Last month I received an email from a very ambitious soul in Sooke, BC asking if we had ever considered turning some of our shed designs into home plans. At first I thought she meant using the style as the basis for a home design or a Carriage House Plan, but after a number of emails and phone calls her mission was clear – tiny, tiny, tiny (tiny house plans)! Lois turned out to be a wonderful person and a really creative thinker. She wanted to embrace the idea of adding multiple dwellings on her Sooke property in accordance with new zoning which allowed for densification.
The idea of micro-living intrigued me so it was time for some research.
After much digging on the web and calling different city halls around BC, I came to understand that Lois’ idea is more than just a concept – it is now a reality. Many regions are allowing additional dwellings to be added to properties as separate living units for grandparents, renters, and the increasingly common “boomerang children”. These dwellings are sized in accordance with local building by-laws and can be as small as 300 square feet which is, amazingly, in accordance with the National Building code of Canada. Formalizing densification also addresses the issue that there were illegal (and often unsafe) dwellings being added to properties.
Still the question begs to be asked, “Why would someone want to build (or live in) a home the size of a shed?” From a user’s point of view, a tiny house would be perfect for someone needing independence, low maintenance, affordability, and safety. From a city planner’s perspective, it addresses affordable housing and densification mandates. From a landlords perspective it’s a small space to independently house a family member or generate income to help out with mortgage payments. From city hall’s perspective it is additional tax revenue. When you look at it from all of these perspectives, tiny houses make sense.
Can a person comfortably live in a space so small? One need only ask people with live-aboard boats and RV’s that very question. With careful planning and paring down to necessities, both groups of people would say “absolutely”! Of course, it may be quite challenging for a young or growing family but “living small” is an ecological and social challenge that some are happy to embrace.
For the purpose of definition, Drummond House Plans classifies a tiny house as a dwelling which is under 1100 square feet. These houses are frequently fawned over as being darned cute and amazingly efficient. These homes also have the added benefit of having a smaller carbon footprint and are ideal for areas which embrace high-density housing.
Thank you, Lois, for starting this conversation. We look forward to adding more designs to our available Drummond Tiny House Plans for people just like you.