Sunday, December 7, 2014

Tiny House Comparison

Just a note, some people do not consider these tiny - just small. And that's my disclaimer to appease those individuals. :) Thank you!

Since I'm at least halfway there financially, I've spent some time comparing my current house (which I rent) to the tiny houses I'm considering building. The Bodega is my top choice and I have already purchased plans for it. The Marmara is my fall-back house should something suddenly happen and I find the need to build now (its biggest drawback is the micro-bathroom...I do need a bit of storage in there what with lady items and such things having to go somewhere). The Whidbey is what I would build should I need to accommodate an additional person in my life (my cynical side wishes to comment further... I will refrain because I do really like the Whidbey). 

Please note that the photos and information for the Bodega and Whidbey come from Tumbleweed Tiny House Company and the Marmara comes from Four Lights Tiny House Company.

Here's the breakdown:

Note: the loft square footage is in addition to the Total square footage. It is not included in the total because the ceiling height disqualifies it from being counted as a "room" in most building codes.

My current house is actually a studio, and using divisions created by my furniture, this is how I divided it (blue lines) for comparison to these houses:

Not to scale!

By comparison, (and according to what I value) these tiny houses are all an improvement in some way over my current house. All of the tiny houses have bigger kitchens than what I currently have. All can accommodate bath tubs (even the tiny Marmara using Jay Shafer's ofuro tub design), whereas now I have a 2.5' x 2.5' shower stall. All have more storage space, mostly thanks to the lofts. All have actual bedrooms in contrast to my current open studio space. One could argue that these "bedrooms" are just that...walled off spaces for a bed and that's about it. Lucky for me, I find this idea a little sleeping cubby...or a nest... comme ce est romantique! 

The downsizing of the Great Room in all of the houses is not a negative for me, either. The footprint of my current house may be larger than most of these, but it isn't well designed. This is just one of the reasons I find tiny houses so attractive. I much prefer the well thought out designs of these smaller rooms with the options of adding built-in furniture and using other creative ideas to make it feel more cozy. I do like my current house, but it is just one large space, without much design. My current "great room" feels a bit empty.

I'm on the fence about the tiny bathroom and lack of space for a W/D in the Marmara. Though if I did end up going with the Marmara, I could always later install an outbuilding for a W/D. I actually see no minuses with the other two house designs.

This comparison exercise turned out to be a great way to visualize what it would be like to live in any one of them. It's much easier to visualize, for example, a 7'5" x 7'5" kitchen after measuring and realizing that I currently have a 5'8" x 7'11" kitchen. I'm now able to confidently say...I'm looking forward to that! (And a real oven! Sigh!

PS - Bodega wins

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