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Aussie Willy
08-23-2010, 11:41 PM
Why must everything be in the extreme in the U.S.?????

Seriously. How about a nice middle ground. Why can't we ever have that. We realize that everyone doesn't need a 3000+ square foot house. This is true. But then we automatically have to jump to living in the smallest possible space or getting a trailer? Really? What about the middle ground?
Why not? Things like this really do get you thinking about what you need to get by in life. It sometimes takes an extreme to make people wake up and think about it.

manhn
08-24-2010, 03:52 AM
Ugh, Dee Williams bugs. She's putting her ugly teeny tiny house in her friend's backyard (which looks like a typical suburban McMansion to me) and she's not paying any rent? Why doesn't she get a trailer park or get a teeny tiny condo?

BreakfastClub
08-24-2010, 05:19 AM
Damn! And I thought my 140-year old historically certified, classic Philadelphia trinity on a 6 foot wide 220-year old cobblestone street was tiny. :slinkaway It's 632 sq. ft spread out over 3 floors - 1st floor is a small kitchen living combo, 2nd floor a small bath and small bedroom, 3rd floor a slightly bigger bedroom with a little deck. (And mine was expanded from an original 12x12 footprint to a 12x20 footprint, with the crazy winder stairs replaced by ones that are mostly straight. The sq. footage is smaller than the mathematical calculation would have you believe because the original brick walls are so thick.)

While I paid a small fortune for such a small house (location, location, location and charming + historic setting) I have incredibly low energy bills and have learned major lessons in downsizing and being comfortable with less.

I will say though, that having tiny rooms and lots of stairs has made me long for 632 feet of open, all-one level space. I'd probably feel like I lived in a mansion if I moved back to your standard 650 sq. ft 1 bed apt., let alone an open loft style space with 15 ft ceilings in another part of town that is the same sq. footage.

Here's a nice article about the Philadelphia trinity house phenomenon, also sometimes referred to as the vertical equivalent of the classic New Orleans "shotgun" houses. Some really are as tiny as 400 sq. ft. (10x10) on FOUR floors (with kitchen in basement), I've been in them!

http://casacara.wordpress.com/2009/02/19/why-i-love-philadelphia-part-3-trinity-houses/

Japanfan
08-24-2010, 07:59 AM
In a house like that wouldn't you spend an awful lot of time just going up and down the stairs? Good exercise, yes, but time consuming as well.

jlai
08-24-2010, 01:38 PM
She's putting her ugly teeny tiny house in her friend's backyard (which looks like a typical suburban McMansion to me) and she's not paying any rent? Why doesn't she get a trailer park or get a teeny tiny condo?

The parties seem comfortable with the arrangement. Free parking for free work in the house.

ETA: Had I such a house I would have tried a similar arrangement (e.g. perhaps parking for $, not for work). This is supposed to be more an RV than a trailer, so I'd be more comfortable having it near a friend's or a relative's house.

Aussie Willy
08-25-2010, 03:15 AM
In a house like that wouldn't you spend an awful lot of time just going up and down the stairs? Good exercise, yes, but time consuming as well.
Well you would save on gym fees and time spent going there.

A little bit of exercise doesn't hurt anyone.

Jenny
08-25-2010, 03:18 AM
One summer I sublet a 5th floor walk-up - my ass never looked so good. :)

Louis
08-25-2010, 04:21 AM
In a house like that wouldn't you spend an awful lot of time just going up and down the stairs? Good exercise, yes, but time consuming as well.

LOL. In Philly, I had a "trinity" house with a kitchen in the basement and the master bedroom on the third floor. As Jenny said about her fifth floor walkup, my butt never looked so good. The stairs are so tight that there are really no "hallways," so it actually doesn't take that long to get from floor to floor.

I also had two sets of neighbors, who are still there, one in their eighties and one in their NINETIES living in these houses where they have to walk up or down spiral stairs (sometimes 2-3 flights of them) every time they need a drink of water, to go to the bathroom, etc. Stairs keep you young and spry!

Anita18
08-26-2010, 03:26 PM
Not exactly a tiny house, but it's amazing what you can fit in a small space if you give it enough thought...

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/pacificnw/2012595209_pacificpnwl22.html

gkelly
08-26-2010, 05:24 PM
The discussion is around not so much tiny houses (I've been seeing articles about them for years now), but paring down one's life - less things, less expenses, more time with loved ones.

However, if you have lots of loved ones, you won't be able to spend time with them all in a tiny house.

I'd be fine with less space than I have in my current apartment as long as it were arranged better for storing things.

But already I go to my sister's house far more often than I invite her family of 4 to my place. If my father and stepmother, and/or my other sister and her family of 5, are visiting, it wouldn't be comfortable having everybody over at once. So I never get to be the hospitable one.

PDilemma
08-26-2010, 09:12 PM
However, if you have lots of loved ones, you won't be able to spend time with them all in a tiny house.

I'd be fine with less space than I have in my current apartment as long as it were arranged better for storing things.

But already I go to my sister's house far more often than I invite her family of 4 to my place. If my father and stepmother, and/or my other sister and her family of 5, are visiting, it wouldn't be comfortable having everybody over at once. So I never get to be the hospitable one.

You make a very interesting point. Society is becoming very isolated with people not gathering together or visiting and this movement would actually contribute to that.

I like being the one to host others. We live in a small place (just in case anyone thought my previous post was based on my mcmansion or something)--basically five rooms and none of them could be considered large--to fit two people in our bathroom, one would have to stand in the tub. But we have enough room to have people over and be sociable.

deltask8er
08-26-2010, 09:32 PM
You make a very interesting point. Society is becoming very isolated with people not gathering together or visiting and this movement would actually contribute to that.

I like being the one to host others. We live in a small place (just in case anyone thought my previous post was based on my mcmansion or something)--basically five rooms and none of them could be considered large--to fit two people in our bathroom, one would have to stand in the tub. But we have enough room to have people over and be sociable.

Or you could rent a dining room at a restaurant or club for occasions like that. No need to wash the dishes or clean the home after the party, either. (or buy more dishes than you need on a regular basis)

PDilemma
08-26-2010, 09:40 PM
Or you could rent a dining room at a restaurant or club for occasions like that. No need to wash the dishes or clean the home after the party, either. (or buy more dishes than you need on a regular basis)

You don't alway have to have an "occasion" to have friends over. And doing it at home is far more economical than a restaurant for everyone.

uyeahu
08-27-2010, 12:06 AM
You make a very interesting point. Society is becoming very isolated with people not gathering together or visiting and this movement would actually contribute to that.


I actually disagree with this. When I was staying in Italy I was struck by how most people live in small apartments and congregate in public spaces for gathering and visiting. And they do it every day at all hours. I think the movement towards every family having their own private Shangri-La has done much more to isolate people from one another than small homes would do. People leave work, go home and all their needs are met within the walls of that home. They need never leave except to work and re-stock the pantry. In Italy people go home, maybe grab a bite to eat or change out of their work clothes and then go out in the Piazza's, the pubs, the parks, the cafe's, or just walk around the streets with friends and become part of the life of the city. You only sit at home if you're sick.

Gazpacho
08-27-2010, 12:49 AM
I actually disagree with this. When I was staying in Italy I was struck by how most people live in small apartments and congregate in public spaces for gathering and visiting.I think the key difference is living in small apartments near public spaces versus living in small houses that are on big pieces of land, as is the case with many of these "tiny houses".


This is one trend I can get behind! :cheer: Houses really had gotten too big in recent years and the only way to go was down. My parents raised 2 kids perfectly fine in a house less than 2000 sq ft.You say 2000 sq feet like it's small, but where I've lived, that's huge! Some of my classmates were raised in apartments less than 500 sq feet for four people, and those 500 sq feet probably cost more than your 2000 sq foot home :lol:

That brings me to another point. Living in small spaces makes the news when it's done in places with plenty of land, but for many people who have grown up in crowded cities, it's simply life as they've always known it. It's more noteworthy in the former case because it takes willpower to do, whereas in the latter case you don't have a choice.