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Monday, October 20, 2008

Tiny Houses Offer Green Lifestyle, Simpler Life

I mentioned in an earlier blog post how horrified I was to discover how high my carbon footprint was, and my desire to move into a smaller house as a result. Unfortunately this isn't a good time to sell, especially in Arizona, where I live. However in the future I really do want to downsize. Especially after last night, when I woke up sweating and discovered it was because our air conditioner wasn't working. This is the second time we've had to get a new air conditioner in the last four months. I'm ready to sue. And yes, we do need to have an air conditioner on here in AZ even though it's October - temps topped out at 96 degrees yesterday.

I discovered a company that sells the plans for tiny houses, called Tumbleweed Houses. For $495 you can get the house plans for a house ranging in size from 65 square feet to 774 square feet. Jay Shafer started the company in 1997, and has been living in his own 89 square foot house since then. Jay decided to live in a house that is smaller than many people's closets when he realized the impact a larger home would have on the environment. Additionally, he didn't want to worry about the hassles of maintaining unused space. I hear you on that, buddy. He claims the smaller home has afforded him a more affordable, slower lifestyle.

In addition to the house plans, Jay also conducts workshops on how to build your own tiny house. I have a hard time hanging a picture on the wall, so this wouldn't be for me, but for those who are handy and green, this is a wonderful opportunity to save some money and be green. Jay sells the constructed houses as well as books on how to build your own tiny house.

If anyone out there reading this article has been to a workshop on this, or has lived in a tiny house smaller than a hundred square feet, I would love to hear from you, and see how you can make this work.


t said...

I am gasping for air with laughter at the thought of you guys living in even a 1000 sq foot home, let alone 100 sq feet. But my simpleliving penpal Christina has had house plans for small places and is really into that concept. Try http://www.tinyhouseblog.com. There is a really cool plan there.

As you know I only manage with about 800 sq feet. Another thing to keep in mind is a covered front porch like I have. It's like having a whole other "room" but it's outside and it's where I grill, read, watch the kids play, etc. I love having a small, cozy, homey place to maintain and the utility bills are cheap too. Oh, and less to vacuum!

My Vision said...

Therese, I'm not saying I want to live in a 100 sf house, I just want some insight from OTHER people who choose to live in a 100 sf house. I'm sure I have a lot to learn from someone like that. Having said that, I am interested in downsizing significantly though, and prefer apartment living rather than house ownership.