Undoubtedly, you’ve heard of the tiny house movement taking place – not just in Canada but in the United States and around the world. It provides a means of home ownership for many people who previously thought it just a dream. A tiny house is affordable for most potential home owners and the upkeep is minimal compared to traditional home living. It is a way of life with many advantages if you can learn to live more simply and with fewer things.
These popular small homes are remarkably versatile in ways other than as primary living spaces, such as:
- Home office (imagine the focus you’ll maintain when away from household noise)
- Home school (kids will concentrate better when placed in a separate, designated area)
- Music studio (soundproofing the tiny studio may make everyone in the main house very happy)
- Guest suite (may be beneficial to build in some space between you and your extended-stay guests)
- Exercise studio/gym (finally – room enough for those oversized pieces of equipment)
- Art, craft and hobby studio (ahhhh… your happy place)
- Children’s hangout (the kids finally have their own place for movies and video games)
- Man cave or she shed (need I say more?)
- Vacation home (the cost of a tiny getaway is much more affordable than a typical vacation home)
- Rental property for extra income (depending on local code and restrictions, it could pay for itself)
This month’s newsletter addresses the use of a tiny house as a home office. According to a report released by The Daily on 2017-11-29, 7.4% of Canadians worked at home in 2016.
The typical tiny house rarely exceeds 37 m2 and is often just half that size. It can be ideal for those working from home, affording them space to work while still being in the comfort and privacy of their own home. But if you do decide it’s a viable solution for you, you’ll find the separation from the busyness and normal household noise makes for an ideal working environment. However, if your business is one that employs several people who would be working together on a daily basis, the tiny footprint of your home office may not be suitable.
Style is factored into the purchase or building of your tiny house. You can certainly custom build it or purchase a prefab kit which can be customized to a degree, but you will need a professional to put your tiny office space together. Call Mike at D4 at 250-572-4812 to discuss your plans for your project. He and his staff have been in the construction business for a long time – and will get the job done for you the right way. Soon, you could be working from the serenity of your own backyard!
The look of these spaces ranges from pod and odd-shaped to industrial looking, and everything in between. You can choose one with a country cottage feel or design it to match your own existing house. Tiny offices optionally come on wheels, allowing for transport, if needed. Food trucks and other traveling businesses would typically have theirs built on wheels, but you may decide you’ll never need them.
Often, the tiny office is located on the same property as the business owner’s primary residence and is hooked up to its utilities, therefore not incurring separate charges. No rent or mortgage, either, since there is generally a one-time cost when initially purchasing and setting up at your location. For convenience, you may choose to install a small ‘dorm’ refrigerator and composting toilet, unless you are hooked up to the sewer line from the main residence on the property (more on the composting toilet in next month’s issue).
Considerations when planning the customization of your tiny office would include many of the same ones as when looking at traditional office space. The type of business you run will determine your needs, of course. You’ll need plenty of hookups for charging stations, printers, and other electronics. You may need to purchase a wifi extender if you’re not within range of the main house’s wifi, so the actual location on the property where your tiny office will sit is of paramount importance.
You may need room for shredders and more horizontal space in the form of tables and desks. Consider industrial type shelving and file cabinets, depending on how much paper you’ll keep (as opposed to records electronically stored in the cloud). You may opt to have a fax machine and a corded telephone set, in addition to any cell phones you have.
Comfortable recliners for reading and a small table and chairs will need to be factored into the space if you’ll need to meet with others from time to time. Plan carefully so that the space will fit how you work, rather than trying to conform to the space.
Of course, storage is always going to be a priority in a tiny space. If you design your tiny office with loft space, consider outfitting the area for what it will hold. A rolling, library-style ladder may be exactly what you need to access that space most efficiently. The ladder will prove useful in any design since vertical space is used smartly and out of necessity in tiny homes for storage.
Before you make any purchase decisions, check with all local municipality regulations. Tiny homes are sometimes clustered in small communities; if you know of someone in one, talk with them. Contact tiny house builders in your area who will be more than willing to provide you with lots of information. Become knowledgeable about tiny house lifestyle through social media and television. Do your homework so that you will make an informed decision.
While the cost of tiny house ownership is much smaller than for a traditional home, it’s still a large investment. Rather than just taking the word of others, confirm any information you get with the proper authorities, such as local government when it comes to housing codes and other legalities of tiny house installation on your own property.
The tiny house movement is here for good and isn’t going anywhere – unless it’s on wheels and you choose to move on to another location. The tiny office is something we will be seeing more and more as this practical and affordable option becomes more mainstream, and more people choose to work from home instead of commuting to an office every day.
Mike at D4 Construction In Kamloops has been in the business for a very long time; he’s here to help you with your own tiny office build. Contact him today at 250-572-4812 to begin planning for your dream tiny home office!