On lawns all around the world tiny houses are making an appearance. It’s a movement that has taken the world by storm! Providing an alternative to traditional home ownership, tiny homes are not only cost effective but have less impact on the environment that traditional brick and mortar structures, as typically their constructed from timber, much like a Wendy house or shed.
Unfortunately South African legislature currently presents some challenges for tiny house living, especially in areas zoned for single residential housing, with government seeing tiny homes as caravans. However, many are seeking to overturn these strict by-laws, urging South Africa to take heed of other countries who have taken strides to embrace eco-friendly, tiny living.
Here are some reasons why building Tiny Homes with Timber makes sense:
Perhaps the biggest driver towards tiny home living is the affordability factor. In most cases smaller normally means cheaper and a smaller house, on a smaller plot definitely makes sense for the budget conscious home buyer.
“Affordability is a big advantage for most. This may mean they don’t have to work 3 jobs to afford to live near the coast or in the city they prefer. It may mean they get to save more money each month and vacation/travel. They may simply just want to save for retirement and or have an affordable retirement,” says Nick Mosley, the owner of California Tiny House, Inc. and a big proponent of tiny house living.
Of course, a smaller home also means you’ll spend less money on home maintenance and insurance.
The ability to live simply
The lock-up-and-go lifestyle that tiny house living provides is appealing to anyone wanting to cut the clutter and live a more hassle free existence.
“The size restricts what you can bring into your home. You may have to get rid of a lot to make it work. However, if you are just starting out in your life, either single or newly married, it will keep you from accumulating a lot of unneeded things,” says Doug Schroeder of USA based Timbercraft Tiny Homes.
For many this is the real joy of tiny home living. Matej Gyárfáš of Slovakain tiny home manufacturer, Ecocapsule, explains; “From our perspective, living in a tiny home means the possibility to live in direct contact with nature. It also means getting rid of a lot of unnecessary possessions and thus restricting consumerist behaviour.”
Of course, having a smaller space, means less time worrying about cleaning and maintaining your home and more time to spend on experiences that give you real joy. It also gives you the opportunity to live a more community driven lifestyle. “One of the advantages of tiny house living is greater connection to community as people living in smaller homes use community facilities more,” says Lara Nobel of Australian based business, The Tiny House Company.
Help save the planet
To make everything function in a super tiny space and allow for off-grid living, the most innovate of architects and engineers are developing new energy technology and novel solutions for miniature lifestyles. These include roof-based solar panels, composting toilets, integrated rain water capture systems, and even tiny homes that come equipped with their own wind turbines.
“Tiny houses do not need that much energy, so it is possible to make them completely self-sufficient by using technologies for harvesting green energy,” says Gyárfáš.
While there might be an additional outlay in the beginning for these nifty features, in the long run you’ll save money on expensive utility bills, take your reliability off poorly managed systems and help to save the planet by lessening your carbon footprint.
“Professionally built tiny homes are using the best insulation and the best appliances to create the most efficient form of housing to date. This means very low cost for the consumer when paying those summer or winter utility bills,” says Mosley.
Grow into it
While the best material to build a tiny house depends on the environment, timber lends itself to manufacturing your tiny home in South Africa, particularly for permanent living. While some, like Ecocapsule, opt for manufacturing their tiny homes of fibreglass so that they are moveable and can travel, if you’re looking for a house that will stand the test of time and serve as a full-time residence then timber is a good option.
A tiny home built of timber is often cheaper and easier to work with than other solutions, like container homes, while still being strong and durable and made to weather. Building your tiny home from timber also means you can easily expand or build on to your house should the need arise.
“For the DIY consumer or the consumer that wants to have the chance to remodel or ever change their home, wood is the preferred product,” says Mosley.
Hardwood can also help to create some neat features, like walls that transform into sliding doors or even drop down to form decking and additional outdoor areas.
While R&B Group does not manufacturer tiny homes, we are looking forward to seeing this trend take flight in South Africa and are on hand for any of your hardwood pole requirements.