One of the things I do for relaxation in the evening, after a hard days work managing Landlord law, is watching ‘Escape from the Country’.
I am interested in seeing different parts of the countryside and am always fascinated to see inside other people’s houses.
However, one thing annoys me. So many people seem to be greedy about space.
“Hmm,” the woman will say walking into what looks to me like a perfect kitchen, two or maybe even three times bigger than my own. “Hmm, this is nice but it’s just not big enough for us”
If the house is only going to be for the two of them – why do they need all that space? I have seen couples reject as too small properties which would comfortably house a family of six.
So I was pleased to learn that many people all over the world are rejecting large houses and moving to ‘Tiny House’ living.
What is a ‘Tiny House’
A tiny house is, I suppose, a house which is fully functional for a person, or a couple, or even a family to live in, but is contained within a very small footprint.
Frequently they are very eco-friendly with solar panels, great insulation and double, or even triple glazing, with some being completely ‘off grid’. They are also often beautifully designed and have all the facilities of a large house but within the footprint of a very small one.
Learning about Tiny Houses
You can find loads of videos about Tiny Houses on the internet. For example in the Living Big in a Tiny House channel.
Most of the Tiny Houses featured there are owned by young people. Often they have built and designed their Tiny House themselves.
Almost all say that they absolutely adore living in them and only wish they had done it sooner. Many of them talk about the fact that we don’t really need so many ‘things’.
There is also the financial side – although building a Tiny House is not cheap it is considerably cheaper than buying a conventional house, and the prices tend to be between £50,000 and £150,000. Many Tiny House owners talk about the joy of financial freedom and security.
Of course, you have to put a Tiny House somewhere. The Tiny Houses in the “Living Big in a Tiny House’ channel are mostly in places such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada where people tend to own larger plots of land and often young people have built their Tiny House in land owned by their parents.
Some of them are in the deepest countryside living off the grid, but there are other Tiny Homes in very small city apartments such as this one in Melbourne Australia. There are also some featured for families of five and some for more ‘mature’ people.
So they can be very adaptable.
Tiny houses in the UK?
We have a housing crisis here in parts of the UK. Could Tiny House living be part of a solution?
Lots of people already live in houseboats which are effectively Tiny Houses on water. We do have ‘caravan parks’ which often have ‘mobile homes’ which people live in full time. Maybe someone who has experience of them could comment but I get the feeling that they tend to be looked down on.
For Tiny House living to move from being a desperate measure of last resort to being a desirable solution they need to be
- Very well designed, and
- In a good location
Who could live in them?
They can also be good for young people, who may (as in the videos linked above) prefer Tiny House living to struggling to pay for a larger house. If their Tiny House is mobile, it would make moving for your job so much easier -so long as you can find somewhere suitable to move it to. Maybe providing some land for this could provide extra income for farmers?
Although some people, for example, if their work can be done over the internet, can just spend their time traveling from place to place. Which I have to say sounds great fun.
Maybe we should do more to encourage Tiny Homes in the UK?