Tiny houses are becoming more and more popular. In this article we explain what a tiny house is and why it is worth living in it.
You can also read in this article what you should definitely pay attention to when it comes to the small houses and what alternatives there are.
What is a tiny house?
By ‘a tiny house’ we generally mean a one-storey house with an area of less than 50m2. Officially, there is no maximum size to which a house can be defined as a tiny house. However, the focus is on keeping the house as small as possible.
The Tiny House movement has its origins in the US and has spread more widely since the 1970s. This trend is becoming more and more established in the United States, as more and more people long for a life with less consumption.
What are the benefits of living in a tiny house?
It is not without reason that this housing form originating from the US is becoming increasingly popular in the Germany. Here are some of the main advantages of a tiny house as compared to an ordinary house:
1) Minimalist thinking and the connection with nature
This is one of the main reasons why people (want to) live in a tiny house. The smaller living space means that there is much less space for objects, which changes consumer behavior. Most tiny houses can be found outside big cities. Due to their location in the countryside, the minimalistic design and a corresponding eco-conscious lifestyle, a certain connection to nature is often felt.
2) Good for nature
Due to their size, tiny houses use less building materials than regular houses. Especially durable building materials such as wood are often used for the small houses. The goal of most tiny house owners is to run a self-sufficient household. This is also good for nature, as the focus is on using renewable energy sources for power and rainwater recycling.
3) Easy on the wallet
Buying or building a tiny house is usually much cheaper than buying a regular house. In addition, less financial resources are required to design the interior. The maintenance of a tiny house is relatively cheap too.
4) Extra flexibility
A tiny house definitely offers more flexibility in contrast to a large house. A tiny house is quicker to build and furnish and can therefore be ideally used as a temporary apartment. Due to the lower costs and purchase price, it is ideally suited as a holiday apartment, student accommodation or second home in the countryside.
The tiny houses are also ideal for start-ups and small companies that invest little money in office space. Depending on the size and safety measures, so-called mobile tiny houses can be transported on a truck in traffic and thus moved to a new location. This way, you are never bound to one fixed location.
Moving to a tiny house in an environmentally conscious way
Sustainability does not just start with moving to a tiny house. Common moving boxes for instance, are not particularly durable. After the move, they unnecessarily occupy storage space in the new home, and are therefore often thrown away without regard to the environment. If you want to move in a more environmentally conscious way, it is best to rent sustainable moving boxes. These sturdy, stackable, eco-friendly moving boxes are made of recyclable, high quality materials and can be used over and over again. Moving with these durable rental moving boxes, saves you money and time. Rental moving boxes are usually delivered to your doorstep and will be picked up on an agreed day after your move.
The construction and purchase of a tiny house
Building a tiny house is usually easier and cheaper than building a regular house. Nevertheless, when it comes to planning there are a few things to consider so that your new tiny house will be a major success!
1) Gather information
How to build a tiny house is described in numerous DIY tutorials. Online you can find lots of building plans and helpful videos for the construction of a tiny house.
However, it should be noted that the internet refers a lot to US tiny houses. In Germany, different rules apply to the nature, size and building regulations of tiny houses. You should definitely research this before you start building your own tiny house.
2) Make a cost calculation
The cost of building a tiny house can vary widely. Depending on the size and equipment, costs of around 40,000 euros can be expected. It also depends on whether you build the tiny house yourself, buy a finished house or have one made by experts according to your own specifications.
3) Protect your tiny house from European winters
Especially in winter it quickly gets cold in a tiny house. Sufficiently insulated walls are the key to a warm living environment, especially in the cold months. Either natural insulation materials, such as sheep wool, or industrially manufactured materials, such as insulation wool from the hardware store, can be used here. However, whatever you choose, you must adhere to the requirements of the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEv).
4) Take measures to be self-sufficient
One of the goals of a tiny house is to be able to live self-sufficient. For this, a photovoltaic installation can be installed and a rainwater collection system can be integrated.
5) Regulations for transporting a tiny house on public roads
Owning a tiny house in Germany may sound easy at first, but there are many aspects to consider. To be able to transport a tiny house from A to B by road, the safety requirements must be met. This requires an assessment and approval from bodies such as a Technical Control Board.
6) Check if you need a building permit
A building permit is also often required. This should definitely be checked out in advance so that nothing stands in the way of building or buying your tiny house.
Alternatives to the tiny house
If you don’t want to buy or build a tiny house right away, there are excellent alternatives that also serve as a temporary solution.
1) Book your vacation in a tiny house
To test whether the tiny house lifestyle can be combined with the way of life you want in the long term, there is the possibility to live in a tiny house on a trial basis. This has the advantage that you save costs and that you do not have to give up your household effects too quickly. A stay in a tiny house can also be perfectly combined with a holiday trip to another region.
2) Store your belongings when you don’t need them
If you have left your old apartment before going to the tiny house and have not yet found a solution for all the things you no longer need – or at least don’t need for the time being – you can store them in a self-storage facility.
Often you long for a life with fewer consumer goods, but you don’t want to give up your home to move into a tiny house. To find a middle ground, one can free oneself from objects that have no direct benefit. A minimalist interior helps to lead a more conscious life.
3) Switch to renewable energy sources
You can also implement the sustainability concept in your own home by switching to renewable energy sources, conserving resources and using rainwater to flush toilets or water flowers, for example.
Another alternative to the tiny houses are the so-called small houses. These are slightly larger than a tiny house and therefore offer a good compromise if you cannot or do not want to adapt your living standard to a tiny house, but don’t want to live in a regular home.
We pick up your belongings and store them safely for as long as you want
If you want to move into a tiny house or furnish your own home in a minimalist way, you usually have to leave a lot of stuff behind. Unfortunately, there are often objects that you do not want to part with, but that stand in the way of minimalism. These could be childhood memories, heirlooms or files that are not needed for now.