The LOML has been watching a lot of TV regarding tiny houses (defined as under 500 sf) for the past year or so. We even stayed in one last week as a trial run just to see if it felt too claustrophobic.
We both agree that the current home of 1200 sf is only about 50% utilized by the two of us and the yard and pool maintenance is breaking the bank. For instance, when you amortize the cost of winter covers (every 10 years), summer covers (every 3 years), liners (every 10 years), chemicals, and electricity it costs close to $125 per month every month just to have the pool. Electric and gas here run me $250 per month combined.In addition, the shop is the garage so we can never park our cars out of the elements.
We're looking, just looking at this point, at a severe downsizing - to about 500 sf with a 200 sf loft area. The bedroom and bath would be main floor, just storage and a place for my computer in the loft (Jan's knees would never allow for a loft sleeping space). There would be enough open floor area in the loft for an air mattress should we have to entertain an occasional overnight guest. I've seen a few plans that have an attached 3 car garage (yes, I know, the garage would be larger than the house) with side entry meaning it can be extended to about 32' allowing 1 bay 12 x 32 for shop area and a place along the back wall for benches and storage. One bedroom, one bath, kitchen, and a great room. Vaulted ceilings in the great room are a must so it does not feel small. This is one of the plans that caught my eye though it would need to be modified to include a loft.
There are many manufacturers of tiny homes. Almost all are either modular or park model trailers, hence all are built under HUD standards and inspections. This drives the cost way up, to about $150 per sf. That is nearly double the going new construction rate around here of $80 -$90 per sf. So, our plan is to purchase a lot outside of the city limit (easily done around here) where building restrictions are less, well, restricting and build over a crawlspace. We anticipate a reduction in property tax, insurance and utilities as well as a 40% reduction in monthly mortgage payments. That translate to a lot of freedom and ability to travel more.
So, anyone out there have any experience with tiny houses? Anyone care to offer guidance? Tell me I'm crazy? Brilliant? You won't hurt my feelings, promise. I welcome all comments!