November 18, 2013

Micro Houses Monday

Hand built micro home made with repurposed materials.

There are tiny homes, and then there are micro homes. I have always been interested in small hand built dwellings just large enough to get the job done. Such structures provide a warm, dry micro footprint, and they are often appealing in their craftsmanship and utility.

Another micro home, stark in its simplicity.

The original guide to building anything from a micro to a tiny home is the 1914 book "Shacks, Shelters, and Shanties" by D.C. Beard. Although marketed as a guide for "boys of all ages", there is something in it for anyone that wishes to build their own shelter.

A nice mobile micro home.

The classic 'you can build it' book describes how to create over 50 dwellings from the most primitive lean to up to a fully equipped log cabin. All the structures can be built from local materials, and would degrade harmlessly back into the environment after their useful life.

Warm, dry, simple, cozy.

A micro home meets the basic shelter needs of the occupants just as well as considerably larger, less efficient dwellings. Now with the internet there are many resources available to make a tiny or micro home a real possibility.

A small home built from 3 shipping containers.

I think micro homes are elegant, adequate, and sensible in a time of expensive and depleted resources. They cost less, require less maintenance, and are easier to heat. And they are so darn cute.

A company in Vancouver BC is marketing their brand of tiny home for eco-conscious consumers.
At least one company is counting on consumers turning to tiny dwellings. The outfit is marketing a home that sits on a 10 X 10 footprint, considerably smaller than your average house size. It is attractive inside and out if you like a more modern industrial design, but is still expensive.

They are hoping to sell them for "less than $30,000" dollars, which is still a lot considering one could build a micro home from repurposed materials for considerably less.

If a micro home is "cute" - what is a giant home?

Plus there is something about building your own shelter with your own two hands.


  1. I love how pretty these houses are, especially the last one. I also love the idea of living in such a small space (though I do wonder if the reality would frustrate me!) Our family of four used to manage perfectly well in a touring caravan (admittedly with an awning and pup tents) for two weeks every summer, so clearly it is possible to live in a much smaller space than most people do.
    But for now I'll concentrate on reducing the amount of stuff in our non-tiny house, and enjoy the space reducing clutter brings!

    1. Nicola,

      You are fortunate to have had parents that enjoyed camping. When I was a kid our family of seven would go camping, sleeping in a single canvas cabin tent.

      I have no idea how my parents did it with all us kids, but I am glad they did. Those early camping trips gave me a taste for roughing it and enjoying the challenges of living lightly and close to nature.

      When you are sleeping outside a small pup tent seems like a palace. In the wilderness that 36 sq ft can make the difference between life and death.

      I think you are right - most people could adapt to living in smaller spaces. There is nothing like decluttering to make any dwelling feel more spacious.

  2. I think my favorite it the wagon, but I would live in any of them! I live with my family (the three of us, soon to be four, and our dog) in about 700 sqft. but secretly long to live in a tiny home of almost any sort. My husband doesn't have a problem with moving into a tiny home, but my idea is always more quaint than his. Hopefully we can get on the same page soon!



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