Tiny houses are great for individuals or couples just starting out. People who are tired of renting but unable to afford a traditional home may find their needs and interests align with a tiny house. Tiny homes are a great way to save money but the lifestyle may not be a fit for everyone. Considering going tiny? Here’s a list of pros and cons of tiny house living to help you decide.
Pro: More Affordable Than Buying or Building a House
Buying a tiny house is MUCH more affordable than buying a home with a mortgage. You can buy tiny houses pre-made, make one yourself, or work with a business to have one custom-made to check all the boxes on your wishlist.
Traditional homes can take a lot longer to build than tiny homes. Fewer materials, a smaller shell, and indoor construction with no weather threats make tiny house building much cheaper and faster than the construction of a traditional home.
Pro: Utilities Cost Less
Tiny houses will give you smaller utility bills each month. Because your tiny house will have less space that needs to be warmed up or cooled down, your heating and air conditioning will work faster and be cheaper. The electric bill in a tiny house will be significantly less when compared to a traditional house’s bill.
Pro: Easier to Furnish Your Home
It costs a lot less to furnish a tiny home because you don’t need as much furniture. The furniture in a tiny house will need to be multi-functioning with more than one purpose. For example, your dining table can also be your desk. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to be creative and customize your living space with tiny home living.
Pro: You Can Travel With Your Home
One of the advantages of tiny homes is you don’t have to stay in the same location or state for an extended period of time. When buying a home you may spend decades paying off your mortgage; however, with a tiny home, you won’t need to worry about being stuck in one place for a long time.
People looking for flexibility in location will love being able to relocate and travel with their homes. If after a few years you’re ready to move to another state or city, you aren’t stuck with a mortgage and can take your home with you. This means you no longer need to go through the stressful process of finding a new house every time you move.
Pro: More Environmentally Friendly
Owners who are looking for a home that is more environmentally friendly will be pleased to find all the ways they can reduce their carbon footprint by living in a tiny house. For those going really extreme, you can choose or make a tiny home that can exist completely off the grid. The best part? You’re able to choose what works best for you. Some may want a composting toilet while others prefer typical plumbing. But don’t worry if composting toilets aren’t your thing, even with a running shower and flushable toilet you'll still be reducing your impact on the environment by going tiny.
Pro: Helps You Stay Organized With Less Cleaning
Tiny house living allows you to remove excess junk from your life and narrow down your belongings to what really matters. For you to live in a tiny house, you will need to downsize your belongings and be less cluttered overall. The limited space ensures you stay organized and prioritize what’s important to you. Similarly, living in a tiny house means you have less space you need to clean and maintain. As a result, deep cleaning your bathroom and kitchen will go considerably faster in a tiny house.
Pro: You’ll Have Extra Money to Spend on What You Love
With the money you save on your utilities and home budget, you’ll have more money to invest in things you love like traveling, going out to eat, going to sporting events, contributing to retirement savings, etc. Owning a tiny house can open new possibilities with all the money you save so your free time can be spent doing things you enjoy. You can spend more time with family and friends without the strain on your wallet each month that traditional homeowners may face.
Pro: You Become Part of a Close Community
The tiny house community is always growing. When you buy a tiny home you’re also becoming part of a new, close-knit community. From festivals to TV shows to blogs, you’ll never have trouble finding answers to your tiny home questions and new people to connect with. There are tiny home communities all over the United States so if you decide to move to another state or city, meeting new people won't be difficult.
Con: Storage Space is Limited
On the downside, tiny houses don’t have much room for storage or extra space. As a result, you may be required to downsize your belongings which can be a difficult task depending on the person. Hobbies that involve lots of supplies like painting, weight lifting, and woodworking may have more roadblocks with the limited storage space that comes with tiny living.
Additionally, you'll have to say goodbye to buying items in bulk. With limited space in your fridge, freezer, and cabinets, you’ll no longer be able to stock up on groceries to save for later. With less space for groceries and storage for leftovers, tiny house residents will have to cook smaller meals more often and may be unable to do monthly and weekly meal prep. Furthermore, because your grocery hauls will need to be smaller and more frequent, you’ll have to spend more time and gas money on shopping (unless you get your groceries delivered).
Con: You Sacrifice Full-Size Appliances
One of the disadvantages of tiny house living is that you give up full-size bathrooms and kitchens. You have less counter space in addition to storage space which can make cooking and getting ready in the morning a bit bothersome and something you’ll need to adjust to.
It can be challenging to find a tiny house that has a full-size tub, a kitchen with full-size appliances, or a washer and dryer. While this is a trade some are willing to make to have more traveling freedom and save money, it can be a big deal-breaker for some. You may not get everything on your wishlist and will need to decide what is most important to you.
Con: Your Home Layout May Not Be Ideal
Another downside can be a tiny home’s layout. With only so much space available, your washer and dryer may be in your kitchen and your bedroom and living room may be merged into one room. If you’re not living alone, there will be a lot less privacy than what you may be used to.
You’ll need to be very creative with your space. Can your kitchen double as your office? Can you build storage into your bed? Some tiny homeowners use ladders while others have stairs with extra storage space installed.
Con: You May Have to Compromise Bedroom Space
Some tiny houses have loft bedrooms. This can cause problems for people with mobility issues, young children, and pets as accessing a loft area may need to be done by ladder. Additionally, the ceiling will be low and you won’t have room to stand and walk around if your bedroom is in a loft.
Likewise, your tiny house may not have a closet. You’ll need to get creative with where you store your clothes and might have to downsize your closet. In general, your existing furniture may not be suitable for your bedroom. A king bed will take up a lot of room and many tiny houses don’t have the space for a bed this big. You may need to settle for a smaller size bed or be willing to pay more for extra space if you are switching to tiny house living.
Con: Having Guests Over Can Be Difficult
Entertaining in a tiny house can be complicated with such little space. There usually isn’t a large dining area, or really any space that can hold a small group of people, so if you enjoy hosting holidays then a tiny house may not be ideal for you. Additionally, having friends and family stay overnight at your tiny house can be a challenge and may not be possible. You may not have a guest room or even a couch large enough for someone to sleep on so overnight visitors generally don’t mesh well with tiny living.
Con: One Room Affects the Whole House
Because tiny houses are small, one room’s state will have an effect on the whole house. A cluttered table or strong odor can’t be secluded to only one space or room. Living in a tiny house means you need to routinely clean up after yourself. Your sink might not be big enough to let dishes in them so you'll need to wash dishes more frequently. When you are cooking, scents will spread throughout the whole house and can be hard to get rid of. If one part of your tiny home becomes dirty or cluttered, your whole space will be affected.
Con: May Have Issues With Zoning Regulations
While tiny houses give you the freedom to relocate with your home, finding land to keep your tiny house on can be difficult as these homes are usually too small to meet zoning requirements. Zoning laws change based on states, counties, and cities so you’ll want to pay attention to the laws that apply to the location where you’re currently living or moving to. Additionally, some states don’t even recognize tiny houses as private residences so you can’t just park your tiny home anywhere.
Con: Traveling With a Tiny Home Can Require Extra Effort
Additionally, there are drawbacks to the advantages of traveling with your house. You’ll need a certain type of vehicle to pull your tiny home. If you don’t frequently travel with your tiny home, getting a rental vehicle would be fine.
You may also have limited access to some places because the height of your tiny house won’t fit. This can require you to take a longer route to avoid these spots. Additionally, with a tiny house, you’ll need to pay attention to the weight of furniture and other items as heavy items can make hauling your tiny home more challenging.
Tiny houses can be designed with you in mind. Some people choose a simple build with basic appliances while others opt for everything a typical home would have but on a smaller scale. Living in a tiny house doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality and luxury. You can still have nice appliances and items when living tiny!
At Country Cabins, our portable cabin and shed shells can be transformed into the perfect tiny home. We’ll help you create the base for your dream tiny house with our Country Cabins advantage and multiple options. For more information on how our structures can be used for tiny living, contact us today and get your free quote.