Daily Dose: Tiny Houses

Add to TwitterI first started research for this blog post about small houses with a featured company – Tumbleweed Houses – already in mind. I’d read a little about founder Jay Shafer and his work, but I had no idea that these homes were part of a social movement and organized society! The “Small House Society” (co-founded by Shafer) is the outreach group of the “Small House Movement” whose primary concern is the interaction between humans and the environment. The movement doesn’t specify a square footage required to be considered a member – the main idea is to get people to consider the space they really require and to encourage them to live more simply, whatever that means for each individual or family. I’ve included pictures of some of Shafer’s homes; the smallest range in size from 65-140 square feet and are as little $18,000!

hermitage combo

The Hermitage; 65 square foot house kitchen

The Hermitage, a 140 square foot house built by Shafer and Tumbleweed Homes, doesn’t require a building permit. Since it is on wheels, it’s considered a travel trailer. You can either build this model yourself or buy it ready-made. The image next to the Hermitage is the kitchen of an even smaller (65 sq ft) home.


Loring Exterior

The Loring is a 251 sq ft home whose building cost ranges from $100-200/sq ft. This is classified as a “small” home (vs the Hermitage’s “tiny” category) and meets all international building codes. I’d love to see a picture with someone standing next to this house – it looks fairly large from this perspective!


Z-Glass Exterior

This house was the most interesting to me – yes, a little plain, but the rolled hot steel siding is so rich in color and texture! Called the “Z-Glass,” it’s 392 sq ft but only 14 feet wide so it can be taken on the road. The exterior finish is also optional – you can choose veneers other than the one pictured in this example. (masonry, anyone?)

I have to say, after reading through these articles and looking at the pictures, I want to be a member of the Small House Society! (Although come to think of it, I’d say life in a 100-something square foot apartment counts, wouldn’t you?) Much more charming and welcoming than your average trailer home, these portable habitations are also important steps in our green building efforts. Come visit me in my Z-Glass!

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