At what point does an architectural movement become defined by a single design element?
When did Georgian Architecture become defined as any simple 1-2 story, symmetrical box-shaped building?
At what point did a large white room with a concrete floor and next to no furniture become a minimalist dwelling?
I ask this because I would like to know why a tiny house is not a tiny house if it doesn’t have a loft?
At what point did the loft become the focal point of a tiny house?
Traditionally a loft is little more than an upper room or story in a building.
Found mainly in barns and located directly under the roof, lofts are commonly used for storage or for a specific purpose such as an organ loft in a church or a sleeping loft in a rural cabin.
The major difference between a loft and an attic is that an attic typically takes up an entire floor of a building, while a loft covers only 1-3 rooms. Lofts usually have one or more sides open to the lower floor.
Lofts Can Save Space
You might think, like I do, that ten to twelve foot ceilings are useless.
High ceilings are expensive to heat and cool. They’re also a real pain to keep clean.
Many older homes, especially those built before World War II, have ceilings that are only about seven feet high.
In New York City for example, developers usually make their loft spaces over a first story that’s only about seven feet tall.
Seven feet is a magic number for a couple of reasons:
- the average American male stands only 5’11”
- people think they’re in a room that’s ‘big enough’ if they’ve got at least a couple fee of head room
A loft would turn a traditional 64 square foot room into a two-level with over 100 square feet of living space.
Because lofts can can nearly double the amount of floor space in a dwelling, many tiny home builders have added them to almost all their designs.
With a sleeping loft tiny housers can maximize overall space, taking advantage of every square inch in the house.
Lofts Are Great, But Not For All
Lofts simply don’t work for some people. Older folks or those with certain handicaps find it hard to transit between floors.
In a tiny house, this can be a huge problem.
Having to go up and down a ladder or steep set of stairs throughout the day and night can be more than a burden – it could be downright deadly.
Some people just prefer ranch style tiny houses at the expense of a little less floor space. Our own Tiny r(E)volution trailer has a single level and no loft and we like it just fine.
Whatever the case, the space has to be right for you and your safety and comfort level.
Many builders insist on selling you a tiny house with a loft because it will inflate the usable square footage of the house.
But if you don’t want a loft, don’t get it. You can still call yourself a tiny house dweller even if your home only has one floor.