Is a Tiny House Right for Me? Little House on a Small Planet

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A few months back I came home to find a nifty book on the front stoop of one of my houses. After becoming intrigued by the title, Little House on a Small Planet: Simple Homes, Cozy Retreats, and Energy Efficient Possibilities, I dove into this tome.

I have to say, I enjoyed reading it a lot. If you have any questions or curiousity about living in a tiny house (or even just a smaller-than-normal house), then I recommend this book. It examines this lifestyle from many different angles, and covered some questions I didn’t even have a clue I had.

I’ll go into some of what’s inside Little House on a Small Planet here, in bullet point form:

Tiny House Benefits

  • Resource Conservation – not only will a smaller house take up less space, but it’ll save you money (both initially and through lower heating/cooling bills). Also, it’ll require fewer materials than a bigger house to build. A typical new house sends around 3 to 5 tons of waste to a landfill and takes down a 3/4 of an acre of forest.
  • Less Housework – some people dream of owning gigantic mansion. They probably don’t dream about the hours of cleaning (or money spent on a cleaner) that a large casa would need.
  • Higher Quality – A smaller house is generally cheaper than a bigger house. Take some of the money you saved to buy high quality furniture, sinks, appliances, you name it.
  • Efficient Heating/Cooling – If a tiny house is designed properly, it won’t need any air ducts (or air filters!). That’s one less thing to buy and maintain. Also, there are fewer unused rooms to heat and cool.
  • Less Pollution – A typical new house’s construction adds 30 tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
  • More Time Outdoors – Less space indoors means you and/or your kids will spend more time outside. There are tons o’ benefits of being outside, so I recommend it.

Are Tiny Houses for Everyone?

There are many more benefits of living in small houses (closer families, less unnecessary stuff), but it’s not for everybody. Some people might not feel comfortable living in a small house, or might honestly feel like they need more room than the average bear.

Luckily, this book has tests you can do to see if living in a small house (on or off the grid) is for you. You might be surprised by how little room you use or want, or you might change your mind once you see some different kinds of small houses.

Go Get This Book

Whether you hate the idea of small houses, love the idea, or already live in a tiny house, I recommend reading Little House on a Big Planet. It’s chock full of pictures, diagrams, interviews, and all sorts of information about life in small houses.

If you don’t feel like buying the book, go check out your local public library and see if they have it. If all that fails, let me know if you’re trying to borrow the book and maybe we can work something out, ya dig?

Posted in books, construction, eco footprint, green construction, green living, save money on Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 at 9:28 PM.

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