Some Valley homeowners are taking the idea of downsizing to a whole new level. Brandon Brown and his wife, Shannon, are building a 155-square-foot “tiny house.”
The size of the Browns’ future home is unorthodox, but so is the foundation, or lack thereof. It’s being built on a trailer by Glendale-based Fleming Trailers Inc. that will give them the utmost freedom.
But the decision to dramatically downsize from their traditional ways of living wasn’t exactly easy for the Browns
“At first, I was against the idea,” Brandon explained. “Then it came down to, why am I saying no to this? My stuff already had too much control over me. When you start getting rid of stuff, that’s when you really find out how much stuff you actually have. After that, your stuff no longer
becomes your measuring stick and will no longer be the center of who you are and what you value.”
The houses may be small, but there’s a bigger bang for your buck. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average cost of a standard home is $272,000. If built by the owner, the average cost of a tiny house is $23,000.
Although living the “tiny life” does reduce a plethora of financial obligations, it still comes with restrictions of its own, especially living on the go.
Because the Browns’ tiny house is being constructed near Anthem on a trailer, weight restrictions will have to be carefully determined in order to avoid paying an $800 commercial trailer fee of exceeding a 10,000-pound limit.
The Browns also plan on using a natural substance, such as wool, for insulation, as well as a solar panel for electricity and heating and either a mini-split system or window unit for air conditioning.
Not only will there be enough room for a ceiling fan, their tiny house will also have nine windows. So having enough natural sunlight will not be a concern.
Once the home is finished, they plan on settling in Gilbert or Chandler, where they may seek vacant land from a private owner or help promote this tiny revolution by dwelling in a willing citizen’s backyard.
Keep updated on the Browns’ progress by visiting their online blog at www.BuildItTiny.com.
– Michael Caravaggio / Edited for Phoenix.org