I really like the idea of tiny homes, as I mentioned before in my post entitled Too Much Living Space and my interest in them is only growing. One thing I’ve changed though is that I’ve gone from sub-one hundred square feet as the “perfect” size to around four hundred square feet.
A house of around four hundred square feet is plenty living space and provides a real bathroom, reasonable kitchen, and wouldn’t require two people to turn sideways to pass each other. It would also provide more storage space.
I’ve even, using Floorplanner, come up with an approximation of what I’d love to live in.
The main floor would be eighteen feet by twenty feet. It would have a living room space on one side, and an office setup on the other. The computer monitor would also serve as the television or movie watching screen. The couch would snugly fit three people, and the computer chair would allow seating for one more, making ample room for seating for the normal number of guests I have.
Heating would come from in floor heating as well as a small propane stove near the computer desk. There would be a well and septic system for water and drainage. The house would be powered by a solar array, a bank of batteries in a storage container, as well as a small wind generator. A propane water heater would be assisted by a solar water heating array during the seasons that aren’t winter.
The bathroom would feature low flow toilet (the guide by Toiletable, can teach you how you can make your own low flow toilet!), showers, and taps to conserve water, and only biodegradable products would be used to limit contamination of the ground water.
Climb up a ladder that is stored near the couch, and you get to the loft. It has a very low ceiling, but it is not considered livable space.
It has a queen size bed, though it would just fit the mattress, no box spring or frame. It would also have some storage, not sure how that would be designed, but also a few totes of off season clothing could be stored up there as well. The only area blocked off from the living room below would be by the bed. This is just for safety. The warmth would radiate upwards during the winter, and the window open with a fan to draw in the breeze during the summer would keep the loft cool.
Wrap a deck around this, put it on a slab foundation, and place it on a five acre lot, and you’d have the start of a wonderful life. As things change in my life, I could add on a ground floor bedroom off the living room for my child, and build another small building to act as a dedicated office for work.
At the end of the day, if done right, a system like this would be ideal. I would only have as much space as I absolutely have to have, and if done right, there is no reason why I’d need to spend the next twenty-five years of my life paying for some ridiculous mortgage.
Lastly, I would be able to focus more on living an ecologically sound lifestyle, not paying through the nose for electricity and clean water, and creating a situation where I could enjoy nature more readily, focus less on maintenance and at the end of the day, enjoy life.