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The Tiny House Movement: Smart Living

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“Today in America, 1 in 4 homeowners owe more money than their home is worth.  Here in DC in the past decade, median home values have doubled…” reads a sign on the gates leading to Boneyard Studios, Washington, D.C.’s tiny home community.  During an open house on September 29, 2013, area residents were able to learn about, discuss and -- most importantly -- step inside these small homes.

 

While the Tiny House movement is more popular on the West Coast of the United States, numbers of small houses on the East Coast and in other areas of the country are increasing.  Mobile houses for battling disasters caused by climate change and a reduced carbon footprint are two advantages cited by tiny house enthusiasts.  Not surprisingly, the issue of affordable housing is also a draw for potential small house owners.

 

The four houses in Boneyard Studios (named for its proximity to a cemetery) vary widely in terms of style, design, construction and layout.  One, a design by the popular Tumbleweed company, resembles a child’s dollhouse; everything down to the toilet and doors are miniature. Minim, a competing builder, uses regular code-sized features, easily assembled structural insulated panels and a modern plan which make the interior of their much larger structure (not pictured) resemble a chic urban studio.  The houses were in varying stages of completion, and either had loft or pull-out beds and sustainable features such as incinerator toilets and skylights for temperature regulation.

 

For now, Boneyard Studios is simply a tiny house display and a building area for their owners, who hold permanent addresses elsewhere in the city.  Washington, D.C., like most U.S. states, has zoning laws that don’t allow for the habitation of these homes.  The showcase serves as a tool to raise awareness of how vacant urban spaces can be used efficiently -- and the need for zoning and coding laws to accommodate such communities.

 

How You Can Get Involved in the Tiny House Movement

 

Visit a tiny house community on the East Coast:

Washington, D.C.: Boneyard Studios http://boneyardstudios.com/

Maryland: http://www.bluemoonrising.org/

North Carolina: http://tinyhousenc.com/

 

Check out this documentary, We The Tiny House People: