What is a Micro Home?
A micro home is simply a small but fully functioning home, often designed with space efficiency and environmental friendliness in mind. How small? Though a typical micro home footprint is under 500 square feet, there are no rules. Many micro home designs include lofts and incorporate vertical design elements to maximize space. The design of a micro home can vary greatly to match a location's climate, builder's aesthetic, or intended use of the space. In addition to being built as primary residences, micro homes make great vacation homes, studios, and guest houses.
What are the benefits of a Micro Home?
Transitioning to life in a micro home may seem daunting, but there are plenty of incentives to making the switch. A major reason many people are going tiny is to reduce the impact they have on the environment. Micro homes take less energy to heat, less power to live in, and less materials to build in the first place. In addition to helping the planet, these reductions also result in reduced building costs and monthly expenses. Another main reason that micro homes have proven to be more than a fad is the lifestyle they create for their occupants. The state of mind created by a more minimalist lifestyle is what attracts many people to the micro home movement.
Is a Micro Home right for me?
Micro homes aren’t for everyone, but there are great reasons to consider this option. If the thought of saving money, helping the environment, and living simply resonates with you, you definitely might be on to something. The next step is to decide whether you could actually make the switch to tiny living, or whether you just have a bad case of micro house swoon.
If you're on the fence, try spending a few nights in one of these beautiful tiny Airbnb rentals. If you are into tiny living but not quite sold on a micro home, you may want to consider a Yurt, Cabin, or Tiny House.
How much does a Micro Home cost?
Depending on size, design, building materials, and the systems you choose, the price of a micro home can range anywhere from a couple of thousand dollars to well over six figures.
If you are planning to build on a tight budget, Tiny House Talk showcases a $5,900 micro home build in this inspiring article. On the other end of the scale, this collection of micro homes showcases some unique projects with larger price tags.
Regardless of the building decisions you make for your micro home build, the total costs will surely be much less than traditional housing options. Ryan from The Tiny Life has created this great graphic to illuminate some interesting facts about tiny home owners and their finances.
Can you buy pre-built Micro Homes?
Absolutely. Here at Tiny Life Supply we specialize in building custom micro homes. Get a hold of us for pricing information, or to get the ball rolling on a custom build! Depending on your location, budget, and vision, there are some other great micro home manufactures out there to choose from.
One of our favourite micro home manufacturers is Vancouver based Nomad Micro Homes, creating slick modern structures that can be modified and combined.
Minim Micro Homes is another excellent manufacturer, producing beautiful micro homes that can be shipped anywhere in North America.
If you are considering purchasing a micro home, check out our hand-curated Tiny Home Builders Index to find a builder near you.
So... what about the toilet?
Many micro homes are situated in urban locations, built to code, and plugged and plumbed into the grid. If sewage from your micro home will be plumbed into a tank or septic field, traditional toilets are an option. If you are aiming to reduce your environmental footprint or plan on being off-grid, composting toilets may be your best option.
A composting toilet is a dry toilet that uses aerobic processing to break down organic waste. Composting toilets are also a great option for environmental reasons. Waste is transformed into nutrient-rich compost that can be safely returned to the environment, or even used in agriculture. At first, the composting toilet concept may seem a little strange, but the modern designs really work great.
The best way to decide if a composting toilet will work for you is to hear from somebody with first-hand experience. If you are interested in the details, Ariel McGlothin has written some of most comprehensive composting toilet blog posts that we've seen.
What about storage?
Micro Homes are definitely not for hoarders. Because of the small footprint of most micro homes, there is little room for nonessential items. For most people, this means that the transition to micro home living will require purging a lot of 'stuff', and adopting a more minimalist lifestyle.
That being said, creative storage solutions are one of the most important features to incorporate into your micro home plans. A clever storage compartment or unique shelving idea can become a beautiful design feature; use your imagination and have some fun! For inspiration, check out these great storage ideas by 'Live Big in a Tiny Home'.
Are people actually doing this?
Absolutely! Micro homes are gaining popularity all over the world. We have even built a couple of micro homes ourselves! Check out this time lapse we made while installing siding and flooring last summer.
Tiny Life Supply is proud to take a leadership role in the tiny life community through our ambassador program, the 'Tiny Life Renegades'.
Several of our Tiny Life Renegades are building amazing micro homes. Follow along with Renegades Ryan & Holly as they take us behind the scenes of their beautiful redwood micro home 'Dragonfly House'. Feel free to reach out to the Renegades if you get stuck on something with your own project!
What Systems will I need?
Choosing the perfect systems for your yurt is one of the most exciting steps! From customizing your tiny kitchen, to selecting your power and heat source, picking the perfect systems is the key to designing a yurt that works for your lifestyle. Use the links below to browse through the best appliances, gear, and supplies.
Don't let the options overwhelm you; take the planning process one step at a time, and get a hold of us if you need any help!
Ok, I'm in; what's next?
Ok, so you're committed! The first steps you will likely put energy into for any building project are research and design. Check out this article by HOMEDIT for inspiring micro home features and designs. There are a variety of resources, both free and paid, that you can use to get your hands on some tiny home designs. Check out Tiny House Society for some paid design plans and The Spruce for some free design plans. If you're feeling creative, try using Sketchup to create your own custom design.
Selecting the perfect systems for your micro homes is arguably the most important step, and something you will want to do as you develop your micro home plans. Here at Tiny Life Supply we have sourced some of the best micro home gear on the planet. Take a look at your options and get inspired!
By the time you have a design in mind, you will most likely have decided whether to build or buy. If you are going to buy, check out our Tiny Home Builders Index to find a builder near you.
And finally, don't be afraid to reach out to the tiny life community! There are tons of talented DIYers out there that are willing to share tips and lend a hand. If you have any questions we might be able to answer, please drop us a line! We love meeting new tiny life enthusiasts, and would love to hear from you.