From worst to best, these are all of the programs currently dedicated to the “tiny house movement.”
7. “Tiny House Hunting”
Think of “Tiny House Hunting” as FYI network’s version of HGTV’s “Tiny House Hunters” (which places a bit better on this list). Unfortunately, “Tiny House Hunting” sort of misses the boat when it comes to going tiny, IMO. Most of the properties that prospective buyers tour are more than 500 square feet, which is bigger than most of the studio apartments I’ve personally lived in. And too many of the buyers are looking for second, or vacation properties, so they aren’t necessarily downsizing.
It’s also sort of hard to get past the cost of some of these supposedly tiny homes. Like the $965,000 price tag on a NYC apartment one couple visited, which, by the way, didn’t include the cost of the custom furniture.
6. “Tiny House Arrest”
Although “Tiny House Arrest” is an HGTV web series, I’m including it in this list because if you’re into tiny house shows, then you definitely need to watch it! The premise is simple: two HGTV stars spend the night in a tiny house.
Unfortunately there are only two episodes. Jonathan and Drew Scott from “Property Brothers” are in the first episode, and Jen and Brandon Hatmaker from “My Big Family Renovation” are in the second. The web series is totally enjoyable to watch, except for the weird trivia bubbles that pop up every few seconds and have absolutely nothing to do with tiny housing.
5. “Tiny House World”
Another show that uses the world “tiny house” pretty loosely. Honestly, it should be called “Small House World.” This is the international version of FYI’s “Tiny House Hunting” and it ranks a littler better than its stateside predecessor because although the properties aren’t necessarily tiny (often 400 square feet or larger), and the budgets are usually in the hundreds of thousands, at least there are some cool international scenic shots. Also, they do occasionally tour a few really unique properties.
4. “Tiny House Hunters”
OK, now we’re getting somewhere. “Tiny House Hunters” is a part of HGTV’s well-established, and immensely popular “House Hunters” franchise. And it totally delivers. The buyers are often families looking to grow closer, or eccentric millennials hoping to live without the debt of a mortgage, etc.
The properties featured in this show are almost always legitimately tiny houses. We’re talking 250 square feet or less. Every now and then a larger place will slip in, but you definitely aren’t just watching people tour studio apartments. Oh, and once and a while you’ll even see a yurt!
3. “Tiny House Nation”
FYI’s “Tiny House Nation” ranks the highest out of all the network’s tiny home programming, because you actually get to see the houses being built! Unlike the shows where prospective buyers tour tiny houses built by others, in “Tiny House Nation” you get to watch the construction process. Which, for me, makes for a far better viewing experience.
The problem with “Tiny House Nation,” though is that each episode is a full hour long. Half of the show is dedicated to host Zack Giffin working on the build, while the other half is dedicated to fellow host John Weisbarth helping the couples and families prepare for tiny living. That usually involves a tour of their current home, and various (often silly) exercises that aren’t necessarily all that interesting. I’d rank the show higher if it was only half an hour, because yeah, my short attention span can’t handle a full hour.
2. “Tiny Luxury”
“Tiny Luxury” follows a couple and their extended family, who build custom, “high end” tiny homes for clients. Each episode takes you through the build, starting with a brief background of the homeowners, and ending with the big reveal.
The main concept behind “Tiny Luxury” is that by going small, you can afford to go with top quality, designer features without breaking the bank. You know, because there really isn’t all that much to decorate in a tiny house. It’s an enjoyable show, but “Tiny House” does start to feel repetitive after a couple of episodes. I mean, how many times can you get excited about a high end, glass jar wall sconce?
1. “Tiny House, Big Living”
By far my favorite tiny house show! The thing that makes “Tiny House, Big Living” so fun to watch is the fact that the owners are almost always involved with the construction. The best episodes are the ones where it’s a couple that’s doing almost all of the work themselves. My personal favorite featured a couple that was actually living in the tiny house while they finished building it!
Since every episode follows a new couple, family, or solo tiny home owner, you can totally bingewatch a dozen episodes without getting bored. There’s no reoccurring host or builder, the homes are always unique, and they’re actually building legit tiny homes!