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The Tiny House Movement

So, what exactly are tiny houses? What is the tiny house movement? Why do people choose tiny homes and what does tiny living mean?

On Feb 29 and Mar 1, the Del Mar Fairgrounds was host to TinyFest California. With all the hype around tiny houses, guest cottages and accessory dwelling units (ADU), Michelle decided to attend the show and see first-hand what all the buzz is about.
 
So, what exactly are tiny houses? What is the tiny house movement? Why do people choose tiny homes and what does tiny living mean?
 
“At its core,” comments Michelle, “the trend toward tiny houses has become a social and lifestyle movement. Some people are choosing to downsize the space they live in, simplify, and live with less material items at a more affordable cost. The tiny house life isn’t about what you give up, it is about how to make your life rich in experience without the baggage of excess.”
 
What is a tiny house? How big (or rather, how small) is a tiny house anyway? The typical American home is around 2,600 square feet, compared to the typical small or tiny house which is defined as a home with square footage that is between 100 and 400 square feet. While of course there aren’t any rules to joining the tiny house movement, when people refer to “the tiny life,” their tiny house generally falls at or under the 400 square foot size.
 
Tiny homes can be rented or owned. You can choose a mini home on wheels or a tiny home that can be placed on a foundation. Most tiny houses are independent structures—some are parked on land with other buildings or used as a casita, guest house, or accessory dwelling unit near a larger/main house. Other tiny houses are placed on their own lot and used as a vacation homes.
 
“What I found interesting was the variety of homes on display at the show,” explains Michelle. “Some tiny houses were designed and built by the owner themselves, others are purchased from designers, some adapted from trailers, containers, or buses, and others were built from a tiny house kit. There were even converted vehicles used as glamping homes.”
 
Whatever the origin, tiny houses come in all shapes, sizes, and forms, but the one thing they all have in common is that they allow the resident to live a simpler life in a smaller, more efficient space.
 
It was remarkable to see the diversity of the people in attendance. There were people seeking a free, off-the-grid lifestyle. There were people looking for creative ways to find affordable housing. There were people searching for design ideas to add to their existing home including adding an ADU (accessory dwelling unit) for rent or expanding their home for guests or elderly parents by adding a tiny home casita.
 
The options are countless, the designs range from modern to simplistic, but the underlying message was the tiny house movement is sweeping the nation and the possibilities are endless.
 
For more information on the Tiny House Movement visit dwell.com, alternativelivingspaces.com, or californiatinyhouse.com.

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