Back when the Cuban Missile Crisis threatened to heat up the Cold War, Richard and Robert Sherman wrote a song about called “It’s a Small World” that was featured in Disney’s exhibit in the 1964 New York World’s Fair.
However, the tune could probably serve as a theme song for the ongoing tiny house trend, where people live in extremely small homes to save money and give the environment a breakamong other reasons.
The average American single-family home is around 2,260 square feet, according to Extra Space Storage, while tiny homes have an average size of about 225 square feet – generally under 600 feet.
Tiny houses can save money
Where this movement began is the subject of some debate. Some say Henry David Thoreau built the original tiny house in 1845, but there are those who trace the tiny house trend all way back to Mongolian yurts in 1,000 BCE.
Wherever it started, tiny houses appear to be growing – at least in popularity.
The numbers are certainly appealing.
On average, a tiny home costs less than one-fifth what a traditional home would cost, the National Association of Realtors said, while a tiny home uses about 7% of the energy that a traditional house does.
Sixty-eight percent of tiny house owners don’t have a mortgage, compared with 29.3% of all U.S. homeowners, and 55% of tiny house owners have more savings than the average American, according to The Tiny Life blog.
Tiny houses have been the subject of such TV shows as “Tiny House Nation,” “Tiny House, Big Living,” “Tiny House Hunters” and “Container Homes.”
On Nov. 18, dozens of tiny house enthusiasts gathered at the Gainesville Raceway in Florida, WUFT reported, as “artists, builders, entrepreneurs, and travelers came together to showcase a unique array of alternative living spaces.”
The home improvement retailing giant is selling the Do-it Yourself Olympia Modern Lean-To Multi-Purpose Outdoor Wood Shed on its website for $1,850, the US Sun reported on Nov. 19.
Home Depot offers outdoor wood shed
Home Depot, which recently posted better-than-expected fiscal-third-quarter earnings, but narrowed its full-year profit forecast, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
However, the Sun noted that the company does not directly refer to the shed as a tiny home.
Instead, the 10 feet by 7.5 feet structure is being marketed as a storage solution, private office, workout room or poolside hangout.
“Modern lean-to building for storage or outdoor Me-Shed space,” the listing said. “Sturdy wood construction stands up to demanding wind and snow loads.”
Customers can get it delivered within two weeks and if they’re willing to wait a bit longer, in-store pickup is available too.
Building a tiny house out of a shed has several advantages, according to The Tiny House blog, including less expense, high quality materials and a quick turnaround in you need your home sweet home in a hurry.
“If you’re short on time, money, or skills, a storage shed converted to a tiny house could be a really smart move,” wrote Ethan Waldman, a tiny house author, speaker, and teacher. “That said, if you go this route, you’ll have much less say in the design of your tiny house.”
And if you plan to tow your tiny house a lot, “starting with a shed might not be the best option for you either.”
“Obviously, sheds are not designed to be pulled all over the country,” Waldman said.
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