Do Tiny Houses Intrigue You?

Have you seen the shows on TV or run across them on social media and thought, wow, I like the idea… but how can someone live in that… permanently? We get it! We had the same thoughts, so we asked home remodeler, tiny home builder and tiny home dweller, Matthew Collins for some insight! Collins owns and operates Tiny3GB, a division of Third Generation Builders, LLC.
Matthew’s family of six underwent a drastic downsize from a three story, 3400 sq. ft., home in a Charleston suburb HOA neighborhood, to arrive on one fenced acre and a home of less than 900 sq. ft. in the small town of Ravenel, minutes south of Charleston towards Edisto Beach. During their renovation they lived in a two bed one bath single wide without a washer, dryer or dishwasher.
They learned that there were a lot of “things” they could live without and continue to purge their lives of things they no longer need.  The Collins family made three moves before they finally arrived in their finished home.  Each move made them question: do I need this thing enough to haul it from here to there once more and store it for weeks or months?  Many things did not pass this test, leaving their load much lighter today.
When we asked Matthew how he managed to get his four children on board with giving up their “things” and moving to a tiny house, he shared the following ideas:

  • Get the kids invested and involved; we had four yard sales, as I recall, and the kids were allowed to keep the proceeds of any items they contributed to the sale.
  • Give yourself time to see what you miss; we put everything but the bare necessities for about 6 months as we renovated. That put “things” into perspective and we truly enjoyed each other’s company and enabled us to see what we really missed and what we didn’t.
  • Turn purging into sharing; we were able to give quite a few items away on free cycle and Craigslist that we no longer needed finding it really is more blessed to give than to receive. The children went with my wife as she gave a lady our second set of Christmas decorations (we had 2 different color themes and rotated every year—crazy—why did we do that??). The lady was hosting Christmas for her daughter and family for the first time and it was indeed a joyous occasion. Also, we were able to gift our piano to a small country church and that too was such a joy when the two members came to pick it up.
  • Get excited about the ‘pros’ of the change; our family was very excited to be moving from a small yard in a big neighborhood to a big yard in a sparse residential area. Plus, they loved the idea of a “small chicken farm” which has evolved into raising Kinder Goats as well. And now, in our final phase of transformation we are staying on the farm building tiny houses and not fighting Charleston traffic across town to renovate and repair homes.
  • Our downsizing experience really helped us to focus on prioritizing our relationships with those we love over any worldly possessions. It has been a sweet time in the life of our family and we are grateful for the journey.  We have seen God work in our lives and our circumstances.

If you’d like to explore the idea, and some tiny houses for that matter, we’ve got just the thing! The 9th Annual Orlando Fall Home & Garden Show has a Tiny House Village in which you can tour about a dozen Tiny Houses! Homes will be coming from as far away as Texas. There will be homes of all shapes and designs; and all less than 400 square feet. The Tiny House Village will also have fun family activities, including a Farmer’s Market! AND!! These builders do not want to drag these houses back home, so bring your best offer and buy a home on the spot.
NOAH (National Organization of Alternative Housing), the sponsor of this feature, is the premier third-party inspection and certification company for tiny houses on wheels. Addressing the challenges of life, fire safety, structural efficiency and energy efficiency in the construction of the homes, Noah is like the building department for Tiny Houses on Wheels. NOAH will have representatives at the Village to answer your questions regarding national codes and construction of your tiny house on wheels. Also, some challenges faced with Tiny Houses are placement, insurance, and funding, so NOAH will have representatives on site with solutions to all of these!