Thinking Of Joining The Tiny House Movement? Maximize Your Living Space With French Patio Doors

If you're thinking of downsizing and becoming part of the Tiny House Movement, then you need to find ways to maximize your space, both indoors and out. Installing French patio doors is one way to accomplish this. Below is a brief explanation of the Tiny House Movement and ideas for using these space-saving doors.

What is the Tiny House Movement?

The Tiny House Movement really got its start in the RV industry. People started selling their brick and mortar homes and moving into homes-on-wheels. Granted, some of those large RVs do have all the comforts of home, but they are packed into a much smaller footprint.

Typical RVs are roughly 8 to 8.5 feet wide, and depending on the state you live in, usually max out at 40 feet long. That's roughly 320 square feet of living space. Slide outs add some square footage, and that varies with the size of the slides and the number on the rig. Since a typical American home has roughly 2600 square feet of living space, that's a lot of "stuff" to get rid of.

The Tiny House Movement evolved from the RV craze. Not everyone wants to be a nomad. Some embrace the tiny home lifestyle, but put down roots in one place.

Types of Tiny Houses That Use French Doors

Tiny houses may be built with or without wheels. Trailer chassis, stand alone garages, and even garden sheds have been converted. Companies that specialize in designing homes offer blueprints and/or materials and kits to allow people to build their own tiny home from scratch. Most incorporate some sort of outdoor space, such as a porch or patio. French doors, whether single wide or double wide, are a viable option for many designs.

Trailer Chassis

Tiny homes built on trailer chassis give you the look of a tiny house but the mobility of an RV trailer. Like a regular RV, the width is limited to enable the house to be legally towed, but they rarely have slides. Designs usually incorporate a loft to maximize space. Single-wide French doors tend to work better on these because of the width issue.

Converted Garages and Garden Sheds

Tiny homes made out of converted garages and garden sheds are meant to stay in one place. This means you can build a patio area, install an awing and use the area as extra living space. Some more sophisticated designs add a regular style roof and/or enclose the space with glass. Depending on the size of the conversion, French doors could be single or double wide. Another advantage is that the doors can be installed so they swing out.  When the doors are fully open, the tiny house and the patio become one big living space. 

The Micro Cottage

Micro cottages are typically built from scratch. Some are truly tiny homes, with architectural plans showing a footprint of 300 square feet or less. Others may be twice that. The design is limited by your budget, your building space and just how much downsizing you're comfortable with.

Many of the designs are perfectly compatible with French doors because they have permanently installed patios or decks. For example, you could have a wrap around deck on two sides of the home with double French doors opening up from the main living area and a second single French door providing access from another part of the home.  Or, French doors could open up to a flagstone patio, complete with flower bed edging and an outdoor patio suite. If you want to learn more about french doors and whether they'll work for your tiny house, you can look at this website.