Month: November 2019

How to Choose the Right Windows for a Tiny House

How to Choose the Right Windows for a Tiny House

choose the right window for a tiny house

“My favorite journey is looking out the window.” – Edward Gorey

Windows don’t just give us a clear outside view but also warmth, ventilation, and light. Some types of windows can even help reduce energy costs. No wonder why it’s important to consider windows when building or buying a tiny house. 

So, how do you choose the right windows for a tiny house?

Several factors come into play when selecting windows, including energy efficiency, design, durability, and cost. And so, you must pick the type of window that ticks all the boxes. 

Read further as we help you get a better understanding of how to choose the right window for a tiny house. 

Choosing the Right Windows for a Tiny House

Windows play an important role in any homes — big or small. They allow fresh air to fill your room up, give you warmth during cold nights, and even protect you from uninvited visitors, such as bugs, snakes, and culprit. 

We can’t stress enough how vital it is that you choose the perfect kind of window for your tiny house that can last long and withstand harsh weather conditions, all the while helping you save energy and giving your home a nice touch. 

Without further ado, here are the factors that you need to consider when choosing the right window:

Energy Efficiency

The tiny house concept alone already helps you save energy and go greener. But you can reduce even more power by using energy-efficient windows. 

Unlike regular windows, the design of energy-saving windows prevents heat or cold air from escaping from your home. As a result, the insulation increases and, at the same time, reduces your tiny home’s energy usage. And logically, the less energy you use, the lower your utility bill will be. 

Not just that, energy-saving windows make your home more comfortable — thanks to their unique structural design and coating.

Standard windows use only a single glass pane. The glass conducts heat in and out of your tiny house. Regular windows also cause heat loss if they are made of conductive material like aluminum or if they are not properly sealed. 

On the other hand, energy-efficient windows use multiple panes of glass, which helps minimize heat transfer because of the insulating air spaces between the panes. 

Energy-saving windows also have low-emissivity coatings (or Low-E coatings) to control heat transfers. When applied to outside glass panes, the Low-E coatings will keep your tiny home cooler even under intense heat by reflecting sunlight. 

In the winter, Low-E coatings installed on interior panes maintain the temperature inside your hose by preventing heat from escaping. 

A window with Energy Star label hs met federal requirements for energy efficiency. 

According to Energy Star, a typical household spends $2,000 a year on energy bills. By using energy-saving household items, you can save $30 on your energy bill and avoid over 5,500 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. 

It’s not difficult to look for energy-saving windows. You’d know if the window is energy efficient if there is an Energy Star symbol in it.

Durability

You want a long-lasting window that can endure changing weather conditions and adapt to various environments. However, the durability of a window does not have a guarantee. But there are things you can do to ensure you choose the right window for a tiny house that has reliable strength and durability. 

  • Study the design and workmanship of the window. 
  • Rely on recommendations from others who have used the same window. 
  • Consult experienced builders and architects. 
  • As with other products, the warranty often indicates how reliable and durable a window is. 

Take note, too, that your location can impact the durability of your window. For example, if you live near the ocean, the salt may degrade your materials. 

When you shop for windows, give attention to:

  • Insulating glass seals;
  • Frame and sashes;
  • Weatherstripping

You may also want to check if your locality has set requirements for structural integrity. 

There are different types of frame materials; each has good and bad sides.

Aluminum, for example, is strong and durable but conducts heat. And because of that, condensation and frost can quickly form in aluminum. 

Wood is easy to repair and maintain, but it is susceptible to rot. You can prevent the wood from rotting by protecting it with exterior finish and cladding. 

Vinyl is another frame type that offers style. It’s moisture-resistant and low maintenance. However, it tends to expand or contract due to the changing temperature. 

Polymer composites are stable and can resist decay compared to regular wood. 

Fiberglass is durable, reliable, and stable. 

Pick a frame type that matches your tiny house design and budget. 

Glass – Tempered or not?

The ideal glass to use in windows is that with Low-E coating. It saves energy and is standard nowadays. 

A question arises. Should I opt for tempered glass or not? 

A lot of tiny house builders use tempered glass as it’s less likely to break during bumps and vibrations when traveling. 

Is tempered glass necessary? To get a tempered glass or not is totally up to you. Some tiny house dwellers choose to temper, while others stick to normal, untempered glass. 

It’s worth noting that tempered glass may add a considerable amount to the cost of a window. The larger the window, the pricier it can be.

Cost

Clearly, topnotch windows can cost top dollar. As with any products, you get what you pay for. If you’re not willing to spend big on your windows, then you might be getting yourself inefficient and flimsy windows. 

The cost of your windows also varies depending on the design, frame type, structure, and quantity. 

Vinyl windows are generally cheaper than the other frame types. Fiberglass, aluminum, and all-wood windows have almost the same price range. 

Here’s a friendly tip: purchase the type of window that matches the design of your tiny house, has reliable quality, and meets your budget. 

Types of Windows for a Tiny House

Choosing the right window for a tiny house involves selecting the right type of window that fits the structure of your home and your needs. 

There are different types of windows, meaning you have options to choose from. Each is unique and offers advantages over the other. 

One of the secrets to making a tiny room look big and spacious is to incorporate mirrors and windows and lots of natural light. 

But because the market is bombarded with so many window brands (and many styles within these brands), selecting the right window type has become a rather overwhelming task. 

It helps when you’re familiar with the different types of windows so you can narrow your list when shopping for windows. 

Bay Windows

right window for a tiny house bay window

A bay window is typically polygonal, rectangular, or arc-shaped. It has three openings in angled projection. The structure of the window is projecting outward from the main walls, thus forming a bay in a room. 

Bay windows are usually large and involve a window seat. A bay window essentially changes the shape of your home, which can be a major concern in a tiny house. 

If you want a bay window for your tiny home, you may need to rework the siding, flooring, and roof of your house. 

Beautify your bay window with a curtain using this Decopolitan Drapery Bay Window Curtain Rod Set.

Awning Windows

Awning windows are hinged on top and swing outward to allow ventilation while protecting you from the rain. They are usually placed high on walls for privacy or a better view. 

In tiny homes, awning windows are perfect in a sleeping loft to ensure proper cross breeze, no matter the weather conditions. 

Awning windows usually cost anywhere from $300 to $900 per window. The price varies according to size, design, and structure. 

Sliding Windows

right window for a tiny house sliding window

Sliding windows (also called gliding windows) have one or more sashes that slide along metal tracks of the frame. The tracks can be made of wood or vinyl, and the sashes have nylon rollers both on the bottom and top. 

Gliding windows are perfect for spaces that are wider than they are tall. They also have more glass and less frame, giving your home class and elegance. 

And because they feature expansive glass, it gives the illusion of a large room. The wide glass also allows light to enter your room, so you can reduce your usage of lightbulbs, and, therefore, lower your electricity bill.

Sliding windows are smooth to open. You can also easily lift the window out for easy cleaning of the exterior glass even if you’re inside your home. 

Skylights

Skylights make for the best window if you want to provide your tiny house with ventilation and daylighting. 

right window for a tiny house skylights

They allow natural light to enter your home, making your space feel much bigger than it is. And there’s no denying, skylights are cool to look at. 

You can also use skylights to enter or exit your house. The front door is the easiest and most ideal entrance and exit to use, of course. But in case of emergencies, a fire, for example, where the door is inaccessible, you can immediately squeeze yourself out through the skylight. 

Skylights can also bring heat into your house, which is, for the most part, great for those who live in a cold place. 

What most people love about skylights is that you can lie in bed with an unobstructed view of the vast night’s sky. Feast your eyes to the gazillion stars that shimmer and shine. Really, skylights are perfect for those who love to stargaze.

Get yourself a durable skylight window. Check this Sunoptics SUN R2030.

Transom Windows

A transom window, as the name implies, is a window installed above the transom of a door. 

Also called a fanlight, a transom window is useful in separating the frame of the window from the frame of a door. For the most part, transoms are mainly decorative. 

Some use transom windows not because they need them but only because they are structurally beautiful. 

Tiny house dwellers, though, use transom windows for lighting and ventilation more than for decoration. 

You can open the fanlight for cross-ventilation or for letting the light enter above the room door. However, some transom windows on the market today usually don’t open as they are more intended to be decorative. 

Accordion Windows

Space matters in tiny houses. And to save space, your household items and fixtures should have features that allow you to fold or stow them away to allow more space when needed. 

Accordion windows, as the name implies, work like an accordion. You can fold them to open your window wide and allow the breeze to enter your home. Closing them is also a piece of cake. 

There are also accordion windows that are used as doors or dividers. When used as a door, they are typically floor-to-ceiling high, giving you a panoramic view of the outside. 

Storm Windows

Storm windows are mounted either outside or inside of the main glass windows. They can be made of glass, flexible plastic sheets, or rigid plastic panels. 

right window for a tiny house storm window

Storm windows can improve the thermal insulation of your tiny house. It is also a great fixture to improve soundproofing.

But most importantly, storm windows protect your home against damage to costly glass panes during bad weather, such as hail or heavy storm. 

In cold climates, storm windows can reduce heat loss by up to 50%. Hence, they help make your home more comfortable and lets you reduce heating costs. 

Replacing Your Windows

If you already have existing windows and wish to upgrade or replace them, then this guide is for you. 

When to Update Your Existing Windows

Updating your existing windows is not entirely necessary, especially if they are still in good condition. However, there are things you can do to improve their efficiency to increase the comfort of your tiny house and reduce your energy costs. 

right window for a tiny house window blinds
Using window blinds can help reduce your energy usage without having to replace the window
  • Inspect your existing windows for air leaks. 
  • Weatherize your window by adding caulk or weatherstripping. 
  • Add window coverings and treatments to reduce energy loss through the windows. Shades, quilts, and window films are a few examples you can use. 
  • Install storm windows or panels for added protection. 
  • Use awnings or blinds to lower energy loss. 

Selecting Window Tips

Sometimes, improving the efficiency of your window doesn’t do the job well. If so, replacing your windows might be a better solution. 

When selecting windows, consider these:

  • Purchase windows that meet the Energy Code and have an Energy Star label on them. These types of windows are energy-saving. 
  • Make sure the windows have Efficient Properties on the NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council) label. 
  • Choose a durable window that can last long. 
  • Ensure your windows are correctly installed. If you’re installing them by yourself, make sure they are tight and do not have leaks. Otherwise, the energy-saving feature won’t be that much of a help. 

Installation of Windows for a Tiny House

A window can only perform well if it is properly installed. 

Quality installation is vital to ensure the window is airtight fit. Poorly installed windows are susceptible to leaking, drafts, water damage, and condensation. 

You can hire professionals to do the job, or you can do it yourself. If you choose the latter option, make sure to follow the recommendations and guides from the manufacturer. 

If you wish to hire quality installers, you can ask the manufacturer of the product. Chances are that they have a professional crew who can do the job well as they know all the nuts and bolts of installing their product. Or, the manufacturer may have a team to recommend. 

Final Takeaway

Choosing the right window for a tiny house is critical. With the right windows, you can reduce your energy costs, get better daylighting, and acquire better protection. 

There are several types of windows to choose from. Select the type of window that’s cost-effective and matches the structure and style of your tiny home. 

If you have existing windows in good condition, taking steps to improve their efficiency can go a long way. 

Related Questions

How much does window replacement cost per window?

According to HomeGuide, the average window replacement cost is anywhere between $400 and $1,000 per window. Most homeowners spend $400 to $600 on average. 

Is it worth it to replace windows?

Window replacements are a good investment. When you upgrade to energy-saving windows, you can reduce your energy costs and be more comfortable in your home. 

Can a Tiny House Be Registered And Used As An RV?

Can a Tiny House Be Registered And Used As An RV?

Recently, I’ve seen a lot of tiny homes on the highway. Because they resemble recreational vehicles (RV) so much, it got me thinking. Can a tiny house be registered as an RV and be used as such?

Based on my research, most states allow registration and usage of tiny homes as an RV. The process involves someone from the regulatory board inspecting your unit. Only when your unit meets their standards can it be certified as an RV.

Many tiny homes on wheels (THOWs) owners prefer to register their unit as RV for one main reason- parking. Very few establishments allow long-term parking of THOWs. On the other hand, numerous places such as RV parks and private properties allow parking of RVs.

However, one of the downsides in registering your tiny home as an RV is the total cost of the certification process. However, if you have made up your mind in doing so, here is a step-by-step guideline:

tiny house registration as RV

Can a Tiny House Be Registered as an RV Legally?

There are two legal ways to register a small house on a trailer as an RV:

1. You can apply for your mobile home inspection. An inspector from the local office of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) does the evaluation.

Independent inspection are also carried out under alternative programs. These organizations can also issue tiny home to RV certificates:

● Pacific West Associates- can issue a similar certificate if your THOW met the same standards as that of a traditional RV. They can either issue an ANSI 119.5 or NFPA 1192.

●     National Organization of Alternative Housing- releases certificates stating your mobile home has met standards unique to the construction of small houses.

2.    Buying a tiny home from a manufacturer that sells units in partnership with the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) clears you with this issue. However, make sure you’re buying a fully built model and not a partially constructed one.

However, if you want to build a tiny home by yourself, inspection will be done while you build your home. Same thing when you use plans from a manufacturer to aid you in your construction efforts.

 Difference Between a Tiny House on Wheels and an RV

By legal definition, a tiny home is an RV. However, most small homes on trailers are for permanent residence. Whereas, RVs are for temporary residence.

Moreover, most RVs follow the NFPA standard 1192 and usually have certifications from its manufacturers. Meanwhile, THOWs may not have certification even though it came from a tiny home manufacturer.

The design of tiny homes on wheels and an RV are also quite different. The former is much like home including its exterior. Tiny homes also use materials for constructing traditional homes, such as wood.

Meanwhile, appliances and living amenities such as refrigerators, sinks, and beds fit into an RV. These mobile homes have a metallic shell that protects its interior. 

Can you Live in an RV or Tiny Home?

small home registered as an RV

You can live in an RV or tiny home for a few days or weeks, but not permanently. The law requires that a residential property needs to be built on a foundation.

Building codes and other structural regulations only apply to structures with a foundation built beneath it. When you are parked outside an RV park, most jurisdictions consider you to be “camping.” Hence, your tiny home may be restricted in the same way as tents.

However, there are a few loopholes that tiny home owners used to “prolong” their stay on their tiny house. In some states like Idaho, you can live a few weeks inside your parked tiny home or RV. However, you need to change spots every now and then to avoid breaking the law.

In most cases, tiny home owners eventually settle in one place for about a year or more. In exchange, they need to build a foundation beneath the tiny home for it to comply with the building code. Furthermore, they need to file the property as an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)

 A Few Exceptions to the Rule

While making your RV as your permanent residence has several prohibitions, there are also few exceptions. Such as:

●     Many jurisdictions authorize full-time occupancy of an RV or a mobile home while its owner is constructing a permanent residence.

●     Several jurisdictions also allow people to live on RVs and mobile homes near a commercial site. However, it’s residence must be providing 24/7 security on an associated business.

How the Different States Deal With Tiny Homes and RVs

One of the reasons that people register their tiny home as an RV is that they want to get around the country with their dwelling in tow. Various states treat tiny homes differently especially in the issue of parking.

Some states are very considerate when it comes to building and parking tiny homes. However, there are also areas that are very restrictive of tiny homes whether they are on a foundation or on wheels.

Let’s take a look at how some states regulate small houses:

Alaska

·         Small homes on wheels are considered as RVs and confined to R-5 zones.

Arkansas

·         Most counties here treat mobile tiny homes as an RV. They can only park on RV parks. There are a few tiny house communities such as the one near Bella Vista Lake Park.

Connecticut

·         Still has no one advocating for tiny home development. They are very strict when it comes to anything that could crowd residential land such as RVs and tiny houses. The state has zoning regulations that discourage anyone from building or living in a tiny home.

Florida

·         Overall, the state is quite friendly and supportive of the tiny house movement. There are plenty of RV parks and small home hotels around. However, tiny homes on wheels must have corresponding registration at a DMV in this state. Sarasota County only allows mobile tiny homes to stay in a park for less than 45 days, or it will require it to be built on a foundation.

If you have or are planning to build a tiny house in Florida, this Totally Bamboo Florida State Destination Bamboo Serving and Cutting Board is a must-buy!

Maryland

·         The state of Maryland has yet to acknowledge tiny homes. While they may be registered as RVs, the only places they can park are in RV parks. However, most establishments place a restriction on the number of days a unit can park in their vicinity.

Massachusetts

·         Owning a tiny home built on a foundation is fairly easy here because you can declare it as an ADU. Camping in a tiny house parked in an RV park is also allowed, albeit only for a short period.

Minnesota

·         State acknowledges two types of tiny houses for zoning purposes- ADUs and RVs. Finding a place to park your unit can be tricky as regulations and code vary by town and county.

Do you own a tiny house in Minnesota? You will love this Kindred Hearts 12″x13.5″ Minnesota State Slogan Pallet Board Wall Art.

Montana

·         State allows registration of tiny houses. But they are restricted only as RV or travel trailer and not as suitable housing.

New Hampshire

·         State has a law that allows ADUs. Owners are not required to live on site. There are 13 municipalities without zoning laws. Most of the RV parks are further up north.

New Mexico

·         Tiny homes on wheels are required to follow the same residential code standards and the ANSI codes. You can convert a THOW into a legal dwelling by obtaining a certificate of occupancy. The house must have at least 70 square feet and not less than 7 feet in length, width, and height.

If you have a tiny home in New Mexico, add this 6×12 Inches Vintage Feel Metal Tin Sign Plaque to make your house more personalized!

Oklahoma

·         The state doesn’t have regulations on tiny houses yet. THOWs are generally considered as RVs. Few tiny home communities are in development like one in Wheeler District.  

Oregon

·         THOWs owners need to get a special permit to build or own a tiny home. When moving the unit you need to also have a permit for a commercial hauler to move your small house. The state allows one small home or an RV to be hosted in a residential property.

Texas

·         Tiny homes are widely regulated in Texas. The town of Spur is dubbed as the first tiny house friendly municipality in America. Tiny houses on wheels are required to be tied down and their wheels removed.

Here’s a Texas home decor that doubles as a hook for your clothes. Check out this Texas Metal Key Holder Hooks Clothes Hanger Western Vintage Home Letters.

Wyoming

·     The state allows THOWs in an R-6 or a Manufactured Home Park zoning district. The city of Cody is one of the few exceptions as it treats small homes as RVs, but also doesn’t allow them to be used as ADUs.

Purchase this Mugod Decorative Throw Pillow Cover for Couch Sofa to give style and beauty to your Wyoming tiny house.

The rest of the other states generally allow tiny home owners to register their tiny home units as RVs. However, they don’t have any other specific restrictions when it comes to its design and where it can legally be parked.

tiny house on wheels

How to Apply for a Zoning Variance to Help You Out

Not all states immediately accept mobile tiny homes as RVs. Some states require that the THOWs also have specific dimensions and/or amenities like toilet, kitchen sink, and bedroom. Others require tiny home builders to follow the building code or ANSI guidelines.

However, there are a few loopholes that small home owners can use to make it legal to drive a tiny home registered as an RV. One of these methods is to apply for a variance. Once approved by the city council, it can exempt you from some provisions of the zoning laws.

You can use variance in cases when the design of the house doesn’t conform to the existing zoning laws. It is most effective when the jurisdiction you are in has unclear rules pertaining to tiny homes.

The city code is often a guideline rather than a set of rules that must strictly be followed even during exceptional cases.

Here is how you can apply for variance:

1. Choose the type of variant you want to apply.

Area variance may apply when you encounter difficulties in complying with the physical requirements of the building code. Meanwhile, use variance may allow the owner to use his property in a way that is quite different from the local zoning standards.

2. Submit a variance permit request to a building inspector or a zoning enforcement officer.

They will then decide if they will allow the variance or not. The initial application review usually takes anywhere between 2-4 months.

If it also has to undergo an environmental review, you need to wait an additional period of 6-12 months. You also have to pay a certain amount for filing the variance which is approximately $2,000 to $5,000. The fees vary depending on the state you are in.

3. If you get denied, you can still appeal to the local zoning board of appeals.

Their decision usually will depend on whether the variance can negatively impact the community or neighborhood.

4. However, once approved, property owners within a radius of 300-feet from where you plan to build your tiny home will receive a public notification.

To ensure that you have a high chance of being granted a variance, please check the existing building codes in your jurisdiction. You can also consult with an attorney or someone familiar with the housing or construction industry.

tiny house parking options

Top Places Where You Could Park an RV or Tiny Home

RV parks and nature parks are just a few of the places where you can leave your tiny mobile home (registered as an RV). Numerous establishments also encourage RVers to park in their vicinity. Below are some of these places:  

 1. Walmart

Some Walmart branches, especially in tiny home-friendly states, allow temporary RV parking. However, some stores are very specific as to what type of RVs can be allowed in their parking lots.

Take time to inquire about this arrangement with the store manager, so you will know where exactly to park. This is quite useful when you want to shop for supplies without having to leave your THOW in an RV park or tiny house community.

2. Private Property

If you’re driving cross-country you can stop by a friend’s residence and park there for a few days or nights. In some states, you can temporarily park your mobile tiny home in a property’s driveway.

You can find properties that allow RV parking using platforms such as Outdoorsy and RVwithMe. However, check first the city regulations, especially the provision that covers private property parking just to be safe.

3.    Casinos

Numerous casinos allow RVs to park when there are available spaces. You can find RV parking along the NASCAR circuit in Las Vegas. These casinos usually charge a small fee, which slightly rises during holidays and weekends.

If you want to ensure that you can park your RV in their establishments, check first with the management. Some casinos also have a designated parking area for RVs which is separate from the regular parking spots for their customers.

4.    Truck Stops

This might surprise you, but you can actually use truck stops for RV parking. However, you also need to observe rules meant for truckers. Be mindful, though, as you will have larger vehicles such as tractor-trailers and oversized rigs parked in the vicinity as well.

The great thing about truck stops is you will get to meet people who also choose to stay there for a while. On the flip side, you also need to better secure your vehicle and belongings.

Conclusion

Registering and using your tiny home as an RV is one way to make your tiny home on wheels legal. However, doing so also has its own consequences in some states because it is now a vehicle rather than a dwelling place.

Related Questions

What are the advantages of registering my tiny home as an RV?

There are numerous pros when you register your THOW as an RV. For example, it can help you bypass some provisions of the building code. But for the most part, its main advantage revolves around mobility and gaining more places where you can park it.

What are the disadvantages of cataloging your THOW as an RV?

Once registered as an RV, your mobile tiny home is now a vehicle. RVs are generally temporary shelters for camping. Hence, you can’t use it as a permanent dwelling.

Is it required to register my tiny home as an RV?

Not necessarily. However, if you have decided you want a mobile tiny home rather than a stationary one, you best do so. Registering your THOW as an RV can help you prevent stiff fines once you drive the unit.  

8 Tiny House Safety Procedures: An Important Guide

8 Tiny House Safety Procedures: An Important Guide

tiny house safety procedures

Did you know? According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), more accidents happen at home than anywhere else. It also added that there are about 6,000 deaths per year as the result of a home accident. 

The statistics added that falls are the most common accidents. RoSPA encourages everyone to take preventative actions to reduce accidents at home.

Accidents can still happen even in tiny houses. And for the most part, wheeled tiny houses are more exposed to accidents, especially whenever they zip the road. 

However, by taking tiny house safety procedures, you can reduce or even prevent accidents from happening. 

There’s a lot you can do to avert you and your family from home injuries. This blog post enlists the safety methods you can perform from building your tiny home to residing in it.

Are Tiny Houses Really Safe to Live In?

Petite homes offer shelter, comfort, and protection the same as large, traditional houses do, albeit the limited space. 

Tiny houses are safe to live in, as long as you practice safety procedures religiously. Preventative measures should also be exercised when constructing your home and traveling from one place to another. 

1. When Building Your Tiny House

tiny house construction safety

When building your tiny house, the chance is that there will be no officials to look over your shoulder to ensure that you’re following the necessary requirements in constructing a house. But this doesn’t mean that you must cut corners. 

Safety starts at the beginning of your project. When constructing your tiny home, you must use safety gear such as a safety vest and helmet. And ensure that everything you do is according to the code requirements. 

This may sound like a hassle, but you won’t regret doing so. Don’t underestimate the potential dangers. 

If it’s possible, take extensive training before constructing your home. 

Do not use unsteady scaffolding, loose boards, and unsecured ladders. If you need to reach something, use a safety ladder, not a chair or table. 

You must also stay dry, especially if you need to access zones where electricity is being installed. 

And when you need to lift something, make sure you do it the right way!

Most importantly, be watchful! By being aware of all that is happening on your building site, you escalate your safety.  

If you hire a professional crew to build your home and notice that they violate basic safety procedures or code requirements, you must report them immediately to the foreman. 

2. Reducing Risk Inside and Around Your Tiny House

Home accidents don’t just happen out of the blue. They happen because we fail to notice the things that lead us to them. 

For example, not cleaning up cooking oil spills can cause the floor to become slippery, which can then lead to an injury. The injury could’ve been avoided if only you took immediate preventative actions. 

The safety tips mentioned below will help you reduce the risks inside and around your tiny house.

Kitchen

Cooking is fun, but your safety in the kitchen is a top priority. Some of the most dangerous items can be found in the kitchen, including knives, electrical appliances, and even bacteria.

So what can you do to reduce accidents in the kitchen area?

  • Do not put flammable objects near fire sources. Papers, plastics, and curtains, for example, must be put away from the stovetop, oven, or portable heater. 
  • There must be space around appliances for proper ventilation. Otherwise, the devices may overheat and cause a fire. 
  • Store sharp objects like knives and other similar tools and utensils in a drawer or a wooden block. 
  • Make sure all electrical cords are not tangled to other appliances or are not draped across the stovetop. 
  • When cooking, make sure to tie your hair back. Avoid wearing loose clothing when cooking, as well. You don’t want your hair or clothing to catch fire accidentally. 
  • Keep potholders nearby and use them, but do not leave them near an open flame. 
  • Clean up spills immediately to avoid slips and falls from happening. 
  • Make sure there’s a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen. 
  • Always wash your hands before and after handling foods or meat. 
  • Toxic and poisonous chemicals must be stored properly. Don’t place bleach or other similar chemicals in the kitchen. 

 Bedroom

  • Do not smoke in your bedroom. Your linen can easily catch fire, and you want to distance them from any source of fire or heat. 
  • Use mattresses with flame-resistant protection. 
  • If you’re sleeping in a lofted bed, make sure the loft is sturdy and can manage your weight. 
  • Your phone and flashlight should be reached easily in case of emergencies. You are also very vulnerable when you sleep, so ensure you have a weapon within reach, pepper spray, for example. 

Bathroom

  • All electrical appliances must have a safe distance from water. 
  • Adding non-slip floor mats or strips can help prevent slips and falls. 
  • Keep your bathroom clean and dry as much as possible. 
  • If you’re using a DIY composting toilet, make sure to manage your waste properly. 

Roof Deck

A functional tiny house roof deck is perfect for enjoying cold nights, but this zone can still put you at risk. 

Falls are one of the most common home accidents, and it can happen on roof decks. So make sure to perform safety procedures in your roof deck to prevent accidents from happening. 

  • Upon building your roof deck, use durable materials that can withstand harsh weather and wear and tear. 
  • Know how much loading capacity your roof deck can manage. 
  • Protect yourself, your kids, and your guests from falling from the deck by installing robust railings on your roof deck. 
  • The access to the roof deck must be easy and safe for both young and old. 

In the yard

Owners of tiny houses on permanent foundation enjoy the perks of having a yard they can garden in or walk their pets to. 

But accidents can still happen in the yard. Hence, you must take safety precautions in it. 

  • Install a sturdy fence surrounding your property. 
  • When working in the yard in bad weather, wear the right footwear that will prevent you from falling or slipping. 

Stairs

  • The steps must be dry and clean. 
  • Remove objects in the steps that can hurt; Lego bricks, for example. 
  • The stairs must be sturdy and well lit.

3. Living in a Tiny House with Children

tiny house children safety

Safety procedures must be exercised if there are kids in your tiny house. 

Kids love to explore their homes, but they really don’t give that much care about the potential dangers. As an adult, there are things you can do to keep the children safe from accidents. 

Choking

Suffocation and strangulation are two of the common accidents that happen to children. To prevent these from happening, you must:

  • Keep stuffed toys and piles of clothing out of cots;
  • Wrap blind cords in cleats installed to the wall
  • Inspect your kid’s toys. Avoid giving them toys that they might swallow.

Cuts

  • Don’t let your kids play with sharp objects. Knives and other similar tools and utensils must also be kept away from them. 
  • Ensure that your children play toys without sharp edges that may cut them. 

Poisoning

Prevent kids from eating or drinking harmful substances by following these safety procedures:

  • All medicines must be stored away from the children. Items that seem harmless can be extremely dangerous if consumed in large quantities by kids. And remember, just because your cabinet is placed up high doesn’t mean your children can’t get their hands on what is in them. 
  • Laundry and cleaning supplies must be out of sight and out of reach of children. 
  • Do not put cleaning materials in containers that were once used for food. This may lead the kids to get curious about what’s in the container is still ingestible. 
  • Bad food preparation can also cause food poisoning. Keep the kitchen clean and practice proper hygiene when preparing meals. 

Burns

Many household items can cause burns to kids. Here are some tips to avoid childhood burns:

  • Keep children away from hot beverages and spills. Do not cook, carry, or drink hot beverages or foods while carrying or holding a kid. Keep warm foods and drinks away from the table or counter edges. 
  • Don’t let the kids get near a fire source. If possible, do not let them come near your stove, space heater, or radiator. 
  • Keep hot devices out of sight and reach. Items like iron, water heater, and curling irons must be stored away. 
  • Cover unused electrical outlets with safety caps
  • Keep wires and electrical cord out of the way. 
  • Hide lighters and matches. And always warn your kids not to play with fire. 

4. Living in a Tiny House with Elders

Making your tiny house safety-proof is crucial, particularly if you live with older adults. 

You must have a list of emergency numbers by each phone. If you’re moving to places from time to time, make sure to get the emergency hotlines of your locality. You should also know the location of the nearest hospital in case of an emergency. 

  • If possible, let the elderly sleep in a lower bed instead of a lofted bed. It’s easier for them to access, and it reduces the risk of falling. 
  • Make sure to tape all rugs to the floor, so they don’t move when you walk on them. 
  • Always keep their medications within reach. 
  • Clear clutter and electric cords. 
  • Keep your tiny house — inside and outside — well lit.

5. Guard Your Tiny Home Against Fire

We need fire for cooking. While the fire is beneficial, it is also dangerous. Fires are a big concern in any house — big or small. However, because tiny houses have limited space, a small fire can quickly turn destructive.

It’s not unusual to make cooking mistakes when cooking. But you need to remember that these mistakes can lead to small-scale fires, and then to a disastrous fire. 

So, you must take precautions so you can keep your tiny home safe. 

The best way to prevent a fire is to make a plan. 

The good news is that there are now hundreds of tools you can use to help you detect potential causes of fire. 

Fire Detectors

Fire detectors come in different kinds. A fire detector identifies phenomena that may lead to a fire. 

tiny house fire alarm
Fire alarms can help you detect early signs of fire

Smoke Detector

Some states require that your home must have at least one smoke detector

A smoke detector alerts you if there is smoke present inside your house. The number of smoke detectors you must install depends on the size and number of levels of your tiny house. 

Modern smoke detectors can now notify you via your phone, so you’ll know if there is smoke in your tiny house even if you’re far away.

Propane Gas Detector

Propane has a lot of use in a tiny house. You can use it for cooking and heating. Though helpful, it can also be dangerous. 

Propane leaking may result in a destructive fire. 

Smoke detectors only sense smoke, but not propane gas. Also, your nose can’t always smell a gas leak, no matter how good it is. So make sure to get yourself a high-quality propane gas detector.

Fire Extinguisher

If there is a fire already, you need something to put the fire out before it gets worst. 

Having a fire extinguisher is common sense, but you’d be surprised to know that not everyone has it. Most people overlook the importance of having a fire extinguisher, which, obviously, is wrong. 

No law requires you to have one at home, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have one. 

The number of fire extinguishers you need depends on the size of your tiny home. If, for example, you have a two-story tiny house, then one for each level is advised. 

Exit Access

Detecting fire before it becomes destructive is important. And urgently putting off a small-scale fire is also vital. But when the fire becomes rather harmful, you must get out of the house immediately through your exit access. 

If you can extinguish the fire, do so thoroughly. But if not, you need to run to safety and call for help.

There should be no household items or clutter that block your way to your exit, so in case of a fire, you can easily escape.

Loft Window

Fires can happen anytime. And you’re most vulnerable when you’re asleep. So in case of fire during the night time, you must be able to escape from your tiny house through your loft window. 

6. Keep The First Aid Kit Handy

First aid kits are a must so you can quickly treat ailments and injuries that happen at home. A first aid kit can help reduce the severity of the wound or ailment. It can also reduce the risk of infection. 

7. Get Directions

You must know where the nearest hospital, fire department, and police station are, so you can quickly go to them in case of emergencies, and you can’t reach them out through your phone. 

If you’re constantly moving to places, you must get information about the place you want to go before traveling. 

8. Guard Your Tiny Home Against Intruders

Tiny house safety is not just about reducing risk and protecting your house from fire. It also involves protecting your household from intruders. 

  • Do not open the door to strangers. You must also teach this to your kids and even to your aging parents. 
  • Before heading to bed, make sure the windows and doors are locked. 
  • Keep your phone and lights within reach. 
  • You can install an intruder alarm that beeps when a culprit tries to enter your home. Some home alarms can notify you through your phone if someone tries to break into your house.

Related Questions

Why is home safety important?

By keeping your home safe from dangers and equipped with home safety products, you can prevent accidents such as falls. You can also prevent emergencies like fires. 

What are the most common home accidents?

The most common home accidents are falls, cuts, burns and fire, poisoning, and drowning.