What qualifies as a tiny house? According to Wikipedia, a small house is not more than 500 square feet (46m^2). However those built on wheels are less than 8ft by 20 ft. This makes it easy to be towed and also does not require a building permit. Small houses may sometime be used to refer to small apartments too.
A small house has the following advantages. First of all, it uses less material for building and there are cases where owners use reclaimed materials. Such a practice reduces the impact on the environment.
Furthermore, it is less expensive to build and to maintain compare to their larger counterparts. Living in a smaller house encourages a less cluttered and simpler lifestyle which reduces ecological impact on the environment.
Since space is a premium in a small house, this will encourage the design where space is utilized efficiently. Then there will be the utilizing of dual purpose features and multipurpose functional furniture which incorporate technological advances of space saving equipment and appliances. Finally, vertical space optimization is also a common feature of small houses living.
The disadvantages of a small house are the negative perception by the development of small houses within the vicinity and residents there fear that this may affect the value of their properties or nearby properties. Of less of a disadvantages is building codes may specify a minimum area well above the size of a small house. Thus owner intending to build such a small house may encounter difficulties in getting building permit approved.
Nevertheless small houses are getting popular as besides being utilized as a permanent home can also had many other uses. One such use is as a weekend home. As a weekend home it can be a place where one can get to on weekends to escape from the daily grind of the week days. It can be a place of refuge, relaxation and stress release. Else it can be used as a guest house for visiting friends or relatives. Then when not in used small houses can be used as a rental unit utilizing the sharing economy services such as AirBnB.
Other uses are, it can be a home office where one can have a proper space for work for better focus and productivity. The small house can also be used as a tech zone or tech free zone, depends on the need of the owner. Finally but not the least it can be used as a house for teenagers, where they can have their own space for their stuffs and teenage friends without annoying others. It also gives them a sense of independence.
All in all, there may be some disadvantages but many see the strengths of the advantages and the usage flexibility of small houses. Thus, due to these, they are gaining increasing interest among the people.