A builder in Nelson, B.C., has plans to push the trend toward smaller houses to a whole new level by marketing some tiny homes the size of some peoples' walk-in closets.
Seth Reidy, of Nelson Tiny Houses, has built two proto-type micro homes which he hopes to start selling in the Kootenays. One squeezes all the conveniences of a conventional home into 108 square feet.
"It's kind of like an RV. It has plumbing you can hook into and basically an extension cord you can hook to that has a circuit board," said Reidy.
Reidy's house is made primarily of wood and recycled materials, such as highway signs, for roof shingles, and corrugated metal siding.
He's having a public viewing of them this weekend at Ellison’s Market in Nelson, where he hopes to generate enough interest to build more this summer.
His houses will go for between $15,000 and $25,000.
He figures most will be used as in-law suites or vacation rentals but says they can also be lived in.
"We certainly don't need as much space as we think we do. If anything it allows for more space to put junk in," he said. "It would force you to prioritize what you use on a daily basis and make sure that takes priority."
Building tiny, affordable homes has become a movement in North America as people look to reduce their footprint and mortgage. One company in the U.S. builds them as small as 76 square feet.
The trend toward smaller homes is already underway in Vancouver, where property owners are have been allowed to build laneway homes up to 500 square feet in their backyard since 2009.
The City of West Vancouver is also looking to allow more homeowners to build coach houses in their backyards.
Last October the City of Surrey also approved a plan for a condo development with 56 units ranging in size from 290 to 653 square feet.