JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Home and Patio Show is now underway at the Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center.
It runs through Sunday evening and features roughly 300 vendors who specialize in everything from solar energy to barbequing.
This year, there is a new addition that you might find hard to wrap your head around.
In fact, it might challenging to get your head inside of it depending on how tall you are.
The home and patio show has added for the first time an exhibit from the small house movement.
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the economy tanked in 2007, many people chose to move into very small houses. Some were only 308 square feet. Others were much smaller.
Dan Louche from Atlanta, Georgia, stumbled upon the movement when looking for a new home for his mother.
"She lost her mobile home in a hurricane, so I knew I had to do something to get her a new place to live," Louche told First Coast News on Thursday.
Louche also knew he wanted to avoid another mobile home, so he thought the tiny house was a good option.
"I could build it in Atlanta and relocate it where she is," she said.
Louche went on to build another tiny house that is only 96 square feet. It is the one he has on display at the home and patio show.
Tiny houses have all the basic functions of a real house, including water, electric, a sink, a shower, a toilet, a refrigerator, a microwave, a closet, storage, a hook up for cable television and a loft large enough for a queen size bed.
"It's got really tall ceilings, and so people when they walk in generally are surprised at how big it feels," Louche said.
To put 96 square feet into comparison, think about the average parking spot you use at the store or at work.
The tiny house at the home show can park there with room to spare.
Louche said, "They're not intended to be moved like RVs, but you can move them wherever you want to move them."
Louche said some people park their tiny houses on existing properties. Others live at a mobile home park.
He admits living little is not going to fit everyone's lifestyle, but he says there are both financial and personal advantages to downgrading your home.
"Someone who is stuff focused, that might seem like a negative thing. But I think once you get away from that mentality, you'll find that it's really a positive," Louche said.
He said tiny homes can also help you live without a house payment. Some cost only $12,000.
Utility bills vary, but Louche said they can be as low as a few bucks.
The catch is adjusting to no longer living with most of the stuff you probably have right now.
Still, Louche says come on down to the home show and see if the small house movement is for you.
He said, "I think there's something to be gained or taken away for everybody regardless if you're thinking about living in a tiny house or there's no chance you'd live in a tiny house."
First Coast News