One of Natural Home’s most popular features is the “Tiny Houses” department, in which we feature beautiful, livable homes that are less than 1,000 square feet. (Our favorites range around 300 square feet.) Our readers are responding to a trend that they helped launch, away from excessive square footage (that often never gets used) to smaller, more practical, more comfortable, small homes.
Rich's Portable Cabins builds small, affordable, portable cabins. Photo Courtesy Rich's Portable Cabins.
Homeowners who set out to build tiny homes often face hurdles from zoning officials and neighborhood associations concerned about property values. (Jay Shafer, owner of Tumbleweed Tiny Homes, got around Iowa City, Iowa’s minimum house-size regulations back in 1999 when he put his 148-square-foot home on wheels and called it a trailer.) So I was pleased to see that ex-gold miner and logger Rich Daniels is planning a subdivision of tiny homes in Oregon. Through his company, Rich’s Portable Cabins, Daniels has built and sold more than 100 tiny homes ranging from 144 to 400 square feet (some of which he put on trailers) over the past five years. Now he wants to group 50 to 100 of the homes in a former sawmill yard near North Powder, Oregon—if the city changes its current ordinance that requires homes to be at least 900 square feet.
'The biggest problem with the whole (tiny home) movement is the counties and cities are having a hard time accepting these small homes,' Daniels told The Oregonian. 'It has to do with revenue—small homes don't generate the tax revenues for the counties and cities.' North Powder Mayor Bonita Hebert is somewhat encouraging that this could change, at least in her small town. 'They are just beautiful, well-built,' she said of the cabins. 'They would be very comfortable for a couple to live in.'