Tiny House Movement

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wilked
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by wilked »

madbrain wrote:
5buffalo wrote:
Since there is little storage space, it has forced me to think hard about what possessions are truly important to me
In my opinion this is the best thing about living in a small space.
Possibly, but some truly important possessions can be large, like say, my 9'2" grand piano and my 8' harpsichord are to me .
I agree for that it is easier to accumulate lots of small "moderately useful" stuff in a bigger space, though .
I think that we can safely file this under the "exception that makes the rule" ;-)
freddie
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by freddie »

You save even mor money only having to buy 42" TV:) Personally I and a ton of friends lived in sub 600 sq fr living arrangements and didn't really know we we trendy. Heck we had a hundred neighbors living right next to us inbsimiliar sized spaces:) .
StarbuxInvestor wrote:I would say somewhere between 1,800-2,200 sq. ft.

People point out homes were smaller, part of this is a lot of those homes have basements which don't get counted in the square footage also many few bathrooms. Another part is things like TV, people at one time sat across from each other in a room and talked so the room was narrow, sitting right on top a 50" TV not as much fun. There is a TV show called Tiny House Nation starting July 9. I am sure these things are ingenious in many ways.


http://www.fyi.tv/shows/tiny-house-nation
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cowboyinasia
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by cowboyinasia »

In Hong Kong, I lived in an apartment with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms with 847 square feet. Mind you, that was gross area including landing, stairs and such so the usable area was something like 650 ft2. We felt like it was plenty big enough. You get used to it. You don't encumber your life with a lot of you-know-what. When we moved to Tokyo our apartment has something like 1,000 ft2, which felt really big.
IlliniDave
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by IlliniDave »

Going all the way back to the OP, I think 400-600 is probably my lower limit. 1000 would be pretty comfortable. I've seen some of the < 300 sq ft places and I just don't get the sense I'd be comfortable in one long-term. But who knows.
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roymeo
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Post by roymeo »

Latecomer wrote:I think a tiny house would be fun - if you lived in a safe town, close to the library, appropriate (for me) church, park, art galleries, movie house, etc. For me, the house would have to located in a culturally rich locality; thus, the wealth of place would be reflected in the myriad interesting people, beautiful local architecture, arts, and rich botanical life.
...because you get more people, architecture, arts and botanical life by adding several types of 'living' rooms or more bedrooms?
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Caduceus
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by Caduceus »

This reminds me of John Cage in Ally Mcbeal. This was a guy who really liked tiny spaces.

I would find 600 sq ft quite comfortable, but I've mostly lived in major cities my entire life. The few years I spent in a crazy huge place I was mildly unhappy, because there were always things to deal with and I needed an entire list of numbers from which I would constantly call to fix this or that. It wasn't so much the cost that bothered me as much as the time spent. I absolutely detested having to manage a residence, which to me seemed rather pointless.

On the other hand, I also disliked living in a studio, because cooking 5 feet away from my bed and my (admittedly few!) possessions did not appeal to me. 600 - 700 sq feet would work. Any bigger and I'd have too much space and too little stuff to fill it with.

A small space in a high-rise building in a major city with a wonderful view from home would be my ideal living situation.
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SnapShots
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by SnapShots »

Series Premiere - Tiny House Nation - Starts: Wednesday July 9 10pm ET/11pm PT - fyi channel

http://us5.campaign-archive2.com/?u=72e ... d85d3eefa4
In “Tiny House Nation,” renovation experts and hosts, John Weisbarth and Zack Giffin, travel across America to show off ingenious small spaces and the inventive people who live in them, as well as help new families design and construct their own mini-dream home in a space no larger than 300 square ft
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SnapShots
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by SnapShots »

StarbuxInvestor wrote:
SnapShots wrote:I love the idea of tiny homes for a parent who may need to move closer to adult children. Or, a place for a college kid to live while going to school that can be turned into a guest house, or a private studio office. These types of homes can be placed in back yard. Everyone has their own space but family is close by for support. They are also called granny homes, granny pods, granny cottages. Some come equipped with medical alert technology. Cheaper than long-term care institutionalization, as well as, kinder.

http://www.medcottage.com/
I like the idea of them as a place for me to go when my in-laws are in town.
Good for that, too. Or, the parents can stay in the granny pod when the kids come to visit. :wink:
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HardKnocker
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by HardKnocker »

For arid climates...

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Bacchus01
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by Bacchus01 »

Our house is 5,600 sq ft. It's more than big enough for a family of 5. There are rooms that rarely ever get used.

When the kids are gone, we will most definitely downsize to sub 3,000 sq ft.
wilked
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by wilked »

Bacchus01 wrote:Our house is 5,600 sq ft. It's more than big enough for a family of 5. There are rooms that rarely ever get used.
The bowling alley? ;-)
dickenjb
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by dickenjb »

While an expat in The Netherlands, my wife and I and infant son lived in a 130 m2 house. Even in that house there were rooms we did not use. Probably the one thing I regret the most is buying a 3300 ft2 house - I would have bought a smaller home but back in 1991 fell victim to the "buy as much house as you can afford" nonsense that Realtors tell you.

I now am of the belief that a house is a consumption item and not an investment.
reisner
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by reisner »

I feel oppressed by possessions that I do not use, even if they are stored away in the garage cabinets. How many of your clothes do you actually wear? How many of all those kitchen implements or knives do you really use (in my case three very sharp knives)? How many of those square feet in the house do you regularly inhabit? How many unnecessary steps does a big house make you take when you left your car keys in the wrong place? Don't get me wrong, I love my great stuff. I just don't want to be burdened by a pile of crap, expensive or cheap. And I want my exercise to come with the fun, not the chores.

I think the extremism of the tiny house movement is actually doing a disservice to common-sense home buying. On the other hand, so too is the mortgage-interest deduction. Myself, or myself and herself, would be fine with a living-dining-cooking area, a bedroom, a couple of cubbyhole offices, a closet apiece plus the old-fashioned coat closet and linen cupboard, a full bath and an extra toilet (getting old), a stackable washer-dryer, and space for two dog beds (Dutch shepherd, Llewellin setter). And a place to store sports equipment (others might need a workshop). A mudroom area would be nice and a deck or patio or big porch. The question for me then is not about how many square feet in the abstract, but about how few square feet can a designer fit these desiderata into. 700 to 1200, I'm sure.

Guests? Can you say, "Aerobed"? Keeps the visits short as fish stays fresh.
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corner559
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by corner559 »

I now live in a large city overseas where space is at a premium. My place is just 250 square feet, and I'm fine with it. I learned to adapt very quickly. I'm living well below my means.

One of the biggest ah-ha moments for me was when I had to go back to the States to deal with all the crap I'd put into storage that had filled up my large house. I gave 95% away to Goodwill and boxed up the rest and stuck it in a relative's attic. I spent a lot of years accumulating crap, which looking back I see as a lot of wasted money.

If I moved back to a much larger house, I don't think I'd know what I'd do with all that space.
gouldnm
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Re:

Post by gouldnm »

eriehiker wrote:Square footage is only one variable in a complex formula.

It probably makes sense to live in a tiny house in a large metropolitan area with a strong housing market.

But I live in Michigan and it is now possible to buy a large home - foreclosure or not - for a very reasonable price.

So one option is to downsize. Another option is to move.

I would also suggest that the amount of public space and quality of public transportation is key to downsizing one's home. I have lived in places that have both and the city becomes an extension of one's living room. I have also lived in places with neither and needed the extra space at home to compensate.
That's a great point (and I'm a native of Michigan, BTW).

We live in a very rural area with few sources of entertainment. We compensate by having a very nice home theater where we can watch independent films, symphony concerts, etc. If you live in a city, there is less of a need.
gouldnm
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Re:

Post by gouldnm »

Chuck T wrote:My wife and I who are both retired live in a 3000 sq ft home. We have rooms we rarely if ever use. The cost for having the extra space is significant.

I would much prefer to have a house around 1000-1200 sq ft. I think that would be a much more practical size for 2 people and would still provide extra rooms for family and friends. If I were single I could easily live in 600 sq ft.

The tiny home movement is long overdue.
My husband and I currently live in a 2100 sq. ft. townhouse. We could easily live in about half that space. We have an extra bedroom that we never use, except for guests. But we could easily afford to put them up at a hotel.

We have BOTH a home theater/family room and a living room, and that seems redundant.

When I was growing up, my father was a doctor, and we lived in a very nice 3000 sq. ft. house. That was considered huge at the time. We had a living room and a small "study", where my dad sometimes worked. There was no "family room". The concept hadn't been invented at the time the house was built.

I used to have a lot of books, but have been replacing them with e-books.

I would be fine with about 1100 sq. ft.--more than fine, I'd probably be happiest with 1100 sq. ft. I hate the headaches and added expenses that come from owning a bigger house.

Anything much less than that, I'm not sure.
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gouldnm
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by gouldnm »

I think that one reason that people "need" larger homes is because they possess many things.

I've never been big on material things. When my parents died, my sisters and I held a "round robin" to split up their things. There was really very little that I wanted. I do understand people who have sentimental attachments to certain things, but for the most part, the things that I took are just sitting there collecting dust.

When I got divorced, I left my ex-husband with a house full of junk. The only things I took were what I could carry in my Toyota Camry, and most of it was stuff that I needed (e.g., clothing, kitchenware). I always see the fact that I left him with a house full of junk as a kind of sweet revenge.
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parsi1
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by parsi1 »

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mlipps
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by mlipps »

parsi1 wrote:I don’t think the issue is living in a larger home versus smaller home. People prefer to spend instead of save and at the end they decide they can’t afford a big home.
Why not spend less and instead live in a larger more comfortable home. There is no way that a family of 3 or 4 can have a comfortable life in a 350 square feet home ( or even a 500 square feet home).
Also who said that people living in a smaller homes are more environmentally conscious that those living in a larger homes.
If you have a larger home you have more roof space for solar panels. :D
I also don’t see any reason to live in a little home to be able to retire early, I like what I do and I don’t want to retire early.
May be people who live in tiny homes have other bigger issues that they need to resolve first and then maybe they will start liking more space to breath and live in.
That's a LOT of assumptions you're making. Not everyone prefers to spend instead of save. And it's great that you want to work and like your job, but don't assume that I have "issues" because I don't!
stoptothink
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by stoptothink »

parsi1 wrote: Why not spend less and instead live in a larger more comfortable home. There is no way that a family of 3 or 4 can have a comfortable life in a 350 square feet home ( or even a 500 square feet home).
We (family of three) absolutely could live comfortably in 500^ft. We currently live in ~650^ft and to be totally honest it feels more spacious than my mother's 3500^ft home with one more person. We don't buy anything we don't need and are best friends with the local thrift stores (donations), my mother has three entire rooms, a connected shed, and most of a three car garage dedicated to storage. I grew up with seven in ~1000^ft, I never felt cramped but I know a few of my siblings did; IMO it felt less claustrophobic than my mother's current home.

We'll probably buy within the next year and also are trying to have a second child. We think ~1100-1300^ft is the sweet spot for us; good thing because there is nothing smaller to buy in the area.
Curlyq
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Post by Curlyq »

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placeholder
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by placeholder »

I have rooms that I don't use on a regular basis but I need them when entertaining so I'm happy to have the extra space but since I'm a low cost area the difference between a smaller one was only about 20k initially so it's worth it to me to be able to have the whole family over.
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parsi1
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by parsi1 »

mlipps wrote: That's a LOT of assumptions you're making. Not everyone prefers to spend instead of save. And it's great that you want to work and like your job, but don't assume that I have "issues" because I don't!
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Dutch
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by Dutch »

parsi1 wrote:I don’t think the issue is living in a larger home versus smaller home. People prefer to spend instead of save and at the end they decide they can’t afford a big home.
Why not spend less and instead live in a larger more comfortable home. There is no way that a family of 3 or 4 can have a comfortable life in a 350 square feet home ( or even a 500 square feet home).
Also who said that people living in a smaller homes are more environmentally conscious that those living in a larger homes.
If you have a larger home you have more roof space for solar panels. :D
I also don’t see any reason to live in a little home to be able to retire early, I like what I do and I don’t want to retire early.
May be people who live in tiny homes have other bigger issues that they need to resolve first and then maybe they will start liking more space to breath and live in.
Living in a larger home versus smaller home is exactly the issue being discussed in this thread. I agree that you're making a lot of (strange) assumptions.
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parsi1
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by parsi1 »

Dutch wrote: Living in a larger home versus smaller home is exactly the issue being discussed in this thread. I agree that you're making a lot of (strange) assumptions.
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HIinvestor
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by HIinvestor »

H and his 2 sibs and parents lived in a 800 square foot home--3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. They loved the home and were happy there. So much depends on what you are used to. A friend had a 2 bedroom home for herself, H and 4 kids. They lived like that for many years until they finally remodeled.
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Dutch
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by Dutch »

parsi1 wrote:
Dutch wrote: Living in a larger home versus smaller home is exactly the issue being discussed in this thread. I agree that you're making a lot of (strange) assumptions.

My assumption is that you don't live in a tiny home, am I right or wrong?
Don't really understand your need to make assumptions about other people. I find it usually works better when you just speak for yourself.
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czeckers
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by czeckers »

Interesting. I think different people just feel comfortable in different size spaces. Some like to have wide open spaces so they don't feel cramped. Others like a house that's built like a glove or a sailboat. Compact footprint and don't have to walk far from one space to another.

I lean toward the simplicity, coziness, and lower cost of maintenance of smaller houses. We lived in an 800 sq ft house for 9 years and I still miss that house. By the time we got to 4 children it definitely was cramped. But for a family of 4, it was great. I was able to buy it outright. Taxes, utilities, and maintenance costs were minimal. The house was very well laid out and that made a lot of difference.

Now I live at 4000+ sq ft. Even with more children it still feels way too big and it has a lot of wasted space. All the carrying costs are considerably more. Once the kids are out of the house, we'll definitely downsize.

There is a tiny house show that just had its season premiere on Wed. I think it was on the History or DIY channel. I recorded it but haven't seen it yet.

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parsi1
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by parsi1 »

Dutch wrote: Don't really understand your need to make assumptions about other people. I find it usually works better when you just speak for yourself.
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5buffalo
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by 5buffalo »

By contrast, view this video series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmUyTauQBQ4 , which shows how many middle-America homes look today. I found the videos sickening and hard to watch.
Great recommendation, watched the series and was very interested. I won't say sickened, necessarily, because I somewhat sympathize with the illogical thinking that leads people to have so much pointless clutter, but it does clearly show how oppressive even "normal" levels of accumulation can be.
Trader Joe
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by Trader Joe »

Our 2,500 square foot home is sufficient for our needs. Anything less would not be acceptable.
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TheTimeLord
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by TheTimeLord »

They lose me at composting toilet.
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mlipps
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by mlipps »

parsi1 wrote:
mlipps wrote: That's a LOT of assumptions you're making. Not everyone prefers to spend instead of save. And it's great that you want to work and like your job, but don't assume that I have "issues" because I don't!

Most Bogleheads on this forum, take nice vacations, live in a nice not-so-tiny-homes, drive nice cars and they have high paying professional jobs, and none of these are assumptions.
If you don’t believe me do a search on "vacation" and "cars" and read the comments from the truly dedicated, well known Bogleheads.
As do I. I only took offense to your assumption that people who prefer otherwise have issues.
rj49
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by rj49 »

StarbuxInvestor wrote:They lose me at composting toilet.
Apart from the toilets, other parts that turn me off in such a movement is living on someone else's property usually, and a certain hip snobbery inherent in the whole movement (I suspect many of the tiny house owners do it just to get blog income and the social cachet of one's own designer home). There are plenty of tiny house owners already, but they call their tiny homes RVs, or mobile homes, but I'm sure the tiny house owners wouldn't be caught dead in such a living situation, because they would be thought of as poor and trashy instead of minimalist and living a simple, sustainable, green life, and their materialistic house pride is as much as someone with a McMansion--they're still defining themselves by their house.

At the same time, there's a hypocrisy in eco-conscious homeowners in Seattle, who are doing all they can to block microhousing developments that would actually provide small, affordable apartments to allow mostly young people to afford living in Seattle. But existing homeowners, who are all for urban density and sustainability, don't want such things in their own neighborhoods, and come up with all sorts of specious arguments to support their hypocrisy.
mlipps
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by mlipps »

I don't think it's snobbish to want your home to be aesthetically pleasing, even if it's tiny. Also, I think a lot of people want the challenge of building something on their own & doing so using sustainable materials.
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sdsailing
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by sdsailing »

They're cute and look like they would be fun for a weekend. Sort of like those miniature cars. However it would make me claustrophobic (the genuine small houses, not a 600 sq ft apartment).

Most of the ones i have seen are appointed with high end fixtures.

Why the judgmental attitudes ?
maroon
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by maroon »

I own a tiny house. It's on my own land (10+ acres), and has better windows, doors, fixtures, etc. than my tract house in the city. And a regular toilet, too!

I don't have storage-related issues, but occasionally have lifestyle issues, such as when one of us wants to watch TV and one of us doesn't. There's only one living area, so compromise is required.
Allan
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by Allan »

I think in high density Cities there are small 400-600 sq ft condos and apartments in high-rise and mid-rise buildings. And in retirement communities there maybe be smaller homes since they are typically built for retiree couples and singles. But I don’t think you will ever see large developments of ultra-small or tiny homes in conventional subdivisions or in-fill areas because the $ numbers just do not work out for developers and builders. For builders there is no money to be made by building small houses. And potential appraisal problems, . The rule of thumb is the house sells for 2 x the cost of the lot, and builders make more money by building larger homes. There may be exceptions here and there but I doubt you will ever see it on a large scale.

Allan
maroon
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by maroon »

So I just watched the 1st Tiny House Nation episode: http://www.fyi.tv/shows/tiny-house-nation

I think the designers did well to pack two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom into 172 sq. ft! My house is about 3 times that size; perhaps I should re-evaluate what I consider "tiny."
mlipps
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Re: Tiny House Movement

Post by mlipps »

maroon wrote:So I just watched the 1st Tiny House Nation episode: http://www.fyi.tv/shows/tiny-house-nation

I think the designers did well to pack two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom into 172 sq. ft! My house is about 3 times that size; perhaps I should re-evaluate what I consider "tiny."
I loved the show too! Can't wait to watch subsequent episodes. At least the first one is free, even w/o subscription to the channel. Hope that keeps up!
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