Tiny houses growing in popularity
POSTED: Saturday, February 25, 2012 - 6:00am
UPDATED: Saturday, February 25, 2012 - 6:04am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Affordable housing is a hot ticket these days as many people try to downsize in the current economy.
One Florida man says he can put people in a home for the price of a mid-size car.
Home builder Dan Louche says bigger isn't always better, especially in the case of the 160-square-foot homes he's putting together.
'It just appeals to a lot of different people,' Louche says.
Louche is building his second tiny home on his father's rural property near DeLand.
Its outside is cedar and there's knotty pine inside.
All of the materials are the same or sometimes better than those in conventional homes at a fraction of the cost.
Louche said the house costs $36,000 if he builds it, but the price tag can be cut in half if people build it themselves from his plans.
'If you're young and you're just getting started, or if you're in retirement, the idea of having no debt is appealing versus living just to support your mortgage,' Louche says.
Louche created his online company, Tiny Home Builders, when his mother needed something small but sturdy.
Louche said the house includes a kitchen, a bathroom, a sitting area, and a sleeping loft.
'It's just very environmentally sustainable. It's a nice option for people who want to have less of an impact on the earth,' Louche says.
Many residents have expressed interest in Louche's business.
The homes are 8 feet across by 20 feet long and can hook up to power, sewer and cable TV.
At present, tiny homes have to sit on trailers in most areas, but builders are working to change zoning laws so they can be more permanently placed.
Meanwhile, in hurricane prone Florida, the tiny homes can be tied down.
Louche says most customers are opting to buy his plans and build their own homes rather than have him build one for them.