The tiny home trend is one that is taking hold in many areas in the US. There are many motivations for super downsizing one’s home. They include young people looking to live an active, independent lifestyle without being tied down by the expenses of a larger home. Older enthusiasts are hoping to retire comfortably on limited income and don’t want to be relegated to less desirable condo or senior community. Some point to economics as the reason to invest in a tiny home. After all it is very inexpensive to build and maintain. And finally many people choose a tiny home because of its environmental benefits.

How Tiny?

At Katahdin, our smaller home designs are fewer than 1,000 square feet and we have several basic plans (left) to start with. Generally, the smaller homes include a loft area and fairly open spaces on the main floor. Some designs include porches, basements, basement garages and half-story configurations. Because Katahdin has a dedicated, in-house design department, your ideas for the ideal tiny home can be realized in any shape or square footage. With Katahdin’s detailed plans, and individually coded logs, those who want to construct their own tiny homes will be pleased with the ease of building.

Benefits of Cedar
While small is certainly environmentally friendly, selecting Northern White Cedar as the primary building stock provides additional sustainable benefits as well. Northern White Cedar replenishes naturally requiring no human intervention, and is considered one of the least threatened species in North America. Its natural oils protect against insects, rot, mold and checking, and a simple low VOC stain and sealant is all many people use.

Small Scale Savings
Of course a smaller home will require less materials to complete saving initial investment. Other cost savings can be realized in power, heating and cooling. Photovoltaic solar panels have dropped significantly in price, providing a great option for electrical power. With a smaller area to heat or cool, a super energy-efficient heat pump will take care of most needs in a small square footage home. Solar photovoltaic panels can be grid-tied with the local utility or energy can be stored in batteries for nighttime use.

Getting into Tiny Mode

It can be challenging for some seeking a more minimalist approach to shift into a new way of thinking. Some of the tiny home enthusiasts encourage really examining essential needs for everyday life versus the extras that can sometimes take up too much space in a simpler life. This may involve reverting to simpler tools (whisks instead of food processors). Looking at efficient use of space in a tiny home means looking for dual use fixtures, elements that can either fold away or evolve into a second function. Shower stalls take up less space than tubs, shelving and built-ins need to be slimmed down and scaled appropriately.

Tiny Home Resources
If a tiny home seems just right, there are plenty of places to learn more about designing these minimalist structures. Enthusiasts with plenty of tips and advice can be found on blogs, and on some tiny house sites. Pinterest and other social media sites also offer many ideas to collect when planning a tiny abode.