Lifestyles change the way of our living and requirements. Influenced by such choices, a constant traveller might prefer a mobile home, while a person with a large family might opt for a larger house to be able to accommodate his family. On the other hand, some people might require only a smaller home for respective reasons. Bringing forward specific cases of families wanting a tiny home, the American TV show ‘Tiny House Nation, features the renovation experts John Weisbarth and Zack Giffin who travel across the nation, helping families in building their small quarters. The show hooks its viewers onto their screens by telecasting some of the most interesting cases of tiny houses through its episodes. Consisting of five seasons, it covers the different stages of the design and construction process, including knowing and understanding the requirements of every member of the client family, planning, interior designing, construction, and technological space-saving design innovations. 

An architectural review of Tiny House Nation - Sheet1
Tiny House Nation- John Weisbarth (L) and Zack Giffin (R) _©simkl.com

The question that commonly arises in the minds of people is what a tiny house is and how tiny should a house be, to be called a ‘tiny house’. This article aims to answer these questions and give a brief introduction to the talented hosts of the show.

What is a ‘tiny house’?

Tiny houses are an emerging housing concept in the United States and are dwellings with areas typically ranging between 100-500 square feet. The trend initiated with the collapse of the housing market in the United States, due to natural disasters and the economic crisis of 2007-08, which left thousands of people without jobs. As a result, many people started opting for an affordable housing solution such as the ‘tiny house’ as an alternative to their traditional houses. This also led to what is popularly known as ‘the tiny house movement, which brought about the philosophy of being content with the necessities of life, while living a healthy, environmental-friendly lifestyle. The movement stressed leading bigger lives in smaller spaces, contradicting the materialistic lifestyles and expectations of people today. 

Having various advantages, tiny homes are known for their minimalistic architecture, cost-efficiency, and lower carbon footprint, giving people reasons to choose them. These homes often demonstrate optimal utilization of space and are capable of being converted into full-time dwellings. In some cases, these tiny homes are also mobile. This talks very well of its versatility and flexibility to suit the diverse needs of people. 

An architectural review of Tiny House Nation - Sheet2
Tiny house_ ©tinyhousetown.net

Typically, the Tiny home consists of a living space, a kitchen, a bathroom, and a loft space turned into a bedroom. In the early stages, the pioneers of tiny homes started building their homes on trailers to bypass the regulations on minimum space requirements for houses. Though there are no universal standards for accommodating these spaces, the tiny homes are of different types, differentiated based on their building materials, facilities, and sizes. Some of its types are as follows: 

  • Shipping container homes – These tiny homes are constructed out of metallic shipping containers by reusing them. 
  • Wooden permanent or trailer-mounted mobile homes ranging in rustic and modern styles with sizes ranging from 170 – 350 square feet.  
  • Tiny Luxury homes – These tiny homes give the user a feel of a luxury house providing them with amenities such as home automation, radiant in-floor heat, surround sound, and tiny hot tubs. This allows the users to enjoy the amenities at a much lower price compared to a conventional house that would cost much more to have these exclusive features installed. 
  • Micro apartments – These tiny homes are usually normal apartments with an area of less than 400 square feet. It proves to be an ideal option for people wanted to afford a place in bigger cities.
An architectural review of Tiny House Nation - Sheet3
Immobile tiny house_ ©tinhyhousetalk.com
Immobile tiny house_ ©tinhyhousetalk.com

Having discussed the major pros and types of tiny homes, it is also important to know their cons. As an innovative housing solution, it can sometimes be strenuous to find financing options and insurance because in most cases, it is considered a vehicle and not a house. With differing codes and standards across different states, finding a place to set up a tiny home can be difficult. However, spatial interior planning and provision of storage spaces can also be equally challenging with minimal space available. Finally, finding a suitable and trustworthy builder can also be difficult as the number of builders with adequate experience in building a tiny house is less. 

Despite this, tiny houses are gaining momentum throughout the globe with the widespread Tiny house movement. Today, there are so many books, television shows, and movies made on this concept. One such is the ‘Tiny House Nation’, showing the liveability and positive aspects of Tiny houses. Through the medium of the show, the concept of the Tiny house movement is brought forward – leading content life in a smaller space.

References:

Mehrotra, K., 2022. Tiny House Nation: Where Are They Now? The Cinemaholic. Available at: https://thecinemaholic.com/tiny-house-nation-where-are-they-now/ [Accessed August 16, 2022]. 

Alterman, L., 2022. What is a tiny house? A huge trend explained in simple terms – realtor.com. realtor.com. Available at: https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/what-is-a-tiny-house/ [Accessed August 16, 2022]. 

Lynne, C., 2018. What is a tiny house? Dengarden. Available at: https://dengarden.com/misc/What-Is-A-Tiny-House [Accessed August 16, 2022]. 

Author

An architecture student who believes that any space can be turned into a lively environment only when it caters to its user’s needs and is extremely passionate about walking the cities on its journey in becoming sustainable and inclusive for its people.

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