Living in a tiny home enables a lifestyle of peace, simplicity, responsibility, and good stewardship. This applies to a plethora of different things, from good financial discipline — 55% of tiny home owners have more savings than the average American — to taking care of the Earth — tiny home owners tend to reduce their ecological imprint by a whopping 45% on average.
Tiny homes typically make a lot of sense in areas where there is less space, such as an urban center or even a cramped suburban neighborhood. One tiny home setting that doesn’t tend to get a fair shake, though, is the country. Rural settings can be excellent candidates for a variety of tiny home options.
Things to Consider for Rural Tiny Home Living
Whether you’re refurbishing an older trailer home, overhauling an RV, or converting a large van into a weekend adventure travel vehicle, you’re going to want to consider the countryside as you go about looking for a home for your tiny house. From gorgeous sunsets and fresh air to genuine peace and quiet, there are many reasons to consider living in a rural area.
If you do choose to build your new tiny home in a more agrarian setting or nestled deep in the woods, though, there are a few things you’re going to want to consider before breaking ground. Some are typical homeowner concerns while others specifically come into play when in a rural setting.
Watch Those Materials
It’s tempting to recycle and reuse everything in sight as you go about creating an environmentally respectful living space. However, one thing you’re going to want to watch out for is what kind of reclaimed materials you choose to utilize in your construction.
Many country settings, for instance, have old barns that can be repurposed into new dwellings. However, you’re going to want to choose selectively in order to avoid things like mold, water, and termite damage.
Lead paint is another thing to watch out for, especially on building materials from 1970s homes and earlier. There are many test kits available these days that make identifying lead paint quick and easy.
If you find that you’re reclaiming materials from an older country home, make sure that you don’t use anything with asbestos in it, either. Asbestos was used in construction for decades as a fire retardant and an insulator. If you’re trying to use materials that are older than the 1970s, they could very easily have asbestos in them. Make sure to take the time to ensure that everything you’re using is safe.
Location, Location, Location
If you’re used to living in a city-center, you probably don’t even think twice about accessing things. If you need groceries, you can bike to the store, if you want to go to the gym, there’s probably a facility a three-minute drive away, and your kid’s school might be just a few blocks down the road.
Of course, none of this holds up in a country setting. Minimizing your lifestyle with a rural tiny house is a great idea, but you’re going to want to make sure that you choose your setting with the location in mind. Every country field or wooded dell isn’t going to be equal. One might be 15 minutes from the closest grocery store and another might be an hour from the nearest gas station.
Whatever the case, chances are nothing will be too close. That’s just part of the trade-off that comes with country living. However, it’s a good idea to make a list of things you’d like to have nearby and see how many of these you can get close to you as you shop around for a country-specific location.
If you’re a retiree considering buying land for a tiny home, for instance, health-related services should be a top priority. Healthcare is chronically underserved in truly rural areas, and making sure that your country “mini-estate” is located near a hospital, urgent care center, and even your doctor is something to consider.
Forget the Joneses
One natural benefit to transporting your tiny home life to a rural area is the fact that in the country, there’s no need to keep up with the Joneses. In fact, the “Joneses” often aren’t even in sight! If you set up your tiny home life in a rural area, the pressure of fitting into a certain kind of neighborhood or setting is largely eradicated, due to the typically larger distance between country dwellings. This allows you to personalize and customize your living space in every way possible.
Everything from the color of your home to choosing between industrial or modern country style shutters is left firmly in your hands — with no critical glances from the neighbors. If you’ve always dreamed of living off the land, country living also offers an opportunity to sustainably build that homestead with no judgemental eyes watching to see if you’ve properly mowed your lawn this week. It may sound like a small thing, but genuine decorative and landscaping freedom is hard to come by in urban areas, and it’s a perk that should be fully taken advantage of for all rural dwellers.
Big Country, Tiny Home
There are many benefits to building, refurbishing, or reclaiming a tiny home in the countryside. It gives you freedom of design and decor, enables you to live more sustainably off the land, and provides access to the peace and quiet of country life.
However, if you choose to go this route, make sure to lay your plans carefully beforehand. Consider everything from building materials to access to facilities and utilities. As long as you go into the decision informed and with both eyes open, you’ll be much more likely to enjoy your new rural tiny home life each and every day.
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