Tiny homes revolutionize affordable living

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Anyone who has ever been to Ikea and seen their life-size models of minimalist houses knows that one doesn’t need nearly as much living space as they may think. Now, similar houses to these are becoming available to own.

Arielle Schechter, an architect based in Chapel Hill, is the founder of Micropolis Houses. Her goal is to offer affordable, efficient living that emphasizes beauty. Her inspiration comes from a desire to create more aesthetically-pleasing alternatives to trailers.

“Some of my friends lived in trailers, and I thought they were really sad and depressing,” Schecter recalled of her childhood to The Daily Tar Heel. “There wasn’t adequate small housing back then.”

However, the affordability of tiny homes is not always their biggest selling point. Smaller living spaces are not only less wasteful in area, but they are also more energy efficient and sustainable.

Andrew Dykers, a tiny home-owner in Carrboro, had more philosophical motives for purchasing his house. “I’m of the mindset to use just what you need and expand as you grow,” he told The Daily Tar Heel.

The preservation of green space was another incentive for Schecter to start her company. However, the price of land in Chapel Hill has been a major obstacle for the construction of tiny homes thus far. The value of a home is often not enough for the previous landowners to make a profit.

The high cost of land in Chapel Hill is not the only obstacle the town poses. In order for tiny homes to maintain their efficiency and value, certain sacrifices must be made when it comes to floor space. However, the North Carolina Residential Building Code states that a room must not be less than 120 square feet.

Nevertheless, the tiny home trend continues to grow, and Schecter continues to find ways to make her houses more affordable, efficient, and beautiful.

photo courtesy of windrivertinyhomes.com

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