Category: Tiny House Lifestyle

What are the Different Types of Tiny House Trailers?

What are the Different Types of Tiny House Trailers?

Tiny Living Homes Houses Logo Badge illustration
The trailer of a tiny house is an aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked because this serves as the foundation.

Your tiny house trailer is where your tiny house journey begins.  This is because the trailer serves as the foundation of your tiny house. And, a good foundation is very important in every new venture. 

There are a lot of things that go around when building a tiny house. As unique as each tiny house is, having them built on trailers has become popular throughout the years.

There are actually a few types of tiny house trailers that you can choose from. The choices might be few, but it can surely confuse you most especially when you have no idea about such things. With this in mind, we have created a list of the types of tiny houses trailers and some other things that you need to know before settling into one.

4 Popular Tiny House Trailer Choices

Mobile tiny house. Great for outdoor experiences and wildlife. Lots of mobility and pure adventure. No need for special authorizations, only a decent car to pull this tiny house and off you go.
When choosing a trailer, make sure that you will get what it fitted to the design of your tiny house.

1. The Deck-Between Trailer

The Deck-Between trailer has a flatbed in between the wells of the two wheels. This means that the bed sits a little lower from where the tip of the wheel well reaches. Due to this, the tiny house bed can’t be wider than the space between the two wheels. 

The width of the bed is confined by how far apart the wheel wells can be. With this, the floor of your tiny house will be very limited. 

The advantage of using the deck-between trailer is that it sits nicely to the ground since it is very low. This makes it easier to build a taller tiny house in as much as it makes it possible to build a two-story tiny house.

2. Deck-Over Trailer

As the term implies, the deck over trailer is a trailer type where the bed is placed above the wheel wells. Typically, such trailer types measure around eight feet wide. 

The deck over trailer gives extra space on each side of the tiny house. But, it is too far from the ground which means that a loft is not advisable. This means that the only choice for you is a one-story tiny house.

3. Dove Tail

The dovetail trailer can either have a deck-between trailer or deck-over trailer. What makes a dovetail trailer different from deck-between and deck above trailers is that it has angled towards the ground sections on the rear. 

This feature is usually found on trailers that were once used to move around cars, trucks, or any other vehicles. The benefit of the dovetail section is that loading this trailer is much easier compared to other trailer types. 

On the other side, the dovetail section makes it a little awkward to build a tiny house on the flatbed. But if you still want to pursue this type of trailer, then you will have to apply additional welding in as much as modifying the dovetail before building your tiny house is a must.

4. Gooseneck

This type of tiny house trailer can either be a deck over model or a deck between trailers. It was named after special hitches that it has. Moving around this trailer type requires you to have a pickup truck. 

The head of the pickup truck has a ball hitch. The trailer’s gooseneck then reaches the tailgate of the truck in order to be attached to the installed hitch. 

This type of trailer is well-fitted for the tiny house for a few reasons. First, moving it around is easier due to the pick-up truck. Second, it is light. And lastly, it’s size is real for tiny houses.

Gross Weight Vehicle Rating

Regardless of what trailer type you would like to use as the foundation of your tiny house, knowing what Gross Weight Vehicle Rating or GWVH is very important. 

Basically, the GWVH is how much weight the axles are able to carry. The axles are the parts of the trailer that attach the wheels. It is also known as the weight limit for your specific vehicle which was set by automakers. 

In computing the GWVH of your trailer truck, the base curb weight of the vehicle and the weight of any optional accessories, cargo and passengers are added. To be safer, you should not load your trailer truck more than what it is capable of. 

If you overload your trailer truck then the breaks might not be enough to stop it when needed. The suspension components might not work. It is also possible that break under the added strain which might make the tires generate more heat for it to explode.

GVWR is not the total weight of the trailer. The total weight of the trailer is called gross vehicle weight or GVW. GVWR is constant while GVW is changing. 

To understand further, take a look at this example:

You and your friend are riding the same vehicle. Your friend went out of the vehicle. Since your friend exited the vehicle, the GVW is reduced while the GVWR still remains. 

One thing to always keep in mind when towing your tiny house trailer is that the total weight of the trailer is not a part of the GVW of the vehicle. However, the weight of the part of the trailer that is attached to the trailer hitch known as the tongue weight is part of the GVW of the vehicle. Neither of the two affects the GVWR. 

Trailers have their own GVWR. If you want to find out the GVWR of your vehicle, labels are usually found in the area where the driver’s door latches.  If you can’t find it there, you can look for it on the internet.

Things to Consider

Mobile tiny house. Great for outdoor experiences and wildlife. Lots of mobility and pure adventure.
There are a few things that you have to consider in order to choose the best trailer for your tiny house.

There are a few things that you need to consider when choosing a trailer for your tiny house. First things first, the trailer should have a place where you can place your license plate and brake lights, of course. Otherwise, you will be legally charged for it and you won’t even make it long on national roads. 

So, here are some of the things that you have to consider when buying a trailer:

1. Size of Your Trailer

Ideally, you should already have the design of your tiny house before buying a trailer. However, there are limitations to trailer sizes that you need to know. 

Legally speaking, the maximum width for trailers is 8’6″. Also, in most states, tiny houses are only allowed 13’6 inches off the ground. But in some Western States, they allow as high as 14′. 

The allowable measurement for trailers is 53′. If it goes beyond that, a special permit is needed. 

With that in mind, trailers for tiny houses should not be more than 28′. When choosing the trailers, do not forget to consider the length of your hitch as well. 

2. Hitch

There are five different types of trailer hitches available. But regardless of what type of trailer you end up with, the only hitch that you can use for a tiny house is the Class V trailer. The Class V trailer hitch can max out as much as 17,000 pounds, enough for your tiny house to be moved around. 

Hitches have this so-called tongue weight which refers to its own capacity for weight. In other terms, this is the total weight the hitch can shoulder. Make sure that you consider this factor into your final trailer weight calculations. 

But before you can calculate the final trailer weight, you must know first that too much or too little tongue weight affects the rowing of your tiny house. If you already know the weight of your tiny house, you can simply ask the towing vehicle manufacturer the right amount of the tongue load. 

This means that your ball mount and hitch ball should be rated for Class V too. Thankfully, these are available in almost any auto body store at a very affordable price.

3. Towing Vehicle 

The towing vehicle might not be connected to the trailer at all times but it is needed in order to move around if you want a mobile tiny house. In most cases, a full-sized truck is enough to do the job. 

If not a full-size truck, a large SUV is a good choice too. But if what you have is a gooseneck trailer, then what you will need as a towing vehicle is a pickup truck. 

There is no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to towing vehicles. This is because the towing vehicle that you will choose has something to do with how heavy your trailer, your tiny house, and your things are.

Here is a guide on how you will choose a towing vehicle for your tiny house. 

a. Light to Medium Duty

Light to medium-duty vehicles refers to either light trucks, minivans, or sedans. These vehicles can handle more or less 3,500 pounds. Honestly speaking, it is almost impossible for a trailer truck, a tiny house, and all your stuff to just weigh 3,500 pounds.

b. Medium to Heavy Duty

Medium to heavy-duty vehicles should handle as much as 5,000 pounds. Usually, these vehicles have two dual axle trailers or one large axle. The problem is, such towing vehicles come in different types. These vehicles could vary when it comes to towing capacity by as much as 3,000 pounds. 

c. Extra Heavy Duty

Extra heavy-duty vehicles refer to commercial vehicles that can tow up to 10,000 pounds. Using an extra heavy-duty towing vehicle will take so much controlling power which you have to find out from the dealer or manufacturer. 

d. Super Heavy Duty

If the total weight of your tiny house and trailer is more than 10,000 pounds, then certainly, you will need this type of vehicle. 

The good thing about towing vehicles is that knowing their capacity is not a guessing game. And, if you can’t afford to buy a towing vehicle at the moment, you can simply hire one as long as you have your own hitch.

4. Cost

An average trailer cost around $3,000. But if you can’t afford the price, you can settle for a used one. You can also modify it if you want. 

Trailers have been long debated because basically, it serves as the foundation of a tiny house. Some people choose to spend more on it while others prefer to allot more to the tiny house itself. 

Ideally, you should know the price of different trailers first before you settle into one. This will help you know what goes within your budget or how much you need to get the trailer that you want. 

5. Tiny House – Specific Trailers 

The popularity of tiny houses gave birth to trailers specifically for them. These trailers ensure heavy-duty steel construction and axles, unlike regular trailers which barely have wood decking. Tiny house-specific trailers have steel beams where the tiny house is secured. 

There are already a few companies that build such trailers. Aside from the better features that these trailers have, they can also be of help to figure out the other aspects of a tiny house that you need to understand.

6. Where to Park

One of the most important factors to consider when it comes to trailers and tiny houses is where you are going to park it. The answer lies in the zoning regulations that each state has. Each state has different zoning laws and regulations which makes it very important to find them out before you park. 

Some of the thing you have to look into include:

a. Minimum square footage for tiny houses 

b. Legal parks for RVs

c. Whether you can live temporarily or permanently in an RV or tiny house

f. If the accessory dwelling unit or ADU is allowed or not

Conclusion

Choosing the right trailer for your tiny house is a very important decision. This is because the trailer will serve as the foundation of your tiny house. And, foundations should be strong and made out of high-quality materials to ensure safety. At the end of the day, what you will choose tells how your tiny house will last. 

Related Questions

What size trailer should I use for my tiny house?

The average dimensions for a  tiny house trailer are 20 to 24 feet long, and 90 inches wide. But still, each state has specific rules when it comes to the size of a tiny house trailer that they allow so, check it out first before buying one. 

Do you need a permit to build a tiny house on a trailer?

Yes, most states require a permit to build a tiny house be it on trailer or not. This means that you have to secure a permit first and know existing laws and regulations to be sure that everything is legal. Be careful with this as a different state has different laws, regulations, and requirements for tiny houses. 

How do attach a tiny house to the trailer?

The basic steps when attaching a tiny house trailer are flashing the underside and attaching the subfloor. Flashing the underside means securing the subfloor by installing a metal barrier under. In attaching the subfloor, it is recommended to add a steel flange along the side edges of the trailer to be more secured.

Tiny House Rooms: 25 Amazing Decorating Ideas

Tiny House Rooms: 25 Amazing Decorating Ideas

Tiny house rooms can be challenging to decorate. However, don’t let that frustration overwhelm you. 

Just remember that amazing can also mean practical and functional, which is the essence of the tiny house movement

That’s why we listed these 25 amazing decorating ideas. These will help you spruce up your existing tiny house rooms. These concepts will also clear your head if you’re designing a blank tiny room.

Get a load of these ideas and start creating to-do lists!

Tiny House Rooms: 25 Amazing Decorating Ideas

These decorating ideas range from designing with a better approach to choosing materials from rugs.

We don’t expect you to follow them all at the same time. However, these ideas will inspire you to decorate a tiny room with a clearer and more purposeful direction.  

1. Start with a minimalist approach.

tiny house rooms - minimal design in living room
A minimalist approach will let every element shine.

Undeniably, this is the most common approach for decorating tiny houses.  Not only will this make your room look more spacious, but it will give it a sophisticated look.

It’s a good space-saving method since it will force you to use only the essentials. Fewer items mean less clutter.  

If you’re a little tight on the budget, an industrial-themed room would be a great ‘go-to’ theme. 

Gray palettes are often the safest shade in tiny house rooms if it’s formal. Other shades that work well with this theme are sea-foam green, rose pink, and cherry red.  

RELATED: Live big in a tiny living space: Ideas & hacks 

2.  It’s all in the lights. 

With the right lights, you could achieve an exceptional room ambience. You don’t even have to break the bank to buy expensive centerpieces.

Make the most of natural lights. If possible, avoid blocking windows with curtains to let natural light flow in. 

However, if you need to add curtains, go for sheer or light-colored fabrics. Add shiny wall pieces or mirrors to reflect more light inside the room.

If the room has large windows, opt for glass windows instead of thick window treatments that absorb light. Frosted windows would work in spaces where you’d want more light but with some privacy.

Moreover, adding a few task lighting in certain corners boosts the illumination inside the room. 

Try using overhead lighting, a small chandelier, or scones to add accent to any room without sacrificing function.

3. Buy functional but elegant furniture.

elegant but functional furniture. vintage. telephones and candles on top.
This storage-bedside table fits perfectly in a minimalist home.| Photo Source

If you want your tiny house rooms to look more comfortable, choose furniture that stores the bulk of your items in one place.

Popular stores like IKEA have small tables or chairs that act as storage cabinets. Unique pieces such as shelf floor lamps act as a shelf and lamp at the same time. It would also make a great centerpiece to accentuate a room.

Floating shelves would be ideal for decorating small spaces. Not only are these functional but these also provide storage for small items such as phones, keys, and decorations.

Though not the sturdiest shelves, these are items would make a nice alternative to bulky cabinets.

4. Go for DIY projects.

If you’ve done some woodwork before, you can create pieces such as sliding shelves, hanging clothing rack, and murphy desks to fit a small room. 

With imagination and determination, you can create pieces with your desired functionality. 

You can also check out unique items such as console tables and stacking furniture.

5. Small spaces, big personalities.

tiny house rooms - pink and black interior and furniture
Setting your mind on a color theme will give your tiny space more personality.

You can give each room a distinct personality. Tiny house rooms are limited so it’s crucial you know what colors or themes to work with.

Don’t be afraid to use sharp colors like yellows, reds, and greens together. But if this eclectic design throws you off, you can add centerpieces. 

You can hang artwork, decorations, rugs, ottomans, sofas, or even bright vinyl desks on neutral-colored spaces.

RELATED: The Top Hacks in Maximizing the Space in Your Tiny House 

6. Be smart about your storage spaces.

Finding places to put your stuff can be a challenge with tiny house rooms. 

The bed does take most of the space, and a big cabinet and an extra table can make the room even smaller and more cramped than it already is. To resolve this problem, you can invest in smart furniture with built-in storage spaces. 

You can also use all available surface space in the room. The windowsill is a great place to put lighting, decor, and your other knick-knacks—just make sure to arrange them in a neat and orderly way. 

Adding wall mounts or built-in bookshelves is another nifty idea to save floor space in your room. 

You may also want to keep large items, such as your luggage, under your bed if there is enough space. This way, you get more space for your other furniture.

RELATED: Tiny House Living: 8 Clever Ideas to Maximize Your Space 

7. Use mirrors to your advantage.

circle mirror in the bathroom
Mirrors add oomph to a teeny space like the bathroom.| Photo Source

Tiny house rooms lack in space, and there’s nothing we can do about that. However, you can make it look wider by adding mirrors. 

This is also useful if your small room is not blessed with a lot of natural light, as it can reflect light around the room. 

But simply hanging a mirror on the wall is not enough. Strategically place mirrors on your wall for you to get the full effect. Consider adding a mirror gallery of different shapes and sizes on your wall. 

Lining your wall with a large mirror can also give you the same results. Leaning a large modern mirror against your wall is another good trick to make your room appear bigger.

8. Let natural light in.

Tiny house rooms can look smaller if they are left in the dark. Therefore, if you have access to natural light, let it pour in to make the room look more open and airy. Use light-colored curtains or semi-sheer shades instead of dark and heavy ones.

However, if your room does not have enough windows where natural light can come in, you can make up for it by adding a lot of light sources. 

If you have a relatively high ceiling, you can add sconces or wall-mounted lighting. Meanwhile, if you don’t have a high ceiling, table lamps will also do the trick in giving your room a bright and cozy atmosphere. 

9. Use multi-purpose furniture

triple-purpose furniture in shades of dark blue, white, and light brown.
Your house will never be complete without triple-purpose furniture! | Photo Source

Space has always been the number one concern for tiny house rooms. But no matter how small your room is, you still need a bed and a desk, especially if you work at home. But you don’t need them 24/7, right? 

So, why not consider investing in a sofa that doubles as a bed when the metal frame underneath is unfolded? Installing a folding desk is also another smart space-saving strategy that can help you free floor space. 

Of course, when using a folding desk, you also need somewhere to sit. A big and bulky chair does not fit into your decor, so make sure to use a slim but comfortable foldable chair.

RELATED: 50 Genius Tiny House Furniture Ideas

10. Pay close attention to scale.

Just because tiny house rooms don’t have enough floor space doesn’t mean that you have to make do with pint-size decor and furniture. 

You can add large pieces in your room, as long as you don’t overdo it. You can also use large-scale art and regular-size furniture. 

However, you will need to work with fewer pieces in the room. That’s why you need to be smart and only choose a few statement pieces that will stand out and draw the eye.

11. Don’t overcrowd your room.

tiny house interior. clean and made of wood,
Even semi-essential furniture and appliances shouldn’t be in a tiny house.

The key to styling tiny house rooms is choosing the right furniture pieces and finding the right place for each one of them. 

Avoid pressing them up against the wall or tucking them tightly together, as it will make the room smaller than it already is. Make sure that there is enough space between furniture pieces. 

Additionally, leaving a little space between the wall and your furniture is the magic effect you need to make the room look and feel wider.

You also need to make a few compromises to save space. This means you may need to discard furniture that you don’t use on a daily basis, such as accent chairs and side tables. 

12. Pick the right rug!

When choosing a rug, it might be tempting to choose a small one because of your tiny space. But that is the exact opposite of what you should do. 

A larger rug—even the ones with a bold pattern—can make a small room feel bigger. For example, stripes can create the illusion of a wider space. 

Also, make sure to choose a rug large enough to accommodate most of your furniture.

Don’t skimp on the material, either. For tiny house rooms, you can try vibrant sheepskin rugs. Choose a solid color you would love seeing every time you wake up or before you go to sleep. Rugs with bright hues suit the hallways. 

13. Keep the design dynamic but cohesive.

See how the interior looks intricate but not too crowded? That’s balance.| Photo Source

Having a small space doesn’t mean you can’t play with color, scale, and decor. However, there are only so many things to look at in a small room that it’s so easy to spot anything out of place. 

There’s nothing wrong if you want to add color to your room, as long as you don’t overdo it. Sticking to a limited color palette is a good start. 

Moreover, choosing furnishings that complement each other can help prevent the room from looking cluttered.

RELATED: Best Tiny Houses: 20 Jaw-dropping Tiny Houses 

14. Take advantage of your vertical space.

Floor space is a big problem for tiny house rooms. That’s why you need to utilize every free space you have, including the walls. Think vertical instead of horizontal. 

Wall-mounted shelves and lights. Built-in shelves. Floating shelves. There are all excellent additions to a small room for storing your trinkets, books, and other stuff.

Furthermore, hanging draperies as close to the ceiling as possible adds airiness and height to a small room. 

Make sure to extend the rod on both sides of the window by at least four inches to make the window look wider. 

Plus, it’s a good trick to allow more light in since you can pull the curtain all the way to the side of the window.

15. Position your furniture wisely.

tiny house interior with loft - tiny house rooms
Know were to put your couches, coffee tables, and chairs to improve mobility.

Knowing where to place your furniture can help you save floor space, as well as make a small room look less cramped. 

For example, putting the bed against the window and curtain can help create a natural focal point.

Installing sconces is another good way to save space, as they remove the need for a side table where you can place your lamp. 

Adding swing chairs can also help you save floor space. Plus, they are super fun and look cool from a design perspective.

RELATED: How to Live in a Tiny House with a Baby: A Quick Guide 

16. You can also embrace the Furniture-Free Movement. 

The title says it right: you can live with tiny house rooms, happy and content, with the least number of furniture. The reason for doing this is simple. 

You want to encourage more range of motion that can strengthen your musculoskeletal system. You also end up spending less time slouching and living like a couch potato.

How do you achieve this? Take, for example, your living room: 

  • Exchange your tiny sofa with big floor cushions.
  • Swap your carpet or rug with a yoga mat. 
  • Keep your tables low so that they will force you to sit. 
  • Place your exercise equipment, such as dumbbells or balls, nearby.
  • Hang a steel or metal bar near the doors for your pull-ups. 

17. Go for the extreme minimalist lifestyle.

extreme minimalist room with greenery
You can even go beyond the minimalist life. Go with little to no furniture in your bedroom to save more space!| Photo Source

“Extreme minimalism” is minimalism on steroids. It’s removing everything that you don’t need in your tiny house rooms. This way, you can reclaim your space and fill yourself with things that are more essential. It may be a peace of mind, self-care, and even savings. 

To do it, here are a few ideas:

  • Significantly limit the number of items you own. If minimalism cuts your clothes by half, further pare them down until you have, say, 20 of them. 
  • Pick experiences over collections of possessions.
  • Opt for a hammock instead of a bed. 
  • Follow the principles of furniture-free living. 
  • Set limitations. You can get your travel bag and then try to fit in all the essentials you need. If you can’t get everything in, then it’s time to minimize further.

18. Extend your tiny house rooms to the yard.

Extending some parts of your home outdoors can free up a lot of space in your tiny house. You won’t also feel cramped inside. 

A good example is the dining area. Attach a porch or a small deck outside and add a table a few chairs. Voila! You can now experience al fresco meals anytime! 

Got kids? You can’t expect them to roam around a tiny home, but certainly, they can have all the joy they need outdoors. 

RELATED: How to Find the Right Tiny House Kits 

19. Go up, up, up…

loft in a tiny house
If you have a high ceiling height, add a loft. It’s versatile.| Photo Source

When you’re living in a home the size of a flatbed trailer or a camper van, it’s difficult to have specific sections—that is, unless you decide to go up. 

If you want clearly defined tiny house rooms, such as a bedroom or a lounge area, then go for a loft! This design will give you ample space underneath while fully maximizing your vertical space. You can also enjoy some privacy.

Can you make it fancy? Of course, you can! Install a tiny sunroof or use French windows. Add an ornate rail or put up some tiny plants like succulents for barriers. 

When it comes to stairs, you can use ladders or, even better, built-in step cabinets and bookshelves. This way, you get extra storage. 

20. Decide what matters most.

Many people decide to live in a tiny home, and it’s not always about paying less to zero mortgage. Some do it because they want to downsize and spend less time accumulating material wealth

The question then is, what is a tiny house for you? When you know the answer, then you can decide more appropriately about the layout and the number of rooms your space will have. 

Consider these other queries:

  • Do you really need a living room when you already have a deck? 
  • Can you wash your clothes outside, so you don’t need a laundry room? 
  • How often do you like to go outdoors? If it’s frequent, then perhaps you can do away with entertainment systems, such as television. 

When you try to make an inventory of your passions and reasons, you can have a tiny house that reflects who you are… and you’ll love to live in it!

21. Make your tiny house rooms work harder.

tiny house rooms - lots of knick-knacks
Every wall- and floor space is imperative in a tiny house.

If you can have multipurpose furniture, definitely, you can design multifunctional rooms. Consider these ideas:

  •  Add a sofa bed so you can convert your living room into a master’s bedroom or a “guest bedroom.”
  • Combine your shower and toilet to create a wet room. 
  • Buy a small washing machine that you can fit underneath the kitchen sink.
  • Convert your porch into a dining room. 
  • Spare a part of your long kitchen counter, put up some stools, and you now have a dining section for two. 

Remember, a little ingenuity can go a long way when it comes to breaking down your space.

22. Follow the open-plan concept.

How do you avoid making a tiny home feel even smaller and cluttered? It’s easy: go for an open-plan concept. There are many ways to do it while still defining your tiny house rooms:

  • Maximize the walls so that you can free the space in the middle. 
  • Consider an L-kitchen design to create a boundary between the living room and dining room without obstructing the view. 
  • Place the ladder or stairs to the loft to the side. 

23. Create the illusion of more space.

Sunroofs will improve the lighting and create more breathing space. | Photo Source

Besides adding many windows to let natural light in, you can create the illusion of largeness through the following:

  • Consider a high ceiling, perhaps three feet from the floor. This will also give you enough space for expansion, such as if you decide to add a loft. 
  • Put up curtains near the ceiling, not on the upper edge of windows. Even if you don’t have a high ceiling, it feels like you do. 
  • Exchange bulky-looking furniture to leaner ones. 

RELATED: 10 Unique Ideas for Your Tiny House Interior Designs 

24. Be creative with your doors. 

Do you know that doors can take up a lot of space? Just try to open a standard door and then observe what happens. The good news is you can be creative about it. 

For example, you can use barn doors and sliding doors instead. It can even make your room appear sleeker. If you’re on a tight budget, go for curtains as dividers. 

You can use it for your bathroom or bedroom. When you want to see more space, all you need is to open them!

25. Paint the house with creamy colors.

tiny house rooms - featured photo
Creamy colors and tiny houses are the best pair.

Perhaps your favorite color is black, but it may not be the best choice for your tiny house rooms. Darker shades can usually make your space appear smaller. 

The best paint hues for tiny houses are stark white, cream, ivory, and butter. Painting any of these colors alone will already make your room appear bigger. 

Now, that doesn’t mean you can never have anything red or orange or brown on your walls. They may be better off as accents than your primary colors. 

You can even go for a touch of sea green for a fresh ocean vibe in your small room. 

Clean tiny house rooms: Upkeep tips to follow

tiny house rooms - library above bed
In cleaning a tiny house room, you should be realistic.

You now decorated your tiny house rooms for maximum efficiency… Now, you have to figure out how to keep clean. Start these five tips!

1. Clean one space at a time. 

It’s a small room, so you should be patient and start small. Don’t attempt to do everything at once. 

So, don’t be afraid to ditch your plan to do an overall cleaning routine. 

Well, maybe you can start a “general” cleaning routine—but start with small things like your bookshelves, for example. 

Categorize your books and magazines. You can even donate those old ones you have read before.

You’d be surprised with the space it can empty!

In tiny house rooms, being realistic and starting small can help you achieve your cleanliness goals. 

2. Buy a good vacuum. 

And one that will not occupy a lot of space in your closet. Make no mistake, though—these small vacuums are just as powerful as the regular ones. 

For instance, cordless stick vacuums wouldn’t clog your closet. Still, it can clean and suck tough to clean dirt like spilled rice grains or cereals. 

If you want a long-lasting vacuum though, opt for compact and lightweight plug-in vacuums. 

Space shouldn’t be your only consideration, though. You also need to take into account if you have many carpets or if you have hardwood floors. 

3. Make your bed every day. 

There are actually more benefits of making your bed, besides cleanliness in the room. For example, making your bed will give you a jumpstart to a daily habit of cleaning. 

Starting your day with it, it will give you a sense of accomplishment, improving your mood. As a result, you will be more productive and respectful of yourself. 

Being consistent with this habit will help keep your tiny room squeaky clean. 

4. Practice the Wabi-Sabi principle. 

Wabi-Sabi lessons work especially in keeping tiny house rooms clean. That’s because its essence is appreciating imperfection. 

In a tiny house room, you may be pressured to keep everything place and have every essential you require. However, you should be at peace with the fact that you won’t always achieve those goals. 

Through accepting that, you will not be pressured to hoard. As a result, your tiny house rooms will be cleaner and leaner!

5. Categorize your stuff and keep them in place. 

This is a good way to stay organized in a tiny place. Assign areas to your things, whether you use them all the time or you don’t. 

For example, if you have a workspace in your bedroom, you can divide the whole room into spaces for business and leisure. 

Through this, you can easily categorize your things and assign them positions. If you’re a morning person, your desk and office supplies can go to the place where the sunlight hits during the day.

Meanwhile, if you’re a night person, you can keep your desk and office supplies in that certain spot where the light fixture hits. 

Tiny house rooms: The 5 underrated essentials you should have

The ultra versatile pegboard for pans.| Photo Source

You may think that you only need your bed, cooking equipment, couch, and tiny shelves in your tiny house rooms. 

We disagree. We know we blab about minimalism a lot, but you should never forget to add these underrated staples in your tiny house rooms.

1. Pegboard for pans

Of course, this tiny house staple won’t disappear in an “essentials” list. Pegboards, because of their versatility, keep any room organized, especially the kitchen. 

If you’re decorating a kitchen-dining area, don’t forget to hang a pegboard for your pans. 

Most pegboards are made of aluminum steel, so their weight will increase as you add more pans. Therefore, make sure you choose a lightweight one. You can go for a 12 or 13-pound pegboard. 

2. Sink-toilet combo

To save even more space in your bathroom, go for a sink-toilet fixture. 

The best thing about these fixtures is that they recycle the water you use for washing your hands. The used water will be used to flush your waste, which is an effective way to save water. 

The designs and functions of sink-toilet fixtures can vary. They are commonly seen in Japan. 

3. Wall-mounted baskets as shelves.

A column of wall-mounted baskets can store a variety of things—tropical fruits, office supplies, beauty products, cooking utensils, and more. 

The great things about wall-mounted baskets as shelves are that they are easily accessible and removable in case you’re doing a remodel. That’s why you should only store things you frequently use or grab when you’re cleaning or cooking. 

You can buy regular baskets and then turn them into wall-mounted baskets with some nails, a wooden board, and maybe some wood glue.

While shopping for baskets, we suggest you choose those made of metal or plastic. They should also be clear, so you can see what’s inside every basket.

We don’t suggest baskets made of cloth. Besides not being transparent, they will also hold moisture and gather dust. You will also need to wash them regularly, unlike metal baskets. 

4. Shelf dividers

It’s not enough that you have closets and baskets for your clothes and toiletries. Inside, you have to divide and conquer. Do it with shelf dividers!

You can find shelf dividers in different designs, most of which are minimalist. These can come in acrylic, wood, or metal. However, we suggest you choose acrylic shelf dividers because they are more durable and pleasing to look at. 

While looking for the best brands, we found sets of shelf dividers that cost from $9.00 up to $25.00. Each divider might cost you less than $4.00. The metal ones are usually the most expensive. 

5. Stacking stools

Last but definitely not the least are stacking stools! Some tiny house owners often forget that they are living in a tiny house and buy regular stools. 

You have to opt for stacking stools. Floor space is your currency in your tiny abode, so you have to take advantage of your high ceiling height (that is if you have one.) 

What’s that? They’re not that comfortable? Well, you don’t have to sacrifice comfortability if you choose stacking stools with padded seats. 

One example is the OSPI BentWood Stacking Stools. These stools have thickly padded seats and four legs made of wood. 

Best themes for tiny house rooms

Can’t decide which of the 25 decorating ideas you’ll start following? You might want to take inspiration from these themes, first!

1. Scandinavian 

tiny house rooms - scandinavian
Scandinavian interior is known for its refreshing elements.| Photo Source

The Scandinavian theme suits tiny rooms because it involves lighter shades, light brown wood, and clean lines. 

The details will not overwhelm you, providing you with a sense of relief every time you enter your room. It’s simply eye-pleasing. 

In your tiny room, you can emulate a Scandinavian room by “muting” the elements in the room. For instance, you can hang black and white photos. Rugs, sheets, and pillows can be in the shades or cool grey, stark white, or icy blue. 

Meanwhile, for the furniture pieces, you can opt for wood with the hues of cream, dark grey, or dark brown. They will go along with your rugs and bedsheets. 

However, don’t hesitate to add a pop of color. Seafoam, turquoise, or aquamarine will brighten up the room.

2. Japanese teahouse

tiny house rooms - japanese tea house
This Japanese living room incorporates the essential aspects of the Chashitsu.| Photo Source

The Japanese teahouse or “Chashitsu” embodies the simplicity and sophistication of Japanese architecture. 

This theme is inspiring to a tiny house since a Chashitsu is a tiny room as well; however, its elements give its occupants an incredible feeling of peace and spiritual satisfaction. 

If you want to emulate those elements in your tiny room, then take pointers from the qualities and features of Japanese teahouse design. Here are some of them. 

  • The Chashitsu uses sliding doors covered with translucent paper, so the sunlight can enter the room without being too bright. 
  • Use little to no furniture, if possible. 
  • In your loft, you can create a small alcove for one single bed or storage space. The alcove in the Chashitsu contains the altar.

3. Mid-Century Modern

Ah, this theme never loses its shine. Mid-Century Modern is not just the beautiful set design in the 60s-themed TV series, Mad Men. 

MCM is a design style that involves clean lines, streamlined forms, organic shapes and materials, and lack of intricacy. It’s all about the iconic look and feel of the 1930s–1960s. 

This theme suits a tiny room perfectly because it already speaks so much by adding little to no decorations. For example, just look at this tiny house interior

mid-century-modern
Hip and groovy, but functional… This photo speaks 60s.

The MCM chandelier is already the star of the room. Remove the rug and the artwork, and the room will still turn heads. 

Now, that is the charm of a Mid-Century Modern theme. You can say so much without bothering to make everything coherent and adding multiple details.

4. Romantic

tiny house rooms - romantic interiors
This living room is almost blushing.| Photo Source

No, we are not talking hearts, roses, and rom-com movies. Romantic architecture is derived from the Romanticism movement. 

Romanticism in Architecture means the celebration of grandeur but out of place. You can take for example the mix of Egyptian and Asian aesthetics in a European building. 

Therefore, if you want your tiny house rooms to stand out, you can follow the elements of Romantic Architecture. Don’t be afraid to decorate your room and make the elements seem out of place. 

Maybe, just maybe, you can create something sublime.

5. Contemporary

contemporary room
Nothing says more contemporary than vertical lines and neutral hues. | Photo Source

If you want modernity and sustainability to reign in your tiny house rooms, then you should go for this theme.

Contemporary architecture consists of building elements derived from the 20th century onwards. We’re talking about crystal-esque facades, aluminum, concrete, and glass. 

However, more importantly, contemporary also means eco-friendly. That means the structure or room is designed to save or sustain energy. 

How can you make a tiny room contemporary? Just like our other tips, it’s important that you start with the basics, but it’s even more crucial that you apply these, particularly:

  • Go for smooth materials for your floorings—wood, vinyl, or tile. 
  • Limit your room’s hues to black, white, and neutrals.
  • Give your room a “voice” with metal or stone accents.
  • As for dinnerware, look for those with geometrical shapes.
  • Choose furniture pieces made of linen or wool. 

The future of decorating tiny house rooms 

3d-printed houses
These are 3d printed tiny houses.| Photo Source

As technology progresses, the lines between home and work also blur even more. 

Tiny houses aren’t just “shrunken” versions of regular homes anymore. They are gaining an identity and a set of design principles on their own. 

This is especially evident in interior design.

Working at home 

Many people are now working at home. According to Global Workplace Analytics, more than 4 million employees are now working at home.

Therefore, it’s unsurprising if many buyers will look for prefab tiny houses with home offices or mini workspaces. 

It’s only imperative for designers and manufacturers to address concerns for space and sound efficiency in tiny houses. 

More aggressive technology

We already have a variety of smart homes for quite some time now. How about smart tiny houses? Well, they are on the rise, too. 

Tiny houses with integrated gadgets and systems are becoming more common in developed countries. These devices will have more to do with monitoring the occupant’s health and wellness.

Beyond that, 3d printed tiny houses might become more prevalent, just like those ones in Eindhoven. 

The 3d building process of these tiny houses might not be all the rage right now. However, it’s definitely in the works since it’s more eco-friendly and affordable than traditional building methods.

Final thoughts

Building your dream home shouldn’t be a drag. While space may be limiting, it shouldn’t put your imagination in a cage. 

After all, each space has the potential to become beautiful on its own. So, pick up your creative hat and make this project your work of art!

Do you like our decorating ideas? 

Tell us which of them is your favorite in the comments below!

Related questions

What states allow tiny houses? 

You can build tiny houses in Texas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, and Idaho. You can check out our full list of tiny house-friendly states on this blog post.

How much space do you need for a tiny house?

If you’re wondering about lot space, you can do well with 1000 square feet. As for the house itself, you will need under 400 square feet of space. 

Can you connect two tiny houses?

Yes, it is possible to join two tiny houses. You can even get creative and build a sunroom or a deck that connects the tiny homes

However, remember that this doesn’t automatically increase the size of the tiny houses. 

Tiny Houses Legality: Everything You Need to Know

Tiny Houses Legality: Everything You Need to Know

Mobile tiny house. Great for outdoor experiences and wildlife. Lots of mobility and pure adventure. No need for special authorizations, only a decent car to pull this tiny house and off you go.
Tiny houses aren’t just tiny houses. They are following rules and regulations that each state has made.

About 10 years ago, tiny houses became popular. Since then, a lot of people have embraced minimalism through the tiny house lifestyle. Much more than a simpler lifestyle, tiny houses have helped people save money while saving the environment as well. 

Due to its increasing popularity, states across nations have developed building codes and zoning regulations specifically for tiny houses. These building codes and zoning regulations have a direct impact on the construction and placement of tiny houses. 

Whether you are planning to build a tiny house right on your own property or move into a tiny house community, you must know the tiny house legalities in your area. 

Before you finally move into a tiny house, it pays that you carefully review the state and local regulations. Knowing so will help you get the most out of your tiny house right at the moment you step foot on it. 

Here is everything that you need to know about tiny houses’ legality.

Building Codes for Tiny Houses

The following standardization for tiny houses are made in compliance with the International Building Code (IBC)

Ceiling Height

The ceiling of a tiny house in common spaces must have a minimum height of 6 feet 8 inches. Bathrooms must have a minimum of 6 feet 4 inches while lofts are allowed to be less than 6 feet 8 inches. 

Windows

There is no existing law that requires how many windows a tiny house should have. However, the law requires tiny houses to abide by the standard requirement, which is to have at least one window that can be used as an emergency exit. This is important so that you can easily escape in case an emergency happens. 

The bottom of the opening of the window shall not be located more than 44 inches above the loft floor. 

Plumbing

One separate bathroom is required for each tiny house. This is required for sanitation purposes. It would be unhygienic to place your bathroom right inside your tiny house without a wall to keep it separate from the rest of your tiny house. 

Mobile tiny house interior. Great for outdoor experiences and wildlife. Lots of space and pure adventure.
There are parts of the tiny houses which follow certain standards as some codes require.

Lofts

The code does not include the loft in the maximum floor area that a tiny house can have. However, the code requires a minimum floor area and dimensions for a tiny house if it will be used for living and sleeping. 

According to Section AQ104 of the IBC, lofts shall have a minimum floor area not less than 35 square feet and shall not be less than 5 feet in any horizontal dimension. 

However, there are portions of the loft that are not included in the minimum floor area and horizontal dimension that is required. If a portion of a slope is less than 3 feet from the floor to the ceiling, then this is not included in the minimum area required for a loft. 

Stairways

Tiny houses are required to have stairs in order to reach loft areas. Stairways above the handrail height shall not be lower than 17 inches while the stairways below the handrail height shall not be less than 20 inches in width. 

Risers shall not be less than 12 inches in height and not more than 7 inches in width. To get the accepted riser height of a certain tiny house, the following formula is used: 

15 inches – ¾ of the Tread depth = Risers Height

Tread depth, on the other hand, is calculated using this formula:

20 inches – 4/3 of the riser height = Tread Depth

 A landing platform shall be built from the top tread and the riser of the stairway accessing the loft area. The landing platform shall have the following measurements

 and dimensions:

  • 16 inches to 18 inches in height from the landing platform to the loft floor
  • 18 inches to 22 inches in depth from the nosing of the landing platform to the edge of the loft

The handrails and stair guards of tiny house stairs follow the same dimensions that are required in a full-sized house. 

Ladders

The rung of the ladders that are used to access the loft area of a tiny house shall have a width that is not lower than 12 inches. The rungs shall have 20 to 14 inches spaces in between. 

It is required that a ladder could support a 200-pound load and shall be installed at a 70 to 80-degree horizontal incline.

When it comes to Alternating Tread Devices or Ship Ladders, the required is 20 inches and above below the handrail height. Loft guards shall be placed on the side of the loft that is open. The minimum height for loft guards is either 36 inches or ½ of the height to the ceiling.

live big in a tiny living space - tiny house interior with brown and white hues

Zoning Regulations

In as much as you can’t build a full-sized house anywhere, tiny houses have restrictions when it comes to where you can build or park them. To find out if it is legal to park or build a tiny house to where you are planning to have one, consult your local zoning department. 

There are federal laws and local zoning regulations that a tiny house should comply with. However, you are allowed to build outside of the existing codes by applying through your local planning commission. At the end of the day, it all boils down to how tiny-house friendly a place is. 

Variations in Tiny Houses

Generally, there are two types of tiny houses – tiny houses on wheels and tiny houses on a foundation. The rules and regulations that govern each of these types of tiny houses vary drastically. Take a further look at the things that each of these types has to abide:

Tiny House on Wheels

Legally, tiny houses on wheels are called recreational vehicles or RV. This means that you have to find a legal place where you can park your vehicle. RVs are required to be registered with the state’s motor vehicles department. 

While there are a lot of campsites in the States, most of the states do not allow an RV to serve as a full-time residency. Not unless the campsite has a designated RV parking area. 

In most cases, these rules are not followed not unless you give your neighborhood a reason to complain against you. 

Tiny Houses on Foundation

Tiny houses on a foundation are legally referred to as an accessory dwelling units or ADU. This type of tiny house may be site-built, or it may be transported to your lot and permanently attached to the foundation. They often come in the form of cottages or granny flats.

Due to the regulations which prohibit purchasing lands for tiny houses alone, most owners opt to build their tiny house beside an existing residential dwelling. 

Codes and Regulations for Tiny Homes in Some States

USA map with states - pictorial geographical poster of America, hand drawn lettering design for wall decoration, travel guide, print. Unique creative typography vector illustration.
In the United States of America, laws, and requirements from each state vary.

Whether you own a tiny house or plan to have one, you will surely come across the problem of where you can build or park it. Finding a place where you can legally have a tiny house is not as easy as it sounds. 

Finding a place where you can home your tiny house starts with knowing the codes and regulations that each state has. Here are the codes and regulations that each state has when it comes to where you can build or park your tiny house:

Alabama

Tiny House Friendly: 2⁄10

In Alabama, tiny houses are not that accepted. The building codes and zoning requirements drastically differ from one country to another. In fact, some cities in Alabama have their own set of limiting and unique requirements, which makes it hard to make tiny houses.

Thankfully, Alabama has not totally closed its door to tiny houses. Some areas in the state have accepted it. In Jefferson County, ADUs are allowed in certain areas, given they do not exceed 200 square feet. 

Alaska

Tiny House Friendly: 4⁄10

Alaska is more open to tiny houses than it is in Alabama. But, there are still considerable differences between counties and towns in the state. In the Anchorage metropolitan area of the state alone, around 40 percent of the state’s population lives there already.

Tiny houses on a foundation are required to secure a conditional use permit and have to meet certain building codes. On the other hand, tiny houses on wheels are considered as RVs, which makes them restricted to R – 5 zones. Also, the state requires tiny houses that are built on municipal properties to be connected to sewage and water.

A point to remember is that Anchorage’s suburbs have specific requirements that vary from unincorporated areas. In addition, Anchorage and the communities that surround it do not have official building codes that are specifically made for tiny houses. 

Arizona

Tiny House Friendly: 7⁄10

Arizona is more tiny house friendly than other states. Just like any other state, it does not have statewide tiny home building and zoning requirements. Due to this, tiny houses are subjected to city and county regulations and laws.

In Piman City, which is located on the southern border with Mexico, building a tiny house is legal. Pima City is the second most populated county in the state of Arizona. Tucson and its suburbs mostly compromise this county. 

In this county, a tiny house on a foundation can be built on any lot allotted for single-family detached houses. On the other hand, a tiny house on wheels is considered as a factory-built home given that it is located on a permanent foundation, and its suspension and axles have been removed.

The county has building codes that are specifically made for tiny houses. Such building codes include the following:

  • Tiny houses with loft areas should have stairs or ladders as access. 
  • Tiny houses with lofts must follow standardized safety requirements. 
  • Tiny houses must abide by the special electrical circuit requirements.

The building codes in the county do not have any specific requirements when it comes to the number of windows, doors and emergency exits. It does not also require any specific ceiling height. 

As of now, the county places second as the most tiny house friendly area in the state, which is followed by Coconino county. Unluckily, other areas in Arizona do not still have tiny house regulations. 

Arkansas

Tiny House Friendly: 2⁄10

It is not a secret that the housing cost in California is expensive. This makes it very thrilling to know that somehow, California is open to tiny houses. Tiny houses are considered to be accessory dwelling units or ADUs in most jurisdictions which means that they are allowed yet with certain restrictions.

The destructive fires in Sonoma County have made it possible to build tiny houses without building permits. It also has permitted the fire victims to build tiny houses without compelling zoning. 

Tiny homes on wheels are allowed as a secondary dwelling in San Francisco and Fresno as long as there is an existing residential house in the lot. 

This means that tiny houses are only allowed in a residential neighborhood and can’t be built as a permanent house. 

One thing to keep in mind when planning to have a tiny house in California is that RVs are not allowed to serve as a permanent house. But this isn’t exactly an issue. Besides, California has one of the highest numbers of nomads. 

Nomad is the general term used for people who travel trailers or even their car or the ones who live in RVs. They are the ones who do not have a permanent address. It is advised to reach out to local jurisdictions since laws and regulations vary from one suburb to another in California. 

Colorado

Tiny House Friendly: 6⁄10

In Colorado, there is no such thing as national laws or regulations specifically for tiny houses. The good thing is many counties have welcomed people who want to live in this lifestyle. 

There are already established site-built tiny house codes in Park County. To be more specific, tiny houses in this county must have a private bathroom and a separate closet. The private bathroom must have a lavatory, a water closet, and either a shower or a bathtub.

Moreover, if the tiny house is for one or two occupants, then it should at least be 220 square feet. An additional 100 square feet is required for an additional occupant. 

Tiny houses in Park County should also abide by the standard residential building codes for life safety features, mechanical equipment, ventilation, and lighting.

Also, the kitchen counter’s work area should be at least 30 inches long. If a modular or manufactured tiny house is your choice, then it should at least be 600 square feet. It should also follow local Land Use Regulations.

Walsenburg has a specific regulation when it comes to tiny houses. Tiny homes are required to compel to a lot of building code requirements just like residential houses do. However, the city has certain requirements when it comes to exit door width, stairways, and minimum square footage.

Connecticut

Tiny House Friendly: 0/10

Connecticut is considered as one of the strictest cities when it comes to tiny houses, be it an RV or on foundation. Despite the fact that the city needs affordable houses, the topic of tiny houses is not yet unveiled yet. This is because its zoning regulations aren’t compatible with tiny houses.

Delaware

Tiny House Friendly: 4⁄10

There is no specific regulation for tiny houses yet in Delaware, but there are already advocates who are bringing out the topic. Tiny houses on wheels are considered RVs in Delaware. This means that the owner should secure an ownership title 30 days after purchase. 

If a tiny house is greater than 400 square feet, then it is qualified as a mobile home. Thus, it has to abide by existing laws and regulations. On the other hand, if a tiny house falls less than 400 square feet, then it is considered as a trailer. 

Florida

Tiny House Friendly: 7⁄10

Most parts of Florida have openly welcomed tiny house dwellers. In Florida, there are already existing tiny house hotels and rental communities which allow everyone to experience the lifestyle. This indicates how open the city is when it comes to tiny houses. 

Tiny houses on wheels in Florida are required to be properly registered as RV at the Department of Motor Vehicles. On the other hand, laws and regulations on tiny houses on foundation vary from one area to another. 

In St. Petersburg, accessory dwelling units or ADUs that are between 375 and 750 square feet are only allowed in specific zones. 

While in Orange County, it is required that an accessory dwelling unit should at least have footage of 400 square feet. Lastly, in Sarasota County, if you plan to stay in the same RV park for 45 days or more then you should build it on a foundation. 

Georgia

Tiny House Friendly: 8⁄10

Just like Florida, Georgia has widely accepted tiny houses too despite the lack of statewide regulations and requirements. This is because tiny homes are more affordable compared to traditional houses. Most areas in Georgia have not addressed the issue yet between tiny houses on foundations and tiny houses on wheels.

In most cases, tiny house owners are required to abide by the 2012 International Residential Code. Furthermore, accessory dwelling units or ADUs are not legally available for rent. 

Particularly, there is no minimum square footage requirement for accessory dwelling units in Decatur since 2014 under the Unified Development Ordinance.

On the other hand, Atlanta has classified accessory dwelling units as a tiny house that has a kitchen stove. Tiny houses with full-time occupancy are also considered as ADUs. Such tiny houses are only allowed in R-5 zoned areas. 

Tiny houses without full-time occupancy or gas stove are considered as a guest house. Guesthouses are allowed to stay anywhere from R – 1 to R – 5 zoned areas. 

Hawaii

Tiny House Friendly: 5⁄10

Unlike other states, regulations, and requirements of tiny houses in Hawaii is statewide. Tiny houses are allowed to be built anywhere in the state. Tiny homeowners wanna-be can freely buy land and build a tiny house. But, tiny houses are not allowed in places that are ruled by restrictive covenants. 

Hawaii has a unique requirement when it comes to tiny houses on wheels. This is because tiny houses on wheels are considered as ADUs in the state. This means that they have to abide by all relevant zoning restrictions. They are also considered travel trailers so they must be registered to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. 

The Hawaii Tiny House Initiative has greatly contributed to accommodate the affordable housing needs of the state’s agriculture workers. Building a house in Hawaii is expensive due to the booming tourism industry that makes it hard for residents to build a home which makes tiny houses a perfect option for them. 

County codes have been changed through the Hawaii Tiny House Initiative. Such codes have allowed tiny houses (less than 220 square feet) to be built as special farm dwellings. These special farm dwellings should have a bathroom and a separate living room and kitchen. 

Idaho

Tiny House Friendly: 7⁄10

Different types of tiny homes have different definitions in Idaho, which serve as the basis for regulations going forward. Tiny houses in Idaho must comply with one of the following options:

  • Modular Tiny House – This is a type of tiny home that has been mostly or entirely prefabricated in another place before it has been transported to its intended location. A modular tiny house must follow everything under the HUD construction and safety standards created for manufactured housing. A modular tiny house should at least have a floor space of 150 square feet.
  • Site – Built – Site built tiny houses are the ones that are built where they are really intended to be placed.vThey are not meant to be moved or relocated. It should also have a floor space of 150 square feet just like the modular tiny house. 
  • Recreational Vehicle – A recreational vehicle in Idaho is defined as a travel trailer, camping trailer, motor home, or truck camper that is designed for emergency human habitation or for recreation. Their maximum width is 8½ feet.

Illinois

Tiny House Friendly: 5⁄10

Most areas in Illinois have not yet accepted tiny houses. Besides, there are areas which really do not accept tiny houses. Chicago and other cities, for example, have not allowed tiny houses to be built in their respective areas at all. 

Yet, there are still places that have accepted tiny houses. In these areas, tiny houses are allowed to be built or parked in private properties as well as in mobile home parks and campgrounds. 

Whether you can build a tiny house or not on your own land depends on the county-specific rules. If what you own is a tiny house on wheels, then it is classified as a recreational trailer that compels you to register it to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Indiana

Tiny House Friendly: 6⁄10

Building codes for tiny houses in Indiana vary from one place to another. The residential building codes in the state are not applicable to tiny houses that were built for personal use. This is known as The Log Cabin Rule. The Log Cabin Rule is only applicable to tiny houses that are fixed on lands and not on wheels. 

You can, however, find tiny home neighborhoods in Indiana. Some residential neighborhoods have also been allowed to build tiny houses near or beside residential homes. Also, the tiny house rules vary in Carmel, Indianapolis, Evansville, Fort Wayne, South Bend, Bloomington, and others.

Iowa

Tiny House Friendly: 3⁄10

A lot of communities and counties in Iowa can’t build tiny houses because of the set minimum square footage requirements for residential dwellings. This requirement hinders residents from building their own tiny house in their desired area. One particular place with such a rule is Iowa Falls.

In Iowa Falls, the minimum size requirement for residential properties has been adjusted to 500 square feet. So, the city can only allow larger tiny homes as of this time. But actually, the 500 square feet minimum is a downgrade of the 600 square feet requirement before. 

Other parts of Iowa greatly discourage tiny homes. In Des Moines, a proposed tiny house development was not approved. This means that people who want to have a tiny house near Des Moines should look for land in rural or outlying areas surrounding the city. These places have less stringent zoning regulations.

Kansas

Tiny House Friendly: 6⁄10

Kansas is more open to tiny houses as long as it is on a foundation and not on wheels. There are county-wide and state-wide regulations in the state when it comes to tiny houses. The minimum square footage for tiny houses on a foundation is 170 square feet. 

The 170 square feet floor space should have one room and a second room which can’t be either the bathroom or kitchen. The second room should at least be 50 square feet. 

Furthermore, all tiny houses on foundation should be built on a lot with an area of at least 3,000 square feet. RS3 is the smallest zoning district that allows tiny houses. 

Accessory dwelling units are not allowed in RS3 or RS5 zoned areas. They can only be built on single dwelling residential zoning areas with the likes of  RS40, RS, RS10, and RS7. Composting toilets are banned regardless of where the tiny house is built. 

But, propane gas and solar panels are allowed based on IFC regulations. A small wind generation system that does not exceed 35 feet is also permitted. 

Tiny houses on wheels are not allowed to park in private lands and parks. They can only be parked on designated campgrounds. 

Kentucky

Tiny House Friendly: 5⁄10

Most tiny houses in Kentucky are built in Louisville because of how large the city is. There are specific rules in restriction in the city but all in all, tiny houses are allowed in the entire metropolis. 

Site-built or permanent tiny homes are allowed only if they are built on a foundation. And, the process of securing building requests for a tiny house on a foundation is the same as acquiring other residential construction requests.

In Louisville, a modular tiny house is considered as a house with components that are made off-site that will be assembled on a fixed foundation later on. In order for a tiny house to be considered as a modular home, special tiny house construction kits should be used. 

Louisville is very open to tiny houses but a special review process is necessary before a permit may be granted. The applicant may also be required to submit additional documentation to secure a building permit. 

On the other hand, tiny houses on wheels are required for the zoning restrictions of Louisville. Keep in mind that manufactured and assembled off-site tiny houses are considered as pre-manufactured homes in the state. Pre-manufactured homes in Louisville are subject to special state approval. 

Louisiana

Tiny House Friendly: 4⁄10

A lot of tiny home designs are not conducive to Louisiana’s building regulations. This is because compliance with the 2012 International Residential Code is mandatory in the state. 

The code requires ceilings of tiny houses to be elevated to at least 7 feet. This includes lofts and all other areas of the structure. Stairs are more preferred than ladders in loft areas. A window that serves as an emergency exit is also required. 

Furthermore, one of the rooms of the tiny house should at least have a floor area of 120 square feet. Doors, hallways, and staircases must be 3 feet or wider. The city is open to tiny houses but its restrictions make it hard to build a tiny house. 

Maine

Tiny House Friendly: 9⁄10

Maine is one of the few states that has approved requirements when it comes to the construction of tiny houses. To begin with, a tiny house should not exceed 400 square feet. Sleeping lofts with ladders as access are allowed. Skylights in loft areas that serve as emergency exits are also allowed. 

Tiny houses on foundation must comply with the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code requirements. These guidelines for tiny houses are statewide, but cities have the power to deny a construction request. 

There are areas in Maine too wherein boat houses are converted into an accessory dwelling unit following the time home’s construction guidelines.

Tiny houses on North Yarmouth are considered as camping if it is in the same exact location for more than 120 days of the year. If it exceeds 120 days, then it must comply with the established building codes for tiny homes already. Tiny homes that were built before the effective date of the ordinance are exempted. The same goes for land areas that are more than 30,000 square feet.

Maryland

Tiny House Friendly: 4⁄10

There is no specific definition of what a tiny house is in Maryland. This means that there are no existing tiny house laws or requirements yet in the state. But generally speaking, they consider tiny houses on wheels as recreational activities or RVs. 

Since tiny houses on wheels are considered as RVs, they can only be parked on designated RV parks. It is the management of the RV parks too who establishes specific rules for the tiny houses. 

Tiny houses on a foundation are allowed in most areas in Maryland. That is, as long as zoning restrictions in urban and suburban areas permit. But since such zoning restrictions do not confirm with tiny houses, most tiny houses then are in rural areas. 

Massachusetts

Tiny House Friendly: 8⁄10

Living in a tiny house that meets the requirements for an accessory dwelling unit is an easier option than living in a tiny house on wheels in Massachusetts. Most of the towns in the state allow accessory dwelling units. But, the building requirements vary from one town to another. 

They are very open to tiny houses that certain towns allow up to three ADUs with the condition that the third tiny house should not be more than 550 square feet. However, the state has no definite definition yet of what a tiny house is. But certainly, tiny houses do not meet the requirements for accessory dwelling units.

Tiny houses on wheels are allowed for camping purposes in the state as long as they are parked on an RV park. Certain problems may arise for people who want to permanently live on tiny houses on wheels. 

Michigan

Tiny House Friendly: 8⁄10

In the entire state of Michigan, zoning restrictions and building requirements are set in order to accommodate tiny houses. There were campaigns before for accessory dwelling units to be allowed in all residential areas as well.

As a matter of fact, Economy Efficiency Dwelling was introduced in Briley Township. An Economy Efficiency Dwelling is a house that has an area between 240 and 500 square feet. The exterior of this dwelling should be between 20 to 30 feet wide and 12 and 20 feet tall. 

In addition, it also has to abide by the state’s sanitation and building codes. Economy Efficiency Dwellings is also required to meet all requirements for a Certificate of Occupancy. 

They must be built on a permanent foundation. Such houses are only allowed in areas zoned for Residential 2, Agriculture and Forest Rec.

Minnesota

Tiny House Friendly: 7⁄10

For zoning purposes, Minnesota has defined tiny houses in two ways. The first one is, tiny houses on wheels are Recreational Activities or RVs. The second one is, tiny houses on foundations are considered as accessory dwelling units. 

This is because ADUs in the state are required to be built on a foundation. Furthermore, ADUs also have to comply with the same building codes for traditional houses. 

Finding a place where building or parking a tiny house is legal is very hard in the city. Thankfully, a lot of towns in this state are becoming more open to tiny houses as a more affordable option for seniors and disabled residents. 

Mississippi

Tiny House Friendly: 4⁄10

After Mississippi was hit by hurricane Katrina, the state has used tiny homes as emergency shelters. But, the use of tiny houses as a permanent home is not yet allowed in most cities of the state. Generally, Mississippi has not yet officially accepted tiny houses since there are no defined rules and requirements yet. 

However, there have been a lot of efforts in order for tiny houses to be fully accepted and be legalized in the state. Tiny houses on permitted places typically measure between 100 square feet and 900 square feet. 

Some of the places in Mississippi which have accepted tiny houses include Southaven, Jackson, Vicksburg, Biloxi, Meridian, Hattiesburg, Meridian, Gulfport, and Tupelo.

Missouri

Tiny House Friendly: 3⁄10

Tiny houses on wheels are considered travel trailers in most parts of  Missouri. This limits the place where tiny houses on wheels can park. Travel trailers are defined in the wheel-mounted portable temporary shelter platform. 

Travel trailers are not allowed to be parked on streets and in any public place in the entire state. They are also not allowed to be used inside the boundaries of a city. Tiny houses with a living area that is less than 220 square feet are not required to secure special permits. 

The cities Saint Charles, Branson, St. Louis, Jefferson City, Kansas City, Columbia, and Springfield have permitted site-built tiny homes on foundations. However, zoning restrictions and construction guidelines vary between cities. 

Montana

Tiny House Friendly: 3⁄10

Montana is in great need for affordable housing solutions but has not yet recognized the existence of tiny houses. This makes it important for tiny house owners wanna-be in the state to do thorough research on laws and permissions which might be needed when building or parking a tiny house. 

Tiny houses on a foundation are allowed while tiny houses on wheels are considered as RVs or travel trailers. Thus, it must comply with relevant restrictions and regulations. 

Nebraska

Tiny House Friendly: 6⁄10

Nebraska has a formal definition of tiny houses. It also has specific building requirements and zoning restrictions when it comes to the different types of houses in the city. 

A manufactured or mobile home is an assembled structure based on the regulations of the HUD Federal Manufactured Home. These are the tiny homes that have successfully passed the HUD inspection which qualified them to receive an approval label. 

Modular home refers to tiny houses that are constructed under the guidelines and codes of the National Electric Code and the International Residential Code. These tiny houses have received a label that approved their status as a Nebraska Modular Housing Unit.

The last type of tiny house on the list in Nebraska is the tiny house on wheels. Tiny houses on wheels are required to comply with the Park Model Recreational Vehicle Standard, the National Fire Protection Association Code 1192 or the NFPA Standard on Recreational Vehicles. 

Tiny houses on wheels in Nebraska are classified as to how travel trailers and motor-homes are classified. 

New Jersey

Tiny House Friendly: 4⁄10

Due to how affordable tiny houses are than traditional houses, a lot of residents in New Jersey are getting interested in it. But, there are no zoning regulations and requirements yet when it comes to tiny houses. Besides, there are cities in New Jersey that have totally banned the building of tiny houses.

The Land Use Board did not allow tiny houses in a community that would be used by military veterans. Other areas have passed laws allowing restricted uses of tiny houses. For example, Haverstraw allows you to build a tiny house on a foundation if it will be used by a property caretaker and only if the parcel of land meets acreage requirements.

In Rockland-area communities, a tiny house on wheels that is classified as a recreational vehicle and that is not occupied can be stored on an unincorporated parcel.

North Carolina

Tiny House Friendly: 6⁄10

The legality and acceptance of tiny houses is a hot issue in North Carolina. This is because some netizens think that tiny houses have a negative value on the impact and appeal to their houses. 

Others consider tiny houses as an excellent solution to overcrowding in high-density areas and are a good alternative for people who can’t afford a full-sized house. 

In the county of Wilmington, a tiny house that is occupied by a single person is to at least have a floor area of 150 square feet. If there will be another occupant, then another floor area which is around 100 square feet should be added. 

Tiny houses in North Carolina are subjected to local housing ordinances too. Just like in Winston-Salem wherein accessory dwelling units are allowed to be built on single-family residential lots given that the occupant is the caretaker or a relative. 

There are still other restrictions on tiny houses in the entire state so make it a habit to check first before doing something. 

North Dakota

Tiny House Friendly: 5⁄10

Tiny houses are of increasing popularity in North Dakota. But there are no specific laws in the state yet when it comes to tiny houses. The requirements in each city and county generally vary which requires a thorough understanding of each of them.

In Burleigh County, residential homes are required to at least 965 square feet floor area. This is too large for a tiny home. 

Due to this, tiny houses are only allowed on agricultural lots throughout the area. This requires tiny houses to comply with the Burleigh County Ordinance and the North Dakota Century Code. 

Tiny houses are also allowed on lots that are more than 40 acres. In the same county, all residential structures are required to meet all local building codes. 

Tiny houses are also required to be connected to public utilities for water, electricity, gas, and sewer. 

On the other hand, tiny homes on wheels that are meant to stay one place must be mounted to a permanent foundation. Accessory dwelling units are not accepted yet in Burleigh County. Only specialized granny suites that have met the specific requirements are allowed. 

Ohio

Tiny House Friendly: 3⁄10

Ohio has no specific classification system for tiny houses yet. This means that there are no laws and regulations for tiny houses yet in the state. 

For example, in Cleveland, residential homes, regardless of their size, are required to at least have 950 square feet floor area. There are no local ordinances yet for tiny houses alongside its unique building requirements. But, accessory dwelling units are allowed in the area as long as it will not serve as a primary house. 

On the other hand, other areas have grouped tiny houses with other structures known as a variance. The confusion on the residents is the primary reason why tiny houses are not yet fully grown in the state. 

Oklahoma

Tiny House Friendly: 4⁄10

The state of Oklahoma has no specific definitions and regulations yet for tiny houses. But this did not become the hindrance to tiny house owners to spread the lifestyle in the entire state. Besides, there are already tiny house communities in the Wheeler District and in the northwestern region of the state as well. 

Tiny houses on wheels are considered as RVs in the state. This means that they should meet all necessary requirements. Due to the unaddressed specific requirements of tiny houses, a lot of Oklahoma residents prefer to have their tiny houses in a rural area which is not under the strict zoning regulations of the state. 

Oregon

Tiny House Friendly: 8⁄10

The state of Oregon already has established laws and requirements for tiny houses. There are already existing housing construction and zoning requirements due to the popularity of the state’s Tiny House Hotel. 

Tiny houses on wheels across the state are required to secure required documents from the Department of Motor Vehicles. However, the permits and inspections for tiny homes on wheels are not yet under the control of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association. 

This means that tiny houses on wheels residents must use a commercial hauler. They should also have a special trip permit whenever they want to transfer to another area. 

Pennsylvania

Tiny House Friendly: 8⁄10

Pennsylvania is open to tiny houses. Generally, some cities are more accepting while others are not. 

The largest tiny house community in the entire USA is located in Elizabethtown, which is a county in Pennsylvania. On the other hand, there is no minimum house size requirement for tiny houses in Philadelphia. But, they should follow the requirements of the International Residential Code 2009.

The tiny house should also have at least one room with a floor area of 120 square feet and above. In addition, another room with a floor area of 70 square feet and above is also required. Unless it is the kitchen of the tiny house, all rooms should be 7 feet and above in length, width or height. 

Rhode Island

Tiny House Friendly: 2⁄10

There are no laws and regulations yet for tiny houses in Rhode Island. However, there are passed laws already for accessory dwelling units. The law allows ADUs to be built if the primary home is used by the owner or if the ADU will be occupied by a family member that is 62 years old and above. 

South Dakota

Tiny House Friendly: 7⁄10

South Dakota has gone through a lot for tiny houses. Communities across the state have passed different ordinances for tiny houses. For example, tiny houses on wheels are allowed to stay at a commercial campground for a short time. 

While tiny houses on a foundation are required to comply with the local zoning restrictions and building codes. A tiny house that will be occupied by one person only should at least have 187 square feet of living space. 

If there will be an additional person, the tiny house should expand by around 50 square feet. The tiny house must have a width ranging from 8.5 feet and 20 feet.

Texas

Tiny House Friendly: 9⁄10

Tiny houses are not yet that popular in Texas but there are established regulations already. These codes and regulations are based and determined by local jurisdictions. 

In Breckenridge, tiny houses should be permanently fixed on a foundation. They should at least have a floor area of 320 square feet. While on Spur, there is no required floor area. Tiny houses on wheels are also allowed as long as the wheels have been removed and the home is anchored to the ground. 

Conclusion

Generally speaking, the laws which authorize tiny houses vary from one state to another. This makes it a must for you to check the existing laws and regulations in your target location. In as much as possible, avoid areas that are very strict when it comes to tiny houses to avoid any problem from arising. 

Related Questions

Do you need council approval for a tiny house?

If your tiny house is registered as a trailer, then you do not need council approval. But if your tiny house is on a foundation, then you will have to secure DA approval. 

Do you need planning permission for a tiny house?

Mobile homes that measure around 65 x 22 ft in size can be placed on a property without planning permission as long as members of the household use them as additional living space.

Best Tiny Houses: 20 Jaw-Dropping Tiny Houses That Will Leave You Wanting One

Best Tiny Houses: 20 Jaw-Dropping Tiny Houses That Will Leave You Wanting One

The best tiny houses are simply captivating. They are not just houses, either—it’s safe to say that they are works of art.

Something about these houses just reels you in—it makes you never want to leave when you start living in one

If you’re planning to build or buy one, get inspiration from these jaw-dropping tiny houses. 

Best Tiny Houses: Top 20 Jaw-Dropping Tiny Houses

These 20 structures captivated our eyes and our curiosity. If you’re thirsty of inspiration, take a squeeze out of these breathtaking and interesting houses.

1. “The Lily Pad” by Creative Cabins LLC

front view of The Lily Pad, black stairs leading to a black shipping container cabin.
The Lily Pad will keep you cozy.

First on our list is this dark but inviting vacation rental in Ohio. The Lily Pad is a tiny house made of shipping containers by Creative Cabins LLC.

Located in Hocking Hills, Logan Ohio, it’s open for renting to couples, families, and individuals who want a peaceful retreat in the woods.

The Lily Pad is small but packed with amenities. For cozy nights with your buddies, you can crack a cold one open at their covered outdoor living space, gas grill, and swing bed.

It even has motorized blinds if you need privacy real quick. And if you’re feeling a bit social, you can also rely on their internet for a quick Snapchat update.

If you ask us, this would be a perfect spot for reunions of small groups of friends who are also adventurous. The Hocking Hills is home to waterfalls and cliffs and all of its parks are free. So, you would totally enjoy your time here if you’re a hiking junkie. 

2. “Helm” by CargoHome

Rear view of The Helm, lots of greenery, sunny afternoon.
The Helm, a lovely tiny home.

Helm is another wonderful shipping container rental, which you can find in the most tiny house-friendly state, Texas.

At first glance, its glass-wood exteriors will make you think it’s a modern house from the pages of BluPrint. You wouldn’t think you can get something that looks big in such a small package.

Built by CargoHome, it welcomes vacationers in its two-bedroom premises. It also has two bathrooms, a dining room, and a living room.

It even has a deck where you can read a book and share a cig with your significant other. Any couple or family can enjoy a great time in this fully-functioning tiny house.  

Would we rent Helm? Of course! Its spacious bathroom is especially our favorite, considering it’s a bathroom in a tiny house.

The interiors don’t also scream “cargo container”, which is a good thing. It’s certainly one of the best tiny houses out there. 

3. “Coodo Homes” by Coodo

coodo white tiny houses on the desert. plenty of shrubs. afternoon sun.
The future is finally here with Coodo’s designs.

Do you know that dystopian Netflix TV series, Black Mirror? Coodo’s modular mobile homes look exactly like it came straight out of Black Mirror. However, don’t let this alarm you. These houses won’t suddenly come alive—they just look futuristic.

The Coodo 32 series, the company’s flagship series, will make you gasp with its clean, round features made of white Aluminum.

The frontal design of the three models, which resembles the teeth of a USB connector, looks that way to let more natural light in. Meanwhile, if you’re not fond of the white Aluminium series, they also have a wooden series made of Siberian larch.

Would we buy a mobile house model from Coodo? Yes, it might look like a giant USB connector from Apple, but the specs aren’t too bad. Every model also comes with its own water tank, solar panels, wind turbines, and even a recycling station.

With those features, it’s easily one of the best tiny houses these days. The Jetsons would downsize, they would probably choose this series. 

4. “First Light Tiny House” by First Light Studio

Front view of First Light Tiny House. Black tiny house on wheels. Greenery.
There’s a Yin and Yang quality to this tiny house on wheels.

This tiny house on wheels designed by First Light Studio’s Anna Farrow can be deceiving.

On the outside, it can look stand-offish with its black corrugated steel exteriors. However, on the inside, the soft glow of the interior lighting and birch plywood walls are comforting and welcoming. Truly breathtaking.

Handcrafted by Build Tiny, a tiny house builder, this off-grid ready house comes with a full kitchen, which shows the client’s affinity for whipping up meals and pastries.

It has a wall oven and grill complete with a range hood. The kitchen sink has a folding table beside it.  At the top of the loft, of course, sits the solar panels. 

The First Light Tiny House is a real standout, not only with its aesthetic quality but also with its functionality.

Confused about whether you should choose a mobile or stationary house? This model has the best of both worlds, making it one of the best tiny houses nowadays. 

5. “The Getaway” by Tiny House Building Company

exterior of The Getaway. blue skies. green trees.
The Getaway brings you retro vibes from the 80s.

If you want to downsize but also relive the 1980s’ bubblegum pop aesthetic, The Getaway could be your permanent home.

The pink door, the big chill retro pink appliances, the awning, and the walls—these will remind you of a Barbie dollhouse or an ice cream parlor toy set.

Inside, the white and grey trimmings help in lighting up the room. If you want to secure your stuff, you can put them in the storage steps and the hitch outside. And if you are sleepy, you will feel comfy at the two king-size lofts.

pink fridge and pink electric stove. beige kitchen. white trimmings.
Your very own dollhouse. Now available.

The Getaway also comes with customized chandelier package, a bathroom with a washer and dryer, and a fully furnished kitchen. You can use the freezer, microwave, and electric cook-top as well. 

The Tiny House Building Company has a wide array of tiny houses on wheels, but The Getaway is unique for bringing that vintage, homey vibe in a mobile home.

If you can’t start your nomad lifestyle, this tiny house will bring that comfort in every ride. It’s another bright example of the best tiny houses at the moment. 

6. “Athens 520” by Park Model Homes 

Athens 520 - front view, sunny day, blue skies.
Get ready to live like a thinker in Athens 520.

Like its regal-sounding name, Athens 520 comes in a larger size than the others on this list. Nevertheless, it’s still a tiny house; however, its wrap-around porch, in which the fireplace and the chairs are located, makes it appear bigger. 

Crafted by Park Model Homes, Athens 520 is one of the 15 models in their Champions series. It’s also one of the most popular ones, qualifying as one of the best tiny houses you could avail today.

Inside, Athens 520 has a wood-burning fireplace, perfect for those cold December nights. After hanging out with your siblings or children in the comfy living space, you can snuggle with your partner in the king-size bedroom. 

If it were up to us, the Athens 520 would be an ideal space for granny or grandpa. There is no loft, so any climbing would be unnecessary.

Moreover, the wrap-around porch would be a perfect avenue for breezy afternoon teas and gabfest with their amigas

RELATED: Where to Buy Your Very Own Tiny House?

7. “Zion” by Mustard Seed Tiny Homes

Zion front view.
Zion is nothing but homey and pragmatic.

The look of Zion fits its name—it’s modern design screams luxury. Notably, it doesn’t look too brutalist like other tiny houses. You can liken Zion to a shrunken version of a modern residential structure in a suburban neighborhood. 

Despite being a premium park model, Zion’s white exterior walls, dark brown roof, large french doors, and wooden porch will make you reminisce of grandma’s house in the summer.

However, going inside the house, the refreshing in-the-now fittings, amenities, and furniture will greet you.

We think Zion is definitely one of the best tiny houses for couples who want to start a family. You and your partner can share pancakes and sip your coffee on the breakfast counter.

Besides the master bedroom, it also has a loft that is spacious enough for two toddlers. Mustard Seed Tiny Homes can also quote you some upgrades if you request it. 

8. “Bellevue” by West Coast Homes 

Bellevue. bird's eye view. Sunny day.
It’s always sunny here in Bellevue.

When you think of tiny houses, you might instantly imagine tight spaces. Bellevue goes the other way. With its open floor plan, Bellevue’s design reflects the gregariousness of the west coast lifestyle.

This high-end park model by West Coast Homes is apparently a refreshing take on their older unit, San Juan. It now features an extended porch, a deck you can access through a stair outside, a spacious main floor, and a loft for sleeping.

Inside, you can whip up your meals in the single-wall kitchen and store food in the cabinets beside the dining area. 

This model is a good choice for couples because of the open floor plan. It wouldn’t be a problem if only the two of you can see each other’s business, right?

Besides, if you have guests, the extended porch and the deck is available for small parties. If they get too boozed up, they can always stay the night at the loft. With its versatility, it’s one of the best tiny houses one can opt for these times.

RELATED: Host a Party in Your Tiny Home: The Ultimate Guide

9. Modular Shipping Container Homes By Cocoon Modules

Cocoon House, another front view
Live, work, play, or hide in this Cocoon house.

If you’re going for all-out minimalism, these transportable 320 square feet houses by Cocoon Modules might fit you. The Modular Shipping Container Homes are just like a turnkey giant block of wood with a few glass doors and windows.  

Like the Bellevue, it has a simple open floor plan—the kitchen, living area, bedroom, and bathroom are all beside each other. At the rear end of the house, there’s an additional glass door.

Cocoon Houses - Front View
Set up a lounge outside this tiny house.

Moreover, because it’s tiny and rectangular, it also boasts energy-efficiency and earthquake resistance. Cocoon Modules even has a class A certification in energy-efficiency. 

This mini container house is suitable for those who are dead serious about downsizing. Everything is tiny in this house; but if you can find a spacious lot, you can park there, set up a lounge area, and host a film viewing for the family. It’s certainly one of the best tiny houses made of shipping containers.

RELATED: 50 Genius Tiny House Furniture Ideas 

10.  Shipping Container House by Ty Kelly

Best-Tiny-Houses-Shipping-Container-House-2-by-Ty-Kelly
There is bliss in this Ty Kelly shipping container house.

This Ty Kelly project in  Seattle is another minimalist wonder. In the day, it’s an undeniable piece of modern architecture.

Up close, you can see the gorgeous patterns of the wooden panels and neon green details. Inside, the house is full of symmetrical features and design. The Shipping Container House comes even more alive at night. 

Even though it’s not that tiny, it has the elements of good design, which is so much better than being tiny just for the sake of it.

Best-Tiny-House-Ty-Kelly-Shipping-Container-House
Isn’t that a nice contrast of neon green and light wood?

Going inside, you will see a wide common area with eye-catching artwork on the walls. Just beside the living room is an island kitchen that also serves as a breakfast countertop. There is even an extended porch at the front. 

We believe the Shipping Container House is one of the best tiny houses because it’s the epitome of container architecture done right. It’s obvious that the designer did not sacrifice form for the sake of function. Who says you can’t have debonair in sustainability? 

11. “The Wedge” by Wheelhaus

Best-Tiny-Houses-The-Wedge
Spend time with your significant other in The Wedge on a peaceful night.

From one quick look, The Wedge looks like a small luxury beachfront cabin with its 400 square feet size. However, one would be surprised to find out that it’s a fully functioning one-bedroom unit, complete with turnkey appliances. 

This cornerstone model by Wheelhaus is designed with timber and steel. It has exterior siding and higher ceilings made of reclaimed Wyoming snow fencing, which is unique for a tiny home.

The windows and sliding glass doors are also designed to welcome sunlight. The private deck is an inviting addition, like a cherry on top of a sundae. 

If you’re into natural materials without sacrificing contemporary elements, this turnkey model could be your dream tiny house. Truly, it’s a convenient luxury for tiny house enthusiasts.

If you’re tired of the common notion about tiny houses having poor quality, then you can buy this house and rub it off the naysayers’ faces.

RELATED: 5 Kickass Tips on How to Find the Right Tiny House Kits

12. “The Brillhart House” By Brillhart Architecture 

Best-Tiny-House-The-Brillhart-House
The Brillhart House is brilliantly crafted.

Despite its magical simplicity, The Brillhart House is one decorated house. It won the AIA Miami Honor Award in 2014 and the AIA Florida Honor Award and the Best Single Family House in 2015. Phew. It must be that great, right? 

Well, it truly is. The Brillhart House is a bigger tiny house, but its mystique oozes even from just one glance. The front facade has a wide porch covered with rows of shutters. That very porch, apparently, brilliantly connects the indoor and the outdoor spaces.

Best-Tiny-Houses-The-Brillhart-House-2
Sunlight falls on this well-designed house.

Inside, there’s a glaring, wide living room, a kitchen with earthy tones, and a zen bedroom, which is separated by glass sliding doors from the rest of the house. 

The true magic of the Brillhart House lies in its functions. The house itself was designed with the purpose to provide an essential habitat for an individual and a community. Beyond that, it was crafted to reduce environmental impact.

The result is a beautiful house with a winning design and superior efficiency. And the awarding bodies clearly agree that it’s one of the best tiny houses they have seen.

13. “Cahill Cabin” by Cushman Design Group

Best-Tiny-Houses-The-Cahill-Cabin
It’s not just a cabin in the woods!

The Cahill Cabin by Kelley Osgood and Chad Forcier is an actual cabin, but it has a unique quality to it.

Like The Wedge, it’s a fully functioning house with complete amenities. That, together with its warm contemporary elements, made it qualified to be featured in Katie Hutchison’s “The New Cottage”. 

Inside the cabin is a dining area, living room, and kitchen, all wrapped with glass sliding doors. You can stay warm by the fireplace while enjoying the outside view of the greenery and the river.

The Cahill Cabin is located in a fishing camp in rural northern Vermont. Its two bedrooms mainly have wooden walls and furniture. 

Not only is the Cahill Cabin a good vacation dwelling but also a functional and compact home. It gives a new meaning to cottage living, which is often misunderstood by many, unfortunately.

With that defining quality, it’s one of the best tiny houses you can find today. 

14. “Highlands Escape” by Benn and Penna Architects

Best-Tiny-Houses-Highlands-Escape
Escape into this small but voluptuous house.

All these rectangular tiny houses… Where are the curvy ones? Enter Highlands Escape. This sophisticated dwelling by Benn and Penna Architects is anything but boring.

From one look, you might mistake it for a Zaha Hadid piece because of its wavy design. Zaha Hadid designed the famous Heydar Aliyev Center in London.  

However, Highlands Escape is a unique delight on its own. Its wavy exterior look with horizontal lines is actually corrugated Colorbond, which is a famous long-lasting roofing material.

It has an extended porch, which leads you to the front door. Because of its curved shape, the interior space allows the occupants to contemplate. In fact, the living room is surrounded by a wall of bookshelves. 

The designers of Highlands Escape were apparently inspired by Marion Mahony Griffin. Like his quote, “a tiny house, like a tiny temple, can be the perfect work of art”, the architects crafted Highlands Escape in such a way that it’s a tiny masterpiece. It’s undeniably one of the best tiny houses that’s built today. 

RELATED: Where to Find a Tiny Home Builder: A Comprehensive List

15. “Honey on the Rock” by Daniel Weddle

Best-Tiny-Houses-Honey-on-the-Rock
Honey on the Rock: Quirky, tiny, and sweet?

From wavy to whimsical, we now discuss the quirky Honey on the Rock. Unlike the others, the Honey might look like a McDonald’s play place, but make no mistake—it’s a working tiny house!

Daniel Weddle went all out with wood on this project. Inside, you’ll be met with detailed wooden panelling, circular windows, and rustic metal accents.

With its tiny size, you’ll be delighted to know that a second-floor deck exists, which you can access through the outdoor spiral staircase. Had enough quirk? We’re not even finished yet—there’s a secret door inside the sleeping area!

We can definitely see creatives living in this house. They will be inspired to remain deviant to the mundane with The Honey’s design. However, they won’t be uncomfortable because it’s still a functioning house in which one can live. 

RELATED: Tiny Homes Living: How to Live and Adjust to a Tiny Life

16. “Cali Duo 2” by Sustain Design Studios

Best-Tiny-Houses-CaliMini-Duo-2
A visual representation of Cali Duo 2 by Sustain Design Studio

We’re done with the curvy and the quirky. Let’s go back to the elegant rectangular houses. First up is the Cali Duo 2, which is a larger tiny house with a front porch. Like the earlier houses that we listed here, it’s like a modern suburban house that’s been shrunk into a more compact size.  

For a prefab model, Cali Duo is a 10/10 looker. It has gorgeous Cedar siding and deck, Baltic Birch Ply interior walls, and cork floors. This model also comes with appliances such as a dishwasher and a fridge.

As for energy efficiency, it’s equipped with a tankless hot water heater and a ventilation system. You can also let them install an air-to-air heat pump. 

A small family who’s cautious with their environmental impact can surely move into this large tiny house.

In the Cali Duo 2 structure, Sustain boasts of an absence of vinyl, Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and drywall. An off-grid system will also depend on the homeowners. 

17. “Working Amp House” by Brian Crabb

Best-Tiny-Houses-The-Working-Amp
This groovy tiny house will rock your world.

With its look that resembles a giant amplifier, the Working Amp House is one groovy tiny home.

Its violinist owner, Asha Mevlana, hired the services of her brother, designer Brian Crabb to create a tiny house with a unique look and function. She didn’t just want an ordinary tiny home, hence the amplifier-shaped house. 

The Working Amp’s main house is shaped like an L itself, but the other star here is the extended deck. This is where Asha can host mini-concerts for her friends, family, and neighbors in Arkansas.

She’s also planning to invite other local musicians for music festivals in her home. Inside the house, you will admire the high ceilings.

This is truly a unique piece of work. If it were up to us, it could even become a rental property that will draw a lot of renters because of its fun look. It could also be a tourist attraction if Asha decides to move to a new tiny house. 

18. “AirShip 002” by Roderrick James Architects

Best-Tiny-Houses-Airship-002-2
The unique rental, AirShip 002 | Photo courtesy of Hypebeast

Have you ever dreamed of being an astronaut or a pilot? How about going to Mars? You may not reach that dream now, but you can take inspiration from this tiny house that’s shaped like an aircraft. The AirShip 002 is a one-of-a-kind tiny house that will instantly turn the heads of passers-by. 

Designed by the Roderick James Architects, the AirShip 002’s exterior is made of stainless steel and aluminum.

Inside the house, you’ll feel like flying because of the circular windows that resemble those in airplanes. Interestingly, the walls and furniture are a combination of wood and metal, giving you that rustic feel, somehow.

Make no mistake about the AirShip 002. You might think it’s not a liveable house, but once you go inside, you can see that the elements work together just fine. There’s even an island counter that serves as a breakfast table.

The AirShip 002 is available for rental on AirBnB.

19. “The Slim Fit” by Ana Rocha

Best-Tiny-Houses-The-Slim-Fit
The Slim Fit at dusk.

You’ve seen tiny houses that are whimsical, curvy, shaped like an amplifier and an airship… Now, brace yourself: a vertical tiny house!

The Slim Fit is a tall tiny house, with its three floors and 538 square feet of liveable area. Indeed, its name is very fitting. Pun intended.

Ana Rocha of Ana Rocha Architecture crafted this house with Ayous hardwood and birchwood. Outside, it resembles a stack of Jenga blocks and a wooden version of The Powerpuff Girls’ house.

But even though it has an intimidating look, this house is notably a downsizing wonder with its small carbon footprint. In fact, each floor is only 176 square feet!

The Slim Fit is ideal for people who want something out of the ordinary, but still a comfortable and practical living space.

It’s certainly not for those people with mobility difficulties or people with worsening back pain because of the stairs.

20. “Wave House” by Abdolrahman Kadkhodasalehi

The-Wave-House
Side view of The Wave.

We have finally arrived at the final house. Since this list is colorful with the different designs of tiny houses, why not end it with an oddly shaped tiny house?

The last one on our list is the Wave House, which is, you’ve guessed it—a wavy tiny house. 

The Wave House was actually a competition winner. In February 2019, the Wave House won the Ryterna Modul’s Architectural Challenge. It was a contest for the houses with the least impact on the environment. The Wave House beat the others with its curved structure and large glass windows. 

The Wave House is truly an architectural feat not just because of its shape but also because of its recycling technology. It has a refinery tank, which recycles and purifies the used sink and shower water.

The curved structure also serves as a storage for the water supply for the heaters. The design is nothing but revolutionary. 

Best Tiny Houses: Design Trends in 2020

Do you want your tiny house to stand out in the crowd despite its size? Tiny houses are known to lose value quickly. Therefore, if you’re planning to make it a rental business in the future, you have to spruce it up. A well-maintained property will retain value easily. 

You can take a hint from these 2020 design trends. 

1. Scandinavian interiors 

Scandinavian interior design has been a superstar in the design world for a long time now. However, it never goes out of style because of its roots in minimalism, functionality, and impeccable style.

For your tiny house, you can embody this design movement using light wood, warm textiles, metallic-wood accents, and neutral-colored flooring.

2. Pop a color of Jester Red

And do it in small doses. In a tiny house, neutral colors are ideal since they create the illusion of a larger area. However, too much beige will become boring eventually.

As a result, you have to breathe life into your rooms. Why not try Jester Red? This maroon-red hue will bring an elegant and sexy atmosphere to a tiny house washed with muted colors. 

3. Grandmillennial Style 

Grandmillennial Style is another term for a “New Traditionalist.” This design trend incorporates the elements of a granny’s lifestyle and home decor. However, this time, they’re adding a Millennial twist to it.

We’re talking about floral wallpapers, botanical prints, chandeliers, vases, etc. It may sound like this trend is about clutter, but you can avoid that by being selective with your statement pieces. 

RELATED: Tiny House Living: 8 Clever Ideas to Maximize Your Space

4. Marrying the old and new

Another hot trend is mixing old and new interior decors. More homeowners are grabbing luxurious period pieces and partnering them with contemporary lighting, rugs, and couches.

This approach is not new, but if you can pair contrasting accessories with each other, then it will never stay out of touch. 

5. Gravity-defying furniture

Furniture pieces without legs or with unusual shapes are becoming big. As more people are being into granny pods and container houses, their furniture choices will also downsize.

The good thing about going “legless” is that they look lighter in the house. They are also easier to clean. The only drawback is that if they’re mounted on the wall, you can’t easily move them. 

RELATED: 10 Unique Ideas for Your Tiny House Interior Designs

Final thoughts

These tiny houses are not just homes—they can also be works of art. 

If you are still planning to build or buy a tiny house, you could borrow an element or two from any of the dwellings we listed above. 

Remember, a tiny house could also be your investment, too. Why not opt for something special when you’re planning the design, right? 

Do you know any other awesome tiny houses that exist? Share them to us below!

Related questions

Where can you find tiny house floor plans? 

You can find free tiny house floor plans on Pinterest. If you want to go DIY and if you have prior building experience, you can take inspiration from them. However, having a custom floor plan by a pro will give you peace of mind. If you want to buy blueprints, House Plans sells them on their site.  

What is the average cost of a tiny house?

The average cost of a tiny house lies between $30,000 to $40,000. Depending on the materials, craftsmanship, and location, tiny houses can cost you up to $180,000.

One of the factors that heavily affect the cost is the location. The cost of building one will be determined by local building codes. Therefore, if your state is not yet open to tiny house living, then you might have to pay for more just to live in one. 

Tiny Home Safety: Top 26 Life-Saving Tips From the Experts

Tiny Home Safety: Top 26 Life-Saving Tips From the Experts

Tiny home safety is one of the most crucial concerns of new homeowners. 

How can one stay safe and secure in such a small abode? 

Tiny houses are not entirely dangerous. However, you should never be complacent—authorities have been strict with tiny houses for valid reasons

Moreover, the critics’ disapproval of tiny houses is not baseless. After all, they are only advocating for the highest safety standards for properties.  

Therefore, if you’re really hell-bent on living in a smaller home, then tiny home safety should be your utmost priority at all times. 

In this blog post, we shared 26 tested and proven safety tips from experts. 

Tiny home safety: Inside your home

Whether you live alone, with an elderly, or with your kids in your tiny home, you should take notes from these tiny home safety tips. Don’t worry, we have something for everybody. 

Bathroom 

tiny bathroom with cleaning materials
Add more traction to your teeny bathroom’s tile floors to prevent slips and falls.

Did you know that the majority of accidents and injuries happened to people who were in their bathrooms? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 14 percent of those people get hospitalized. 

With a bathroom that’s even teenier, how does tiny home safety work? Similar to regular houses, you need to do some few tricks to keep you safe while showering, soaking, etc. 

1. Install grab bars. 

Falling is one of the top five causes of unintentional home injuries. Every year, slippery bathroom floors cause 80% of falls in the elderly aged 65 years and older. So, it’s no surprise that bathrooms are more sinister than you think.  

Therefore, whether you live with an elderly relative or not, you have to add grab bars to ensure tiny home safety. Besides being secure fixtures against falls and slips, these metal bars can serve as towel racks near your bathtub or your shower area. 

2. Don’t just dump anything in a composting toilet. 

Composting toilets’ prices and installation processes can be expensive. But besides their price, take good care of composting toilets because they’re the most convenient type of toilets for tiny houses on wheels. You don’t even need to frequent dumping places to release their waste. 

Prolong your composting toilet’s life by not throwing anything in there, except your waste and absorbent materials like untreated sawdust. Absorbent materials will create an odor barrier, minimizing the bad smell. Avoid throwing trash like baby diapers and tissue paper as well. 

3. Add anti-slip accessories.

Metal grab bars, although effective for tiny home safety, are not enough to prevent slips. You have to make sure your floor and walls are not that slippery when wet. Good thing you rely on affordable but effective anti-slip accessories for bathrooms such as stickers, mats, and tapes. 

If you’re still in the process of building your tiny house, you can even install anti-slip, textured tiles. Meanwhile, if you already have tiles, you can apply an anti-slip treatment, which is a solution that adds traction to smooth and shiny tiles. One example is Stone Grip. 

4. Add tamper-resistant outlets. 

Tamper-resistant outlets are great tiny home safety accessories, especially if you live with kids or pets. Also known as tamper-resistant receptacles (TRR), these outlets have safety shutters that block the access of any foreign object into the receptacle. 

With the safety shutters inside, it will only work if you insert a fully functional plug. You can’t insert broken plugs with jagged edges—otherwise, the safety shutters inside won’t open and you can’t use the outlet. We suggest you add these outlets everywhere in your house, especially in the bathroom. 

5. Install night lights. 

Night lights will increase tiny home safety and cultivate your kids’ independence. These are small lighting fixtures that don’t produce an overwhelming brightness, but are still effective in lighting a dark room. 

If your kids are scared of going to the bathroom at night, you can teach them to turn on the night lights. Plus, they don’t consume that much power, so you don’t have to worry about unnecessary energy loss at night. 

Kitchen 

tiny home safety - tiny kitchen that is white and clean
It’s better to have the expensive essentials in your kitchen than having multiple pieces of mediocre equipment.

The kitchen is where you prepare your kid’s meals, boil water for your coffee, and wash your dishes, mugs, and plates. That only means you should be steadfast in ensuring this area is contamination-free and accident-proof. 

Bathrooms can be dangerous, but your kitchen can be lethal, too. Take note of these tiny home safety tips in the kitchen. 

1. Use a cast-iron skillet. 

Not only this is life-saving (you can fight zombies with this!), but also space-saving. Cast-iron skillets may be a bit expensive, but they have many qualities that compensate for the price. Cast-iron skillets have excellent non-stick surface, chemical-free material, and great heat-retaining quality. 

Best of all, they are space-saving because they’re versatile—you can cook them on open-fire or on a gas stove. So, if the situation calls for it—like a family barbecue or camping with your buddies, you can rely on cast-iron skillets. You don’t need to bring another type of cooking pan to the trip.

2. Stock on hooks. 

In this blog post, we explained why hooks should be staples in every tiny house. However, hooks should be the most present in your tiny house kitchen. Besides being affordable and durable enough to carry heavy objects, they are also highly versatile, which is ideal for a small kitchen. 

You can use hooks to hang caddies for spices and herbs, baking tools, glasses, plates, and mugs. You can mount a single hook to hang a drying towel or use several to dry pots and pans. Need something customizable? Use two durable hooks to put up a pegboard, which you can use for multiple things. 

3. Prevent gas buildup in your propane stoves.

You can use propane stoves to cook meals inside your tiny house; but make sure to prevent gas buildup. To avoid that, make sure your kitchen is well-ventilated, so the toxic fumes to exit your kitchen area. Moreover, when you’re cooking, open your windows or turn on an exhaust fan. Propane stoves generate a lot of heat. 

Moreover, don’t forget to turn off your propane stove when not in use. You will also need a carbon monoxide detector in case the gas leaks. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, so you will need a detector to prevent contamination during a leakage. 

4. Avoid/eliminate electric stove hazards.

Electric stoves are safer than propane stoves, but they still have fire hazards. Therefore, you need to eliminate those and follow safety measures. First of all, be mindful if they’re turned on or not. Propane stoves are easier to detect when they’re running since they smell. Electric stoves, on the other hand, are silent and odorless. 

Another hazard to eliminate is excessive heat generation. Again, it’s not easy to notice right away that an electric stove is turned on. When an electric stove gets too hot, you might accidentally burn your hand if you’re not alert enough to notice that it’s turned on. So, if not necessary, don’t use too much heat.  

5. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby. 

And learn how to use it! Knowing how to prevent fires in the kitchen is not enough. You also need to know how to put them out. Since you live in a tiny house, you should keep one under your kitchen sink—before a fire from your burning mac and cheese engulfs your home. 

You can buy fire extinguishers best used for houses. Since we’re talking about kitchen fires here, a standard fire extinguisher can already help you. It can put out Class A, B, and C fires, which are ordinary combustibles, flammable liquids and gases, and electrical equipment fires.

Bedroom 

tiny home safety - bedroom, POV from inside the closer
Get a peaceful sleep by making sure your sheets are clean and your furniture pieces are untippable.

Your bedroom is the space where you rest, dream, and recover. Nothing should go wrong, right? Well, don’t be too relaxed. You still have outlets, wirings, and windows here, right? Therefore, to truly achieve peace of mind, you should also ensure it’s a secure environment. Follow these tiny home safety tips for your bedroom. 

1. Prevent bed bug-friendly moisture. 

Bed bugs love humid environments. If your bedroom doesn’t have a good indoor airflow, they will grow in no time and might trigger adult on-set allergic reactions. Bed bugs might even cause skin irritation, asthma attacks, and anaphylaxis shocks. 

Therefore, do your best to prevent bed bug infestation. Air out your mattress frequently. If you can, wash them every week. Choose a high-quality material, too, if you haven’t bought one yet. Most importantly, don’t forget to open your windows every day at certain periods to let the stale air out. 

2. Use dust-proof pillow and mattress covers. 

Dust mites also thrive in cramped, humid places, so it’s very likely that you will have them in your bedroom if the air doesn’t circulate properly. Also, did you know they love your skin flakes? Yikes. 

To prevent dust mites from growing in your bedroom, use dust-proof pillow and mattress covers. If you can, avoid putting carpets in your room. Use sheets and rugs with fine threads. You also have to dry your newly washed pillows and mattresses in a hot dryer. 

3. Attach your drawers and storage boxes to the wall. 

Even if your tiny house is on a foundation, you still have to make sure those heavy boxes will not tip. You’ll never know when earthquakes will strike. Those sharp edges must also be covered and those drawers should be locked, especially if you live with a child who’s in his/her “terrible-twos” stage.

Besides securing your shelves, drawers, organizers, and boxes to the wall, we also don’t suggest putting freestanding items in your bedroom. Apart from occupying your precious floor space, they will also just contribute to the dust-gathering convention in your bedroom. 

Tiny home safety: Outside and beyond

Travelling/On-road safety

tiny home safety - tiny house on wheels with a lush green background
Before you live that mobile life, make sure your towing vehicle is capable to tow the heavy load behind it.

Do you have a movable tiny house? Tiny houses on wheels are known to be trickier to handle since you have many things to consider such as the weight distribution, load limit, and other road hazards. Plus, you’ll be traveling most of the time, so you will do more upkeep frequently. 

With that said, get a load of these tiny home safety steps for when you’re travelling. 

1. Follow the required service schedule. 

Your towing vehicle has a service schedule, which is indicated on the car’s dashboard’s warning light or its manufacturer’s manual. Now, you should follow this schedule to prevent fluid leaks, on-the-road malfunctions, and engine trouble. Plus you will save yourself from expensive repairs and replacements in the future. 

Moreover, by taking care of your towing vehicle, you can preserve its resale value. Many homeowners and critics don’t like tiny houses because they lose resale value quickly. If you keep the car in good condition, then your mobile house’s value won’t dwindle that much. 

2. Ensure there’s proper weight distribution. 

Tiny houses on wheels (THOWs) have the same materials as normal houses, so they are a bit heavier than most RVs and trailers. Therefore, you should be meticulous with keeping stuff inside to avoid surpassing the weight limit and improper weight distribution.

Many states in the U.S. also impose a weight limit on tiny houses on the road, which you should adhere to. Meanwhile, for a smooth-sailing towing, your tiny house should have a proper weight distribution. 

The standard ratio is that from the trailer tongue to the center point of the axle, it should weigh 60% of the total weight. The remaining area from that center point to the rear area of the THOW should weigh 40% of the total weight. 

3. Make sure your vehicle has a great towing capacity. 

There are heavy-duty SUVs but there are also large vehicles exclusively designed for towing. Therefore, choose the latter but with even greater towing capacities. Remember, your tiny house’s weight will increase as you put more stuff in it. 

The brands of the best towing trucks for tiny houses are Ford, Chevrolet, Nissan, and Ram. These big boys can pull more than 30,000 pounds. The Ram 3500, particularly, has a towing limit of 31,210. That’s monstrous even for tiny houses.  

Storms, hurricanes, etc. 

tiny home safety - a dark cloud looms over a tiny house
Will your tiny house withstand a storm?

There are dozens of reasons why some states in the U.S. impose strict standards on tiny houses, two of them being storms and hurricanes. 

They can mess up even the bigger houses—can a tiny house withstand them? Yes, they can. Just follow these tips for securing your tiny home against extreme weather and reducing the damage it causes.  

1. Elevate your tiny house.

The simplest and most affordable countermeasure to avoid flood damage is to move your tiny house to higher ground. If this isn’t an option because your house is stationary, then you can do a preventative measure like elevating the whole structure. 

Meanwhile, do your part and get insurance for your house. Before, it was challenging to insure tiny houses, but it’s definitely better now. Insuring tiny houses can cost $500 to $600 per year. 

2. Toughen your roof against strong winds. 

The roof, doors, and windows are the parts that usually get damaged over time. So, you need to make them “tougher” against the strong winds, which are especially brought by hurricanes. 

For example, the Journal of Light Construction suggests you tighten your roof by applying a high-wind-rated roof covering, re-nailing the roof sheathings, or using wind-rated asphalt shingles. 

3. Weatherstrip and caulk your windows, doors, and walls.

As for moisture, leaking, or rust, get ahead of those by weatherstripping your windows and doors and caulking your house. Weatherstripping is done by applying a seal that endures friction and external elements, prolonging the life of the fixture.

The Dept. of Energy particularly suggests vinyl and metal weatherstripping since they are durable and they last years. Vinyl is typically used for weatherstripping garage doors, but it can be a bit pricey. 

4. Secure your appliances. 

You secured your roofing and your fixtures—how about your appliances and wiring? Just because you’re off-grid doesn’t mean they are safe. 

Therefore, make sure to ground your solar panels to avoid electrocution and fires, even though most models are waterproof. Invest in weatherproof appliances and cords. If you have solar batteries, keep them warm in snowstorms by charging them. 

5. Invest in your insulation. 

Proper insulation not only keeps you warm during the bad weather but also saves energy. Storm windows and doors, particularly, bring those benefits. They help regulate your tiny house’s temperature, preventing energy loss. 

To insulate effectively against storms, you can use fiberglass insulation. It’s an excellent and easy-to-install insulating material, plus it’s not too heavy or expensive. Other good insulation materials are cotton, spray foam, and Rockwool. 

Protection against theft

a robber pries a door open
Tiny house theft is becoming more common these days.

Tiny house theft has been rampant, so you can’t be too complacent with your mobile home. It’s small and movable—it’s no wonder it’s red-hot on the criminals’ radar. Therefore, it’s essential for you to invest in security methods and gadgets. 

1. Use wheel clamps and claws. 

Wheel clamps and claws are anti-theft wheel locks, which prevent your towing car or RV from getting stolen. 

Clamps lock the lug nuts, which secure the wheels to your car’s axles. They are pricier but more effective. Claws, on the other hand, help immobilize your wheels—having these will prevent your vehicles from rotating and turning. 

2. Purchase heavy chains. 

Heavy-duty chains will also make it nearly impossible for a robber to tow your tiny house away. These chains may have clevis grab hooks on both ends, which prevent the chains from slipping. 

Heavy-duty chains are being used to tow large vehicles with tons of cargo, so they won’t break easily. It’s better if you tie it to a permanent structure—yes, even if your tiny house is built on a foundation. 

3. Get trailer hitch locks.

Simple, cheap, and easy-to-install, a hitch lock will help foil a sneaky robbery attempt. Hitch locks fuse the cargo and the trailer’s hitch, preventing any thief from towing it. A trailer hitch lock can be made of aluminum, which is a tough kind of metal. 

If you search for hitch locks, look for ones which design suit your tiny house or RV. Great hitch locks can resist crowbars, saws, and even sledgehammers. 

4. Buy an alarm system. 

Alarm systems are not just for regular houses. There are actually plenty of fully-functional alarm systems for RVs and small homes

The prices of alarm systems for tiny houses start at $29 and can go up to $700. Some devices will set off and call the police, fire, and medical dispatches. Others will let you sync it with your phone in an app. They can even have wireless motion sensors. 

5. Conceal a tracking device in your tiny house.

Concealing a tracking device inside your tiny house will be your last line of defense. These devices are waterproof and they can recharge from your RV’s battery. They will also send a notification to your phone. 

When shopping for a tracking device, check the reviews if its motion sensors are highly sensitive. This is ideal because once the trailer moves, it should send an alarm to your mobile phone ASAP. 

Conclusion 

Your tiny house is not just your home; it’s your investment. Unfortunately, it’s small and mobile—many confident robbers will try to snatch it in a snap. 

Therefore, regardless of its value, you should do everything you can to protect it. 

Also, remember that it’s not easy to get a tiny house in most states in the U.S. If you’re lucky enough to live in one, then do your part and invest in safety measures.

Besides, you can’t trust anybody these days even if you live in a tiny house community. Better be safe than sorry! 

Can’t get enough of our safety tips? We have more here. 

Related questions

Do tiny houses get stolen? 

Yes, surprisingly, tiny houses are getting stolen these days, whether they are on wheels or on a foundation. Yes, even if the house doesn’t have wheels! The criminals are obviously not just interested in the gadgets and jewellery but the house itself, which is interesting because tiny houses lose value quickly.  

How do I keep my tiny house from being stolen? 

First, spend more time researching—read tiny home safety blog posts and watch YouTube product reviews. After that, start canvassing for heavy chains, hitch locks, and alarm systems. Research is imperative because if those devices are not effective, then your tiny house will still get stolen. You can also hide your wheels in a secure place if you’re parking it in a spot. 

How do you disconnect a trailer? 

  1. First, park it in a place with a flat surface, so the trailer won’t easily roll down. 
  2. Next, turn off the engine and then set the parking brake. 
  3. Put a wedge under the trail. 
  4. Now, disconnect the wires and unhinge the safety chains. 
  5. Loosen the coupler and the hand wheel to drop the ball clamp. 
  6. Use the tongue’s handle to lift the trailer to release the coupler from the hitch ball. 
  7. The trailer will disengage once the hitch ball is released. 

10 Surprising Reasons Why Critics Don’t Like Tiny Houses

10 Surprising Reasons Why Critics Don’t Like Tiny Houses

Many happy individuals and families have praised the tiny house movement. Still, there are many reasons why critics don’t like tiny houses.

In the U.S., tiny houses have been all the rage in recent years. People from all walks of life seem to be interested in the idea of downsizing. 

For them, their needs can fit in an area that measures less than 400 square feet. 

However, does the tiny house living really work for everyone? 

We may have a blog about tiny houses, but that doesn’t mean we won’t shed light on critics’ statements about tiny houses. 

In this article, we listed some surprising reasons why critics don’t like tiny houses. 

Why critics don’t like tiny houses

They are not always right, but critics don’t base their opinions on pointless things. Again, we are a tiny house blog—but that doesn’t mean we advocate for the movement blindly. 

The Tiny House movement has its advantages, yes—but our normal and our good is not the same for other people.   

1. The semi-false promises of cheap cost of living. 

why critics don't like tiny houses - tiny house with no roof
Does living in a tiny house like this really reduce your monthly living expenses?

When people think of tiny houses, a lower cost of living instantly comes to their mind. The thought of living with no debt, no mortgage, and cheap insurance is too sexy to pass by.  

We don’t disagree, though—living in a tiny house does allow you to pay way smaller utility bills, compared to living in a bigger house. However, what about the other expenses that will add to the monthly cost of living?  

The truth is that the cost of living in a tiny house can potentially balloon bigger because of the hidden costs. 

You may have already paid off the construction or the prefab model, but you will still spend on the following as you reside in your small abode: 

  • Home improvements and upgrades
  • Insurance plans 
  • Zoning applications and permits
  • Traveling expenses
  • Parking spots 
  • Service fees and maintenance for your SUV/truck, which tows your tiny house.
  • And many more factors, which we will expand later.

This is why tiny houses don’t get the approval of most critics. The movement itself has a semi-false promise of a cheaper cost of living when in reality, some people might have to spend a little more than a small amount. 

2. Not the most ideal space for pregnancy.

This might not sound too surprising—pregnancy, after all, is a scary and overwhelming journey. So, living in a tiny house (with wheels, lord!) might sound like stepping on your own toe with thorny soles. 

Yes, you can make many preparations and adjustments to make your SO or wife comfortable, but what if it comes as a surprise? Making those changes in your tiny home will be even harder. 

Case in point: this couple eventually abandoned their tiny house when they became pregnant. Sadly, they came to the realization that their space was too tiny for the girl’s growing belly, and their living expenses were also increasing. Worst of all, they encountered unexpected health challenges. 

Because of those and a couple of other risks, it’s unsurprising why critics don’t like tiny houses. It’s also why housing and building authorities scrutinize the safety of tiny houses on wheels. 

That is why if you’re planning to start a family, you might want to think twice before you buy that plan or build that tiny abode. 

3. Raising a kid is difficult. 

why critics don't like tiny houses - a kid sleeping on a white bed
Raising a kid on an unsuitable environment is like a walk on a park… on hell.

Yes, this is the ugly truth— just because kids are small doesn’t mean their needs are the same size, too. Raising a kid is a humongous challenge on its own already—but doing it in a tiny house would be brutal. 

In our blog post about raising a kid in a tiny house, we mentioned that parents should consider the ethics of the act itself. That’s because every child has different needs because every child is unique. As their parent, you should be able to cover their changing needs in the various stages of their life—this is the ethical thing to do. 

California Department of Education (CDE) reports that the first eighteen months after birth is a critical stage in a child’s development. They learn how to make sense of the world—and they do it in such an overwhelming sense for the parent because they will taste, climb, and grasp everything. 

As a result, it’s only imperative that a child’s environment is comfortable and safe. Being in a limited space, your challenges in securing an ideal surrounding might increase. 

Add that to your existing problems and you might fail in achieving your goal in providing a good environment for them. 

Therefore, even though living in a tiny house may help you save expenses, you should reflect more if you are emotionally, psychologically ready to raise a child. Remember: they depend on you, only you. 

4. Structural safety concerns.

Shrewd, hungry thieves can find many ways to break into a home. That means not all houses are 100% safe, including tiny houses. However, tiny houses especially become risky when storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes are thrown into the mix of living hazards. 

Safety could easily be a deal-breaker for tiny house owners, especially if they live in nearby states where hurricanes are most common. Those calamities are also why tiny houses are strictly monitored in Florida, despite the state having RV parks. In other words, it’s not a tiny house-friendly state.

Can tiny houses on foundations and on wheels withstand external elements like storms? They can. The only thing is, you have to spend time and money on ensuring they are secure. 

Not only will you have to consider the structure’s endurance during the storm, but also the debris, electrical, and water damage after all that ruckus. You also have to check if the foundation, the windows, and roof panels are still in one piece. 

Apart from those, you also have to be sure that moisture doesn’t stay for too long in your restricted living space. Otherwise, you’ll be sneezing and sniffling from mold and mildew in no time.

Considering how “easy” it is for a tiny house to be unsafe if the homeowners are lazy and neglectful, it’s no wonder why critics don’t like tiny houses. 

5. The high cost of building one.

why critics don't like tiny houses - mobile house
You will still spend money to achieve financial freedom. Ironic, isn’t it?

Now, this might surprise a lot of people, especially those who just knew about the movement: tiny houses don’t cost a tiny amount

Don’t let the idea of downsizing prevent you from considering the additional expenses you might have in this journey. 

How much can a tiny house cost?

  • Excluding the hidden costs after constructing one, building a tiny house might cost you up to $30,000 alone. 
  • The median price of buying one might also cost more than $55,000. 
  • Ryan Fitzgerald of Raleigh Realty also recommends setting aside $65,000 for building a tiny house. 
  • Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), which can be considered tiny houses, might also cost you up to $200,000. 

What elements affect those prices? Well, there’s plenty—materials, the builder, the building permit, and the location. If you buy a prefab model, you might also pay for a hefty shipping fee. 

Buying only a kit or the blueprint and then building it on your own will allow you to save a lot of labor cost, obviously. However, you are risking that peace of mind from knowing your house is built by licensed experts. 

This is why most critics refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of tiny houses. They say that people become blinded by the inexpensive lifestyle—when in truth, they will still need to spend a considerable amount of money before tasting that financial freedom. 

6. Inevitable isolation.

You’re a human, not an island—you don’t always have to deal with things by yourself all the time. However, in living in a tiny house, you might find yourself in that situation frequently. 

It might be challenging for you to find your tribe, a.k.a. people who also live in tiny houses. Why? Well, for one, some states are just beginning to build tiny house villages and communities, which means only a few of them exist in a state. 

Another barrier is parking spots. In the U.S., it’s already hard for large vehicles like trucks to find a decent parking area. Imagine finding spots for a whole house on wheels! 

Besides that, some parking spots will also cost you $300 to $600 every month. Nevertheless, it’s still way cheaper than apartment rent, which could go as high as $1216.

The point here is you will jump through several hoops before you settle in a place where you can be around like-minded individuals. Therefore, isolation, when you’re living in a tiny house, is inevitable. 

Being human beings, we need socializing as it affects our overall health. Even the quality and the number of our social relationships are factors in the longevity of our lives. It has also been proven that socializing has a positive effect on relieving work stress

For those reasons, it’s understandable why critics don’t like tiny houses. People may benefit from the low cost of living in one, but some are not really mentally equipped to handle the drawbacks that come with it—one of them being isolation.  

7. Poor-performing resale value.

why critics don't like tiny houses - resale value of tiny houses are poor
Tiny house lose their value pretty quick.

You might want to think twice if you’re buying a tiny house as an investment. Tiny houses, especially those on wheels, don’t do well in the resale value department. 

There are many reasons for this. First of all, tiny houses don’t maintain almost all the critical factors that boost resale value.

Location, usable space, age, and condition—most tiny houses just can’t compete with regular houses when it comes to those. You have to deal with the irregularity and unavailability of tiny house communities, plus the constant maintaining and upgrading of the house.

The market of tiny house buyers is also not that big and active. Remember the legal hoops you have to jump through to own and live in a tiny house? Yes, that also discourages people from buying into this trend. 

This is why critics don’t give this movement a chance, especially those who are long-term thinkers. 

8. Sanitation issues. 

Let’s talk about what most of you are really curious about… How does sanitation work in tiny houses? Do tiny houses have toilets? Where does the waste go? The questions can go on and on. 

Critics specifically scrutinize sanitation in tiny houses. It’s understandable, though—a tiny space that’s not well-maintained will easily become a breeding ground for bacteria. 

Moreover, apparently, the waste can be an issue to the local waste and sewage authorities, since the homeowners often use composting toilets. 

It can also be challenging for plumbing professionals to install a waste system that has different specs than the average toilet, but it still has to cater to the local building code.

Tiny houses do have bathrooms with functioning toilets and showers. The toilets, in particular, are specially designed for tiny houses on foundations and for RVs. 

For example, the water-only toilet is hooked up to a sewer permanently, so you can flush the waste and urine using water only. Meanwhile, a power-only toilet disposes of waste in trash, which will be picked up. 

RVs can also have toilets that use both water and power to dispose of waste, which will then go into black water tanks. 

As for the smell, the key is proper ventilation to induce proper indoor airflow—just like in regular-sized houses.

The myth of poor sanitation with tiny houses does not ring true all the time. It all depends on the owner. So, the critics don’t get a point on this one, even though their concern is valid. 

9. There are many fakes in the industry. 

woodworkers building a tiny house
You have to hire the legit builders and craftsmen even though you’re building a tiny house.

Even builders and suppliers of tiny house models and plans have weighed in on this. In every industry, there are two evils: the greater ones and the lesser ones. 

The greater ones? Those who pretend to be authorities and entice people to buy into this movement using promos and low prices. 

People who unfortunately fall for it are those who are starving for a downsized life. 

Remember, this is a living space of which they are taking advantage—a place where people stay for years. It’s simply not fair for the scammers to use this for their own benefit, without thinking about the impact on those gullible people’s lives. 

This is why even though tiny house advocates have increased in number, their critics in the government and property sectors still exist… They are still pushing against the movement. 

10. Too many legal hoops and obstacles. 

Finally, tiny houses get the disdain from critics because getting one right now is simply complicated. 

Sure, the movement is spreading around the world, but one can’t deny that buying a tiny house is still a major event in a person’s life, even though the house is tiny. 

Here’s the thing about building or even buying a regular house: it’s not that easy. Sure, you can hire a realtor or an appraiser to take care of things for you. However, it will still be a parade of exhaustion and financial setbacks. Did you know that buying a house is one of the most stressful events in life?

Now, imagine getting a property that’s not yet recognized in your state, which market is not too big yet. Indeed, the stress that comes with buying a tiny house will be, ironically, bigger.

This is why critics don’t simply have confidence in tiny houses—one has to buckle up and toughen up before they achieve that downsized, mobile life.  

More about tiny house critics 

The not-so-surprising reasons why critics don’t like tiny houses

why critics don't like tiny houses - little house on the prairie
Tiny houses still don’t attract some people because of simple reasons like space and sanitation.

Restricted common area

In a tiny house, every inch of the floor space and wall space matters. Tiny houses measure under 400 square feet; that’s why any allowance in your common area should only function for mobility and traffic. 

It will just come out as a waste if you give yourself the luxury of allocating spaces for coffee tables, throw pillows, etc. Your guests will have to understand why your common area is small. 

Not enough space for recreation

When you’re not working, what do you do? Read a book, play video games, or paint or draw—or perhaps all of these? You might have difficulty doing recreational activities in a tiny house, especially if you live with a younger kid. 

Just like what we said, the floor space in a tiny house is crucial. You might have to make many adjustments to create a nook for recreational activities. For instance, you might have to make cleanups more frequent to free up space constantly.

Complicated for throwing a party

Do you like throwing gatherings in your home? Sure, it’s not impossible in a tiny house, but it will be more challenging. It might also take more time to prepare. Just think of the waste the guests will inevitably generate and the cleanup after the party. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

However, don’t lose hope that quickly. Check out our blog post on how to throw a party at your house. We listed a few tips and some recipes.

Zoning issues

The most blaring barrier to tiny house living is zoning. If you live in a state with strict zoning regulations, it might just be easier to give up and find a better and safer alternative. 

Several states in the U.S. allow tiny house living, but they still have restrictions. Tiny house living is one endeavor you should only explore when you’re ready, and you are financially equipped.

Conclusion 

As you can see, tiny house living is not a fairy tale. Don’t get the wrong ideas about this lifestyle. It requires patience, money, and time to achieve that downsized life. 

If you are dead serious about living in a tiny house, then, by all means, start your research now. Talk to the authorities and get advice from realtors. 

You’d consult a doctor when you’re sick, right? So, it’s best to converse with property experts when you’re itching to live in a tiny house.

If you have any more questions or if you disagree with our list, let us know in the comments below. We’d like to learn from you!

Related questions 

Why is tiny house living illegal? 

Tiny houses are illegal in several states, primarily because of their building and zoning codes. They might not have modified their codes, specifically, the required legal size of a dwelling.

Besides that, tiny houses are also complicated to regulate because of their safety issues from the restricted space.

Can you live in a shed in Oregon? 

It depends on the duration and if you already built the shed in your background. If it’s temporary because your main house is under construction, and if it has comfortable amenities, then it might be okay to reside in the meantime. 

In Oregon, sheds are considered accessory non-habitable structures. However, in Central Oregon, several builders are offering prefabricated sheds. Therefore, it’s possible that you might find some way to live in a shed. You have to clarify with your town’s zoning codes though if you can put a new shed in your backyard. 

What rooms do tiny houses have?

Tiny houses can have bedrooms, kitchen space, bathroom, common area, and lofts, which you can access using a roll-up ladder. The lofts can also serve as sleeping spaces if you have a guest. 

You can also put storage boxes on the loft if you’re short on storage space. RVs or tiny houses on wheels can particularly have two bedrooms, which is one master bedroom and one sleeping area with bunk beds.

Tiny House Security: Ways to Protect Your Tiny House from Theft

Tiny House Security: Ways to Protect Your Tiny House from Theft

tiny house miniature with key
Keeping your tiny house safe and protected is as important as keeping your full-sized house secure.

Stolen tiny houses are not something new. This is because of how mobile tiny houses are that burglars can easily pick them up. The necessity to put the security of your home on top of everything is very important. 

The question is, “How do you keep your tiny home secure?” Well, this awful situation can be avoided if you are well prepared and you have the right tools with you. Remember, it is not just your stuff that you are protecting from being stolen. You are protecting the entire house as well. 

Thus, a simple door lock won’t do the trick. An additional door lock can’t even keep your trailer from getting stolen.

Here are some of the things that you can do to make your tiny house as secure and as easy to find as possible:

1. Make Your Tiny House Immovable 

If your tiny house is immovable then, sure enough, thieves can’t take it with them. Making your tiny house immovable is one great way to prevent your tiny house from getting stolen. To make your tiny house immovable, you have to remove the wheels. 

But of course, you have to secure the wheels too. You can’t just put it anywhere. If possible, lock the wheels up somewhere that isn’t just around where your tiny house is located. This is because thieves will surely look for the wheels first to where your tiny house is parked. 

If your trailers come with an adjustable coupler, then remove it. It is even better if you replace the bolts that hold it with a security bolt. There are a lot of different security bolts available in the market today.

Some are simple while others will require you to use a special keyed wrench just to remove it.  Otherwise, thieves can get around the locks by replacing the locks you have installed. 

Thieves are geniuses but not enough to bring their tires or couplers with them when doing the crime.

2. Lock Up Your Tiny House

Locking up your trailer has never been more convenient with the number of products designed for such function. There are heavy-duty chains that you can run through the walls of your tiny house. Wheel locks that look like the one that towing companies use in securing the towed vehicles are also available. Moreover, there are hitch locks that you can use to prevent the trailer from being attached to a tow vehicle. 

With such wide choices, choosing the best among them is kinda hard. Each of them claims to be effective, but do not simply rely on what they say. You have to do your very own thorough research to make sure that what you will get really works. 

Do not get blinded with their offers. It will help if you watch videos maneuvering such products and read articles about these products. This will help you get the most out of what you are paying.

selective focus of miniature tiny home with red pin and sold tag on wooden floor, Image for real-estate management concept.
Locking up your tiny house will ensure that thieves can’t easily steal your home.

3. Lock the Doors and Windows

What is good about the windows and doors of tiny houses is that they are stronger and of better quality. This is the reason why thieves can’t easily break-in into tiny houses. 

It is very essential that you secure the door of your tiny house with a high-quality door lock. For example, you can use bump proof locks for deadbolts to secure the door of your tiny house. Just be sure that you do not put anything in your door and windows that will stop you from coming out in case of an emergency. 

Securing your doors and windows with good locks are very important. After all, these are the passages where thieves can sneak in. If possible, install double locks for better security. 

Another good option is to install a keyless deadbolt. Aside from keeping your doors secure, this door locks will also make it easier for you to open the door from time to time. You no longer have to fumble around to look for the right key. And, keys can easily get lost or are even hard to use when you are in the dark. 

You can find the types of locks that you can choose from.

4. Install LED Outdoor Safety Lights

A motion-activated is an easy yet good way to prevent thieves from sneaking in. This LED lights will just light up if it detects any motion around it. 

What is good about these lights is that they are solar-powered and waterproof. This means that your electric bill won’t actually rise because of using them. Ideally, these lights should be installed in the corners of your tiny house. 

Each unit of these LED lights come with a battery and a small solar panel. The battery stores power during the day which will be used at night. 

These LED lights work by staying on a very low output level when it’s dark. Then it brightens up if its motion sensors have detected any movement. When they are turned on, the lights can still light up the way. 

LED lights are a good option not just to help you secure your tiny house but to help you see what is happening around during the night as well.

Outdoor LED lamp with motion sensor working above the door that detects movement. Safety concept.
Having motion-activated LED lights make it easier to find out if someone tries to sneak in your tiny house.

5. Have a Security System for your Tiny House 

Finding a security system that perfectly fits your tiny house is very easy nowadays. This is because of the availability of all kinds of security systems out there. A security system is very helpful most especially when you are near other households. 

But if your tiny house is located in a far-flung place, a security system won’t work as effectively as using it in a populated area. After all, a security system needs someone to hear it and respond to the emergency. But this does not mean that you can’t install security systems just because your tiny house is located in a remote area. 

Security systems will always be of help. Thieves can get uncomfortable with an alarm that just doesn’t go off. With this, they will be forced to go away. 

If your tiny house is equipped with an internet connection, you can opt for an alarm that will notify you through your phone in case someone is trying to break in. With this, you can have others check your tiny house in case you are not around. 

The downfall of these security systems is that routers don’t have a backup. So, if the burglar is genius enough to unplug your house first, then you are done. Your Internet connection will go down and you might just find out what happened to your tiny house once you see it. 

To prevent any of these awful events from happening, an alarm that uses the cellular signal to notify is a better option. Just pray that the thief is not that patient to wait for the battery of the alarm to die. 

6. Install Security Cameras 

Security cameras are very held full and are highly effective. You have two options when it comes to security cameras. You can choose a security camera that uploads videos to “the cloud” or go for a security camera that stores their video locally to a digital video recorder (DVR). 

The advantage of using a camera that locally stores that store the recorded video is that they produce a higher quality video. Also, an internet connection is not needed in order for it to work. The thing is when a thief tries to break-in, the DVR might be stolen as well which means that the recorded video would be useless to you. 

On the other hand, security cameras that require an internet connection allow you to store videos offsite. This means that the videos can’t be stolen or destroyed as well. This security camera is connected to the outside world through the internet or cellular network. But these cameras are more expensive. They will also need you to have a separate data plan for each of them. 

Generally speaking, security cameras are a better option when it comes to the protection of your tiny house. This is because they do not just simply secure your tiny house but they can show you who the burglar is.

Conclusion

Securing your tiny house is a very challenging task since it is not just your belonging that you are protecting. You are protecting the entirety of your tiny house at his. That is why it is very important that you do everything you can to secure your tiny house. 

Do everything you can to make sure that your tiny house is safe. Always remember that prevention is better than cure. It is better that you prevent your tiny house from getting stolen than looking for it once it is lost.

12 Life-Saving Tips for Living in a Tiny House with Kids

12 Life-Saving Tips for Living in a Tiny House with Kids

living-in-a-tiny-house-with-kids
Living in a tiny house with kids can be challenging but a fun experience for all of you.

Living in a tiny house has its own sets of advantages and disadvantages. But living in a tiny house with kids is a totally different story. One thing is for sure, it comes with a lot of benefits. 

One pertinent benefit of living in a tiny house with kids is that you can save money from house and utility bills. This means that you have extra bucks to spend on other things such as treating your kids to a sweet dessert. Aside from you can save money, you are also teaching your kids to be frugal and eco-friendly when you are living in a tiny house. 

But of course, living in a tiny house with kids isn’t exactly as good as it sounds. It has its drawbacks too. Normally, kids love to play around and get messy and chaotic at times.

Dealing with chaos and mess in a full-sized house is already challenging, what more in a tiny house, right? This could even make you question whether your decision to live in a ti y house with kids is right or not. 

The key to successfully living in a tiny house with kids is to plan ahead of time. Living with your kids in a tiny house could be a fun learning experience for all of you. Here are 12 real-life tips on how you can survive to live in a tiny house with kids.

1. Be Practical with Your Home Design 

Surviving living in a tiny house with kids starts with how you will design your home. It all starts with a plan that is made on the drafting board. If you want to live comfortably and happily in a tiny house with your kids, you have to choose a layout that is fitted for you and your kids. 

your home. It all starts with a plan that is made on the drafting board. If you want to live comfortably and happily in a tiny house with your kids, you have to choose a layout that is fitted for you and your kids. 

The layout and features if your tiny house should simplify your lifestyle. For example, instead of going for a smaller sink, you can choose a larger one. Why? Because most probably, your dishes will get piled up with all the responsibilities you have on your shoulder. 

Also, you could have a small bathtub installed instead of having a shower alone. Having a shower alone is space-saving but is not practical just especially when your floor is not engineered. Remember, kids, love to run around when their feet are wet. Your floor might get destroyed easily because of that. 

2. Go for a Big Porch Where Your Kids can Play and Run Around

For sure, you grew up in a full-sized house since tiny houses were invented not too long ago. This means that you have a lot of fond memories playing and running around inside the house. Just like you, kids love to play in big spaces too. 

They can’t spend a long time staying indoors, more so if they are living in a tiny house. The limited space that tiny houses offer is something that they can’t easily deal with. This is most especially true when they are very active and love to play and run. 

Due to this, having a large porch in your tiny house is a good idea. With this, your kids can have enough space that they need to have fun. Aside from having a place to play, they can also hang out and relax here. 

If your tiny house is built somewhere with a beautiful view, like near the ocean or forest, then that is even better. They would feel like they are just camping. They can have a sense of freedom even when they are just near you.

living-in-a-tiny-house-with-kids
Kids easily get bored that is why it pays off if you build your tiny house somewhere with a picturesque scene.

3. Design Your Tiny House with Expansion Mind 

If you are already in a tiny house and have plans to have more kids, you should design your homes with that thought. Make your home expandable so that you can easily make space for new family members. You can give them the space that they need so that your tiny house won’t feel too crowded. 

For example, you can have a covered patio that you can easily close and turn it into an extra room once you have another kid. With this, your kids can have their own bedroom right in your tiny house. 

Have your tiny house designed in such a way that you can make more room for adjustments as needed. In as much as possible, do not go for a confined design which will make it hard for you to have more space very soon, when changes are necessary.

4. Set Up Spaces in Your Tiny House for Kids’ Storage 

Living in a tiny house isn’t the same as living in a big suburban house. This means that most if not all of the stuff of your kids are stored in their bedroom while yours are stored somewhere in the house. But living in a tiny house doesn’t work this way. 

With the limited space that you have, you and your kids have to equally share the space. Their things will be stored I lofts around the house unlike in a traditional house where their stuff is stored in their own bedrooms. 

It is very important that you allot spaces for your kids’ staff to be more organized. This will also make it easier to find their things when they need them. And, your tiny house will look even better as well.

Keep in mind that your space is very limited which makes it necessary for you to be creative in maximizing the available spaces that you have for your kids. In as much as possible, do not allow even just an inch of space to be wasted. Get the most out of what your tiny house has to offer. 

living-in-a-tiny-house-with-kids
Space storage for your kids’ stuff is very important to keep your tiny house clutter-free and organized.

5. Set Aside Spaces for Private Time

Living in a tiny house doesn’t mean that you can’t have your own private time. That’s not the way it goes. Tiny houses don’t take away privacy from you. 

Achieving privacy in a tiny house is very difficult but is possible. Privacy is important not just to you but to your kids as well most especially when you are living with a teenager. So make sure that you provide them the private space that they need. 

To do so, you could have a wall dividers. But if you are rubbing out of budget, a thick curtain to cover the space will do. TheSpaceesn’t have to be big. What matters most is that they can have their own private space where no one is watching over them almost all the time. 

Having a private space in a tiny house is really challenging. Like how can you even have that with such limited space? Well, creativity and resourcefulness is the key.

6. At Some Point, Plan to Build Your Tiny House for your Teens

Your kids won’t kids won’t stay kids forever. They will eventually grow up and become teens. This means that the comfort they are feeling right now of having you around even when they are sleeping won’t be the same soon. 

Most probably, they will crave to have their own personal space soon. They will look for autonomy and would like to try to be on their own. With this, considering such changes is very necessary when planning to build your tiny house. 

A good way to give them what they want is to let them build and design their own tiny house. Doing so gives them the opportunity to do whatever they want in their tiny house while they are gaining construction skills along the way. This will also teach them to become more sufficient. And you are helping them to become financially free from paying the mortgage and all very soon. 

This is indeed a good idea for your child to have more freedom and autonomy over their life. Plus, this will teach them to be more responsible for their decisions. 

7. Give Kids a “Hideaway”

What does giving kids a hideaway mean? Well, there are times that a nook isn’t enough to give your kids the privacy that they need. Sometimes, what they need is a hideaway where they can be free.

Perhaps, you can build a Kid Cave for them to give them complete privacy. You can build it underneath their bed where your child fits. For your kid to have fun, you can also add fun games and activities that they can do while they are there. 

In making their hideaway, make sure that they are comfortable and that they are safe. Their safety is very important. You should always consider it when making their own private space. 

living-in-a-tiny-house-with-kids
Building your tiny house with kids in mind is a very important step in preparing towards the tiny house lifestyle.

8. Put Away Project Materials at the End of the Day

The living room of your tiny house can be very messy when you or your child is working on something. If you are living in a full-sized house, you can just leave it when you can’t finish it within the day. You can just store them in the garage, basement, or in the bedroom. 

But since you are living in a tiny house, doing so is not allowed. Not unless you want to live in a total mess. With tiny houses, you do not have the luxury of enough space. 

Left out projects will accumulate clutter rapidly. In no time, this could get all the spaces that you have to relax, eat, and do other activities. So, the best thing to do is to have a separate space where you can do projects. The space could also serve as storage for u finished projects and project supplies. 

It is very important that you put away any material that you have used during the day. This will make your space clutter-free and more organized.

9. Use a Storage Shed for Toys 

Kids love toys that they collect a lot of them. But their toys can easily add up to a lot of clutter. This makes it necessary for you to do something to ensure that your tiny house will still look organized and clutter-free. 

In as much as you want to keep away the toys of your kids away, it would be impossible to do so. This is especially true when your kids are very attached to their toys. So, your best option is to build a storage shed at the back of your tiny house. If building a shed is impossible, then your next best choice is to rent a shed nearby. What is important is that your kids can easily access their toys and your tiny house is not chaotic. 

Your tiny house has very limited space. The toys of your kids will eat up much of this space if you do not put them somewhere else. So, in as much as possible, keep them away inside of your tiny house. 

10. Carefully Weigh the Pros and Cons of Homeschool

Another important thing that you have to consider is whether you are going to homeschool your kids or not. Many tiny homeowners choose to homeschool their kids due to their lifestyle. Homeschooling their kids gives them the freedom to move from one place to another or to live off the grid. 

But the thing is, homeschooling the kids takes away their chance to mingle and learn from their peers. They are not given the chance to experience the school setting. Moreover, their kids are only given limited means to develop their social well being. 

There is no such thing as right or wrong when deciding whether you will homeschool your child or not. It differs from one family to another. Homeschooling might be the best option for your child. But what is best for you isn’t exactly the same for others. The point is, do what you think is better and more convenient for you and your child.

living-in-a-tiny-house-with-kids
Homeschooling a kid when you are living in a tiny house has its own set of good and bad.

11. Go for Convertible Spaces

Living in a tiny house with kids means that you have to create multifunctional areas to maximize everything. Like for example, the bed takes up a lot of space in your tiny house. And if you make it convertible, then basically you are saving space and money at the same time. 

When it comes to sleeping space and beddings for your kids, always choose designs that are multi-functional. You can find a lot of these multifunctional designs in apartments. These designs work great when adapted to tiny houses. 

In as much as possible, choose a design that serves multiple functions. Instead of going for a large bed, why not choose a sofa bed instead? This way, you have something to sit during the day and your kids can sleep there at night. Be creative in discovering what you can do to make every space useful in your ting house. 

12. Focus on Quality Over Quantity 

When living in a tiny house with kids, it is better that you buy high-quality stuff. Go for stuff that doesn’t easily get destroyed. This is because your kids will surely move and play around. 

With the limited space that you have, your kids could easily mess up and break your stuff. With this, you will have to bug another from time to time. And, that is more expensive than you think. 

If you think you have saved from buying cheaper things, then you are certainly wrong. High-quality materials last longer while cheaper materials easily get destroyed. And you might not notice it, but you actually have spent more on buying every time certain stuff is destroyed.

Get more ideas here.

Conclusion:

 Living in a tiny house is very challenging but is possible. You can make it work as long as you are prepared and you certainly know what to do. If you have been planning to live in a tiny house but is holding off because of your kids, then think again. 

Having kids around isn’t exactly a problem. Your kids will adapt just fine in no time. So, go and live the tiny house lifestyle now. 

Related Questions:

Is it okay to live in a tiny house with kids?

Yes, it is certainly okay to live in a tiny house with kids. There is no such law that prohibits you from living in a tiny house with kids. But of course, you have to be responsible for ensuring that your kids are safe. Besides, raising a kid in a tiny house is less expensive. 

What is the best thing to do when living in a tiny house with kids?

The best thing to do is to make our tiny house child-friendly. This is possible by baby-proofing your house. It is also very important that you keep away sharp and harmful materials. And if possible, do not leave your kid unattended. 

Can kids still have fun even when they are living in a tiny house?

Yes, they can still have fun even when they are living in a tiny house. After all, happiness doesn’t rely on how big or small the house is. But of course, it pays if you exert extra effort for your kids to have fun. You can give them a space where they can play.

How to live big in a tiny living space: The best ideas and hacks

How to live big in a tiny living space: The best ideas and hacks

The Tiny House Movement, like its name, can often leave a person feeling small. Do you feel the same? Well, you need to find ways to live big in a tiny living space. 

In your downsized living journey, feeling inadequate is typical; but you shouldn’t have to stay that way forever. 

In this post, we listed a few hacks on how to live big in a tiny living space.

Live big in a tiny living space: What does it mean?

To “live big in a tiny living space” means residing comfortably and living your best life in a small home. Just because you’re living in a tiny house doesn’t mean you should prevent yourself from tasting the good life. 

Now, that might confuse others. The purpose of living in a tiny house is to downsize and sustain a minimalist lifestyle, right? 

Well, that’s true. However, being human, you need your own space to nurture your creativity. That space, of course, is usually your house, where you feel the most comfortable.   

As a result of feeling comfortable, you’re more eager to let loose, make mistakes— thus resulting in you generating the best ideas. Heck, living in a tiny house might even make your imagination run even wilder.

That’s why to “live big in a tiny living space” is essential. It lets you enjoy life and nurture your creativity even in a small area. 

So, how do you actually live big in a tiny living space? 

In life, you have to be pragmatic to achieve pleasure. You have to work hard in order to play hard. If you want to live big in a tiny living space, then be prepared to make adjustments mainly in the following: 

  • Your tiny house
  • Habits
  • Lifestyle

Nevertheless, don’t think about changing your whole personality in a snap just to live big in a tiny living space. To know what we’re talking about, you can take the popular YouTube channel, Living Big in a Tiny House, for example.

As you can observe from their videos, different individuals with various jobs and personalities manage to live in a tiny house happily. They achieved to live big in a tiny house because they made adjustments and perhaps sacrifices. 

Below, we provided some ideas and hacks on how you can live big in a tiny house. 

Live big in a tiny living space: Ideas and hacks

1. Don’t balance light and dark.

live big in a tiny living space - tiny house interior with brown and white hues
Don’t put too many dark objects inside your tiny house.

You want to start creating a spacious look to live largely in a tiny living space. Investing lighter hues in your walls and furniture is a good jumping start. 

Don’t meet halfway when it comes to lighter and deeper hues in your tiny home. Use your dark accessories and furniture pieces sparingly. 

As for your walls and even your ceilings, off-white, stark white, and light taupe paint is a good idea. You can start contrasting those colors with their deeper versions. Finally, top it all off with a few pieces of dark-hued furniture and accessories

2. Create a reading nook. 

To live big in a tiny house, you must nurture your alone time; therefore, you must dedicate a space as your personal reading nook, no matter how small you think your space is. Here’s how to do it. 

  1. Choose a corner in your loft or bedroom with good lighting and ventilation. 
  2. Find a good chair—something on which you can relax for an hour or two. 
  3. Make it a comfortable space. Put throw pillows, a light blanket, and a small coffee table with storage under it. 
  4. Do your best to seclude the area or, at least, the chair from the other sections of the bedroom or the loft.
  5. Use a stack of boxes to conceal your nook, but not too much that it overshadows the natural light. 

3. Hook ‘em on the wall. 

;ive big in a tiny living space - mounted kitchen utensils and pans on hooks
Hooks should be staples in every tiny house!

Have you ever heard about using the power of hooks? Many homeowners swear by hooks in saving space in their tiny homes. They’re great because not only are they durable but they also stick to anywhere, literally—plastic, metal, wood, glass, or tiles surfaces. 

Want to be smart in living small? Follow these tips in using hooks:

  • Repurpose your main door into storage by hanging a bag with similar-sized pockets for brushes, dog-leashes, screws, and other knick-knacks. 
  • Stick a hook to your baking ingredients container and hang your measuring cups on them. 
  • Drill holes in your plant and herb pots and hang them on the hooks. 
  • Stick two hooks and hang caddies on your kitchen or bathroom. You can now store your spices, beauty products, and bath products. 
  • Got drawers and open storage boxes? Stick three hooks on the inside walls and hang whatever you need to. 

4. Invest in mirrors. 

This one’s pretty obvious already, right? Mirrors instantly widen an area in a small house, but how about in a tiny house under 400 square meter? 

The key is setting aside a premium space only for mirrors. If the goal is to make an illusion of spaciousness, then it wouldn’t be a waste of wall space, right? 

So, strategically place your mirrors in places where a lot of natural light hits the wall. If you have an empty wall space adjacent to windows, then you can place them there. 

Oh, and we suggest using wall mirrors instead of standing mirrors to save more floor space.

5. Buy pegboards. 

White pegboard with a pouch and cacti
You can do hundreds of creative and organizational activities with pegboards.

Pegboards are rectangular pieces of wood or metal with a uniform row of holes. The best thing about pegboards is they are like Google Spreadsheets—you can customize them to your heart’s content. And that is why they should be a permanent staple in your tiny house!

Almost anything is possible to store using pegboards. Here’s how to use them. 

  • Place them above your kitchen sink. Stick caddies for your spices and dishwashing liquid. Hang a small towel rack as well.
  • Use the space above your bed by placing a pegboard. You can hang caddies for your phone chargers, books, and even lamps. 
  • You can also use a pegboard for your art. Bond with your kids by stitching colorful threads on a plain pegboard. 
  • Do you feel like the sunlight hitting on your tiny house’s outside walls is being put to waste? Just stick a pegboard and place your succulents and cacti. That sunlight will never go to waste again. 
  • If you have kids, you can use a pegboard to hang their artwork, art materials, and achievements. Meanwhile, if you live alone, you can hang pictures, printed photos of inspirational quotes, and more. You can make magical places of inspiration using pegboards!

6. Schedule a monthly storage cleanup. 

We know, this is not easy to do… With a busy schedule, a hectic work routine, you can’t possibly follow a by-monthly cleanup six months in a row. 

However, just like with achieving big goals, you can win by starting small! You have plenty of storage and shelves in your tiny house, right? 

Don’t do an entire cleanup of all your storage spaces. Start with your kitchen. Separate the things you stored into two categories:

1 – Those you’ve been storing for quite some time but didn’t really get to use

2 – Those you can see yourself using in the long run 

Ditch those items in number 1 and keep those things you placed under number 2. Next month, you can proceed to purge your bedroom’s storage spaces. 

7. KonMari your life. 

organized clothes and potted flowers on shelves
Celebrate tidying up and getting peace of mind in your tiny house.

As a downsizing enthusiast, you probably heard about Marie Kondo by now… or at least you have an inkling about her and her KonMari method. 

Why should you try practicing it in your tiny house? Well, the most unique aspect of the KonMari method is tidying up by category and not by location. This makes tidying not only just a chore but also a healing process for the people involved. 

The method requires the user to tidy these five categories but not necessarily in order: 

  1. Clothes
  2. Miscellaneous items
  3. Books 
  4. Paper
  5. Sentimental items 

As you can see, there’s a category called sentimental items. In a tiny house, space is highly crucial, so you can’t allow yourself to be too attached to multiple sentimental items. 

That’s why we suggest you follow the KonMari process. It’s empathetic and unique, which is refreshing for people who constantly tidy up their small spaces. 

8. Practice the art of Wabi-Sabi. 

Okay, enough about tidying. How about preserving? 

If KonMari celebrates bidding farewell to essential and non-essential things, then practicing Wabi-Sabi will help you make peace of living without the most unnecessary thing of it all—perfection. 

Wabi-Sabi is the ancient Japanese philosophy of appreciating life’s flaws and mistakes. It is a worldview that accepts and celebrates imperfection. 

If you live in a tiny house, practicing wabi-sabi will be a great foundation. It will help you fully embrace the downsized life. 

How? As human beings, we tend to desire stuff and believe that owning them can make us feel great… but we all know that’s not what happens, right? Or it could be that you felt that temporary high after owning that pair of shoes, but after a few days, you didn’t seem to feel that great anymore. 

If you practice wabi-sabi, you will feel okay, or even satisfied with not owning many things. As a result, you might not even get to the point where you need to do a monthly storage cleanup—because it’s not your thing to keep things that are not essential! 

Practicing wabi-sabi will make you feel grateful that you are living the downsized life.

9. Be smart with your windows. 

Live big in a tiny living space: a cozy young guy looking out the window
Windows are “your eyes” to the soulful, beautiful views outside.

You might not have realized it yet, but windows are a big deal in tiny houses. 

In a tiny house or an RV, wall space is crucial; therefore, your windows’ placements must be worth the space they are occupying. Particularly, your windows’ positions should allow for a cross-breeze, which provides optimal ventilation. 

Moreover, don’t hesitate to open your windows during the day if it’s not raining. Let the natural air in. Besides improving the indoor airflow, the sunlight will also energize you more if you’re feeling lethargic. 

To keep on getting those benefits in your tiny house, follow these tips about taking care of your windows:

  • Make them moisture-resistant by applying a sealant. We recommend choosing vinyl windows if you haven’t built your tiny house yet. 
  • Add panes to your window if you’re traveling in cold places—make your windows triple-pane. 
  • Attach shutters or use tempered glass if you’re always on the road.  

Being clever with your windows will make a big impact on your living in ways you never thought it could. 

10. Go for solar. 

Finally, we arrive at sustainability. What better way to live largely by cutting even more dollars from your utility expenses? 

Even if your tiny house has a foundation, we suggest you get solar panels. 

The benefits of installing solar panels on your roof are independence, more after-tax budget, and extra cash. 

You become more independent by generating your own electricity, which means you’ll be learning more about sustainable energy along the way. Through this, you might find or even innovate ways to recreate clean energy. 

By saving a huge percent on your electricity bills, you can spend those extra dollars on recreation, learning, and even charity instead. More after-tax money means you can allocate more to other important things as well. 

Finally, you can even gain extra dollars by selling back your generated electricity to the grid. It will also offset your average energy consumption. As for the rates, it depends on where you live. 

Will doing it make you a bit richer? Nah. Doing this might not make you wealthy, but it can already help you save for the rainy day. 

Now, THAT is how you live big in a tiny house.

Final thoughts 

Well, what did we say? We listed the pragmatic things you could do to achieve a pleasurable life even if you’re residing in a tiny house. 

As you can see, it’s not that hard to live big in a tiny living space. Don’t limit yourself just because your home’s size is not gigantic. 

Remember: you can live big by starting with small steps. Just follow our effective tips above. 

Related questions 

How big is the Tiny House Movement? 

The Tiny House Movement is not only popular in the U.S. but also in other developed countries—Japan, Germany, Britain, New Zealand, Australia, France, and Spain. People from all walks of life have started downsizing to achieve financial freedom. Some states in the U.S. are starting to be more lenient with this movement, while others are still hesitant in giving this movement a chance. 

What is the biggest tiny house?

The typical tiny house measures under 400 square feet, but the biggest tiny house you can build is 4 meters tall and 2.6 meters wide. However, some tiny house enthusiasts say you can go beyond that if you’re building an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). ADUs don’t have wheels, while Tiny House on Wheels (THOWs) are basically RVs, so you’re limited to their prefab size.

RVs and ADUs: Which one would suit you best?

RVs and ADUs: Which one would suit you best?

RVs and ADUs have become more in demand, as everybody is downsizing these days. From their eating habits and their clothing to their houses—people are craving more for something less in their lives. 

But how do you know which of those two is suitable for you? You must carefully consider this. Just because you’re pining for smaller dwellings doesn’t mean the consequences for the wrong choice is also tiny. 

In this blog post, we explained the differences between Recreational Vehicles (RVs) and Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). We also listed the things you should consider when shopping for an RV or an ADU, so you can make a better-informed buying choice.

RVs and ADUs: What are the differences?

two white RVs on the mountains
RVs and ADUs: Which of them is right for you?

First, let’s make it clear. Recreational Vehicles (RVs) have wheels, but Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) don’t. A property has to be built on a foundation to be legally considered an ADU. 

RVs are also known as tiny houses on wheels, while tiny houses on foundations may be considered as ADUs given they meet the required minimum size. That size varies in every state. 

RVs are not considered ADUs because they have added safety risks due to being mobile. As a result, they are more difficult to regulate. For instance, the city of Boise, Idaho, prohibits tiny houses on wheels (THOWs) from being recognized as ADUs. They consider THOWs as RVs and vice versa. 

ADUs can be any small structure that is a standalone unit. It can also be a former attic or garage that you remodelled, which has its own living space, bathroom, and kitchen. It can also be an added room to an already existing residential house. 

The term ADU also includes structures like casitas, cottages, granny flats, and in-law suites. RVs also have many types, including truck campers, travel trailers, toy haulers, and more, which we discussed in the later sections. 

Choosing between RVs and ADUs: Things to consider

In the later sections, we discussed the different types of RVs and ADUs. However, below, we’ll give you a rundown of the important things to consider when choosing between RVs and ADUs. 

Purpose of buying/building

cute small white house on green grass
For whom or for what are you building this property?

It’s easy to make a choice when you’re clear about your purpose of buying an RV or an ADU. And when we said clear, we meant laser-focus clear. 

For instance, ask questions like: Are you having a family member come over and/or live beside you? Are you financially equipped to tour entire North America? 

If you want to care for your aging in-laws or elderly relatives, then an ADU will be your choice. If you already set aside a budget for travel-by-land expenses, RVs will easily fit your lifestyle. 

Don’t just plan to buy an RV or build an ADU “in case” you might need them in the future.  This is a property, mister/miss—you’re still going to spend a huge amount on these. As a result, your purpose should be clear, urgent, and sure.  

Features and amenities

ADUs can have a similar amount of amenities in a regular house. The only difference is theirs are smaller versions of their amenities.

For example, an ADU like a Granny Flat can have two bedrooms, a toilet and bath, a kitchen, a living area, a porch, and even a garage. You will not get these together with an RV. If you want to live with accessible amenities, then your best choice might be an ADU. 

Although, some RVs have bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen, and a common area. For instance, these travel trailers, such as the Forest River Wildwood, can let up to four people sleep, with each trailer having two to three beds.

Bigger RVs like Fifth-Wheel trailers and Travel Trailers can give ADUs a run for their money when it comes to space. However, if space, especially outdoor space for amenities, is crucial to you, we suggest building an ADU. 

Resale value

RVs and ADUs - resale value
How will this property fare in the future?

If your goal is to live a sustainable life, then you should mull over for a while. Think about a property’s resale value. 

RVs are terrible at holding their value, especially those poorly designed ones and, interestingly, the luxurious, high-end RVs. Although, if an RV is well-designed and well-maintained, it will fare well in the resale value department. 

If you don’t want something that loses its resale value in a wink, maybe an RV is not for you. 

On the other hand, since ADUs are often built separately but nearby the main house, the original property value will increase. Your original PV will increase a good half of its value at 51%

That’s why if you prefer developing your property for a tasty resale in the future, building an ADU is a good idea. 

Budget 

We’re going to give it to you straight. Both are going to be expensive! 

ADUs are basically second houses. It will still require building permits, foundation, structure, electricity, and other essential appliances you need in a regular house. 

Also, other construction fees like the System Development Charges (SDC) may apply to your project, especially if you live in Portland, Oregon. SDC is a one-time payment that will cover sewer and water fees. 

So, it wouldn’t be surprising if your expenses will almost cost you similarly to building a regular house.

RVs, meanwhile, besides their retail price, will have you spending on travel costs and vehicle maintenance fees once you’re out of the car’s warranty. 

When choosing between RVs and ADUs, make sure your budget can compensate for the hidden costs as well. 

Speed of construction 

extended porch, white RV
If you’re in a hurry to travel by land, an RV might suit you better.

This one’s easy, right? RVs are the way to go if you want something immediate. 

You just scour the internet for the best RV deals there is and you’ll find a page or two in a jiffy. If you like customization, you can even design your own RV in RV Wholesalers.

There are even tiny house kits you can use to build your own tiny house. The company will just ship the parts to you. and you can start hammering the nails. Just make sure you have a legal residential lot, first!

Meanwhile, ADUs are generally known to take longer, even if you’re building on the same lot—they often take a year and a half to build. According to Santa Cruz Green Builders, a standalone ADU will take seven months to complete. Converted garages will be faster. 

However, don’t lose hope. There are prefabricated ADUs these days. Prefab ADUs start at $50,000 and can cost as much as $120,000. 

Since they are already pre-built in the factory, they will take a lot shorter to complete. All you need to do is assemble and build it. You can even save a huge deal if you build it yourself.  

Mobility 

This is an easy one, right? If you want a mobile house, go for an RV. ADUs are stuck in your main property’s lot. So, in case you have no plans of moving to another place, ADUs should suit you. 

RVs are for people who don’t like having a permanent address. It’s also suited for people who are financially and emotionally equipped to deal with the legalities of owning a recreational vehicle. 

Living in a mobile house brings many challenges, one of them being the weather. If you’re prepared to weather-proof your RV, then great. Environmental elements will eventually scar your RV, making you spend on maintenance costs. 

Sustainability

a large red house and one small brown house
You can’t invest in a property without looking at its sustainability.

What is sustainability, anyway? It’s the capacity to maintain a property at a steady rate. 

If you want a sustainable property, then all you have to do is to… Go green!

Regardless of whether you own an ADU or an RV, maintenance costs will pile up together with your other expenses. That’s why you should take matters in your own hands before the construction begins or before you buy a prefab ADU. 

Make sure you’re working on an energy-efficient property. Consider solar panels, well-designed ventilation, environmentally-friendly construction materials and sealants, and more. 

Any ADU or RV can be energy-efficient as long as you take the time and effort in making sure it does become that way.

More about RVs and ADUs

Are ADUs expensive to build? 

RVs and ADUs - small white house
ADUs can be as expensive as a regular house.

It depends on the kind of ADU you’re trying to build. However, they are pricey to build and maintain, in general. Standalone ADUs, for example, can cost homeowners up to $400,000. You also have to pay for permit/s. Your property tax will also increase, especially if you’re making it for rent. Meanwhile, yearly maintenance costs can start at 1% of the property value. 

Types of ADUs

Casitas

Casita, in Spanish, means “tiny house”, which makes them more than qualified to be called ADU. It’s often separately built with a bigger, single-family house. In the US Southwest, you can see plenty of casitas. In fact, many realtors offer properties with ready-made casitas because of their popularity. 

Cottages

If casitas are “tiny houses,” then cottages are their more “chill” version. You can find cottages beside lakes or on seashores. They are typically more open, so the breeze can come in. However, cottages can also come in two-story forms, even having bathrooms, dirty kitchens, and bedrooms. 

Granny flats

Granny flats, like Casitas, are structures built in one lot together with the main house. Although, granny flats have more amenities and features compared to Casitas. You can say granny flats are smaller and slimmer versions of the main house.

In-law suites

Also known as “mother-in-law suites”, these structures are typically made for a family’s in-laws or/and grandparents. They are either attached to the main house or built separately on the same lot. Like granny flats, the elderly commonly live in these structures.

Guesthouse

Guesthouses are secondary housing units meant for friends and families who want to stay temporarily. The guesthouse’s difference with the previous structures is that the amenities are meant for temporary use. They could be adjusted to be viable for permanent living, of course. 

Are RVs pricey to build?

three white RVs, parked in the mountains with pillows and blankets on the ground.
RVs have the ability to drill a hole in your pocket as well. But is it worth it in the long run?

Just like an ADU, an RV is also expensive to build and own. Buying one alone can cost you up to $300,000. However, the overall cost can depend on the features, materials, type of RV, and your state’s imposed sales tax (if you’re buying one). 

So, some types can cost cheaper than others because of their design and amenities. In choosing an RV, you also have to consider the tax laws in the state in which you’re planning to register your RV.

Types of RV trailers

Classic travel trailers

These RVs stay faithful to their name. Travel trailers are not complicated to set up in camping grounds. You can also park most travel trailers in campsites. So, if you’re the type to move around a lot and camp with your friends, the travel trailer is a worthy investment. 

Truck campers

If you want a reliable RV with incredible towing power, you should start looking for truck campers. You can cook, do number 1 and number 2, and sleep on a truck camper. However, we don’t recommend bringing a lot of stuff since most truck campers have limited storage. 

Fifth-wheel trailers

If you see yourself living in an RV for a long time, this is your choice. It’s more spacious and has more storage area. It’s easily recognizable for its elevated frontal part, which gives the illusion of two floors. You can even set up an outdoor kitchen area with this. 

Toy haulers

This RV is more suitable for business use, especially if your business involves towing motorcycles and smaller cars like golf carts. It has a big rear opening and a ramp. Since they can also serve as fifth-wheel trailers, they become heavier once they carry another motor vehicle. 

Pop-up trailers

Pop-up trailers are soft-sided small and cheap trailers. Soft-sided means their sidewalls are made of cloth or plastic. Although, some sellers are already making pop-up trailers with hard sides or frames. Pop-up trailers are usually for temporary use since they don’t have enough space for storage and essential facilities like a bathroom. 

Hybrid trailers

Hybrids are a mix of pop-ups and travel trailers. They are still lightweight like a pop-up, but they have more space like a travel trailer. It also comes with a small bathroom, a canvass, and a kitchen. You can’t park it in your garage because of its bigger size, but it can sit comfortably in a camping site.

The bottom line

In choosing between RVs and ADUs, you will go through many considerations. You might even give up and slide back to looking for regular homes. 

However, you must not falter because the truth is there is no perfect RV or ADU. 

As long as either of these two dwellings meets your needs, keeps you safe, and enriches your life, then you are free to choose one. Your choice won’t lead you to a doomed life. 

Regardless, just keep learning and watching out for regulations, so you can live a healthy and sustainable downsized life. 

Related questions

Should I buy a travel trailer? 

If you’re a single person who lives an “on-the-go” lifestyle, and if you see yourself in the future sustaining it, then, by all means, consider buying one. However, if you see yourself settling with a family, please reconsider. Raising a kid in a travel trailer poses many challenges. We don’t recommend it unless you are emotionally and financially prepared.

How long do RVs last?

Similar to other vehicles (or house-vehicle hybrid), RVs will last up to two decades or fifteen years if you work hard to maintain them. If you skip service schedules, it might only last a decade or even less. You can also drive an RV up to more than 250,000 miles if you take good care of it. So, remember to do preventative care on your RV, especially if you travel around a lot or/and live with your family in it.