Some thoughts about the UK Tiny House Market. The tiny house movement is still very much in its infancy in the UK, even after five years, but there are an increasing number of offerings coming to the market – whether via Ebay and Gumtree or through companies with their own websites. Now, while I welcome any developments which spread the word for tiny houses, there is no doubt that it is a sexy media subject and this tends to bring with it a faint whiff of “there’s gold in them there hills” and there will always be people hoping to make a fast buck.
Tiny House building has certainly snowballed in the US from a handful of companies 10 years ago to hundreds today, actually it could well be in the thousands now and while the UK is rather a different market for many reasons, there will inevitably be a diverse range of quality and ideas on offer.
I feel compelled to caution potential UK Tiny House buyers that in theory at least, it is fairly easy to put the equivalent of a garden shed on any old trailer and call it a tiny house! And it’s just as easy to stuff it full of off-the-shelf kit from the builder’s merchant and say it’s hand crafted. So it may look cute and appear serviceable, but I would encourage closer inspection to see if it really is well made and lives up to the claims of the maker.
In particular I would be extremely sceptical of those offering flat pack kits for tiny houses, something I would never even consider. A ‘build it yourself’ garden shed would be fine, but I think we all know the potential shortcomings of flat pack furniture for example. The physics of house construction on its own is a complex subject, so adding the complications of road transport as well as the greyer areas of planning law creates quite a minefield for the unwary.
Here at Tiny House Scotland I have a very different philosophy – houses are built as true houses – not glamping venues!
Notwithstanding the rather negative tone of this post which is genuinely only due to my strong sense of concern for potential buyers; it may well be that a ‘shed on wheels’ or a flat pack kit may suit your needs and budget perfectly for a fun project that doesn’t require a 60 year service life; I just wanted to voice my concern!
So caveat emptor – buyer beware – do your research carefully!
Postscript: one final after-thought – some sites are offering “quick easy credit” to buy your tiny house – please examine their terms very carefully! It may sound like a breeze to get the money and also tends to give the offerer a sense of corporate credibility… BUT some of the finance companies that run these schemes are only a step or two above loan sharks with exorbitant interest rates ranging up to 50% and often involving a hefty one-off charge for broking the loan itself. Check the total cost of the loan over the period….