This modern house is just 370 square feet and 9'6" tall from floor to roof top. Although it is not designed as a portable house, at only 14' wide it can be trucked down the road with a wide load permit. The house shown above is pictured with rolled hot steel siding. This is just one idea for a durable exterior finish that would match the modern design, but since you build it yourself, the choice is yours! The kitchen includes a dishwasher, full size range with oven, and built in microwave. The tank-less on demand water heater ensures that you never run out of hot water, and tucks away completely out of view. A combo washer/dryer are tucked in the kitchen as well. A small fireplace is tucked nicely in the corner of the great room. The house plans come with a post and pier foundation. However, it is possible to put this house on a slab foundation or even over a basement. These construction plans include 13 total pages.
It's probably no secret that the American home is a bit of a porker. In 2013, the median and average new, single family house was 2,478 and 2,662 square feet respectively--higher than previous, 2007 pre- bubble figures. Compare this to 1950, when the average new home was a mere 983 square feet. And that's not all. Fewer people are living in today's home; average household sizes have shrunk from about 3.37 in 1950 to 2.55 today. And we are all probably familiar with the environmental implications of these bigger, less occupied homes: they require more resources to build and maintain, they lead to sprawl, requiring more resources to get to and from, etc.
The financial crisis of 2007–08, fueled the growth of the small house movement. For thousands who lost their homes due to foreclosure or unemployment, tiny houses became an attractive option. With their low cost and relative ease of construction, tiny houses are being adopted as shelter for the homeless in Eugene, OR, Olympia, WA, Ithaca, NY and other cities. Communities of tiny houses can offer residents a transition towards self-sufficiency.
If your tiny house will be on a slab or foundation, then to be a legal residence, it must conform to building codes and most likely, go through the permitting process. If you follow this path and build in accordance with zoning & building regulations, I recommend using a realtor to help find your land. It can be tempting to try to save money by searching for cheap land from eBay or another auction site, but buyer beware! Without a professional involved, you'll need to be extra diligent in researching for issues like back taxes, liens, hazardous waste, former meth labs (especially with burned out buildings), mineral rights, water rights, moratoriums on building due to water scarcity (mostly in CA), depth of well needed to get water (mostly in the desert), minimum lot size required to build, whether there are wetlands on the property, whether there are endangered species there that prevent building (scrub jays in Florida), whether the property is landlocked or otherwise inaccessible, whether the photos are of the actual property or just the area, zoning, what the HOA rules are, etc. This information is rarely disclosed on eBay or Craigslist.
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