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Does a Tiny House Come with Big Problems?

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By now, I’m sure you know what a tiny house is, or at least have an idea. This trend of building small so you can live big has swept through camping and nomad communities, wealthy circles with remote second homes, and television channels like HGTV and DIY network.

But now that it’s been a few years and some of the novelty has begun to normalize, we have to wonder if all the positive vibes are still valid. What are the downsides that have been discovered by the tiny house community, and is it worth it to join the fray?

First Impressions

A few draws for living in a tiny home are the assumptions that it will cost less to build, provide you flexibility, and do away with costs related to space and luxuries you don’t really need; however, many people report that tiny houses are just as expensive to build as regular homes.

It’s been noted as well that, yes, you’re opting for a smaller space, but maybe you didn’t realize just how small. Most tiny houses are meant for a small number of occupants, and if you want to have friends and family visiting or you have children to house as well, you’ll probably start to miss that extra space.

Going on the Road

If you’re like me, one of the most idyllic pulls a tiny house has is its ability to sit on a trailer and road-trip the length of the country. But with a closer look at specifics, it may not be so appealing. Acquiring a dependable trailer could be more of a hassle than you’re thinking, and do you have an appropriate vehicle for towing it around?

But these are minor inconveniences though compared asking, “where can I park?” This may be the biggest difficulty tiny-housers deal with. It’s all about zoning laws and regulations, which vary from town to town.

There are specifications for building homes classified as RVs or ADUs (accessory dwelling units), but these can dictate where you’re allowed to park, how long you can park there, and even the length of time you live in your tiny house – whether you own the land or not seems to be irrelevant.


Now it’s definitely easier to care for the housekeeping needs of a tiny house. There is less space to clean and fewer material possessions to move around, replace ... you get the idea. But if you have a lot to store and aren’t fond of the idea of passing it onto a second-hand shop or stacking it in a garage or hard-to-get-to space, this is only the beginning of your tiny house woes.

Because a tiny house does, in fact, have plumbing and appliances, so it will come with any related maintenance items you would have in a typical house. But what about additional maintenance for custom materials? This can be especially difficult to deal with if you’re on the road.

It Can Get Better

I love the idea of living in a tiny house, so I hate to say that most evidence directs us to look the other way. Then again, it’s all about how you approach your tiny house, your strategic planning, and your advocacy for relaxed or updated housing regulations. If you feel the pull of the tiny house lifestyle and have a knack for instigating change, then nothing will be able to stop you.

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