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Tiny House Movement Growing

Down-Sizing America

As a result of the bursting of the housing bubble, subprime mortgage crisis, world recession and growing concern about our national and personal debts, America is downsizing its houses, cars and lifestyles.

The article linked below in this morning's Detroit Free Press documents that the market for tiny houses is thriving amidst the current real estate market shambles.

"It's very un-American in the sense that living small means consuming less," said Jay Shafer, 46, cofounder of the Small House Society, sitting on the porch of his wooden cabin in Graton, Calif. "Living in a small house like this really entails knowing what you need to be happy and getting rid of everything else."

A tiny house on a nice lot may have greater appeal to many than manufactured house trailers or double wides located in trailer parks.

While they're at it, Americans need to downsize themselves. I read recently that the U.S.A. ranks number one in obesity, ahead of Mexico and Argentina. Tiny houses can help if the owners use the extra space in their yards to grow their own healthful food.

Read more:

First Looks Can be Deceiving

"Wanted: A Very Small Lot for an Itty-Bitty House"

Tiny Hotels Catching on in Oregon

  • 7 tiny home hotels for test driving micro living - Curbed
    Whether you’re looking to downsize or just take a unique vacation, finding a 400-square-foot or less micro house to try out can been difficult. We've rounded up 7 tiny home hotels so you can see if tiny living is right for you.
Photo by Lenny Gonzalez

Photo by Lenny Gonzalez

Reclaimed Redwood Siding Photo by Lenny Gonzalez

Reclaimed Redwood Siding Photo by Lenny Gonzalez

Photo by Lenny Gonzalez

Photo by Lenny Gonzalez

Photo by Lenny Gonzalez

Photo by Lenny Gonzalez

Photo by Lenny Gonzalez

Photo by Lenny Gonzalez

Photo by Lenny Gonzalez

Photo by Lenny Gonzalez

Photo by Lenny Gonzalez

Photo by Lenny Gonzalez

5-19-16 Tiny House Project in Detroit

4-12-16NYTimes "Tiny House Takes Shape in Brooklyn"

  • Log In - The New York Times
    "For the last year, Ms. Mercer, 30, has been building a 160-square-foot house in a cavernous warehouse in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Ms. Mercer works at Birchbox, a start-up in Manhattan that sends people personalized beauty samples, and after work a..

This House Costs Just $20,000 But It's Nicer Than Yours

Megamansions Springing Up in Los Angeles

Megamansions Springing Up in Los Angeles

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"Can Oregon's tiny houses be part of the solution to homelessness?

12-6-14NYTimes--Battle of Megamansions

  • Log In - The New York Times
    "Why are people building houses the size of shopping malls? Because they can. “Why do you see a yacht 500 feet long when you could easily have the same fun in one half the size?” asked Jeffrey Hyland..."

Bloomberg News 7-9-14 Tiny Houses Big With Owners Seeking Economic Freedom

tiny-house-movement-growing

Square Feet: 84. Possessions: 305

  • Log In - The New York Times
    "From time to time, Dee Williams does a possession count. The last tally was 305. It included all of her worldly belongings, from her bedroom suite (a mattress and a quilt) to her home entertainment equipment (a laptop) to her jewelry collection..."
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2-20-14NYTimes "Small World, Big Idea" by Michael Tortorello

  • Log In - The New York Times
    "This scale bothered Mr. Johnson not at all, and, he listed a few favorite design features. “A roof,” he said. “Heat.” A flush toilet! The tents where he had lived for most of the last 7 years hadn’t provided any of provided any of those things."

7-18-13NYTimes "Renzo Piano's Dream of a Tiny House"

Renzo Piano's Dream House

Renzo Piano's Dream House

Tiny House Movement

6-3-13NYTimes--The Return of McMansions

  • The Return of McMansions - NYTimes.com
    Construction of new homes plummeted during the housing bust. But where there has been building of single-family homes in recent years, the homes have been getting bigger.

10-4-12NYTimes--One Shed Fits All: A Modernist Dogtrot

11-29-12NYTimes "Cutting Living Space in Raleigh, NC"

Determined to have a house without wasted space, a Raleigh, N.C., family traded their 3,200-square-foot place for a 1,200-square-foot ranch house.  More Photos »

Determined to have a house without wasted space, a Raleigh, N.C., family traded their 3,200-square-foot place for a 1,200-square-foot ranch house. More Photos »

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6-6-12NYTimes--Japan's Capsule Hotels Come to New York City

A 100 sq. ft. room in the new Pod 39 Hotel on East 39th Street in Murray Hill. Similar accommodations are around $200 a night.

A 100 sq. ft. room in the new Pod 39 Hotel on East 39th Street in Murray Hill. Similar accommodations are around $200 a night.

1-20-12DeedsDesign.com "Simple Life in a 12x12 House in Northern California"

1-11-11Berkeleyside--A City Looks For Big Solutions in Little Houses

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Tiny House Blogs--Dwell

  • Tiny House Blogs in Dwell
    Living small is the new way to live bigwhether within a tighter, more creatively written budget or physically in fewer square feet. In her new book Tiny Houses, Loud Paper Magazine founder and frequent Dwell contributor Mimi Zeiger compiled....

No Roof Network--slot houses

  • noroof architects Slot House
    The first move was to cut a slot to allow the tree to be seen from inside. This revealed a cedar frame infilled with handmade brick underneath the sheetrock and vinyl siding. The slot became the spatial idea of the house, and is repeated to extend...

2-24-11NYT--The $200 Microhouse

  • The $200 Microhouse in Stoughton, Massachusetts
    For ingenuity, thrift and charm, Mr. Diedricksens tiny structures are hard to beat. Made of scavenged materials, they cost on average less than $200 to build. They often have transparent roofing, which allows a fine view of the treetops, particularl
tiny-house-movement-growing
tiny-house-movement-growing
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Small Studio in Berkeley by DeedsDesign.com

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Flowers and Vegetables in a Michigan Garden deedsphotos

How to Improve Motor Vehicle Fuel Economy and Reduce Emissions

Tiny Houses on Pinterest

  • Tiny House Movement Growing
    Down-Sizing America As a result of the bursting of the housing bubble, sub-prime mortgage crisis, world recession and growing concern about our national and per | See more about sidings, studios and tiny houses.

A Tiny Car to Match Your Tiny House

Chevy Spark

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Tiny Houses Hub

  • Tiny Houses - Part 5 of Fantasy Homes series
    Im still doing research on possible Fantasy Homes I would love to live in, given the money and place to build them. You may have heard about the new trend toward tiny houses which use very...

Tiny Houses: The New Trend in Housing

  • Tiny Houses: The New Trend in Housing
    With rising energy costs, the mortgage crisis, and economic uncertainty, tiny houses are becoming more and more popular. Are you tired of working your finger to the bone to pay for a house you'll be lucky to...

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company Website

  • Tumbleweed Tiny House Company
    Tiny Houses from 65 to 837 square feet. Buy house plans and build it yourself, or buy ready made houses delivered to you. Jay Shafer's Tumbleweed Houses set the standard for small house living.

Queen of Versailles Film Review

  • "The Queen of Versailles" Movie Review
    Queen of Versailles is a fascinating contemporary Magnificent Ambersons documentary about the rise and fall of Jackie and David Siegel and their seven children, two dogs, sixteen servants, their 26,000 square foot home in Orlando and their unfinished

Comments

Ralph Deeds (author) from Birmingham, Michigan on November 16, 2015:

Thanks for your comment. (The weather in Michigan is perfect today!)

stella vadakin from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619 on November 15, 2015:

Hi Ralph, I like these tiny houses and it makes a lot of sense in these uncertain economic times. I went from big 3 level house to a 1100 sf. house I love it and I can be free of a mortgage. I use to live in Michigan, it was just too cold. great hub, stella

Ralph Deeds (author) from Birmingham, Michigan on April 04, 2015:

Can Oregon's tiny houses be part of the solution to homelessness?

Since 1950, the American family home has become two and a half times larger, even as fewer people on average are living in them. Is it time to downsize?

Ralph Deeds (author) from Birmingham, Michigan on July 10, 2014:

Bloomberg News 7-9-14 Tiny Houses Big With Owners Seeking Economic Freedom

Tiny Houses Big With U.S. Owners Seeking Economic Freedom - Bloomberg

Dramatic downsizing is gaining interest among Americans, gauging by increased sales of plans and ready-made homes and growing audiences for websites related to the niche. A+E Networks Corp. will air, beginning today, “Tiny House Nation” a series on FYI that “celebrates the exploding movement.”

Ralph Deeds (author) from Birmingham, Michigan on July 05, 2014:

Tiny House Movement

Living Large in 150 Square Feet: Why the Tiny House Movement Is Taking Off Alternet

Ralph Deeds (author) from Birmingham, Michigan on April 26, 2014:

Square Feet: 84. Possessions: 305

Log In - The New York Times

"From time to time, Dee Williams does a possession count. The last tally was 305. It included all of her worldly belongings, from her bedroom suite (a mattress and a quilt) to her home entertainment equipment (a laptop) to her jewelry collection..."

Ralph Deeds (author) from Birmingham, Michigan on July 18, 2013:

7-18-13NYTimes "Renzo Piano's Dream of a Tiny House"

Renzo Piano’s Dream of a Tiny House - NYTimes.com

The architect unveils a prototype house for Vitra. "When I was a student I dreamed of making a house 7 ft x 7 ft, as a dream of freedom, of self-moderation."

Ralph Deeds (author) from Birmingham, Michigan on June 05, 2013:

6-3-13NYTimes--The Return of McMansions

The Return of McMansions - NYTimes.com

Construction of new homes plummeted during the housing bust. But where there has been building of single-family homes in recent years, the homes have been getting bigger.

Ralph Deeds (author) from Birmingham, Michigan on October 04, 2012:

10-4-12NYTimes--One Shed Fits All: A Modernist Dogtrot

One Shed Fits All - A Modernist Dogtrot Reborn - NYTimes.com

An architect lets go, and an elegant little house gets a second chance.

Wizard Of Whimsy from The Sapphire City on June 06, 2012:

Thought this image might be of interest . . .

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-as...

Ralph Deeds (author) from Birmingham, Michigan on June 06, 2012:

6-6-12NYTimes--Japan's Capsule Hotels Come to New York City

Tiny but Luxurious Hotel Rooms Spring Up in New York - NYTimes.com

Pod Hotel and Yotel bring offshoots of the Japanese “capsule” hotel to New York, while citizenM makes plans to compete.

d.william from Somewhere in the south on February 12, 2012:

I loved this hub. I just bookmarked it so i can explore more when i have a little more time. Excellent idea. Thank you so much for sharing this.

RVDaniels from Athens, GA on December 07, 2011:

This is so cool. I've always wanted to live in a gypsy caravan or something similar. Good hub, friend and I want that little blue car!

RunAbstract from USA on June 25, 2011:

Great design! I will check her out!

Ralph Deeds (author) from Birmingham, Michigan on June 24, 2011:

Thanks. The first seven pictures are of a small architecture studio designed and built by my daughter and fellow hubber, Sarah Deeds of DeedsDesign.com

RunAbstract from USA on June 24, 2011:

As a tiny house dweller I appreciate the fact that more and more people are choosing this kind of housing. It's cozy, affordable, and a challenge!

Great article with good links! Voted up!

Ralph Deeds (author) from Birmingham, Michigan on February 24, 2011:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/24/garden/24tiny.ht...

A HOUSE tour is the highlight of a visit with a proud homeowner, but when one drops in to see Derek Diedricksen, who makes playful micro-shelters out of junk, it is less so. Possibly because the temperature up here on a cold winter day is less so, possibly because his square footage is less so.

At about 24 square feet, the Gypsy Junker, made primarily out of shipping pallets, castoff storm windows and a neighbor’s discarded kitchen cabinets, is the largest of Mr. Diedricksen’s backyard structures. The Hickshaw, a sleeper built on a rolling cedar lounge chair (or as Mr. Diedricksen calls it, “a rickshaw for hicks”), is considerably smaller, at 2 1/2 feet wide by 6 1/2 feet deep. The Boxy Lady, two cubes on a long pallet, is the smallest: 4 feet tall at its highest point.

For ingenuity, thrift and charm, Mr. Diedricksen’s tiny structures are hard to beat. Made of scavenged materials, they cost on average less than $200 to build. They often have transparent roofing, which allows a fine view of the treetops, particularly in the smallest ones, where the most comfortable position is supine. They have loads of imaginative and decorative details: a porthole-like window salvaged from a front-loading washing machine, a flip-down metal counter taken from the same deceased washer. Mr. Diedricksen hates to throw anything away.

Ralph Deeds (author) from Birmingham, Michigan on January 15, 2011:

Small Wonder

On a quaint, tree-lined street in Berkeley, California, architect Sarah Deeds of Deeds Design and carpenter John McBride placed a 120-square-foot office/art studio near their main house, a renovated 1906 Victorian, on a 3,100-square-foot lot. “Since it was a design/build project, I had the luxury of changing the project as needed during construction,” says Deeds, who was able to easily accommodate unanticipated developments for the studio, which she planned as an irregular pentagon shape to maximize interior space. Deeds used salvaged and FSC-certified wood for the construction, formaldehyde-free fiberglass and denim insulation, a door left over from a previous project, and no-VOC paint, stains and finishes. Adding to what she calls the clubhouse feel, Deeds put in a large south-facing high window overlooking an existing deciduous California buckeye tree that provides shade in the summer, and painted a bright “burgee” detail atop the exterior, milled from a fallen tree. “It’s like a little fort,” says Deeds.

Read more: http://www.dwell.com/articles/small-Wonder.html#ix...

Ralph Deeds (author) from Birmingham, Michigan on January 10, 2011:

Tiny House in Berkeley

On Saturday, Mayor Tom Bates will cut the ribbon on a new home on Delaware Street in Berkeley. It’s not every day a city leader takes the time to welcome a new dwelling into his fold, and this home is not big, nor particularly special; in fact it’s positively diminutive at just 420 sq ft, and can rightfully be described as a backyard cottage. So one might wonder why it warrants an “opening party” with dignitaries in attendance, sponsors — even a salsa band.

The reason is that small secondary units like this one — also known as in-law units, studios, or accessory buildings — represent a solution to a key challenge facing many cities: how to house a swelling population affordably without resorting to creating unsustainable suburban sprawl. “Smart growth”, in other words.

And Berkeley has decided to focus on these little houses. “We favor increasing the number of secondary units. It’s the only goal we have added to the housing element part of our general plan this year,” says Debra Sanderson, Planning Manager at the City of Berkeley.

The Delaware St cottage includes distinct areas for living, cooking, eating, working, bathing and sleeping. Photo: New Avenue.

These types of buildings often appeal to homeowners looking for more space without the need to relocate, or seeking rental income, and for home buyers looking for small, inexpensive urban homes on a permanent or semi-permanent basis.

The cute, zero-energy cottage at 934 Delaware Street was built by Berkeley start-up New Avenue, a company conceived at UC Berkeley which is where the cottage’s owner, Karen Chapple, also works.

Longhunter on January 03, 2011:

Good article, Mr. Deeds. One of these would be great for a art or writer's studio in the backyard as well.

My parents once had a house that was, believe it or not, 11,000 square feet. There was a lot of wasted space.

C.J. Wright on December 27, 2010:

Love em. I also like the spin you didn't put on the article. So many times these types of homes are attached to extreme left and/or right thinking. When in reality it's just what you mentioned earlier. It's about having a house that matches the way you live. If you have a 3000 sf house that you realy never use or even need. Your wasting your money.

Rik Rodriguez from Hawaii on December 07, 2010:

Last year I was living with my family in a 15 by 20 shack that I built from scraps.

No we are not boozers or drug addicts as some will quickly assume.

Although we lost our home and in the process I was struck by lightning and also lost my job I did not feel destitute.

We just up sized thank you to our incomes on hubpages. We live in a sort of conventional house now with power my daughter is attending college.

After living here for 6 months with running water electricity and all the normally things that we have always had most of our lives.

The whole family wants to move back to the shack I built.

So hell yes Ralph I am ready to down size!!! Ha ha

Love your Hub!

Ralph Deeds (author) from Birmingham, Michigan on December 06, 2010:

Local zoning laws are certainly a negative factor for all kinds of home building innovations.Thanks for your comments.

Howard Schneider from Parsippany, New Jersey on December 06, 2010:

It's about time we stopped being so greedy and started being economical. We've been living beyond our means for too long. We also need to live more eco-friendly. This world and this country has only a limited amount of natural resources. It's time to think of the world and not just ourselves.

Tony Lawrence from SE MA on December 06, 2010:

Well meaning zoning laws (and sometimes not well meaning) can prohibit small homes.

William F Torpey from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on December 05, 2010:

I've been in favor of tiny houses for a long time now, Ralph Deeds. I learned about them several years ago, and I wish I could have built one. I've always thought that people with large houses that have lots of rooms probably never see most of the rooms unless they have a very large family. The same goes for cars (Personally, I'd drive a golf cart if they'd let me take it on the road.) I particularly like the architecture of many of the little houses, especially those that look like little castles.

Amy Becherer from St. Louis, MO on December 05, 2010:

I love this concept and the builder was so impressive in his ability to see and explain the advantages of living small. For me and my pup, it would work. Of course, you have to have the bucks to afford the land. America has become the land of excess. Those who have continued to live well but conservatively will weather this economic storm better than many who continue to live extravagantly, paycheck to paycheck and then face a rude awakening if status quo changes.

Ralph Deeds (author) from Birmingham, Michigan on December 05, 2010:

Thanks, all, for your comments. We're on the same wave length.

Petra Vlah from Los Angeles on December 05, 2010:

"The bigger, the better" - this is the American way according to Bush and I am almost sure I remember him saying that about the SUV a few years ago ignoring the auto-industry crises and the prices of gas (since for the enviroment he never had any concern to bigin with).

America may be forced to readjust its "size' and its thinking - and what a "tragedy" that will be for the ones who will have to give up the 5-th TV in a household of 4

Debbie Cook from USA on December 05, 2010:

I would love to build one of the modern style tiny homes. Maybe around 500 square feet from energy saving construction and materials. However, normal utilities would be important to me.

Tankless hot water heaters for example take up little space and after the initial purchase price they cost very little.

I recently heard of insulation that not only insulates but is insect and pest retardent as well.

Just like a mobile home - tie-downs would be important in case of high winds.

Lori J Latimer from Central Oregon on December 05, 2010:

This is my desire, to have a small place, dependent upon the Earth and natural resources. Soon...

Ralph Deeds (author) from Birmingham, Michigan on December 05, 2010:

I'm thinking along the same lines. The only time we use our entire house is when we have a family reunion on holidays. The rest of the time the space is wasted and we continue to pay high real estate taxes.

Jeffrey Penn May from St. Louis on December 05, 2010:

Love the idea of tiny houses and cars. Might be tough with my two teenagers right now, but who knows for later. Maybe a tiny cabin in the woods somewhere.

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