MARQUETTE COUNTY — Compact style homes are all the rage now with people seeking smaller vacation homes in the U.P. as well as ways to save money on heating costs.

Dickinson Homes in Iron Mountain started selling tiny homes several years ago and allows customers to customize their homes. We’ve talked to Paul Tengora, owner of the Marquette Design Group, in the past to see what is so hot about these homes.

“Where it’s not on a foundation and it’s not movable. There’s also ones that are on a trailer with a hitch and you can pull that anywhere so you can go camping take it out to your hunting camp take it out to Texas in the winter. It’s just like a hitched up Winnebago,” said Paul Tengora, owner of Marquette Design Group.

Statistics from The American Tiny House Association shows that most tiny homes are in vacation states such as Florida. Prices range for tiny homes depending on the designs, but one thing is for sure they are not meant for larger families.

“I mean the houses aren’t obviously designed for a four person family. It’s either for an individual or an elderly couple,” he added.

Perks of living in a tiny home will not just be for simplicity but for cost and efficiency as well.

“…and the ease of living too you know. I think people are trying to un–clutter their lives. Again, lower their carbon–footprint you know and as far as material needs and wants,” he included.

According to The Alliance to Save Energy their experimental tiny home, this was 140 sq-feet, saved from 40% heat loss and gained 60% percent in heat.

Even if you can’t afford to buy a tiny home or you’re family is a bit too large for minimalist living there are other ways to save. For example, there is LED lighting, solar arrays, and cutting back on water waste. When designing a new home look to sky lights for some added heat.