For many years, the demand for housing has been increasing – also in Switzerland. In the case of single-family houses, according to the building and housing statistics of the Federal Statistical Office, the living space per inhabitant peaked at 60 m² between 1971 and 1980 and has been declining steadily ever since; in the period 2011 to 2018 the figure will now be just over 50 m². In the case of multi-family houses, however, the value has risen continuously since 1961 from around 38 m² to 47 m².

Durchschnittliche Wohnfläche pro Person

Development of average living space per inhabitant; source: BFS – Gebäude und Wohnungsstatistik

But almost every development is accompanied by counter-trends – sometimes stronger, sometimes weaker. And this is also true of the average space requirement per inhabitant.

Tiny House: the dream of the mini house

What began in America has now also arrived in Europe: the trend towards the Tiny House. Many younger people are looking for alternatives alternative to huge apartments or luxurious homes, at least for as long as they want to live alone or reduce their ecological footprint.

However, the cultural, legal and geographical conditions for this form of living in Europe differ significantly from the situation in America. This is where the recently published “big practice book” by author, blogger and Tiny House expert Kevin Rechsteiner comes in. In his book, he gives instructions and tips for building and maintaining a Tiny House in Central Europe and presents various construction projects: from the finished mini house to the mobile little house on wheels that can be pulled along as a trailer on the car and yet offers more than a normal caravan. Reports and interviews of numerous Tiny House owners as well as atmospheric pictures complete the text.

Incidentally, the Schöner Wohnen magazine recently reported online in an informative article on particularly successful examples of Tiny Houses under the title “Tiny Houses to fall in love with”. (text in german language only)

Tidy House

Photo: Kodasema/Paul Komet

Answers to practical and legal questions about the Tiny House

Anyone who deals with Tiny Houses will quickly come across questions: Where am I even allowed to set up a Tiny House? Is it warm enough in winter? Is a solar system enough to supply it with enough electricity? Where do I get water from, and where do I put the waste water? Which aspects of building or buying a Tiny House have to be considered that are not relevant for other houses? The book provides comprehensive answers to these and other questions.

To the author Kevin Rechsteiner

Since 2017 Kevin Rechsteiner himself has been living in a tiny house all year round. In his book “Tiny House – Das grosse Praxisbuch” published by AT-Verlag (in German language), he not only covers numerous practical topics on the construction of and life in a Tiny House on 224 pages, but also takes into account the different legal conditions in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. The author thus creates a first comprehensive handbook on this subject. In his Tiny House blog he continuously reports on his experiences with life in his converted circus wagon.