In this series, we will be looking alternative housing solutions in the Grey-Bruce region. Rental housing is becoming more limited while property prices are going up.
As a result, this scarcity impacts our economy.
Our aim is to provide viable solutions – however those solutions will require change.
A Guide to Movable Micro Homesteads
The cost of living in Grey-Bruce (as well as many regions across the country) continue to rise and the size and price of the average home is grow right along with it.
The situation isn’t helped by the accumulation of possessions that fill these homes.
While this might seem like the good life on the surface, part of the ‘Canadian dream’, there’s a downside and it’s not pretty.
You can become trapped by your home and surrounded by material things that – instead of making you happy – are causing you to work harder just to keep up.
To make things more perilous, if you decide or need to relocate, you could facing a run of bad luck because selling your home all depends on the housing market.
The housing situation does NOT have to be about escaping the rent cycle by indebting yourself for 30 to 40 years of your life to an investment that could go the other way.
Grey-Bruce has the option to help thousands of its residents become homeowners and ease the pressure on the rental market simply by doing one thing: easing bylaws on home building.
That’s it. By having municipal councils in the area doing away with building restrictions and allowing citizens the option of building tiny homes and micro homesteads, they are enabling the growth of the local economy and the attraction of outside investment.
Today we will start our look into micro homesteads and moving on to tiny houses and other options from there.
What Are Micro Homesteads?
Think small, manageable and efficient when you think about micro homesteads.
We’re talking about freedom from stress and the assurance of knowing that you can provide all that you need for yourself.
Micro homesteads are all about self-sufficiency. These are homesteads that really cut all of the excess material possessions out of the equation.
People who choose micro homesteading have homes that are very small.
Many of these homes are complete and no bigger than the size of a bedroom you’d find in a regular home. You get all of the rooms in one living space. The bedroom, kitchen, dining room and a small space for a bathroom.
What’s great about this kind of living is that – not only does it free you up from being owned by your possessions – but these homes are very affordable. The ability to own one of these homes can be as cheap as the cost of just a down payment on a big home.
And best of all with these micro homes is that you’re not stuck anywhere. Not ever. These homes are portable – so when you want to go live somewhere else, you simply make sure any breakables in the home are secure and off you go.
You aren’t tied to the grid in any way. You’re completely self-sufficient because your home – and your way of life – are self-sustaining.
Using just a small portion of land where you place your home, you can plant crops which can serve all of your food needs. By using nutrient-dense planting, you can plant food for yourself and even have some left over if you want to share it or sell it.
Some micro homesteads also raise chickens for the use of the eggs. Micro homesteads allow those who live this way to live from what the earth can provide. They can plant crops and harvest them, and preserve surpluses by way of canning and other healthy ways of eating.
How to Design or Build a Micro Homestead
When it comes to designing or building a micro homestead, you can have virtually anything that you want. If you’re handy with creating things, you can build one yourself with plans that you find online.
If you’re not that good at handling a hammer and nails or knowing how to fit things together to create a micro homestead, then you can hire someone to build it for you.
The cost of the endeavor will depend on what you want – such as the style of home you choose and what you want in it.
Remember that when you design or buy the home, you want it made so that the space is used in a way that’s functional and makes the most of every square foot.
If you look at today’s traditional homes, you’ll notice a lot of wasted space. Taking advantage of space is one of the reasons that micro homes are so efficient.
There are some pre-made micro homes from Ontario-based designers that aren’t that expensive. When you add some custom touches, you can expect to pay somewhere in the area of between $15K to $20K.
While that might take some people aback at shelling out that much money up front, all you have to do is compare that to what it costs to live in a traditional home that’s going to take between 15 and 30 years of your life to pay for.
Trailer designed micro homesteads are some of the most popular versions. These can be designed to fit with or without a porch, with dormer windows, and in a variety of outer wall material and colors.
They can have some pretty amazing amenities too, for small living spaces. These trailer homes can feature beautiful hard wood flooring, propane fireplaces and have plenty of storage.
It’s the way that every available inch is designed to maximize space that can make these homes feel larger and comfortable.
The simple secret to successful micro home builds is to never close space. Example: the underside of a staircase can be used as a closet for clothing and shoes.
Log cabin micro homesteads are becoming an increasingly popular option.
These homes can vary in wall thickness. To make sure that your living space stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer, you’ll want to build or have one made that allows insulation to be placed in the walls.
Insulation is not a given in any micro home, so you’ll have to make sure you cover that yourself or make it a stipulation when it’s built.
These can be built with single or double loft bedrooms and can be built from a kit.
There’s nothing to stop you from using logs from the land. You can choose to use an area where the growth needs thinning. Once you choose the logs, you’ll have to strip off the bark for the logs to be viable as walls for your structure.
A log cabin micro home can be built for between $1500 to $3000 if you keep the design simple.
It’s feasible to build a comfortable home with just over 100 square feet of space.
To be continued this week…