Can you imagine living in a house that's less than 150 square feet? Neither could we, until we spoke with Gabriel Williams, one half of the Santa Cruz, California company Molecule Tiny Homes to learn all about the lifestyle of "living small." Williams left his former career of professional ballet dancing to join his builder brother-in-law Jason Dietz, and the pair have been designing and building small homes for about a year. Each tiny house is custom-built, energy-efficient and is made with as many low-VOC and non-toxic materials as possible, making this a particularly interesting (and very small) house tour.
Surprisingly, Williams reports that for a lot of people, once inside, the homes feel bigger than they anticipate. "Most people want the big house as a status symbol, but when they're bombarded with the mortgage and all the other stuff that comes with it, it's often daunting." On the other hand, a "living small" lifestyle is pared-down and based on only what you actually need, with less impact on the environment. This way, Williams mentions, you have less to take care of and more time to do the other things you want to do. "That's why people go on vacation, isn't it?"
Williams told us that alternatively, some of their customers use the home as a second residence, like a guest home or a transition for elderly parents or kids home from college. We asked Williams if he lives in a tiny home currently, and he told us "I haven't lived in one yet, but I will as soon as I can afford one. I could totally live in one."
Molecule Tiny Homes can cost anywhere from $20 thousand to $90 thousand, depending upon the size, components, and complexity of the design, but it only costs a fraction of the cost to maintain it compared to average sized homes. Although the home has a very small footprint, it still contains many of the pricier parts of a home, like the kitchen appliances. The tiny homes are quite heavy to move, but if you are on the go they can be equipped with holding tanks for R.V. style hookups, so they are entirely self-sufficient.
People find it refreshing that they can still live in our society, but in a simpler way. And Molecule Tiny Homes is just one of several companies that offer small space living solutions. Tiny Home Builders and Tumbleweed Tiny House Company also have options for ready-made tiny homes as well as plans to build your own.
Click through the slideshow and watch the video tour of one of Molecule Tiny Home's latest builds. This house is only 8' 6" wide by 20' long by 13' 5" high. Inside, it has two sleeping lofts, a full kitchen including a three-burner range and oven and a full bathroom with shower and tub.