Is Bigger Really Better?

If you’re in any way connected to the sustainability community, you have to have heard about the “tiny houses” popping up around the nation. Some people’s definition of success includes a four-story house with a grand foyer and an iron gated fence surrounding acres of property. Some people, on the other hand, tend to forego this definition of a dream and chose another path like Jeremy Hensley.

Hensley, a traveler at heart, decided to create a home that would fit his wanderlust life style. Tired of paying big bucks for apartment buildings or renting homes that were too large for his needs, Hensley decided to build his own 120- square foot tiny home. His home has all of the essentials; a kitchen, a bedroom, and even a small bathroom. Hensley attached his tiny home to a trailer and planned to venture to Spur, TX where he would reside in his tiny home until the urge to travel called again.
Tiny home living is one of the most sustainable and economically efficient ways to live. Large cities like Washington D.C are undergoing a huge housing crisis. The cost of living is great even in tiny apartments. There are many homeless people living in urban and suburban areas that are not able to make ends meet even some who are employed in these metropolitan areas. Tiny homes would be an ideal solution to some of these problems; so why are tiny homes not popping up all over these urban and suburban areas.

Zoning issues in some of these areas are one of the biggest obstacles faced. Size regulations for homes on a lot are normally around 500 square feet. It also creates a problem with insurance companies not know how to assess these less than 500 square feet movable structures. It has become an issue in many metropolitan areas because of these strict zoning laws in place that are difficult to overcome. Unfortunately, these are the areas that are in need of a tiny homes movement in the first place. To combat these laws, some companies like Boneyard Studios have done showings in large cities about how these homes can work within cities. Places like Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington have already adopted ways to make tiny homes legal in suburban and urban areas.

For the sustainable minded, it may not take much to convince the benefits of living minimally. Of course using less materials, taking up less space and consequentially using less resources is the best way to live as a sustainable individual in today’s society. The cool angle about tiny houses is that it appeals to the financially minded people as well. Tiny house cost significantly less than any sort of “normal” sized home. Energy costs will be less, heating costs will be less, and the smaller spacer to have, the fewer things you will need to buy to fill it! Often, the financially responsible side of living a sustainable lifestyle falls through the cracks in conversations with non-sustainable connected people. I think that the benefits of tiny homes is a way to bridge the gap and bring together the idea of financially and environmentally sustainable. Some say bigger is better but this idea doesn’t hold steady for tiny home owners; they understand that sometimes bigger isn’t always better.

Read Jeremy’s Story at


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