Micro Housing

Micro housing, as seen below, has sprung up as a trendy living solution for urbanites and those desiring to simplify their lifestyles.  Defined as housing under 500 square feet and sometimes as small as 150, micro houses push the boundaries of living in tight quarters.

A micro house in Northern California owned by Diana Lorence.
See it at: http://tinyhouseblog.com/timber-frame/dianas-innermost-house/

While some may dismiss it as a passing fad, micro housing has some definite perks that could lead to some staying power in the future.  For one, as the population of urban centers continues to rise for the foreseeable future, urban living space will continue to be sold and rented at a premium.  Micro housing provides a solution by offering the maximum number of occupants per square foot while still maintaining individual space.  Tiny housing solutions also provide a more eco-conscious option because they use less construction materials.  Many manufacturers use a plethora of recycled materials in their construction from everything from insulation to floor tiles, such as in the prefabricated unit built by the British company Dwelle depicted below.  Finally, heating and cooling a micro house is–you guessed it–much cheaper than providing the same temperature control for a larger home.

Interior of a micro house sold by the British company Dwelle. See it at: http://www.dwelle.co.uk/

What’s the catch?  Well, you’re living in a really small house.  That makes normal stuff hard.  Entertaining guests and conducting home projects become that much more cramped as your square footage drops.  Raising a family seems downright daunting.  Still, micro housing might still have a future for the reasons listed even if it’s an acquired taste for those living alone or young couples.

Micro housing also comes in portable forms. This is a pedal-powered houseboat built for touring Europe. See it at thistinyhouse.com.


Arguments for coziness aside, perhaps my favorite implication of micro housing is that it forces the occupants to get out into the community to avoid cabin fever.  When you can’t complete all the activities you would normally engage in at home, you spend more time out and about meeting new people and getting in touch with your community.  What’s more is that you are limited in the amount of stuff you can lug around.  Perhaps the best argument for micro housing is that it virtually forces you to go light ensuring that you’re not bogged down with all the trappings that tie people to normal housing.  To quote Fight Club, “The things you own end up owning you.”  Micro housing provides the out for those wanting to escape being tied down to their possessions.

-RG

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2 comments

  1. Would you say that micro housing is more likely an option for couples lacking children or pets? I would enjoy entertaining the idea but I am not single and I am young, therefore life holds a plethora of opportunities for me. With future “adventures” pending I would hate to out-live the santuary that my home provides.

    1. Micro housing isn’t for everyone. I presented it here as a fascinating lifestyle choice that some people are choosing. If your future plans include children and pets you might be better off looking into more conventional housing. Another option would be to rent a micro household to see if it ‘fits’ your needs. If you’re in a relationship I would definitely recommend discussing it with your significant other before diving in as well. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s what you really want and that you’re not doing it simply to live up to a trend. Good luck in your decision and thanks for reading!

      -RG

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