Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Small houses

It seems everyone's talking about small houses these days. Sheila Lennon links to one also featured on the news yesterday: Woman content living in 84-sq. ft. dream home. I have to admit, this may be the smallest I've heard of.

A couple of weeks ago lots of links appeared to this SF Chronicle story about a tiny house (250 sq. ft.) in Pacifica: Cottage Industry. Here's the owner's website about his house.

Here's a New York Times story about the phenomenon, from this spring: Think Small.

The Small House Society's website has lots of resources for those who want to learn more. Also, lots of books on this topic listed at

And then, of course, there are the Katrina Cottages. (More from the St. Petersburg Times, and from Mississippi Renewal Forum.) You can buy the plans from Lowe's now. One of these is big enough for a large family, with 3 bedrooms plus master, plus study, but still just around 1800 sq. ft.

But all I see being built, it seems, is 'McMansions' or their huge log cabin equivalent. The one thing I am seeing around here, though, is a trend to create resorts, using tiny portable cabins, for RV-ers and motorcyclists. You buy a small lot with an 800-sq-ft or so cabin (and room to park your RV or bikes), then add porches and decks if you want outdoor living space. Some of these look perfectly comfortable.

Our house in South Miami was a little under 1400 sq. ft. and seemed small, but mostly only when we had guests or in the summer when need for air conditioning kept us inside. Our house in the mountains is about the same size, but feels bigger with addition of a garage and basement (usable for a shop and additional sleeping area) and a high-ceilinged great room. But there are times, especially in the winter, when we think a small easy-to-heat cabin would be more

If you spend much of your time outdoors, anyway, why would you need more? If I had one of these tiny homes, I'd be adding porches and garden areas everywhere around it.



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