Politically Incorrect Tiny Houses

There’s a craze going around in the “sustainable” world of climateers and greenies about “Tiny Houses”. They tout the “smaller carbon footprints” and in one video saying ” …tiny house living can lead to a more ethical relationship with the environment, and might possibly lead to a mitigation of climate change.” Yeah, sure.

The two most common benefits often listed by Tiny House proponents are:


– Since your Tiny House is going to be small, you can make a lot of it out of recycled, repurposed, and salvaged materials. In addition, to make your house look cool and unique, it also saves the number of new materials from being made.

Energy Efficiency

– The energy needs for a tiny house are much smaller than the energy needs of a traditional home. Smaller appliances and a smaller space use less power to heat and cool the air.

I don’t think I’d ever be ready to move my entire life into a tiny space like this, nor do I think I’d want to live in one that looks like it was salvaged from a scrap pile…

But, I can think of one good reason for having one in my backyard: extra relaxation space doubling as a guest house.

Plus, guess what I found out? You can purchase all the parts and instructions on Amazon. It reminds me of the way Sears-Roebuck used to sell entire kit homes shipped by rail during the early part of the 20th century.

This one looks pretty cool, and it is said you can assemble it in about 8 hours.

In the description, the plans say that this kit house can be built in less than a day – about eight hours, when two adults team up for the job. Well…. maybe, assuming the instructions aren’t written in Sanskrit. That also doesn’t include pad preparation time.

But, you can probably pull it all off in a weekend. It can also be a studio, sun-room, garden house, pool house, mother-in-law sequestration facility, or truly anything your heart desires.

There’s no HVAC, electricity, or Internet to this DIY home, you’ll need to do that yourself. But that’s all pretty easy. I can see solving the HVAC problem with one of these roll-around heat/cool units once you get some electricity, and you could probably get WiFi or wired Internet using either a power line LAN extender or a WiFi extender.

There are other models too, ranging from a traditional log cabin look to an external office style.

I can see adding a tiny house to extend the American Dream of “living large” in your backyard, but not for a primary domicile.

Plus, imagine the looks on the faces of your green oriented friends when you tell them you are now a tiny house owner, but you had it shipped to you (using fossil-fueled transportation) and added it to your existing home.

The result: schadenfreude, via priceless political incorrectness.

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Pop Piasa
May 12, 2019 12:09 pm

Use an RV roof A/C and heat unit. Supplement with an electric baseboard heater. The roll around units get in your way.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
May 12, 2019 1:21 pm

Actually, funny enough, an external enclosure for a standard window unit is an excellent system. You can install it just like an external “trailer” air conditioner with a return duct and everything except in this circumstance you can put the return duct high and the cold air low and get the best efficiency out of the unit as well as keep the heat of the exchanger off your wall and the vibration of it all away from your structure.

You would be STUNNED at how quiet even 40 year old mobile homes are with external ground units.

Reply to  Prjindigo
May 12, 2019 8:23 pm

I just had a crazy idea. Could a in window air conditioner be used and during winter simply reverse it and use it as a heater?

Pete Smith
Reply to  Robert
May 13, 2019 2:27 am

I believe so, just so long as “outside” isn’t so cold that it shuts down.

I think that’s the core function of ground/air source heat pumps. In summer, you cool the inside, and heat the outside. In winter, they flip around (internally) and cool the outside by heating the inside.

Reply to  Robert
May 13, 2019 8:13 am

Units in Australia are referred to as “Reverse-cycle AC/heating units”. Of course, it never gets cold enough in Aus to freeze it up

procyon bearsfoot
Reply to  Robert
May 13, 2019 9:22 am

there are window mounted heat pumps, heats or cools, has electric heat backup

Reply to  Pop Piasa
May 12, 2019 2:56 pm

They are crazy!

Far better to build dormitories with shared bathroom and eating facilities. Something similar to this was used under Chairman Mao and enabled them to run the economy a little longer without starving too many citizens.

Don’t these people read history?




Eric Elsam
Reply to  Roger Surf
May 12, 2019 5:34 pm

Read history? No! They rewrite it.

Reply to  Roger Surf
May 12, 2019 5:38 pm


The Spartans were big on this sort of thing as well

Henning Nielsen
Reply to  GregK
May 12, 2019 6:56 pm

That’s right, when Spartans went to war, the women told the warriors: “Come back WITH your solar panel, or ON your solar panel.”

Reply to  GregK
May 13, 2019 2:57 am

Kibbutz, monastery, workhouse, plantation, gulag. All efficient and environmentally friendly.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
May 13, 2019 8:43 am

Didn’t Ted Kaczynski live in a tiny house made of repurposed materials?

Sam Pyeatte
Reply to  rocketscientist
May 13, 2019 6:12 pm

The huts in Hooverville during the Great Depression were small too, and very close together. We are going full circle, and losing our minds.

Pop Piasa
May 12, 2019 12:15 pm


Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Pop Piasa
May 12, 2019 1:12 pm

Malvina Reynolds’s song “Little Boxes,” … Pete Seeger had a huge success of his own with the song, which ridiculed the harmless citizens of Daly City, California, and gave us the word ticky-tacky. No less a man than Tom Lehrer was to say that it was “the most sanctimonious song ever written,”

Richard Aubrey
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
May 12, 2019 2:25 pm

Slapped down by the square mile after the war for people whose expectations were shaped in the Depression. Great improvement when people ten years earlier might have figured their first two years of married life would be in an uncle’s spare bedroom.
Grew up there. Nothing wrong with it. “Sanctimonious” is a start….

Reply to  Richard Aubrey
May 12, 2019 3:55 pm

The only thing liberals were ever masters of, was looking down on people who viewed life differently than they did.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
May 12, 2019 6:53 pm

And those little boxes, aka “zipper houses” on the hills of eternally foggy Daly City now sell for $1.5M. So much for “Tiny” houses in CA … where … there is a critical housing shortage in leftist NIMBYland

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Kenji
May 12, 2019 8:15 pm


Spot on. The “one-and-a-half” story post war houses built in the Waterloo area by the thousands came in a kit delivered by truck. Due to shortages of things as basic as spruce 2×4’s, they used larch and anything else that could be sawn.

There were a few variations on the floor plan but NOT MUCH. They cost a few thousand dollars and had poor insulation. There are masses of them in Kitchener. 900. Sq ft footprint.

The main thing is everyone could afford one if there was any form of steady work – a single working parent was adequate.

Now the “minimum home” is far beyond the reach of many working couples. Even a fifty year old condo with a crap kitchen cost 60 times more than the original story and a half did. Wages didn’t go up 60 fold.

My next door neighbour has a “tiny house” but it is not as tiny as those featured here and it has wheels on it. It does have multiple bedrooms, TV, Air con, skylight, full plumbing and a proper kitchen.

The “real tiny house” market sells to single women over 55, the great majority of the time. Some are really nice. If it is what people can afford, why not have them? The madness of over-building is not an environmental issue, it is a waste of time to clean it and insure it and if you are living on your own, what the heck.

If you have more money, buy three – one for the lake, one for town and one for the micro farm. In Botswana it is quite common to have three homes. One is at the cattle station.

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
May 13, 2019 1:57 am

“The “real tiny house” market sells to single women over 55, the great majority of the time. Some are really nice.”

The women or the houses ???

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
May 13, 2019 6:54 am

“The madness of over-building”

Why do you feel the right to define what is the right amount of house for everyone?

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
May 13, 2019 9:07 am

She was at least prescient about the nowaday kids going to college and exiting all the same.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
May 12, 2019 4:09 pm

The tune is very close to a song from much earlier, and vary familiar to Heinlein readers: “There’s a pawnshop on the corner in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.” It was Lazarus Long’s “absent minded happy song” and, by that point in the future, was said to have more than 10,000 verses, some of which were clean.

Here’s it is from 1952:

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle (@DeHavelle)

Julie near Chicago
Reply to  Pop Piasa
May 12, 2019 7:32 pm

Boy! I remember that song, though I never knew who the artist was. It was rather popular at the U. of Chicago when I was there in the first half of the ’60s. We all used to sing it, rather mockingly, when we passed the “Crackerboxes,” which was a row of 2-story “modern” flat-roofed row-houses on 55th Street, just a couple of blocks north of the main Quad but quite a bit closer to the Lake. They had tiny, tiny front “yards” and they really did resemble cracker boxes. Salerno saltines, I’d say.

Thanks for posting!

May 12, 2019 12:36 pm

I bought one of these at Home Depot and store my lawnmower and garden tools in it. Certainly wouldn’t consider it 1st world living space.

Reply to  Matthew W
May 12, 2019 3:44 pm


Our local Home Depot has one with a footprint just a bit smaller than this, but it’s two story, out in the parking lot.
If I remember right the price is about $40K.

Henning Nielsen
Reply to  MarkW
May 12, 2019 7:19 pm

Footprint? Build your mansion on pillars, and no greenie can put you in the pillary for printing your floor plan on the ground.

Or, as an alternative, make TinyMan. TinyMan has a very small footprint, and no great agility, and can in fact be hunted by large rodents. Any SUV can take a huge number of TinyMan, though the driving needs to be a collective effort, but that’s what Brave Green World is all about, isn’t it?

Or simply do as the ballet dancers, and stand on your toes. Nature and physiotherapists will love you. Toeprints for climate!

Reply to  MarkW
May 13, 2019 5:00 am

which entirely!!! misses the point of them.
as did Anthony
there are far too many people who will NEVER be able to afford a home, even a ratty fallen down fixerupper unless its slumland Chicago etc with serious risk to life n limb.
we have similar issues in Australia as well since they sold off the public housing they claimed ost mega mil to maintain..and from having lived in when younger saw very very little in the way of maintenance if you didnt do it yourself, Govt made billions selling to developes via sale on fees and charges to set up new estates. the poor ended up in caravan parks or rented rooms at best. homeless at worst.
Your comment about loking like salvage….is NOT fair.
there are people who do NOT have the tinist hope of buying materials new..and the cost above of 40K IS OUTRAGEOUS.
the premise was intended for those who still had a car and could buy a trailer frame/ruined caravan to get the base maybe to be able to have a small safe and mobile place , not a damned tent under or on a street at high personal risk and n privacy, facilities etc
a show on abc radio on homeless issues was eyeopening. if your local councils etc do NOT provide Public Toilet facilites? then how the hell are people going to handle the basicslike going to the toilet? let alone a tap to try and keep clean?
even the smallest rural town in Aus have a public toilet open to all till at least 11pm and often 24hrs
and its not just the homeless its tourists also who need facilities available. and it sounds as if very few are available nationwide?
I am one of the luckier, now older women whos marriage was a dud, but managd to buy when the market was at rock bottom and 18k got me fallen down ruin i then rebuilt over 16yrs.even with a good credit rating I had to beg to get a palty loan. many women didnt/dont have the option to do what i did and the ability to render plumb reroof etc i chose the area and council with lowest regs and charges and oversight.
i sold at market high and got another lousy house but a lot more land;-) again fringe dweling rural.
again that option just isnt possible for most singletons aver 40. if youre renting a flat or even a caravan site the rent means you cant save 10% deposit now required as a minimum for a loan. and thats on a wage avg aus around 800 after tax IF youre lucky, rent would be around half your wage, and most women are in pt time/casual and dont ever see that sort of money.
for many of us a roof that doesnt leak, some basic facilities and some security of tenure is the best we could hope for, all the mod cons bells n whistles are simply for other people. If you cant DIY and as we age thats less possible, we’re stuffed, as labour costs for a basic handyman in Aus are now 45$ n hr just to cut wood mow lawns tradies are so expensive you do without that”whatever” thats broken. I can no longer safely get onto the roof to nail down lifting tin as an example which i used to do after storms. you “blokes” cos it is blokes in the main here need to step back and imagine you lost everything including your job andyou have no savings no super no family and imagine trying to get by.
I do not have ONE single item in my home bought new every stick of furniture is dump salvage or opshop , all my clothes and appliances are opshop or thrown out by someone on the verge. I dont want or need nor do I ask sympathy Im doing far far better than many and my bills are paid and I eat and so do my pets. but do NOT knock those who dont have pretty tidy new etc. YOUR criteria are not ours!
and dont think that the majority looking for a tiny home also hold the moronic green views, thats the least important thing to them.Its just another cash in BY the wamrtards using the meme.

Reply to  ozspeaksup
May 13, 2019 6:58 am

Get out of the city. Both house and land prices drop dramatically.

A year ago, not to far from here, there was an ad for a fixer upper, 4 bedroom, 2 bath, 1800 sq feet on 5 acres with a lake view, for about $85,000.

The Sage
May 12, 2019 12:39 pm

That’s what’s known as a “summer-house”, and it’s been a thing for a very long while.

> There’s no HVAC, electricity, or Internet
Or plumbing, come to that.

May 12, 2019 12:43 pm

I’ve never understood the tiny house craze. It strikes me as another looney leftist virtue signaling meme.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  SMC
May 12, 2019 1:47 pm

Meanwhile, those puppeteers who are behind this nonsense, are gloating at how many people they have tricked into biting into the tiny house concept.

Reply to  SMC
May 12, 2019 3:48 pm

Mobility, lower cost. Beats renting or living on the street.

Reply to  icisil
May 12, 2019 6:02 pm

If my choices were living in a tiny house or the street I would take the tiny house, no problem. As for cost, my understanding is the mobile tiny hoses can be up to $60K to build.

Reply to  icisil
May 12, 2019 7:08 pm

Buy a used motor home for cheap. Works great as long as you live where it stays reasonably warm.

Reply to  SMC
May 12, 2019 11:01 pm

I see it as a propaganda/social training method to convince people that they are not poor, impoverished and screwed over by the financial system, but saving the planet and therefore brave, forward-thinking heroes.

Otherwise the muppets might realise that needing two incomes but still failing to earn sufficient to live is actually a miserable life, and serves no useful purpose. Some f the tiny home movement is people choosing not to play by the rules and not be a wage slave, and for that I applaud them.

May 12, 2019 12:46 pm

Ethical or a circumstantial or quasi-religion.

John F. Hultquist
May 12, 2019 12:52 pm

If we chase the horses out of their loafing-shed, add a floor and windows, and hang a solar light or two, we could move in – – almost.
Now, about the water, sewer, tie-downs, building inspector’s sign-off and a few other things — I like the log one.

Reply to  John F. Hultquist
May 12, 2019 5:48 pm

What’s to worry about the sewer? It was a horse shed, so what’s so hard about shoveling out the muck?

May 12, 2019 12:53 pm

Cramped living for small minded envirocultists. Make the units connectable like Lego and voila! more room for the rest of us.

Walter Sobchak
May 12, 2019 1:01 pm

“mother-in-law sequestration facility”

You mean you are going to stay out there when your MiL is visiting.

It ain’t perfect until it has a beer/snacks fridge and a suitable flat screen.

May 12, 2019 1:02 pm

Toilet? Wash basin? Ice box? Grill? A backyard tv watching room is not a “home” and a home is equipped with a minimum of facilities. A tear drop trailer RV would be more home like.

May 12, 2019 1:03 pm

The articles I have read suggest that the tiny homes are mobile and have no utility bills. Nowhere was it explained how they manage about sewage.

Reply to  Susan
May 12, 2019 3:57 pm

If they are like most liberals, they’ll just dump it on someone else.

Reply to  Susan
May 12, 2019 5:10 pm

Usually dry composting toilets.
Can be perfectly sanitary and you get fertiliser.
Sewerage is most dangerous when turned into a liquid slurry and moved around.

william Johnston
Reply to  Susan
May 12, 2019 6:15 pm

They always show them with trees or bushes around. Just sayin’.

May 12, 2019 1:08 pm

These are the same groups who want to redistribute wealth, especially the wealth of the top 1%. They are also globalist.

Well, according to this website, http://www.globalrichlist.com , if you earn more than 32,500 USD per year, you are in the top 1%, globally, based on earnings. You will be taxed accordingly (~90%). So if they achieve their dream, everyone, including us, will be living in third-world tiny homes (and forget about adding electricity, indoor plumbing, hot water, AC, heat, and internet). I guess ‘tiny home’ makes for better marketing than ‘shack’.

But remember, it’s to save the earth, and think of the children…

Reply to  jtom
May 12, 2019 3:57 pm

“and think of the children”

Which you won’t be allowed to have.

mr bliss
May 12, 2019 1:15 pm

“Tiny houses are great” said the one per cent – “We bought one each, for our children to play in”

Wiliam Haas
May 12, 2019 1:17 pm

My trying to move into one of those things would end my marriage and would have no effect on global climate. For a home owner who things that the use of fossil fuels is bad, a simpler approach is to turn off the main breaker to your house and turn off the gas hookup as well and leave them off. Also do not use your car. Remember that it is you money that keeps the fossil fuel companies in business.

Curious George
May 12, 2019 1:18 pm

– Since your Tiny House is going to be small, you can make a lot of it out of recycled, repurposed, and salvaged materials.

And what prevents you from building a larger house from the same materials?

– The energy needs for a tiny house are much smaller than the energy needs of a traditional home. Smaller appliances and a smaller space use less power to heat and cool the air.

Probably untrue. You won’t be able to heat the Solvalla house (the second illustration) in winter. Eight tiny houses need eight times more energy than one tiny house. One house twice the size has eight rooms but only four times a heat loss. There are very real economies of scale. Learn basic physics.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Curious George
May 12, 2019 7:55 pm

“…you can make a lot of it out of recycled, repurposed, and salvaged materials”

Say, isn’t that what they do in third world slums?

Curious George
May 12, 2019 1:24 pm

How valuable is Joe Biden? Even Bin Laden warned against targeting him.

Tom in Florida
May 12, 2019 1:31 pm

Of course if you want to use it for someone to stay in there may be those pesky zoning laws and permitting issues in the way.

Fritz Brohn
May 12, 2019 1:44 pm

Perhaps they should try for, “And he Built a Crooked House” by Robert A. Heinlein.

Reply to  Fritz Brohn
May 12, 2019 3:44 pm

LOL! I want voting back. Invite your Green “friends” over for a house warming, walk outside, one swift kick to just the right corner…

There was a story, almost certainly untrue, that RAH wanted to build the floor plan when they moved to Ojai, but Ginny overruled him (being the better mathematician of the duo).

Robert of Texas
May 12, 2019 1:45 pm

Believe me…after I have finished dusting, vacuuming, painting, repairing, mowing, trimming hedges…I am thinking I want to move into a hole-in-the-ground. I think the Neanderthals had it right – who needs a stupid house when nature builds you a nice cool cave.

This little house, with some blinds on it, might make a decent latrine.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
May 12, 2019 2:03 pm

Bag End would be fine.

Julie near Chicago
Reply to  Photios
May 12, 2019 7:38 pm

Yes! From memory: “This was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”

But I’m darned if I’d give my spoons to Lobelia Sackville-Baggins!

May 12, 2019 1:47 pm

Why don’t you get a hermit to live in your ‘Little House on the Patio’? Not only would you get someone off the streets (multi-bonus points there), but you could consult him for his wisdom concerning the burning issues of the day? This used to be very popular with the aristocracy.
See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_hermit

Reply to  Photios
May 12, 2019 5:18 pm

You were presumably being sarcastic, and I don’t live on the street but I would be totally willing to provide you with counsel, advice and a false sense of superiority, if you provide a decent tiny house and a stipend. Have we just created the next Uber?

Reply to  Basil
May 13, 2019 6:32 am

Without my using a ‘/sarc’ tag, you noticed! Well done…

May 12, 2019 1:49 pm

Since your Tiny House is going to be small, you can make a lot of it out of recycled, repurposed, and salvaged materials.

If you want to see an eclectic collection of these ad hoc “tiny homes” drive through Skid Row or many areas of urban areas where the drug abusers and bums live.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  AWG
May 12, 2019 2:12 pm

We used to call them slums, now it’s Tiny Houses. Ok, whatever 😉

May 12, 2019 1:51 pm

If you liked living in a cramped college dorm you’ll love one of these. Except in college there was a cafeteria. And showers. And toilets. And an activity room. And a laundry. And you didn’t have to mow the lawn. Or shovel snow.

May 12, 2019 1:53 pm

I can see living in one of those in places where everything is too expensive, such as California. But with a few caveats. First, it needs a full separate bathroom — shower, sink, and toilet. I do not want a house where I have to put up a murphy bed to answer nature’s call and get clean. (I don’t know about you, but nature calls me at least twice a night.) Second, it needs a full kitchen. Third, I have to be able to stand up in it. Fourth, it needs heat and cooling.

I can definitely see myself living in a house like that, because it will have less maintenance than a bigger house. I never understood the fascination of working all your life for a large house and the associated taxes and fees to impress people you don’t like and don’t really know because the only time you are in your large house is to sleep. Give me a smaller house with no homeowner’s association. That way I can have a small garden and a clothesline because, believe me, bed sheets smell better when hung on a clothesline. You get your big house, give me a house I can own free and clear with working my fingers to the bone.

Reply to  Wade
May 12, 2019 2:07 pm

‘…with working my fingers to the bone.’


Reply to  Photios
May 12, 2019 4:33 pm

Pedantry: perfect when you’re too stupid to come up with valid response.

May 13, 2019 6:45 am

No. I’m curious as to what he meant. Either alternative makes sense. I merely ask for clarification that the strkingly unusal usage employed is or is not an error. Someone more observant than yourself might have deduced this from my use of the question mark.

May 12, 2019 1:54 pm

My grandparents had a tiny house in their back yard, but they called it “the wash house”. We and our cousins also used it as a play house when we were there in the summer.

Joz Jonlin
May 12, 2019 1:56 pm

I actually put this house in my Amazon shopping cart yesterday, teasing my wife that I was going to push the button to buy it. I would love to put this in my back yard for a small studio office. Then again, my oldest would want to use it as a bedroom or move in it when he graduates from high school.

Bruce of Newcastle
May 12, 2019 1:57 pm

Buy a RV. That way you can have a tiny climate-aware house and burn lots of gasoline at the same time. Win win!

Reply to  Bruce of Newcastle
May 12, 2019 3:28 pm

Tiny houses are useful for people who intend to live in the motor home or the boat (on a trailer).
Here, as in most places, it is an offence to occupy land as a residence without having an approved dwelling on it. So the question is, how small? In the jurisdiction I operate in, a complying dwelling can be constructed in as little as 15m2. It is unlawful for land developers to tell you how big your house should be, but they try it on anyway – until I turn up. 15m2 is a bit tight if there are two of you and you are horizontally challenged, but if you have that, then the authorities can’t get at you for living in the boat or van. Doesn’t need a building permit if it is on wheels. Doesn’t need a road or marine transport permit if its just parked on your property.
Every single one of the proprietary designs that I have looked at has been hugely over-priced, and all of the suppliers of these eventually seem to go bust. There are some standard engineered designs that any timber or steel frame fabricator can make the panels for, can arrive on an ordinary truck, be unloaded and put together manually.
Shipping container dwellings can work, if you are expert at welding and plasma cutting, and you get the container on-site free or dirt cheap. Otherwise it is a gimmick or virtue signalling. The corten steel they are made from is much harder to work than standard construction steel.

Michael Jankowski
May 12, 2019 2:13 pm

There are lots of places where these do not meet building codes. Many cities and counties have a minimum SF for a residence. So they may be suitable as an additional building on a property but not as the sole home.

Reply to  Michael Jankowski
May 13, 2019 5:10 am

and we had the same issue where I live a small transportable was placed on a block and the better off town residents wanted to bring min area laws in , we cant have people moving into sheap small AFFORDABLE homes can we?curiously that SAME area was what the older resident have in the hospitals aged care units which I pointed out. and oddly enough they shut up.

Greg Woods
May 12, 2019 2:14 pm

These are many examples of Eco-Friendly houses in the hills above Caracas…

John V. Wright
May 12, 2019 2:24 pm

Water supply.


And those “foundation alternatives”? 🤣

Amazing how these watermelons are always shooting themselves in both feet.

May 12, 2019 2:37 pm

When I was 9 years old I built a “Sustainable Tiny House” out of White Poplar trees, on 400 acres of winter wonderland in Northern Ontario, using only the energy provided by my body and a 5 inch axe head. It had a fire pit in the center for warmth but no “bathroom facilities”. Sooooooooo, I had to go back to reality to take a S*** !

Justin Burch
May 12, 2019 2:44 pm

Tiny houses are a neat concept but seriously, any good travel trailer is probably better. Plus you can pack up and move a travel trailer when climate change forces you off your current location. I’m not sure why the left is promoting tiny houses unless they are preparing us to all live according to agenda 21 so the elites can live even higher.

Reply to  Justin Burch
May 12, 2019 4:02 pm

They’re trendy. RVs and mobile homes are too redneck or boomer.

Weylan McAnally
Reply to  icisil
May 13, 2019 2:10 pm

Most of the tiny houses shown on TV programs are simply RVs that look like small homes. They all have axles, wheels, tires and a hitch.

May 12, 2019 2:47 pm

How about a nice little caravan or a motor home with all mod cons once you’ve hooked up to a power supply. An extra bonus is your not tied to the one location but free to travel within reason.

HD Hoese
May 12, 2019 2:51 pm

Lots of small units of various compositions, age and durability disintegrated during Harvey, not even to get into the supposedly better bigger ones, with too many taxpayer funded. Which brings up the question of codes and more importantly, safety. Dig a basement for tornadoes, or just throw an ax in the yard, as they used to claim worked.

Lots of RV’s survived Harvey, especially those hidden in the trees and well anchored. Lots didn’t, but many more than ever are sitting around for the next storm.

Least footprint would be a tent, or raincoat, available ax.

May 12, 2019 2:52 pm

Here in Seattle, we’ve gone a step further and gone with tents insulated by used hypodermic needles. You can’t feel a thing in the cold. It’s wonderful.

/not actually in seattle

May 12, 2019 2:55 pm

Buy a used RV trailer. There done. You probably get more amenities.

May 12, 2019 3:08 pm

It’s just another gimmick that only the dumbest of the dumb could fall for.

steve case
May 12, 2019 3:14 pm

We’ve had these thing for years, they are called RVs

David S
May 12, 2019 3:16 pm

Screwballs, always screwballs.

Glenn Vinson
May 12, 2019 3:37 pm

Tiny houses? We have had them for the last 100 years. They are called RVs/manufactured homes.

You can put a 8X20 on a concrete pad with a double-carport awning over the whole thing for less than a new car. You got porch, you got shade, and hopefully no payments. Well, we always have to make payments to the tax man.

May 12, 2019 3:37 pm

…”tiny house living can lead to a more ethical relationship with the environment”…
Mother Nature don’t do ethics.

Mike Goodman
May 12, 2019 3:38 pm

I thought that the main purpose of the “tiny houses” was to shelter the homeless?

Shoki Kaneda
May 12, 2019 3:40 pm

Wealthy people could have several and house illegal aliens in them. Think of the staggeringly huge virtue signal that sends!

May 12, 2019 3:45 pm

No shower, no toilet, heck I can do better than that. A tent on public land in SF.

Reply to  Toto
May 13, 2019 10:11 am

Using golden showers? 😉

May 12, 2019 3:53 pm

Basically, trendy mobile homes. Unless they’re building from salvage they’d get more bang for the buck buying a used RV trailer with a slideout.

May 12, 2019 3:59 pm

Unfortunately, many local governments are doing all they can to assure that no good deed goes unpunished.

Tiny houses could become ‘glorified beer fridges’ as council plans building code crackdown

“…He estimates it would have cost him about $50,000 to make his building compliant…”


May 12, 2019 4:06 pm

No offense, but, was this a paid product placement? Because I’m seen the same thing at multiple sites, such as Bored Panda https://www.boredpanda.com/diy-guest-house-8-hours-allwood-solvalla/

Reply to  Anthony Watts
May 13, 2019 11:04 am

Just wondering. Tiny houses are actually cool. Love watching the shows on TV, very creative. Would be great for a beach house or lake house.

May 12, 2019 4:10 pm

If people are to live in that thing, it will not pass building codes for most of the USA.

May 12, 2019 4:55 pm

8x 20 & and 8×40 foot shipping containers with 1 window and 1 door cut in and stacked on top of each other will make for great camps for millions of people…same with train Box Cars….cities located in states that are proposing total renewable by 2030 need to get on this from a zoning standpoint…..stack em around existing homes…and fill up back and front yards…parks and city owned property….state lands….kill 3-4 birds in one fell swoop….homeless, low carbon foot print, cost effective, politically correct, heal the climate…show the world we care. Once in place, like in maybe 20-30 years welcome the arrival of the Chinese Army….to take over the Country and create a slave labor nation… (anyone know how I can invest in shipping containers?)

May 12, 2019 5:04 pm

Fascinating, some very valid criticisms in this article, pity the author was to lazy to find anything more than a straw man to level them at, especially since it even comes close to being mildly amusing at times. If solar panels, electric heaters/fans, composting toilets and 4G/5G internet didn’t exist you would be completely spot on though.

Reply to  Europedoesntevenhavehurricanes
May 14, 2019 9:59 am

All gibberish based upon your own false strawman premise.

May 12, 2019 5:07 pm

These would work out great for this fella [my 5-month-old GSD]:

comment image

May 12, 2019 5:19 pm

4″x 4″ treated timber posts concreted 2′ into the ground, 3′ apart, with 4″x 2″ treated timber joists covering 18′ x 30′. Roughly 60 posts with a 15′ x 15′ solid timber structure secured to it surrounded by timber decking with enough space underneath for the dogs to keep any vermin at bay.

It has drainage, water, electricity, internet, and a 3m wide entertainment screen with a projector, three couches including a fold down bed, and a beer fridge.

It’s what we commonly call a summerhouse in the UK. OK, it’s possibly a bit over engineered, and it’s entirely liveable in as a guest house, but it’s still at the bottom of the garden and I wouldn’t live in it, other than when the wife kicks me out for a night.

The technology to build even large energy efficient dwellings has been around for a long time but few people in the UK are inclined to demand it as commercial house builders, build down to a price, not up to a standard.

Building your own home in the UK is largely restricted to enthusiasts and is invariably undertaken by very expensive turnkey contractors of specialist kits. Nor is it helped by building regulations which in Scotland, I understand, includes the requirement to conform even to how the house looks these days.

And don’t even get me started on Listed buildings. Our conservation architect wants us to install windows in our old cottage with those made from timber only available from the other side of the world (yes really) which is sent to Europe for treatment before being shipped to the UK for specialist carpenters to fabricate. The original windows would have been from locally sourced, cheap timber. So much for environmental considerations!

May 12, 2019 5:26 pm

Tiny homes can work well, long term for some people and situations –

Especially when owner built they can be an achievable economic build.

But the commercial typical “tiny house” prices are really exorbitantly priced.
You could buy land and an older house for the same price.

Reply to  Jeff
May 12, 2019 7:03 pm

I went to a show with a friend few weeks back.

$30-$90 thousand dollars. They were not small, more like glorified RV’s designed like a house.

However, even I could build those for $15,000. Way too pricey

May 12, 2019 5:32 pm

What Al Bore has to say about this?

Javert Chip
May 12, 2019 5:32 pm

Not to ruin the party, but where do you go to the bathroom?

One of those little trees outback?

Has AOC moved int the neighborhood yet?

May 12, 2019 5:36 pm

I can’t see any cooking facilities or bathroom in the featured “Tiny House”.
Perhaps those activities are conducted outside.

Would that make it a “Paleo” house [used to be known as a cave] ?

May 12, 2019 5:36 pm

Proposed by the de-growth movement – the degrowthers: Where do you do #1 and #2 and where is the shower, sink and dishwasher, etc. ??? I guess they just forgot all that stuff.

nw sage
May 12, 2019 5:55 pm

If it weren’t politically incorrect it wouldn’t be worth doing! Buy 3!!

R. de Haan
May 12, 2019 6:03 pm

Tiny houses represent a health hazard especially when you’re forced to live indoor during long winter periods. Fungal infections, lung problems, allergies and mental diseases go off the chart in those cases. Better by an Oak Wood Jacket in the first place. And don’t forget that the concept for small housings is part of UN Agenda 21. The Tiny House Craze, The Global Warming Craze, you name it, it all comes from the same centralists (communists) who have engaged in the “Second Cultural Revolution” and who want to see you dead ASAP. We still don’t know how many people were killed by the First Cultural Revolution which remained confined to the Chinese territory. This one is Global. Just connect the dots.
Free spirits need freedom and space. Period.

Randall Grubb
May 12, 2019 6:06 pm

The tiny carbon footprint is specious. The lack of any storage space means a small larder and twice weekly runs to the grocery store. Laundry seems to have been ignored in the calculation as well. Micro laundry loads must be done incessantly, or drive to the laundrymat every few days. Lots more gas and electricity.

If sharing a micro living space, remember that there is no separation space. No place to retreat to for mad, anger or even miffed. Ya both are right there all the time.

I predict that the rate of divorce and homicide will be high for tiny house dwellers.

May 12, 2019 6:27 pm

You can google living in a shoebox for lots of tips, but even better — Monty Python!
“But you know, we were happy in those days, though we were poor.”

Reply to  Toto
May 12, 2019 11:20 pm

If we are into promoting tiny home manufacturers, I have a fondness for these, classed as mobile, hand-built by master craftsmen, at the same price and size as your recycled rubish-tip reclamation job.


Full disclosure: I don’t own one of these, but I have met the craftsmen who make them. Extremely nice people.

May 12, 2019 7:32 pm

My friends in the Philippines call them Smurf houses. I think there is a place for these, and some of them are pretty high tech with all the bells and whistles including toiletries, running hot water, electricity, kitchenettes and A/C. All of the fixtures and appliances are common to the RV market. Many of them are designed to be set up (or hauled) on a two axle trailer or placed permanently. The linked one below has a wood fired hot tub. I have rented in some similar sized built more for the tropics and tourism, which also makes sense if you are just sleeping in in for the most part.

If municipalities and cities devote some space to zoning for these, it will allow students and low income folk to get onto the real estate ladder, and nothing encourages capitalism and conservatism more than home ownership. Which (housing) is becoming a luxury to a lot of young folk, which some then find solace in activism and the climate charade when they can’t access what old generations took for granted.


Or Google pictures https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C6CHFA_enCA713CA715&q=pictures+of+tiny+homes&tbm=isch&source=hp&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjngpz-tpfiAhUni1QKHXkyDpMQsAR6BAgHEAE&biw=1280&bih=651

May 12, 2019 11:21 pm

Tiny houses were invented nearly 70 years ago. Until recently they were called mobile homes. After a tornado they’re called debris.

Thomas Gough
May 13, 2019 12:17 am

They have existed in Scotland for many years. They are called a ‘Sitooterie’ This word is a Scots colloquial term, though not a common one in print. It means a place to sit out in, a summerhouse or gazebo, from sit plus oot (a Scots pronunciation of out) plus the noun ending –erie of French origin that’s familiar from words like menagerie and rotisserie.

Michael Ozanne
May 13, 2019 2:14 am

Something like this perhaps……

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/sarc off…….

Patrick MJD
May 13, 2019 2:16 am

That, in Australia, would be called a dunnie!

May 13, 2019 2:48 am

I don’t need a little house, or a Mc Mansion. Happy where I am.

May 13, 2019 3:32 am

The house comes with a San Francisco-style no-plumbing-required bathroom.

May 13, 2019 6:22 am

Check out Monty Python’s ‘Four Yorkshire men’ – They had it tough!

May 13, 2019 6:29 am

In Ontario, Canada they are known as “coach houses”. But these smaller houses must meet all building codes for safety, plumbing, electrical, etc. before an occupancy permit is issued.

“Cheaper, but not cheap”

Rhys Jaggar
May 13, 2019 6:29 am

Tiny Houses are suitable for young single people, yet to acquire large numbers of possessions and keen to spend disposable income socialising rather than on a mortgage.

Both sides of the climate debate need to grow up and stop insulting each other. Constructive debate might be worthwhile, never ending sneering is pointless.

May 13, 2019 6:52 am

Tiny Houses do not meet code for primary residencies in New York State.

I spent more than a year investigating these — both scratch built and pre-fabbed — before giving them up. My wide and I would have experienced an enlargement of of primary living space in a tiny house — all of them are bigger than our sailboat on which we lived for a dozen years.

There are two nearby — one a rebuilt two-car garage, with additions, and one built on a trailer frame (with wheels). Their resale value is in doubt, as they don’t meet any building codes — thus do not qualify for mortgages.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 13, 2019 6:53 am

….my wife and I ….

Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 13, 2019 7:12 am

Thank goodness we have the PRNY to tell us how big a house we need to live in… Who needs freedom when we have such wonderful, efficient government to run our lives…

Etienne Eccles
May 13, 2019 7:27 am

They already have lots of theses in the Third World. They are called squatter shacks/ shanty houses. I don’t think the people living in them are happy with the arrangement

May 13, 2019 8:16 am

Actually, the smaller an object is the faster it loses heat.

Most ecological accom. is huge tower blocks of flats with no windows.

CJ Fritz
May 13, 2019 8:36 am

I am currently building a “tiny house” (700 sq ft) not for any of the reasons listed in the article. It is only my wife and I in the middle of the forest on 20 acres, and we have been in a 350 sq ft single room cabin for several years, so it is an upgrade for us.
We own the land outright. The finished house will have cost around $15,000 all in cash, no debt.
It doesn’t look like it came off the scrap heap, though quite a bit of it did.
No building permits/inspectors in the forest, so all those govt. officials can go fornicate themselves with a large iron stick.
If you take your time to amass materials before you build, you can come up with a pretty good little shack for next to nothing.
Oh yeah, did I mention that there is no debt involved here? As in no mortgage, or interest payments?
I have no need for a 5000 sq ft home. I have outbuildings to store stuff I am not using at the moment, and I don’t require much “stuff” in my home, or life for that matter.
And I have seen many much larger homes that were just as much a crapshack, or worse. Drive through a trailerpark sometime, you’ll see plenty.
Not to denigrate on anybody at all, (with the exception of the govt. officials noted above) just listing a few personal reasons for living in a “tiny home” that have nothing to do with eco-lunacy, or being homeless.

May 13, 2019 9:21 am

At 160 square feet these things are not much bigger than living in a car. A standard 4 door sedan has about 120 square feet of “foot print”, but not as much head room.

In many areas the cost of housing is from real estate, not the dwelling atop it.

In some municipalities in CA they have an issue with RV’s lining the streets alongside and within the city parks. The RVs dump their sewage tanks directly into the gutters and into the storm drains. They use public services for trash removal. This situation is a direct “tragedy of the commons” where private individuals are abusing public use rights for personal gain.

May 13, 2019 12:04 pm

Tiny Room with Porch would be more accurate description. Probably violates building and zoning codes in most places. So say I, a registered architect with over 30 years of residential design experience.

Weylan McAnally
Reply to  freedomsbell
May 13, 2019 1:56 pm

Most cities in my area allow for “mother in law” homes in the back yard. They can only be 600 sf max and must match the architecture, colors and veneers of the main structure. The structure pictured is not one of those.

Weylan McAnally
May 13, 2019 1:51 pm

I own a home that is a Sears Kit home, but it is from the early 70s. My MIL and her husband live in it. It was delivered as a kit and built on site. Very plain, but very functional. 3 BR – 1.5 bath.

Weylan McAnally
May 13, 2019 2:02 pm

There is a show on ABC Family about these tiny homes. The ones featured on the show are far from being inexpensive. The budget is usually $60K-$80K for 200 to 300 sf. That is with no slab and the need for a septic system. Funny thing about those septic systems, they require at least 3/4 of an acre in our area. Add 1 acre of land, a slab and a septic system and the total reaches over $100K. That is a VERY expensive structure per s.f.

May 13, 2019 10:01 pm

I have a 9.9m2 cabin with small wood burner, external outhouse with composting toilet, rain tank for water and solar power – alot of which is recylced. Its enough for just me, am happy in a tent to be honest. I am planting 1ha of native forest around.

Many of my neighbours live the same, albiet the majority live on house buses. They are all lovely and normal people with normal jobs so it can work, so long as you have plenty of outdoor space, good weather and firewood!

Its nice to not feel judged for how you live or have to worry about others. Am happy with a roof over my head and power, its more than most have.

May 14, 2019 12:04 am

Dunno how you people arrive at your prices, it has to be one of those new “lefty” scam things again run with tax subsidy like Elon Musk and his ‘lectric cars.

Up here in the Baltic states covered with masses of forest they export log houses to all over Norway, Scandinavia, and Northern Europe to as far away as soggy Ireland.
You don’t have to live in some overpriced ugly bit of crap sold by that crapshoot Amazon and worry about warmth. You can even get a Bullerjan from Latvia to keep it warm (sauna type HOT!) in winter.

Here they make some truly beautiful stuff, take a look!


May 14, 2019 10:40 am

Here and there throughout this thread, heating with wood keeps being mentioned. In the little BC community I live in most do – its cheap. For the long term residents, the stove is also where all garbage, plastics to potato peels to meat bones are disposed of. Across the bay there is one house in particular that seems to consistently burn old tires and green wood. Some winter mornings you cannot go outside without choking. It seems that the anti-smoking crowd has no concept that smoke is dangerous. Wood heating, except for the guy with 17 acres of woodland, is really not that great, and cooking over open wood fires is responsible for most lung cancer in the third world.

May 16, 2019 7:18 am

I’ve seen some people do the ‘tiny house’ thing as a young couple to save up money for a real house. That’s the one instance when I think it’s actually pretty smart.

Johann Wundersamer
May 19, 2019 5:25 am

DIY is not as easy as described here for men with family.

After WWII workers in steel works or for the railroad had 2 motorcycles: one for the summer time and a second with sidecar for the winter operation – with a sidecar there’s 2 tracks through snow and ice.

Mostly cheap used machines.

During the winter, the wife and children had to settle down with children on the ground floor while the man occupied the first floor to completely rebuild the summer machine for the next season.

That means every screw, every seal had to lie on “the right place”, nothing should be moved – disaster if an amateur “caring” a handful of savingparts e.g. deposited on the windowsill.

This work took up all winter time during which the sidecar machine was in operation.

The sidecar machin was restaurated during the summer in the garden equipment house.

During the summer, of course, the garden equipment house was taboo for the family.

May 19, 2019 11:12 am

There are other forms of small homes — apartments, condos, row houses, trailer parks — so this “new” concept may appeal to somebody for various reasons, such as being cheaper, downsizing, less maintenance, lower costs. And houses were smaller in previous generations, with bigger families. You only have to drive through an area with the mansions of the rich to gag on the excesses. Has everyone forgotten Goldilocks? Going to either extreme, tiny or humongous, is for showing off your money or your virtue. Go for the “just right” house.

See also: cob houses and straw bale houses.

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