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Who Would Live in a Tiny House? Meet the People Who Gave Up Traditional Living

December 27, 2017, 9:00 AM
  • American based movement is growing in the UK
  • Tiny Houses are a form of minimalist living
  • You can save loads with a Tiny House instead of traditional houses
Tiny Houses, which often look like sheds, are becoming a popular alternative lifestyle. Image: Tiny House Life

House prices in the UK are on the rise, and many young people cannot afford to buy homes, so are looking for alternative living arrangements.

The government is taking measures to fix the housing market in the UK so younger generations will be able to afford homes, but this is still a long way off from becoming a reality.

This has led to the rise of Tiny Houses- minimalist living arrangements that are a cheaper way of having your own home.

A Tiny House will cost just a fraction of a regular home, and is a new lifestyle approach that is growing in the UK.

Tiny Houses are normally portable, and can even go on holidays with you. Image: Tiny House Life

The Tiny House movement started in America in 1997, but is gradually catching on in the UK- the Facebook group Tiny House Community UK has over 2,000 Tiny House enthusiasts, who share their tips for minimalist living.

The size of a Tiny House is generally around 300ft, however they can come in all different shapes and forms that all aim to enable simple living in a smaller, more efficient space.

Rachel Butler, who founded Tiny House Community Bristol, shared her experience of Tiny House living, and how she became a part of the community.

“In January 2017, I created a new Facebook group, Tiny House Community Bristol.

“We had our first meeting, and suddenly it wasn’t just me, it was us: a collection of individuals creating a community.

“People brought forward ideas and skills, their own experiences, visions and belief, and our dreams started to turn into real possibilities.

“Some people have come and gone, and it hasn’t all been plain-sailing, but we now have an amazing and committed group of people, working together to make this a reality.

“We are now quite a little force in the Bristol Community Led Housing sector.

“We feel empowered and committed to building our own houses and communities, as we want and need them to be; and to help others to do the same.

Courage, vision and determination drive us. Don’t be too cautious. Think outside the box, and ask yourself what really matters to you.

Tiny House Bristol’s plan for a one acre community-led housing scheme. Image: Tiny House Community Bristol

The movement is as much a philosophical one as it is a practical one.

Tiny House owners are masters of living in a minimal square footage, in highly thought out and well engineered spaces that make the most of what is there, and dispersing of the unnecessary.

Any member of the Tiny House community will say how it is a mental shift, as well as a physical one.

It is about re-evaluating your attachments to your possessions and focusing on experiences over objects.

The movement shows that in the race to keep up with the latest technologies and trends, our lives can get cluttered; a Tiny House is about clearing the mental and physical clutter from your life.

This style isn’t for everyone, but for some it can be a very liberating experience.

Tiny Housers try and de-clutter their lives through minimalist living. Image: Tiny House Life

Chris March runs Tiny Eco Homes UK, which specialises in eco-friendly, towable, mobile homes.

He said, “I built my first caravan back in 2007- I liked the idea of having a home that I could travel and live in, but my first one wasn’t homely or practical, so I decided to build a Tiny Home instead.

“The average price for a fully fitted Tiny Home is around £35,000, so it’s just a fraction of the price for a standard house. It only takes between 4-6 weeks to build, but this can change depending on size and specifications.

“If you’re intending on living full time in a mobile Tiny Home, it’s important that it is built to certain building regulations.

“A lot of Tiny Homes have been popping up that have been built on old second hand builders trailers, and aren’t build to any standards or regulations, so aren’t safe or legal.”

Another difficulty in the UK is getting planning permission for a Tiny Home.

Although this will vary from council to council, the general rule is that you can’t just build a house, even a Tiny House, wherever there is space, so check with your local council before starting your Tiny House journey.

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