A Tiny House for Emily

Sometimes I get an idea in my head and I just can't get rid of it.  Current idea: building a tiny house. I have been renting a home for the last 4 years.  Before that I rented an apartment for my Chicago seminary years. I am so, so, so thankful for these great renting opportunities.  Throughout my 20s, renting was the ideal option. It continues to be a great, amazing, wonderful option as I pay off my college and seminary student loans and work toward a debt-free life!

My current place is beautiful and serene.  Thankfully, it is fully furnished which is great because I own very little furniture.  Renting has been a great option, but lately, I find myself considering the possibility of buying/building a home in the next couple years.

But I really want it to be quite tiny.  Here's a little bit about the "Tiny House Movement."  And the Small House Society.  Maybe my tiny house could look something like these....

(very handy with the garage space built-in)

The more research I do, the more convinced I am about building a tiny home.  Things I don't have a clue about: zoning regulations, plumbing regulations, and building permits.

The reasons I think a tiny home might work for me: I live by myself and plan to continue to do so, I don't have/want very much furniture, and I'd like to own a home without breaking the bank.

In order for my tiny home plan to move forward, I'll need to:
-Save at least $15,000-$30,000
-Find a trustworthy, inexpensive contractor (or learn to build my own house which would be awesome)
-Buy a little piece of land or talk someone into letting be build my house in their yard

I definitely want my tiny house to have the option of both electricity (maybe helped by solar panels) and water.  Have you heard of composting toilets?  Maybe I'm losing my marbles.  I did a little more research last night after book club.  It seems so smart.

Building a tiny house could easily be just another silly Emily idea, but I've been chewing on it for awhile.  I think it might be right for me.

I'd love your suggestions/tips/thoughts/alternatives.

PS: Want to help me build a house?


  1. Go for it - it will be a wonderful adventure! My tiny house is at Boneyard Studios in Washington, DC. The community offers tours: http://boneyardstudios.com/visit/
    Regards, Elaine

    1. Great to hear from you, Elaine! Thank you so much for your comment - and for sharing your own tiny living journey!

  2. Hey Emily -- I write a blog about tiny living and your post popped up in my Google Alerts. Love how passionate you are about the idea. Also love that image of the two story with the garage underneath. I live in a 400-square-foot cottage with a sleeping loft, and I am always thinking how great it would be to keep the small house but also have a garage. Small living has been great for us.

    1. :) Awesome! Do you post pics of your tiny space, Sara? Thanks for the encouragement!

  3. Hey Emily, my fiance and I are currently having the same adventure ourselves! We are getting married in May and want to begin our new life living a lot more simply, intentionally, and healthier. I think this comes out of influences. Traveling minimally and pursuing graduate degrees and careers...you find there are important thing's and not so important thing's! We opted out of the traditional wedding registry accumulating more stuff to set up a registry to help raise funds to buy materials and build our tiny house. We will see how that works!
    Good to see other enthusiasts! Gotta keep our eyes on the prize!

    1. Hi Amy and Nathan; thanks so much for the comment. Cheers to you as your wedding day approaches. Tiny house enthusiasts unite! :)

  4. Hello Emily, if you are still looking at toilets, my friend used this one. Incinolet works awesome not sure of the cost but here is the number 1-800-527-5551. Enjoy the comforts of tiny living.