What is the Tiny House Concept?

Written by Freedom Strider

On May 28, 2019
the tiny house concept
Let us tell you a quick story…

Our friends bought a house. They took out a mortgage and are paying £800 [$1,000] a month and will be doing so for the next 30 years…along with paying off their student loan of £50,000 [$65,000] (just to top off the cake).

Unsurprisingly, they are therefore working full time, and more.

In an average week

…..

They spend 40 hours at work, 5 hours commuting to and from work and 15 hours working from home to make ends meet.

They still enjoy going out going for a drink after work, hanging out at the weekends, movies, dates, parties, family visits and general meetups which takes up 10 hours a week. 10 hours is spent shopping for food, clothes and other items, which always seems to take longer with all that driving, parking and walking around…

6 hours sleep a night is all they have time for. It is never enough. They wake up to their 6:30am alarm always feeling exhausted.

______________________________

• Hours per week: 168
• Hours spent doing tasks: 122
• Hours remaining at home per week: 46

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That still does not include housework, cooking, eating, cleaning and washing… So if they are lucky, they get to spend 24 hours of their entire week (1/7th) being able to relax in their own home which they are paying an awful lot of money for.

And just thinking about something here, lots of people spend their free time at home mindlessly watching TV, playing computer games or something else to zombie out…not a great use of time or money as investment strategies come.

It is no surprise that they very often say to us (as do many others in the same state) that they feel trapped.

And weirdly, every time they take time off work, they always can’t wait to go on holiday abroad to get away from it all. How does this make sense?!

 

Why are they paying 1000’s for a shelter they do not use or really want?!
 – This just doesn’t make sense. –
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As soon as we realised we would be trading our health, time and nature for houses, money and stuff, we found that we had a teeny tiny problem with this.

 

Mortgages, debt, working to just stay afloat. Living paycheck to paycheck and always worrying about paying for a house which we spend very little time in – that wasn’t for us. It is not for anyone.

How do we all escape the trap that is the vicious circle of our conventional society?

We believe it is possible – Why?

We have already done it. We didn’t plan it…it just, sort of, happened.

Long story short.

We went to New Zealand and bought a 7-seater car and after months of scratching our heads over the astronomical prices of accommodation (not different from most other places, around $30 USD a night or so), we just ended up staying in our car.

I mean, we had already bought it and it was watertight – why pay for something else? This was perfect.

That’s when the creative gears started turning…

We didn’t just put the seats down, we ripped them completely – as you do.

Instead of putting up with the grey interior – we spray painted it yellow.

We wanted shelves – so we built our own slightly wonky ones, but they worked.

Slowly but surely we followed the breadcrumbs and finally ended up with a complete home – a bed, kitchen, curtains, sofa and storage (all that was missing was a toilet and shower) along with the massive added bonus of wheels, an engine and compact size that took us and our home all across New Zealand. – Unfortunately, due to New Zealand being an island, it could not take us further    🙁

Weirdly, what many people are quite shocked to hear, is that out of our 14 months of travel (which took us to Bali, Bangkok, Chaing Mai, Malaysia and New Zealand), the time in our car was the best part of it all.

This experience taught us so much about our limits and values. We got a taste for true freedom. Not only did we not have to isolate ourselves in the woods or stop talking to people or give up any of our material possessions that we valued, but we found out what we truly needed to live and be happy and healthy.

As we realized this, we asked ourselves the big question:

How do we permanently build that lifestyle of freedom?” Thus, it is now our dream and mission to build a home on wheels – a tiny house, a van build, or two, or three…we will see. ;D

The tiny house movement

The tiny house movement is not new but still fresh, so a lot of you have seen the original tiny houses of this century and the majority look like this:

i need the details…

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Here is the complete overview of What alternative living is, Why it’s a good idea and How you can get the ball rolling.

A tiny house is not just a trailer with a miniature box house on it – not anymore.

 

A tiny house could be a mini house on permanent foundations, a bus, a plane, a van, a car, a yurt, a treehouse or a flat-pack backpack house.

We haven’t seen that last one yet so if any of you wish to invent and build a flat-pack-backpack house we’ll come and visit you.

– Take Part –

Our homes no longer have to look like traditional houses, and most importantly, we are not building a house, we are building a home – and a home is different for everyone as a home reflects our values, a house only reflects our wallets. A home is yours, regardless of what it actually looks like from the outside, or the inside.

“A home on wheels, why not just get an RV?”

RV’s/Campervans are built for temporary living, which makes them awful at being a full time solution. Their insulation is bad; they look terrible, are made of fibreglass and plastic (both horrible for the environment), they are impersonal, do not utilise multi-functionality, and in mass production meaning it’s a carbon copy cut-out, everyone has one and that’s not what we want our home to be. Plus, we would rather not want to be able to kick through our wall that easily – Polly is rather clumsy. ;D

How Does This Help?

A tiny house is by every definition highly customisable…

Meaning that you can tailor your tiny house exactly to your needs. Whether this be one built in a van, on a truck trailer or something else, you can build it exactly to how you want it.

The benefit of that is that you will be paying for exactly what you need. Not excess rooms to heat, or the extra counter to clean or the extra materials for that room you will not use. So financially – from building a tiny home (in whatever form), to maintaining and repairing – the cost, in comparison to the conventional real estate, is on average 10 times cheaper.

Which to all of us young adults and, some of you, fresh graduates – which are stumbling out from 23 years of being spoon fed ‘how to live your life’… and are now trying to figure out where the money to pay for that education and the house and food are going to come from – Yeah!!! Getting a mortgage-free and location free home, even temporarily, that cost crumbs to upkeep…

Yeah… that’s an idea – and a thumbin’ good one.

Financially, this concept is very appealing to us, especially when this would leave a lot more money and time for everything else we love to do.

 

Not to mention the freedom to move around when the weather is not to your fancy but still be able to have the comforts of your own home, instead of booking flights, hotels, etc.

Furthermore, as entrepreneurs and creators it, definitely helps us stay motivated. Working from home can get quite exhausting, so moving our home and view is perfect.

Another added bonus is that a smaller house means a smaller environmental footprint. Less energy needed to heat and run the place, renewable energy is easier and cheaper. Instead of using horrible fibreglass and plastic, we can use wood and metal, which not only last longer and look better but also are renewable and recyclable.

What about doing my stretches, there will be no space?
How can I play a giant game of twister in my house?

It is true, most tiny homes may have limited walking and stretching room. But for the right type of person, this can be the perfect opportunity. Living in a small space makes you go out more, so in terms of activity-wise and socially, a small space can make you better off, by forcing you to enjoy the outdoors more. Also, if you need space for your stretches and yoga, the design is with that functionality in mind. It is really in your hands.

But of course, this is the key thing that prevents most of us from trying the tiny house route… our stuff. The fact is that in a tiny space you will need to have less stuff (laws of mathematics don’t lie). That means less books, clothes, junk, clutter and boxes of things that sit in your attic for years on end, never being opened.

Choosing this lifestyle, usually, leads to more minimalistic thinking. We really have to recognise the things that give us joy and the things that just give us dust. You can accommodate space to include the things that give you joy. Many people enjoy having many books, or many clothes so tiny houses allow you to accommodate that need into your build. Just think of smart solutions. ;D

As long as, you are honest with yourself about your needs and wants it will all work out.

We started from square one, tried a car, rented a campervan and now are fully in the swing of doing our own DIY van conversion.

The planning has commenced for us.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

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‘To scale’ box template of the approximate loadable space in both Mercedes Sprinter and VW Crafter LWB.

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