Curious About Living Tiny

By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV

EASTHAM (CBS) — In a world where bigger is often seen as better, some people are saying “no thanks,” and money is a big reason.

Katherine from Eastham told us she’s watching every penny, and Declared her Curiosity asking “about ways to save money.”

Well how about this — live in a tiny house, and we mean tiny.

“It’s exactly what I was looking for. Something that was small so we wouldn’t be house poor,” says Dustin Diedricksen, who lives on the South Shore with his wife, Dawn, in an 850-square-foot house.

It’s basically a sleeping loft, a little living room and a kitchen and bath. “You’ve got to be very compatible, of course. No arguments because there’s nowhere to run to!” says Dustin. And with their first baby on the way, instead of moving, they’re putting up a wall, dividing an already small room to make a tiny bedroom. They’re also not parting with their two parrots.

WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reports.

The average new house built here in the northeast last year was about 2,600 square feet. That’s about three times the size of the Diedricksen’s.

Dustin’s brother Derek also lives in a small house; 1,000 square feet for his family of four plus a dog, a big dog.

“Tiny houses really seem to be on the rise,” he says. Derek has also written a book about tiny houses and blogs on the topic.

“A couple of years ago you’d look online for tiny housing sites and there wouldn’t be many. Now you go on line, they’re everywhere,” he says.

The economic benefits aren’t bad either. “If you had a small home you could vacation more, pay off the house quicker, retire earlier. So for me it makes a lot of sense,” Derek says.

It’s happening around the country with some people experimenting with living in truly tiny houses, some just a few hundred square feet. The savings in heat, electricity, furnishings, upkeep, etc. can be sizable, but for some there’s also a broader reason.

“The whole sustainable living, smaller footprint, all those catch phrases, are something I do strive toward,” says Dustin Diedricksen.

Of course there are practical considerations as well. “You’ve got to think of your house as a boat. You have to use every available space,” says Dawn Diedricksen.

And with a baby coming that will be more of a challenge. “You don’t need a thousand square foot playroom. You can go outside and play,” says Dustin. For both families the phrase “less is more” is ringing true.

Here are some resources if you’d like to learn more about tiny houses:

Derek’s website:

Tiny house sites:

More from Paula Ebben
  • WBZ/CBS Boston News- On Tiny/Small Houses in Massachusetts….with The Diedricksen Brothers… « Relaxshax's Blog

    […] AS for WBZ News (and thank you to Ken Tucci and crew!) You can check out the story/transcript here (and more video): […]

  • Wilson

    Live in a wigwam and share the same toothbrush. Then I’ll be impressed.

  • relaxshax

    Aren’t you a ray of sunshine! lol- funny though- and the toothbrush: no prob. The wigwam: you’d get too many neighborly complaints/code violation fees- otherwise, I know many people would be game! Hell I would be- those things are damn affordable to build. Have a great new years…..

  • macmum

    Hey Wilson! have a happy 1/1/11!!!!

  • emom

    hhmmm I live in a tiny house then, it has 6 rooms, no basement and well about 800 square feet well maybe a 1000,, either way I consider it a castle… 2600 thousand feet, hey thats a mansion in my book, and too much to take care off and cost too much to take care off I rather take tiny over that …..

    • Mookey

      I think that as long as they are happy, good for them. Too many of my neighbors have these huge mansions. they are hard to keep clean, and expensive to keep. Our house is about 1,000 sf. 5 rooms–3 bedrooms. We get comments like, “Isn’t this cozy”. We are laughing all the way to the bank, because we paid off our mortgage in 7 years. We live only on one teacher’s salary–and we live in Mass. We have a house that is easy to maintain and kids are comfortable.

  • Wilson

    Like Steve Martin once said….”Let’s get small”

  • emom

    I love cozy and comfy,,, too much space is hard to heat and keep cool as well as clean,, cozy and comfy is best,,,,,, so love steve martin,,, hahha

  • deborah

    Small is beautiful! But those parrots will wake that new baby up….I speak from experience!

  • Wilson

    I asked my wife. She said size doesn’t matter.

  • jean

    i would love to see the floorplan for this cottage

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