Global interest in affordable, eco-friendly housing is booming. And tiny houses are at the forefront of the trend. It seems young people are going big for tiny homes.
England and Denmark have some of the oldest allotment gardens. Records going back to the 1700s show that communities there began allotting land for gardening, fresh air, and exercise.
In the early 1900s, towns and villages began worrying about food shortages. Workers ditched farms and headed for large cities to find higher paying jobs.
In creating allotment gardens through Europe, local officials divided acreage into pint-sized parcels. Owners often spent weekends working their plots. Sometimes they camped out in small toolsheds erected on the property. Soon tiny dwellings began popping up on the tiny plots. By law, the houses couldn’t be large—and practically, gardeners wanted to save the land for growing.
Hundreds of allotment gardens still dot suburban areas near Stockholm and Malmö in Sweden. Today, several companies build tiny homes in Sweden as an alternative to high-priced urban real estate. The Scandinavian kingdom permits homeowners to build structures without a permit—as long as they’re smaller than 269 square feet and not taller than 13.1 feet.
David and Eliza Roxendal founded Swedish company Rox Productions. They build tiny houses using recyclable, local resources. That makes them cost-effective and largely sustainable.
Rox Productions also teaches people how to build their own tiny houses. They wanted to inspire more self-supporting communities.
David Roxendal says most people have at least a curiosity about tiny houses. But young people, who often have more time for travel and new experiences, have fully embraced the tiny house movement.
“If you look at the tiny house movement in Sweden, it is absolutely exploding,” he says.
Here are some pros and cons of tiny living:
- Lower upfront costs
- Lower utilities expenses
- More mobility (if on wheels)
- Quick to clean
- Freedom from managing too many possessions
- Less space for storage and sentimental items
- Increased wear and tear due to constant use
- Security issues due to small size (can be stolen)
- Smells from cooking, etc., fill whole house and linger
- Tricky and changing zoning laws
- Low resale value
But the greatest con may be what tiny house owner Jenna told the online magazine Insider: “I can turn my house from a sterile hospital room into a disgusting dumpster in a matter of seconds,” she says. “One bowl of cereal falls off the counter . . . my house is a wreck.”
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. — 2 Corinthians 5:1
Why? God knows that having a home is valuable, but earthly homes can take many forms. Tiny homes offer a wise use of resources for some to consider—especially while waiting for our perfect eternal home.