UT Austin School of Architecture grad student Davis Richardson didn’t wait for his degree to build his first house — he checked that feat off his list before arriving at UT when he successfully designed and built his first tiny house. On Thursday night, you’ll be able to watch his tiny house drawings come to fruition on the Season Four debut episode of DIY Network’s “Tiny House, Big Living.”
We caught up with Richardson before the show aired to chat about the upsides of downsizing.
When Richardson started to look for housing before the start of the 2016 fall semester, he quickly discovered that rent in Austin is not cheap. After weighing his options, he decided that building a tiny house would be the most cost-efficient route. With a monthly fee of $300 for the space where he “parks” his tiny home, Richardson is confident building a tiny house was a good investment.
A smaller house means a smaller ecological footprint. There are also a few design elements that help make Richardson’s tiny house more sustainable.
“With 10 percent of the building footprint of a typical house, efficient insulation, ample daylight … a smart A/C window unit, tankless water heater and composting toilet, my tiny house is a much more flexible, sustainable and economically feasible alternative compared to traditional housing.” – Davis Richardson
It doesn’t take much to get you out of the house when you live in a small space. Richardson said living in a tiny house has encouraged him to stay active and get more involved in his tiny house community located in Del Valle. Socializing with his community has helped Richardson build and maintain healthy neighborly relationships.
Although Richardson lives by himself, he noted that tiny houses can provide a greater sense of closeness for families or partners who choose to live in small spaces.
Knowing that life is unpredictable, Richardson wanted a housing option that could move with him.
“I was inspired by the flexibility and dynamism of lifestyle that comes with tiny houses. Unlike conventional buildings on a fixed site, tied to a permanent foundation, this tiny house would be able to go with me wherever life takes me.” – Davis Richardson
Still not convinced that a tiny house is a good downsizing option? Tune in Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. CT to watch the Season Four premiere episode of “Tiny House, Big Living,” and see our Longhorn build his tiny house from start to finish.