Smallest Homes in America

Shipping container homes, tiny homes on wheels, and a tiny houseboat make up this list of the smallest homes in America. Some of the smallest homes in America are quite famous, including Dee Williams’ 84 square-foot tiny home and the Spite House in Alexandria, VA, which measures only seven feet wide.

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UPDATED: Dec 22, 2021

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Written By: Chris TepedinoReviewed By: Laura WalkerUPDATED: Dec 22, 2021Fact Checked

In an age where the American Dream is to own more, small houses are not as common as they once were. But tiny houses do exist, and some of them may be smaller than you thought was possible.

From a home that can be pulled behind a bicycle to homes built for their ecological features, the smallest houses in America require careful planning and an eye for detail.

Note that the smallest of these designs may not include restroom facilities, but they have everything else, and since the smaller ones are designed to be mobile, you can use restrooms and showers at campgrounds and other stops along the way.

Dee Williams’ Tiny House

Dee Williams decided to downsize, and did it in a very big way. The result was an 84 square foot house that contains a living and sleeping area along with some limited extras. The sleeping loft is above the living area, and the home even has a kitchen counter and storage compartments. Her monthly household bills consist of about $8 for heating costs.

Eco-Bike Trailer

Paul Elkins took his home on the road with a mobile home design that rides
behind his bicycle
. He gets his electrical power from a wind turbine and uses solar power for cooking and heating. This compact design utilizes the same space for multiple functions, but it has everything a single person needs for living.

Sun Dog Cob House

The Sun Dog School of Natural Building teaches people how to build small, sustainable homes. The Cob house is primarily made from straw and
mud, but also incorporates modern design techniques. Other features that can be used in home building include earthen floors, stone ovens and living roof designs which keep the home cool by using plants and soil.

Tiny House on Wheels

This home is 160 square feet in size, features bamboo flooring and has cedar siding. The kitchen is powered using 110 AC power. The
roof is double insulated for more effective heating and cooling and a complete gutter system is included. Plumbing was omitted to avoid zoning concerns, and the home is for sale at a modest price
of $25,000.

The Spite House

This home was built in in 1830 in Alexandria, Virginia. It measures 7 feet wide and a total of 320 square feet. Built by closing in alley and using the exterior walls of the two adjacent buildings as the interior walls for this home, the Spite House has all of the modern conveniences of home and
includes an outdoor patio-garden that is, like the home, only 7 feet wide.

Shipping Container Homes

These remarkable homes can be as small as a single shipping container or as large and luxurious as you can afford. For tiny homes, furniture is
designed to serve double and triple uses, folding into and out of walls, floors and ceilings. Another usage for shipping containers is design modular rooms which can be inserted into specially cut

Tiny Houseboat

Houseboats, by and large, are tiny homes. This one is less than 500 square feet, uses solar power to provide 12 volt electricity to the appliances, and includes a kitchen and dining area. Cooking is done on a 2 burner gas stove and the home is supported on recycled 55 gallon drums. Complete with a lower deck and roof access, this is a small home with the potential to go anywhere, either by water or pulled by trailer to a launching facility.

Smallest Homes in America: The Bottom Line

While the evolution of the average size of a US home has followed an upward trajectory over the last forty years, tiny houses still very much have their place.

From decreasing the amount of space you need, to being able to show off a creative way of living in a cozy house, living in one of the smallest homes in America is a surprisingly popular—and viable—way to live.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by insurance experts.

Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about home, life, and car insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and C...

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Written by Chris Tepedino
Insurance Feature Writer Chris Tepedino

Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent Laura Walker

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