Tiny Houses In Canada
What Has Brought Us Here
Tiny houses are gaining popularity all across Canada. With the recent economic downturn, more and more people are trying to avoid being tied down by a home mortgage. Being debt free is much more appealing. For many that is easily achievable without a monthly mortgage payment.
Even though the size of the average family in Canada has decreased over the past 50-60 years, the average size of a Canadian house has increased almost three times. The average house was 800 square feet in 1945 and is now over 2,200 square feet, and generally most of that space is not used on a regular basis.
We are now seeing a shift in the other direction. Many people are realizing that they don’t need all the “stuff” that ends up filling up a bigger house. They can be perfectly happy living in a smaller space that has only what is needed instead of all the extras.
When most people think of a small house, they think of a cabin in the woods or a cottage by the lake. Few people think of these homes as a permanent place of residence; they’re thinking more like a second home used only in the summer or a few other times of year.
More recently, with the financial problems that Canadians are facing, the uncertain job security, and the increasing living expenses – they are looking towards these smaller sized homes as their main living space.
Your Footprint on the Environment
As the environment gets more attention, we begin to look at our ecological footprint. When talking about a house, the ecological footprint is mainly determined by the size and the location of the house.
Size becomes a factor simply because the larger the house, the more materials it takes to build it. Most of those materials are coming from are existing, but not infinite, resources of Earth.
A larger home also uses more energy to keep it warm, to keep it cool, and to keep it well lit.
Location in terms of ecological footprints typically includes the location from sun (meaning using less or more energy to keep the home warm or cool) and the location from where you need to go on a regular basis (gas cost when using the car to and from that place).
How Small Can you go in Canada?
When looking at building a smaller house in Canada, you will need to be aware of existing building codes depending on how tiny you want to go and where you want to live. Generally, these codes are or would be similar to:
- Living areas within dwelling units, either as separate rooms or in combination with other spaces, shall have an area not less than 13.5m2 (145.312 ft2).
- Minimum kitchen – 3.7m2 (39.83 ft2).
- Minimum bedroom – 9.8m2 (105.49 ft2).
- Minimum dining room – 7 m2 (75.35 ft2).
- Space must be made for a toilet and shower and/or bathtub.
DIY Construction of your Tiny Home
Many people dream of building their own home. Of being able to design each room to best fit your needs. Mini houses can make this a reality and with the option of DIY construction not only are you designing your own home, but you can literally build your own home – exactly as you dreamed it.
You would be surprised to find out that you can build your entire home with about 14 tools – tools that you probably already have laying around your house.
You can build your home from scratch or you can buy a prefab kit that will make construction even quicker.
With “green” being such a popular color these days, another draw to a DIY tiny home is the fact that you have the ability to build it using recycled materials. Just be careful when choosing recycled materials. Some may have previously been treated with chemicals and should not be used in building your home.
Tiny Life Downsides
Not everyone is ready for living tiny. Obviously there is not a lot of room inside to do any sort of physical activity or a hobby that takes up a lot of space. A second building may be necessary but the good news is that it would still be less expensive than a larger house.
Storage space will be a minimum. If you are not already, you will need to become a minimalist in order to live small. There is no room for extras. There are many creative and practical storage ideas that can be built into your home.
Benefits of a Tiny House
A huge benefit to living small comes when you are able to free yourself from the expense of a larger home ownership. Many people can only dream of paying cash for their home or having the ability to pay off their mortgage much sooner than they could ever have imagined. The cost of a tiny house can make that a possibility.
The smaller the house, the less ecological footprint we put on the earth. Taking care of our environment is becoming more and more important every year we live on this Earth.
A house that is only a few hundred square feet is much easier to pick up and move if needed. This is especially true if you build yours on wheels, like many do with their tiny home.
Taking care of a house with less square footage doesn’t require the kind of time investment a larger house does. For example, less square footage means less time vacuuming and less mopping. One bathroom versus three takes a third of the time to clean.
Maintaining a small house will cost considerably less than a large home. Whether the exterior needs painting or the interior needs new carpeting, the lower size means the smaller the paint or carpet bill will be.
Energy bills will be considerably less. In actuality, this cost will be cut drastically when cooling or heating 1,000 square feet or less.
If you are contemplating joining the tiny houses Canada movement, you’ll quickly realize that there are a lot of great benefits to going small. Before making a decision, you should learn more about these places. We’ve already gone over the general information and benefits – you can find more detailed information can be found in the tiny house books. Once you’ve learned all you can, you can effectively weigh the pros and cons and then make an informed decision.