Do you keep hearing the terms tiny home, tiny house movement, or tiny living and wonder what on earth people are talking about? A tiny house is usually defined as a home less than 400 square feet / 38 square metres, compared to the average Australian house which is typically around 170 square metres. But the term tiny house does not only detail the size of the house, but the lifestyle that comes along with it. Tiny home owners share a passion for only living off what you need, being as self-sufficient as possible and not needing to buy into materialism and consumerism for fulfilment.
People are thriving off the challenge of downsizing their life and their expenses - living in less, off less and with less.
The size limitations mean the house must be as space efficient as possible, and there is no room for clutter. Tiny houses are only fitted out with essential appliances and furniture, most of which is multi-purpose. The result of the compact, no-frills approach to living is little to no mortgage, reduced living costs and a greater sense of freedom. Tiny houses are often built on trailers or wheels, meaning the owners can and do live a somewhat nomadic lifestyle, packing up and moving on if they wish.
Where did tiny houses come from?
Tiny houses started as an American trend, as a result of many people losing their homes due to economic and environmental forces. And the pay-off has worked – 68% of US tiny home owners have no mortgage, compared to 29% of all US home owners, showing this simplified approach to living is making people financially independent and debt-free faster.
The tiny house movement is about more than just living in a smaller space, and people join the movement for many reasons. The main reasons are financial – realising just how much money they are sinking into a large mortgage for a bigger than required house; as well as environmental – perhaps they are concerned with their carbon footprint and their house is too big to make it financially viable to make it more eco-friendly. Living in a tiny house enables you to live off the land more freely and reduce your overall cost of living, which can in turn reduce the amount of time you need to spend slaving away at work just to be able to afford to live. Sounds like a win-win!
Tiny house, tiny price tag
The cost of building a tiny house is significantly cheaper than building a standard house in Australia, as to be expected, but the difference may shock you! The cost of building a typical house in Australia costs approximately $3,000 per square metre, and with the average house size being 170 square metres, that equals approximately $500,000! A tiny house will set you back $30,000-$50,000, that’s 10% of the price despite being about 20% of the size of a typical house, working out to about $1,250-$1,500 per square metre.
The number of tiny houses in Australia is rising, although it’s hard to put an exact number on it as many are registered as trailers and caravans instead of a permanent fixture on a property. The Australian Tiny House Association estimates there are about 200 in the country, without being able to count the many that “don’t exist” due to being registered as trailers.
How to build your own tiny house
You can have a crack at building your own tiny house from scratch, or even from an existing structure like an old bus, shipping container, or trailer (especially if you want it to be portable). There are also many tiny house building companies that specialise in space efficient tiny house builds. You’ll need to decide on a few things first, like where you are going to put it, if you want it to be portable or permanent, what utilities you can get permanently connected to the tiny house and what utilities will need to be self-sufficient e.g. composting toilets. Speaking of composting toilets, you also need to define what eco-friendly features are important to you, to ensure these get incorporated into your tiny house design and build.
So, you want to build a tiny house – where do you start?
Before you jump straight into tiny house living, the first thing you should do is downsize and live off much less to make sure you can handle it. It might take some adjusting at first, but it means that you’ll be a seasoned pro by the time you move into your tiny house, rather than moving straight in and being unable to adjust to less space and less things.
If you needing to downsize for your tiny house move, or you need some long-term storage options, have a chat to the friendly team at John Ryan Removals, the house removalists in Melbourne that you can rely on. With short and long-term storage solutions, you can safely secure and protect your items you don’t think you’ll need in your tiny home, with the assurance they will still be there if you decide tiny house living is not for you. As the top Australian relocation service, John Ryan Removals can also help with your moving day for your new tiny house so give us a call.