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Is Living in a $5K, 120-Square-Foot Tiny House 'Extreme'? Ask This Guy


"Is the tiny house radical?"

(Photo: OaklandTinyHouse.blogspot)

When you become a part of the tiny house movement, you might prepare yourself to be labeled as an eccentric. Matt Wolpe may not have realized it right away, but he explains on his blog after living in a 120-square-foot space for only a couple months he began to feel the tiny house dwelling was defining him. He writes his friends would introduce him as "This is Matt, and he lives in a tiny house."

He says he's not complaining though. He wrote earlier this year that he is proud of his "extreme life choice," which doubles as an "instant conversation starter, girlfriend filter, added joke opportunity." But defining living in a tiny house as "extreme" did give him pause.

(Related: See other Blaze stories about the tiny house movement)

Since late last year, Wolpe has been documenting the progress he has been making on the "Oakland Tiny House" in California. The home includes a working kitchen, composting toilet, an outdoor shower, a storage couch, loft bed, and a one-legged table. The exterior is composed of reclaimed redwood (purchased for $1 per piece).

Wolpe -- who with Kevin McElroy runs Just Fine Design/Build -- began constructing his tiny house in August 2011 and his latest addition to the space in May was the one-legged, corner desk. According to his blog, the project has cost about $5,500 so far.

In his January post, Wolpe questioned "Is the tiny house radical?" He writes:

The tiny house is about autonomy, both from the pressures of living in our current economic system via the sacrifices made for rent or a mortgage, and also about having the ability to have solitude while being in your own handbuilt space. The tiny house is also about having less stuff: only what is necessary and less space to heat and cool it, but also a different relationship to stuff, one that recognizes that things are just that, the acquisition of such should not determine the program of a building, rather people should.

But In many ways, the tiny house is ordinary. In most of the world, people live in such small amounts of space - it's really only in the global north and elites in the global south that such a need for extra space exists, if it should be called a 'need.' Our thresholds for square footage are certainly culturally conditioned. In another sense, tiny house living is just a smaller version of exactly what we do now: the materials are more or less similar, the creature comforts reliant on industrial processes (although having an off the grid tiny house is totally doable.)

Here at the Blaze, we frequently cover the tiny house movement. What about it fascinates you? Do you consider it a radical movement? Let us know in the comments.

Read more details about the Oakland Tiny House here.

This story has been updated for clarity. 

[H/T Boing Boing]

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