The idea of portable housing goes back centuries and includes the lumber, mining, railroad, and fishing villages throughout our past in America. Towns moved as the resources or attraction or viability of living in a place were to change. From the portable houses built by the thousands after the San Francisco fires and earthquakes, to the modern day Katrina trailers (gag), the need is still here, for portable housing. Tiny Houses enable people to move their homes closer to better care, family, a new job, or simply to find a fresh set of neighbors one day. The most traumatic experience some people ever have is leaving their home behind when they have to move on to a new place. You may well be able to live in your Tiny Texas House for the rest of your life if you can take it with you along the way.

I want to clarify what size tiny houses are. Our smallest house we have built had a 10‘x10 bottom floor (100 sq. ft.) with 75 square feet in the 6’4” tall loft. Our largest house was 12’x33’ with two lofts, full kitchen, bath, full front porch and screened back porch. It had 2-3 bedrooms when you counted the lofts. The general rule is less than 700 square feet to be a Tiny House rather than the next larger category known as a Small House. There are some Tiny House builders that have houses as small as 90 square feet, with trailers underneath, and a small loft but with limited height due to the restrictions by the law on sizes that can be hauled without a permit. Admittedly the people who can live in that small of a space are considered on the extremist end of the Tiny movement, and I have found the upper end of this size range to be more appealing so far. Our intention has never been to make our houses to be pulled behind a regular pickup truck since they weigh more than the truck, but to make them movable and big enough for the non-extremist Tiny House people who will want to be in the larger sized Tiny Houses.

Building for the usage of alternative power sources like solar or wind for Tiny houses is viable because you need less power to live in Tiny Houses. Energy costs, maintenance, taxes, insurance, and the human energy it takes to own a large home may soon make it nearly impossible to keep and maintain. How small will we go? Look at nearly any other country in the world that has a society that has been around for more than 200 years. Most people live in tiny spaces in population centers like London, Tokyo, or NY City, and those cost incredible amounts of money. Even those who live in the countryside do not typically enjoy the giant private spaces common in American homes.

The idea of people living in small and tiny spaces is not new and is generally how most of the people in this country got started. Homestead cabins grew into family ranches, around towns, and small communities. Big spacious houses for middle income families did not become common until this generation of baby boomers bought into the biggest credit party in the history of the planet. Unfortunately, most of us have not paid for all the credit yet and we are about to retire. For many, regardless of age, we face dramatic reductions in effective income due to increases in fuel, food, medical costs, and taxes. These factors are changing the fabric of our financial reality and the viability of our society as we have known it for the last five decades. While downsizing can be a good thing for some, not everyone is willing or even wants to do it. Tiny Houses are not for everyone, so build bigger houses out of as much Pure Salvage as possible and you still help save the world.