Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tiny House Movement Thrives

     The so-called "Tiny House" has recently become a popular concept and movement in the United States due to economic pressures and a desire to live more simply.  Jay Shaver, co-founder of the Small House Society, designs blueprints for people interested in constructing their own tiny home.  He lived in an 86 sq. ft. home full-time until recently having a son and starting a family.  The space included a kitchen, bathroom, living room, loft bedrrom and porch.  Between 2005 and 2010 Shafer saw a 500 percent increase in business.  the homes he builds range from $40,000 to $50,000, or half that if the structure is self-built.  Ken Giswold, creator of the Tiny House Blog, finds that a key demographic in this movement are young people who don't want to be tied down with a huge mortgage and want to build their own space.  Retiring baby boomers who find themselves suddenly with large houses and empty rooms are also engaging in the movement.
     Shafer says that the reason his customers are interested in tiny homes varies greatly, but a common thread appears to be that "A lot of people don't want to use many more resources or put out more emissions than they have to."  These people are tired of they excessively materialistic and oversized lifestyle and of modern communities.  Shafer admits that this concept of living small and consuming less is very un-American.  Despite this, people are recognizing that the typical “American Dream” is outdated and simply unsustainable. 

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