By Brooke Chaplan
The Tiny House Movement has several factors involved in its continued growth, including the financial burden of a traditional mortgage and job market uncertainty, along with the support of those who take being ecological responsibility more seriously. Plus, it is hard to ignore that the houses are cozy, incorporate ingenious use of available space, and human beings have a natural liking for things in miniature. Here are three ways of making tiny house building easy and responsible.
The Do-It-Yourself Tiny House
A thread seems to run through the personalities of those who choose to build a tiny house. They seem to prefer to make their own way. There are tiny house owners who decided to go this route when choosing a home because they wanted to live on their own, not beholding to a bank and a mortgage, and to have the freedom to relocate their tiny houses built on mobile trailer platforms if they do not like their neighbors. They have an overall DIY attitude and are likely to be involved directly in the construction of their tiny homes. It is easy to find plans online for tiny homes that include average costs and complete material lists.
Homeowners who choose to build their own tiny homes are not all from construction trade backgrounds, with many learning to do things necessary in the construction process as they go along. Many purchase or rent tools as the job requires. The entire project is equally about education as it is about making an ecologically responsible home. Tiny home builders can also choose to repurpose building materials. Some damaged lots of products are more than adequate in making a tiny home where they cannot be used in making a regularly sized home. For example, short scrap pieces of wood for trim are perfect for a tiny home where they would be considered leftover pieces of trimming on a full sized home. This can result in a very eco-friendly tiny home being built.
Using Prefab Components
Custom construction takes the most time and uses the most energy. Using prefabricated materials that are manufactured in quantity can save on natural resources. Most tiny homes are built on a flatbed trailer. A popular trailer type is the tow-behind car hauling trailer built to transport several thousand pounds. Everything from the siding to the insulation, wiring and plumbing in a tiny home uses the same materials used in full size homes. A tiny home builder can even purchase prefabricated roof trusses for tiny home building plans from companies like Prefab Technology Pty Ltd. Outfitting the interior can still utilize prefabricated parts, but smaller versions of things and even some RV components are often used in order to fit and be functional in the smaller space. Using as many off-the-shelf components as possible saves in costs and natural resources. Prefabrication also means easier and more modular assembly options without the need to modify components to make them fit, saving time and reducing waste.
Pre-Built Tiny Homes
The market for tiny homes is growing, and there are now builders who are manufacturing them. It may sound counterintuitive to someone who wants to be Earth friendly to buy a commercially made product to live in, but manufactured housing of all types can save natural resources. The benefits are that manufacturers work to reduce waste, getting value from every board foot of lumber and every square foot of material being built into a structure. The conservation efforts to reduce waste are profit oriented, but they do have the added effect of saving natural resources. Plus, DIY tiny home builders who lack experience are much more likely to have a larger amount of waste material in the construction of their home than an experienced manufacturer wanting to squeeze every nickel out of raw materials put into their products.
It comes down to simple math for saving natural resources over the lifetime of a home. Since regular building materials are used in the construction of tiny homes, the longevity of one can be expected to be similar to a regular home before maintenance and renovations are needed. The cost to heat and cool a home that is one-fifth the size the average home nowadays is going to use one-fifth the energy. The overall energy savings over the life of such a home are astronomical. Census.gov indicates that the median size of a new single-family home is 2,520 square feet. Most tiny homes are around 400 square feet of interior space. This is an incredible way to reduce when following the eco-friendly way of learning to reduce, reuse and recycle.
This blog was developed by Prefab Technology Pty Ltd. All posts, sponsored and un-sponsored have been reviewed and approved by the Sustainable Community Media Editorial Team to ensure quality, relevance/usefulness and objectivity.