I see you. Scrolling through social media, admiring the cutesy, quaint, timber little homes that have been spread across your timelines. Maybe you’re even daydreaming, picturing your little family with your little dog laughing over a cup of herbal tea around your tiny little table.
The micro homes movement has taken over the world wide web, television and my sanity. Although, I do agree that adopting a minimalist lifestyle can effectively reduce your carbon footprint, tiny homes are not as glamourous as Pinterest would lead you to believe.
While you’re envisioning all the places you could roll your humble abode, to the Rockies or ocean-side Oregon, I bet you’re not picturing the smells and lack of personal space that will come along with it. I'm here to lay down the reality of tiny homes, not the illusion HGTV has chosen to show you. Here, I'll paint a picture of inescapable odours, poor weather proofing and jail cell sized living.
The Oregonian's Janet Eastman outlined 77 reasons why critics don’t like tiny homes. The arguments are eye-opening and will hopefully save you crucial internet-surfing time. I’ve picked my favourites and outlined them below.
The average size of a Canadian home in 2010 was 1,950 square feet. This does seem ginormous and ridiculous but not as outrageous as choosing to cram all of your precious belongings into the 315 square feet of a tiny home. If you really want to live in tight quarters, why don’t you buy this lovely shelter at Walmart for $99.
This “roomy” tent even has fold-down ventilating windows which will help to alleviate some of the questionable smells emanating from both pets and family. If you’re looking to be at one with nature, you can go "glamping" for a lot less. Bonus, there might even be properly functioning bathrooms on site.
Lauren Modery’s blog from hipstercrite.com, describes it like this: How do inhabitants of itty-bitty homes escape smells? "You have nowhere to run. All you can do is walk three feet to the other end of the house and pray."
Now if vanity isn't a concern, then squeezing into tight quarters like these might not sound so bad. But what if the confines that you choose to binge-watch Netflix (on your laptop because you definitely don’t have space for a T.V) while drinking kombucha is susceptible to storms? What if while you're watching episodes of Heartland, your roof just flew off, because you built it yourself, and let’s face it, you’re not Mike Holmes?
According to Eastman this is possible, most of the wood-framed homes erected on travel trailers are homemade projects, sensitive to wind and rain. In many Canadian communities it is illegal to live in an RV or a tiny home on wheels permanently. Because of this, they do not have to adhere to the same strict building codes as homes with foundation that require windows, walls and roofs to withstand powerful storms. Roofs are important people! If you’re looking for a more eco-friendly way of life, it might be easier to just strap some solar panels on your sturdy roof and call it a day.
For more perspective, watch the clip below from the hilarious show Portlandia.
Emily Andrechuk can almost always be found nose deep in a novel, usually historical fiction or one of her many travel guides. When she’s not counting her pennies for flights abroad, she’s at home cooking, drinking wine and writing. She is a direct entry student in Algonquin College’s Professional Writing program.