What is the Smallest House in the World?

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The Smaller The Better?

If you ask most people to describe their dream home, they’re likely to mention that they imagine a big house or even a mansion. Others, however, may prefer a smaller accommodation. In fact, the tiny house movement has gained immense popularity in the past few years. The tiny house movement advocates living simply in small, minimal homes often the size of a trailer. But of all of the small houses in the world, tiny or otherwise, which one is the smallest?   

What is a House?

The issue is more complicated than you might think at first. It leads to the question of what a house really is. Is it just a place where people live? Can a shed be considered a house? What about a box?

According to Tiny House Association co-founder Elaine Walker, “a person should be able to carry out normal daily living activities in a house, including standing up.” Google defines a house as a “building for human habitation.” But can a structure that merely resembles a house count as a being house?

Related: How much does it cost to build a house in 2019?   

A House Smaller Than A Hair

In 2018, scientists from the Femto-ST Institute in Besancon, France built a “house” that is only 20 micrometers long. According to the scientist team, the house isn’t even big enough to fit a mite. It was built with a layer of silica set on the tip of an optical fiber, thinner than the width of a human hair.

The house boasts four walls, seven windows, and even a tiny chimney. Why did these French scientists bother with all of this? French scientists wanted to demonstrate the power of a device called the μRobotex. The μRobotex is a combination of an electron microscope/gas injection system/robot that scientists hope can one day utilize in the medical community.

So if you’re willing to accept the idea that a microscopic structure can resemble a house without actually serving as a home, then wait for it. You’d be hard-pressed to find out there’s one even smaller than this.

One Square Meter

We find another example that pushes the limits of what a real house is in Berlin: the one square meter house. After all, a short person could stand up in it but would have a difficult time doing much of anything else. It’s your call whether or not that counts.

If you’re having doubts about these borderline “houses,” then you’re probably still wondering what the smallest “real” house in the world even is.

“The Smallest House In The World”

Glen Bunsen, of smallesthouseintheworld.com, would tell you that it’s his. At 25 square feet, his home can fit in a regular van, and – somehow – it has a sink, a shower, a stove, a waste system, a wind turbine, and a greywater system. Even so, there are critics who would resist calling Bunsen’s home a house. For example, it does not meet Elaine Walker’s “standing up” criteria. But Bunsen does indeed inhabit the home.

The tiny house movement inspired Bunsen after marveling at just how large these “tiny” houses (which are typically about 400 square feet) really are. He claimes to have been motivated by time, not space. With his portable home, Bunsen can live wherever he chooses. “I have lots of time now that I live wherever I need to go,” he writes. “And you can even stay there if you want to since it’s listed on Airbnb.”

Related: House Hacking: Live for free with an Airbnb Investment Property.

Small Houses Around the World

Bunsen’s home might be the smallest in America, but there are others nearly as small located around the world.

Related: Best Places to Buy a Home in Southern California.

Smallest House in Toronto

A home in Toronto built in 1912, with a living room, kitchen, and bathroom comes in at only 28 – 29 square feet (reports vary). This famous home has even appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Like many of the world’s smallest homes, it was built in the space between two existing properties in an attempt to maximize the space. Arthur Weeden and his wife successfully lived in this space for 20 years. In 2010, it was on the market for $180,000.

Smallest House in Poland

Meanwhile, in Warsaw, Poland, a house called the Keret House is described as “the narrowest in the world,” coming in at just 5 feet at its widest point. Its first tenant, Israeli writer Etgar Keret, named the house after himself. Even though it’s used a residence, the house is classified as an “art installation” because it does not meet Polish building codes. The house has a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and living area.

Smallest House in Great Britain

Quay House, also called the Smallest House in Great Britain, was built in the 16th century and used until 1900, when a 6-foot 3-inch fisherman named Robert Jones inhabited it. And, no, he couldn’t stand up in the ten by 6-foot space. Unfortunately, the house has since been declared “unfit for human habitation.”

Smallest House in Austria

In Salzburg, Austria, there is a house barely over 4 and a half feet wide, that currently serves as a storefront for a jeweler. If four customers enter this store at once, it has to close due to overcrowding. This home was built in the 1900s to close a small alley.

Smallest House in Amsterdam

Because of an old law that calculated property tax based on the width of a building’s facade, narrow houses are unusually common in Amsterdam. A popular tourist attraction, the Smallest House in Amsterdam, sometimes also called the Smallest House in Europe, is 6 feet 8 inches wide and 16 feet 5 inches deep. It’s even registered as a national heritage site.

Smallest Tea Room in Amsterdam

Additionally, there is a home at Oude Hoogstraat that is 6 and a half feet wide, which is currently open to the public as the smallest tea room in Amsterdam. Reservations are recommended. And the house at Singel 7 has a facade of just over one meter, or 3 feet wide. It makes for a great photo op.

So There You Go.

Now, if you ever want to go on a tour of the world’s smallest houses, you know where to visit. Just be careful about getting into the “what is a house, really?” debate with the wrong people. You might be stuck on a delicate subject – maybe even as delicate as a house smaller than the width of a hair.

Related: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide On How To Find Investment Properties Using Zumbly.

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The Smaller The Better?

If you ask most people to describe their dream home, they’re likely to mention that they imagine a big house or even a mansion. Others, however, may prefer a smaller accommodation. In fact, the tiny house movement has gained immense popularity in the past few years. The tiny house movement advocates living simply in small, minimal homes often the size of a trailer. But of all of the small houses in the world, tiny or otherwise, which one is the smallest?

What is a House?

The issue is more complicated than you might think at first. It leads to the question of what a house really is. Is it just a place where people live? Can a shed be considered a house? What about a box?

According to Tiny House Association co-founder Elaine Walker, “a person should be able to carry out normal daily living activities in a house, including standing up.” Google defines a house as a “building for human habitation.” But can a structure that merely resembles a house count as a being house?

Related: How much does it cost to build a house in 2019?

A House Smaller Than A Hair

In 2018, scientists from the Femto-ST Institute in Besancon, France built a “house” that is only 20 micrometers long. According to the scientist team, the house isn’t even big enough to fit a mite. It was built with a layer of silica set on the tip of an optical fiber, thinner than the width of a human hair.

The house boasts four walls, seven windows, and even a tiny chimney. Why did these French scientists bother with all of this? French scientists wanted to demonstrate the power of a device called the μRobotex. The μRobotex is a combination of an electron microscope/gas injection system/robot that scientists hope can one day utilize in the medical community.

So if you’re willing to accept the idea that a microscopic structure can resemble a house without actually serving as a home, then wait for it. You’d be hard-pressed to find out there’s one even smaller than this.

One Square Meter

We find another example that pushes the limits of what a real house is in Berlin: the one square meter house. After all, a short person could stand up in it but would have a difficult time doing much of anything else. It’s your call whether or not that counts.

If you’re having doubts about these borderline “houses,” then you’re probably still wondering what the smallest “real” house in the world even is.

“The Smallest House In The World”

Glen Bunsen, of smallesthouseintheworld.com, would tell you that it’s his. At 25 square feet, his home can fit in a regular van, and – somehow – it has a sink, a shower, a stove, a waste system, a wind turbine, and a greywater system. Even so, there are critics who would resist calling Bunsen’s home a house. For example, it does not meet Elaine Walker’s “standing up” criteria. But Bunsen does indeed inhabit the home.

The tiny house movement inspired Bunsen after marveling at just how large these “tiny” houses (which are typically about 400 square feet) really are. He claimes to have been motivated by time, not space. With his portable home, Bunsen can live wherever he chooses. “I have lots of time now that I live wherever I need to go,” he writes. “And you can even stay there if you want to since it’s listed on Airbnb.”

Related: House Hacking: Live for free with an Airbnb Investment Property.

Small Houses Around the World

Bunsen’s home might be the smallest in America, but there are others nearly as small located around the world.

Related: Best Places to Buy a Home in Southern California.

Smallest House in Toronto

A home in Toronto built in 1912, with a living room, kitchen, and bathroom comes in at only 28 – 29 square feet (reports vary). This famous home has even appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Like many of the world’s smallest homes, it was built in the space between two existing properties in an attempt to maximize the space. Arthur Weeden and his wife successfully lived in this space for 20 years. In 2010, it was on the market for $180,000.

Smallest House in Poland

Meanwhile, in Warsaw, Poland, a house called the Keret House is described as “the narrowest in the world,” coming in at just 5 feet at its widest point. Its first tenant, Israeli writer Etgar Keret, named the house after himself. Even though it’s used a residence, the house is classified as an “art installation” because it does not meet Polish building codes. The house has a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and living area.

Smallest House in Great Britain

Quay House, also called the Smallest House in Great Britain, was built in the 16th century and used until 1900, when a 6-foot 3-inch fisherman named Robert Jones inhabited it. And, no, he couldn’t stand up in the ten by 6-foot space. Unfortunately, the house has since been declared “unfit for human habitation.”

Smallest House in Austria

In Salzburg, Austria, there is a house barely over 4 and a half feet wide, that currently serves as a storefront for a jeweler. If four customers enter this store at once, it has to close due to overcrowding. This home was built in the 1900s to close a small alley.

Smallest House in Amsterdam

Because of an old law that calculated property tax based on the width of a building’s facade, narrow houses are unusually common in Amsterdam. A popular tourist attraction, the Smallest House in Amsterdam, sometimes also called the Smallest House in Europe, is 6 feet 8 inches wide and 16 feet 5 inches deep. It’s even registered as a national heritage site.

Smallest Tea Room in Amsterdam

Additionally, there is a home at Oude Hoogstraat that is 6 and a half feet wide, which is currently open to the public as the smallest tea room in Amsterdam. Reservations are recommended. And the house at Singel 7 has a facade of just over one meter, or 3 feet wide. It makes for a great photo op.

So There You Go.

Now, if you ever want to go on a tour of the world’s smallest houses, you know where to visit. Just be careful about getting into the “what is a house, really?” debate with the wrong people. You might be stuck on a delicate subject – maybe even as delicate as a house smaller than the width of a hair.

Related: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide On How To Find Investment Properties Using Zumbly.

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