Why a Tiny House?

The first time I remember discussing tiny houses was when we were living in Denver. It was the winter before we sold the house and I was looking for something to do for the night. I saw that Dee Williams, author of “The Big Tiny: A Built-it-Myself Memoir”, was speaking at the Tattered Cover. I hadn’t read the book, but it sounded interesting and like something Jon might enjoy too, so we went. On the floor of the bookstore, the author had taped off a life-size layout of her tiny house. As I listened to her talk about the tiny house movement and gazed at the taped off partitions for the kitchen and toilet, I thought to myself: I am never doing that. Jon on the other hand, was all about it.

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My main objection was the trailer. I understood that the point was to avoid needing permits, but it just didn’t seem worth it if you had to build such a tiny space. I enjoy a small, cozy house, but the idea of limiting the size to something that could fit on a trailer did not appeal to me. Maybe bureaucracy and rules just didn’t bother me quite enough to want to live on a trailer, and the whole concept of being able to move it seemed like more of a burden than an advantage.

Cut to a couple years later. Our small bungalow in Denver was long gone and we’d gotten pretty used to living in our 33 foot sailboat. As Jon and I discussed what we would do when our sailing trip was over, I kept bringing up the idea of building a small house – which I would refuse to call a tiny house – on our own land somewhere. I wanted to create something using alternative building materials. Something funky, artsy, and recycled. I wanted it to be ridiculously inexpensive so we can *keep our options open* when it comes to serious employment. Jon kept saying, “Yeah, let’s do all of that. But with wood and on a trailer.”

One of the other options we considered was renting an apartment so we could get started right away on building a home that would stay put. But we rationalized reasoned that with the money we’d be paying in rent, we could instead have a little home we will use for years and years. Even after we build a more traditional home we can use the extra space in the tiny house for guests, a private work space, or vacation rental.  We’ll also be avoiding commitment – which always sounds good to us- by having the choice of either putting down roots or continuing to live like nomads depending on how things play out.

After a number of serious conversations on the topic, we weighed the alternatives and decided that the tiny house on wheels was the way to go for us right now. Someday I still want my funky cob house or a yurt when we have the land and the time to build our forever home. For now I’m happy to practice on our tiny house, and actually, I’m truly excited about it. Apparently, Jon can be very convincing.

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