The tiny house movement is definitely increasing its foothold in the UK housing market as house prices soar (and property buyers take a fall) into the realms of un-affordability.
More and more people are seeking out alternative housing ideas, and we are starting to see a mass exodus from larger cities, particularly London, to more rural and suburban areas.
The young “generation rent“, who are most affected, are exactly the creative and ambitious demographic who went to these big cities to seek success in the first place, but have instead just accumulated a massive student debt.
This has led many to believe that down-sizing and living a simpler lifestyle is the best way to save money and avoid the life sentence that is the mortgage repayment plan.
Building or buying a tiny home has become a much more viable alternative and has shed (pardon the pun) its hippy image, and countless studio and apartment projects are popping up all over the web and on TV programmes like George Clarkes Amazing Spaces.
In addition, many people have converted campervans, trucks, and even boats, but is it possible to put actual tiny houses on wheels?
Does adding the extra mobility limit the size and basic functionalities that we have come to expect of a living space?
One of the main issues is how we define a mobile tiny home, as opposed to an RV or camper, which traditionally require hooking up to water and sewage points and therefore can only really be used at designated parks.
A lot of tiny homes are made to be completely self-sufficient, boasting features like solar panels and composting toilets, however this one, whilst a completely personal and bespoke design, is classed as an RV as it is built on a standard chassis.
Doing so though is a clever way to get round building regulations, and this compromise allows a relatively simple construction whilst still retaining the homely feel and aesthetics.
Bicycle-towing tiny homes on trailers is another emerging trend amongst the tiny house movement, but again, is not without its problems.
Not only lacking normal amenities, the towed tiny home could potentially be dangerous, let alone impractical.
A strong side wind could easily topple the user into traffic, and the extra weight could prove deadly when going downhill.
Even just the struggle of pulling the extra weight and increased air resistance could be more effort than its worth.
This one in particular strikes me as unsafe and impractical, however in fairness, these are probably not intended as a living space, but as a shelter or storage when travelling.
Another popular project is the modern take on the Shepherds Hut, which is a tried and tested mobile home design.
They tend to have more luxurious furnishings, and whilst they are mobile, Im not convinced those cast iron wheels will get it very far. They seem to be more of a homage design feature than a practical solution.
Whilst all these projects are great works of design and labours of love, I haven’t seen much convincing evidence that a complete portable housing solution exists, although I’m sure one wont be too far away.
I think that tiny mobile homes are more suited to providing solutions for homelessness, as its fundamentally difficult to include all the functions of a house, whilst keeping size and weight down enough to be movable.
My favourite tiny homes are this series of shelters for the homeless, made completely from recycled and scrap materials.
What do you think?
Have you seen any better designs?
Let us know in the comments!