You all know that old saying, right? Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “Fish and visitors smell in three days.” In my humble opinion, he was right on. I like visiting friends and family, but after about three days, no matter how welcoming a host is, I feel like I’ve started to wear out my welcome. No offense, but I feel the same way about people who come to visit us. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE having people over. It’s just that after a few days I really like to get back into my normal routine.
Our new house is going to be fairly small. We won’t have guest rooms. We won’t even have an office that we can convert temporarily. About the only place guests are going to be able to sleep is on our pull-out couch in the small living room. While that works short-term, we have been wracking our brains for years to think of a way to accommodate long-term guests without having to interrupt our daily lives so drastically. The solution? Guest housing.
No, I don’t mean we’re going to attach a motel to our house. And I don’t plan on erecting yurt platforms or constructing tent sites. I’m talking about tiny houses. They’re perfect little homes that don’t take up a lot of space, can be built just about anywhere, and won’t cost us a lot. They can even be built on trailers and moved around if need be, though I would like ours to be more permanent items on our land. They can be used for other purposes, too – as hunting blinds, rentals, employee housing, sleepover central for the kids, or just a place to go when someone in the family needs a break.
I’m definitely not the first to come up with this idea. There are actually a lot of folks who have already built these tiny houses on their land or in their backyard. Some call them mother-in-law houses. Some rent them to their out-of-school teens to keep them close to home yet teach them rental responsibility. Some house college kids during the school year and visiting relations during the summer. They’re a brilliant addition to a parcel, city or country.
I’ve recently been looking around for ones that catch my eye. My original plan was to do a 3 Little Pigs theme and make one tiny house of of stones, one out of wood, and one out of straw. I still think that’s a cute idea, but then I saw a video on youtube by a Permie who was touring an ecovillage somewhere in the US. The ecovillage was still in the forming stage and needed temporary housing for incoming members to try out the lifestyle. They built three tiny houses, and they were sooo cute!
Here are two snapshots I took from the video:
They’re perfect! I think a little rocket stove or tiny wood stove in each would keep them useful year-round. They’re big enough to house a bunk on the one side and a full/queen mattress in the loft. Add a dresser and some shelves. Voila. Of course, we’d probably locate a heated bath house nearby. Maybe a little outdoor kitchen with plenty of seating and tables for large gatherings at meal-time.
Yep. Our home isn’t even finished, and here I am planning out all the details for big family get-togethers and small neighborhood festivities. Once we have something like this set up, only the fish will smell after three days. 😉