I have occasionally, but some of them, I just can't believe you can actually live in them, especially those that have more than one person, or much less a family, in them. But, you could probably save some serious coin.
I have not watched the show yet, But I have always thought its a pretty cool concept.
Especially If you live in a place were you can spend time outdoors all year long too.
I could see it being a little cramped during a long cold winter when you really dont want to spend all day outside.
I watched a family set up 2 large storage sheds to live in while they built their own house, it took approx. 18 months IIRC. Seemed very smart for the short term. After they moved into the house they used 1 shed as a lawn equipment storage and sold the other.
I've been fascinated by the tiny house concept for years now...one of my favourites was a retiree who helped a troubled teenager to build, wire and plumb one on an old car trailer, for literally hundreds of dollars.
Makes more sense having a kid build one and live there saving for a mortgage than having them living in house with parents to age 30.
I think tiny houses are interesting, and I probably could live in some of them, but I don't know how much of a savings it actually is. A lot of the Tumbleweed houses are $60K+. In the South you can do better than that and end up with more house, though it might be less trendy and not up to date out of the box.
If I just needed temporary housing, I'd skip the tiny houses and just get a single wide trailer. Not stylish, but cheap with plenty of creature comforts.
I might be inclined to build/buy a tiny house for a limited use cabin or something, but spending $60K on ~500 sq ft. just doesn't add up down here. Maybe in some places, but not here.
It's definitely a neat concept though. I only want as much house as I need and can get use out of. I'd rather have a small house and a large shop/detached garage building than I would have a large house with an attached, normal size garage.
I live in a super insulated 1100 sq foot house, 2 bedrooms, single story, 2 bathrooms.
It has been 100 degrees here every day, and the ac has been at 70 degrees. Last electric bill was 84 dollars. That was the highest one I have seen so far.
Now if only water were cheaper in central Texas..
I second the singlewide trailer option. I bought one used (1984 model) back in the 1990's in good condition for $6,000. I later sold it in 1998 for $6,500 and have been living in the current house since.
I grew up in a 800sf, 2br/1ba house. It had a basement and attic though, so over the years my family still managed to accumulate an enormous amount of stuff. I've always liked the idea of only having "enough" house. There's tract after tract of awful cookie-cutter McMansions when you head out around here. Who needs so many things in their lives?
Tiny House blog had a neat article about a company that sold houses (plans, lumber and all) by mail-order catalog, back in 1920: (link)