s a lot of pressure on my new husband and I to spend the next few years saving a huge deposit for a house that we will spend the next 30 years attempting to pay off, and that this house should be filled with expensive, useless things. Being faced with the knowledge that I could spend the next 30 years in debt scares me! My husband and I would much rather focus on travelling, education, and having children, instead of paying off a huge house. A Tiny Home would give us the freedom to have a place that’s all our own, without having to be in a huge amount of debt.

    I shared my interest in Tiny Homes with my Mum and it’s now a bit of a hobby of ours. After my siblings all move out, my Mum and Dad won’t need such a large place, and with a Tiny Home they would be able to explore more of Australia and move where they like, as well as being able to afford to travel overseas.

    I’m still in the investigating stage at the moment, as there’s still a lot I don’t know about the logistics of Tiny Homes and council rules and regulations – but I hope to own a Tiny Home with my husband some day :)

    • What a great hobby to share with your mum! Awesome! I love the idea of people retiring in Ting Houses, getting rid of their bigger houses and travelling. It just makes sense!

  • anne

    The prices of housing is going up all the time. I like the way people think of making cheaper houses. It is compact from what I saw on the email. We don’t need all the crap we have and need to get down to basics and live simply. I am unable to view your program as I live in the West and the program can be viewed in Melbourne only.

    • Hey Anne,

      Not to worry, we’ll be releasing the film on the 30th of April on our website, iTunes and Vimeo on Demand. You’ll be able to watch it anywhere and from the comfort of your own home too :)

  • Staci Wren-Allmand

    I’ve been a single parent for a very long time. Working full time and keep up with the maintenance of a larger home is exhausting! I don’t regret it. I wanted to raise my daughter in a neighborhood where we could be close to family. But she’s graduating in 3 years and, even though my current home is only 1400 sf, I don’t need all of this space. And I definitely don’t need all of the stuff I’ve accumulated over the years. Most of it is stored in totes in the basement so I technically have a bigger home just to store stuff. That’s crazy! Additionally, I’m a Social Worker and don’t make a ton of $$. It would be incredibly freeing to not have a mortgage. I thought I should start researching the THM now so I can be ready to move when my daughter leaves home. I’m very excited about this!

    • Good luck Staci! It doesn’t sound like a nice thing to wish, but I hope when your daughter leaves you get to do the Tiny House thing! How exciting :)

  • Michael Juttner

    Hi there, I’m interested for many reasons. I work as a town planner and am interested in design, living options, sociology. I am also a long term renter and hope to own something one day without a bank owning me. Lastly, I like the ideas of breaking the stereotype fed to me all my life of happiness being the white picket fence etc etc

    • Hey Michael, I love that – “Hope to own something one day without a bank owning me”.

      Perfect!

  • Kerry Dawborn

    hi, congrats on your film! and thanks! I’ve been interested in tiny houses for maybe 5 years. I guess it started with looking to buy a house as a single person, and finding that everything available is built for families… 2, 3, 4 bedrooms, and SO MUCH WASTED SPACE that all has to be cleaned and heated and maintained and whatnot. Unless you’re in the inner city somewhere and want to live in an apartment. Not only did i not want to keep living in a 3 bedroom box, I did not want to keep having to clean and maintain one, paying bills for one, and I wanted to reduce my environmental impact as much as I could.

    In the end what i built was a small house, not a tiny. Because in thinking about what i needed, i found i wanted to be in a position to help out my ageing parents if one of both of them should need to come and stay with me at some point. I thought it unlikely they would, but I didnt want the house i lived in to be the limiting factor. So instead of just building a ‘great room’ with a loft and bathroom, as many tiny houses are, I added a very small bedroom or sleeping alcove and dressing area, at ground level. And an entry. And I wanted the house to be as self reliant as possible in terms of energy, so i added a glasshouse/conservatory on the sun side, which with heaps of insulation and thermal mass, provides most of the warmth for the house. The house’s internal footprint on the ground is 55m2 – about the same as a two car garage. The glass house adds around another 10m2. So, it isn’t tiny, it is small. But it seems HUGE because of the height. For anyone who wants to make a small space feel bigger and more spacious, ceiling height is key. And i think ceiling shape is key too – flat roofs feel heavy over your head; cathedral or curved feel light over your head. Also, having a split floor level and separated spaces between levels, seems to make a huge difference. My house and my garage are similar in size, but my house feels MUCH bigger. My friends call my house a ‘tiny mansion’. It is smaller than all their houses by at least half, but feels really spacious.

    I think tiny houses matter for a lot of reasons around sustainability, affordability, and also in terms of what is effective and efficient land use. I think housing needs to be flexible and tiny houses fill a critical niche that can house people at different stages of their lives when it fits for them, without them being enslaved by mortgages. As far as I am concerned, housing loans, based on positive interest where those who have less than they need and are compelled to borrow, pay for the use of money held by those who have more than they need and can afford to lend, amount to institutionalised theft. Sure, positive interest based loans do help keep money in circulation and do help get things done, but the way we operate the system, it just enslaves some while making others rich. Tiny houses offer a way to limit or circumvent this process…

    One of my dreams is to build a truly tiny house on a very small bit of land, but still have enough land to grow a lot of food. I want to show that this can be done – that we can have productive, abundant, sustainable places to live that give us what we need with dignity and beauty and without waste, yet limit the spread of our cities and towns, and allow us the financial freedom to pursue what is in our hearts for the good of the whole earth community… The house i have built is kind of like this, being very sustainable and efficient and small, on land with many fruit trees and plenty of room to grow food. It is also self sustaining in electricity and water, using wood and electricity (very efficiently) for cooking, and solar and wood fired hot water. But one day I think I’d like to do it again – by half… :-)

    • Hey Kerry! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and your story! I really hope you get to build a tiny house on a small piece of land – that would be awesome!

  • Belinda Lee

    Hi Jeremy and fellow Small’ists,

    I am interested in ‘Small is Beautiful’ and ‘Less is More’ as sustainable practice, and as a guiding principle that facilitates ‘the good life’ – time to connect with that which is really important: family, friends and life.

  • Larissa @heylittlespender

    Congratulations on your film Jeremy – I’m looking forward to seeing it next weekend!

    My brother put me on to the Tiny House movement. At the beginning I just liked looking at books full of tiny, cute, arty houses. But then I started to realise it was about more than that – that all these people had made a conscious choice to live a little differently, which seemed to free them up to do all sorts of other things. Plus I really like the idea of living simply and sustainably and not spending your life paying off a whopping big debt.

    Next month I’m moving into my own ‘tiny house’ – well not quite as tiny as many tiny houses that’s for sure – but a very small one-bedroom apartment in Melbourne. I’m curious whether I’m going to feel claustrophobic, or somehow liberated. (I’m also wondering where I’m going to put all my stuff, but that’s another story!)

    I think I’ve always been looking around for a different way to live life that doesn’t require getting a mortgage that you are then locked into paying off. I’m a freelancer and I’m worried that if I get a massive mortgage, I will lose my freedom and have to go back to working for ‘the man’.

    But here in Melbourne, even if you live in a fairly small house, it still costs a fortune! I’m wondering what the alternatives are if you still want to live in a city. So I’m looking forward to seeing your movie to get some new ideas, and also to reading more of the comments here.

    In the meantime, (hope you don’t mind me mentioning) I’m writing a blog looking at creative ways to get the life you want, without spending a fortune through a little blog I’ve started – http://www.heylittlespender.com. It’s certainly not a money-spinner at this stage – mostly I’m just doing it because I love looking at all the different ways you can live a life, without necessarily having to follow the herd mentality.

    All the best!

  • Linda Dillon

    I am building one! It is the Ynez plan purchased from the Oregon Cottage Company. Hope to have it finished by summer and live on 6 acres I just bought!

  • Wands

    I got interested in tiny home living at an age where I face the reality of growing older and the fear of supporting myself during retirement. I believe the current method of achieving the American dream of home ownership should be more aptly named “The American Trap!” we are conditioned to believe that bigger and more is better but in the words of “Me and Bobby McGee” — “Feedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”. Unfortunately, many homeowners experienced this firsthand when they experienced foreclosure. Shelter is one of the basic necessities of life and should not be left in the callous hands of bankers. Sorry to be so glum. But on a more positive note, tiny houses are so dang cute and are examples of some genius uses of space.

  • BethAnne

    I’ve always lived in studio/efficiency apts if I’m not living in a house. And have LOVED living with less. Recently have been thinking I’d have a 900′ house built (altho way too big for me, I didn’t want it to blow away) on 3-5 acres of land for my garden and animals, not knowing there was such a thing as a Tiny House. And since this past month learning there is such a thing, I’m ecstatic that I can live green, small, efficient and move easily when I want, and still OWN my own place!!
    But I sure as heck don’t wanna build it, not in my yippee ay yay makeup as a person, altho that may change. But I’m reading LOTSA insight from others as to what I may wanna use for every little bit of design.

  • Dan

    My goal to build a tiny house is that I just don’t need many things in my life to be happy. By living tiny… it will free up more money to spend on the things needed to support my kids and also my little pleasures. I also want to free up time to spend with people that matter. I want to explore and travel and connect with more people as I get older and my time on earth is always limited. Can’t wait to watch the movie.

  • Belinda

    I have been working on minimalistic living and reducing my consumption over the last 12 months+. At the end of 2015 I’m moving from over priced Perth to Drouin Vic. Where I’ll convert my parents self-built ‘caravan’? They started years ago. They live in a mobile home now – in a caravan park which is pretty much a cookie cutter tiny home with site-fees and the potential for the caravan park to go bust! They could be up for 10s of 1000s if they’re forced to relocate! My tiny will be fully mobile, and my dream is to go off grid on my own piece of rural land. I used to like urban living, but now I feel suffocated by it all.
    I can’t WAIT to put the wheels in motion!!!

  • Debbie MacLean Rossman

    Hi Jeremy!
    Tiny houses are amazing! Practical. Cute. Sturdy. Less stuff, less to clean & take care of gives me more time for life. I am so excited to build one with my husband. But, more importantly. ..I have a 35 year old dream to fulfill.
    I want to build a community of Tiny Houses to help people in Detroit. The city is starting to come back after a very deep recession, but people are still hurting. Tiny houses can help so many people that lost their home, their job or both.
    Plus, there’s college students, newlyweds, newly seperated, widowers and families who simply want to downsize that would truly benefit from a Tiny house.
    I’m still looking for land and people to help….but, I’m on my way!
    Hope to meet you!
    Debbie Rossman

  • Marcia

    Therefore several reasons that my hubby and I are trying to pursue tiny living, many of which have probably been listed. Firstly, everything keeps going up in price, except our income. We live paycheck to paycheck like most of Americans, though most don’t like to admit it. We’d definitely like to have some money set aside for emergencies, which we’re unable to do now. Secondly, we’ve realized that even in our very modest 1575 sq ft, with the kids grown and gone, we only use the kitchen, living room, master bedroom, and master bath. We don’t need the other 2 bedrooms, 2nd bath, or even the dining room truth be told. Thirdly, the stuff we’ve accumulated is wearing us down. I don’t enjoy looking around at all these things and wondering why I have them, and more importantly, who wants to keep it all clean and organized. My husband will be retiring in a couple of months at 58 yrs young, after 30 long and hard yrs as a UPS driver, and we are furiously researching tiny homes so that we can enjoy what yrs we have left. Thank you for bringing this movement to the forefront and hopefully paving the way to make this into something more people will consider to leave less footprint, which is our final reason for wanting to go tiny!!! Thank you!!!

  • Like others, I want finacial freedom and ability to live off-grid if desired. I absolutly love Tiny Houses and will be building mine myself. Still in the planning & downsizing stages, but may start building in August. Here is my site/blog: http://5280tinyhouse.com/

    Spent over 2 hours in the Tiny House Village at the Denver Home Show over the weekend, got more out of that than anything else on display at the show.

    I’m in the Denver Tiny House Enthusiasts group and we want to get zoning laws changed so we can create a Tiny House Community in Denver, CO area.

    So excited to see your movie!!!! I crave everything Tiny House!
    Here is to Mile High Living in a small space!

  • Jarrod Smith

    I’m interested in tiny houses as part of figuring out a way to escape the system of high rent, large mortgages and the resulting imperative to organise your life primarily around working an orthodox career for money. I’ve worked extremely hard for years. I’m considered a superb and successful conventional employee. I don’t want it. I find the neoliberal vision of citizens as neurotic worker-consumer drones to be depressing, exploitative, stratifying and utterly terminal to creativity, community, relationships and most things bearing upon sustainable human well-being. Our political economy seems to have forgotten that this (sustainable human well-being) is the whole point. So…

    I want to find a way to live a bit differently. It doesn’t have to be radical. Require less money, require little or no dealings with the parasitic financial sector. Gain more time for my partner / family / friends and community. To create, share and live in a manner that is conducive to what makes us actually happy. Working 40+ hours a week, 48 weeks a year ad infinitum, to service a huge mortgage, living in fear of interest rates, doing the same work day after day after day, knowing of only one specialised area to make a clique of capitalists and landlords rich is not my idea of freedom. That is serfdom. I want to learn and work on different things, with my hands and mind and heart. I want to contribute more than my taxes.

    Human beings require relatively little to be happy. Happiness isn’t hard. The system that wants to keep us in bondage as fearful worker-consumers just makes it seem so. It robs us of inspiration, presenting no alternatives to the orthodox standard “lifestyle”, or framing the alternatives as foolish or naive or idealistic.

    So why am I interested in tiny houses? Because my life depends on it and so does everyone else’s.

  • I like the elegant design, the inherent tendency to downsize and avoid having lots of “stuff”. I lived in a co-housing community for nearly 5 years and I see a lot of parallels – small personal space, shared community facilities. As a Passivhaus enthusiast I am concerned as to the inherent energy inefficiency of small detached homes, and wonder how much insulation can be fitted into the fabric of tiny homes. But of course you’re only heating/cooling something 1/10th or less the size of most homes, so that must be good – any idea of how utility bills are coming out? Being in the UK, land availability is a big issue, so have something portable has advantages with the planning system – wouldn’t necessarily apply elsewhere. Maybe a tiny homes community needs to be built around a communal hub, with all those things you can’t include shared amongst many – laundry facilities, workshop, library, hot tub – it’d be a long list. Could go on, but need to earn my living! Keep up the good fight!

  • Robert Dacher

    Hi there! My interest in the tiny house movement is because I don’t think we need huge houses to get a good life, and also we can live with more less. Also me and my fiancee want to have ourselfes a home, that does not come with a huge debt, and that we have our own garden. I rather have a bigger garden where to grow vegetables or plant trees so that when my kids are playing outside they have a log of green around and mostly clean air.
    Also by paying less utility bills we can focus on our lifes and on the things that are rather important, then working around the clock to get the money to pay the debt.

    Can’t wait to see the movie you made.

  • Melissa

    I want a tiny house so I can afford to live comfortably financially.

  • Kirryn Lavender

    I actually just happened to stumble across the idea of small homes, it’s a wonderful idea and this documentary looks like it would be so interesting. I don’t know if I would ever want to live in a portable home but the small space is something I would consider when we go to build a house. It’s very appealing to me to live in a reclaimed house, giving new life to something someone once loved and making it beautiful again.

  • Ebony Winter Schmidt

    I’m interested ion this type of thinking-outside-square mentality. As a young person, the prospect of entering into the housing market in it’s current condition terrifies me. I don’t consider a lifetime of overbearing debt to be a lifestyle that I want to lead. I want freedom, options and happiness.

  • Helen Avery

    I had purchased a home with the intentions of living with someone I thought I was going to be with until the end of my life, but things happened and we parted. So, here I sit with a home of 3000 square feet on acre of land with no one to help me maintain financially and physically. The home is currently in fore closer and I started looking into homes that were much smaller. Reasons:
    * financially do not want to be a slave to my home.
    * I hate cleaning but love a clean home. So smaller seems much more manageable, especially since at a young age I was diagnosis with Lupus/fibromylgia and find it difficult keeping up with career, home, and dogs.
    * Financially I have never been able to save money and work towards enjoying my life (vacations, traveling, etc) and spend most of my time working to keep up the bills. I also have a huge student loan debt I would like to pay off before I die.
    * I thought I do not need all this space and I do not want to have to stay in one place for the rest of my life. I want to move around the country enjoying visiting other places, working and having a place/home I am familiar/comfortable in and not having to pack everything to move, this way I just hook it up and go. How assume is that?
    * I feel I do not need tons of “stuff” to be happy and the saying “whoever dies with the most stuff wins”, is an oxymoron. It does not matter because once I die this “stuff” does not go with me. Even though you might think it is important your family thinks it is junk. I have seen this happen many times because I work with the geriatric population.
    * I also just have a fascination to small things and simple ideas, because I think the world can sometimes try to make things to big and complicated.
    * I also feel the world tries to stereotype that money, which buys things (house,car, boat, motorcycles, electronics, etc), is what makes people happy and successful. This is the farthest from the truth because as a Mental Health Counselor I see many clients who are so unhappy and have enough money to not have to work the rest of their lives. It is about us being happy from the inside out and enjoying life in the moment but also planning for the future.

  • Debbie MacLean Rossman

    Tiny house are perfect! Small loan or buy out right, low utilities. Money to save for retirement.
    And…people need affordable housing options. This is perfect!

  • Jan

    I am so excited to see the TH movement become real in Australia after watching it on pay TV for months. I love clever design in anything at all – I think I may have an Ikea chip implanted! When I try and get others enthused though I often get asked why one wouldn’t just buy a caravan. The only answer I have revolves around the emotive things like, providing for my family myself. Having things with multiple functionality, and being able to custom design furniture and fittings etc is available for any kind of build really so that part is neither new or exclusive to TH. Is there no concrete (pardon the pun!) justification I may be able to use on reluctant converts? For me its about the romanticism – the adult version of a cubby if you like and that in itself is a good enough reason for me. And also I am swept up in the enthusiasm of those I have seen on TV, it is just really exciting to watch the evolution from the foundation/wheels up, but none of that seems a satisfactory answer to the question of why not a caravan? Is it really as simple as “well I can do TH myself”?

  • Rudi Lee

    I retired a few years ago, and I’m trying to downsize and keep my monthly bills low. A tiny house would give me what I need, and it would belong to me. Right now I live in a rented one bedroom apt. My rent goes up every year. If I could build a tiny house on a small lot I could have a garden and never have to worry about my rent going up while my income doesn’t.

  • Sara Sky

    I wrote a post on why I want to live in a tiny house with my family of 7 over here…https://simplysky.wordpress.com/2015/04/19/why-i-want-to-live-in-a-tiny-house-with-my-family-of-7/

  • Carla Carpenter

    I am fascinated by the Tiny House movement for three reasons:
    –Building small means you have more money to build beautiful.
    –Living small means giving up attachment to a lot of things which could translate into a clearer path to spiritual balance.
    –Tiny houses ( and lowering zoning minimums) make owning your own space a possibility for more people.
    Having said all of this, I am also fascinated by the juxtaposition people like me face: I love stuff but I also love simplicity.
    I enjoyed the documentary and I especially liked the fact that you brought in the emotional aspect of building and living in a tiny home. There is always a reason and nothing is as easy as it seems. Thanks!

  • Jazherah MacMornna

    Mostly I like the idea of living lightly on the land and living a sustainable life style. I don’t really a “too tiny ” house , though. What really appeals to me is a 700 square foot yurt.

  • kamerad

    I’m interested in having a portable, off-grid living arrangement. Also a space designed by and for *me*. I’ve also spent the last five years of my life in very small spaces (180 sq ft ish), so I’m very used to being efficient and small already.

  • Mon Zbrodoff

    Hi, my name is Mon and I’m a TH addict LOL. My first desire is to reduce my living costs and get off the renters merry go round. I cannot afford to buy a property with the market prices absurdly out of reach for me but wish to have a dwelling of my own providing security knowing it is mine. I live in Melbourne.

    The next reason would be to create and build a dwelling of my own and with it stamp my own mark on my TH utilising my creative designs which are currently screaming to come out. I am currently recuperating from surgery and have nothing but time to devour everything I can find on the internet about the THM. From my sick bed I am educating myself and sketching up designs with an abundance of ideas. Did I already mention that are SCREAMING to be implemented LOL. Gotta love the internet. I realise my strength lay in spacial design and functionality. Although I have no experience I’m rather overraught with ideas that I would like to experiment with, implement and share with the community.

    Thirdly, whilst I’m currently living in a three bedroom, 2.5 bath, double lock up garage townhouse completely by myself, I find that I do not use nor need 75% of this space and it’s a complete waste not to mention expensive. I realise I’m already living tiny. By utilising the innovative designs I have created I am sure that tiny living is right for me.

    Fourthly, I wish to live off the grid. Something I have thought of for years. Being mobile having the ability to travel this big, beautiful continent. A desire I have had since arriving here 25 years ago from Canada.

    Then I wish to earn my income from my TH and have floor plan designs in mind on how to create a working environment thereby funding my travel plans.

    There is also the community itself that I find attractive and appealing. There is the sense of commradary. Being part of a community that supports one another with the sharing of ideas, support and network. Everything that is currently lacking in my life. OMG this sounds like a mid life crisis.

    Lastly, I’m interested in educating others on what I see as being a very important and radical movement. I say radical only because I see this as a way for people, like me, to help themselves become independent and debt free whereby radically changing their lives.

    Thanks for reading my rabbiting. Any comments?

  • disqus_dnEmIxsPN4

    We built our current home. We raised our family, and now we’d like to have flexibility to live less complicated. We know as home owners (tiny or not) there will always be repairs, maintenance and upkeep; we prefer a more manageable home. I personally have deep concerns about what kind of world we are leaving for our grands. Finally I used to pretend I lived in a tiny home. I drew sketches of my tiny one room house that was converted from the bathroom.
    So we inherited a 26′ camper, stripped it to the frame, recycled every last screw and now we are planning the Reinforcements to the steel, purchasing new axles and planning our THOW.

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