Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Tiny House and why would you choose to live this way?
It's generally accepted that a residence under 500 square feet (46 m2) is a tiny home. These little houses do come in all shapes and sizes though, on foundations or wheels and can suit one person or a family.
The Tiny House movement that is becoming more established across the world advocates living simply in small compact homes.
Those of us who choose or plan to live this way usually do so for several reasons. It's a more affordable way to live especially in these times of financial challenge. The homes are cheaper to create and usually much cheaper to run.
Living in a tiny home is choosing to leave a much smaller ecological footprint on the planet. This includes stepping away from a consumer driven lifestyle by choosing to have less 'stuff' and share resources.
Many tiny home owners choose to create their homes in an eco-friendly way using sustainable materials and some use renewable energy to power them. The homes can be sited individually or together as a community which is what we are planning here in or around Exeter.
How far have you got in creating the Exeter Tiny House Community?
A group of us came together in the spring of 2020 and connected over zoom at first (through several lockdowns). We worked on planning, researching, learning, networking, creating a vision and moving towards forming a legal entity. We feel it is important to spend time finding interested and committed people and getting to know the humans and other than humans who will eventually live in a community together. Some of us have worked together now for over two years and we welcome new community members. See our About Us page for more info.
Where will the community be?
We are planning on our community being either in or fairly close to Exeter. It all depends on where we find the land to build our community on…
Who is the community for?
When we spend time working on our vision, we always talk about inclusivity and feel that our community should reflect this value. We envisage ETHC being a welcoming place for all who wish to choose this lifestyle and it’s important that our tiny house ‘village’ is connected with nearby communities too. We see our community as a small village where we do have our own private living spaces but we also thrive on connection, friendship and community support. This may involve shared gardening, sharing resources and hopefully a community space which we can use collectively.
Do I need to invest a lot of money to be part of the community?
We are working extremely hard to find innovative ways that our community can come to life without requiring everyone who lives here to have to invest financially. We recognise that with the current housing crisis, many of us can’t even afford to save up a deposit or pay the rising rent costs here in the south-west. If our community can offer a local housing solution in this way that would be incredible. If you can help us with this, please do get in touch.
What will the Tiny Houses be like?
We are still in discussions about the kind of homes that will make up our community. We like the idea of people getting to create the home they wish and dream of but this may not be completely possible for several reasons. Homes may be on wheels or a fixed foundation, made of steel or glass or locally sourced timber for example. They might each come with a garden plot or a smaller garden and then we could all share a community garden and orchard. We have added photos of different Tiny Homes all over this website to give you an idea of the many different types of design available.
What is the structure of the group?
We try to work in a non-hierarchical manner and want to manage the creation of the community in the same way we would manage the actual community. We currently use a decision making practice called Sociocracy or consent-based decision making. More information on www.sociocracyforall.org/content/
How do I get involved?
If you feel aligned with our vision and have time to invest in being an active member of the group, we would love to hear from you. We meet one evening a week on zoom and once a month in person in Exeter. This is usually a Saturday morning. We all share responsibilities and roles depending on our skills and interests.