Could you live in a home that is under 200 square feet?

Could you live in a 100 square foot home?

Here’s a note from Anna Weggel, who is helping out on the show this week, about a new passion of hers:

When a friend first showed me pictures of tiny houses, I was mildly intrigued. Three hours later, he had to pry his laptop out of my hands. That’s what happens when you start learning about small houses — you get sucked into a vortex of snapshots, videos, manifestos, blueprints, and by the end of your foray you feel absolutely convinced that you are going to shed yourself of 98 percent of your material possessions and pour a good chunk of your money into a 100 square foot, environmentally-friendly structure called “home”.

Tiny houses, aka “wee houses,” aka structures from the small house movement are just what their name says. They are houses that are very small, typically ranging from 100 to 1,000 square feet. Sometimes they are used as offices, cabins, or additions to houses, but other times they account for people’s entire living spaces. Sometimes they come from a company that specializes in these types of structures, and sometimes they are homebuilt by scrap materials that their owners scavenge.

Here’s a TEDx talk from Dee Williams, a woman who lives in an 84 square feet house in her friend’s backyard. She says she prefers the simple life, and that it makes her feel content:

We’ll talk about unbelievably small houses this coming Friday at 10 am with Geoffrey Warner, the WeeHouse creator, and Thomas Fisher, the dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

What do you think?

  • Jonathan Roberts

    My girlfriend just moved to Minneapolis into a duplex with several roommates. She had an option to move into a 120 sq ft room or a 90 sq foot room for $40 less. She was happy she followed my advice and took the bigger one, because she has enough room for all of her belongings, queen bed, and can still walk around. When it comes to living spaces that small, unless you want to live very austerely, a little more room is worth the money.

  • Pam

    i believe that we really need to work toward smaller houses I would love to see a developer/builder work with this concept. Maybe starting with a community utilizing 600 to a max of 1200 feet. Developing great storage/closet ideas. This would enable you too actually sell the idea of this size home to the public and actually be able to really start a community. Less is definitely more, when you have an affordable/yet livable house. It does let you have extra $ for other wonderful things.

  • David

    Already living in a 400 foot house I love the idea of going a little smaller… The need of cutting down on added stuff in your life is an amazing relief and should be practiced more often in our culture. A constant reminder to ask yourself “self, do I really need this?” really keeps perspective on the important things in life. Having the lower overhead of a small house enables me to work on my priorities, working as little as possible and being outside as much as possible all while having the bliss of my very own place to go home to.

  • Em

    Dee Williams in the Ted video is unrealistic – she doesn’t have running water and uses her neighbor’s home for bathroom purposes. I think it would be far more interesting to live in a house under 100 square ft AND have it be sustainable in which you wouldn’t rely on someone else for your basic needs. I have a hard time considering that her house, as she’s leaning on someone else to cover her water needs. The idea of smaller homes is a great idea, as the world’s populations continue to move to cities and homes in suburbs continue to be larger and larger at a time when natural resources need to be preserved and not wasted on square feet.

  • Rick

    I’ve been watching this “tiny home market” for a while now. I think many of the designs are fun, confortable, and creative. some are no more than “RV” trailers. The down side is the lack of infrastracture related to placement in the city (that why many of the designs are on trailers and are only 8ft wide), water and sanitation. Even so there are some interesting pseudo solutions to the issues. More creative solutions needed. I think it could very interesting to be a part of this new life style and the business possibilities.