Tiny Homes: Why Small Footprints Can Make a Big Impact

By Courtney Pittman

Affordable and fun, tiny homes are more versatile than you might

Why Go Tiny?
Whether you want to reduce your carbon footprint, live a minimal lifestyle, or have a separate space for guests to stay, tiny homes present myriad reasons for going small. Although compact homes are minuscule in size, they have oodles to offer as either a primary or secondary residence.  

Size matters. Sure, a small-scale home might not 
be for everyone, but for some, it forces them to establish consumption boundaries and keep only the things that matter most. With minimal space, you’re able to enjoy quality over quantity. That adorable, but upscale, loveseat you’ve been eyeing could be all yours now that you have less space (and need less pieces to buy and fill it with). Items such as flooring, cabinetry, counters, and appliances can all be made of deluxe materials – allowing your place to feel luxurious and lavish. When it comes to tiny homes, less is truly more.

A tiny home can serve as an excellent in-law or guest suite. How convenient for your family and friends (and you) to have the option of retreating to a private little getaway – just steps away in your own backyard. Sounds dreamy, right? But first, make sure you know the ins and outs of building tiny.

What You Need to Know Before Building Tiny

We asked our home expert and director of sales, Matt Clancy, what important things to remember when building your dream tiny home – here are his key points:
·          Land – if building next to an existing dwelling, is that allowed by building code?

·         Materials – Are you ordering your own or is a builder doing it for you? Buying in bulk saves on costs.

·         Labor – who is building for you? Are you going through permit process, or building below their square footage threshold?

·         Make sure to have some capable friends and family over for a weekend barbecue tiny-house building project!

Now, Some Tiny Home Inspiration!



Plan 917-8 is a prime example of a compact home that can readily be used as a guest house. A family room, kitchenette, daybed area, private bath, and a roomy deck (an excellent way to make a space feel sizable), lend a comfortable stay for family and friends. With a garage and ample storage under the stairs, your guests won’t be the only ones benefiting from this plan. 

Speaking of storage, tiny homes surprisingly render a generous amount of storage space. What they lack in square footage, they make up for with ingenuity. Designed to accommodate, these compact homes are made to meet your needs in clever ways. 

Whether you're an artist, designer, massage therapist, musician, or simply work remotely, a tiny home can pose as a great office space. This will allow you to have a designated work area without any distractions. That being said, it also provides a valuable spot for professional meetings - without the hassle of clients walking through your home to get there. 


With a modest living area and kitchenette, plan 914-2 is a considerable example of a design that would make a fine home office. The front porch yields a handy spot for breaks on extra-long work days.

Have the desire to obtain a stunning vacation home without breaking the bank? A tiny home is a smart choice. Not only will it save you money, but it will push you to explore the great outdoors more. Less room to move around inside is more-than-enough motivation to get out. An added bonus - smaller living quarters mean easy packing because frankly, there's not an amplitude of space for loads of cargo. Make your vacation home feel like paradise by adding an alluring outdoor oasis. 


Take a look at plan 917-4. A covered wraparound porch (featuring a built-in grill to boot!) provides shade and a convenient area for an outdoor dining table - adding a subtle splash of ambiance to your retreat. With part of the porch uncovered, you've got another serene area to enjoy sunshine on a breezy afternoon. 

Make some extra cash by turning your micro-living unit into a short- or long-term rental home. With online vacation rental home services becoming more and more prominent, this is an idea that could really pay off, without a major investment. This allows you to choose when you do and don’t want tenants. On the flip side, you could gain a steady income throughout the year by leasing the space to a long-term tenant. (Of course, check with your local building authority to determine if this is legal in your area.)


Just under 400 square feet, plan 513-2182 delivers a floor plan that is reasonable for tenants (even long-term ones). An open living room, kitchen, bathroom, and separate bedroom (with charming French doors), make this compact design super-habitable. When can we move in?

Browse more tiny homes here



April 13, 2018