A small-home solution could help people save money by giving them a little more freedom.
In a move to make it easier for people to live in small spaces, small-house expert Mark Johnson says he is encouraging people to build a home they can fit into their garage, a place they can walk in and take a shower, or a small shed that can be left for the animals.
“Small houses are really nice,” Mr Johnson told RTE’s Breakfast.
“They’re simple, they’re quiet, they allow for lots of space, you can put everything in the garage, the shed, the kitchen and all that.”
That makes it easy for a person to build and be able to start small, without having to spend a lot of money and have a big house, but also give a lot more space.
“People who don’t have a lot to do in their yard, but want to have a small space in their house that they can have their own little backyard.”
Mr Johnson said a tiny home could be the perfect option for people looking to start a new life.
“The problem is, most people, when they get a small house, it’s just a big empty house that is going to take up lots of the yard and then they’re going to have to do a lot, or maybe they have to take out a house, and that can have a cost,” he said.
“So it can be hard to get people to actually build a house that fits into their own yard.”
Mr Johnston said tiny houses could be a great way to get the best of both worlds.
“I think people are looking at small houses and thinking ‘oh, I can put my dog on the ground, I could put my child on the floor, I’m not going to get too much of a problem with that’,” he said, adding that tiny homes could also offer a way to reduce the environmental impact of construction.
“If you can use the space you’re taking up and it’s a little bit smaller, you don’t need to build it up and you can do a much cleaner, greener and quieter construction than if you’re putting it up in a huge house,” Mr Johnston said.
However, Mr Johnson said the idea of tiny houses wasn’t necessarily the solution to the problem of people being forced to live with an overcrowded home.
“When you get into the design of the house you’re going for, the first thing is that you’re just building the whole thing, the whole house is just the foundation of it,” he explained.
“You’ve got the foundation for the walls, the foundation and then you’ve got everything that comes up and the roof.”
But then you also have to build the whole floor of the thing, and if you don, it can end up being a lot bigger than you’re intending.
“Mr Robinson, from the Australian Government’s Rural Development Department, said the small-houses idea was an attractive alternative to traditional, more expensive homes, such as those bought by the rich.”
We’re seeing a growing number of small houses being built,” he told RNZ.”
And we’re seeing that people are finding it’s actually cheaper to buy a house with a tiny footprint, to buy it in a small area, and then put a little garden up on the front, which means that it doesn’t need a lot.””
And the cost of the garden is the same, it doesn, in fact, save the taxpayer money.
“The Rural Development Minister also praised the Government’s support for tiny houses as a way of reducing environmental impacts.”
It’s the small size of the structure that’s really the big difference,” he acknowledged.”
Our focus is not necessarily on the size of these homes, but the quality of their construction, how they’re constructed and how they are maintained.