DIY Architecture: Live Big in a Tiny House

Laika Riddle By Laika Riddle, 29th Nov 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>DIY>Building & Remodeling

In this article I introduce the reader to the phenomenom of people living in Tiny Houses, including cultural background (origins, first attempts, ecc.), explanation of it's benefits and living/work opportunities and tips for websites in order to get more information on courses, shopping and interesting blogs.

DIY Architecture: Live big in a Tiny House

Sustainable, low-cost and comfortable – if you want to live in one of these houses you’ll have to roll up your sleeves and build it by you yourself exactly the way you want it.
It seems a good thing for everybody, learning how to put together materials and how to use the essential tools to assemble a perfectly habitable home.
Tiny Houses are a revolution made possible by borer and hammer.

We are talking about real and cozy homes on surfaces between 15 and 80 s.m. you could quite easily make by yourself, why not in your backyard, you just need to buy the plan for the chosen house (costs start at 180$), building materials, plug water and electricity in and bring essential but handy pieces of furniture you’ll need inside.

In 1997, thanks to Sarah Susanka, architect and designer (, a movement was born based on the value of quality materials and reduced volumes with an essential design. An extended range of possible customizations is available which are not difficult to realize (we are not talking about Ikea’s Allen screw but let’s say easy for someone comfortable with some home DIY) and ever since, more and more people got interested in projects for guest houses, vacation homes, artistic studios, some people even decide to leave their previous lifestyle in order to embrace completely the Tiny House philosophy of living with ‘less objects, less consumption, more life.

Where do Tiny Houses come from?

To understand better about the idea behind « Tiny Houses philosophy » we need to take a step back. At the beginning of the 20th century, population in the U.S. lives a period of illusionary richness, as the middle class starts measuring it’s economical well-being through more and more spacious houses which few really could afford.
Several companies used to trade building materials, so getting a new business started concerning the sell of prefabricated elements and plans was very common, packages which would make it possible to build one’s American dream at cost price, some really impressive.

Depression of `29 swept away numerous firms and companies, even those trading innovative products like Kit Houses but sixty years later we find them in a re-edited version adapted to our time, more essential than ever: Tiny Houses, once you got over the original dream of spacious homes - you`ll understand the value of tiny but even more practical and cheaper spaces.

Kathrina Cottage: Tiny Houses getting testest as long-term emergency solution

The first public adoption on a larger scale happened in a redeeming way during the housing problems after the devastation, due to hurricane Kathrina on the territories of New Orleans in 2005, Marianne Cusato ( designed a Tiny House version named ‘Katrina Cottage’, offering victims of the tragedy a comfortable solutions for a long term permanence.

It is important to mention that this kind of creative architecture often is associated to the concept of prefabricated modules which never had a great reputation and were considered part of the category of temporary construction, made with low quality materials but it is not the case of Tiny Houses - they are demonstrating their value through extraordinary endurance and versatility.Write your section content here, using the above buttons to format the text and add images.

Links and Tips

Still more popular in the United States than in Europe, this movement is intriguing even on this side of the ocean and an increasing number of web sites and blogs are talking about people tired of working to pay their mortgage, unnecessary luxury and useless consumptions.
I attach some useful links and hope, you will enjoy exploring the Tiny Houses universe and find interesting news:

Tiny House Blog
The Tiny Life

some blogs written by cool people living small

Rowdy Kittens
Tiny House Family


Architecture, Diy, Ecofriendly, Low Cost Living, Sustainable Living, Tiny House

Meet the author

author avatar Laika Riddle
Young globetrotter, eclectic mind and loyal human being.
I write about photography, design, lifestyle and useful stuff.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
29th Nov 2014 (#)

I grew up in a small home, but I would feel claustrophobic in one now particularly during a long Canadian winter, but I do know they are more sustainable than the huge homes that people are building so I do support the small home movement.

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author avatar Laika Riddle
29th Nov 2014 (#)

I agree with that, you made a good point. The philosophy behind the Tiny House Mouvement implies people to live more outside of their homes, reducing costs and superfluos objects/spacr. To respond to needs connected to extreme wether condition, such as long and very cold winters or rainy regions, Tiny Houses could not provide a long term comfort, but no matter if people have too much and want to live smaller or already live small because they can't afford a loan, a Tiny House is always there as an alternative.

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author avatar Bubba
29th Nov 2014 (#)


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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
30th Nov 2014 (#)

Good to know the options available. Better to start with what we need than get saddled with huge loans. Our homes should be an asset, not prove a liability - siva

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