Spring is just around the corner here in Tennessee and everyone is getting a little cabin fever. And that’s exactly what I want to talk about–cabins! It is no secret that Tennessee is home to some beautiful natural landscapes like the Smokey Mountains. When the weather is nice there isn’t much more we would rather be doing than enjoying the views. Cabins are nothing new to Tennesseans but they have undergone a much needed face lift in the past decade. With everyone being more economically conscience, everyone is looking for a way to go on vacation and still manage to save a little money. Instead of staying in an expansive Lincoln Log mini-mansion we are seeing more and more people look to the future. In efforts to not only be eco-friendly, people are also practicing efficient design principles, and padding their pockets at the same time.
What exactly is the Tiny House movement?
We have seen evidence of this in Europe and Asia for quite some time now and it is an idea that Americans are quickly adopting, but for much different reasons. Up to this point, small space design has been done out of necessity due to over crowdedness in dense urban areas of the world. So why are we seeing these micro-houses crop up across the US when there is plenty of room for everyone? Some people are choosing small space design so that they have a minimum impact on their surroundings and the environment where they choose to plant their pod. A small, well-integrated unit can blur the lines between dwelling and outdoors and allows the viewer to maximize the scenery. This also allows the units to be placed in areas that might not support a full traditional house structure. These units, when designed properly, can comfortably house two adults performing daily activities in about 400 square feet.
These small space designs are highly efficient not only from an architectural standpoint but also when it comes to energy consumption. Cabins such as these usually use a combination of solar, wind, and geo-thermal energy to power the entire unit. Since the majority of them are pre-fabricated they are also much more economical than a traditional cabin or vacation house. What you are left with is a highly efficient dwelling–both in personal use as well as in environmental impact. They are often modular or they can even be a permanent fixture in one area. All of this can be yours for around $30,000.
Americans are so used to the concept that space is a necessity but I think you would find yourself surprisingly comfortable on a weekend getaway in one of these micro houses, if you can find a place to put your suitcase. What are your thoughts on the trendy tiny house movement?