I admit it. Living in a tiny house is not always rainbows and unicorns. Like everything else, tiny houses have pretty and less pretty sides. The question is always “how bad is the bad and can I live with it”. I hope this list prepares you for what to expect when dreaming of living tiny.
- Legal restrictions. In some countries there are limitations when it comes to living in tiny homes. It is because, legally considered one person needs x amount of square meters to have a decent quality of life. One of these countries is Austria.
- Water – most tiny houses have a limited tank. When you do not have a water hook up, you’ll have to -Tow the house to a campground to fill up;Have water delivered when you run out; Fill it manually. I did it and during winter days is doable but not funny
- Laundry. If access to running water is not available, you will need to take your laundry to a Laundromat. It means a lower carbon print but not always at hand
- Toilette waste. Having no flushing toilette and living on a composting one means you will carry buckets of feces out to a larger composting bucket to ferment. It can later be used as garden fertilizer but still, every 3-4 weeks you need to dispose of it.
- Tidiness. You need to be extremely organized. If you are not tidy, your home will look like a battlefield, even if you only leave a sock and a towel on the couch
- Cleaning.You clean more often- especially windows. After every rain, your windows get water stains
- Towing.You need a truck to tow it, and not everyone would want to own one for this reason. I wouldn’t buy it just to move my house around 2-3 times a year. Renting a truck from a car company or asking a good friend to lend you one, is another option
- Less space. You can’t prep many meals in advance because you have no space to store them
- Shaking. The house shakes when the washing machine spins. I experienced it already and the shake is pretty strong.
- Weather. When the winds are strong, the house shakes again. If you park the house in an open ground without shelter, you will feel every wind stronger than 40 km/h
- Drying your clothes is hard in cold seasons because you need to hang them inside
- Shoes. You have to take off your shoes before coming inside otherwise all the dirt will be on your floor
- Relationships. Tiny space can be tough on relationships, because there is no place to hide
- Land.You have to have land. The house is cheap to have, but the ground where to park it is an investment you need to consider. You will either need to rent it or buy it.
- Less storage space means you cannot buy loads of food supplies at once. Everything you store comes in small quantities: food, detergents
- Babies. Less suitable for a family with baby. If there is a baby or toddler living in the house, extra precautions need to be taken into account. I think it would be less comfortable to have a small child crawling on the floor between your feet in a 20 square meters house
- Less room for hospitality. Living in a tiny home could potentially be a lonely lifestyle because there is not enough space for more then 1 guest to move around in your tiny home. Five can sit in the couch and chairs, and even sleep but when they start moving around its messy. In warm seasons, when you can build a terrace and extend you space, is a totally different story.
- No personal space & privacy. The space is open, there are no doors, so no matter what you do, in which corner you go, if someone wants to see you trough the windows, they will. The only space that gives some privacy is the bathroom, but because of the light wood doors, there is no noise separation. So you either play a loud tune on the radio while you sit on the throne or you sing it yourself
- Trailer inspection. In almost all European countries you need a trailer inspection every two -three years in order to be allowed to tow the house on public roads.
- Homologation can be a tricky process. Some European countries have easier conditions when homologating the house & the trailer as an RV, some harsher. When you owe a tiny house on wheels, you have two options: you either homologate the ensemble as an RV or you just register the trailer and the house will be considered a cargo. In the second case, you will need to take the house off the trailer when you do the inspection, because in most European countries the inspection is made only on a trailer free of cargo.
Tiny homes are a fascinating way of life, but they’re not the right fit for everyone.
Before making a tiny home purchase, it’s a good idea to “try before you buy.” You either rent a tiny house if available or visit a factory. The trick is to spend more hours inside, alone without the pressure of feeling like a visitor. Stay, relax, feel the space. You will then know if it is for you or not.