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Tiny Tacoma Home Sure Doesn't Look Like 178 Square Feet

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Welcome to Tiny Homes, an idea that is more popular with minimalists than with neighborhood associations and zoning boards. We'll point out the fun parts. You'll have to check out the logistics and legalities - but not for houses that have been there decades.


Though the listing states this home's 178 square feet, it's clear from the photos that that's simply not the case. Let's put tiny houses in perspective. The ones on wheels frequently size out at about 140 square feet. People are amazed that anyone would live in something so small. And then there's the hassle of trying to find a place for it to settle. Tiny houses aren't new, but they didn't all have wheels; they had foundations. Here's a "178 square foot house" with 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, and normal sized appliances for $135,000. It was built in 1945, so evidently people have been proving such a space is livable for a long time. No wheels required.

Ever cook a turkey in a toaster oven? If you've tried, you appreciate full-sized appliances. Most chefs use far less kitchen than they have. Check out some of the funkier restaurants and see how good food is made in small spaces - as long as the cooks have the right equipment. The house may be from WWII but the range, fridge, and dishwasher are much more modern.

Composting toilets and solar showers work, but so does conventional plumbing. A regular bathroom doesn't take up much space. Skipping the jetted tub that rarely jets, or the double sinks when one will do, leaves a room that works perfectly well without requiring innovation or ostentation. Sometimes normal is nice.

Tiny homes have quaint lofts; quaint, however, loses its appeal for people who are too tall or have bad backs. Two bedrooms, and neither requires a ladder for entry; and there's enough room for regular sized beds!

Tiny houses work best when they have places for the other aspects of life. This tiny house has 400 square foot of parking, a garage and shop space; a large deck; and, a landscaped yard. Maybe it is a sign of how things have changed in nearly 70 years, but there's more than twice as much space devoted to stuff as there is to people. And yet, both spaces combined would fit in some houses' living rooms - and still be more than enough, or maybe just right.

Another possibility to keep in mind, maybe 178 square feet is a typo. Bring a tape measure.
· 10702 Park Ave S, Tacoma [Zillow]
· All Tiny Homes coverage [CS]
Written by Tom Trimbath