Back to Basics: Why Tiny Houses?

Do you struggle to explain the allure of a tiny house to your friends and family?  Or maybe they like the cute pictures, but can’t understand why you’d actually want to live in one, or let one park on your property?

A couple of recent interviews with Dee Williams and Joan Grimm from PAD provide a good, quick, tiny house 101 you can share with the skeptical folks in your life.  They fill out some of the perspective on what a tiny house is, what they feel like from the inside, and most importantly, why people want to live in them or host them on their land.

Dee Williams of Portland Alternative Dwellings
Dee Williams of Portland Alternative Dwellings

This interview in About Face Magazine cuts right to the motivations for building a tiny house that anyone can relate to, including creating more time for friends and family and having your heating bills shrink from $300 to $8.  “I don’t know of anybody who wants to feel like they’re living a spartan life.”  Dee tells About Face.  “You want to participate in your life and you don’t want where you live to be a place that limits that.”  (Click here to read the rest of the interview.)

In this recent video KATU news in Portland made with Joan and Dee for Earth Day, Dee covers some of the nuts and bolts of tiny houses, and their environmentally-friendly attributes.  She also addresses the common assumption that although a tiny house could be “as big as an 8 by 10 area rug…most of the time when people step into a house like this, they’re surprised at how big it feels.”

Joan, meanwhile, speaks from the perspective of a tiny house host.  Joan chose to let a good friend park her tiny house in her family’s backyard to build a stronger social community, even when she’s just lounging around at home.  This tiny house completes the trio that makes up “Pod 49”, the nickname for the unofficial residential community of Joan’s big house, her close friend and neighbor’s big house, and the tiny house on wheels in their conjoined backyards.

If you feel like these pieces help articulate some of your motivations for tiny house living, consider sharing them with those in your life who still don’t quite get it.  The first time someone hears about a tiny house, it’s natural to think of it as a novelty, but try and help them see the opportunities that you see.  Tiny house living isn’t about what you give up or what you lack, it’s about saving your time, energy and money for the things that are really important to you.

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