Tiny House Panel at Miranda’s Hearth

-written by Hearth member Rebecca D’Antonio

Tiny House Panel (2)This past Sunday Miranda’s Hearth hosted one of the biggest Dinner, Art, and Music nights to date. Over fifty attendees curious about the Tiny House Movement that is sweeping the country showed up to learn. Miranda headed a panel of experts in an open question and answer discussion on the subject. The audience and panel were not shy and jumped right in with all manner of ideas in rapid fire succession. The entire evening was lively, entertaining, and informative. An evening very well spent.

Over the course of an hour, the panel covered far too many questions and answers to cover in this article, but here are a few of interest:

  • What is a tiny house?

A tiny house is exactly what it sounds like: a dwelling that is highly effective and efficient using as little space as possible.  The panel specifically spoke to tiny houses built on trailers which are nearly always 8 feet wide and range in length from 14 feet to 24 feet.

  • Why a tiny house?

There are many reasons someone may choose to have a tiny house. Some may wish to reduce their cost of living. Others may wish to reduce their carbon footprint. And some may wish to simplify their life by making it less “stuff” centric. The panel discussed the following specific reasons:

  1. Financial: tiny houses generally cost around $25,000 to build (although depending on personal tastes they can be as little as $10,000 or as high as $50,000).  This quickly becomes a much more viable option than either renting or owning a traditional home.
  2. Environmental: many tiny houses are completely off the grid, but even those that use traditional utilities have a much smaller foot print.
  3. Simplicity: in an age of overabundance and rampant materialism, going tiny is a way to reanalyze all of the stuff that piles up and how much of it we actually use.
  • What are the zoning laws for a tiny house?

Tiny House WhatIMakeWhile the idea of a tiny house is not a new one, zoning laws seem to have always had difficulty with them. This is because tiny houses fall in a perfectly gray area of the existing codes. So many different factors come into play, it depends almost entirely on how the particular tiny house is built on a case-by-case basis. There are many different ways around any particular zoning issue as long as you are flexible and communicate well with your neighbors and town.

  • What happens in winter?

Much like a traditional house, tiny houses have special heating systems that can be winterized to make the space inhabitable. Most tiny houses are built with lots of consideration towards insulation, Also, if your tiny house is built on a trailer you have the option to move the house to a warmer climate during the colder months of the year.

Tiny House Panel Room

Join us for the next Dinner, Art, + Music night on April 12 to hear Hearth Member Kara Kulpa perform!

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