A tiny house describes a dwelling that occupies less than 500 square feet. While this type of home is a great step toward financial stability and environmental responsibility, there are 5 essential home features you shouldn't skip when building your tiny house.
1. Outdoor Living Space
Since a tiny home offers just enough room for eating, sleeping, and relaxing, you'll want additional space outside in which to stretch your legs. A deck or patio extends the square footage of a tiny home without creating additional space to heat and cool.
Outdoor living space also improves the visual appeal of your tiny house. Decide in advance how you want to use the space, such as:
- Creating an outdoor kitchen for the resident chef in your family
- Designing an outdoor living room for reading, breathing fresh air, and conversing with guests
- Establishing a play area for the kids
Furnish this outdoor space just like you would any other room in your home. Create a visual focal point, such as a fire pit or piece of art, then add comfortable seating so you'll want to spend time outside the confines of your tiny house.
A tiny home is less expensive to heat and cool by virtue of its size alone, but why stop there? A truly energy efficient abode utilizes every possible resource to decrease heat loss and gain, and insulation is the most effective tool at your disposal.
Several insulation options exist for small homes, including:
- Spray foam
- Insulated panels
- Radiant barrier
- Fiberglass batting
Discuss insulation with a professional in the industry like http://www.randkaz.com to determine the most energy efficient options for your tiny house. There is no single solution for every home, as the right choice depends on environmental factors as well as personal preference.
3. Vertical Storage
One of the main struggles with tiny house ownership is the lack of storage. Even the most minimalist consumers need clothing, food, and other necessities, so use the walls in your home to create custom storage solutions.
Creative storage options might include:
- Built-in shelves for books and other media
- Open shelving for kitchen utensils and dishes for easy access
- Cabinets installed over low-profile items, such as toilets and beds
- Shelves large enough for organization with baskets and boxes
The ceiling also offers storage potential for items suspended from hooks and racks. Are your family members avid bicyclists? Hang the bikes from the ceiling so they're safe, but out of the way.
4. Room to Expand
Don't assume that the dimensions of your tiny house will fit your lifestyle forever. You might need to expand the existing structure at a later date, so reserve space for that eventuality and make building decisions that will facilitate those changes. For example, you might want to add:
- A nursery for a new baby
- An office for working from home
- More living space
Fortunately, nearly 70% of tiny house owners don't carry a mortgage (versus less than 30% of traditional homeowners), so you'll be able to save up for future renovations. Establish a "building fund" in a savings or investment account just in case you find your need more space.
Many tiny homes feature wall-to-wall windows. The logic behind this building decision is rooted in the theory that increasing natural light makes a space feel larger than it really is.
Installing more windows will also help keep your tiny house warm during the winter months because sunlight will assist your heating system. If you build in a picturesque place, you'll be glad you've got a view of the surrounding scenery. For the best results, choose windows with:
- Low U-values (better energy efficiency)
- Single rather than multiple panes for better views
- East- and south-wall placement for less heat loss and gain year 'round
Building a tiny house means skimping on traditional home features. Some qualities, however, are essential regardless of the size of your home, so keep those in mind when planning your tiny home space.