A Balanced Perspective: Tiny Homes vs Extended Homes


Worldwide, the 2010s saw a dramatic shift in the way people live. As always, this has manifested itself architecturally. The choice between big living or tiny living is an important one to consider. The following are two very different kinds of residences. Each has its pros and cons.

Tiny Houses

Widespread concern about our changing climate combined with Bauhaus modernism to usher in a powerful new societal expression: Minimalism. Thus, the micro house trend began. These projects are often a challenge to architects, who must endeavor to create openness and functionality within—often dramatically—constrained space. These cozy homes are defined as measuring between a mere 200 square meters to a breezy 500 square meters.

The lengths achieved by these tiny houses might surprise you, though.

For lovers of bamboo and nature, there is the Syshaus Residence in Sao Paolo. Studio Arthur Casas, the authors of the 206 square meter abode pride themselves on building with maximum respect toward the environment. The external features of the house—floors, walls, ceilings—were designed to snap into place through joints. This way, the house was entirely constructed on the lot. Its unique features include modified pillars and beams and a biodigester that transforms organic waste into gas for the kitchen and fireplace.

Including the planning phase, the house only took about six months to build.

But are tiny houses a good investment? The objective answer is that they can be certainly be an efficient one. According to the Huffington Post, the average tiny house costs just $23,000 in the USA.

If you are interested in minimizing your carbon footprint while testing the depth of the waters of modern efficiency, consider selling or getting rid of your unnecessary furniture and learning more about the really brave new world of tiny homes.

Unsplash (Clay Banks)
unsplash (Andrea Davis)

Extended Houses

Needs change. Investments beckon. Upgrading an existing home by adding an expansion can be a great solution to wide range of common problems.

The Galley house by Reigo & Bauer is no ordinary Victorian Toronto home. Instead, it rebels against the gilded metallic style of its neighbors by allowing the first floor to be deeply connected and abundantly lit while extending upwards in a two-story addition of volume. The expansion project, which was completed in 2018, adds grace and uniqueness to a sturdy old brick residence.

Merike Bauer, a founding partner of the firm together with Stephen Bauer, explains: “We approached that brief by reconsidering two primary elements: the pattern of circulation into the house and access to natural light.”

While it is by no means a tiny home, The Galley House is also not an immense project. It comes in at 700 square meters.

Texas, unlike Toronto, is a stronghold for BIG.

“Around here, the most profitable real estate investments have always been renovations and the best kind of renovations are home remodeling in Austin TX,” says Hestia Home Services, a remodeling contractor based in Houston.

In Austin, jobs are exploding as companies like Apple pour billions into the local economy as well-paid employees flee from the California housing crisis. In 2019, Texas boasted one of the best real estate markets in the country, along with Florida and North Carolina. Burgeoning residential prices across the board, from suburban Austin to downtown Houston, beg investors to devise clever ways to capitalize before it is too late.

If you are an investor looking to get his/her hands on a real estate project, small homes are a possible avenue, but don’t forget you can go big as well! It would be a mistake to forget you can always add a room or otherwise expand your existing property.