Category: Tiny House Movement

What are the Different Types of Tiny House Trailers?

What are the Different Types of Tiny House Trailers?

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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 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.

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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

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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.

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.

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

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

Woman holding tiny wooden house
As beautiful as it sounds, adjusting to the tiny house lifestyle could be easy as long as you are well prepared.

In most cases, the decision to move into a tiny house is due to financial reasons. Nowadays, the cost of housing keeps on rising. It has become unaffordable to everyone most especially to those who are earning limited income. But with tiny houses, the cost of living is drastically reduced. 

And while money matters keep most things rolling, there will be times that the process of owning a tiny house will become more personal. The focus will drift to the challenges of how you and your family will make it living in a tiny house. How will you start living in a tiny house then?

At first, you will find yourself lost in the middle of nowhere. But eventually, you’ll find the track soon. You might find the transition hard since you’ve been living differently before but in no time, things will get better. 

Living in a tiny house will make you scrutinize the things you own and how you spend your time. This means that you have to thoroughly go through the possessions you have collected and the habits you have developed throughout the years. 

Here are some things that will help you adjust to your tiny house lifestyle. 

Preparation Tips

1. Go Spend Time in a Tiny Space

Obviously, you just can buy or build a tiny house without looking for one that is already built and complete. Ideally, you should not just take a look at it but you should take your time staying in it. 

The tiny house lifestyle is not one size fits all. It is not for everyone. So, it is best for you to spend your time living in one to get the vibe and find out if it works for you. 

Spending your time in a tiny house first before having your own is much better. This will save you from wasting your time and money into something that is not fitted for you. Also, this will give you a grasp of how living in a tiny house is. 

If you are wondering where you can find a tiny house where you can stay for a few days, you can easily find one online. Just make sure that you are booking with a legit owner. Perhaps, this is one of the best ideas to give you a glimpse of how your life will be once you live in a tiny house. 

2. Determine What’s Really Important in Life

If you already have decided to live in a tiny house then it’s high time to start figuring out your wants and needs in life. Tiny houses are around 400 to 500 square feet only. This means that your space is very limited. 

This also means that you have to let go of some if not most of the stuff that you have. This includes the things that you are not actually using that have been piled up in your cabinet. 

You will find yourself choosing between wants and needs. But of course, since you will be living in a tiny house, your needs should be your priority. Having your wants means less space for you. 

Which of the things that you have are you willing to let go? Answering this is very hard most especially when you are sentimental. But you have to go through this process when you want to live in a tiny house. 

Determine the ones that really matter, the ones that are important, the ones that you really and set aside the things that you don’t actually need. Practice living the minimalist lifestyle because you’ll be living with it as long as you are staying in a tiny house. You have to keep things as minimal as possible for lesser clutter and to make your tiny house look better as well.

Tiny house with porch
Living in a tiny house is a big step that is not easy to take when you are not prepared.

3. Start Getting Rid of Your Stuff

Most probably, decluttering is one of the hardest preparations for living in a tiny house. Letting go of your stuff, even just the ‘junk’, is not as easy as it sounds. But believe us, it feels good to let go of the things that you have accumulated through the years – the ones that you are not using and just displayed there. 

Just the mere fact of taking out the clothes you are not using is hard. But this will give you satisfaction. It will make you rejoice for how far you’ve come due to your tiny house living plans. 

If you are already living in a tiny house lifestyle, you are already used to being a minimalist. If it is your first time, you’ll have a head time, but don’t worry, you’ll get there. 

You might find your closet lacking before but actually, you have more than what is needed when living in a tiny house. All this time, you are living with too much stuff because you believed that you needed them when in reality, you don’t. 

You thought that it makes your house look more beautiful, but it just made it look cluttered. You are so used to every single thing that is placed inside your house that letting go of any of them is difficult. But that is how it goes. You have decided to live in a tiny house, so bear with it. 

No-fuss. Living in a tiny house could be one of your best decisions ever. Your stuff might mean something to you, but you don’t have to dwell on them forever. Besides, it will just make your tiny house small.

So, go. Pack the things that you need and let go of the things that you don’t need. You won’t regret it, promise. The results will make you thank yourself for doing it.

4. Learn to Ignore the Critics

Critics won’t just go anywhere. They will always be there. They will always have a say on everything you do. So, ignore them. 

Most probably, they will have something to say again with your decision to live in a tiny house. They will get every single chance that they have to question your decision to live in a tiny house. Do not let them change your plans. In simpler terms, do not listen to them. 

Do not let them decide for you. You, for sure, know what you want. Go for it. 

Instead of listening to their nonsense opinion, listen to people who support you with your decision. Be with the people who share the same interest as you. The ones who know how the tiny house lifestyle is. 

At this point, negative vibes are not welcome. As always, stay on the positive side. Let’s face it. Deciding to live in a tiny house is scary, but is not as scary as letting others decide for you. 

5. Stop Being a Crazed Consumer

Nowadays, living in a big space feels like a must and owning a lot of stuff is a need. But realistically speaking, living in a big space with a lot of stuff depends on how responsible you are in maintaining them. 

The society today is very consumerist. You believed that you have to buy more and more to be happy and satisfied. You believed that you need to own a lot of stuff to be on top. 

It is very important that you stop this lifestyle and do not fall for this notion again once you live in a tiny house. Admit it, you are as guilty as us when it comes to us. But it is time to change that lifestyle and start being a minimalist. 

Their offer might sound good but that’s how it really is. Marketing is their forte, always remember that. You don’t actually need the latest and most innovative products to keep you living. They are not the air that you breathe or the food that you eat. 

Stop being a crazed customer. Start purchasing the ones that are just really needed. You don’t have to live with the hype.

Mobile tiny house interior. Great for outdoor experiences and wildlife. Lots of space and pure adventure. No need for special authorizations, only a decent car to pull this tiny house and off you go.
With such limited space, having your own personal space is almost impossible not unless you are creative and resourceful.

6. Define Your Idea of Meaningful Space

In the house where you are living right now, which of the spaces that you have mean so much to you? What part of the house do you spend most of your time? Which space could you not imagine not having?

It’s time to start figuring out the spaces in your house that mean a lot to you. This will help you come up with the best plan for your tiny house and tiny life. 

Traditional houses have a lot of spaces which you can’t have in a tiny house. Besides, the spaces that you have in a tiny house is the miniature version of everything. So, which of the spaces are you willing to let go of?

Knowing the space that means a lot to you is your very first step towards planning your tiny house. This is very important in order for you to maximize your tiny house. This will also keep you away from wasting any space. 

Remember, every inch of space matters when you are living in a tiny house. It is understandable that you want every single part of a traditional house, but you just can’t. So, start weighing which of the spaces are the heaviest to you.

7. Find Your Tiny House Community

Just like you, there are a lot of people who want to live in a tiny house too. They are everywhere, waiting for you. And, they are very ready to give you all the information that you need to kick start your tiny house life. 

With them, you will get the advice that you need in order to begin. How will you find them out?

Start by searching for tiny homes near you. Find groups of tiny house owners on Facebook. Get in touch with bloggers of tiny houses. Ask people you know in case they know someone who owns a tiny house. 

There are actually a lot of things that you can do to widen your connection with tiny house owners. This step is very important when preparing to live in a tiny house. Why?

More or less, these people are the ones who know about building codes, zoning, and constructing and living in a tiny house. With them, you can get the information that you need in order to keep you going. It’s time to outsource all the information that you need in order for you to survive the tiny house lifestyle.

Things to Consider when Planning to Live in a Tiny House

Sussex County NJ USA June 17 2017 Inside a tiny house at a tiny house expo
There are a lot of things that you have to consider when planning to live in a tiny house for a smoother transition.

1. Toilet 

Living in a tiny house isn’t exactly the same as living in a traditional house. This means that you have to deal with problems you are not dealing with before. And that includes problems with a toilet. 

Choosing the right toilet for your tiny house is a very important and critical decision that you have to face. Having the right toilet in your tiny house will not just make you feel comfortable but will also save you from any problem soon. If you want to travel from one place to another with your tiny house, then you have to look for a good alternative to the traditional flush toilet. 

Keep in mind that you have to keep your toilet at a limited space due to your already limited space. Soundproofing your toilet also matters. Sure enough, you don’t want to be embarrassed with the sounds that you make when using the toilet.

2. Personal Space

If you have tried living in a dorm, you probably know the struggle of not having your own personal space. Having time on your own is very difficult given the tight same that dorm rooms offer. And with the limited space that tiny houses have to offer, you have to be as creative as you can to have your very own personal space. 

A good way to have your very own personal space on your tiny house is to divide your house strategically. You can use curtains to have some privacy. You could also make use of wall dividers if you want. 

Also, in as much as possible, do not let anyone enter your room. Keep that space for yourself only. You could share the rest of the space with others but at least have something you can call your own. 

3. Lights 

It can be very easy for small spaces to feel and get dark. This makes it very important to have a light source wherever it is possible. The light source could either be natural or not. 

Have big windows in your tiny house where natural light can pass through. Natural lights can do magic. They can easily lift up and set the mood of your tiny house. 

When you have a good number of windows, do not cover them up with curtains. It is even better if you don’t put curtains at all. If not, use blinds to cover-up your windows during the night. 

To control the amount of light in your tiny house, install recessed lighting that has dimmer switches. You could also put string lights in nooks and lamps in corners. When setting up lights, it would be better to have them hanged to save space and expand the space visually.

4. Maintenance 

In maintaining your tiny house, don’t let yourself stay in repair mode. Fix any damage repaired as soon as possible. Do regular maintenance checks as well. 

Doing regular maintenance check is very important in order to find out any problem and prevent it from getting more serious. Living in a tiny house doesn’t mean that you are exempted from maintaining it. Besides, you have to be more keen on it most especially when you are on the move. 

Some of the things that you have to regularly check include roof leaks, appliance upkeep problems, and plumbing and electrical issues. If what you have is a mobile tiny house, the tires, brakes, and bearings also have to be checked.

When planning or already living in a tiny house, do not forget to maintain it. Maintaining your tiny house plays a pivotal role in how long your tiny house will last. It also has something to do with your safety, so make this your priority.

5. Lifestyle

The tiny house lifestyle isn’t the same as the lifestyle you’re used to. Remember, your tiny house isn’t just a house, it’s a lifestyle. And, you have to adapt to that lifestyle. 

If you are into the arts, then make sure that everything will still look clean and organized once you are done doing your stuff. If you can’t live without a dryer, then you should have a bigger space. In such a case, it would even be better to have your tiny house built on a foundation. 

Do not forget that you can always customize your tiny house. Do not settle for anything less. Feel free to do whatever you want with your tiny house. Just make sure that you do not overdo anything.

Tips For Adjusting To Life In A Tiny House

Small white kitchen, red components
IT is not easy to adjust to the tiny house lifestyle, but being prepared will make it easy.

Over the past few years, the tiny house movement has become a very trending topic. It’s growing popularity has invited a lot of people. But, they just see this as a bigger dollhouse, not something that they could see themselves living in. 

This is because the idea of transitioning from a big house into an ultra-small one isn’t attractive to others. But then again, tiny houses exist for a reason – the so-called “modern conveniences”. So, how will you adjust to living in a tiny house?

Here are some of the most common questions asked about the concept of tiny house living which will help you prepare and adjust to this lifestyle.

1. How Do You Fit My 3-Bedroom Lifestyle into a Tiny House?

At a maximum, tiny houses only measure 500 square feet. This means that you have to put everything you necessarily need in such a limited space. This could be not your piece of cake. 

This means that you and your family should figure out the stuff that you necessarily need in order to live. Regardless of your effort, it would be impossible to put everything you have with such a limited space. So, minimalism is the key. 

Bring only the ones that you really need – from clothes, the decorative pieces and more. It would also be good if you do the one thing in, one thing out practice. This way, your tiny house will not look cramped. 

This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a little luxury. Of course, you can. You just have to keep things at a minimum. Remember to focus on the quality over the quantity of the items that you have.

2. Where Do You Put Your Clothes?

Just like everyone else, you probably have a lot of clothes. Some, if not most, of these clothes are still unused yet you just can’t let them go. This is because you thought you could use it one day. 

But once you have decided to live in a tiny house, this mindset is not applicable. Living in a tiny house entails reducing the number of clothes that you have. But this does not necessarily mean that you have to eliminate all the clothes you have.

This does not also mean that you should have four outfits only. That’s not how it goes. When loving in a tiny house, it would be better if you go for an interchangeable wardrobe. You could also opt for multipurpose clothes. 

This way, you save space and money at the same time. You can also go away from getting frustrated by deciding what you should wear. 

3. What about Cooking and Cleaning?

You might be wondering how you will cook in your tiny house. Cooking in a tiny house doesn’t mean that you will cook on your child’s tiny range. There are a lot of compact appliances that you can purchase for your tiny house. 

In fact, there are already appliances that are specifically made for tiny houses. These appliances will perfectly fit your tiny house as long as it is designed well. This means that you can still cook the way you do in your big house. 

You could also have an outdoor cooking space if you want. An outdoor kitchen is perfect if you want to camp or grill every now and then. You can also custom build your kitchen in a way that will perfectly fit your kitchen appliances.

4. Are the Bathrooms Outside?

Not unless you want to have your bathroom outside, the bathroom of a tiny house is inside. Tiny house bathrooms have been well adapted to tiny houses. Besides, most tiny house builders customize the bathroom in order for it to fit in a tiny house. 

Despite their size, tiny houses are still equipped with the smaller version of the necessities of personal hygiene. And throughout the years, tiny house builders have come up with creative ways to incorporate bathroom luxuries into tiny houses. These luxuries come in compact sizes. 

The toilet in a tiny house is compact but is not as tiny as you think. You can still use them comfortably. You do not have to worry that you will be getting out of balance. There’s no big difference in using a regular toilet.

5. Am I Supposed to Live Without a Garage?

There is no such tiny house rule which stops you from owning a few properties. You could still have separate space as you want and need. Have a different or adjoining room for spaces such as your office, craft room, garage and so much more. 

Living in a tiny house, but this doesn’t mean that you have to stop doing what you love just because you do not have the space to do so. You could always have a separate space for that. Besides, living in a tiny house could save you money which you can use to meet your other needs. 

When you have a car that requires you to have a garage, feel free to have one. You could have it adjoined into your tiny house or place it in a different place as long as it is near you.

Conclusion

Deciding to live in a tiny house is one of the bravest things you can do. The start may be hard but you’ll enjoy it as time goes by. Do not let the challenges bring you down, let it be your inspiration to go through. 

Related Questions

How long does it take for me to adjust to the tiny house lifestyle?

Adjusting to the tiny house lifestyle could take months or years. It all depends on you. Adjusting could be easy if you have planned to live in a tiny house for so long and if you are very willing to go through the process as well. Just remember that forcing yourself to adapt to the lifestyle won’t help. Let yourself adjust naturally. Adjusting is a step by step process, not a one time process. 

Is it better if I live alone first in a tiny house?

Ideally, you should have someone with you in the first few days that you will be living in your tiny house. This will help you adjust faster to the tiny house lifestyle. Living alone right when you moved into your tiny house could make it hard for you to adjust.

Tiny Houses and Taxes: Everything You Need to Know

Tiny Houses and Taxes: Everything You Need to Know

Tiny houses and taxes: do these two words even belong in the same sentence?

The essence of the Tiny House Movement is downsizing. The primary aim of people moving into tinier homes is financial freedom. But does that really happen?

Sure, compared to regular (in this case, larger) houses, tiny houses generate cheaper utility bills. Still, you have to deal with the possible hidden costs of this movement, one of them being taxes. 

Are you planning to move into a tiny house soon? You might want to read up before you buy that prefab kit

In this post, we discussed everything you need to know about tiny houses and taxes.

About property taxes

tiny houses and taxes - property tax word on magazine
North American homeowners pay property taxes every year.

First, let’s have a recap about property taxes in the United States. 

What are property taxes?

American homeowners pay an annual property tax, based on the value of their purchased houses.  You can also say it’s how the local government makes money or revenue.

If you own land and built a house on it, you will pay for an annual property tax. If you fail to pay it, the government will seize your property. At the beginning of this tax collection, a tax authority will conduct a property tax assessment

Why are property taxes important?

If you don’t pay your home taxes, you could lose your house. Besides that, property taxes are important because they sustain public infrastructure—public schools, libraries, community centers, parks and recreation, etc. Without these funds, those facilities would not survive on their own. 

How are property taxes in the U.S. calculated?

The tax authority will conduct a property tax assessment on a scheduled date. Through this, they can calculate your home’s assessed value. As for the amount of your property tax, you can multiply your home’s assessed value by your local government’s imposed tax rate. The result is your property tax. 

How are property taxes collected? 

The local government annually collects property taxes. If you buy a house, you also have to pay a property tax during the transferring of the house. This is also called the Real Estate Transfer Tax or simply Transfer tax. 

What is the average property tax rate in the U.S.?

Homeowners typically pay 1.2% tax rates, but it can range from 0.4% to 2.44%. The main factor in the property tax rate in a state is the cost of living. A homeowner can annually pay a property tax as low as $560, but it can balloon into $7,800, depending on where he or she lives. 

States with property taxes: Lowest Vs. highest 

If you want to pay the lowest property taxes, you can live in the following states: Alabama, West Virginia, South Carolina, Arkansas, Louisiana, Hawaii, or Delaware. Don’t want to pay a giant property tax? Avoid these states at all costs: New Jersey, New York, Wisconsin, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Illinois, Massachusetts. 

Tiny houses and taxes

tiny houses and taxes - a row of colorful tiny houses in a grassy land
A row of colorful tiny houses in a grassy land

Will owning or buying a tiny house on wheels still involve taxation? We answered your questions below. 

Does a property tax apply to tiny houses? 

The property tax for regular houses does not apply to tiny houses. However, if you will live in a state that collects personal property taxes for motor vehicles, then you still might have to pay it. Tiny houses towed by a car is considered a recreational vehicle (RV) in many states, so the same taxation rules might apply to them as well. 

What is a personal property tax? 

Tangible Personal Property (TPP) or Personal Property taxes are levied on mobile properties—boats, RVs, campers, etc. In some states, TPP taxes are also imposed on anything that generates incomes. For instance, if you own a mechanic shop or an apartment rental, the state will still levy TPP taxes on the equipment and furniture. 

What are the states that don’t levy TPP taxes?

A report by Tax Foundation in 2012 stated that ten states in the U.S. have stopped imposing TPP taxes. Still, most states still levy TPP taxes, especially on businesses. 

What are the taxes I might pay for my tiny house on wheels? 

Tiny houses on wheels are RVs, hence you will be levied for the same taxes. If your state imposes the following, then you have to pay for them: sales tax, Tangible Personal Property (TPP) tax, Mortgage Interest Deduction, real estate tax, and a home office, if you have one. 

How to avoid paying for a sales tax on an RV?

The tricky solution is buying an RV and then registering it in a state that doesn’t levy sales taxes. However, you can’t easily do this because some states require minimum years of residence from a person before they register your RV.

More about tiny houses and taxes

tiny houses and taxes - tiny house at night
Property taxes don’t apply to a mobile tiny house, but you still have to watch out for other types of taxes.

Whether you’re building or buying a tiny house in the US, you must know the different taxes or the tax breaks that you might possibly encounter. After all, the laws about tiny houses and taxes vary in every state, so knowing these will prepare you for that possibility. 

Taxes

Sales tax

When you buy a tiny house on wheels, you might also pay for a sales tax if your state levies it. Alaska, Oregon, Montana, New Hampshire, and Delaware don’t have a sales tax. According to Avalara, it’s easier to register an RV in Montana because of a registration rule loophole. 

Real estate transfer tax 

In a real estate transaction or the transferring of the property’s title, the buyer and the seller must pay a transfer tax. They can split it halfway; it depends on their agreement. The seller can also pay it on their own. The state will also determine the transfer tax based on the property’s market value and classification. 

Death taxes 

1. Gift tax. 

Donator’s tax or gift tax is imposed on the transfer of property, whether the giver is living or already dead. When you give a property that costs more than $15,000, the government will levy you a transfer tax starting at 18%. There are many exemptions to this tax.

2. Estate tax. 

When a person suddenly dies, the government will levy an indirect tax on the transfer of the property. An indirect tax is what sellers add to the original price or a product, so the buyer indirectly pays their tax through buying the product, in lieu of the seller. 

3. Generation-skipping tax (GST). 

This tax is imposed on the transfer of a property or a gift to a younger relative or unrelated person (at least 37 ½ younger). For example, when a grandmother transfers the ownership of a house to her grandson, the GST will also take effect on the latter, even after the death of her grandmother. This also ensures that he will pay the 40% flat rate.

Tax breaks

Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction

This tax break gives homeowners a chance to minimize their taxable income. Since a tiny house on wheels is still a house, you can also claim your mortgage interest tax deduction on it. If you bought a tiny house after December 15, 2017, you could reduce the first $750,000 in your mortgage. 

Home office tax deduction 

Do you plan to work in your tiny house? The home office tax says hello. It’s a tax break for any functioning office in a dwelling that measures less than 300 square feet. If you have this at your tiny house, you can use this for a deduction.

Tiny house resale values

tiny house on wheels with black car in grassy area
The tiny house lifestyle is indeed cheap, but their market value depletes easily too.

Just because you’re about to make your nomad dream come true doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about the future anymore. Besides the taxes, you also have to think about a tiny house’s depreciation. Here are the facts about tiny houses’ resale values.

Do tiny homes retain their value?

Things that get easily damaged also lose their value faster. That is why over time, tiny houses depreciate because they are more prone to wear and tear. 

Since the space is limited, the easier it is to mess a tiny house. Over time, these scratches and dents become more obvious. As a result, their market value quickly depletes. 

There’s also the likelihood of dust gathering. If the occupants aren’t savvy in choosing their appliances, causing them to buy more things. As a result, you have to be extremely meticulous about your equipment because tiny home appliances are more expensive. 

Because tiny house appliances don’t have standard measurements, like those sold in malls or appliance centers, people have them customized if they can’t find a furnished prefab house package. 

Are tiny homes relatively cheap to own? 

Sure, tiny houses are mobile and light. They are in demand. They are also relatively more inexpensive than regular houses to maintain. Despite those qualities, they are not always cheap to own. 

Owning a tiny house involves many hidden costs, which may be surprising to many people. If you’re not careful or savvy enough, you might spend on external storage and unnecessary upgrades.

How to retain my tiny house’s value?

Planning to resell your tiny house in a few years? Well, get ready to spend on some improvements. If you’re serious about reselling this tiny property, just follow these golden, foolproof tips. 

Spend on smart improvements.

Not all upgrades are necessary. Think about the tiny house on wheels (THOW) enthusiasts. What kind of people are they and what are their needs? Think about investing in improvements that cater to their needs. It can range from a dehumidifier and solar panels to an HVAC system. 

Care for your SUV or pickup truck. 

Just because the vehicle that tows your car is for heavy-duty use doesn’t mean you have to skimp on maintaining them. Don’t be complacent in your car. You want a THOW with fully-functioning wheels, right? Therefore, follow your vehicle’s manufacturer-required service schedule.

Connect with other people with nomad lifestyles.

People who have been on the road for a long time know the crucial tricks in maintaining their lifestyle. If this is your first time pursuing this lifestyle, you could use a tip or two from them—or even more!

They know how to navigate this kind of living more than anyone, especially the safety and maintenance tricks, without slashing a hole in your pocket. 

Take heed of your local government’s regulations. 

Rules are not here to ruin your life; they exist to put it in order. It will not hurt for you to read your local government’s laws about tiny houses. Give your state’s ol’ dusty building code book a skim.

If you live on your own, you will DIY most of the time, right? So, you should keep a stack of your town’s construction and zoning codes when the going gets tough. 

Renting out tiny houses: Does it work? 

two tiny houses on wheels in grassy land
It’s possible to profit from renting out tiny houses, but make sure there’s a market for it, first.

Think of renting out a tiny house under 400 square feet? Here’s a short overview about it. 

Is it possible to profit from a tiny house?

You can start renting it out as a vacation house. You can lease it as a writing cabin. Nomad people or backpackers need someplace to stay from time to time—and they’re looking for cheaper places than hostels and AirBnBs. 

The overheads might be lesser than if you live in it. 

This is provided that you have a red hot market. If you do, and if you’re into short-term rentals, you can expect lower maintenance costs. If you live in it permanently in a tiny house, you have to 

What are the possible businesses you can do with tiny houses?

You have several ideal choices—a Bed and Breakfast business, an apartment, and a food truck business. There are other brighter ideas if you’re creative. Of course, you have to watch out for the sales tax and rental tax. 

In a nutshell

The bottom line is every state imposes different, localized tax rules and breaks for every homeowner. 

As a tiny house owner or to-be-owner, you might deal with either more complicated tax rules or none at all. That’s why you should take the time to talk to a tax authority or study local resources about your town’s tax legalities. 

If you fail to pay—or even fail to be aware of such a regulation exists for tiny houses—you might face dire consequences. 

We’re not scaring you, but you might lose your house, your dream lifestyle. So, do your best to investigate!  

Related questions

What are the tiny house laws in Texas? 

Texas is very accommodating to the Tiny House Movement. In fact, Spur, the first town that opened its arms to tiny houses, is in Texas. So, if you’re planning to build a tiny house in Texas, you’re free to do as you wish. Other Texan towns like Austin, Fortworth, and Breckenridge are also welcoming to tiny house builders. 

What are Wisconsin’s tiny house laws?

While Texas is friendly to tiny houses, Wisconsin is the opposite. Besides having a few tiny house builders and many restrictions, the state also doesn’t have a clear definition of a tiny house. As of the moment, the state considers tiny homes as Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). That means they don’t see tiny houses as legitimate living structures in which people can permanently live.