Tag: tiny houses

Best Tiny Houses: 20 Jaw-Dropping Tiny Houses That Will Leave You Wanting One

Best Tiny Houses: 20 Jaw-Dropping Tiny Houses That Will Leave You Wanting One

The best tiny houses are simply captivating. They are not just houses, either—it’s safe to say that they are works of art.

Something about these houses just reels you in—it makes you never want to leave when you start living in one

If you’re planning to build or buy one, get inspiration from these jaw-dropping tiny houses. 

Best Tiny Houses: Top 20 Jaw-Dropping Tiny Houses

These 20 structures captivated our eyes and our curiosity. If you’re thirsty of inspiration, take a squeeze out of these breathtaking and interesting houses.

1. “The Lily Pad” by Creative Cabins LLC

front view of The Lily Pad, black stairs leading to a black shipping container cabin.
The Lily Pad will keep you cozy.

First on our list is this dark but inviting vacation rental in Ohio. The Lily Pad is a tiny house made of shipping containers by Creative Cabins LLC.

Located in Hocking Hills, Logan Ohio, it’s open for renting to couples, families, and individuals who want a peaceful retreat in the woods.

The Lily Pad is small but packed with amenities. For cozy nights with your buddies, you can crack a cold one open at their covered outdoor living space, gas grill, and swing bed.

It even has motorized blinds if you need privacy real quick. And if you’re feeling a bit social, you can also rely on their internet for a quick Snapchat update.

If you ask us, this would be a perfect spot for reunions of small groups of friends who are also adventurous. The Hocking Hills is home to waterfalls and cliffs and all of its parks are free. So, you would totally enjoy your time here if you’re a hiking junkie. 

2. “Helm” by CargoHome

Rear view of The Helm, lots of greenery, sunny afternoon.
The Helm, a lovely tiny home.

Helm is another wonderful shipping container rental, which you can find in the most tiny house-friendly state, Texas.

At first glance, its glass-wood exteriors will make you think it’s a modern house from the pages of BluPrint. You wouldn’t think you can get something that looks big in such a small package.

Built by CargoHome, it welcomes vacationers in its two-bedroom premises. It also has two bathrooms, a dining room, and a living room.

It even has a deck where you can read a book and share a cig with your significant other. Any couple or family can enjoy a great time in this fully-functioning tiny house.  

Would we rent Helm? Of course! Its spacious bathroom is especially our favorite, considering it’s a bathroom in a tiny house.

The interiors don’t also scream “cargo container”, which is a good thing. It’s certainly one of the best tiny houses out there. 

3. “Coodo Homes” by Coodo

coodo white tiny houses on the desert. plenty of shrubs. afternoon sun.
The future is finally here with Coodo’s designs.

Do you know that dystopian Netflix TV series, Black Mirror? Coodo’s modular mobile homes look exactly like it came straight out of Black Mirror. However, don’t let this alarm you. These houses won’t suddenly come alive—they just look futuristic.

The Coodo 32 series, the company’s flagship series, will make you gasp with its clean, round features made of white Aluminum.

The frontal design of the three models, which resembles the teeth of a USB connector, looks that way to let more natural light in. Meanwhile, if you’re not fond of the white Aluminium series, they also have a wooden series made of Siberian larch.

Would we buy a mobile house model from Coodo? Yes, it might look like a giant USB connector from Apple, but the specs aren’t too bad. Every model also comes with its own water tank, solar panels, wind turbines, and even a recycling station.

With those features, it’s easily one of the best tiny houses these days. The Jetsons would downsize, they would probably choose this series. 

4. “First Light Tiny House” by First Light Studio

Front view of First Light Tiny House. Black tiny house on wheels. Greenery.
There’s a Yin and Yang quality to this tiny house on wheels.

This tiny house on wheels designed by First Light Studio’s Anna Farrow can be deceiving.

On the outside, it can look stand-offish with its black corrugated steel exteriors. However, on the inside, the soft glow of the interior lighting and birch plywood walls are comforting and welcoming. Truly breathtaking.

Handcrafted by Build Tiny, a tiny house builder, this off-grid ready house comes with a full kitchen, which shows the client’s affinity for whipping up meals and pastries.

It has a wall oven and grill complete with a range hood. The kitchen sink has a folding table beside it.  At the top of the loft, of course, sits the solar panels. 

The First Light Tiny House is a real standout, not only with its aesthetic quality but also with its functionality.

Confused about whether you should choose a mobile or stationary house? This model has the best of both worlds, making it one of the best tiny houses nowadays. 

5. “The Getaway” by Tiny House Building Company

exterior of The Getaway. blue skies. green trees.
The Getaway brings you retro vibes from the 80s.

If you want to downsize but also relive the 1980s’ bubblegum pop aesthetic, The Getaway could be your permanent home.

The pink door, the big chill retro pink appliances, the awning, and the walls—these will remind you of a Barbie dollhouse or an ice cream parlor toy set.

Inside, the white and grey trimmings help in lighting up the room. If you want to secure your stuff, you can put them in the storage steps and the hitch outside. And if you are sleepy, you will feel comfy at the two king-size lofts.

pink fridge and pink electric stove. beige kitchen. white trimmings.
Your very own dollhouse. Now available.

The Getaway also comes with a customized chandelier package, a bathroom with a washer and dryer, and a fully furnished kitchen. You can use the freezer, microwave, and electric cook-top as well. 

The Tiny House Building Company has a wide array of tiny houses on wheels, but The Getaway is unique for bringing that vintage, homey vibe in a mobile home.

If you can’t start your nomad lifestyle, this tiny house will bring that comfort in every ride. It’s another bright example of the best tiny houses at the moment. 

6. “Athens 520” by Park Model Homes 

Athens 520 - front view, sunny day, blue skies.
Get ready to live like a thinker in Athens 520.

Like its regal-sounding name, Athens 520 comes in a larger size than the others on this list. Nevertheless, it’s still a tiny house; however, its wrap-around porch, in which the fireplace and the chairs are located, makes it appear bigger. 

Crafted by Park Model Homes, Athens 520 is one of the 15 models in their Champions series. It’s also one of the most popular ones, qualifying as one of the best tiny houses you could purchase today.

Inside, Athens 520 has a wood-burning fireplace, perfect for those cold December nights. After hanging out with your siblings or children in the comfy living space, you can snuggle with your partner in the king-size bedroom. 

If it were up to us, the Athens 520 would be an ideal space for granny or grandpa. There is no loft, so any climbing would be unnecessary.

Moreover, the wrap-around porch would be a perfect avenue for breezy afternoon teas and gabfest with their amigas

RELATED: Where to Buy Your Very Own Tiny House?

7. “Zion” by Mustard Seed Tiny Homes

Zion front view.
Zion is nothing but homey and pragmatic.

The look of Zion fits its name—it’s modern design screams luxury. Notably, it doesn’t look too brutalist like other tiny houses. You can liken Zion to a shrunken version of a modern residential structure in a suburban neighborhood. 

Despite being a premium park model, Zion’s white exterior walls, dark brown roof, large french doors, and wooden porch will make you reminisce of grandma’s house in the summer.

However, going inside the house, the refreshing in-the-now fittings, amenities, and furniture will greet you.

We think Zion is definitely one of the best tiny houses for couples who want to start a family. You and your partner can share pancakes and sip your coffee at the breakfast counter.

Besides the master bedroom, it also has a loft that is spacious enough for two toddlers. Mustard Seed Tiny Homes can also quote you some upgrades if you request it. 

8. “Bellevue” by West Coast Homes 

Bellevue. bird's eye view. Sunny day.
It’s always sunny here in Bellevue.

When you think of tiny houses, you might instantly imagine tight spaces. Bellevue goes the other way. With its open floor plan, Bellevue’s design reflects the gregariousness of the west coast lifestyle.

This high-end park model by West Coast Homes is apparently a refreshing take on their older unit, San Juan. It now features an extended porch, a deck you can access through a stair outside, a spacious main floor, and a loft for sleeping.

Inside, you can whip up your meals in the single-wall kitchen and store food in the cabinets beside the dining area. 

This model is a good choice for couples because of the open floor plan. It wouldn’t be a problem if only the two of you can see each other’s business, right?

Besides, if you have guests, the extended porch and the deck is available for small parties. If they get too boozed up, they can always stay the night at the loft. With its versatility, it’s one of the best tiny houses one can opt for these times.

RELATED: Host a Party in Your Tiny Home: The Ultimate Guide

9. Modular Shipping Container Homes By Cocoon Modules

Cocoon House, another front view
Live, work, play, or hide in this Cocoon house.

If you’re going for all-out minimalism, these transportable 320 square feet houses by Cocoon Modules might fit you. The Modular Shipping Container Homes are just like a turnkey giant block of wood with a few glass doors and windows.  

Like the Bellevue, it has a simple open floor plan—the kitchen, living area, bedroom, and bathroom are all beside each other. At the rear end of the house, there’s an additional glass door.

Cocoon Houses - Front View
Set up a lounge outside this tiny house.

Moreover, because it’s tiny and rectangular, it also boasts energy-efficiency and earthquake resistance. Cocoon Modules even has a class A certification in energy-efficiency. 

This mini container house is suitable for those who are dead serious about downsizing. Everything is tiny in this house; but if you can find a spacious lot, you can park there, set up a lounge area, and host a film viewing for the family. It’s certainly one of the best tiny houses made of shipping containers.

RELATED: 50 Genius Tiny House Furniture Ideas 

10.  Shipping Container House by Ty Kelly

Best-Tiny-Houses-Shipping-Container-House-2-by-Ty-Kelly
There is bliss in this Ty Kelly shipping container house.

This Ty Kelly project in  Seattle is another minimalist wonder. In the day, it’s an undeniable piece of modern architecture.

Up close, you can see the gorgeous patterns of the wooden panels and neon green details. Inside, the house is full of symmetrical features and design. The Shipping Container House comes even more alive at night. 

Even though it’s not that tiny, it has the elements of good design, which is so much better than being tiny just for the sake of it.

Best-Tiny-House-Ty-Kelly-Shipping-Container-House
Isn’t that a nice contrast of neon green and light wood?

Going inside, you will see a wide common area with eye-catching artwork on the walls. Just beside the living room is an island kitchen that also serves as a breakfast countertop. There is even an extended porch at the front. 

We believe the Shipping Container House is one of the best tiny houses because it’s the epitome of container architecture done right. It’s obvious that the designer did not sacrifice form for the sake of function. Who says you can’t have debonair in sustainability? 

11. “The Wedge” by Wheelhaus

Best-Tiny-Houses-The-Wedge
Spend time with your significant other in The Wedge on a peaceful night.

From one quick look, The Wedge looks like a small luxury beachfront cabin with its 400 square feet size. However, one would be surprised to find out that it’s a fully functioning one-bedroom unit, complete with turnkey appliances. 

This cornerstone model by Wheelhaus is designed with timber and steel. It has exterior siding and higher ceilings made of reclaimed Wyoming snow fencing, which is unique for a tiny home.

The windows and sliding glass doors are also designed to welcome sunlight. The private deck is an inviting addition, like a cherry on top of a sundae. 

If you’re into natural materials without sacrificing contemporary elements, this turnkey model could be your dream tiny house. Truly, it’s a convenient luxury for tiny house enthusiasts.

If you’re tired of the common notion about tiny houses having poor quality, then you can buy this house and rub it off the naysayers’ faces.

RELATED: 5 Kickass Tips on How to Find the Right Tiny House Kits

12. “The Brillhart House” By Brillhart Architecture 

Best-Tiny-House-The-Brillhart-House
The Brillhart House is brilliantly crafted.

Despite its magical simplicity, The Brillhart House is one decorated house. It won the AIA Miami Honor Award in 2014 and the AIA Florida Honor Award and the Best Single Family House in 2015. Phew. It must be that great, right? 

Well, it truly is. The Brillhart House is a bigger tiny house, but its mystique oozes even from just one glance. The front facade has a wide porch covered with rows of shutters. That very porch, apparently, brilliantly connects the indoor and the outdoor spaces.

Best-Tiny-Houses-The-Brillhart-House-2
Sunlight falls on this well-designed house.

Inside, there’s a glaring, wide living room, a kitchen with earthy tones, and a zen bedroom, which is separated by glass sliding doors from the rest of the house. 

The true magic of the Brillhart House lies in its functions. The house itself was designed with the purpose to provide an essential habitat for an individual and a community. Beyond that, it was crafted to reduce environmental impact.

The result is a beautiful house with a winning design and superior efficiency. And the awarding bodies clearly agree that it’s one of the best tiny houses they have seen.

13. “Cahill Cabin” by Cushman Design Group

Best-Tiny-Houses-The-Cahill-Cabin
It’s not just a cabin in the woods!

The Cahill Cabin by Kelley Osgood and Chad Forcier is an actual cabin, but it has a unique quality to it.

Like The Wedge, it’s a fully functioning house with complete amenities. That, together with its warm contemporary elements, made it qualified to be featured in Katie Hutchison’s “The New Cottage”. 

Inside the cabin is a dining area, living room, and kitchen, all wrapped with glass sliding doors. You can stay warm by the fireplace while enjoying the outside view of the greenery and the river.

The Cahill Cabin is located in a fishing camp in rural northern Vermont. Its two bedrooms mainly have wooden furniture and walls. 

Not only is the Cahill Cabin a good vacation dwelling but also a functional and compact home. It gives a new meaning to cottage living, which is often misunderstood by many, unfortunately.

With that defining quality, it’s one of the best tiny houses you can find today. 

14. “Highlands Escape” by Benn and Penna Architects

Best-Tiny-Houses-Highlands-Escape
Escape into this small but voluptuous house.

All these rectangular tiny houses… Where are the curvy ones? Enter Highlands Escape. This sophisticated dwelling by Benn and Penna Architects is anything but boring.

From one look, you might mistake it for a Zaha Hadid piece because of its wavy design. Zaha Hadid designed the famous Heydar Aliyev Center in London.  

However, Highlands Escape is a unique delight on its own. Its wavy exterior look with horizontal lines is actually corrugated Colorbond, which is a famous long-lasting roofing material.

It has an extended porch, which leads you to the front door. Because of its curved shape, the interior space allows the occupants to contemplate. In fact, the living room is surrounded by a wall of bookshelves. 

The designers of Highlands Escape were apparently inspired by Marion Mahony Griffin. Like his quote, “a tiny house, like a tiny temple, can be the perfect work of art”, the architects crafted Highlands Escape in such a way that it’s a tiny masterpiece. It’s undeniably one of the best tiny houses that’s built today. 

RELATED: Where to Find a Tiny Home Builder: A Comprehensive List

15. “Honey on the Rock” by Daniel Weddle

Best-Tiny-Houses-Honey-on-the-Rock
Honey on the Rock: Quirky, tiny, and sweet?

From wavy to whimsical, we now discuss the quirky Honey on the Rock. Unlike the others, the Honey might look like a McDonald’s play place, but make no mistake—it’s a working tiny house!

Daniel Weddle went all out with wood on this project. Inside, you’ll be met with detailed wooden paneling, circular windows, and rustic metal accents.

With its tiny size, you’ll be delighted to know that a second-floor deck exists, which you can access through the outdoor spiral staircase. Had enough quirk? We’re not even finished yet—there’s a secret door inside the sleeping area!

We can definitely see creatives living in this house. They will be inspired to remain deviant to the mundane with The Honey’s design. However, they won’t be uncomfortable because it’s still a functioning house in which one can live. 

RELATED: Tiny Homes Living: How to Live and Adjust to a Tiny Life

16. “Cali Duo 2” by Sustain Design Studios

Best-Tiny-Houses-CaliMini-Duo-2
A visual representation of Cali Duo 2 by Sustain Design Studio

We’re done with the curvy and the quirky. Let’s go back to the elegant rectangular houses. First up is the Cali Duo 2, which is a larger tiny house with a front porch. Like the earlier houses that we listed here, it’s like a modern suburban house that’s been shrunk into a more compact size.  

For a prefab model, Cali Duo is a 10/10 looker. It has gorgeous Cedar siding and deck, Baltic Birch Ply interior walls, and cork floors. This model also comes with appliances such as a dishwasher and a fridge.

As for energy efficiency, it’s equipped with a tankless hot water heater and a ventilation system. You can also let them install an air-to-air heat pump. 

A small family who’s cautious with their environmental impact can surely move into this large tiny house.

In the Cali Duo 2 structure, Sustain boasts of an absence of vinyl, Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and drywall. An off-grid system will also depend on the homeowners. 

17. “Working Amp House” by Brian Crabb

Best-Tiny-Houses-The-Working-Amp
This groovy tiny house will rock your world.

With its look that resembles a giant amplifier, the Working Amp House is one groovy tiny home.

Its violinist owner, Asha Mevlana, hired the services of her brother, designer Brian Crabb to create a tiny house with a unique look and function. She didn’t just want an ordinary tiny home, hence the amplifier-shaped house. 

The Working Amp’s main house is shaped like an L itself, but the other star here is the extended deck. This is where Asha can host mini-concerts for her friends, family, and neighbors in Arkansas.

She’s also planning to invite other local musicians for music festivals in her home. Inside the house, you will admire the high ceilings.

This is truly a unique piece of work. If it were up to us, it could even become a rental property that will draw a lot of renters because of its fun look. It could also be a tourist attraction if Asha decides to move to a new tiny house. 

18. “AirShip 002” by Roderrick James Architects

Best-Tiny-Houses-Airship-002-2
The unique rental, AirShip 002 | Photo courtesy of Hypebeast

Have you ever dreamed of being an astronaut or a pilot? How about going to Mars? You may not reach that dream now, but you can take inspiration from this tiny house that’s shaped like an aircraft. The AirShip 002 is a one-of-a-kind tiny house that will instantly turn the heads of passers-by. 

Designed by the Roderick James Architects, the AirShip 002’s exterior is made of stainless steel and aluminum.

Inside the house, you’ll feel like flying because of the circular windows that resemble those in airplanes. Interestingly, the walls and furniture are a combination of wood and metal, giving you that rustic feel, somehow.

Make no mistake about the AirShip 002. You might think it’s not a liveable house, but once you go inside, you can see that the elements work together just fine. There’s even an island counter that serves as a breakfast table.

The AirShip 002 is available for rental on AirBnB.

19. “The Slim Fit” by Ana Rocha

Best-Tiny-Houses-The-Slim-Fit
The Slim Fit at dusk.

You’ve seen tiny houses that are whimsical, curvy, shaped like an amplifier and an airship… Now, brace yourself: a vertical tiny house!

The Slim Fit is a tall tiny house, with its three floors and 538 square feet of liveable area. Indeed, its name is very fitting. Pun intended.

Ana Rocha of Ana Rocha Architecture crafted this house with Ayous hardwood and birchwood. Outside, it resembles a stack of Jenga blocks and a wooden version of The Powerpuff Girls’ house.

But even though it has an intimidating look, this house is notably a downsizing wonder with its small carbon footprint. In fact, each floor is only 176 square feet!

The Slim Fit is ideal for people who want something out of the ordinary, but still a comfortable and practical living space.

It’s certainly not for those people with mobility difficulties or people with worsening back pain because of the stairs.

20. “Wave House” by Abdolrahman Kadkhodasalehi

The-Wave-House
Side view of The Wave.

We have finally arrived at the final house. Since this list is colorful with the different designs of tiny houses, why not end it with an oddly shaped tiny house?

The last one on our list is the Wave House, which is, you’ve guessed it—a wavy tiny house. 

The Wave House was actually a competition winner. In February 2019, the Wave House won the Ryterna Modul’s Architectural Challenge. It was a contest for the houses with the least impact on the environment. The Wave House beat the others with its curved structure and large glass windows. 

The Wave House is truly an architectural feat not just because of its shape but also because of its recycling technology. It has a refinery tank, which recycles and purifies the used sink and shower water.

The curved structure also serves as a storage for the water supply for the heaters. The design is nothing but revolutionary. 

Best Tiny Houses: Design Trends in 2020

Do you want your tiny house to stand out in the crowd despite its size? Tiny houses are known to lose value quickly. Therefore, if you’re planning to make it a rental business in the future, you have to spruce it up. A well-maintained property will retain value easily. 

You can take a hint from these 2020 design trends. 

1. Scandinavian interiors 

Scandinavian interior design has been a superstar in the design world for a long time now. However, it never goes out of style because of its roots in minimalism, functionality, and impeccable style.

For your tiny house, you can embody this design movement using light wood, warm textiles, metallic-wood accents, and neutral-colored flooring.

2. Pop a color of Jester Red

And do it in small doses. In a tiny house, neutral colors are ideal since they create the illusion of a larger area. However, too much beige will become boring eventually.

As a result, you have to breathe life into your rooms. Why not try Jester Red? This maroon-red hue will bring an elegant and sexy atmosphere to a tiny house washed with muted colors. 

3. Grandmillennial Style 

Grandmillennial Style is another term for a “New Traditionalist.” This design trend incorporates the elements of a granny’s lifestyle and home decor. However, this time, they’re adding a Millennial twist to it.

We’re talking about floral wallpapers, botanical prints, chandeliers, vases, etc. It may sound like this trend is about clutter, but you can avoid that by being selective with your statement pieces. 

RELATED: Tiny House Living: 8 Clever Ideas to Maximize Your Space

4. Marrying the old and new

Another hot trend is mixing old and new interior decors. More homeowners are grabbing luxurious period pieces and partnering them with contemporary lighting, rugs, and couches.

This approach is not new, but if you can pair contrasting accessories with each other, then it will never stay out of touch. 

5. Gravity-defying furniture

Furniture pieces without legs or with unusual shapes are becoming big. As more people are being into granny pods and container houses, their furniture choices will also downsize.

The good thing about going “legless” is that they look lighter in the house. They are also easier to clean. The only drawback is that if they’re mounted on the wall, you can’t easily move them. 

RELATED: 10 Unique Ideas for Your Tiny House Interior Designs

Final thoughts

These tiny houses are not just homes—they can also be works of art. 

If you are still planning to build or buy a tiny house, you could borrow an element or two from any of the dwellings we listed above. 

Remember, a tiny house could also be your investment, too. Why not opt for something special when you’re planning the design, right? 

Do you know any other awesome tiny houses that exist? Share them to us below!

Related questions

Where can you find tiny house floor plans? 

You can find free tiny house floor plans on Pinterest. If you want to go DIY and if you have prior building experience, you can take inspiration from them. However, having a custom floor plan by a pro will give you peace of mind. If you want to buy blueprints, House Plans sells them on their site.  

What is the average cost of a tiny house?

The average cost of a tiny house lies between $30,000 to $40,000. Depending on the materials, craftsmanship, and location, tiny houses can cost you up to $180,000.

One of the factors that heavily affect the cost is the location. The cost of building one will be determined by local building codes. Therefore, if your state is not yet open to tiny house living, then you might have to pay for more just to live in one. 

This Is Why Tiny Homes Are Better For The Environment

This Is Why Tiny Homes Are Better For The Environment

tiny-homes-are better-for-the-environment

The room for tiny houses in the market is getting bigger. According to a 2018 survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), more than half of American adults would consider living in houses no more than 600 square feet. This means that a majority of the American population is willing to live in a tiny house. 

Why? Tiny houses have helped solve many of the housing problems. They cost less than a traditional house, don’t necessarily put you to commit to mortgages, and occupy less space. And most importantly, tiny homes are better for the environment. 

If you’re thinking about downsizing and transitioning into a more eco-friendly and conservationist living, then a tiny house is the way to go. In this blog post, we will go through all the details on why tiny homes are better for the environment. 

Tiny Homes Lets You Declutter

Have you ever felt like there’s just too many clutters in your life? Don’t worry, you’re far from alone. Many Americans felt the same way. Their solution? Declutter, sell most of their things, then move into a tiny house. 

Tiny homes are recognized as tiny because they only measure between a hundred to 400 square feet, which isn’t much compared to traditional houses. Others feel that houses that are 400 to 1,000 square feet cannot be considered tiny, but small home. 

The tiny house movement started in the 1980s. It did not bloom as much as it did today. In fact, in 2012, the real estate sales that came from tiny homes were only at 1%. However, in the past several years, there has been a whopping 200% increase in tiny house business, according to Escape Tiny Homes. 

tiny-homes-are-better-for-the-environment-declutter
You can give your old clothes to friends or donate them to charities

That said, it’s clear that many people have joined the movement. As more and more families move into tiny houses, the more they are to declutter and stick to Zero Waste management. 

Zero Waste management inspires people to prevent waste and reuse most, if not all, products. 

And this is fundamentally true to tiny houses. Tiny house dwellers have a limited space, which means they are less likely to purchase things they don’t necessarily need. They are also more likely to buy items that are compact and durable for prolonged use. 

What do you do if you have many old clothes? Getting rid of your old clothes is a good way to free up some space in your cabinet. Or, you can give them to your friends or hand them to charities. 

Textiles play a major role in landfill waste, so instead of throwing your old clothes, you can donate or sell them. 

The tiny house movement will encourage you to declutter, recycle, and reuse household items. And this is just one of the many reasons why tiny homes are better for the environment. 

Smaller Carbon Footprint

First, what does carbon footprint really mean?

When we talk about climate change, footprint is used as a metaphor to symbolize the impact of something has. Carbon, on the other hand, is the shortened term for all the different greenhouse gases that play a part in global warming. 

Hence, the term carbon footprint is a shorthand to describe the climate change impact of something. By something, it could be an item, an activity, a company, a lifestyle, or even the entire globe. 

Compared to small and residential homes, a tiny house uses less electricity and natural gas. Most off-grid tiny houses use a solar panel system as the main power source. 

smaller-carbon-footprint
Tiny homes let encourages smaller carbon footprint

To save power, many tiny house owners use energy-saving household appliances like washer/dry combos, eco-friendly air conditioner system, and more. 

The tinier the place, the less it costs to heat or cool it. Tiny house owners also tend to use more fresh foods than frozen or pre-packaged foods because they have a smaller fridge. 

How do you calculate the carbon footprint in appliances?
Be warned: calculating the carbon footprint may sound technical, but it’s actually easy. In appliances, electrical power consumption is measured in watts (W). Add the amount of time the item was used, you’ll get watt-hours (Wh). 

So, if you turn on a 20 W bulb for three hours, you’ll consume 60 Wh. If, for example, you live in Arizona which electricity costs around $12.8 per kilowatt-hour (kWh; 1 kWh = 1,000 Wh), and you have five 20W bulbs turned on for six hours a day for 365 days a year, the calculation goes like this:

(number of bulbs)  x (bulb electricity consumption in watts) x (hours used) x 365 days

That’s:

5 x 20W x 6 hours x 365 days = 219,000 Wh or 219 kWh. 

Because you live in Arizona, at $12.8 per kWh, the lightbulb alone will cost you $2,803.20.Now you know how much energy you use. Now let’s calculate the carbon footprint from the kWh. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the carbon cost in the US, on average, is 0.7 kg of CO2 per kWh. So, that’s 219 kWh x 0.7 = 153.3 kg CO2

The fewer appliances you have, the less carbon footprint you create. And technically, there’s really not enough space for big, bulky appliances in a tiny house. So, with this in mind, we can say once again that tiny homes are better for the environment. 

You might be interested to learn how much electricity does a tiny home need. Click here to read

Tiny Houses Are Easier to Build

The way we build things actually matters, and you may not know this yet, but it can also have a long-term effect. Tiny houses are more environmentally-friendly to build for many reasons:

  1. They require fewer materials

The principle of tiny house movement is to promote sustainable living. It also emphasizes that there are a lot of benefits to living in micro homes, including the freedom to travel and affordability.

And what’s another interesting thing about tiny houses is that they are more environmentally-friendly to build. Obviously, they require fewer materials. You will be building a tiny house, which means you don’t need as many materials as you would with small, traditional houses. 

A tiny house basically has one small bathroom, which means there will be fewer fixtures to repair, maintain, and replace compared to a traditional home. You are also less likely to use as much wood as residential homes do. 

An ordinary home requires approximately seven truckloads of lumber. Meanwhile, a tiny house only requires half of one truckload. This implies that with tiny houses, there are fewer trees cut down for lumber and less fuel used in transporting building materials. 

tiny-homes-are-easier-to-build
Tiny houses are easier to build and require fewer materials than residential homes

Most trailer houses are made from abandoned container vans, too. If this is not eco-friendly enough for you, we don’t know what is. 

We’ve provided a list below to help you keep your tiny house building cost low. 

  1. You can use environmentally-friendly supplies

Because there are fewer materials needed in tiny houses, it is easier to build them using recycled materials.

Using green building supplies has a lot of benefits, aside from the obvious environmental impact. They can be beneficial for productivity and health. They are, most of the time, much more affordable, too. 

You may use grown and renewable materials. These kinds of building materials can be recycled after use. Some examples of such materials include wood, bamboo, and cork. 

Wood can be used for structural components of your tiny houses like the wall trusses, beams for roofs, and panels. You may also use wood for non-structural elements, including wall facades, flooring, cabinetry, doors, window trim, and furniture. 

Bamboo, on the other hand, can be used for hardwood flooring. It can withstand wet elements. You can easily refurbish bamboo flooring if they have scratches and other damages. 

Cork is naturally anti-microbial and hypoallergenic. So if you want a building material that’s eco-friendly, safe, and just as durable as wood and bamboo, then cork is the way to go. 

And instead of using paint, you can use wallpapers instead. Purchase wallpapers that don’t emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are extremely hazardous. They pose a lot of health problems, like irritation in the eyes, nose, and throat. They can also cause nausea, headaches, and worse, can destroy the kidney, liver, and central nervous system. 

If you need to use pain, use natural paints instead. 

If you’re thinking about adding carpet to your tiny house, use carpets that are made from natural materials like cotton or sisal. Carpets of this kind do not have chemicals and do not emit any harmful toxins. And at the end of their life-cycle, you can easily recycle these carpets as organic material. 

  1. Tiny houses have lower life cycle cost

Committing to a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle is not only about living in a tiny house. You could be living in a micro-home, but your household items may not be as green as you think. 

It’s empirical that you consider the lifespan and replacement costs of your household items. For example, a tiny house may only have one bathroom instead of five, which means there will be fewer fixtures to repair and replace. 

According to a 2014-study of College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, “reducing home size by 50% results in a 36% decrease in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from materials on the house and the emissions produced by actions of the inhabitants.”

Lower Your Tiny House Building Cost By Following These 10 Tips
1. Go smaller. Consider a small floor plan. Reducing the floor plan size will lower the overall costs of the build as there will be fewer materials needed.

2. Buy a tiny house building kit instead. Sourcing your materials yourself can be costly, so buy a building kit instead. You’ll also get good deals and savings. 

3. Buy building materials on your local ads. Check Craigslist or your local newspaper if there is someone in your area selling items or building materials from home demolitions or renovations. You can use second-hand household items, too. 

4. Go to construction sites. Many materials from construction sites are just thrown into the dumpster when they are not used in the project. Talk to a site foreman and ask if you could take anything. 

5. Go to lumber auctions. You can buy usable building materials in a lumber auction for less. 

6. Use pallets and wooden crates. Take them apart properly, and you’ll get free wood. Pallets and wooden crates can be found everywhere. With them, you can create stunning floors, decks, and garden items. 

7. Build your tiny house yourself. Hiring experts can cost so much. Building a tiny house is technically a small project, which you can attempt to work on yourself. Of course, if this is beyond your skills, getting professional labor is not bad. 

8. Get free plans. You can hire a professional to design your tiny house, but if you want to lower your building cost, you can find free designs and plans online. 

9. Take your time. Find the best deals on materials online. Read reviews. 

10. Ask for help. Never be too shy to ask your family and friends to help. If asking your friends to help you build your tiny house can help lower your building cost, then do so. 

You Get More Connected with the Environment

Another reason why tiny homes are better for the environment is that the lifestyle lets you get closer to nature instead of the internet of things devices. 

As the advancement of technology continues, more and more people connect to the internet. This means a majority of the population likes being on their devices instead of going outdoors and connecting with the environment. 

According to the latest research by Monsenso, more than 160 million Americans are regular internet users. In a Stanford study, researchers surveyed 2,513 adults. 68.9 percent of which were regular internet users, 13.7 percent said they found it hard to stay away from the internet for several days at a time, and 12.4 percent stayed online longer than they intend to. 

Clearly, the poll is evidence that many people prefer connecting to the internet instead of nature. 

Remember when we talk about carbon footprint? Using internet devices can increase the carbon footprint of a home, which means, the more you are in using your smartphone and other smart devices, the more carbon footprint you create. 

One of the many great things about tiny houses is that they give the notion that you need to spend more time outdoors and indoors. That’s technically why tiny houses are intended to be built on a trailer, so you can travel and explore new places. 

Carleton College published a study (Undergraduate Journal of Humanistic Studies, Winter 2016, vol. 2) said:

The space of a tiny house reverses the home theater syndrome to some extent by limiting indoor leisure and restricting technology that tempts people to stay inside. In The Big Tiny, Dee Williams writes about this intimacy with nature found in her everyday interaction with her skylight: ‘The fact is, even after all these years of sleeping with my bed inches from the roof… nature still surprises me. And then I’m surprised by my surprise, thinking that, at this stage in the game, I should be a bit bored by things like frost.” 

The study tells us that those who live in tiny houses interact more with the environment and have more awareness of their independence with nature. Those who live in cities and suburbs, however, spend more time indoors. 

Tiny house dwellers depend on nature directly for things that those who live in the urban area get in other ways. For example, tiny housers use wood (bonfire) to get heat, use the sun to get electricity (solar panels), and sometimes water from a nearby spring or river. 

Should-you-live-in-a-tiny-house

Is Living in a Tiny House Right for You?

We’ve presented reasons (backed by science) how tiny home are better for the environment. And maybe you’re someone who wants to make an impact on nature. Perhaps it has crossed your mind that this may be the right time to downsize and join the tiny house movement. 

What you have in mind is commendable. But hold up. Living in a tiny house is a big step, especially if you’re accustomed to living in a traditional house. So before you take a leap, think about this: is living in a tiny house right for you?

True, you’ll be making positive environmental impacts when you downsize, but there are also hardships that you need to face.

Little Room for Clutters

With little room, little closet, little drawers, there’s not much space for your clutter in a tiny house. So if you’re a hoarder, perhaps a person who gets too attached with your things, be warned. 

There’s little room for clutter in micro homes. This means you’ll only get to keep things that you really need. Sometimes you have to say no to things that can eat so much space in your tiny home. 

That 50% sale on the couch? That velvet, bulky closet? You have to turn them down, especially if you have very little livable space in your tiny home. 

If you have old clothes, it’s best to hand them to others who might actually need them instead of storing them in your closet, wishing one day you’ll still be able to wear them. 

Depreciates in Market Value

Tiny houses depreciate just as fast as vehicles do. That’s because they are frequently being transported, which means they are prone to wear and tear. A tiny house may appreciate in market value only if it is so unique, which is rare. 

To get more in-depth information about the value of tiny homes, read Do Tiny Homes Hold or Lose Value? What You Must Know

Hard Getting Financed

Another deal-breaker for tiny house aspirants is that it’s usually difficult to get financing when it comes to a tiny house. This is mostly true for those who do not have a large amount of savings. 

If that’s your case, then you may find it hard to settle in a tiny home. Banks see tiny houses as high risk, not as investments, especially if you plan to build your tiny house yourself. 

It’s possible to get a personal loan, but most companies are skeptical about giving resources to tiny house projects. 

Insurance Companies Hate Tiny Houses

Again, tiny houses are a big risk not just for mortgage companies but also for insurance companies. You’ll be fortunate enough if you’ll be able to get RV insurance for your tiny house, but this option is not always guaranteed and is usually a difficult process. 

Getting insurance for your tiny home can even get trickier if it is built on a permanent foundation. 

For insurance companies, tiny homes are prone to road accidents and damages due to harsh weather conditions like storms. 

[Must Read: Tiny Homes In Storms: How to Stay Safe]

Not Much Room for Personal Space

In a survey conducted by Freedom Debt Relief, they polled 1,028 American homeowners, and they found that many of these people have lots of regrets. Thirty percent of the polled US homeowners say that the house they bought is too small. 

They probably wished they had more room for personal space. Living in a tiny house means you have to accept the fact that you may not have a personal room as you would in a traditional house. 

Yes, there’s just not much privacy in a tiny home, and you may not have any space you can call your own in a home with only about 400 square feet of livable space. 

This can be really challenging for families with children. Day after day, it’s hard for them to ignore the fact that they live in such a small place. Many tiny house owners move back to a larger traditional home because they needed more space for their kids. 

Finding Places to Park

If your tiny house is on wheels, you need to find a place to park your home. Some areas will not let you park your portable tiny home permanently within city limits. 

You can find campgrounds and parks where you can park your home for a specific period. However, parking in these places is just temporary. 

Final Thoughts

Without a doubt, tiny homes are better for the environment. The principle of tiny house lifestyle emphasizes on living with little to no clutter, zero waste management, making fewer carbon footprints, using green building materials, and getting closer to the environment. 

The tiny house lifestyle will also teach you to use fewer appliances, donate clothes, and reuse and recycle household items and materials. When you do these things, you contribute to the environment. Small steps toward a greener future should never be underestimated. 

Yet, there are challenges with living in a tiny house. And if you want to make changes by downsizing, you have to deal with the drawbacks. When you live in a tiny home, you may not have as much privacy as you have in a traditional house. You will also be constantly finding parking spots.

Related Questions

What are the pros of living in a tiny house?

Living in a tiny house means you’ll have lower expenses, lower energy use, and freedom to move to places. You can also live a simpler life and get more connected with nature. 

Is it cheaper to buy or build a tiny house?

The cost of your tiny house depends on several variables, including if you buy or build it. The design, size, materials to be used, and location also play a role in determining the price of a tiny house. 

Comparing Tiny Houses and Mobile Homes: A Practical Guide

Comparing Tiny Houses and Mobile Homes: A Practical Guide

rv on the road

We’ve been asked this question several times: what’s the difference between tiny houses and mobile homes? First, take note that a tiny house doesn’t necessarily have to be mobile. You can build it over a foundation or on wheels, whichever you prefer. Of course, one has advantages over the other. 

The differences between tiny houses and mobile homes go beyond that, from aesthetics to philosophy, to environmental impact, to efficiency, to finances. 

Without further ado, let’s talk about why tiny houses are better than RVs/mobile homes. 

Why Tiny Houses are Better Than RVs

Mobility

Tiny houses on wheels and RVs both offer mobility. They allow you to move around the country and enjoy a nomadic lifestyle.

RVs are more lightweight, and they can be transported easily with their aerodynamic design. On the other hand, tiny houses are heavier and have lots of places for the wind to catch and slow them down. 

So if you want to move your home frequently, then RV is the better choice. 

However, unlike RVs, tiny houses can also be built over a traditional slab foundation. 

Tiny houses built on a foundation are more homy. It also allows you to enjoy the perks of being in a community, and vice versa. Though immobile, tiny houses on foundation have a lot of advantages. 

First off, permanently affixed tiny homes can easily hook up to electricity, water, sewage, and other utilities like WiFi. You can also expand your room freely, and enjoy the freedom of being able to add a fenced garden or lawn. 

Yes, mobile homes offer mobility, but so do tiny houses! But unlike RVs, you can put down roots in a tiny house.

comparing tiny house and mobile homes

Aesthetics

When designing either a tiny house or a mobile home, it’s important to consider not only the design but the overall structure as well. You need to come up with a design that maximizes every inch of your home while also giving it a nice touch. 

Mobile homes and tiny houses can be attractive for different reasons, but most people choose the warmth and aesthetics of tiny houses over mobile homes. After all, tiny houses look homier. 

You can also add a garden, deck, or a porch in a tiny house if it is built over a foundation. 

Tiny houses allow you to build it according to how you like it to be, but that doesn’t make RVs any less attractive. The RV industry has been building RVs for several years, and now they have developed lots of great designs. 

Though RVs are not customizable, they have been receiving good press from customers. RV makers also observe what units sell best and what doesn’t so they can fine-tune their offerings. 

Also, there’s a lot of companies out there that convert cars into campers. Most of these companies allow you to customize your mobile home. 

One of the best innovations in almost every RVs has been the slide outs. These are the sections in RVs that extend out to double your interior living space. 

Slideouts, however, come up with several, if not major, problems. They may easily break down and leak. And they are often expensive to repair. But still, a lot of people choose RVs despite all the issues that come with it. 

But why don’t tiny house use slideouts? Some do, but many believe that slide outs are only a temporary solution. Since tiny houses are designed to be a permanent residence, every part of their construction and must last and hold up for many years — probably over a decade. Slideouts, however, just aren’t made for that purpose. 

That doesn’t necessarily mean that tiny houses cannot use slideouts. In fact, they can. 

So how do you expand your space in a tiny home? Others build a sleeping loft to get space for an entire room without the need to add any length to the house. 

But let’s face it, a loft is not a bedroom. Yes, they can be roomy, but you can’t stand in them — and there’s no substitute. 

Also, senior tiny housers don’t prefer climbing a set of stairs to go to bed (let alone to come down in the middle of the night to use the bathroom).

Lofts are a great feature that you can’t find in an RV, but they aren’t really that perfect. 

Quality

One of the major differences between tiny houses and mobile houses is quality. Mobile homes are built for mobility, and with that in mind, the weight of the materials used in them is a significant factor. 

Tiny houses, meanwhile, are not intended to be moved as frequently as RVs, so the materials used in them are usually those with higher quality. 

RVs aren’t designed as a full-time residence, so manufacturers don’t necessarily need to build them to hold up to the hardships of full-time living. 

For example, an RV is (for the most part) used for vacations only. And the season for vacation occurs for just a few months of the year as most people don’t camp in the winter. Then, perhaps you’ll only be using your RV a few weekends each of those months. 

And because an RV is only used in a very small percentage of its lifespan, its interiors — the doors, cabinet, and other moving parts — are less likely to get damaged. 

Also, RVs usually cost top dollar because most of its materials are lightweight yet strong. Materials of this quality typically cost more than wood, shingles, and concrete fiberboards. 

Tiny houses, on the other hand, are like traditional houses, but tinier. And since their designs are for full-time living, the materials in them are usually of higher standards and are durable enough to last much longer under higher usage.

A lot of tiny housers move their home around often, but then again, tiny houses are not necessarily built to withstand the oil, water, wind, dust, and debris that can be kicked up when zipping the road. 

RVs, however, are made to take those long hauls and extensive adventure.

But, it’s not unusual to find a tiny home that’s been over 20 years old, but it sure is far less common to find an RV of that age. 

So when it comes to quality, we put our two hands down to tiny houses. 

comparing tiny house and mobile homes rv

Price

Both tiny houses and mobile homes can range considerably in price. Though on average, a tiny house can cost several times an equivalently sized mobile home.

For example, a 24 feet tiny house can cost around $65,000, while an RV of the same size costs only about $25,000. But then again, you get what you pay for

If quality is what we focus on, then the pricier the house is, the more durable and topnotch the materials are.

But of course, it’s also a matter of how much you intend to pay for. If you’re on a budget, then an RV is a good option. 

Maintenance is also a factor to consider. 

Compared to traditional houses, RVs and tiny houses are more susceptible to wear and tear. The harsh weather can cause damage to your place, and so does hitting the road. 

Basically, since both tiny houses and mobile homes are more likely to get wear and tear, the two require more maintenance than a conventional home. 

The average price of a tiny house is approximately $75,000. For this price, you’ll get a fully-functioning tiny home with all the features you need so you can live comfortably. 

But it goes without saying that there are other hidden costs in a tiny house. Gas tank, parking fees, and towing and trailing all can up the costs. 

Keep in mind, as well, that you are using your car to tow your tiny house and that you will need to factor in gas as well as regular maintenance cost.

On the other hand, a mobile home can cost as low as $25,000. Nicer and newer models, however, can cost up to $60,000 or more. 

For that price, you’ll get a mobile home that has a full eat-in kitchen, bathroom, sleeping area, and a common area. 

And like tiny houses, mobile homes have hidden costs.

RVs do not have a trailer to tow. However, RV dwellers will need to spend big time on gas, and with the gas price hike, this is a huge factor to consider. 

RVs also need to access dump stations, which is another factor that could add up to the costs. The annual fee of dump stations is usually $250. 

You also need to consider regular maintenance of the total costs. Since RVs hit the road more frequently, they are more prone to damages. 

Availability

Tiny houses have become very popular nowadays, but RVs are still easier to find than them. 

If you’re looking for an RV, you can simply find them on classified ads and local sales papers and find a lot of RVs in all designs and sizes. 

Bathroom

Which of the two do you think has a better bathroom and toilet system?

Most tiny houses use alternative bathroom setups and composting toilets. These are all good, but some tiny housers may not be as comfortable as they would with a traditional toilet system. 

RVs usually use an upgradable bathroom, which most of us are used to. However, this toilet system uses more water. Thus, if you want to go greener, then this may not be the best choice. 

Incinerating and composting toilets are excellent options, too. But, if you do not take good care of them, they may leak, smell, and cause other problems. 

kids education in tiny house

Family and Education

If you’re thinking about living in either a tiny house or a mobile house, you may be wondering which one is a better choice not only for you but for your household as well. 

This is an important factor to consider, especially if you have kids living with you. 

We need to weigh in the pros and cons of mobile homes and tiny houses and see how they will work for your household. 

Not everyone fancy downsizing home for the family, but those who want to do so need assurance that it works. 

Families with children often have a hard time picturing themselves living in a tiny house, and that’s probably because tiny homes are new, albeit their growing popularity. 

When you live in a tiny house with your family, it allows the entire household to bond and spend quality time. Families who spend time together do not just get closer, it also teaches the children to grow up in a nurtured environment. 

Tiny houses are also almost clutter-free. Living in a small space encourages you and the family to be tidier and more organized, giving no room for clutter.

But there are problems. One is that tiny houses usually only have one bathroom, meaning showering and nighttime routines need to be scheduled. 

There is also a limited space for the kids to play. But then again, a tiny house inspires dwellers to enjoy the outdoors and go with nature. 

Now let’s talk about mobile homes for families. 

Living in a mobile house is way more different than living in a tiny house. Stability is a major concern in a mobile home, especially if you live with kids. 

Also, when you’re always on the road, you don’t have that much option when it comes to the education of your kids. Yet, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. 

Many parents choose to homeschool their children while they’re on the road. Another option is to travel only during the off-months of a school year.

Environmental Impact

In tiny houses, you use both nature and technology to provide you the best comfort using very little carbon footprint. Most tiny homes use solar power or natural gas as a source of power

It’s not only how tiny houses get the energy that has a positive environmental impact. Most tiny housers use repurposed and recycled materials to build their homes. This way, they’re able to reduce the amount of waste that comes with building a house. 

On the other hand, mobile homes also have a positive impact on the environment. But then again, RVs are not for a permanent dwelling place, but only as a vacation vehicle. 

RVs are mostly reliant on gas, and they sure use a lot of it when you hit the road. So, in this case, mobile homes are less environmentally friendly than tiny houses. But the good news is, you can now purchase mobile homes with eco-technology.  

How Tiny Houses and Mobile Homes Similar

Despite the differences, both tiny houses and mobile homes share a good amount of likeliness. For example, both allow you to travel around the country without ever living your comfy home. 

Also, they both let you escape from building codes and taxes. They also offer financial freedom. What’s more, tiny houses and mobile homes inspire you to live a minimalist, clutter-free lifestyle. 

Final Thoughts

Tiny houses and mobile homes both have upsides and downsides. While the setbacks are deal-breaker, you have to consider as well what you will be gaining. 

The bottom line is, both offer a lot of benefits that traditional houses cannot offer, such as mobility, financial freedom, and the opportunity to travel and get closer to the family.

Related Questions

Are tiny homes also mobile homes?

Tiny homes are houses under 500 square feet. Meanwhile, a mobile home falls under the federal HUD code — a national standard that overrides all local building codes. 

Can I put a tiny house on my land? 

Yes. However, you must follow building codes and other regulations (depending on the size of your tiny house and the rules in your community).