The Tiny House, a kind of mini-house halfway between the caravan and the comfortable house, has aroused a lot of enthusiasm for the eco-friendly and minimalist lifestyle it offers. Indeed, fixed or mobile Tiny Houses built on the basis of a wooden frame and mounted on a trailer, offer many advantages compared to a traditional habitat, but also question their disadvantages.
This article answers all your questions, whether you are considering the acquisition of a Tiny House in a main residence (micro fixed house, outbuilding, additional living space) or in secondary housing (cottage, mobile home, holiday home). Without further ado … Summary!
What is a Tiny House?
A Tiny House (or “micro house”) is a small transportable house fixed on a trailer that can be towed by a passenger vehicle.
Legislatively, it is considered a “land mobile home”. The format of the Tiny Houses is therefore similar to a caravan: it is limited by the maximum width and weight authorized for a vehicle as well as the maximum height. This allows to pass under a bridge or a tunnel. People construct these mobile micro-houses from light and noble materials.
Tiny Homes generally meet the following specifications:
- Length: between three and 8 meters (legally up to 12 meters)
- Width: 2.55 meters maximum (Decree 97-572 of 30.059.1997)
- Height: 4 meters maximum (beyond, you risk touching tunnels and bridges whose minimum height is 4.30 meters)
- Weight: 3.5 tonnes maximum
- Spaces: lounge area, kitchen area, dry toilet, shower room, sleeping 2 places on the mezzanine, small storage spaces everywhere (walls, ceiling, under the stairs, etc.)
- Equipment: fridge, solar panels on the roof, microwave, shower, sink, sink, dry toilet, etc.
- Materials: frame, wood floors and cladding, steel chassis, 4 to 6 double axle trailer wheels, aluminum frames.
A Tiny House is therefore a real miniature house for 2 to 4 occupants. Without being at the insulation level of a passive house, it meets modern comfort and insulation standards of a traditional house (RT 2012). It should therefore not be compared with a garden shed (whose price is ridiculous), but rather with a garden studio or a motorhome.
The origin of the transportable mini-house
Taking your home with you is an ancient idea that dates back to the rise of nomadic communities traveling and living in trailers, yurts, huts and tents transported by domestic animals. This way of life, at odds with the sedentarization of Western societies, allows you to adapt to your environment and offers an exceptional feeling of freedom.
More recently, mobile micro-homes have made it possible to live an alternative lifestyle closer to ecological and minimalist concerns. These bohemian aspirations against the current of capitalism tend to develop and should therefore support the movement of the Tiny Houses.
A house on wheels: what for?
The Tiny Housers (owners of Tiny Houses) come from all walks of life and are interested in houses for different reasons. There is therefore no use case for Tiny Houses, but at least 3:
The main residence: living year-round in your Tiny House is possible, but it is also very restrictive. It is a real life project and an economical alternative to the project of having your house built.
The alternative to a house extension: some owners who cannot apply for a building permit to enlarge their house use the Tiny Houses or the garden studio to welcome their family and friends in their garden. This is the case for seaside residences for example.
Unusual holiday accommodation: Whether to offer cozy nights on Airbnb or for your holidays and personal weekends, the Tiny House presents an atypical self-contained accommodation that allows you to relax in the great outdoors.