As the minimalist and introvert that I am, the idea of living in a tiny home was so appealing to me when I first heard of it. In my mind, I thought, ‘who needs all this space when I can get a tiny home that is cozy with minimal but enough space where I can live.’ I wanted to know if living in a tiny home permanently was possible.
Living in a tiny house permanently is possible. Tiny homes on wheels need to be built with durability and mind, and traditional tiny homes on a foundation need to be built to international building codes at a minimum to be a permanent housing solution.
Let’s talk about how you can live in a tiny home for more than a brief period.
Tiny Living Background
Tiny houses are not just for temporary living or suitable for vacations! I can tell you that a tiny home is also totally appropriate for as a permanent housing option. I have given it a try (still living in one) and I can say that it is very possible to live in a tiny home permanently.
Many people over the years have also given their experiences about living in a tiny house, the advantages, disadvantages, and how they have made it work for them. It may seem like a fad, but smaller homes are NOT A NEW THING.
I do understand that some people building a tiny home only want to live there for a while. They have a short-term plan of about 2-3 years in which they will live in the tiny home and then relocate to a more traditional home. Others however love the minimalist and simple life that a tiny home brings and therefore have a plan of staying in the tiny house indefinitely. The tiny home is a perfect fit for people who want to embrace and cherish the lifestyle of a minimalist.
Despite a tiny house being ‘tiny’ i.e having a small space, it is a suitable home for both large and small families. Most people have associated the phrase “tiny home” with a one or two-person house but the truth is that a large family can live comfortably and conveniently in a tiny home. It just takes a bit of extra research, planning, and work.
How Long Do Tiny Homes Last?
It may seem as though a tiny house is just a wind away from getting blown away for knocked over being so small. However, despite the size a tiny home will last as long as a traditional home if built with the proper materials and built structurally sound.
This also assumes that you keep up with regular maintenance along the way. A tiny house is just like any other house that needs to be maintained regularly to avoid damage and make it last longer.
I have heard that a tiny house is more prone to wear and tear. Instead of 2000 plus square feet to live your life, you’re doing everything you’d do in a bigger house but in under 400 square feet. That means each component is likely used more. I haven’t seen statistics on this, but in general, I’d chalk this up to standard maintenance issues that isn’t likely to add up to a big deal.
After all, replacing 400 square feet of flooring is so much less than a 2,000+ square foot home needing flooring replaced!
Families in Tiny Homes
One of the most popular questions asked about tiny houses is if it is possible to live tiny WITH kids. And the answer to this question is YES!
Couples together with their kids can live conveniently in a tiny home for however long they want to. The period of time families live in a tiny home is based on which kind of family it is. Some couples who have kids live in tiny houses indefinitely, although with these comes new challenges such as storage problems.
These problems however can be solved creatively to make space for the kids. Most families who have lived in a tiny home have shared their experience that although living in a tiny house is not a bed of roses, it has more advantages than disadvantages to them. My friend Heather said it best, “Although living in a tiny home is trying, it has made our family closely knit than ever before.”
On the flip side, privacy has become important as her kid approaches her teen years. Privacy can be difficult to achieve. The loft area has become the pre-teen sanctuary, but they are considering a slightly larger home to better accommodate their family dynamics. They key here is that they can continue living where they are, but it is a choice.
Advantages of Living in a Tiny Home Long Term
There are many advantages to living in a tiny house from a long term perspective. Check out this article with a growing list of reasons why tiny living is advantageous, but below is a snapshot perspective of the pros to this lifestyle.
Home Sweet Home
Although a tiny home is characterized by its little space, it has some other things like a big courtyard or outer space which make up for the reduced space inside. We grill and spend more time outside now than we did in a larger home.
Add in that you generally have a homely and cozy feel without a lot of effort courtesy of the space being so small.
Tiny homes can cost more per square foot than a traditional home, but being so much smaller still makes them an affordable choice. Then layer in the impact of reduced heating and maintenance costs.
Tiny homes are not automatically environmentally friendly, but there are materials you can use to make your structure more sustainable minded. Check out these thoughts on trying to be more sustainable in your tiny home adventure here.
However, regardless of whether you have electricity run from a traditional power supply or solar, you simply have less space to heat and cool. The smaller footprint in itself makes tiny homes much more environmentally friendly.
This is key as a more temporary thought process behind this way of living could make tiny living less sustainable.
Minimalism & More Intentional Living
Living permanently in a tiny home is very possible especially for people who are minimalists. One thing that can help you enjoy living in a tiny home is to follow a principle which states that “more is less.” Understanding this principle makes it easy for you to leave comfortably and happily in a tiny home for any length of time.
If you are considering a tiny home on wheels, it affords you a great deal of flexibility in WHERE you choose to lay your head at night. Except your bed doesn’t actually change. An advantage of living in a tiny home is that you are able to relocate with your home. Who wouldn’t like the perks of moving the place you call home to a new spot. A new sunrise. New terrain.
Ideas for where to put your tiny home (LEGALLY)
Although most locations have some amount of opportunity for tiny homes, some are not quite so friendly to the idea. You’ll want to know more about the specific rules that apply to your situation before you shell out any money or effort in this space. There are also laws guiding where movable tiny houses can be parked even!
So when you plan to construct or get your tiny home, put the law of your state or country into consideration. Work together to get your own, permanent tiny house dream off the ground!