Larry Singleton, a micro living residential designer from Georgia, won 1st place in the Residential Design Contest. His focus on small spaces gained large interest.
After the 2008 recession collapsed his 20-year Design Build Business, Larry Singleton started his encore career as an Architectural Design teacher. Now in his retirement, he is pursuing a passion for building “micro homes.” The pocket neighborhoods battle the continued struggle for affordable housing and encourage a minimalist lifestyle embraced by newer generations. He used Chief Architect from 2001 to 2009 for his Design/Build business and has benefitted again from Chief Architect Software as a designer since 2019.
Larry’s Residential Design Business has 3 categories of homes:
Micro-Sized – 400 sq. ft. or less
Smart Sized – 401 – 700 sq. ft
Right-Sized – 701 – 1000 sq. ft
Larry advocates for minimalist living and serves on the Board of the MicroLife Institute. The MicrolLife Institute is dedicated to promoting a better quality of life utilizing micro living principles through education, advocacy, research, and demonstrations. Larry lives the principles he promotes in a 230 sq. ft. home.
“I decided to design and build my own tiny home on wheels to have a paid-in-full abode for retirement. I now live comfortably, efficiently, and economically in a 230 sq. ft. home that I built with my own hands and I love it!“
– Larry Singleton
What challenges are unique to micro sized homes?
“Designing micro sized homes comes with its challenges, for example Appendix Q – Tiny Houses of the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC) allows for steep and narrow stairs to loft areas with low ceilings. Those spaces can function as living areas if they have egress and meet other restrictions. However, non-loft space is limited to a maximum of 400 sq. ft. or the code reverts to standard requirements for stairs and ceiling heights.”
What would your advice be to someone looking to bring housing change in their local area?
“Every community is different, and that’s a good thing. Anyone who would like to bring innovative and affordable housing to their area should propose zoning changes that allow for ‘Pocket Neighborhoods‘ or ‘Cottage Court’ communities that enable ‘in-fill’ projects that everyone in the community can support. Well designed clusters of micro homes, on very small lots, built around common shared space with appropriate amenities can enhance and support positive community growth and economic development.”