Downsizing: the Pros and Cons of Living in a Tiny House

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The tiny house movement continues to grow stronger. As the pandemic ravaged the country and the world, countless industries suffered immense losses. However, tiny house manufacturers experienced the opposite. In fact, it became a record year for them as more Americans gain interest in these smaller living options.

Tiny homes have grown out of simply being a fad into a more relevant and even crucial industry. Manufacturers, experts, and owners are all hoping to carry this momentum forward throughout the rest of the year. Some have even focused on turning tiny houses into a more legitimate form of housing that will ultimately benefit the country.

Give and Take

Going tiny has become a very appealing path for a lot of Americans. It promotes a simpler way of living that definitely draws countless people, especially during turbulent times. Not to mention the exposure that the movement has been given through various TV shows and features.

In reality, however, living in a tiny home is much easier said than done. There are some very significant trade-offs that you should consider if you’re planning to join this growing movement. Here are some of the biggest pros and cons coming straight from tiny house owners.

Keep it Clean

It should come as no surprise that cleaning a tiny home takes a lot less effort than you would normally exert on a regular house. Since it’s currently springtime, it’s also high time for deep cleaning season. Spring cleaning a tiny house can be accomplished much quicker, leaving you with more time to relax or do other tasks.

However, one of the cons when it comes to maintenance is that you’ll have to clean more often. The very compact space that a tiny home permits also means that just a little disorganization in certain places can cause massive disturbances in livability. While there are a lot fewer areas for you to clean, it also means that you should keep those areas in order almost constantly.

Another big factor to consider is outside pests. A majority of materials used in the construction of tiny homes are made out of wood. Its common knowledge that wood is prone to termite infestation. While this can easily be addressed by an experienced exterminator, tiny house owners will only be aware of the problem after significant damage has been done.

Carbon Footprint


One of the key aspects of the tiny house movement is allowing for a more sustainable lifestyle. A smaller space consequently means less consumption. Less space for food storage can lead to having fresher ingredients and healthier cooking. Regulating the temperature around your tiny home can also make you more energy-efficient.

Fewer resources translate to less waste production. Moreover, an entire tiny home can easily be powered through solar energy. Adding all of these up drastically minimizes home expenses helping tiny house owners cut their costs by more than half. While there are no downsides to going solar and saving money, problems surrounding food and cooling can arise.

For instance, having minimal food storage in your tiny home can cause you to cook meals that are just enough for a day or two. This entails preparing food daily, so your cooktop will necessarily have to use more gas or electricity. Not to mention taking more time off of your hands than usual. Having smaller units for cooling or heating can also prove ineffective, especially in areas with drastic climates.

On the Move

Tiny homes have become a great option for people who love to travel on the road. It’s essentially just a combination of a home and a camper van. Tiny houses give their owners a certain sense of freedom in choosing where to park next. You hook it up to a truck, and you can be on your way to another destination.

However, it’s important to note that tiny homes are considered illegal by most local governments across the country. There are still no building codes for tiny houses, which technically means that they aren’t up to a certain safety standard. Moreover, local zoning codes that are different for each locality leave tiny house owners within a gray area where they can legally park.

It was only earlier last year when Los Angeles finally legalized tiny homes and considered them as accessory dwelling units. This allowed tiny house owners to freely park their properties in zoned areas. This created a ripple effect, causing other local governments to accomplish similar policies. However, there is still a lot more to be done regarding the legalization and classification of tiny homes.

Big Living, Tiny Home

The market for tiny homes is expected to grow by $3.33 billion during 2021-2025. Its affordability attracts a lot of people looking for inclusive housing options. A survey that was done over the previous year found that at least 56% of Americans expressed intentions of moving into a tiny home during the pandemic. 86% of first-time buyers also considered buying these properties as their starter home.

Ultimately, tiny house living isn’t as simple as wanting a smaller space. Entering into the movement also requires crucial transitions that can effectively affect your entire lifestyle. If you’re planning to become a tiny house owner yourself, consider these compromises to inform your decision.

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