It took a little time to convince my partner to live in a tiny house. As excited and curious as I was about tiny houses, my fiance wasn’t totally sure.
Like most people, he wanted to live in a normal house – he thought tiny houses were neat but not realistic. It’s hard to picture today because there are a million tiny house shows on TV, but six years ago they were still a pretty new and radical idea.
Anyway, here’s something I left out: he is 6’6″. With his height he even struggles to fit in normal houses sometimes. Doorways and low-hanging lights or fans are especially perilous for him. Kitchen benches are too low, beds are too short, even showers can be too small for him. I could hardly picture him crawling around in a loft with his long limbs – I never thought I would convince him this was a good idea.
These were his main concerns:
- He didn’t want to be uncomfortable in a small space
- A normal house is surely better – why go tiny voluntarily?
- He didn’t think it would be possible to build a house when we had never built anything before
Perhaps you’re in a similar situation – you have a partner who isn’t quite sold on the whole tiny house thing even though you think it would be amazing. They might not be really tall, but they may have doubts nonetheless.
There were a few things that convinced my partner to go tiny.
How to be comfortable in a tiny house when you’re tall
I found the Tall Man’s Tiny House online and showed him. He started to think it could be possible – but (understandably) still had his doubts.
The first was working out exactly how much space we could have inside. It turns out, quite a lot: there’s more than enough room for him to stand comfortably under the loft, and plenty of room for him to move in the sleeping loft (not standing, but no one can stand up there!).
We worked out that most of his standing would need to be in the kitchen and bathroom, so if we gave them the most headroom in these spaces, and put the living room under the loft that it might help.
The cool thing about a tiny house is that they usually have quite high open ceilings in some places, which makes them feel quite spacious.
I also pointed out that we could customise things to fit him – make the kitchen bench higher, or the couch bench seat longer, or the front door taller, for example.
I think a lot of people worry about being comfortable in a tiny house, and the main thing is to customise it to suit your unique needs – if you can, design it yourself.
If a normal house is better, why go tiny voluntarily?
Besides all the other great reasons to live in a tiny house, there was one thing in particular that convinced Carl to go tiny.
As I pointed out in the previous post, Carl is a talented musician who isn’t really making the most of his gifts. Since graduating he’s been working in a corporate job and living a ‘normal’ lifestyle because that’s what most people do, right?
That is, until I got into his head!
Carl’s dream is to be able to pursue music full-time and make a living from it, but I think he never really thought it could happen. With a big mortgage over our heads (or a lot of rent to pay) it wouldn’t really be possible.
I appealed to this side of him: the side of him that longed to do something other than work in an office. Minimalism and simplicity are not really concepts that interest him, but I knew that if he could imagine a lifestyle where his music was a priority that he would be hooked.
If your partner isn’t creative or doesn’t mind their job, then you’re going to have to take a different angle here. Perhaps they love travelling – going tiny would free up heaps of money for adventures, and there’s less to worry about at home too! Or maybe they love sports – a tiny house means less maintenance and more free time on the weekend to do sporty stuff!
Find the thing your partner wants to do more of, and figure out how tiny living will allow them to do it.
Building it ourselves with no experience
This was another concern of Carl’s because it really is a biggie.
Of course, you don’t need to build your own house – there are now a lot of companies that build them for you. But there is something incredibly empowering about it, about living in a space you built with your own two hands.
If you’re even slightly interested in building it yourself (even with no building skills or experience) then I really urge you to give it a go!
I’ll cover this in more detail in the next post.