Tiny house and tiny home

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The terms tiny house and tiny home are interchangeable. These are relatively new terms that have gained an upsurge in usage in the past decade. We will examine the definition of tiny house or tiny home, where these terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

A tiny house or tiny home is a small house with much smaller square footage than the average home. The measurement that qualifies a home as being tiny is around four hundred square feet. It is a small home built with downsizing in mind. An owner may prefer a tiny house because he wants to live off grid in order to escape modern life. Power to these small houses may come from a wind turbine or a solar array. A tiny house owner may want to live in an eco-friendly home or a home on wheels. A tiny home on a custom trailer becomes a mobile home that may be parked anywhere, making your backyard a forest, desert or ocean. Portable cabins may be moved to any empty lot or acre with a minimum of effort. While once an unusual concept, the tiny house movement is growing. With the growth of professional tiny house builders, the concept has become a lot less limiting. If the potential tiny home owner is willing to downsize into a small space, his cost of living will drop considerably. Careful planning and design and the use of clever containers result in building a tiny house with enough room for one’s essential belongings, a living space, a kitchen that usually consists of a small sink and a two-burner stove, a bathroom that usually consists of a composting toilet and shower, though with a little more footage and a sewer hookup a flush toilet and a small bathtub is possible, and sleeping quarters usually contained in a space-saving loft. Some tiny home owners even find room for a washer and dryer. Tiny houses may be constructed of many different materials, from teak to aluminum siding. There are tiny homes that look like a cottage, a  rustic cabin, a temple or a mansion, depending on the type of dwelling and lifestyle desired. Prefab tiny homes are available, as well as homes made out of recycled or reclaimed materials. Tiny houses on wheels are quite popular, though in most cases these movable abodes must come up to local building codes and zoning restrictions.

While the term tiny house was first used in 1987  by Lester Walker in his book Tiny Houses: Or How to Get Away From It All, the tiny home movement did not get underway until a decade later. It was a reaction to the big house phenomenon that occurred in the 1990s, particularly in the United States. The average square footage of new houses had grown to approximately 2500 square feet, at a time when the size of the nuclear family was shrinking. In 1998, Sarah Susanka published a book called The Not So Big House. This inspired Jay Shafer to found the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company in California in 1999. Today tiny house nation, as proponents of the movement call themselves, is thriving. Tiny house plans are available, and many home builders are designing communities. Tiny houses and tiny homes are a very interesting to answer to a number of problems, including rising home costs, sustainable living, solutions for the homeless and shrinking one’s carbon footprint. The terms tiny house and tiny home are pluralized as tiny houses and tiny homes. Tiny house and tiny home may be hyphenated when used as an adjective before a noun, as in tiny-house and tiny-home.


The soft-spoken recovering alcoholic, who has been clean for years now and works as a handyman, hopes Cathi Kopera and Sue Harris’s plans for a tiny house village will help him. (The Delaware News Journal)

The prototype of a tiny house introduced about a year ago by Dr. Bill Thomas is now available for rent through AirBnB for those who would like to try it out. (McKnight’s Senior Living)

“We’re going to tell you this once,” the message began that told Jonathan Endicott to give up his fight against the MicroMansions tiny homes development planned near his Cambria neighborhood, just south of Harry and 143rd East. (The Fort Worth Star-Telegram)