...build a yurt
...rent an apartment
...haul a clunker RV or mobile home onto your property
...buy a modular home
...buy a mobile home
...fix your current home
These are all suggestions that have been offered by well-meaning people who hear that I plan to build a tiny house to live in so I can tear down my wreck of a house--and hopefully, eventually, build a new house to replace the old one. These suggestions are offered by people who think their idea will cost less and take less time than what I have planned. Probably some also doubt I will successfully build my tiny house, so think it would be wiser not to take the risk.
I have repeated these interactions so many times in one form or another, they have caused me to think at some length about the term "cost effective." To me, the term "cost effective" means achieving a desired end result for a reasonable price. To even begin to know if the price is reasonable, one has to fully grasp the desired end result.
Many of the suggested courses of action would definitely cost less money and less time than what I have planned.
-Yurt: Easier to build. Less expensive. Great solution--for someone else. I don't live in some remote outback. I live in a town, and there have been break-ins at some of my neighbors' homes. I need a more secure structure. Also, how exactly would I feed a wood stove every 15 minutes throughout the winter when I work 40+ hours a week away from home?
-Rent an apartment: I worked hard to keep this property during my scary-lean years. I have finally paid off the mortgage. Living here feels like living in paradise to me. I should pay money to live in an apartment somewhere else? Nope; not for me.
-Live in clunker RV or mobile home: I even had a free RV (with a bashed in corner--roof leak) offered to me a few years ago. The thought of having condensation dripping on the inside during the winter, roof leaks, high heating costs, possibly frozen pipes, etc... <sigh> I have much of that now--in my wreck of a house--but, at least in this house, I know all the issues and workarounds. I have no energy for moving from one wreck to another.
-Fix current home: Believe me, I've studied whether this might make sense throughout the 20 years I've lived here. This house has no foundation, and it would not be possible to jack it up and give it one--given how it's been cobbled together. The house has virtually no insulation, and there are vast areas of it that just cannot be insulated. I could go on and on. When you add it all up... One could spend/waste a LOT of money trying to fix this place, with very unsatisfying results. Believe me, it's gotta go.
-Buy modular or mobile home: Good answer, for someone else. I have wanted to build my own home, with my own hands, for a very long time. For me, it's not just about the shelter. It's also about the building. The whole process. If I build my JayBee and live in it, I will be a happy woman--even if something should prevent me from building another home in the future. (Not to suggest that I'm not happy now, cuz I am. :-)
It all makes perfect sense to me.