The idea of 'going tiny' has been brewing in our society for decades, but took hold recently. Whether tiny house lovers are looking to reduce their carbon footprint to help save the environment or are simply revolting against the rise of the McMansion, the concept of living simply in a home less than 500 square feet is here to stay. While tiny houses can be affixed to permanent foundations, many people prefer the mobile tiny house and the freedom of the open road.
Part RV and part gypsy wagon, these tiny homes on wheels have a few challenges in the building department, namely weight. When choosing exterior options to clad a mobile tiny home, traditional options, like brick or stone, don't work. These products are too much weight. There are several options, however, that add style without adding bulk.
1. T1-11: This siding is ubiquitous throughout middle America although most people probably don't know the official name. T1-11 siding is a vertical wood siding with a raised vertical seam that typically comes in four foot by eight foot sheets. It is cheap, easy-to-install, and very attractive. The simple design lends itself to both country farmhouse and modern styles. It is even featured in the classic painting by Grant Wood, "American Gothic," owned by the Chicago Institute of Arts.
2. Cedar Shakes: Another popular choice for tiny homes is the cedar shake. The simple wood shakes have been a go-to in the United States since its inception, particularly along the coast, because they are both easy to install and durable. In fact, homeowners who decide to build their tiny homes themselves find cedar shake installation to be a great do-it-yourself project.
3. Vinyl: While you need a professional to install vinyl siding, it is a maintenance-free and long-lived option. Vinyl siding will last for decades — long after you've outgrown your tiny home — and is often referred to as the "most popular type of siding in America" for houses big and small.
4. Corrugated Metal: For those that prefer a decidedly more contemporary look, corrugated metal can be used as an exterior siding. Depending on the type of metal you use, it can age to a lovely patina. Corrugated metal usually comes in two foot by two foot square panels or four foot by eight foot sheets, both of which complement a modern aesthetic nicely.
5. Reclaimed Lumber: Reclaimed wood — usually procured from decaying homes or barns — can be cut and planed down for use as an exterior siding as well. This choice is very popular with tiny home dwellers as it satisfies both modern and vintage tastes at the same time.
All of the above siding options are lovely choices for a tiny home without adding too much weight to the overall structure. Choosing one just depends on personal preference. For more information, contact local professionals like those found at Wayne Siding & Home Improvements.