There’s been a recent trend among people looking for a more sustainable lifestyle to build homes that fall between 140-200 square feet in order to cut down on lifetime housing costs and material possessions. These tiny homes require the homeowners to get creative with the floor plan of the home and toss out a few belongings. While tiny homes can have all the amenities traditional homes have in a more compact form, they may not be ideal for every living style or family situation. If you’re thinking about building a tiny home, just know it's not for everyone. If you fall in one of these groups, maybe a tiny home isn't for you.
- Large Families
Tiny homes pose two problems for large families. First, large families may simply have a hard time coming up with a layout that includes beds for all family members in a 200 square foot area. Second, the more people there are, the harder it is to be content living in a tiny home. While cutting down on material possessions is a great idea regardless of how big your living space is, it’s also important to remember that everyone needs a little personal space. The more people your cram into a tiny house, the less happy your family members will be on a daily basis (especially considering Americans grow up valuing privacy and individual space). Some families with older teens solve this by coming up with multiple, small living spaces.
- Couples with Newborn Babies
Tiny homes often do away with most of the walls. Instead of bedrooms, most people opt for loft spaces for beds. If you have a newborn, having no walls means hearing the baby’s cries first-hand (not just through a baby monitor) at all times. Tiny homes also make it difficult to fit all of the big baby stuff that comes with newborns like cribs, playpens, changing tables, etc. Unless you’ve planned your tiny home with a newborn specifically in mind, it’s probably not the best idea.
- People who Enjoy Living a Life of Luxury
If you love your interior-decorated living rooms, large-screen TVs, and giant comfy couches, building a tiny home may be a very difficult lifestyle shift. If you’re really committed to the lifestyle shift, it may be okay. But if you want to live sustainably and aren’t sure you can make a tiny house work for you, there are plenty of other ways to improve your personal sustainability.
- People with Disabilities that make Mobility Difficult
Tiny houses are just that: tiny. Which means they typically aren’t handicap accessible. They’re also usually built on a trailer to offer the owner mobility. Additionally, they often have ladders and steps to maximize space. If you have trouble climbing steps or moving around in small spaces, consider a different home option.
- People with Lots of Pets
Dogs and cats can be some of the best companions, but they’re also messy, dirty, and can sometimes stink. Put a dog or cat (or multiple) in a tiny home, and that smelliness and messiness will increase exponentially. Dogs and cats also need space to roam around, and unless you have land that will allow them to do it, it may be a little harsh to expect them to live cooped up without any moving room.
- People Who Frequently Have Guests in Their Home (and Enjoy It)
Tiny homes have a few pitfalls, and one of the main ones is that you will have just the amount of space you need and not any more than that. This means that having guests spend the night at your house for holidays and vacations may not really work. If you’re the kind of family who often hosts guest, you should either consider a different, more spacious housing option or just tell your family members to invest in tents so they can camp outside when they come to visit.