The Best Small Homes You Can Live In

The best things come in small packages. Here are examples of the best small homes available.

If you want to get technical, the first famous tiny house enthusiast was likely Henry David Thoreau. His famous collection of essays, Walden, was a testament to the benefits of minimalist living. The book detailed his life in a 150 square foot cabin in the woods near Walden Pond.

Though more than a century would pass after the death of Thoreau's before people would start listening, his lifestyle has become the answer to many people's prayers. With the onset of the housing crisis, it simply makes sense.

Now people are downsizing from their large homes into tiny dwellings and it seems like every day some creative mind comes up with a new idea to live small in a large way.

If you need a foothold to find a tiny or small home that suits your needs, then you have come to the right place.

Read on to discover some of the most popular ideas for small homes so you can start your tiny adventure today.

Shipping Container Homes

With only 100 square feet of floor space on average, a shipping container may sound tiny indeed. But the real appeal in this new home phenomenon is that the giant boxes are stackable.

Like a giant Lego set, you can combine them in a myriad of ways to make any home design you can imagine. You can stack them side by side, one on top of the other, or get creative and put them at 90-degree angles.

They are easy to insulate and fit with windows, doors, and everything else needed to make a home livable. Plus, they have the added benefit of helping the world to recycle its overabundance of shipping containers.

While it is difficult to determine how many unused shipping containers there are, it is safe to say there are a lot. In 2012, Drewry Maritime Research estimated there were 32.9 million containers worldwide.  And since most companies do not reuse them once shipped, the containers just sit there taking up space.


Compact Cabins

Remember when you were little, and your dad built you your first playhouse. That is what these tiny homes are reminiscent of cozy cabins. For me, when I was five, I used to fantasize about living in the a-frame fabric rolls at my mom's favorite fabric store.

Cottage-like small spaces come in a variety of designs from A-Frame cabins, to petite farmhouses to Loghouse Log Cabins.

If you have a bit of carpentry, know how you may be able to build your own tiny cabin from scratch. Some kits will take most of the guesswork out it. Many need very little knowledge outside of being able to swing a hammer.

Most companies have varying levels of DIY packs or a la carte style menus to choose from when it comes to things like plumbing and electrical.

When purchasing a kit, keep in mind that you will usually need a concrete foundation laid out ahead of time. The foundation is often not included, but some companies will tack it on for a price.


Tiny Homes on Wheels

Of course, we love tiny houses on wheels! They are a hybrid structure between traditional residential structures and RVs. Unlike a travel trailer, you get durability, homey comfort, and curb appeal of living in a home.

These small spaces make the most out of every square inch and often include loft areas to take advantage of often forgotten vertical space.

Like the cabin-style tiny homes, you can build these yourself, buy a kit, or get them move-in ready. Kits can include little more than a trailer, materials list and blueprints so you can do everything yourself. Or you can get a shell on a trailer that already has the basic structure of the home pre-built for you and you outfit the rest yourself.


And don't forget the widely popular, school bus conversions, aka "skoolies." They typically have inconspicuous exteriors and often beautiful cabin-like interiors.


She Sheds, and He Sheds

You've seen them at Home Depotthe cute little sheds that look like miniature barns.

Most people buy them for extra storage, but why not turn one into your next retreat? They are waterproof, and already have windows and doors. Some are even climate-controlled and insulated. Perfect shell for simple renovation!



You used to dream about living in a treehouse when you were little. I know I did! But along the way, and you decided it was just a childish flight of fancy.

Think again.

Tiny House designers are making treehouse dreams come true, and they are doing it in a big way. These days you can build your own livable treehouse with simplicity in mind, or you could have a sprawling treetop mansion built for you.

Just do your research. Tree living is definitely not the same as ground living and presents some unique issues you may not have considered.


Floating Tiny Home

Imagine it. You wake up in your bed, rollover, and you see the sun rising over the water's edge. You cook breakfast and watch the currents move around you. You hear a splash and know the kids have just jumped off the porch for their morning swim.

We are not talking about your typical boathouse here. It's an actual house that floats on the water, more like a pontoon but with walls and plumbing.

Some of these homes are attached to the land and float just offshore, like a KODA Light Float. Others are more of a hybrid with the ability to move across the water like Germany's Vagabund Hausboote.


Tiny Events for Small Homes of All Kinds

The list in this article is just a fraction of the small homes that are out there. When it comes to building a tiny home, the only real limitation is your imagination. One of the great beauties of living small is that you can do so on practically any budget if you are creative enough.

To that end, Tiny House Expedition is here to help. We have loads of events you can attend to help you learn about the lifestyle and get you pointed in the right direction.

If you are unable to attend one of the many events on our calendar, but still have questions, contact us. We are here to help in any way we can.

We would love to hear your thoughts on tiny living, so if you have ideas or feedback about small homes, please post in the comments below!