October 9, 2012
Tiny houses: they’re popping up everywhere! They’re not just for Portland-ers anymore! I know of two tiny house developments in the DC area. One in Virginia (see the Washington Post article here), and one closer to me in Northeast DC.
I first heard about the “tiny house movement” in the pages of Dwell Magazine. Often measuring only hundreds of square feet, a “tiny house” has everything you need ingeniously packed into a very small space. While not for everyone, tiny houses are a wonderful solution to our super-sized, super-cluttered lifestyles. Tiny houses are often “off the grid” in that they make their own solar power and collect rainwater for dish and clothes-washing. Toilets are often composting, though not always. Though the tiny house is often classified as a mobile home for zoning purposes, many do have hook-ups to be on the grid if their owners wished.
Naturally I love that tiny house devotees spend as much time thinking about the outside of their house as the inside. Tiny houses often have extensive food-producing gardens, rain gardens and outdoor spaces.
A few months ago I was walking my dog around a nearby cemetery (it has wonderful old trees–one of the biggest Black Gums I have ever seen grows there!) and stumbled upon construction in a formerly abandoned lot sandwiched in between the cemetery fence and North Capitol Street, behind a stretch of rowhouses. The lot is roughly triangular and had been used as de facto parking for the residents who backed up to it. Apparently its been sold and tiny houses are moving in!