Month: December 2019

50 Genius Tiny House Furniture Ideas

50 Genius Tiny House Furniture Ideas

genius-tiny-house-furniture-ideas

Living in a tiny house is all cute and adorable, but let’s face it… it’s big in compromises. One thing’s for sure, though — compromise does not have to be ugly. We all love to decorate our homes and make them look great. However, with a small space, designing your tiny home can be tough.

Because you have limited space, it’s essential (and practical) to use space-saving and compact furniture. We at All About Tiny Houses are committed to helping you get brilliant ideas to make your tiny house a big home. We’ve listed our 50 genius tiny house furniture ideas, which excel in their designs, functionality, and durability. 

Below you will find everything — from tables to desks, cabinets, shelves, organizers, and even couch and beds. Each one has an ingenious space-saving design with uncompromised features. We’re sure you’ll find some genius tiny house furniture ideas with this guide. 

We’ll start with table and desk furniture, then some storage ideas. Lastly, the beds and sofas. 

50 Genius Tiny House Furniture Ideas

genius-tiny-house-furniture-ideas-tables-and-chairs

Desks and Tables

50. Walnut Fold-Out Convertible Desk

Standard desks are great, but they take too much space, which isn’t so nice if you’re living in a tiny home. So, why not get a fold-out convertible desk? A fold-out desk helps save space. It’s mounted on the wall, and the desk can be easily stowed away if you don’t need it. 

Check it out on Amazon for only $139.99.

49. Rivet Coffee Table with Storage Box

When it comes to tiny houses, a coffee table shouldn’t be just a coffee table. Dual-purpose tables work best on tiny homes because of their functionality. For example, this Rivet coffee table works as a side table and a storage space for concealing remote controls, magazines, and other small items.

Check it out on Amazon for only $246.40.

48. Furinno Adjustable Tray

A computer desk that can be either short or tall is exactly what tiny housers need, especially those that work at home. Functional, ergonomic, and space-saving… it’s genius! This Furinno adjustable desk offers portability. It’s also designed for better storage. It’s made of 100% aluminum for sturdiness and durability. 

Check it out on Amazon for as low as $35.32.

47. GreenForest L-Shaped Corner Desk

That tiny corner you have in your tiny home can be instantly turned into an office with this GreenForest L-Shaped Corner Desk. With its genius L-shaped workspace, you can easily switch the two sides and take full advantage of space. It’s sturdy and stylish. 

Get it from Amazon for only $99.99.

46. Mateo Rustic Desk

Withered, rustic, and classic, the Mateo Rustic Desk is one of the best choices when it comes to sleek, durable, and functional desks. It comes with a roomy pull-out drawer to keep all your documents and office supplies in one place. 

Get it from PotteryBarn for as low as $284.

45. Haotian Floating Desk with Storage

Wall-mounted desks work perfectly in tiny houses because they offer the same features as conventional desks without taking too much space. This Haotian Floating Desk, for example, features top shelves, side shelves, and drawers. 

Get it from Amazon for as low as $94.99.

44. Nathan James Foldable Dining Table

You don’t always need a big dining table… so get a dining table that can be both small and big. When you’re eating alone or with a friend, you can make use of the standard centerpiece. And if you have guests, simply pull up the folded leaves. 

Get it from Amazon for only $158.72.

43. Floating Window Desk

You want a functional and durable desk, but you don’t want it to eat so much floor space. Well, this floating window desk might be your way to go. It can be used as a TV stand, bench, desk, or as a table. How you use it is definitely your choice. 

This floating window is available in different sizes. 

Get it from Amazon for as low as $99.00.

42. Mr. IRONSTONE Workstation

Turn your tiny home into a tiny office! The Mr. IRONSTONE L-shaped workstation is space-saving and… drum rolls… easy to assemble. With its structure, you can lay two to three monitors or screens, books, documents, papers, and even home plants. It’s perfect for working, reading, and gaming. 

Get it from Amazon for only $119.99. 

41. Tribesigns Computer Desk

If you don’t prefer L-shaped workstations but still want a desk that can accommodate up to two monitors, then this Tribesigns desk is a perfect choice! It’s roomy enough to fit in two screens, as well as other components like keyboard, mouse, etc. It can also hold your files, documents, and other desk accessories. 

Get it from Amazon for only $139.99. 

40. DIY Wood Computer Desk Riser

This desk riser elevates your monitor and gives you instant office vibes in your tiny home. This is essential for tiny housers who work from home. It can also accommodate some office items to keep your desk neat. 

Get it from Amazon for only $55.99.

39. Box Frame Drop Leaf Expandable Table

This table is designed with small spaces in mind. It doubles in width when its two side leaves are extended so that you can seat two on a normal day and accommodate six guests when needed. It’s made of robust steel frame and solid mango wood top. 

Get it from West Elm for only $349.30.

38. Knurl Nesting Accent Tables

Space-saving, durable, and functional, the Knurl Nesting Accent table mixes hard-working metals into modern tables with industrial style. The small bronze table can be tucked under the large table as two-tiered, two-toned bunching tables. It’s handcrafted, features cast-aluminum tops, and has antiqued brass finish. 

This table is exclusive in Crate and Barrel. Get it for only $429.00.

37. Charley C-Side Table

Charley C-Side Table is perfect for tiny houses. It’s handsome, handy, and makes minimal footprint. The C shape of the frame lets you squeeze the table on your sofa; the foot under your couch, and the top is on your lap. The frame is made of durable metal. 

Get it exclusively from West Elm for only $139.00.

36. Mid-Century Pop-Up Coffee Table

When you live in a home with limited space, you need furniture that can serve dual purposes. This mid-century pop-up coffee table, for example, works both as a coffee table and storage. The table features a pop-up top that reveals hidden storage space, which is perfect for stowing books, magazines, and board games during your next get-together. 

Get it exclusively from West Elm for only $699.00.

35. Southern Enterprises Willingham Wall Mount Folding Laptop Desk

Foldable desks are the way to go if you need a functional desk but want to save space. This wall-mounted foldable desk features four compartments so that you have lots of rooms to keep your essentials. It’s small-space friendly that works perfectly in almost any room. This wall-mount folding desk is made with wood veneer and metal hardware. 

Get it from Amazon for only $100.00.

[Must read: 10 Home Appliances Your Tiny House Needs]

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Storage Ideas

34. Monroe Trades Industrial Clothing Rack

One of the challenges of living in a tiny house is getting storage for your clothes. Worry no more. Get this Industrial Clothing Rack from Monroe Trades. It features two shelves for your folded clothes, bags, shoes, hats, and outfits, and a cross metal bar so that you can hang your other clothes. It also features wheels for portability. 

Get it exclusive from Monroe Trades for only $425.00. 

33. Rainier Galvanized Storage Cart

This three-shelved cart will be your best friend in your tiny home. You can use it in your home office, kitchen, and bath. Decor it with fresh flowers and towels for the bath. Or keep your pens, documents, highlighters, and folders for the office. You can also keep your flatware, napkins, and other kitchen tools in this cart. It’s straightforward to use and durable. 

Get it from Pottery Barn for only $99.00. 

32. Leather Storage Ottoman

If you feel like getting an ottoman, then get one that serves two purposes — a stool and storage. This leather storage ottoman for Crate and Barrel has dimensions 17” x 17” x 17”. It’s compact, portable, and colorful! The ottoman is crafted with a solid hardwood frame and robust wood side panels for lastingness.

Get it from Crate and Barrel for only $149.00.

31. Kings Brand Wine Display Rack Table

Wine storage and table in one structure? Clever! Keep your wines and liquor properly organized with this functional and elegant wine table. The wine rack can accommodate up to 11 bottles of wine. The tabletop is a perfect surface to pour out drinks and hold an open bottle. 

Get it from Amazon for only $59.99.

30. Wall-Mounted Pot Rack

One of the secrets to saving space in your tiny home is to hang things as much as you can. Kitchenware is usually big and bulky, so hanging them is the best way to keep them organized without taking too much space in your kitchen. This wall-mounted pot rack from Crate and Barrel lets you store cookware and cookbooks within easy rich. It has 12 hooks and can hold up to 100 pounds. 

Get it from Crate and Barrel for only $199.95. 

29. Thalia Buffet

If you love to host but you’re short of space, then Thalia Buffet will be your best friend. It’s designed with small spaces in mind and is perfect for a buffet or media console. It has drawers and tempered-glass-protected shelves to keep your kitchenware or media tools. It is made of kiln-dried mango wood, which gives its rustic feels.

Get it from Pottery Barn for only $799.00. 

28. Industrial Storage Hall Stand

Another innovation from West Elm, this Industrial Storage Hall is made of steel and solid wood. It instantly gives you a 20-square-feet of storage with cubbies and hooks, so that you can keep your backpacks, leases, and jackets in one place. It also has a cushioned bench. 

Check it out on West Elm

27. Danbury Armed Storage Ottoman Bench

In need of a wide extra seating option? Get this ottoman bench padded and designed to give you the best comfort. It features wide, hidden storage so that you can secure your valuable items. It’s elegant, compact, and durable. 

Get it from Walmart for only $166.39. 

26. Berggren Ivory Velvet Armed Storage Bench

This storage bench is a perfect addition to your living room or bedroom. It comes with storage space so you can hide our items you want easy access to, but not necessarily on display. This bench can double as a seat or as a stool. 

Get it from GDF Studio for only $166.99. 

25. Lamara Modern Armed Storage Bench

A storage bench is a piece of perfect furniture if you want extra seats and storage. The Lamara Modern Storage Bench features off-white upholstery and cushioned arms. It’s designed for small-spaced homes. You can use it as a stool or place it near the window so that you can enjoy your afternoon coffee. 

Get it from GDF Studio for only $170.99.

24. O&K Furniture 72 Inch Hall Tree Rack Bench

Instant storage in your living room? Why not! This rack bench has seven hooks where you can hang your coats, jackets, hats, and scarves. The racks can accommodate your shoes and other essentials. It’s made of durable iron frame and Barnwood finish to give you aesthetics and robustness. 

Get it from Amazon for only $139.99.

23. Bush Furniture Salinas Hall Tree with Storage Bench

Want extra storage? A closet sounds nice, but your space doesn’t allow you to have one. A huge cabinet isn’t nice as well. Get this hall storage bench instead. It has hooks for jackets and other clothing, and four racks for your shoes, bags, magazines, etc. 

Get it from Amazon for as low as $142.55. 

22. Elaine Grey Entry Bench with Coat Rack

Finding extra spots for storage can be really difficult when you live in a tiny home. Elaine entry bench is one of the 50 genius tiny house furniture ideas, so you can stay organized and neat. It has six durable hooks for storing accessories, coats, jackets, and more. It’s a wonderful addition to your tiny home. Really, downsizing doesn’t mean you cannot live big. 

Get it from GDF Studio for only $200.99. 

21. Shelving Solution Cross Display Wall Shelf

A shelf doesn’t have to be boring. This shelving display features cross display, which is both aesthetic and functional. The shelf gives you eight box racks that can accommodate a picture frame or two, flowers, stuff toys, and other items for display. 

Check it out on Amazon

20. Caden Industrial Three-Tier Wall-Mounted Shelf

Once you live in a tiny house, you have to think of ways you can store your items organized, so they won’t end up to be clutters. The Caden Wood Floating Shelf is a genius fixture to keep your things tidy and properly stored. It’s wall-mounted, which means it won’t eat up floor space. The three racks are roomy enough to accommodate your important items. 

Get this from Houzz for as low as $79.89.

19. Greenco 5-Tier Wall-Mount Corner Shelves

If a three-tiered shelf isn’t enough, then get this Greenco 5-tier wall-mount corner shelf. It’s sleek and has a minimalistic structure. This corner shelf is perfect for laying your clock, family pictures, and even house plants. 

Get this from Amazon for as low as $21.90. 

18. Adorn Home Essentials Corner Zigzag Wall Mount Shelves

Compact, stylish, and sleek… these are exactly the kind of furniture you will want in a tiny house. This corner zigzag mount shelf from Adorn Home Essentials may be small, but it has rooms for your valued items for display. The unique shelf design can accommodate your collectibles, awards, and other decorative items. It’s eco-friendly and sturdy. 

Get this from Amazon for as low as $27.98. It is available in three-tier and five-tier variants. 

tiny-house-furniture-bed

Sofa, Chair, and Bed Ideas

17. Soma Fremont Square Arm Upholstered Sofa

Sofas don’t have to be bulky. Take this Soma Fremont Sofa, for example. It’s compact and intricately designed for relaxing. The comfortable cushion will give you the relaxation you need. It comes with one sofa and one floating chaise ottoman with reversible chaise seat cushion. 

Get it from Pottery Barn for only $1,149 – $2,149

16. Shawn Modern Velvet Club Chair

Just because you live in a tiny house doesn’t mean you can’t be stylish. If you want a chic chair that won’t take up much floor space, then get this Shawn Velvet club chair. It’s compact, durable, functional, and cushiony. It is 100% made of polyester and structured with stainless steel for guaranteed long lastingness

Get it from GDF Studio for only $247.34.

15. Sequence Modular Corner Chair

When it comes to a tiny house, maximizing space is important. It’s essential to have furniture and household items that can fit even the tiniest corner. 

Complete your room with this L-shaped modular chair. It’s eco-friendly, durable, elegant, and versatile. It features kiln-dried hardwood. 

Get this from Lumens for only $1,180.00.

14. Steel & Bonded Leather Folding Chair

Folding chairs are our all-time favorite furniture. They are handy, portable, lightweight, and functional. Get this Samsonite steel and bonded leather folding chair. It comes with memory foam for added comfort. You can use it indoors or bring it outdoors. 

If you don’t need it, you can just fold it and slide it under your bed or a table. If a guest needs a seat, you simply have to pull it out and unfold. Voila! 

Get it from Amazon

13. Truda Outdoor Acacia Wood Foldable Bistro Chair

Who hates foldable chairs? We certainly don’t. They’re useful and can be easily folded when not in use. This Truda chair uses acacia wood for a sleek and exotic look. It’s compact and foldable for easy storage and transport. What’s more, it’s easy to maintain because the table is naturally weather-resistant. 

Get this from Amazon for only $232.99.

12. Cosco All Steel Folding Chair

Simple and durable — these are what Cosco steel folding chairs guarantee. The folding chairs have contoured seats and powder-coated finish. They also have non-marring leg tips to protect floor surfaces. 

The Cosco chairs are available in three variants: vinyl, fabric, and steel. 

Get it from Amazon for as low as $44.28.

11. GREATIME BS1111-2 Eastern King Black Leatherette Storage Bed

Don’t just settle on conventional beds. When you’re living in a tiny home, it’s practical to use furniture with dual features. This Greatime bed has hidden storage so that you can hide your pillows, linens, curtains, and other bedroom items in one place. Simply pull the bed up to reveal the storage. 

Get it from Amazon for only $769.99.

10. Harper & Bright Designs Twin-Size Platform Storage Bed

A bed with storage headboard? Genius! This twin-size bed comes with 11 open shelves in the headboard that can store personal items and books. It’s also made with durability in mind having 11 wood slats to protect the mattress and provide greater security. It’s easy to assemble. Hardware and instructions are included. 

Get this from Amazon.

9. Frenty Mid-Century Modern Dog Bed with Storage

Living in a tiny house can be difficult, more so if you have a pet with you. Give your doggo his very own space with this Frenty dog bed. It comes with storage to keep all your pup’s toys and bath essentials. The acacia wood guarantees lastingness and the plush cushion ensures your doggo gets a comfortable sleep every day. 

Get this from GDF Studio for only $70.99. 

8. Discovery World Furniture Mission Twin Over Full Staircase Bunk Bed with Trundle

If you need a bed for the entire family, then this bed with twin trundle is a perfect choice. It can accommodate up to three persons. It also comes with four drawers and a cabinet to keep everyone’s household items. 

Get this from Amazon for only $799.00.

7. Harper & Bright Designs Twin-Over-Twin Trundle Bunk Bed

If you need a sleek and stylish bunk bed, then this Harper & Bright Designs is the way to go. It comes with a ladder and safety rail for extra security. The space underneath can be used as extra storage. 

Get it from Amazon for only $406.51. 

6. Milliard Diplomat Folding Bed

There’s no denying that folding beds should be among this list of 50 genius tiny house furniture ideas. They are easy to assemble and store. This folding bed from Milliard has a full-metal bed frame and contouring comfort. 

Get it from Amazon for only $239.99.

5. LUCID Rollaway Guest Bed

You can be an excellent host, even if you have a tiny space. Get this LUCID guest bed. It’s foldable, portable, lightweight, and comfortable. You can easily store it when not in use. 

Get this from Amazon for as low as $184.74. 

4. Better Homes & Gardens Solid Wood Arm-Metal Futon

A sofa that you can sleep in is a good furniture idea in tiny homes. This futon from Better Homes and Gardens converts to a comfortable full-size sleeper. 

Get this from Walmart for only $399.99.

3. Heston Vinyl Click Clack Futon Sofa Bed

Stylize your tiny home with this futon sofa bed. This adjustable bed can be laid flat or propped upright to create a backrest. It could be a sofa all day, and a bed all night. The modern design is beyond compare. 

Get this from GDF Studio for only $179.59. 

2. Modern Sofa Bed Sleeper Faux Leather Convertible Sofa Set

Get yourself a budget-friendly sofa that can also work as a bed. This sofa set is designed with comfort in mind. It can be a lounger at day and a sleeper at night. 

Get this from Amazon for only $479.00.

1. Mecor Folding Bed with Mattress

This three-fold bed features stability and comfortability. It is made with high-quality bold-sprayed metal tubing to ensure durability. It comes with a comfortable premium mattress to give you a good night’s sleep. If you lack space but in need of an extra bed, this is highly recommended. 

Get this from Amazon

Final Takeaway

Living in a tiny house may sound boring, but it isn’t. You can still make your home stylish by choosing compact furniture that fits. We recommend using household items that serve two or more purposes. Not only are they space-saving but also much more budget-friendly. 

Related Questions

How do you make a small house look bigger?

One of the many tricks to make a house look bigger is by painting the ceiling. It makes a room look taller. You can also paint your walls in light colors. 

How do you maximize space in a small room?

You can use vertical storage and floating shelves. Adding plants to fill in empty spaces also does the trick. 

How To Choose A Trailer Size For Tiny Home: Complete Guide

How To Choose A Trailer Size For Tiny Home: Complete Guide

trailer size for tiny home

If you want your tiny home to be mobile, the first thing you need is a reliable trailer. However, with hundreds of trailer products in the market, it can be quite confusing which trailer size is right for your tiny house.

A trailer is perhaps the single most expensive item you need to buy in your tiny home project. Choosing the right trailer size undergoes several steps such as estimating the gross weight of your tiny home. Furthermore, you also have to take into consideration its road-worthiness and overall stability. 

If you plan to build a tiny home from scratch, the first step is usually to select a trailer and build the structure from the ground up. In such cases, the trailer’s dimensions effectively affect the floor space of your tiny home.

The length of the trailer and its load capacity can influence the type of material you should use for the project. For example, if the trailer has a low gross weight capacity, then you may want to use lightweight materials such as wooden frames and glass windows. 

How Much Does a Trailer for a Tiny House Cost?

There are three kinds of trailers that you can choose from based on their condition. You can buy a used unit, a brand new one, and even a customized trailer.

On average, a trailer can make up roughly 20 to 30 percent of the building cost of any tiny home. Used trailers are generally much cheaper than the other two. Consequently, customized trailers are more expensive than a brand new one because of the added material and labor cost. 

Below are the three kinds of trailers you can use for your tiny home:

1. Used Trailer

If you want to save a bit of money, then you can buy a used trailer. On average, a secondhand trailer can be bought for $800 on the low end and up to $2500 on the high end. Several factors can affect the price such as the age of the trailer, its condition, length, and load capacity.

However, there are inherent risks when buying a used trailer, especially since you can’t always determine at first glance some of its issues. Consequently, most sellers won’t immediately tell you of the damages that the trailer has incurred over the years.

Before buying a used trailer, make sure you have done a thorough inspection. One of the telltale signs of an “abused” trailer is rusting on the underside. Worn out components such as bent axles and damaged framing can also indicate the age of the trailer. 

tiny house trailer

2. Brand New Trailer

Brand new trailers can cost $5,000 on the low end and up to $15,000 on the higher end. Many tiny house builders also sell them separately from the dwelling unit. For example, Tumbleweed Tiny houses sell 20-feet long trailers at $5,779, while the 26-feet long ones cost $6,579. 

Much like a used trailer, though, you still might need a bit of modification. The best thing about buying a brand new trailer is that there are no wears and tears on the unit. Hence, you won’t have to initially worry about hidden damages or issues that will rear its ugly head in the next few years.

3. Customized Trailer

While its the most expensive option out there, customized trailers take the least amount of work. As its name suggests, they are made-to-order or customized based on the preference of the tiny home owner.

Customized trailers can cost from $8,000 on the low end and up to $45,000 for the top-of-the-line models. Some of these customized haulers have aluminum frames, which makes it lighter than other trailers on the market.

What makes it more expensive than brand new trailers is the addition of amenities inside, such as power outlets, lighting, air conditioning, and heaters. Additionally, they may also have slide outs and concession doors. 

Limitations of a Tiny Home Trailer Size for Road Use

Because they are often used to travel on roads and highways, trailers have certain limitations in terms of their dimensions. Legally, a trailer has a width limit of 8.5 feet, while its height can’t be taller than 13.5 feet.

Additionally, the length of the trailer can’t exceed 53-feet unless you can get a special permit. Consequently, if you attach the tiny home to a tow vehicle, the combined length of the two, plus the hitch or tow bar must not exceed 65-feet.

Given these limitations, most tiny house trailers you can find on the market are 28-feet and below in length. Furthermore, most hitch or tow bars are at least four to six feet long, on average. 

When buying a trailer, do take note also of its Gross Weight Rating (GWR) which is the amount of load it can carry. This measurement can limit the size of the tiny home structure and the materials you can use. For example, wood is generally the preferred framing material as opposed to the heavier metal frame. 

best trailers for tiny house

To ensure that the trailer can hold the design of your tiny home, consult first with a structural engineer or a tiny home builder. These professionals can give you sound advice on how to best utilize the features and specifications of your trailer and tiny home. 

Basic Parts for a Tiny Home Trailer

Before you buy a trailer, there are different parts or features that it must have before you can customize it for a mobile tiny home. These parts are needed so you can effectively build the structure around the trailer.

Furthermore, some of these parts are required so that you will be safe to travel on the roads. For example, you may need to attach signal and brake lights on the rear end of your trailer. Doing so will ensure that your whole rig will be safer to drive on national roads and highways. 

1. Flatbed

A full-length flatbed can maximize the amount of space you can use as a deck. A trailer’s deck is where you will build your floor and often dictates the floor area of your tiny home.

2. Steel Flange

This cast ring of steel allows an extra place to bolt the tiny home unit into the trailer. Once fully extended, it allows the maximum width of the deck to be utilized.

3. High Load Radial Tires

Your trailer’s tires will carry much of the weight, whether its mobile or stationary. As such, you need tires that are properly sized and durable enough to carry heavy loads. 

4. Steel Framing

Choose a trailer with rigid steel framing since it will hold much of the structure in place. These frames will also ensure that the house won’t slide off when the house takes a sudden turn. It’s best to stick to a trailer with a belly pan with a good amount of steel so that the trailer can support your tiny house better. 

5. Lighting and Visibility Stickers

You may also want to get a trailer with a complete set of DOT lighting and visible stickers, especially if you plan to travel a lot. These features will also allow you to travel at night without having to worry if your trailer is visible to the vehicle behind you.

6. Wheel Fenders

Also called wheel wells, these parts must have structural fenders that are self-supporting. Well-structured wheel wells will allow you to construct the wall over them without the need to install a lintel or header over the top.

7. Adjustable Coupling

You can find this part at the haul end of a trailer. Its main function is to adjust the height of the bar to match that of the towing vehicle. It’s also attached to safety chains and a break-away system for brakes. These features allow the trailer to break should it become loose from the towing vehicle. 

8. Corner Jacks

These pipe-mount swivel jacks also come with footplates that are sturdier and more crack resistant than those of scissor jacks. They can also fold away on top of the trailer floor or be removed entirely to ensure it won’t drag on the ground when the tiny home is mobile. 

9. D Rings

If you plan to stay in places that are known to be a pathway of storms or hurricanes, then D rings are a necessity. You can use them to tie down or anchor your tiny home to the ground and prevent the unit from tipping over. 

how to tow a tiny home trailer

Different Types of Tiny House Trailers

Aside from its size, another thing you should consider when building your mobile home is the type of trailer. They usually come in different designs and vary in terms of the number of axles and load capacity. 

Trailers that are recommended for tiny homes must be able to carry 4,000 to 15,000 lbs of weight. Often, trailers are also the base of a tiny home, which can significantly influence the layout of your unit. 

Below are some of the most common trailer options that tiny house owners can buy:

1. Bumper Pull Trailers

Bumper pulls are one of the most preferred trailer design for tiny homes. They are also less expensive than other types of trailers like goosenecks. Their layout also allows builders to construct a more traditional house shape units above the flatbed.

Furthermore, most vehicles are capable of towing this type of trailer. You can tow a bumper pull trailer with just a hitch, such as a ball coupler. The hitch can then be attached directly to the vehicle’s rear bumper, provided that the tiny home is on the lighter side. 

2. Deck-Over Trailers

As its name suggests, the flatbed of a deck-over trailer is located right above its wheels. The design allows it to be wider, with the wheel wells not getting in the way. Some deck-over trailers can be eight feet wide, which is still road legal. 

It’s one of the most preferred types of trailers because of the extra space it provides. However, because the deck is on top of the wheel wells, it loses about a foot of headroom compared to other trailers. Thus, while you can expand the space horizontally, it also limits how much you can expand vertically.

3. Deck-Between Trailer

As opposed to deck-over trailers, deck-between trailers have its flatbed in between its two wheels. As such, the deck is located just below the top of the wheel’s base. This design usually has a lower ground clearance, which makes it easier to build a tiny home around it.

Deck-between trailers usually have smaller flatbed because the distance between its two wheels limits it. Thus, you have less room to build your tiny home compared to deck-over trailers.  On the flip side, you have about a foot of headroom to work with if you want to expand vertically. 

4. Dovetail

This type of trailer has an angled rear section, which looks like a dove’s tail when it leans to the ground, hence the name. Huge trailers that haul cars, motorcycles, and other small vehicles usually have the same design. The benefit of a dovetail trailer’s ramp is its ability to load things much easier inside your tiny home.

If you plan to build a tiny home with a storage area or open space in the rear to store, say an ATV, then this trailer can be quite useful. However, the unique layout also calls for certain modifications before it can be integrated with a tiny house structure. 

5. Gooseneck

If you can picture how a gooseneck looks like, that pretty much sums up the layout of this trailer. A gooseneck can either be a deck-between or deck over trailer. It has an extended portion on the front, which usually reaches the tailgate of the vehicle.

Most gooseneck trailers have at least 350 square feet of floor area, which is great if you want to build a tiny home on top. Furthermore, the additional space above the tow bar or hitch can be used as a loft or an additional storage area. 

gooseneck trailer


Determining the Trailer Size You Need

Once you have determined the shape or layout of the trailer you want, the next step is to determine its size. Most of the time, the size of the trailer will depend on the design of the tiny home, its materials, and more importantly its weight.

Most tiny homes are built with wooden frames because they are generally much lighter. Other materials used as tiny house frames are steel– which is a bit lighter than wood, and structural insulated panels or SIPs. The latter is lighter than steel and is made of engineered panels of foam and plywood. 

There are two factors that you have to consider before buying a tiny home.

  1. The Weight of the Tiny House Structure- this refers to the combined weight of all the materials that make up the structure– from your tiny home’s floor to its roof. 
  2. Everything You Will Put in the House- this includes appliances, furniture, decorations and, of course, its inhabitants. 

The general rule is that for every foot length of your tiny house, it usually weighs around 450 pounds on average. Hence, a typical 20-feet long tiny home weighs around 9,000 lbs. Using these figures, we have the following estimates:

Tiny Home LengthEstimated Weight 
12 feet5,400 lbs
16 feet7,200 lbs
20 feet9,000 lbs
24 feet10,800 lbs
28 feet12,600 lbs

You can use these estimates to examine if the trailer’s length matches the load capacity to carry your tiny home. Furthermore, you can also use these estimates to check if the capacity of the springs, tongue, jack, and axles of the trailer matches the load requirement of your unit. 

How Many Axles Do I Need for My Preferred Trailer Size?

Another thing you should consider in choosing your trailer is the number of axles and the weight ratings of each tire. Each axle typically has weight ratings of 5,200 lbs and 7,000 lbs. Hence, a two-axle trailer with a 5,200 lbs rating on each tire can carry a tiny home that weighs up to 10,400 lbs.

Doing the math, here are the axle combinations you can use for some of the common trailer sizes in the market:

Tiny Home Length and Estimated WeightAxle Combination 
12 feet; 5,400 lbsOne 7,000 lbs; or two 5,200 lbs 
16 feet; 7,200 lbsTwo 5,200 lbs 
20 feet; 9,000 lbsTwo 5,200 lbs; or Two 7,000 lbs
24 feet; 10,800 lbsTwo 7,000 lbs; or Three 5,200 lbs 
28 feet; 12,600 lbsTwo 7,000 lbs; or Three 5,200 lbs

Always make sure you round up the total weight of your tiny home and the trailer to the next highest  thousandth place. For example, if your tiny home weighs 7,200 lbs and the trailer is at 2,000 lbs– that’s 9,200 lbs! In which case, consider it a 10,000 lbs unit.

Consequently, you may want to add a buffer of 500 to 700 lbs for the things you will place inside the tiny house, such as furniture and appliances.  Then, refer to the table above for the best axle combination.

bumper pull trailer

Build Your Tiny House Trailer Size Tool

Once you have considered all these factors, you may want to get a preview of the trailer that you have in mind. This is where Tiny Home Builders online tool can help you. Their Tiny House Trailer Tool can help you visualize the end build of the trailer based on your preference. 

The tool has at least five components which you can customize, such as:

  • The length of the trailer which ranges from 12 feet to 32 feet
  • The type of trailer you want i.e., Gooseneck or Bumper Pull
  • The axle combination (see tables above)
  • The width of the deck (90-inches or 102-inches)
  • The type of trailer lock

Where Can You Buy a Trailer for Your Tiny House?

A lot of tiny house builders or construction companies also sell trailers specifically for mobile homes. The great thing about buying from these builders is that most of their trailers were built or customized specifically for tiny houses to be put on top of them. 

Hence, many, if not all, of the basic features and important parts of a tiny house trailer are included in their products. Below are some of the places where you can get a tiny house trailer:

  • Tiny Home Builders

Website: https://www.tinyhomebuilders.com/

Address: 6060 Hickory Hills Rd. 30041 Cumming, Georgia

  • Tumbleweed Tiny House Trailers

Website: https://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/

Address: 1450 Valley Street, 80915 Colorado Springs, Colorado

  • Tiny House Basics

Website: https://www.tinyhousebasics.com/

Address: / 5433 Clayton Rd Suite K#306 Clayton, California

  • Sierra Tiny Houses

Website: https://www.sierratinyhouses.com/

Address: Reno, Nevada

Aside from tiny home builders, you can also get a trailer from one of the biggest names in the industry- PJ Trailers. They have roughly 250 trailer dealerships scattered around the US and Canada. 

What Vehicles Can Tow a Tiny Home Trailer?

Depending on the size of your trailer, it can be towed by a variety of cars, such as Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs), pickup trucks, and commercial vehicles. Cars have a towing capacity that can range from a two thousand pounds and up to 15,000 lbs depending on its size and engine.

The average tiny house usually weighs anywhere between 5,000 to 10,000 lbs, including its occupants and everything inside it at any given time. Add to this the trailer, which weighs 2,000 lbs on average and you get roughly 7,000 to 12,000 lbs of trailer that needs towing.

Fortunately, several vehicles can tow this much load or weight. Below is a list of SUVs that can tow a tiny home:

  • Dodge Durango- 7,400 lbs
  • Toyota Sequoia- 7,400 lbs
  • Toyota Land Cruiser- 8,100 lbs
  • Nissan Armada- 8,500 lbs
  • GMC Yukon- 8,500 lbs
  • Chevrolet Tahoe- 8,600- bs
  • Lincoln Navigator- 9,000 lbs
  • Ford Expedition- 9,300 lbs

However, if you need to haul a larger tiny home then we highly recommend pickup trucks for the job. These utility vehicles are known to be tough and are made to pull objects at great distances. Here are some of the best pickups that can easily tow a tiny home:

  • Toyota Tacoma- 6,800 lbs
  • Chevrolet Colorado- 7,700 lbs
  • GMC Canyon- 7,700 lbs
  • Nissan Titan- 9.600 lbs
  • Toyota Tundra- 10,200 lbs
  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500- 12,500 lbs
  • GMC Sierra 1500- 12,500 lbs
  • RAM 1500- 12,750 lbs
  • Ford F150 – 13,2000 lbs
  • Tesla Cybertruck (tri-motor)- 14,000 lbs 

To increase the pulling power of your vehicle, you can also buy a towing package from car dealerships. However, this added equipment may set you back from $1,500 to $3,000. 

vehicles for towing tiny houses

Conclusion

Choosing the right trailer size is a crucial step when building your tiny house unit. Because tiny houses are built from the ground up, the size of the trailer can affect the floor size of your dwelling. Furthermore, the type of trailer you choose can also set the design of your tiny house.

Hence, it’s one of the initial steps of the tiny home building that you should not take for granted. If you have a design in mind and are unsure if the trailer size you choose can hold the structure in place, its best to consult a structural engineer. 

Related Questions

Can You Order a Trailer from the US and use it in Canada; and vice versa?

Yes, you can order a tiny house trailer from the US or Canada and use it in either of these countries. Most US-made and Canadian-made trailers follow the same specifications. However, importing the trailer may be subjected to additional custom fees. 

How do you keep your tiny home trailer secure?

There are numerous ways to keep your tiny house trailer safe from thieves and other criminal elements. You can make the unit immovable by removing the wheel or replacing the adjustable coupler with security bolts. If you have an additional budget, you may install tiny home security systems like CCTV and GPS trackers. 

The 11 Best Tiny Home Kits That Won’t Break The Bank

The 11 Best Tiny Home Kits That Won’t Break The Bank

best-tiny-home-kits

Do you fancy slow living and getting closer to nature? Perhaps you’d like to try tiny home living. The nomadic lifestyle will inspire you to travel to places and embrace a minimalist way of life. Tiny homes are practically space-saving and eco-friendly. 

If you think the tiny house living is so far out of reach, then you’re wrong. Building your tiny house is within reach, thanks to tiny home kits that are widely available. These kits are affordable and require little or no construction experience. 

As long as you follow the manual and have the right tools, raising your own tiny home should be dead simple. 

Check out the 11 best tiny home kits we’ve gathered below. You can thank us later. 

7 Best Tiny Home Kits in Amazon

You can buy almost everything on Amazon: toilet paper, sneakers, bags, and even a new house. Yes, Amazon has it all. Amazon has a selection of tiny homes, from glasshouses to sleek solar-powered studious to expandable dwellings. 

The online shopping hotspot also has tiny house kits that come with a complete step-by-step instruction along with all the necessary materials. 

Sunset Log Cabin Kit 

Manufactured by: BZBCabinsAndOUtdoors

Sunset-Logcabin-Kit
Image source: BZBCabinsAndOUtdoors

The inside of this tiny home is just 162 square feet, but make no mistake, this dwelling might be small, but it has big potential. It comes with double pane real glass doors and windows and offers a porch just waiting to be filled with cushioned chairs. 

This cabin is perfect for tiny house aspirants who want to get close with nature. 

Price: >$9,000

Features: 

  • Inside size: 162 square feet; Wall logs: 2-¾” (70mm)
  • Inside dimension: 14’4” x 11’4”; Wall height: 7’1”
  • Double pane real glass doors and windows

Check it out on Amazon

Allwood Dreamcatcher 

Manufactured by: Allwood

allwood-dreamcatcher-tiny-home-kit
Image source: Allwood Outlet

Isn’t it cute to live in a high-quality spruce wood tiny home with an impressive French door to welcome your guests? Allwood Dreamcatcher is the best choice if you want a tiny house with extra space for your hobby or as a family guest house. 

What’s more, the assembly of this tiny home only takes about 10 hours for two adults. It doesn’t require many tools, and it comes with step-by-step instructions. 

You can also add canopy roof storage. 

Price: >$10,000

Features:

  • French door: 66-15/16” x 71-11/16”; Window (2x) 46-⅞” x 34-¼”
  • Inside size: 14’4” x 14’4”
  • Inside floor area: 205 square feet
  • Terrace size: 14’7” x 6’7” 
  • Durable and slow-gown Nordic spruce
  • Wall thickness: 1-¾ (44mm) 
  • Height overall: 10’8” 

Check it out on Amazon.

Allwood Bella Cabin Kit

Manufactured by: Allwood

allwood-bella-cabin
Image source: Allwood Outlet

Bella Cabin Kit is another masterpiece from Allwood. It’s made from high-quality Nordic wood for guaranteed durability and aesthetics. It’s quick to assemble; two adults can build this tiny home for only 16 hours. 

Price: >$17,000

Features: 

  • Doors: Exterior (2): 62-⅛” x 76–⅛”; Interior (1) 32-½” x 78-⅛” 
  • Windows: Front: 36” x 36”; Back: 54-⅛” x 36”; Left: 27-⅝” x 46-⅞”; Right: 21-¾” x 68”
  • Snow load capacity: 46 lbs/sq ft
  • Wall thickness: 2-¾” (70mm) – dual T7G wind block pattern
  • Ridge height: 12’8”; Back wall height: 8”
  • Functional floor plan: 324 square feet (237 sq. ft. downstairs + 86 sq. ft. loft)

Check it out on Amazon.

Timber Frame Post and Beam Vermont Cottage 

Manufactured by: Jamaica Cottage Shop, Inc. 

jamaica-cottage-shop-vermont
Image source: Jamaica Cottage Shop

Does living in a little cottage sound dreamy to you? You can turn that into a reality by purchasing the Timber Vermont Cottage. The cozy wooden structure has a 240-square-foot first-floor space, 80-square-foot porch, and 96-square-foot loft spaces. 

It also comes with windows with screens, so that no bugs can enter your home. The kit also includes a thick pine door, corrugated metal roof, and all the necessary hardware. 

Price: >$12,500

Features: 

  • Comes with post and beam framing built of Eastern White Pine Siding and Rough Sawn Hemlock
  • Kit includes all lumber, fixed window and fastening hardware, single pine door, and 29 gauge corrugated metal roofing
  • 16’ Gable-end; 20’ bearing wall
  • 4 x 16 porch; 8 x 16 loft; and 16 x 16 interior space
  • Dimension: 240 x 192 x 186 inches
  • Assembly is approximately 40 hours for two adults
  • Weight: 9,900 lbs. 

Check it out on Amazon.

Allwood Solvalla Studio Cabin Kit

Manufactured by: Allwood

allwood-solvalla-tiny-home-kit
Image source: Allwood Outlet

Getting a tiny home is within reach with Allwood Solvalla Studio Cabin Kit. Not only is this home kit affordable (costs about $7000 only), but it’s the perfect studio cabin for those who just want an extra one-room escape to relax and wind down. 

The tiny home includes glass windows to welcome natural light to enter the room. It also boasts a porch perfect for early morning coffee and reading. 

Price: >$6,900

Features:

  • Inside floor area: 172 square feet 
  • Wall thickness: 13/16” (21 mm)
  • Assembly time is approximately 8 hours for two adults
  • Ideal guest house, home office, or backyard recreation lounge

Check it out on Amazon

Allwood Arlanda XXL Tiny Home Kits

Manufactured by: Allwood

Allwood-Arlanda-xxl
Image source: Allwood Outlet

When it comes to tiny houses, Allwood really knows how to play the game. The Allwood Arlanda features a 273-square-foot living space, which makes for a perfect studio cabin. This tiny house is suitable for environments where the cabin style homes do not fit.

The contemporary urban style will surely lure the millennials to downsize and admire the tiny house living. 

Price: >$10,000

Features:

  • Total floor area: 273 square feet
  • Floor area: 238 square feet
  • Front height of structure: 8’6”; Back height of structure: 8’7” 
  • Floorboards: ¾”; Roof/ceiling boards: ¾”
  • Roof pitch: 2 degrees
  • Door (1): 37-¾” x 75-¾” 
  • Windows (4): 25-9/16” x 67-⅝” 
  • Wall thickness: ¾” (19mm)

Check it out on Amazon.

Allwood Mayflower Garden House

Manufactured by: Allwood

Allwood-Mayflower-Garden
Image source: Allwood Outlet

The Mayflower Garden House is a fancy tiny house on wheels. But make no mistake, the wheels are not the typical ones you see on mobile tiny homes. This Garden House uses wheels like the wagons that were used to journey out west. 

Made from high-quality Nordic wood, Allwood Mayflower Garden House is a place to zen out, do painting, and welcome your visitors. 

Price: >$7,000

Features: 

  • Outside dimension: 7’11” wide x 15’9” long
  • Total floor area: 117 square feet
  • A no-wheel variant is also available
  • Wall studs: 1-¾” x 1-¾” 
  • Wall sliding: ¾”
  • Roof arches: Glue laminated 1-¾” x 23-⅝” 
  • Wall height: 6’3”; Ridge height: 7’10” 
  • Floorboards: ¾”; Roof/ceiling boards: ¾”
  • Double door (1): 47-⅛” x 72-⅞” 
  • Dual-pane glass windows (2): 23-⅝” x 63-⅛” 

Note: the wheels are for decorative purposes only. This cabin cannot be moved. 

Check it out on Amazon.

The 4 Best Tiny Home Kits From 84 Lumber

Imagine being able to buy a tiny home kit at your local hardware store… well, not you can do that if you live near 84 Lumber. This home improvement store has a line of tiny houses on wheels (THOWs) that you could construct yourself or buy them assembled already. 

The company has four THOWs available: (1) Roving, (2) Degsy, (3) Shonsie, and (4) Countryside. 

Roving Tiny Home Kit

84tinyliving-roving-tiny-home-kit
Image source: 84tinyliving

Live big in a small house. Roving from 84 Lumber features a 154-square-feet living space with intricately crafted walnut stained vaulted ceiling. It also comes with an accent wall and barn door for privacy. 

And the kitchen? Stunning! It features a butcher-block countertop outfitted with a stainless-steel sink and a smooth electric cooktop surface. 

Price: 

  • Trailer and plans: $6,884
  • Shell, trailer, and plans: $19,884
  • Fully outfitted: $49,884

Specifications:

  • Living space: 154 square feet
  • 1 loft bedroom
  • 1 bath
  • Exterior: 6’-10” x 16’-4”
  • Porch: 6’10” x 3’-0”

Features:

  • Walnut-stained vaulted ceiling
  • Custom-designed barn door
  • Fire extinguisher included
  • Upstairs loft bedroom with a full-sized bed, windows, and lighting
  • Energy-saving LED lighting
  • Dual-split HVAC system
  • Tankless water heater
  • Closet
  • USB outlet, and more.

Bath:

For full specifications, visit 84tinyliving.com.

Degsy Tiny Home Kit

84tinyliving-degsy
Image source: 84tinyliving

If you prefer a single-level tiny home with contemporary style, then Degsy is the best choice. It features robust and smooth-lapping siding, which makes the exterior a truly wonderful piece. This tiny house on a steel trailer has all the good things so you can zip the road safely. 

Some of the key features of this modern tiny house are the oversized windows that let natural light fills the room, a larger bathroom, HVAC, and additional storage. 

The high ceiling and beautiful floor will impress you and your guests. The French closet doors and sliding pocket door for the bathroom are an eye-catcher. Inside the toilet are built-in shelves to keep your toiletries, a hand-held showerhead, and a vessel sink. 

Whether you’re off-grid or on the grid, Degsy is the way to go. 

Pricing: 

  • Trailer and plans: $6,884
  • Shell, trailer, and plans: $24,884
  • Fully outfitted: $69,884

Specifications:

  • Floor space: 160 square feet
  • Two bedrooms
  • One bath
  • Exterior: 7’-5” x 19’-2” 

Amenities:

  • Walnut floors
  • Dual-split HVAC
  • Fire extinguisher
  • 36-gallon freshwater tank
  • Tankless Energy Star water heater
  • USB outlets, and more. 

Master bedroom:

  • French closet 
  • Queen-sized mattress

Bath:

  • Composting toilet
  • Medicine cabinet with mirror
  • Vanity
  • Full-sized shower stall

To check the full specifications, visit 84tinyliving.com.

Shonsie Tiny Home Kit

84tinyliving-shonsie-tiny-home
Image source: 84tinyliving

The cottage-style Shonsie is an exquisite home feature picturesque front porch, interior and exterior for expensive aesthetics, elegant red metal roof, and beautiful polymer composite siding. The sliding glass patio doors give you a clear view of the outside while making your home extravagantly stunning. 

This tiny home includes rafter ceiling, a striking red epoxy floor, a rolling library ladder, and a folding dining table you can easily stow away for more space. 

It also features an elegant kitchen with a solid-surface countertop, classic designer faucet, a stainless sink, an electric cooktop, and a ceiling storage compartment.

If striking red isn’t your liking, you can opt for the gleaming blue for more elegant feels. 

Pricing: 

  • Trailer and plans: $6,884
  • Shell, trailer, and plans: $22,884
  • Fully outfitted: $59,884

Specifications:

  • Floor space: 154 square feet
  • 52 square feet loft
  • One bedroom in the loft
  • One bath
  • Exterior: 6’-10” x 16’-4” 
  • Porch: 6’-10” x 3’-0”

Amenities:

  • Exposed rafter ceiling
  • Custom-designed sliding door
  • Loft storage compartment
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Energy-saving LED lighting
  • 30-gallon freshwater storage tank
  • Tankless water heater
  • Dual-split HVAC system

Kitchen:

  • Butcher block countertop
  • Smooth surface electric cooktop
  • Designer faucet
  • Energy-star refrigerator
  • Folding dining table
  • A fold-down storage area in the ceiling

Bath:

  • Composting toilet
  • Exhaust fan
  • Full-sized shower

To see the full specifications and features, visit 84tinyliving.com.

Countryside Tiny Home Kit

84tinyliving-countryside-tiny-home
Image source: 84tinyliving

Spacious, rustic, and refined, Countryside is beyond compare. What makes this tiny house a step higher than the others is that it has extra storage, bamboo flooring, and a permanent staircase that will escort you to the roomy sleeping loft. 

The kitchen in Countryside brags a custom butcher block countertop, raised bar for dining or working, electric cook-top, and an Energy Star refrigerator. 

Meanwhile, the bath features a distinctive vanity that boasts nothing but rustic charm. 

Pricing: 

  • Trailer and plans: $6,884
  • Shell, trailer, and plans: $31,884
  • Fully outfitted: $79,884

Specifications:

  • Living space: 203 square feet
  • Main space: 150 square feet
  • Loft: 53 square feet
  • One bedroom in the loft
  • One bath
  • Exterior: 8’-3” x 23’-3”
  • Storage: 8’-0” x 3’-6”

Amenities:

  • Bamboo floor
  • Upstairs loft bedroom with a full-sized bed, windows, and lighting
  • USB outlets
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Energy-saving LED lighting
  • Tankless water heater
  • Day bed with storage
  • 36-gallon freshwater storage tank

Kitchen:

  • Butcher block countertop
  • Energy Star refrigerator
  • Smooth surface induction cooktop
  • Stainless steel fridge
  • Two upper cabinets
  • Designer faucet

Bath:

  • Composting toilet
  • Full-sized shower
  • Exhaust fan
  • Vanity with sink

To see the complete specifications and features, visit 84tinyliving.com.

As you may have noticed, 84 Lumber has different pricing. The semi-DIY package (which consists of the shell, trailer, and plans) is the best choice if you want 84 Lumber to help you with the heavy tasks, like framing the structure. 

If you prefer building the tiny house yourself, you can opt for the cheaper option (which starts at $6,884). This kit includes the building plans, a materials list, a trailer for towing, and technical support. 

For those who want a move-in ready tiny home, they can choose the fully outfitted option. 

84 Lumber offers financing to help you make your dream tiny house come true. 

Other Tiny Home Kits

Shelter in a Day

Shelter in a Day offers safe and secure tiny homes for those who are displaced by natural disasters. They are also for those who are looking to downsize. 

Their tiny homes are robustly constructed and are rust-, termite-, and rot-resistant. The tiny houses are crafted from recycled, waterproof wood fiber material. You can build the shelters within a day, even without tools or electricity, thanks to their patented Tool Free Joint. 

Pricing: $4,999*

* Tax and shipping are not included. 

Features:

  • 144 square feet home, 12’ x 12’ design
  • Tool Free Joint tiny home; no skills, electricity, or tools needed for assembly
  • Constructed with precision cut components
  • Made from waterproof recycled MDF (Medium-density fiberboard)
  • Choice of one or two lockable doors
  • Four screened and lockable windows
  • Screened air vents

If you wish to expand your Shelter in a Day home, you can purchase the extension kit for only $950 for every 4-foot increment. 

Keep in mind that you will need a solid foundation to build this tiny shelter.

Visit the official website of Shelter in a Day for more information. 

Tumbleweed Tiny Houses

This company offers a wide variety of tiny houses and tiny home kits. To help tiny house aspirants get to know how it feels to live small, Tumbleweed offers tiny house hotels, so that potential customers could try tiny house living before making big decisions. 

They also let you design your tiny home. The price of a custom-design tiny house depends on how you would create it. You can choose from four of their models: Cypress, Elm, Farallon, and Roanoke.

Each model has different shells. Adding more house features will cost extra. They also offer financing. 

Tumbleweed Models:

  1. Elm – available in three variants: 26’ Equator, 30’ Equator, and 30’ Alta. 

Elm 26’ Equator Key Features:

  • Length – 26’
  • Width – 8’6” 
  • Height – 13’5”
  • Sleeps – 1 + 2 in loft
  • Main floor – 204 square feet
  • Dry weight – ~12,000 pounds

Elm 30’ Equator Key Features:

  • Length – 30’
  • Width – 8’6”
  • Height – 13’5”
  • Sleeps – 1 + 2 in loft
  • Main floor – 259 square feet
  • Dry weight – ~14,500 pounds

Elm 30’ Alta Key Features

  • Length – 30’
  • Width – 8’6”
  • Height – 13’5”
  • Sleeps – 2 + 2 in loft
  • Main floor – 259 square feet
  • Dry weight – ~14,500 pounds
  1. Cypress – available in five variants: 20’ Overlook, 26’ Equator, 26’ Horizon, 30’ Alta, and 30’ Equator

Cypress 20’ Overlook Key Features:

  • Length – 20’
  • Width – 8’6”
  • Height – 13’5”
  • Sleeps – 2 in the loft
  • Main floor – 164 square feet
  • Dry weight – ~9,500 pounds

Cypress 26’ Equator Key Features:

  • Length – 26’
  • Width – 8’6”
  • Height – 13’5”
  • Sleeps – 1 + 2 in the loft
  • Main floor – 215 square feet
  • Dry weight – ~12,000 pounds

Cypress 26’ Horizon Key Features:

  • Length – 26’
  • Width – 8’6”
  • Height – 13’5”
  • Sleeps – 2 in the loft
  • Main floor – 215 square feet
  • Dry weight – ~12,000 pounds

Cypress 30’ Alta Key Features:

  • Length – 30’ 
  • Width – 8’6”
  • Height – 13’5”
  • Sleeps –  2 + 2 in the loft
  • Main floor – 249 square feet
  • Dry weight – ~14,500 pounds

Cypress 30’ Equator:

  • Length – 30’
  • Width – 8’6”
  • Height – 13’5”
  • Sleeps – 1 + 2 in the loft
  • Main floor – 249 square feet
  • Dry weight – ~14,500 pounds
  1.  Farallon – available in four variants: 26’ Vista L1, 26’ Alta L1, 26’ Pacific L1, and 30’ Alta L1

Farallon 26’ Vista L1 Key Features:

  • Length – 26’
  • Width – 8’6”
  • Height – 13’4”
  • Main floor – 183 square feet
  • Sleeps – 2 + 2 in the loft
  • Dry weight – ~12,000 pounds

Farallon 26’ Alta L1 Key Features:

  • Length – 26’
  • Width – 8’6”
  • Height – 13’4”
  • Main floor – 183 square feet
  • Sleeps – 2 + 2 in the loft
  • Dry weight – ~12,000 pounds

Farallon 30’ Alta L1 Key Features:

  • Length – 30’
  • Width – 8’6”
  • Height – 13’4”
  • Main floor – 212 square feet
  • Sleeps – 2 + 2 in the loft
  • Dry weight – ~12,000 pounds

Farallon Pacific L1 Key Features:

  • Length – 26’
  • Width – 8’6” 
  • Height – 13’4”
  • Main floor – 183 square feet
  • Sleeps – 2 + 2 in the loft
  • Dry weight – ~12,000 pounds
  1. Roanoke – available in four variants: 20’ Clear SL, 26’ Pacific L1, 26’ Alta L1, and 30’ Alta L1.

Roanoke 20’ Clear SL Key Features:

  • Length – 20’
  • Width – 8’6”
  • Height – 13’4”
  • Sleeps – 2 downstairs
  • Main floor – 139 square feet
  • Dry weight – ~9,000 pounds

Roanoke 26’ Pacific L1 Key Features:

  • Length – 26’
  • Width – 8’6”
  • Height – 13’4”
  • Sleeps – 2 in the loft
  • Main floor – 184 square feet
  • Dry weight – ~12,000 pounds

Roanoke 26’ Alta L1 Key Features:

  • Length – 26’
  • Width – 8’6”
  • Height – 13’4” 
  • Sleeps – 2 + 2 in the loft
  • Main floor – 184 square feet
  • Dry weight – ~12,000 pounds

Roanoke 30’ Alta L1 Key Features:

  • Length – 30’
  • Width – 8’6”
  • Height – 13’4”
  • Sleeps – 2 + 2 in the loft
  • Main floor – 213 square feet
  • Dry weight – ~12,000 pounds

Tiny Heirloom

Tiny Heirloom is one of the leading companies that specialize in custom tiny homes. For them, living in a tiny house doesn’t mean you can’t live luxuriously big with a small carbon footprint. 

The company offers tiny home kits that includes the trailer and shells of your preferred tiny home model. To help tiny house aspirants make no mistake (which sometimes could be costly), they offer pre-built and even pre-loved tiny homes. 

DIY packages from Tiny Heirloom start at $15,000. 

Jamaica Cottage Shop

This company specializes in cabins, storage, garden, and tiny living. They offer a tiny house on wheels which you can order fully assembled or as tiny home kits.

Building the tiny houses is easy as all materials in the precut kit are color-coded, part numbered, and stacked in order. Jamaica Cottage Shop offers financing terms, so that you can build your dream tiny house without hurting the bank. 

The tiny house on wheels starts at $9,198.00. Installment plans are available for as low as $297 per month. 

If you want a charming little cabin, you can opt for the Potting Fort. It could be a backyard retreat, bunkhouse, or hideaway. You can purchase it fully assembled or as a complete precut kit. 

Final Takeaway

Tiny house living is within reach. They are way more affordable than traditional homes. Another great thing about tiny homes is that you can build them yourself. As outlined in this article, you can buy tiny home kits that won’t break the bank. 

Building a traditional house could take weeks, even months. But with tiny home kits, you can have your house standing tall and proud within a day or two. Most tiny home kits don’t require professional construction skills, tools, or electricity. 

Related Questions

How much do tiny home kits cost?

Tiny house kits can cost anywhere between $10,000 to $150,000. 

Are tiny houses less expensive?

Some believe that smaller means cheaper. Well, not necessarily. Luxurious tiny houses with high-quality or rare materials could be just as expensive as traditional homes. The core principle of the tiny house movement is to live simply and reduce carbon footprint. Technically, tiny houses must be less expensive. 

Are tiny houses a bad investment?

Tiny houses on wheels depreciate like vehicles. They are more prone to damages. Hence, tiny houses are viewed as a bad investment. Real estate properties appreciate over time. Given your tiny house is built on a foundation in a well-established community, it could be a good investment. 

Where To Find A Tiny Home Builder: A Comprehensive List

Where To Find A Tiny Home Builder: A Comprehensive List

tiny home builder united states map

A tiny home builder is a company that specializes in building a tiny house, be it mobile or stationary. If you ever want to own or live in a micro-housing unit, they are the guys you can count on. Which begs the question, are there are any tiny home designers near you?

There are hundreds of tiny home builders in the US. Almost every state has at least one tiny house builder in it.  They are mostly in counties and townships, whose zoning laws are more lenient in the construction of micro-housing. 

Furthermore, tiny home builders also offer a wide range of services such as placing insulation, interior design, deck construction, and more. Some companies also sell tiny home blueprints and floor plans so their customers can build their own units.

Some builders also offer real estate solutions such as a vacant lot in their partner tiny house community where you can park your unit. Additionally, they can even assist you in registering your tiny home as a Recreational Vehicle (RV).

Furthermore, some companies also host seminars about everything there is to know about the Tiny House Movement. If you are lucky, they may even teach you how to build your own tiny home unit for a minimal fee. 

 In this post, we have listed the location of the most reputable tiny house builders in the country. 

CLARA tiny home builder

Tiny Home Builders in the US Sorted By State 

1. Alabama

Alabama is known for its countryside scenery, including the beaches of the Gulf Coast in the south and breathtaking mountain ranges in the north. Tiny house builders in the state construct units that can adapt to warm and  rainy weather. Many of the companies here build tiny homes with cooling vents, and most prefer materials that are resistant to mildew and surface moss. 

  • AL Tiny Homes

Website: www.altinyhomes.com 

Address: 653 Lester Doss Road, Warrior, AL 

  • Atkinson Homes and Cottages

Website: www.atkinsoncottages.com

Address: 33230 US Highway 280, Childersburg, AL

  • Harmony Tiny Homes

Website: None

Address: Oxford, AL

  • Timbercraft Tiny Homes

Website: www.timbercrafttinyhomes.com

Address: 230 Convict Camp Rd, Guntersville, AL

2. Alaska

The northernmost part of the US has icy cold winters that require tiny homes to have thicker insulations. Hence, tiny home builders here go for maximizing interior space that can efficiently regulate the heat inside. They also design their units to have roofs and walls that can support heavy snow load. 

  • Tundra Tiny Houses

Website: https://tundratiny.com/ 

Address: 17571 W Lesser Canada Dr, Wasilla, AL

  • Tiny Timber Homes

Website: https://tundratiny.com/

Address: 17571 W Lesser Canada Dr, Wasilla, AL

3. Arizona

Arizona is known for its arid climate, especially its southwestern desserts, where daytime temperature can climb up to 105 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit. For this reason, most tiny homes here are built with large windows and air conditioning. Some builders also install solar panels to take advantage of its mostly sunny climate.

  • Uncharted Tiny Homes

Website:http://www.unchartedtinyhomes.com/

Address: 24820 N. 16th Ave Ste. 170, Phoenix, AZ

  • Tiny Treasure Homes

Website: http://www.tinytreasurehomes.com/

Address: Cave Creek, AZ

  • LuxTiny

Website: http://www.luxtiny.com/

Address: 1412 Amanda Dr Lakeside, AZ

  • Cinder Box- Micro Dwelling

Website: https://www.cinderboxdwelling.com/

Address: Phoenix, AZ

4. Arkansas

Arkansas has a humid subtropical, much like the rest of the southeastern US. They have steamy summers and relatively mild winters., which many of the builders consider when constructing micro-housing units. The state is also a great outdoor destination, especially the Ozark area. 

  • Slabtown Customs Tiny Houses

Website: None

Address: 602 E Webb St., Mountain View, AR

  • Davis Portable Buildings Arkansas

Website: http://davisportablebuildingsarkansas.com/

Address: Bo, Jeff, Larenda, 301 E. Broadway, Glenwood, AR

5. California

California is the perfect state for outdoor lovers. However, millions of residents were affected during the housing crisis and have found tiny houses as a good residential alternative. California tiny house builders offer a wide range of design and style for their diverse clientele. 

  • Zen Cottages

Website: https://www.zentinyhomes.com/

Address: 227 Rosebay Dr, Encinitas, CA

  • Molecule Tiny Homes

Website: http://moleculetinyhomes.blogspot.com/

Address: Santa Cruz, CA

  • Humble Handcraft

Website: https://www.humblehandcraft.com/

Address: 185 N Olive St, Ventura, CA

  • Avava Dwellings

Website: http://www.avavadwellings.com/

Address: Berkeley, CA

6. Colorado

When you say Colorado, people immediately think of its magnificent mountains, outdoor activities, and winter sports. This combination of nature and a laid back ambiance has made the state the center of the Tiny House Movement. Builders here have different specialties in constructing mountain friendly dwellings. 

  • Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

Website: https://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/

Address: 1450 Valley St, Colorado Springs, CO

  • Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses

Website: https://rockymountaintinyhouses.com/ 

Address: 777 Sawmill Rd, Durango, CO

  • Sprout Tiny Homes

Website: None

Address: 45825 Highway 96 East, Building 583 E, Pueblo, CO

  • MitchCraft Tiny Homes

Website: http://mitchcrafttinyhomes.com/

Address: 233 US-287, Fort Collins, CO

  • Tiny Diamond Homes

Website: https://www.tinydiamondhomes.com/ 

Address: Littleton, CO

7. Connecticut 

Connecticut has a temperate climate with warm summers and mild winters. They also have magnificent trails and gorgeous scenery in the Berkshire mountains. In the next few years, it wouldn’t be surprising if tiny home activities will increase in this state. 

  • There is no known tiny home builder in this state. 

8. Delaware 

Delaware is another state famous for its beaches and hiking trails. The state has a moderate climate. Unfortunately, it has yet to establish tiny home communities in the state. 

  • There is no known tiny home builder in this state. 

9. Florida

Florida is one of the tiny house friendly states. Retirees and snowbirds flock the state thanks to the numerous activities you can do here. Overall, it has a lot of tiny house community where you can park your mobile home or settle your unit permanently. 

  • Sanctuary Tiny Homes

Website: https://www.sanctuarytinyhomes.com/ 

Address: 485 S Shell Rd suite 7b, DeBary, FL

  • Blue Ox Bungalows

Website: None

Address:1060 E Industrial Drive Suite U, Orange City, FL

  • Cornerstone Tiny Homes

Website: https://cornerstonetinyhomes.com/

Address: 1687 Timocuan Way #101, Longwood, FL

  • A New Beginning Tiny Homes

Website: None

Address: 1687 Timocuan Way, Suite 101Longwood, FL

tiny house construction site

10. Georgia

Georgia is known for its vibrancy and is one of the fastest-growing areas in the country today. Just a few miles drive from the city of Atlanta, and you will find a simpler life in the rural South. Furthermore, there are plenty of RV parks and campgrounds where you can park your unit. 

  • Mustard Seed Tiny Homes

Website: https://mustardseedtinyhomes.com/ 

Address: Brogdon Road, Suwanee, GA

  • Free Range Tiny Homes

Website: https://mustardseedtinyhomes.com/

Address: Suwanee, GA

  • Hummingbird Tiny Housing

Website: http://www.hummingbirdhousing.com/

Address: 3662 Old Macon Road, Danville, GA

  • Otter Hollow Design

Website: http://www.otterhollowdesign.com/ 

Address: Canton, GA

11. Hawaii

The island of Hawaii has a tropical climate. As such, tiny home builders try to maximize ventilation into their units by adding large windows. Most tiny homes here are usually built on a foundation. 

  • Habitats Hawaii

Website: https://www.habitatshawaii.com/

Address: 44-3201 Kula Kahiko Rd, HI

  • Tiny Pacific Houses

Website: https://www.tinypacifichouses.com/   

Address: Honolulu, HI

  • Island Tiny Homes

Website: http://islandtinyhomes.com/

Address: Maui, HI

12. Idaho

Another state known for camping and hiking, Idaho is great for outdoorsy people. It also snows in the state, which is why builders invest in insulation. Furthermore, they also use materials that can withstand heavy snow loads. 

  • Tiny Idahomes

Website:https://www.tinyidahomes.com/ 

Address: 1050 Cascade Road, Building No. 4, Emmett, ID

  • Tiny Portable Cedar Cabins

Website: https://www.tinyportablecedarcabins.com/

Address: Spirit Lake, ID

13. Illinois

The state of Illinois has a good balance of urban and rural life. The city of Chicago is known for its high-priced real estate. Tiny homes are a great choice for people who want an inexpensive housing option. 

  • Bantam Built

Website: https://bantambuilthomes.com/

Address: 1640 Shanahan Dr, South Elgin, IL

  • Switchgrass Tiny Homes

Website: https://switchgrasstinyhomes.com/ 

Address: Champaign, IL

14. Indiana

Indiana has a humid continental climate known for being windy all year round. The main challenge for builders here is to design units that can resist high levels of rain and wind. Furthermore, the state is known for its vast open plains and occasional storms. 

  • Unplugged Houses

Website: None 

Address: W County Road 900 S, Pendleton, IN

  • Carpenter Owl

Website: https://www.carpenterowl.com/ 

Address: 611 W 11th St, Bloomington, IN

15. Iowa

While Iowa has vast areas of open space, they haven’t been as friendly to the tiny house dwellers. There are still a lot of jurisdictions that impose strict zoning laws that prevent the construction of tiny homes. 

  • Tiny Vastu Cabin

Website: http://www.vastucabin.com/

Address: Fairfield, IA

16. Kansas

Kansas is an agricultural state with great extremes between winter and summer temperatures. There are hardly any tiny homes in this area.  

  • There is no known tiny home builder in this state. 

17. Kentucky

Kentucky’s famous bluegrass plains are the perfect place to settle. There are also tons of things you can explore in the Appalachian mountains. Tiny home builders here have it easy as the place has a moderate climate all year round.

  • Amish Kentucky

Website: http://amishmadecabins.com/

Address: 772 Cedar Grove Rd, Shepherdsville, KY

  • WheelLife Tiny Homes

Website: https://wheellifehomes.com/

Address:  576 Deer Run Rd, Cold Spring, KY

18. Louisiana

Louisiana has a hot and humid climate. It also has a diverse landscape from coastal regions to swamps. As such, tiny home builders here specialize in keeping their units ventilated while keeping the water out. 

  • Tee Tiny Houses

Website: https://teetinyhouses.wordpress.com/our-models/ 

Address: 1056B Coteau Rodaire Hwy., Arnaudville LA

  • Preservation Tiny House Company

Website: http://www.preservationtinyhouse.com/ 

Address: 1900 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA

19. Maine

Maine is one of the northernmost parts of the US, and winters here can be quite daunting. On the flip side, Maine offers tons of outdoor activities such as boating, fishing, hiking, and camping during fall. Hence, most units here are built for those two polarizing seasons. 

  • Creative Cottages

Website: None

Address: Freeport, ME

  • Tiny Homes of Maine

Website: https://tinyhousesofmaine.com/

Address: 8 Morin St, Biddeford, ME 

20. Maryland

Maryland is known for its fascinating shores, which are loaded with fun activities such as kayaking and surfing. It also has a mild climate, which is perfect if you want to take a vacation. The state only has a few RV parks, which makes it difficult to park your mobile home.

  • Hobbitat Spaces

Website: http://hobbitatspaces.com/ 

Address: 428 Blue Sky Drive, Oakland, MD

  • Civic Works Tiny Homes

Website: http://civicworks.com/

Address: 2701 St Lo Dr, Baltimore, MD

  • Container Homes of Maryland and I CAN BUILD IT LLP

Website: https://www.icanbuilditllp.com/ 

Address: Hagerstown, MD

small home interior

21. Massachusetts

Massachusetts is known as the landing place of the Pilgrims and the Mayflower. The state is densely populated and can be very cold during the winter. Several townships also have restrictive zoning, which is a challenge that tiny home builders may help you with. 

  • B&B Precision Builders (B&B Micro Manufacturing)

Website: https://bbtinyhouses.com/

Address: 201 Howland Ave., Adams MA

22. Michigan

Renowned for its Great Lakes, Michigan is the place to be if you want watersports and other outdoor activities. However, because it borders Canada, you can expect cold winters. As such, builders of mobile homes here prioritize insulation, heating components, and snow load reinforcement when building a unit. 

  • Michigan Tiny Homes

Website: https://www.greatlakestinyhome.com/

Address: Mt. Pleasant, MI

23. Minnesota

Minnesota is known for producing dairy products, corn, wheat, and hogs. It also offers a gorgeous sight of the countryside just mere hours from its major cities. The winters here can be icy, which is what most tiny home builders have to solve when building a tiny house. 

  • Tiny Green Cabins

Website: http://tinygreencabins.com/ 

Address: 10661 Nassau St NE Ste 1100 Blaine, MN

  • Alpha Tiny Homes

Website: http://tinyhomesoffgridlife.homestead.com/ 

Address: 1328 Highway 96 E 55110 White Bear Lake, MN

24. Mississippi

The hot and humid state of Mississippi is the birthplace of the King of Rock and Roll– Elvis Presley. The weather here can also be rocking, especially during the summer. Most tiny homes here are designed to provide ventilation and keep its occupants cool. 

  • Tiny House Life

Website: http://www.tinyhouselifespace.com/

Address: 628 U.S. Highway 98 Hattiesburg, MS

25. Missouri

Missouri is regarded as the geographical center of the United States. It’s home to some of the rich national forests of the country which offers plenty of outdoor activities. They also have a decent tiny house presence and a few viable parking spots. 

  • Custom Container Living

Website: https://customcontainerliving.com/ 

Address: Archie, MO

  • Classic Building Sales

Website: https://www.classicbuildingsales.com/ 

Address: 67 Progress Lane Linn, MO

  • Mini Mansion Tiny Home Builders

Website: https://minimansionstinyhomebuilders.com/ 

Address:  Saint Peters, MO

26. Montana

Nicknamed the Treasure State, Montana is rich in minerals such as gold, copper, and silver. It’s also known for its vast open space, making it the perfect getaway for any outdoorsman. However, its low population also means there’s just a small presence of the tiny house movement here.   

  • A Room of One’s Own

Website: https://charlesfinn.wixsite.com/a-room-of-ones-own 

Address: Missoula, MT

  • ECO-BUILT

Website: http://www.ecobuilthomes.com/ 

Address: 2521 Old Hardin Road, Billings, MT

27. Nebraska

Nebraska has the potential to be a tiny home dwellers paradise. It has numerous open spaces, a few cities for modern-day living, and lots of inexpensive lands. However, zoning laws and the difficulty of obtaining permits for building a tiny house derail such prospects. 

TIny Midwest

Website: https://midwesttinyliving.com

Address: 3953 45th Ave SE, Saint Cloud, NE

28. Nevada

Two things Nevada is known for- its dessert and Las Vegas. One of the challenges of builders here is to keep their customers cool once they are in their tiny home unit. Luckily, there are numerous natural and artificial cooling methods that they can use to keep the tiny house temperature just right.

  • Old Hippie Design

Website: http://oldhippieww.com/

Address: 5117 Cereus Ct 89146 Las Vegas, NV

  • Tahoe Tiny House and Trailers

Website: https://www.tahoetinyhousesandtrailers.com/ 

Address: South Lake Tahoe, NV

  • Sierra Tiny Homes Reno

Website: https://www.sierratinyhouses.com/

Address: Reno, NV

29. New Hampshire

Another outdoor recreational center, New Hampshire is the place to be for skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and camping. While there is only one known tiny home builder in the state, they are known for producing some of the best models out there. 

  • Tiny House Northeast

Website: https://tinyhousenortheast.com/ 

Address: Wakefield, NH

30. New Jersey 

New Jersey is one of the most populated states in the country, thanks to its large and mid-sized cities. There are also a few recreations here, such as the Pine Barrens. Currently, there’s only one tiny home builder in this region. 

Big B’s Tiny Homes

Website: https://www.bigbtinyhomes.com/

Address: Southern New Jersey

tiny house on the mountains

31. New Mexico

Snowbirds often flock this state during the winter months. Its milder climate is quite alluring, especially for people who are escaping the cold. Builders here utilize every method to catch every cooling breeze while keeping their units well insulated. 

  • Southwest Tiny Homes

Website: None

Address: 520 Central Ave #B Williamsburg, NM

  • Piney Pods

Website: https://www.pineypods.com/ 

Address: 137 Deer Park Drive – Alto, NM 

32. New York

As the famous song said, New York is a “concrete jungle where dreams are made of.” But aside from the Empire State building, the state is also known for its rural and semi-rural areas. Builders here design their tiny home models to withstand the cold temperatures brought by the occasional snow. 

  • Tiny Hamptons Homes

Website: https://tinyhamptonshomes.com/

Address: 210 David Whites Ln unit a, Southampton, NY 

  • Bear Creek Carpentry

Website: https://bearcreektinyhouses.com/

Address: Woodgate, NY

  • Hudson River Tiny Homes

Website: https://www.hudsonrivertinyhomes.com/ 

Address: 3429 U.S. 9, Valatie, NY

33. North Carolina

There are plenty of outdoor stuff to explore in North Carolina from its lowlands to its mountainous regions. While the state generally has a mild climate, higher places are known for their snow. As such, tiny home builders here design their units to withstand winter while also keeping them cool during the summer. 

  • Brevard Tiny House Company

Website: https://brevardtinyhouse.com/

Address: Asheville, NC

  • Perch & Nest

Website: https://www.perchandnest.com/

Address: Winston-Salem, NC

  • Migration Tiny Homes

Website: None

Address: Richfield, NC

Wishbone Tiny Homes

Website: http://www.wishbonetinyhomes.com/

Address:  Asheville, NC

34. North Dakota

There is one word that can best describe North Dakota– it’s wild. The state is host to a long stretch of national forests and public land for recreation. Most of its rural areas also have very limited restrictions, plus the fact that land is cheap makes it a tiny house haven.  

  • Tilt Cabins

Website: None

Address: Minot, ND

35. Ohio

Ohio has a vivacious tiny house presence. While the state is known for snowfall and cold winters, tiny home builders here are well prepared and keep this fact when designing their mobile home models.

  • Modern Tiny Living

Website: https://www.moderntinyliving.com/ 

Address: Columbus, OH

  • Skosh Tiny Living

Website: None

Address: Rittman, Ohio

  • Small Spaces CLE

Website: https://www.smallspacescle.com/

Address: 4565 Willow Parkway Cuyahoga HTS, OH

36. Oklahoma 

Oklahoma is not quite as mountainous as most states where there are plenty of outdoor activities. It’s mostly plains and a few low mountains and rolling hills here and there. With that said, there is almost no sign of tiny house presence in this state. 

  • There is no known tiny home builder in this state. 

37. Oregon

The progressive and bustling state of Oregon is a tiny home friendly territory. With tons of outdoor activities, excellent housing sector, and a robust job market, it’s one of the centers of the tiny home movement. Tiny house builders flock  the state, and there are plenty of designs to choose from. 

  • Tiny Heirloom

Website: https://www.tinyheirloom.com/

Address: 9002 N Sever Ct. Portland, OR 

  • Handcrafted Movement

Website: https://handcraftedmovement.com/

Address: Portland, Oregon

  • Tiny Mountain Homes

Website:  https://www.tinymountainhouses.com/

Address: Salem, OR

  • Tiny SMART House

Website:https://www.tinysmarthouse.com/

Address: 34025 Texas St SW, Albany, OR

  • Oregon Cottage Company

Website: https://oregoncottagecompany.net/

Address: 831 Snell St, Eugene, OR

  • Shelter Wise 

Website: https://www.shelterwise.com/mobile-home/

Address: 18179 Portland, OR

38. Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is known for a lot of things from its major cities, its forests, and of course– chocolate factories. However, it’s densely populated and has plenty of building requirements, plus it has very strict zoning laws. Still, there are a few tiny home builders here that can take on the job of producing your dream tiny house. 

  • 84 Lumber Tiny Living

Website: https://www.84lumber.com/

Address: Eighty Four, PA

  • Liberation Tiny House

Website: https://www.liberationtinyhomes.com/

Address: 101 Ashmore Drive, Leola, PA

  • The Unknown Craftsmen

Website: None

Address: Unityville, PA

39. Rhode Island

The tiniest state in the country has a low population. With an area of just 1,214 miles, there’s hardly any tiny home presence here. 

  • There is no known tiny home builder in this state. 

40. South Carolina

South Carolina’s landscape is quite diverse. It also has plenty of activities to offer, such as hiking and beach activities. The climate here can be humid and hot, especially during the summer. 

  • Driftwood Homes USA

Website: None

Address: 49 Pennington Dr Ste F, Bluffton, SC 

  • Green River Log Cabins

Website: https://greenriverlogcabins.com/

Address: 770 W. Frontage Rd Campobello, SC

tiny house contractors

41. South Dakota 

South Dakota is known for its cheap tracts of land and vast empty spaces. It also has some of the most popular national parks such as Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands. However, given its low population, there is hardly any tiny home presence in this region. 

There is no known tiny home builder in this state. 

42. Tennessee

The state of Tennessee has some of the best snowboard and ski resorts in the country. It also has a rugged yet breathtaking mountain landscapes such as the Blue Ridge Mountains. Its chilly winters and humid summers require tiny home builders to be versatile in their craft. 

  • New Frontier Tiny Homes

Website: https://www.newfrontiertinyhomes.com/

Address: Nashville, TN

  • Incredible Tiny Homes

Website: http://www.incredibletinyhomes.com/ 

Address: 850 Industrial Road, Newport, TN

  • Wind River Tiny Home

Website: https://www.windrivertinyhomes.com/

Address: Chattanooga, TN

  • Heartland Tiny Homes

Website: https://www.heartlandtinyhomes.com/ 

Address: 1100 The Trace Rd, Dover, TN 

43. Texas

The largest state of continental US has a strong tiny house presence. Thanks to its vibrant modern cities and vast areas of rural land, it’s one of the best places to settle your tiny home on wheels. Many of the small home builders here are known to export their tiny house models to other parts of the country. 

  • Tiny Life Construction

Website: http://www.tinylifeconstruction.com/

Address:  3500 Apache Forest Drive, Austin, TX

  • Nomad Tiny Homes

Website: http://www.nomadtinyhomes.com/

Address: Dripping Springs, TX

  • TexZen Tiny Home Company

Website: http://texzentinyhomes.com/

Address: 11800 Manchaca Rd, Austin, TX

  • American Tiny House

Website: https://www.americantinyhouse.com/

Address: 5805 East US Highway 80, Longview, TX

  • Kanga Rooms

Website: http://kangaroomsystems.com/

Address: 3501 Jack Kultgen Expressway76711 Waco, TX

44. Utah

When you think of Utah, you immediately associate it with outdoor activities. From snowboarding to skiing, this state is the place to be when you’re an outdoor lover. No wonder there is a strong presence of the tiny house movement here. 

  • Alpine Tiny Homes

Website: None

Address: 462 E 1750 N; Vineyard, UT

  • Maximus Extreme Living Solutions

Website: None

Address: 1193 West Wilson Lane, West Haven, UT

45. Vermont

While the tiny house movement hasn’t really boomed in Vermont, it’s slowly gaining traction. With tons of outdoor activities to offer, especially in the Green Mountains, it has the potential to be a tiny house hub. A couple of builders also think so and have set up shop in the state.  

  • Jamaica Cottage Shop

Website: https://jamaicacottageshop.com/

Address: 170 Winhall Station Rd, South Londonderry, VT 

  • Tiny House Crafters

Website: None

Address: Sherwood Forest 05148 Londonderry, VT

46. Virginia

Jamestown in Virginia is known as the first English settlement in the country. Known as the “birthplace of America,” Virginia has one of the most famous national parks in the US– Shenandoah. Besides that here are also a couple of tiny house companies in the country that can help you build your micro-housing needs. 

  • Tiny House Building Company

Website: https://www.tinyhousebuildingcompany.com/

Address: 11001 Houser Drive Suite 16 Fredericksburg, VA

  • Build Tiny

Website: https://build-tiny.com/ 

Address:  Clarke County, VA

47. Washington

Washington has a fair treatment for the tiny house movement. Indeed, it’s population of outdoor-loving people is also into sustainable living. Additionally, it also has one of the major employment capitals in the US– Seattle city. 

  • Zyl Vardos

Website: http://www.zylvardos.com/

Address: Olympia, WA

  • Cascade Tiny Homes

Website: http://www.cascadetinyhouses.com/

Address:  6400 Woodlyn Rd 98248 Ferndale, WA

  • Greenpod Development

Website: http://www.greenpoddevelopment.com/

Address:606 Roosevelt St, Port Townsend, WA

  • Minim Homes

Website: https://minimhomes.com/ 

Address: Washington, D.C. 

48. West Virginia

West Virginia’s rugged terrain and low population density make it quite hard for the tiny house movement to establish its roots. 

There is no known tiny home builder in this state. 

49. Wisconsin

Dubbed as America’s dairyland, Wisconsin is a well-known producer of cheese. Besides that, its rural landscapes are also quite a sight to behold. It also has cold winters and warm summers, which most tiny house builders in the area try to address.

  • ESCAPE

Website: https://www.escapetraveler.net/

Address: Rice Lake, WI

  • Utopian Villas

Website:  http://www.utopian-villas.com/

Address: 3123 S. Memorial Dr. Mt. Pleasant, WI 

  • MODS International

Website: https://www.mods.us/

Address: 5523 Integrity Way Appleton, WI 

50. Wyoming

If you ever consider alternative sustainable living, then Wyoming is one of the best places to be. With just a population of above half a million over a hundred thousand square miles, you can find privacy here. Furthermore, the parcels of land are quite affordable, making it a great retirement retreat.  

  • Wheelhaus

Website: https://wheelhaus.com/

Address: Jackson, WY 

  • Teton Buildings

Website: http://tetonbuildings.com/

Address: 2701 Magnet St, Houston, TX 

mobile home builders

Hiring a Tiny Home Builder vs. Doing It Yourself (DIY)

Learning how to build a home, even on a smaller scale, has a steep learning curve. This is doubly true if you don’t have any background in carpentry, plumbing, electrical wiring, and other building skills. 

Commissioning a Tiny Home Builder

As such, many individuals who want to own a tiny home usually hire the services of a builder. Most builders even have a team of professionals such as architects, structural engineers, and contractors who can produce the tiny house of your dream.

Additionally, you won’t need to worry about how to get the materials for the project as the company also has its construction supplies. All you have to do is help out on the design phase and let the rest of their team do the heavy work.

Depending on the size of your tiny home, its materials, and the amenities inside it– your builder may ask you anywhere between $10,000 and $150,000. To prevent going over your budget, you can tell your builder how much you are willing to spend for the tiny house. They will then present you with a design concept that fits your preference and the amount you are ready to pay.  

When looking for a tiny home builder and the tiny home you want them to build, here are some things to consider:

  • Quote or estimate of the project and what’s included
  • Materials that they will use such as fiberglass for insulation
  • Size and gross weight of the tiny house unit
  • Space-saving features and overall functionality
  • The estimated time it would take to complete your tiny home
tiny house builders

Most commissioned tiny home projects to have a timeframe of 3 to 6 months before they are finished and ready for furnishing. Some tiny home companies even deliver completed tiny homes right at your doorstep or front yard. 

Pros

  • Takes a shorter time to build your tiny home
  • Won’t take too much of your precious time
  • Better quality as professionals make them
  • The design complies with RVIA standards 

Cons

  • Generally more expensive than DIY
  • Finding the right builder within your state

DIY Project

On the other hand, you can also build your own tiny houses provided that you have the tools and knowledge to do so. A lot of the early owners of tiny homes made their units during their spare time. 

Moreover, some tiny home companies also sell blueprints and teach people how to construct their own micro houses. You can even go to seminars held by these building companies so you can learn the basics of building a house.

Consequently, constructing your tiny home unit takes time, especially if it’s on the broadside. Several factors can determine the time it would take to finish this DIY project:

  • Size and design of the tiny home
  • Type of materials that you will be using
  • Amount of time you can allocate for the project
  • Number of people working
  • Level of expertise of the workers
tiny house construction in progress

If you stumble upon a problem that is beyond your knowledge, its advisable that you consult an expert. Structural engineers, carpenters, and even your local contractor can point you in the right direction of your tiny home building efforts.   

Pros

  • Generally much cheaper than letting a builder assemble one for you
  • You can freely choose the design and materials to use
  • Highly customizable up to the smallest detail
  • Very rewarding once you finished building the tiny unit

Cons

  • Takes 3-4 times longer to build compared to a builder’s unit
  • Requires the owner to learn a lot of things about construction

Conclusion

The majority of the states in the United States have at least one tiny home builder in it. Furthermore, you can visit them in their workshop and see the tiny home models in their showroom. Hence, making it easier for you to design or choose on the tiny home of your dreams. 

Related Questions

How much will it cost you to build your own tiny home?

According to a tiny house community survey in 2015, the average cost of building your own tiny house is around $23,000. However, you can still build a tiny house at a lower budget depending on its design, size, materials, and additional labor.

My state doesn’t have a tiny home builder; why?

There are a lot of factors why a tiny home builder has yet to set up shop in a state. It could be that the zoning laws in the state don’t make it attractive for people to own a tiny home. 


The 7 Best States for Living in a Tiny House

The 7 Best States for Living in a Tiny House

best-7-states-for-living-in-a-tiny-house

If you’re reading this post, you might have been wondering, “What are the best states for living in a tiny house?”

You can build tiny houses almost everywhere. They literally don’t require that much space. And besides, most tiny houses are on wheels, which would only need you to have a trailer to build on instead of buying a property. 

There are several remarkable places where you can find tiny houses. You can even find tiny house communities across the United States. Some states, however, make for better platforms for tiny homes than the others. The 7 best states for living in a tiny house are:

  • Texas
  • Georgia
  • Colorado
  • California
  • North Carolina
  • Florida
  • Oregon

Selecting The Right State For Your Tiny House

In the last few years, the tiny house movement has gone mainstream thanks to tiny house documentaries and shows like Tiny House Big Living and Tiny House Hunters

Thousands of people started to love the idea of building small, adorable micro dwellings. And the price tag of tiny homes is what pushed others to switch to tiny living. Tiny homes also have lower energy costs and a minimal carbon footprint. 

But building a tiny house isn’t as easy as TV shows make it appear. There are tons of building codes and zoning laws in every state. For the tiny house aspirants, these laws are a stopper. They are what makes it difficult for tiny housers to find a spot for their tiny house on wheels or build a tiny home affixed to a permanent foundation. 

Here’s the good news: while there are lots of states that are stringent about tiny homes, there’s quite a good number of states that warmly accept tiny, sustainable homes. 

Unless you can get through the strict requirements your state has on tiny homes, then there’s nothing to worry about as long as you follow the rules. Otherwise, you might want to move into any of these states:

The 7 Best States for Living in a Tiny House

tiny-house-in-texas

#1 Texas

Texas is the number one on our list, and for a reason: the first tiny house-friendly city in the U.S is in Texas — specifically in the city of Spur.

You see, the core principle of the tiny house movement is to inspire people to live a minimalist lifestyle and contentment. Limiting your dwelling to minimal square feet lets you get rid of the things you don’t really and live only with the things you actually need. 

Yet, there’s a problem. Zoning codes make it impossible for many to downsize and embrace the concept of the tiny house movement. 

But one town in Texas found a way to solve that problem. Spur is a town in West Texas has a population of just over 1,200. It’s a little town with a theater, some local businesses, and a couple of stoplights. 

And yes, Spur, Texas, is the first city in the United States to become tiny house-friendly. Because of the lenient zoning laws in the town, the population grew as people from New York and Silicon Valley started to move in. 

These tiny house aspirants yearn for simple living, small community, and peace. And good for them, Spur offers these things. 

Tiny House Building Law in Spur, Texas

Now let’s talk about the technicalities. Here are the requirements to apply for a tiny house permit in Spur, Texas.

Note: Those who wish to build a tiny house in the town must complete an application for building, including:

  1. Name of applicant
  2. Address of applicant
  3. Telephone number
  4. Location
  5. Legal Property Description
  6. Block and Lot where the tiny house will be located
  7. Dimensions of the tiny house
  8. Description of material to be used to build the tiny house
  9. Blueprints determining the connections to city services, such as sewer, sanitation, and water
  10. Photographs of the tiny house, if available

Here are the tiny house requirements. The City Council or a designated building inspector will examine the location of the tiny house in regards to the present and anticipated land use and development. 

  1. The tiny house must be on a foundation (at least 6 inches of cement footing)
  2. The tiny house needs to have a driveway
  3. If you’re getting a pre-manufactured tiny home, it needs to be skirted
  4. The tiny house must be on an internet street or Common Access Road with an assigned address
  5. It must be connected to city services.
  6. It must comply with applicable portions of the 2005 Structural Standards Code of the City of Spur
  7. The tiny house must pass the inspection 

These laws are lenient compared to other states. To learn more about the tiny house laws in 3Spur, Texas, click here.  

#2 Georgia

When it comes to tiny houses, Georgia isn’t a state that wants to be left behind. As more people start to embrace the movement, Georgia has made its zoning laws lenient for those who want to downsize and live more simply. 

best-7-states-for-living-in-a-tiny-house-georgia

Tiny House Atlanta helps us get a better understanding of the zoning and building codes regarding tiny homes. 

Most jurisdictions in cities and countries are divided into zones or districts that regulate the development of the land and limit the uses to which a tiny house may be put. These zoning districts set the standard of buildings — the height, placement, overall size, and the number of parking spaces in the new building. 

While Zoning Codes set limits and prescribe land use, Building Codes, on the other hand, determine the details of how the buildings on that land are to be constructed. Almost all cities in Georgia currently use the International Residential Code (IRC) of 2012. 

Just a couple of years ago, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs approved the Tiny House Appendix “S” and also the reduction in the minimum living space size from 120 square feet to only 70 square feet. 

The 2012 IRC set the minimum for any dwelling structure:

R304.1 Minimum area

Every habitable structure must have at least one habitable room with not less than 70 square feet of gross floor area. 

R304.2 Other rooms

Other rooms must have at least 70 square feet or 6.5 meter-squared. Kitchens are an exception. 

R304.3 Minimum dimensions

Rooms in tiny houses must not be less than 7 feet (horizontal dimension). Kitchens are an exception. 

R304.4 Height effect on room area

The ceiling must measure not less than 4 feet. A furred ceiling, on the other hand, must measure at least 6 feet from the finished floor to the finished sheiling.

Most municipalities in Georgia follow these standards, but some do not. Manufactured Mobile Home (HUD) in Georgia must follow the HUD Federal Code Regulations, while Recreational Vehicles must adhere to the standards set by the RV Industry Association (RVIA). 

Meanwhile, tiny house — both site-built and pre-manufactured — must comply to the same building code regulations as any other traditional homes. Other codes that apply to tiny houses are those that are set by (1) the International Plumbing Code (IPC) 2012 with Georgia Amendments, (2) International Energy Efficiency Code (IECC) 2009 edition with Georgia Amendments, and (3) National Electrical Code (NEC) 2014 edition

You may have some wonderful ideas for your tiny homes, but take note that some code-related issues might affect the design and construction of your tiny dwelling, including:

  • Room size and dimension
  • Lofts
  • Headroom
  • Means of escape
  • Stairs
  • Egress Width

If you are to purchase a manufactured tiny home in Georgia, make sure it meets the requirements set by the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, 42 U.S.C Section 5401. 

While these all sound too technical and stringent, these regulations are actually more lenient than in other states. 

#3 Colorado

If you want to set roots in a micro-home in a tiny house-friendly state, then Colorado is the place to be! You’d be glad to know that the tiny house movement in this state is incredibly booming, despite having limited legal parking opportunities for tiny homes on wheels. 

tiny-house-in-colorado

However, thanks to local tiny house advocates and community developers, the state has made it easier for people interested in downsizing to have a tiny home. These developers and advocates organized exuberant festivals, including the Tiny House Jamboree, annual Colorado Tiny House Festival, and People’s Tiny House Festival. 

These events helped open the eyes of many people that living in a tiny home isn’t as bad as some critics say. The events were also an eye-opener for the State officials to become more welcoming to the tiny house movement. 

These tiny home communities in Colorado prove that it’s one of the best states for living in a tiny home:

  • Peak View Park in Woodland Park, CO
  • Tiny House Leadville in Leadville, CO
  • Escalante Village in Durango, CO

According to the American Tiny House Association, Walsenburg, Colorado, passed amendments to the 2015 IRC to be friendlier to tiny houses. They reduced the minimum room areas and exit door width and waived stairway regulations. 

Also, in 2014, the Walsenburg City Council approved Ordinance 1045. The ordinance allows tiny homes to be built in R-1 and R-2 zoned residential areas as long as they meet the standards by Planning and Zoning. 

Just in case you don’t know, an R-1 zone refers to a piece of real estate that’s located in a neighborhood of single-family residences. Most local laws do not allow R1 Zoning to one freestanding house (i.e., a tiny house) intended as a dwelling place for one family. 

R-2 Zoning, on the other hand, is to provide for medium to high-density housing in multiple-family structures. 

As per the amendment, tiny homes (about 150 to 450 square feet) must be built or placed on a foundation and hooked into the city’s sewer and water system separately from any other structure on the property. 

Park County, CO permits tiny houses of about 250 square feet. Before the change was made, Park County Land Use Regulations require dwelling houses to be at least 600 square feet. The fact that they reduced the minimum dwelling size proves that Colorado is indeed worthy of being among the 7 best states for living in a tiny house. 

#4 California

If it’s your dream to live in a tiny house in a place that embraces the tiny house movement well, then California is one of the best places to be!

best-7-states-for-living-in-a-tiny-house-california

California proves itself to be one of the best states for living in a tiny house:

  1. California is pretty lenient when it comes to Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU). Just in case you don’t know, an accessory dwelling unit is a second small dwelling right or within the same grounds to your single-family house, such as a tiny house. So if you want to build a tiny home neighboring a friend, a relative, or a landlord, then you can freely do so. To learn more about the state laws in California for ADU, click here
  2. Fresno is the first city in the country to approve tiny house on wheels (THOWs) in residential neighborhoods. THOWs can be registered as backyard cottages in residential communities, not as caregiver cottages. Other communities allow tiny homes provided they are on foundations.  Read more about the ordinance here: Fresnobee 

How do you register a tiny house on wheels in California? 

  1. You need to fill out the Application for Title (Form REG 343)
  2. Your THOW must be verified by the California Highway Patrol (CHP). The first step is to start your application with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) before contacting the CHP for verifying your vehicle. The trailer must weigh no less than 6,000 pounds, unladen. 
  3. You also need to complete the State of Construction form (REG 5036). 
  4. Submit proof of ownership, such as manufacturer’s certificates of origin, invoices, bills of sale, receipts, junk receipts for the major component parts (body, frame, engine, and transmission).
  5. Submit filled out Statement of Facts (Form REG 256) or brake and light adjustment certificates. 

Get the full list of requirements here: State of California DMV

Remember, some communities in California are more accepting of THOWs than others. Counties and cities set their own zoning codes. As long as a zoning code doesn’t contradict or violate state or federal law, local governments are free to set their reasonable restrictions in regards to the use of land, such as regulations on tiny houses. 

That said, THOWs are treated differently from town to town. Some view tiny homes as affordable housing solutions, while others don’t. 

#5 North Carolina

A moderate climate, vibrant downtowns, abundant greenery, and tiny house friendly, it’s impossible to visit North Carolina without asking yourself, “Why don’t I live here?”

tiny-house-in-north-carolina

Really, there’s so much to love about North Carolina. Not only you can find the top employers here, but also the best parks, lakes, and rivers to satisfy your love for adventure!

And if you’re a tiny house aspirant, then you’ll have more reasons to love North Carolina. This state embraces the tiny house movement; in fact, they organize tiny house festivals to promote tiny living and to educate people on how downsizing can help both the environment and themselves. 

If you want to see the festivals first-hand in North Carolina, you may want to go to the 2020 Outer Banks Tiny Home Festival. Click here for more details about the event.

The American Tiny House Association helps us get the bolts and nuts of constructing tiny homes in NC.

Site built tiny homes must meet the NC Residential Code. The petite dwelling must have at least one habitable room with not less than 120 square feet of gross floor area. Other habitable rooms must have not less than 70 square feet of floor area (kitchens are an exception). 

Every dwelling unit must also have toilet facilities, including a water closet, bathtub or shower, and lavatory. It must also be equipped with a heating facility compliant with Section R303.8 of the NC Residential Code. 

Learn more about the building codes in North Carolina here.

#6 Florida

best-7-states-for-living-in-a-tiny-house-florida

Like North Carolina, Florida also hosts tiny house events to promote the simple, minimalist, and conservationist living. Four tiny house events will be held in the first quarter of 2020 in Florida, including:

  • Magic of Lights Daytona in Daytona Beach (1st Jan. 2020), 
  • JAX Tiny Homes Expo ft. AMY the HERBALIST in Orange Park (25th – 26th Jan. 2020)
  • Great American Tiny House Show in Tampa (14th – 15th Mar.), and
  • 2020 Florida Suncoast Tiny Home Festival in Pinellas Park (28th Mar. 2020). 

Take note, the zoning and building codes for tiny homes vary per city and county. So before moving to Florida, it’s best to perform complete site-specific research to learn about the specific rules. 

In most states in Florida, you will find that THOWs fall into a gray area of the zoning code. It’s likely that can use your THOW as a second home. And because Florida is a hurricane-prone area, the law will likely need your tiny house to be affixed to the ground. 

Your tiny home also needs to comply with the safety standards set by the state law. For instance, if you purchase a new park model RV to use as your THOW, it must fall in with the American National Safety Institute standard 119.2. 

In Rockledge, your THOW must be built to a structural engineer’s approved plans. You must also give a complete description of the construction of the THOW, including the location of rafters, joists, studs, and engineered connectors. 

Zoning codes and building standards in Florida must not be ignored. Otherwise, you may be taking big risks. If a neighbor complains or turns you in, you may get fined, especially if you do not have the necessary permits. 

#7 Oregon

The last but not the least, Oregon is one of the best states for living in a tiny house. Like other states, Oregon has zoning codes and building standards that you must adhere to, but they are less stringent than the other states. 

tiny-house-in-oregon
Oregon is one of the 7 best states for living in a tiny house

In Oregon, there are specific laws that you must follow depending on how you intend to use your tiny home. They classify tiny homes in three types:

  1. Permanent – attached to an approved foundation; prioritizes occupant safety and energy-efficient.
  2. Temporary – built on frame or chassis and may have wheels; prioritizes mobility
  3. Transitional – living facilities for people who lack shelter; prioritizes flexibility to meet local needs. 

When it comes to permanent tiny houses, the state requires it to be built over an approved foundation. It must also meet federal standards or Oregon’s state building codes. According to the zoning code of Oregon, you can site tiny homes as a single-family residence or an accessory dwelling unit.

As for temporary tiny homes or THOWs, they are not subject to construction regulation. However, state and local governments may not allow THOWs (as well as RVs and mobile homes) to sit or occupy in one of the parks specified in ORS 197.493 (placement and occupancy of a recreational vehicle).

You can park tiny houses on wheels outside of the parks mentioned in the ordinance. If you’re thinking about settling in the city of Portland, take note that the city allows sitting of tiny houses on wheels in specified locations.

For tiny houses on wheels, they are subject to the motor vehicle safety standards set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), including standards for lamps, wheels, tires, brakes, rear impact guards, etc. Oregon limits the maximum width of mobile tiny homes to 8.5 feet.

You see, Oregon proves to be a tiny-house friendly state because it does not only allow tiny houses, but they also set safety standards to ensure the occupants get as much protection as those in traditional homes. 

Final Thoughts

Several states in the country have already embraced the tiny house movement. The growth of tiny house companies and communities prove that several people — and government officials — view the tiny house living a way to live simply, affordably, and sustainably. 

Zoning codes and building standards aren’t made to make your life harder. Instead, these regulations are set to ensure you get a comfortable, efficient, and safe everyday living. A tiny house-friendly state must have laws that ensure tiny house owners get the services they need. 

The tiny house regulations vary per state, city, and county. If you’re thinking about moving to another place to build your tiny home (either site built or on wheels), make sure to perform complete site-specific research so you’d be able to comply with all requirements and avoid getting fined. 

Related Questions

Where can I build a tiny house?

Almost all states in the country allow the construction of a tiny house. Several states are tiny-house friendly and even have tiny house communities. However, some states are still stringent about tiny houses. 

Why are tiny houses illegal?

Tiny houses aren’t technically illegal. However, they are still a lot of people who do not view tiny homes as acceptable forms of residency. For them, tiny houses are a way to sidestep taxes and building regulations. 

Can I live in a tiny house on my own land?

Yes. Take note, however, that building your tiny home over a foundation is trickier. In some states, they require site built tiny homes to follow the same zoning and building regulations for traditional homes (although the size, for this matter, is an exception). 

The Ultimate List Of Tiny Home Communities

The Ultimate List Of Tiny Home Communities

One of the main challenges of living in a tiny home is finding a place where you can settle it either temporarily or permanently. Fortunately, numerous tiny home communities in the country were built to accommodate these alternative housing. But, where are these tiny house villages, exactly?

Many of the tiny house communities are located in states that are known to be friendlier to the Tiny House Movement. Jurisdictions and townships that have experienced housing crisis are also much more open to establishing a tiny house village in their public lands. 

Tiny houses became a popular housing alternative right after the global financial crisis of 2006. During that time, small homes became a temporary shelter to the thousands of homeless people who were affected by the economic upheaval in the US.

Tiny Home Communities

Where are Tiny Home Communities?

According to estimates of tiny home manufacturers, there are roughly 10,000 to 12,000 tiny homes across the country. However, they expect this number to grow exponentially as more people are exposed to the Tiny House Movement. 

Below are some of the tiny house communities in the US. 

1. LuxTiny- Lakeside, Arizona

Location: 1412 Amanda Dr, Lakeside, AZ 85929

Nestled just 15 minutes from the nearby ski slopes, LuxTiny has access to forests, lakes, and hiking trails. This six-acre tiny house community has 45 spaces and is the perfect temporary residence when you are vacationing in Arizona. The famous Scott’s Reservoir is also just minutes away from the site. 

The place also accepts permanent and temporary residence. You can also lease a plot or even a ready-made tiny house for your convenience. The fee covers sewerage, rubbish collection, and water. Moreover, you can also fish in the nearby Rainbow Lake.

2. Lemon Cove Village- Sequoia National Park, California

Location: 32075 Sierra Dr, Lemon Cove, CA

If you ever find yourself visiting the Sequoia National Park while in a tiny mobile house, then you shouldn’t worry about where to park your home. The Lemon Cove Village is a popular RV park and campground that also accepts tiny houses. 

This village of sorts is located at the base of the park and is only 25 miles away from Sequoia National Park and the nearby Kings Canyon National Park. You can also do tons of activities in the area such as hiking, water rafting, fishing, and even shopping in the town of Lemon Cove.

3. Whispering Aspen- Fairplay, Colorado

Location: 359 Fuller Drive Fairplay, CO 80440

Encircled by the renowned Mosquito Mountain Range, Whispering Aspen is half an hour away from Breckenridge– a famous ski destination. The community is a mix of full-time residents and a few renters. 

This tiny house community is also a perfect place to spend warmer seasons thanks to a variety of nature activities. Some of the things you can do here are ATV-offroading, horseback riding, hiking, and climbing.

Guests can also choose to rent a variety of living spaces such as a tiny house on wheels, Recreational Vehicles, and cabins. It also has its own recreational area, hot tubs, and fully-equipped clubhouse. 

4. Riverview at Cleora- Salida, Colorado

Location: County Road 102. Salida, CO

Developed by Sprout Tiny Homes, a leading designer of tiny houses, Riverview sits on a 19 acre of land that includes the Arkansas River frontage. The spot is perfect for nature lovers and adventurists alike. Currently, the development has space for 200 tiny homes on wheels.

The Riverview grounds also have its own management office, catering kitchen, a restaurant, and even exercise facilities. 

5. WeeCasa- Lyons, Colorado

Location: 501 W Main St, Lyons, CO 80540

According to its developer, the WeeCasa is the world’s biggest tiny home resort. The place acts as a gateway to the Rockies and all of its nature-based activities. Lyons and the surrounding areas are famous for its nature trails, water sports, mountain biking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. 

The community started as a partnership of neighbors who were recovering from a major flood in 2013. There are several small house units you can choose from to rent on a per night basis. Depending on the season, you can even experience different music festivals, brewery tours, and art and culture activities. 

beautiful tiny house village

6. Orlando Lakefront Community- Orlando, Florida

Location: 3405 N Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32804

Situated near the majestic Orlando Lake, this tiny home village has some of the gorgeous small dwellings for rent. The park currently has 50 spaces for lease, half of which already has a small house in place. The developer can also get your own customized tiny home on wheels once you decide to settle in.

The community is also a mix of retirees and young professionals who want to enjoy the sun and lake. Moreover, the place is also a place where mobile tiny home owners can legally park. 

You also won’t run out of things to do in this area as there are nearby tourist attractions and even a theme park nearby. Residents can also enjoy numerous amenities such as a green park, fishing, and boat docks.

7. Green Bridge Farm- Effingham County, Georgia

Location: 1302 Zittrouer Rd, Guyton, GA 31312

If you want to settle your tiny home close to nature, then Green Bridge Farm is the right place for you. This eco-friendly development covers 25 wooded acres and has 1.2-acre meant for building your own tiny house. 

True to being sustainable, the place also has four acres of community vegetable garden and even a fruit orchard. While gardening is not mandatory for its residents, everyone is welcome to maintain and plant their crops here. 

You can own a pre-built unit here for only $45,0000. Many of the tiny house units are built over a trailer to exempt them from a building permit. Furthermore, most of the houses were constructed using recycled materials and even has solar panels. 

8. The Shire Village- Mountaintown, Ellijay, Georgia

Location: 772 Heritage Way, Ellijay, GA 30540

Currently, the largest tiny home village in the southeast US, the Shire Village, is situated on a 50- acres mountain property in Northern Georgia. It is among the most popular retreat areas for tiny house enthusiasts who are also outdoor lovers. 

Shire Village also has access to a nearby river and lake. Furthermore, the developer offers customized tiny house units that you can settle on a one-acre lot. 

9. Airstream Village- Las Vegas, Nevada 

Location: N 11th St & Fremont St; Las Vegas, Nevada 89101

If you’ve ever been to downtown Las Vegas, then you must head to the Airstream Village. Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh lives in one of the trailers of this Burning Man-inspired tech-savvy trailer park. Tiny home owners are also welcome to this village.

The popular airstream trailer, which measures 240-square-feet, can be rented for $1,200 a month. The rent includes utilities, WiFi, and several amenities that you can only get in this trailer park. They also have 140-square-feet tiny homes developed by Tumbleweed small houses in this facility.  

10. Second Wind- Ithaca, New York

Location: 1435 Elmira Rd, Newfield, NY 14867

Officially called Second Wind Cottages, this collection of tiny houses provide shelter for the homeless. Started by Carmen Guidi, the village is situated on a seven-acre land that currently houses 21 dwelling units. 

However, the cottages are only for male occupants. Occupants are not necessarily required to pay rent, but any fees they can afford to give is welcome. Additionally, the complex also has its food pantry, exercise equipment, laundry facilities, and free counseling. 

tiny home complex

11. Cedar Springs Tiny Village- New Paris, Ohio

Location: 300 Cedar Springs Rd, New Paris, OH 45347

This tiny home village got its name from the mature cedar trees that surround the area. Situated in a settlement with a magnificent lakefront, Cedar Springs is the perfect vacation and retirement spot. 

The village was brought to life thanks to a collaboration of Gerald Brubaker and Modern Tiny Living. The community comes with several amenities such as private parking, a community garden. It even has its recycling program to make everything sustainable.  

Consequently, the developer can also provide a tiny built-in house for those who want to settle permanently in the area. One of its popular models, the Clover, costs $89,000. For that price, the unit comes with a lapped smart siding, the sturdy exterior with steel roof, and an electric water heater. 

12. Caravan Tiny House Hotel- Portland, Oregon

Location: 5009 NE 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97211

Dubbed as the pioneering tiny house hotel, the Caravan is a model of what a modern small house community should look like. However, unlike most of the places in this list, this tiny house hotel only accepts temporary residences. 

Visitors can choose to book any of its five tiny home models. Each unit has one bedroom and one bathroom and can accommodate three to four people. The Caravan also does tours wherein guests can drive around in a tiny home for a completely minimalist lifestyle experience. 

Rates during weekday range from $125 to $135, while weekend prices are between $145 and $155 depending on the season. Holiday and spring rates are at $185 per night. 

13. Emerald Village- Eugene, Oregon

Location: 25 N. Polk St. 97402 Eugene, OR 97402

These self-managed tiny house communities were meant to provide safe housing for people who are transitioning to a more permanent living setup. Developed by SquareOne Villages, the place offers affordable micro-housing options. 

It currently has 22 tiny house units, which are all built on a slab foundation. Each dwelling has a 160 to 228 square feet area. The houses also have a living room, dining room, sleeping quarters, kitchenette, and bathroom. 

14. Dignity Village- Portland, Oregon

Location: 9401 NE Sunderland Ave, Portland, OR 97211

This city-recognized encampment of homeless people is now a tiny home community of sorts. Portland recently declared it as a “ transitional housing campground,” as defined by the city code. The village also has electricity and numerous facilities for cooking, sanitary, and social functions. 

Almost anyone can become a part of this tiny home community provided they abide by the village’s basic rules. However, no children are allowed in the community because past criminal convictions do not prevent someone from being a member. 

15. Tiny Estates- Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania

Location: 867 Schwanger Rd, Elizabethtown, PA 17022

Hollywood celebrity and comedian Kevin Hart owns a tiny house in this tiny house village. He even curated the unit in Herald Square in NYC through a partnership with booking.com. It’s now settled at Tiny Houses and can be rented for a few hundred dollars a night.

Tiny Estates is situated in a 14-acre property that has at least 25 small houses on site. The management also allows people to bring their own tiny houses into the area or rent the available units.

mobile tiny homes

16. Lake Walk Tiny Home Community- Greer, South Carolina

Location: 2901-2983 N Hwy 101, Greer, SC 29651

Nestled near the shores of Lake Cunningham in the town of Greer in South Carolina, this unique tiny home community is a perfect vacation and retirement spot. Permanent and temporary residents here can live a simpler and more flexible lifestyle.

The community currently offers four different styles of micro houses, with each measuring under 400 square feet. Additionally, the place has green zones and a common area next to the lake. It is the ideal place for people who love boating, fishing, or just being with nature. 

One of its best units is the 399-square foot The Alexander, which features twin bunks, a large loft, and a downstairs bedroom. 

17. Community First!- Austin, Texas

Location: 9301 Hog Eye Rd Suite 950, Austin, TX 78724

Located just 10 miles northeast of Austin, this $18-million tiny house village is operated by a faith-based nonprofit. Community First! is a collection of 100 RVs, 20 cottages, and 140 micro homes that offer affordable housing for the chronically homeless and disabled. 

The village covers 27-acres of land, which also has its community market, gardens, walking trails, medical facility, and wireless Internet. Furthermore, it has its bed and breakfast for visitors and has a nearby Capital Metro bus stop. Currently, there are about 200-residents in the tiny house community, including 45 missionaries. 

18. Vintage Grace- Yantis, Texas

Location: 136 N. Main Street, Yantis, TX 75497

A little east of Dallas lies the Instagrammable tiny house village of Vintage Grace. This communal space is comprised of 25 wooded acres of land that is surrounded by four ponds. Currently, there are over 55 tiny homes that are for lease.

Furthermore, the village also has its own community garden and communal center. It also has that laid back countryside ambiance that its developer said can “rejuvenate your spirit.” 

19. Quixote Village- Olympia, Washington

Location: 3350 Mottman Rd SW ​Olympia, WA 98512

This one’s self-governing tent camp meant for the homeless of Olympia has become a full-blown tiny home community. Quixote village now has over 30 small houses that were built using donation money. 

The original tiny home village opened its doors on December 24, 2013, and accommodated the homeless folks in Thurston County. Today, the Quixote Community also has micro house villages for veterans in Orting and Shelton. 

20. Boneyard Studios- Washington, D.C.

Location: 925 Rhode Island Avenue, Northwest Washington, D.C.

This village was established in 2012 and is one of the pioneers of a tiny house community. It started as a cooperative project on an old alley. Over the years, its founders Brian Levy and Lee Pera, have hosted numerous events to promote the Tiny House Movement.

They used to have two tiny homes for rent– the Matchbox, a 140-square-foot abode, and the Pera House, a 145-square foot dwelling. In 2014, the community had to be closed because of new zoning laws in the area. However, the uninhabited units are still there to this day to showcase the humble beginnings of tiny homes. 

21. Occupy Madison Village- Madison, Wisconsin

Location: 304 N Third St, Madison, WI 53704

Formed in 2011 and inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement, this tiny house village is composed of 99-square foot dwellings. What started as a homeless encampment on East Washington Avenue is now a small community.

 Many of the housing units here are built through volunteer labor and costs around $4,500 each. Today, the village includes a makeshift kitchen, communal bathrooms, gardens, and a woodshop wares where the locals sell their goods. 

tiny homes in the us

These are just some of the tiny house communities we know of as the time of writing. There are dozens of other tiny house villages which were not mentioned in this article because they are still on the initial stages of being certified as a legal tiny home community. 

Are There Any Tiny Home Communities in Canada?

The world got word of the Tiny House Movement when Sarah Susanka released her book “The Not So Big House” in 1998. According to her, house developers and homeowners should “build better, not bigger.”

A couple of years later, Jay Shafer also released “The Small House Book,” where he shares his thoughts and journey of building a tiny home. From there, the Tiny House Movement snowballed into what it is today. According to tiny house developers, there are currently between 12,000 to 15,000 small houses in the U.S.

About a few years back, Canada has also picked up on this new housing trend. While there are not as many as those in the US, the Maple nation also has a few tiny house communities. 

Below are some of these tiny house villages:

  1. Bluegrass Meadows Micro Village located at 5775 Har-Lee’s Place Road, Terrace, BC V8G 0A2
  1. Homes for Heroes Village located at 2424 4 St SW #900, Calgary, AB T2S 2T4

Meanwhile, many other tiny house communities are still in the planning phase. For example, Tiny Homes Simply Home Community is planning to set up in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

Advantages of Living in Tiny Home Communities

There are numerous living arrangements you can do if you live in a tiny home. You can drive it around and stop in places where it’s legal to park, such as campsites, RV parks, and in some states in private land. Or you can settle your unit in your backyard as an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU).

small house village

However, of all the places where you can build or park your tiny home, nothing beats being in a tiny home community. There is something about living with like-minded people that makes it irreplaceable.

Aside from that, there are also several benefits to living in a tiny house village, such as:

1. Sustainability

TIny house villages are often built on a large piece of land. For this reason, a lot of them have a community garden where you can plant and harvest fruits and vegetables. Growing your crops in these lands can help you lower your food costs.

Additionally, most tiny house communities are also nestled near forests or lakes. Forest provides different resources such as herbal plants and wood. Meanwhile, ponds can be a good source of fish and even water activities.  

2. Amenities

Developers of the new tiny home communities often add numerous facilities in their properties to make it more attractive. Aside from sewerage, power, and water, you can also gain access to recreational facilities like a basketball court.

Some tiny house villages even go the distance by creating their events and bazaars. Moreover, transitional little house communities often have shops where locals can sell their crafts and products to their visitors. 

3. Security

Another advantage of living in a tiny house village is it adds a layer of protection among its inhabitants. The more people living around, the tighter its security against thieves and robbers gets. This is doubly true if you live in a community that looks out for one another. 

Tiny house villages also bring out the communal values that you usually don’t get when living in an apartment or a suburb. Because every resident gets to interact with their neighbors, their bonds get stronger. Hence, it’s common for people here to lend a hand to one another. 

4. Community Activities

Residing in a tiny home community also means being part of a larger group. Hence, there are often more community activities you can join. The best part of it is that many of these events, such as free movie viewing, doesn’t require you to spend money.

You can also do numerous activities with other people, such as group hikes or building tables for a picnic area. In short, it allows you to connect with people and help out for the good of everyone in the community. 

Cost of Living in Tiny Home Communities

Living in a tiny home community can be cheap or expensive, depending on your preference. If you are renting out a small house unit, it can cost you a few hundred dollars a month, depending on your landlord.

tiny house village

However, you can bring down the rental cost if you own a tiny mobile home. In this scenario, you only have to pay for the use of a vacant lot or parking space. On average, monthly parking fees on tiny home villages are between $50 to $200.

Some tiny home communities also ask additional fees to cover some of the basic homeowner’s services like:

  • Sewerage
  • Cable and Internet Access
  • Waste Disposal
  • Community Kitchen Usage
  • Overall Maintenance

Depending on which tiny home community you are in, these fees can sot you around $100 to $250. Some community developers also include this to your rental prices, while others prefer you pay them separately. 

Conclusion

Tiny home communities are a great place to settle your little dwelling, especially if you are the type who wants to be surrounded by like-minded people. Furthermore, it also gives you that communal spirit of being part of being larger than just yourself or your family. Ultimately, its a village that can bolster not only security but also sustainability. 

Related Questions

What are the main challenges of living in a tiny house village?

Many of the tiny house villages in the list are located in areas outside of towns or cities. Hence, it can be quite challenging to commute to the center of a city, especially if you did not own a car. Some villages also don’t have the usual amenities you get from traditional communities such as Internet access and cable TV. 

Is it expensive to live in a tiny house community?

Not necessarily. There are numerous tiny house villages in the country that serves different classes of people. Some communities even let you park on their vacant lots for a meager fee and sometimes for free.

The general rule, however, is that if the tiny house village offers tons of amenities, it’s likely to have a higher lease or rent. Additionally, if the community is near a renowned vacation spot or tourist destination, then it can also increase their fees, especially during the peak seasons.

When Did Tiny Homes Start? A Tiny History

When Did Tiny Homes Start? A Tiny History

when-did-tiny-house-start

The past years have been incredible for tiny houses. More and more people are switching to tiny homes to live a greener, more affordable, and more sustainable living. But when did tiny homes start?

How far back does the campaign go? 

Technically, the history of the tiny house is long. Back then, the first humans used to live in small caves. The modern-day tiny house movement, however, is easier to track. Many people started to reject spacious dwellings to downsize and live in more efficient homes. 

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the timeline of the tiny house movement. Let’s start in 1845 when a man published a book about how it’s like to live in a 150-square-foot tiny cabin. 

When Did Tiny Homes Start – Timeline

henry-david-thoreau-tiny-house
Henry David Thoreau

1845 – Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau is a famous American essayist, poet, and philosopher. He is also well-known for being a transcendentalist. One of the core beliefs of transcendentalism is in the inherent goodness of nature and people and that people are best when they are independent and self-reliant. 

Thoreau’s belief must be the reason why he was urged to live a simple living in natural surroundings. In 1845, he published his book Walden (or, Life in the Woods). In his book, Thoreau reflected how his experience in two years and two months in a cabin near Walden Pond helped him be “one” with nature.

Here’s an excerpt from Thoreau’s book, Walden:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary.”

I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.”

— Henry David Thoreau

No one was as committed as Thoreau back then in living in a tiny space to connect with nature. His experience helped him to focus only on “the essential facts of life.” Little did he know that his philosophy is what sparked the modern tiny house movement. 

Many believe that living in unnecessarily big houses is “wasteful and environmentally noxious,” as writer Alec Wilkinson describes it in the New Yorker. And aside from that, for many people, living in big residential houses is a “debtors’ prison.” And it makes sense since those who live in big homes are usually prisoners of astronomical mortgages and taxes. 

On the other hand, those who choose to dwell in tiny houses are more focused on the necessities of life, that is, in Thoreau’s words, “the essential facts of life.” Tiny housers only get what they need, be it utilities, clothing, food, or furnishings. 

The original cabin where Thoreau lived for two years no longer exists, but a replica was built to mimic the living conditions of Thoreau. Inside the cabin, you’ll see a desk, a chair, a bed, and a fireplace. 

henry-david-thoreau-cabin-replica
The replica of the cabin where Thoreau spent two years

What Thoreau and the tiny house movement want to teach us is plain and simple: we can live simply, and in the process, we’ll reap the benefits that improve our quality of life. 

The tiny house movement was not as loud as it is today. It was a century later (in the 1990s) when tiny homes started to get a bit of the spotlight. 

1998 –  Sarah Susanka

Sarah Susanka is an author, public speaker, and architect. She is the originator of the Not So Big philosophy of residential architecture, which plays a significant role in the tiny house movement. The core principle Susanka promotes is that we must “build better, not bigger.” 

Susanka was able to publish several books, all of which talks about build better, not bigger in broad details. Her first book that gained so much popularity is The Not So Big House. Seven of her other books are the following:

  • Creating the Not So Big House
  • Not So Big Solutions for Your Home
  • Home By Design
  • Inside the Not So Big House, Outside the Not So Big House
  • Not So Big Remodeling
  • More Not So Big Solutions for Your Home
  • The Not So Big Life

On her official website, Susanka shares how it [her commitment to her philosophy] all began. 

“In the mid-1990s, when I’d been working as a residential architect for more than a decade, I had an epiphany one day while driving [through] the suburbs of Des Moines, Iowa.”

“I had started noticing that new houses were getting extremely large and decidedly unattractive. For miles and miles, all I could see were these “starter castles” marching across the prairies, looking self-important and soulless.”

It was at that moment that Sarah started to spend most of her time designing homes that are better, not bigger; the kind that fits her clients’s lives, rather than superficial lifestyle “that few people ever lived anymore.”

Susanka is calling out all homeowners to put more emphasis on quality, not quantity. The solution is maximizing small spaces instead of buying bigger homes. 

In 1998, the average size of a home was 2,150 square feet. Susanka’s philosophies moved many future tiny home architects. Her concept is alive up until this day. 

2000 – Jay Shafer

A couple of years after Susanka published her first book, Jay Shafer, a professor from the University of Iowa, committed to being part of the tiny house movement. But Shafer was not just someone who joined the movement, he is one of the influencers of tiny house movement — he practically invented the tiny house. 

Tiny houses, in general, have a stellar minimalist design. They occupy very little space and promote a minimal carbon footprint. Most of the tiny house dwellers are students who don’t want to pay big for rent, couples who want to avoid mortgages, small families who don’t see the need for big residential homes, and even retired individuals who just want to live small and be truly financially free. 

And because tiny houses are technically not traditional houses, they sidestep building regulations and specific zoning rules. 

Shafer created tiny houses in the late 1990s after he wanted something compact and suitable compared to the 100 square-feet Airstream he had been living in for two years. 

His tiny house received the “Most Innovative Design” award in Natural Home Magazine’s 1999 House of the Year Content. And since then, building little homes became his bread and butter. 

He started Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, a company committed solely at helping people get their very own tiny home that their budget could afford. Schafer, however, hasn’t been with Tumbleweed for quite some time now. 

David Friedlander from Life Edited spoke to Jay to ask about his relationship with the company. When asked what happened with Tumbleweed, Shafer said, “I took on a business partner a few years back. He was a money guy, I was the design guy. It seemed like a match made in heaven.”

He continued, “As our relationship progressed, it became clear that this wasn’t the case, at all. It turns out that his means of growing the company’s bottom line and my own goals to grow a movement and improve on my designs were at odds. Our interests collided, so we split.”

Shafer is more about inspiring people to switch to tiny homes. Here’s another excerpt from Shafer from the said meeting:

“I never set out to design tiny houses. I set out to build an efficient house.”

The 2000s – Tiny House Community in Portland, Oregon

Tiny houses started to get the attention of the people, especially those that have been yearning to downsize to save money. In 2000, a tiny house community in Portland, Oregon was born — the Dignity Village

Dignity Village is a community that aims to provide shelter for 60 people a night. The goal, really, is to end homelessness. 

“We came armed with a vision of a better future for ourselves and for all of Portland, a vision of a green, sustainable urban village where we can live in peace and improve not only the condition of our own lives but the quality of life in Portland in general.”

2002 – The Small House Society

Remember Shafer? Yes, that guy. Shafer worked with Gary Johnson, one of the founding fathers of the tiny house movement. 

In 2002, Shafer and Johnson, along with other housing enthusiasts, teamed up for some kind of grassroots convention. 

At that meeting, the team decided to start an association. That’s when The Small House Society was born. The founding members were Jay Shafer, Gary Johnson, Shay Salomon, and Nigel Valdez. 

They immediately tripled in number. The year after, Johnson commissioned Shafer to build him a tiny home, which Johnson moved into in August 2003. 

2006 – Oprah and National Public Radio

Three years after Johnson moved into his new tiny home, he was interviewed by NPR for All Things Considered, a radio segment about the tiny house movement. 

NPR is a valued and respected media organization, so it’s not surprising that the interview got national attention. A publisher contacted Johnson to work out a book deal. 

A couple of years later, the book Put Your Life on a Diet: Lessons Learned From Living in Less Than 140 Square Feet was a hit. 

The tiny house movement even got a bigger spotlight in February 2007 when Oprah highlighted the 96-square-foot home Shafer built. 

At this point, almost everybody knows about the tiny house movement. 

2007 – 2008 – The Housing Crisis

Also known as the Subprime mortgage crisis, and part of a series on The Great Recession, the housing crisis was a financial downfall that happened nationwide. It occurred between 2007 and 2010.

when-did-tiny-house-start-housing-crisis

What triggered the crisis? A huge contributor was the decline in home prices after the housing bubble went downhill, which resulted in mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures. It also caused the devaluation of housing-related securities. 

What’s the housing bubble, you ask? It’s a bit complicated to explain, but Investopedia helps us understand this jargon more easily. According to Investopedia, a housing bubble is a run-up in housing prices due to demand, speculation, and exuberant spending to the point of collapse. 

A housing bubble usually starts with an increase in demand, albeit the limited supply. Speculators shell out big fat cash into the market to fuel up demand. At some point, however, the demand would decrease while the supply increases. This results in a price drop. 

Housing prices grew twice in amount between 2000 and 2006. The appreciation of housing prices was historical. Because of this housing boom, people started to believe that traditional homes should be treated as investments. 

As the country entered the year 2006, the housing prices peaked, but it eventually declined within the same year. The housing prices reached new lows in 2012.

The largest price drop in history was on December 30, 2008, as reported by the Case-Shiller home price index. 

It could be because people realized that investing for big homes and paying mortgages for like an eternity was simply not worth it. 

The housing market hit rock bottom, and thousands of Americans foreclosed homes. After the Great Recession, many people turned their attention to tiny houses. Tiny homes are a desirable alternative to conventional homes and mortgages. 

Unlike traditional homes, the costs of tiny houses are impressively low. And life in a petite dwelling is simple, and the environmental impact is light. 

2009 – Present 

After the Great Recession, thousands of people view homeownership differently. Because the founding fathers of the tiny house movement did a great job promoting the tiny homes, people, especially the Millennials who witnessed their parents suffer financially, started to opt for a more affordable option. 

Thanks to the Internet, shows, and tiny house documentaries, the tiny house campaign has been promoted widely. And while many don’t like to embrace the concept of downsizing to a tiny house claiming it’s a big time-waster, there is still a plethora of people who like the idea of living tiny and green. 

TV shows about tiny houses were launched, including Tiny House Hunters and Tiny House Nation. Enthusiastic tiny house dwellers share their experiences and teach others how to build a micro-home through vlogs on YouTube. 

These shows take people to the ins and outs of tiny homes, primarily to give them real-life examples of individuals and couples who switched to tiny homes. These shows also talk about the challenges of living in a home with constricted space, and how to maximize it. 

Indeed, tiny house shows and the Internet has helped legitimize the tiny house movement on a national and global scale. 

2015 – The American Tiny House Association

In 2015, The American Tiny House Association (ATHA) was formed. The goal of this association is to help tiny house aspirants to deal with the problems that come with building and living in a tiny house, and that’s by providing them with valuable information and proper education. 

ATHA also cooperates with related government agencies, development organizations, educational institutions, and private industries to gather information and educate people about the movement. 

The Tiny House Movement and the Environment

when-did-tiny-house-start-environment-friendly

The tiny house movement helps people not only to get a home that’s way more affordable than traditional houses but also to live greener. 

Since tiny homes have limited space, the dwellers cannot put as many items as they could in a traditional dwelling. And that’s exactly how Thoreau lived when he stayed in a small cabin with no more than a hundred square-feet living space. 

He only had the things he really needed, and that helped him get more connected with nature. Many people nowadays move into tiny dwellings for the same reason — to spend more time outside with nature. 

Tiny House and Nature

Those who live in a tiny house on wheels enjoy the freedom to move from one place to another. The nomadic lifestyle is what pumps their hearts. These people spend most of their time traveling and finding spots with majestic scenery. 

Living in a tiny home is a great way to escape the superficial things that everybody views as the norm. People spend more and more time working to earn bigger and be able to afford the extravagant lifestyle.

Many in today’s society believe that more is better. And while the saying isn’t totally wrong, those who embrace the assertion often focus their lives working 9 to 5. They usually forget that there’s so much nature has to offer — endless blue sky, spectacular horizon, refreshing greenery, and revitalizing ocean waves. 

Tiny House and Money

Let’s face it… not everyone moves to tiny houses because they want to be one with nature but because it’s what they can only afford. 

Many people view the tiny house movement as a solution to the housing crisis. Thousands of individuals and families got fed up with the idea of getting a big, dream house and be a prisoner of debt and mortgages. 

Living in a petite home, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t be on the rocks. But the good news is that you won’t spend as much as you would in traditional homes. Here are some reasons why:

Tiny homes require fewer materials

Because tiny homes are technically small, they need fewer building materials. A traditional home would need about seven truckloads of lumber, but a tiny house would only need half of a truckload. 

Tiny homes use environmentally-friendly materials

It’s easier to build a tiny home using recycled materials that aren’t always available in large quantities for larger houses. Recycled materials are often more expensive but environmentally friendly. They also tend to last longer than cheap, conventional materials. 

Tiny homes have lower “life cycle” cost

As mentioned earlier, living in a tiny house doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t ever be on the rocks. You have to consider maintenance and replacement cost. But thankfully, tiny homes have fewer utilities than a traditional home. For example, a petite dwelling may have one bathroom instead of three, which means fewer fixtures to repair and replace over time. 

Tiny homes are energy-efficient

Oregon’s Department of Land Quality reports that 86% of the total environmental impact of any house is caused by its energy use. This includes lighting, water heating, and space heating. 

An average-sized house (about 2,500 sq. ft.) consumes over 12,000 kWh of energy per year. On the other hand, tiny houses (>200 sq. ft.) only consume no more than 1,000 kWh of energy per year. And that’s probably because tiny homes have fewer appliances compared to residential homes. 

What’s more, tiny house dwellers choose energy-saving appliances over conventional ones. 

Read more: This Is Why Tiny Houses Are Better For The Environment

Are Tiny Homes The Future Homes?

It’s not certain if people will continue to embrace the concept of the tiny house movement in the coming years. There are major factors to consider, the depreciation, for example. Tiny houses on wheels depreciate as fast as vehicles do, and apparently, people want to invest in something they can profit from. 

(Must read: Do Tiny Homes Hold Or Lose Value? What You Must Know)

But one thing’s for sure, thousands of Millennials, young couples, and small families move to tiny houses to reap the benefits: affordable dwelling, environmentally-friendly living, minimalist lifestyle, and freedom to roam around places. 

Tiny houses have also become the solution to homelessness. We can only hope for the best. We yearn for the day that every individual and family will have a safe, cozy shelter. 

Final Thoughts

Now we’ve got our answer to the question, “when did tiny homes start?”

The beginning of tiny houses goes back as far as the first humans. Back then, they lived in small caves and huts. It was in 1845 that people viewed tiny homes differently. For transcendentalists like Thoreau, living in a tiny home is not a gypsy living but a way to get connected with nature, live more simply, and be content. 

We also want to thank the other founding fathers of the tiny house movement. They’ve published books to open the eyes of the many that we shouldn’t be chasing after bigger homes, but better, more efficient ones. 

Related Questions

Who invented the tiny house?

As discussed in the article, we can trace back the first humans to have lived in small-spaced dwellings. But we want to recognize Jay Shafer as one of the people who introduced beautiful and efficient tiny homes, which inspired many architects to build tiny homes just as creative and beautiful as conventional homes.

Why are tiny houses illegal?

Back then, Thoreau refused to pay tax not because he was living in a tiny home but due to his rigid opposition to the American-Mexican war and slavery. His refusal to pay tax was what put him to jail. 

Technically, tiny houses aren’t illegal, but many argue that other people choose to live in tiny homes only to sidestep tax, regulations, and zoning laws. 

How Do Tiny Houses Get Utilities?

How Do Tiny Houses Get Utilities?

how-do-tiny-houses-get-utilities

If you’re thinking about renting or building your own tiny houses, you may need to set your home utilities before you move in. 

Setting up home utilities in a traditional home may be straightforward and isn’t too demanding since there are service providers who can help you throughout the process. But things may not be as easy if you’re going to set your home utilities yourself. 

Tiny houses, in general, get utilities the same way as conventional homes and RVs. There are services provided by power and utility companies. Every so often, however, some people wish to place their tiny homes off-the-grid, which means they have to set everything up on their own, especially if there are no utility and power companies anywhere near the location. 

Sometimes, a tiny house may use both grid and off-the-grid services. For instance, a tiny home can hook to an electricity grid but not to water service. 

The Importance of Utilities

Utilities refer to home appliances like water, electricity, gas, sewage, and internet among others. These utilities play a vital role in both economic and social development. And with these services, you get to have a clean and comfortable living environment. 

Imagine a home without water? Without power? Or without a proper sewage system? What a terrible life would that be! 

How Tiny Houses Get Water

Water should be your top priority. You can live in a tiny house without power, but never without water. So, when constructing your tiny home, you must think about how you’re going to get water. Some people think to have some spigots, pipes, and a water tank is enough, but we beg to differ. 

how-do-tiny-houses-get-utilities-water

Your tiny home is technically low on space. As a tiny house owner, you must look for creative space solutions not only for storage but for water access as well. 

If your tiny house is “on the grid,” it means it’s near or within a city and you’re able to hook to the city’s water system. On the other hand, if your tiny home is far or nowhere near a city and connecting to a public water supply isn’t viable, then your house is considered “off the grid.”

The first thing to consider is getting water into your home mainly for bathroom and kitchen use.

Many tiny house owners get a water tank that can easily fit inside kitchen cabinets. This is where you will store your water. You fill the water tanks by connecting to a water supply using an RV hose (on the grid) or by carrying jugs of water to your tanks (off-grid).

The point of living in a tiny house is to promote a conservationist lifestyle. That means cutting back on excess. That means using jugs and bottles of water may be counterintuitive. 

But the good news is that there are still several ways you can store water without ever having to sacrifice your goal to go greener. And probably one of the most underrated — yet, effective — way to get water is by using what nature has already provided. 

Most tiny house owners like to use water collection and filtration systems. If, for instance, you live in a place with plenty of rainfall, water collection and filtration systems may be the way to go. 

A water collection system works by gathering rainfall. It then processes the water through the filtration system, so it’s safe to use. 

And when you’re off-grid, you can heat your water by using a tankless propane water heater. You will also be needing a pump for water pressure in your shower and sink. The pump, however, needs a power supply. If you’re off-grid, then you may need a solar power system to power it up (more of this later). 

Drainage Solutions

Now let’s talk about where all the water goes. But first, understand these terms:

Greywater – water from your shower and sink

Blackwater – water from your toilet

Greywater is much easier to dispose of than blackwater. That explains why many tiny house dwellers prefer composting toilets over a conventional toilet system — there’s simply no need of blackwater disposal with composting toilets. 

[Must read: The 3 Best Toilets For Tiny Houses]

When you’re on the grid, you can connect to a septic system or a public sewer with a sewer hose to dispose of blackwater and greywater. 

Now, how about disposing of greywater when you’re off-grid? In an off-grid setting, greywater is sent to a portable storage tank (through pipes). Then, you will need to empty the storage tank as needed or if you’re at a designated dumping station. 

Or, you can also drain the portable storage tank into the ground that irrigates a garden. If you choose this option, make sure to use biodegradable shampoos and soaps so the greywater will not harm the plants. 

dumping-station-tiny-house

Using Blackwater Tanks

If the idea of having a composting toilet isn’t much of your liking, then you can use blackwater tanks. Take note, though, that disposing of blackwater is more complicated than greywater, especially if you’re in an off-grid setting. There are gazillion harmful bacteria in blackwater from toilet waste. 

So, if you don’t have a composting toilet, you can use blackwater collection tanks instead. Once the tank is full, you need to go to a dumping station and dump it. If this task is way too unpleasant for you, you can hire a professional service to do the work for you. 

how-do-tiny-houses-get-utilities-electricity

How Tiny Houses Get Electricity

Tiny houses need electricity. That’s for sure. Electricity is an essential service that makes life so much easier. It’s what powers on the air conditioner when we’re feeling hot, the portable heater when we’re feeling extra cold, the electric kettle when we feel like drinking tea, and the computer when there’s a job to do. 

Powering up your tiny dwelling is important whether you’re on or off the grid. So, what are the best power options for your tiny house?

You have several options. The best option depends on a number of variables. True, the idea of being completely self-sufficient is adorable, especially if you want to go greener. However, there are some drawbacks you need to consider as well. 

[Must read: How Much Electricity Do Tiny Homes Use?]

Below are the common power options along with their upsides and downsides:

Solar Panels

Most tiny house owners choose solar panels as a primary source of power, especially those in an off-grid setting. 

Having a solar panel system is also a great way of generating clean and free electricity. And since the electricity comes directly from Mr. Sun, you can cut your electricity bills and save a lot of money. 

Consider this: if you’re living in Iowa or Kansas, the electricity rate is $0.10 per kWh. If your tiny house uses around 700 kWh per month, that’s $70 per month. But with a solar panel system, you don’t have to shell out money — not even a dime. 

But then again, there are downsides, some of which may hold you back from choosing solar panels. 

solar-panel-for-tiny-house

The Disadvantages of Solar Panel

First, a solar panel system often has an astronomical price. The upfront payment is just too big for many tiny house dwellers. According to Energy Sage, the cost of solar in 2019 is $2.99 per watt. In the U.S, the average solar panel system size is 6 kW. Therefore, the average solar panel system costs about $12,600 after tax credits. 

If you think that’s way too expensive, then you’d be surprised to know that the solar panel price has actually fallen 23% over the past five years! 

And let’s not forget that the number of solar panels (and the system size) depends on the size of your home and power consumption, which by the way is also determined by the size of your household and the number (and quality) of your appliances.

That means if you have many appliances, a large number of dependents, and a *technically* large tiny home, then you may need a bigger solar panel system. This could be an issue for those who are on a tight budget. 

Here’s a list of the average cost of solar panels based on system size

System SizeAverage Solar Panel Cost(before tax credits)Average Solar Panel Cost(after tax credits)
2 kW$5,990$4,200
3 kW$9,000$6,300
4 kW$12,000$8,400
5 kW$15,000$10,500
6 kW$18,000$12,600
7 kW$21,000$14,700
8 kW$24,000$16,800
10 kW$30,000$21,000
12 kW$36,000$25,200
15 kW$44,900$31,400
20 kW$59,800$41,900
25 kW$74,800$52,400

Another thing to remember about having a solar panel system is that your petite home must be in a place with abundant sunlight, as it is the main source of your energy. This can be a drawback for people who live in a place that doesn’t have much sunlight, like Alaska, West Virginia, and Michigan, which are among the cloudiest states. 

There are companies that were able to develop solar panels that can generate power even when it’s cloudy or rainy, but such panels usually cost triple the price of the regular versions. 

Learn more: How Many Solar Panels Does It Take To Power a Tiny Home?

Fuel Power

A tiny house uses need smaller power sources compared to traditional residential homes. You can power up your tiny home with a gas generator, especially if you’re off-grid and hooking to a power source is not an option. 

Although this is also doable in bigger homes, traditional houses can better save money if they connect to an electricity grid. 

With a gas generator, you can power up your dwelling as long as you have access to gas. That sounds promising until you realize that you’ll only have power if gas is accessible. Otherwise, there’s just no powering up your dwelling. 

Disadvantages of Fuel Power

Noise

Other tiny house owners who have used gas generators already also complain about the noise and fuel expense. They are usually loud, which is a major setback for families with infants. A gas generator may not also be a good option if you’re in need of a quiet space (i.e., if you work remotely at home).

Fuel expense

How much you spend on fuel for your generator depends on how many kW it is, the size loads you are carrying, and how often you will be running it. These details should be in the spec sheet of your generator. It must also tell you how much fuel it uses at half load and full load. 

For example, a 20kW generator uses 205 cubic feet of natural as per hour at half load, and 302 cubic feet at full load. If natural gas costs around $12.75 for 1,000 cubic feet, that means your fuel expense is at $2.60 per hour at half-load and $3.83 per hour at full load. 

So, a six-hour use of generator will cost you around $15 to $19, which is anywhere between $450 to $570 a month! 

This is to say that your fuel expense will depend majorly on (1) the national fuel price, (2) your tiny home’s power consumption, and (3) the specifications of the generator you will use. 

Price

The price of fuel generator varies by type. A small generator can cost as little as $300, while larger versions can cost as much as $15,000!

Price of generator:

TypePrice
Solar$300 to $5,000
Liquid Propane$500 to $6,000
Gasoline$500 to $3,000
Diesel$3,000 to $15,000
Natural Gas$1,900 to $5,000

Here are the average costs of generators with their typical coverage:

Power CapabilityCoverageAverage Price
7 kW1 appliance / up to 8 circuits$1,900
11 kW2 appliances / up to 16 circuits$3,000
16 kW1,000 – 3,000 sq. ft. home$3,700
17 kW2,500 – 3,000 sq. ft. home$4,500
20 kW3,000 – 5,000 sq. ft. home$4,900
22 kW5,000 ++ sq. ft. home$5,800
30 kWCommercial spaces$12,000

Technically, you won’t be using as much as 30 kW powered generators, so that should give you relief. But then again, you have to consider how much power you actually need for your dwelling. 

Installation

While it’s not such a bad idea if you install your generator, it would be wiser if you hire a professional service to do the work for you. One incorrect wiring can backfeed power into the grid and cause major fire damage. 

Fuel cost and generator price are expensive already. To make things worse, it requires big fat cash to pay professional crews that will handle the installation. 

On the brighter side, the cost may not be as much with traditional homes, yet it is still something to be concerned about. 

Maintenance

Poorly functioning generators can put you to a lot of risks. That’s why you need to perform certain preventative maintenance needs on a monthly or quarterly basis. If you know you can perform this all by yourself, then you can save money from paying a professional. Otherwise, you want to consider saving up to pay someone to do the job.

Tasks to perform includes:

  1. Checking battery, exerciser circuits, and alternator voltage
  2. Repairing leaks in coolant
  3. Inspecting belts, clamps, bolts, and connections, as well as replacing them when needed
  4. Changing the oil and filter

The Best Generators to Consider

If you search for “best generators” on Google, you will be presented with hundreds of generators — all of which claim to be the “best.” 

There’s just too many generators out there that selecting becomes rather difficult. So we’ve filtered the best options out there to make things much easier on your end:

WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800W Portable Generator

Features:

  • Provides consistent power of 3,400 watts for 8.5 hours (at half-load). 
  • Offers DC-port, AC port, and USB port
  • Electric start mechanism
  • Economy mode available
  • Digital load display
  • Creates less noise compared to other generators; only 57 dB noise output
  • Shut-off switch makes shutting off easy

Pulsar 4,000W Gas-Powered Quiet Generator

Features:

  • Compact
  • Highlights power rating of 3,500W
  • Can run for 15 hours at 50% load
  • 3.4-gallon capacity
  • Noise output is at 63 dB
  • Offers AC outlet of 20 amps, 30 amps, and DC outlet of 12V
  • USB outlet available
  • Remote start mechanism

Champion 100233 3,400W Generator

Features:

  • Has inverter capability
  • Features a power rating of 3,400 W
  • 120 V AC outlet and 12 V DC outlet available
  • Can run smoothly for 7.5 hours at 25% load
  • The wheels make it easy to move around
  • Noise output is only 58 dB

DuroStar DS4000S Gas-Powered Generator

Features: 

  • Offers a power rating of 3,300 W
  • Reduced vibration
  • Noise output is 69 dB
  • Can run for 12.5 hours at 50% load
  • 4-gallon tank
  • Steel frame
  • Air-cooled for prolonged use
  • Gas-powered

Westinghouse iGen4500DF Inverter Generator

Features:

  • Features 3,700W power
  • Dual powered
  • USB outlets, AC port, and DC ports available
  • 3.4-gallon tank capacity
  • Can run smoothly for 18 hours on a full tank
internet-connection-for-tiny-house

How Tiny Houses Get Internet Connection

Getting an internet connection for your tiny dwelling is not as difficult as you think. You have several options to choose from. 

Wired Connection

One way to get connected is to use wired cable internet. This option is best for tiny houses that are near or within a city. Not only is an easy option but also the most affordable. 

While many people today choose WiFi over cabled internet, there’s no denying that a wired connection has some advantages over wireless. In terms of speed, wifi wins the game, but a DSL connection lets you transfer files between devices on your network way faster than WiFi. 

This is because transferring files to your other devices don’t use an internet connection, but only the speeds your local network hardware provides. 

Local speed is important when:

  • You have devices streaming from a media server. A DSL connection boosts the quality of the stream. 
  • You need to perform a backup. Backing up using a wired connection is faster. 

Pros:

  • More secure than a wireless connection
  • Transferring data/files is faster 
  • Great for a home office

Cons:

  • Difficult to set up; involves a number of cables
  • You won’t have much freedom to move around with your device
  • A less convenient option for public use

Wireless Internet

Not having a wireless connection is so not 2019…. You know what I mean. WiFi offers fast and convenient internet connection, making daily internet tasks smooth — be it for work or entertainment. 

With a wireless connection, you can get your devices connected to the internet without the need for cables and ports. You are free to move around in your tiny house with your device yet still connected to the web. 

One problem you might often find yourself dealing with is that WiFi connection tends to get slower the more devices are connected to it. 

Pros:

  • You can move around your home without getting disconnected. 
  • Transferring files don’t require the use of cables. 
  • Most establishments (restaurants, coffee shops, etc.) offer free WiFi. You could be a freeloader. 
  • Several devices can connect to a WiFi connection. 

Cons:

  • Transferring of files may not require for cables, but it’s slower compared to DSL. 
  • The internet connection tends to drop in WiFi. 
  • The strength of the internet depends on your location, especially if you’re using a mobile hotspot. 
  • Interference from other electrical devices may slow down your internet speed. 
  • Household items can block the signal and weaken the connection.

Satellite Internet

Satellite internet may be the best internet option for off-grid tiny houses. With it, you can get a reliable internet connection in places that WiFi and DSL connection are not viable. 

Those who want to place their tiny houses in a secluded area or a place way too far from the grid, then satellite internet is the way to go. 

Pros:

  • A satellite internet connection allows you to browse the web in places that WiFi and DSL connection cannot reach. 
  • More affordable
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • The weather can affect your internet speed.
  • The strength of your internet depends on how the receiver is placed. 
  • Rain can cause interference and slow down your download and upload speeds

Read more: Get Your Tiny Home Connected: How To Get Internet

Related Questions

How do tiny houses handle sewage?

Hook up your tiny house to city sewage or a septic tank. If you have a holding tank, you can empty blackwater by dumping it in a dumping station. 

Can you use the bathroom when power is out?

It depends on what toilet system you use. Composting toilets don’t need electricity, but incinerators do. 

Exactly Where Can You Park a Tiny Home Legally?

Exactly Where Can You Park a Tiny Home Legally?

Parking sign for tiny homes

Tiny houses are a new housing option that often falls in the grey area of many local laws. With that in mind, is there any place where you can park your unit without breaking the law?

There is no definitive answer to the question, where can you park your tiny home legally? After all, tiny houses, especially those on trailers, can be considered as a temporary residence, an RV, or even both. Consequently, some jurisdictions require tiny homes to follow the building code, while others don’t. 

Furthermore, laws and regulations regarding tiny homes usually differ from one state to another. The difference even goes down as far as the city or town level, which further complicates the issue of parking. 

However, there are still some guidelines you can follow to determine if it’s legal to park your mobile home in a particular area. Thanks to the input of pioneering tiny home owners, we have come up with an article that addresses your parking woes. 

parking a tiny home legally

Can you Park a Tiny Home Anywhere?

Definitely, no. There are only a few places where the law allows you to park a tiny home. One of the reasons is because of the combined size of the trailer and the towing vehicle.

Much like cars and other vehicles, tiny homes also have their parking designations. Often, RV parks allow them to settle in their grounds because their sizes closely resemble RVs. 

It’s also important to note that there are different types of parking depending on the amount spent on the parking space. 

  • Short-term parking may last only for a few hours up to one day. 
  • Long-term parking could last for more than a day up to a few weeks. 
  • Permanent parking has the intention of staying there for a few months and even a few years.

Parking in a spot not designated for recreational vehicles or tiny homes usually results in a stiff fine of $10 or more. The fine often depends on the parking laws of the city or municipality. 

In some states, it is illegal to live in a tiny house permanently. In most cases, it’s unlawful not because there is a specific law against it, but rather the rules are quite unclear how to classify tiny houses. 

Living permanently in an RV or any mobile home is illegal in most states. Most jurisdictions only allow people to dwell in an RV or tiny house on wheels (THOWs) for a couple of weeks up to one month. 

tiny home village parking

Legal Classification of a Tiny Home

To further understand where a tiny home can park, we must first establish how it is classified. Aside from being “small” to meet some of the building codes, tiny houses can also be considered as a home and a trailer cargo.

The treatment of tiny houses also varies depending on the state or jurisdiction. Some states like California, Minnesota, Florida, and Michigan are more lenient about the Tiny House Revolution. 

Generally, there are two classifications of tiny houses — first, tiny house on wheels, which sits on a trailer and can be mobile anytime. Second, small homes that sit on a foundation and is treated as a residential structure and thus follows the building code. 

Below are three classifications of a tiny home which directly affects where you can park the unit:

1. Trailer

In some jurisdictions, tiny houses are often treated simply as trailers or something that is being towed by a vehicle. However, some municipalities or cities have strict guidelines for the dimensions of what can be considered cargo. 

When a tiny home is considered as a trailer cargo, it has to follow the guidelines under the road usage law. Hence, the trailer’s dimension has to be limited to 40-feet long, 8.5-feet wide, and 13.5 feet tall. Furthermore, it must also have other safety devices such as tail lights and turning lights. 

2. Recreational Vehicle

You can register your tiny house as a recreational vehicle and have it reaped the benefits of an RV, including parking. The process usually involves getting a certificate from the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). Furthermore, your tiny house will be inspected by a person from the city regulatory board to ensure everything is in place.

You also need to pay a certification fee, which varies from city to city. Once the process is through, your home is no longer just a tiny home that sits on a trailer but technically an RV. The main benefit of RV certification is that you can now park in RV parks with ease by merely showing them the certificate. 

However, there are also disadvantages of registering your tiny house as an RV. For example, you can only live anywhere between two weeks to one month inside an RV.

3. Accessory Dwelling Unit

The easiest way to define an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is that its a smaller housing option within a property. For a tiny home to be considered an ADU, you need to settle it in a property that has a larger traditional house.

However, once you register your tiny house as an ADU, it must be placed in a foundation and comply with the local building code. Furthermore, there are but a few jurisdictions that allow this type of setup.  

One of the loopholes that you can look into the local zoning laws is if they have ADU provisions. Some states also allow tiny houses as ADUs, if a resident of the tiny home is taking care of someone from the primary residence. 

tiny house on a foundation

Best Places Where You Can Park a Tiny Home Legally

1. RV Parks

RV parks are one of the best places to temporarily settle your tiny home. These locations usually have facilities such as water and power that can significantly improve your daily life. In some cases, these places may also have WiFi access and recreational amenities such as swimming pools. 

However, not all RV parks allow tiny homes into their vicinity for several reasons. If you are planning to park your small home unit in an RV park, make sure you check out if they allow it or not. 

Furthermore, very few RV parks allow permanent residence in their vicinity. Often, they only allow tiny homes to park for a few weeks or months. Rents also vary depending on the season that you visit these places. In some areas, parking fees could spike during seasons with lots of tourist activities such as in the spring or summer. 

2. Campgrounds

Some campgrounds allow tiny homes to park within their vicinity, especially if you have an RV certification. However, very few campgrounds offer the same amenities as RV parks. For this reason, campsites are often seen as a temporary parking option. 

tiny house parked near lake

The great thing about parking in campgrounds is it gives you direct access to nature or the closest tourist attraction. Campgrounds also bring a sort of community among people who are currently parked in the area. Here, it’s natural for people to share their stories about travel, current events, and life in general. 

Not all campgrounds, however, are the same. Some camping areas only have necessities such as a well and bonfire area. The general rule is the further the campsite is from the nearest city, the fewer its amenities. 

tiny homes park in campground

3. Private Property You Own

There are a few jurisdictions that allow you to park your tiny home in a piece of land you own. However, there might still be provisions that restrict this type of parking arrangement. For example, some towns only allow parking on private property if the tiny home has a foundation.

In some townships, they may require you to have a septic tank or well within the property. If you plan to live outside of a county, then most township require you to have these structures.

Before you purchase a piece of land or park your unit to the one you already own, do your research first. Look up in the city or municipality’s website for their zoning laws. You can even download some of these documents , but prepare for a long read.

If you don’t want to read the zoning laws, you can contact the town’s office directly and ask for advice. Some jurisdictions also entertain variance, which is a kind of exception for building a “unique” structure.

4. Your Backyard 

Permanently parking a tiny house at your backyard is generally illegal. However, there are several exceptions to this rule. Some jurisdictions have loopholes or provisions that may allow you to pull this off.

For example, some states allow you to register your tiny home as an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). However, most jurisdictions only permit such an arrangement if you’re going to live part-time on your tiny house. In some cases, you also need to register your tiny home as an RV so you can take advantage of such loopholes.

Another exception to parking your tiny home in your backyard is if the zoning law has a caregiver provision. Under this stipulation, some jurisdictions allow people to live in a smaller home on the same property if they are taking care of someone in the main household.

Furthermore, some states also allow such an arrangement if the tiny home owner or ADU resident is a property or commercial sitter. In such cases, the residents are employed to secure the business complex or estate. 

5. Tiny House Communities

Over the years, some places have been rezoned to accommodate tiny house owners. From these areas emerged tiny house communities that allow tiny house parking for reasonable prices.

Some tiny house communities also allow renting a piece of land where you can park your small home for months or years, depending on your contract with the owner. Furthermore, most tiny house communities also allow small houses on wheels and those that are built over foundation. 

So far, these communities are the best place to park your tiny home, especially if you intend to stay or reside in the area for an extended period. Many of these communities also have amenities that you can find in RV parks such as power, water, on-site laundry, sewage access, and recreational activities. 

Below are some of the popular tiny house communities in the country:

  • Lemon Cove Village near the Sequoia National Park in California
  • The Sanctuary Minnesota Village in Minnesota
  • Whispering Aspen Village in Colorado
  • Orlando Lakefront in Florida
  • Tony Hsieh.Tiny House Community in Las Vegas

If you want to search for a tiny house community near your area, you can visit TinyHouseCommunity.com. 

tiny house hotel

Other Places Where You Can Temporarily Park a Tiny Home

Surprisingly, other establishments allow you to park your tiny home, albeit only for a short period. Many of these places usually have free parking, but some require some flat or per hour fees. 

1. Friend’s or Relative’s Property

If you register your tiny house on wheels as an RV, you can temporarily park it in a property owned by a relative or friend. Just make sure that you get their consent first before settling your tiny house on their land. 

However, most states only allow this type of arrangement for 3-5 days. Hence, once that period expires, you need to move your tiny home out of their property. If you are traveling around a friend’s area, you may want to inform them in advance of your intention to park in their lot. Just make sure that doing so doesn’t violate any zoning laws. 

Some homeowners also allow RVs and tiny homes to be parked in their property for a fair price. However, before you book the place, make sure that what you are doing isn’t going to violate any local laws or regulations. You can check out properties that allow tiny home parking at these websites:

2. Truck Stops

Truckers aren’t the only ones welcome in these establishments. Tiny homes on wheels and RVs can also park in them and enjoy the different shops around it. Truck stops are also great places to do your basic hygiene care and to stock up on supplies.  

However, because you also need to follow the regulations of the parking spaces that are usually meant for truckers. You also need to be mindful of your surroundings, especially because other large vehicles like oversized rigs and tractor-trailers even stop here. 

Furthermore, make sure you lock the doors of your tiny home and don’t leave any valuable items while you are away from your unit. 

3.Casinos

If your tiny mobile home is on the shorter side and registered as an RV, some casinos will allow you to park in their lot. Las Vegas casinos, for example, enable temporary parking as long as some available spaces or slots can accommodate your rig. 

The NASCAR circuit in Las Vegas also has an RV exclusive parking slots which charge a small fee. However, do take note that these fees can rise, especially during holidays, weekends and if there are events nearby. 

Consequently, not every casino allows tiny homes into their property. Hence, before you park your unit there, make sure to first check with the casino management if such an arrangement is possible. In most cases, RV parking lots are separated from the regular parking spots for smaller vehicles. 

4. Walmart

This might surprise you, but some stores of Walmart allow RVs and in extension, some tiny homes to park in their area. The chances of them allowing such arrangement is better on states that are deemed small home friendly. 

However, some stores are quite strict as to what type or size or RVs their parking lot can accommodate. Regardless, parking at Walmart while you shop is an efficient way of shopping for your supplies. 

To ensure you aren’t violating any rules of a particular Walmart store, ask the management first if they allow such an arrangement. Take note also that most branches only allow short-time parking or until their store closes. 

tiny house parked in RV parking

Where to Find the Best Tiny Home Parking Spots Online?

Whether you are looking for a short term or permanent parking for your tiny home, you can find most of them on the Internet. Many of these websites that post small home parking and communities were also started by people who support the Tiny House Movement. 

Below are some of the websites where you can find your next tiny home parking spot:

1. TryItTiny.com

Originally, TryItTiny is a property listing website which posts tiny homes for rent across the country. In recent years, however, the site has also begun listing properties that can host tiny mobile homes. Among the services offered by these hosts is parking, power, water, and other amenities.

The website also has a minimalistic and classy layout which sticks to how most tiny homes are designed. Furthermore, they also show reviews, ratings, and feedback of past customers about a particular listing. This feature is going to be quite handy when you are trying to make your decision about where to park. 

Furthermore, it also has Google map integration which helps you to navigate the location of the listing. TryItTiny has even listed down the events and celebrations near the host’s site to ensure you won’t be bored while you’re there.

2. TinyFriendly.com

If you want to park in a tiny home community, then look no further than TinyFriendly.com. This website jots down all of the known tiny house communities in the country. Currently, there are over 20 locations on the site, but this could grow more in the coming years.

The cool thing about TinyFriendly is the number of details you can get about a particular tiny home community. Each listing gives a clear description of what you can expect once you live or park in these communities. 

Additionally, it also mentions other opportunities available in the area, such as if there are lots for sale or rent. It also tells readers if they can bring their own tiny home or if they need to rent one. The site also has its own Facebook group where you can reach out to fellow tiny home owners.

However, the website is still relatively new, and the number of listings is only a few. That is quite understandable as there are only 10,000 to 12,000 tiny house units in the US, according to tiny house manufacturers .

3. TinyHomeClassified.com

This online platform was created by GiveBig and GoTiny, two of the known brands in the tiny house space. It’s meant to be a website that caters to the micro-housing community. Here you can find listings of small houses for sale, pre-built homes, and other services related to the industry.

More importantly, the website also has listings of tiny home communities and parking spaces across the country. Consequently, it also listed lands where you can place your tiny home be it on a foundation or still on its trailer.

This online classifieds also has clear photos of the property or land, which you can review before you decide to avail the parking services. However, because tiny homes are a relatively new concept, there are only a few parking spaces listed on the site.

Regardless, TinyHomeClassified is still a great website where you can strike good deals related to tiny homes. They also have a blog page that has a few articles about the Tiny House movement. 

4. MyTinyHouseParking.com

When you are looking for the best parking spots for tiny houses, this website is an excellent online resource. MyTinyHouseParking is part of the Tiny House Network, covers everything related to the Tiny House Movement. 

Here you can find different parking options such as RV parks, tiny house communities, and private parking options. Their listings also have Google map function so you can quickly tell the location of the parking space.

Furthermore, the website also describes in detail the parking space, including the amenities that the management offers. The site also tells you how many lots of spots are still available in the particular parking listing. 

The monthly parking fee for most of the listings here ranges from $225 to $700, which also reflects the average price on most tiny house listing sites.   

5. Craigslist

Craigslist is the largest classified ads website in the US. As such, it wouldn’t be entirely surprising to see posts related to tiny house parking. Some homeowners or establishments list their properties here specifically for RV and mobile home parking purposes. 

If you need a place where you can temporarily park your tiny home while visiting a particular area, Craigslist can help. Most of their listings have pictures that can help you determine if that parking spot fits your needs.

However, before you contact the person who posted that listing, makes sure that the jurisdiction allow parking of tiny homes . If the city or township has a website, you can research if the existing zoning laws allow such a setup.

Additionally, you can also check with the lister if their neighbors won’t mind seeing a tiny home parked on their neighborhood. 

family in a parked tiny home

Conclusion 

Finding a place where you can legally park your tiny house can be quite challenging, especially for new owners. Fortunately, the Tiny House Movement is slowly gaining traction and support from different parts of the country. With this renewed interest in tiny houses, many parking solutions are coming out of the woodwork. 

We hope that this article has helped you understand where you can park your mobile tiny home without having to deal with the law. 

Related Questions

How much does it cost to park a tiny home?

Tiny home parking fees can vary depending on the period you are going to use the spot, the area it is in, and the time of the year. Short-term parking may cost around $10-12, which lasts only a day. Meanwhile, monthly rents on tiny home communities range between $600 to $1,200 depending on the amenities within the facility.

Can I put my tiny house on my property?

Yes, but there are some rules you need to follow, depending on how it is classified in your jurisdiction. If it’s an ADU, then you have to comply with the building code and zoning laws in your area. However, if you register it as an RV, you may not live in it for a long time, and it needs to be next to temporary residential housing. 

Why are tiny houses illegal in some states?

The idea of a tiny home is entirely new, and legislation in some states hasn’t caught up with this development. Hence, it is quite difficult to regulate them if the local government will use the building codes and zoning laws meant for larger traditional housing options. Furthermore, the design of tiny homes sometimes doesn’t comply with the safety provisions of residential building code.  

The Essential Guide to Insulating a Tiny House

The Essential Guide to Insulating a Tiny House

tiny house insulation

Insulating a tiny house is an important step to make your life more comfortable in your mobile home. It’s what keeps your dwelling warm during the winter and cool in the summer. Furthermore, it also contributes significantly to making your home energy efficient in its use of heaters and air conditioning. 

Insulating your tiny house is a must, especially if you want to live in a comfortable home. The great news is that with little to no experience, you can insulate your residence. There are also plenty of materials to choose from, which can affect the project’s cost and difficulty.

If you don’t want the heavy lifting, you can easily hire a professional home insulation contractor. Some of the materials used in insulation may not be beginner-friendly or require careful handling to ensure it’s appropriately installed. In which case, it’s better to leave it to the pros. 

Consequently, if you buy a tiny home unit from a manufacturer, they usually have pre-installed insulation. Meanwhile, tiny home builders can also place the installation material of your choice while they are constructing your unit.

In this guide, we will discuss everything to know about insulating a tiny house. We have also included different insulation options, their cost, and some recommendations. 

How Much Does Insulating a Tiny House Cost?

Insulating your tiny home can cost anywhere between $0.35 to $2 per board foot. Different components affect the price, but the most significant factor is the material used. 

Depending on the type of insulation you decided on, this project could be as affordable as $1,200 or upwards of $2,500. Generally, the larger your tiny home is, the more expensive the insulation. However, small houses are much smaller than traditional housing options and are much cheaper to insulate.  

Later, we will also discuss the average cost of each material to help you better in weighing your options.  

insulating a tiny house

What is the R-Value in Insulation?

You may have noticed that different materials have varying R-values. For example, polyurethane styrofoam has an insulation rating of 5.6 to 8.0. But what does this figure mean?

R-Value is a rating that measures the ability of a material to block off heat. The higher its value, the more insulative the material. 

Different parts of the house usually require different R-values to ensure they could trap heat efficiently. A traditional home’s attic must have R-38 insulation according to the Energy Conservation Code

R-values can also vary depending on the thickness of the material. As such, fiberglass with a depth of 3.5 inches has an R-value of 10.9. But, once its thickness increases to 6 inches, the R-value also jumps to 18.8. 

Different Types of Materials for Insulating a Tiny House

1. Fiberglass

Fiberglass is one of the most reliable materials you can use for insulation. This material is a combination of reinforced plastic material and glass, which makes it quite sturdy and durable. However, installing fiberglass is challenging since they may irritate once it comes in contact with your skin.   

In terms of insulation, it’s R-value is from 2.9 to 3.8 per square inch for the batts type and 2.2 to 2.9 per square inch for the loose type. The batts type has an estimated cost of $0.64 to $1.19 per board foot. If you have a professional install it for you, it will cost you an additional $100 to $300. 

Installing fiberglass is also much easier than other synthetic materials. You need to fit the large roll batts in between the studs. Moreover, the installation only requires a few pieces of equipment such as utility knife, putty cutter, and tape measure.   

Furthermore, it tends to sag over the years, which may cut down its effectiveness in containing heat. 

Fiberglass insulation
Photo by Penumbra via Flickr

Pros

  • One of the most inexpensive insulation materials in the market
  • Some brands are covered in plastic which acts as moisture barriers
  • This material does not burn 
  • Consistent insulation that quickly surrounds everything inside the walls 

Cons

  • Doesn’t cover the walls from cold entirely because it’s not thick enough
  • Settles and sags over time which cuts down its insulation efficiency
  • Loses its R-value once it gets wet or moisture gets into it
  • Contains potentially toxic chemicals such formaldehyde

2. Cellulose

Cellulose is one of the most preferred insulating materials because of its low impact on the environment. It’s made of recycled materials, mainly newspaper shredded fibers that make 80-percent of the material. 

It’s also mixed with boric acid to give it fire-resistant properties. Loose-fill cellulose has an R-value of 3.5 per square inch of thickness. A bag of cellulose has a price tag of $11.50 to $12, which translates to roughly $0.85 per board foot. 

Installing dense-pack cellulose requires drilling into the walls or floor about 2-inches or more in diameter. After this, the nozzle application will be inserted in it to inject the insulating material.

On the other hand, wet cellulose follows the same process. However, water and binder compounds are added into the mix so that it will stick with other building components. The method simultaneously insulates, and air seals the walls or floor. 

Pros

  • When treated with boric acid, it can become fire and pest resistant
  • A bit cheaper than fiberglass
  • Lower health risks than other potentially toxic materials in this list
  • Can help reduce discarded cardboard and paper products

Cons

  • Installation cost is a bit higher than fiberglass
  • When installing it leaves a vast amount of dust; hence, a breathing mask is required
  • Both wet and dry cellulose need vapor barriers
  • Quickly absorbs moisture which can expose it to molds and decay

3. Blue Jeans or Denim

If you have tons of denim or blue jeans at home, you can also use them to insulate your tiny house. You can also use other recycled textile fibers and form them into batts. The remarkable thing about using denim is that they don’t contain any chemical irritants. 

Ultratouch is one of the most popular brands of denim insulation in the market. A 16” x 48” multi-purpose denim roll only costs $6 per roll. In terms of insulation efficiency, it has an R-value of 3.5 per square inch. 

Installing blue jeans is also much easier than other materials in this list because it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals or irritants. Before installing it over a wall panel, make sure the denim roll is fully rebounded. Furthermore, you want the denim sheet to be at least 0.5 inches thicker than the wall gaps to ensure a snug fit. 

Moreover, blue jeans are a renewable insulator that doesn’t contain formaldehyde or any itchy fibers. However, denim insulation costs almost twice as much as fiberglass. You also need to apply vapor barriers, which also requires a hefty sum. 

insulating a tiny home

Pros

  • Doesn’t contain formaldehyde or any other toxic substances
  • Can easily be DIYed which can save you money from hiring a contractor
  • Denim lasts for a long time
  • Becomes fire and pest resistant when treated with boric acid

Cons

  • Costs almost twice as fiberglass insulation
  • Requires a vapor barrier to be effective
  • Batts may not bounce back from their original shape after shipping
  • A bit difficult to cut

4. Cell Spray Foam

If you are looking for the most effective insulation material, then look no further than a closed-cell spray foam (CCSF). CCSF has an R-value of 6 to 7 per square inch, which is almost double that of other materials on the list. On average, it costs around $0.90 to $1.25 per board foot. 

You can also opt for a cheaper but less effective open-cell spray foam (OCSF), which has an R-value of 3 to 4per square inch. Installing this type of insulation takes you back $0.25 to $0.50 per board foot. 

Closed cells are pressed together so that moisture and air won’t get into the foam. Because of this arrangement, OCSF is more rigid and stable than its closed counterpart. On the other hand, open-cell spray foam is not fully encapsulated and are deliberately left open. 

Consequently, cell spray products are usually packaged with ready kits that include hoses, nozzles, and tanks with foams. These inclusions can increase the price of cell spray foam products.

Pros

  • Provides an airtight seal for complete insulation
  • Impermeable to water which extends its life span
  • Can add strength to your roof and walls
  • Does not lose its R-value over time

Cons 

  • Requires protective equipment during installation
  • Needs to be applied at the right portion and temperature to prevent outgassing
  • Contains potentially toxic substances when used incorrectly

5. Foam Board

Foam board is another material you can use to insulate your tiny home. It’s made of polyurethane polystyrene and polyisocyanurate. These rigid panels provide not only excellent thermal resistance but also add structural strength to your small house.

Foam boards are good for insulating any part of your home. It has an R-value that ranges from 3.8 to 4.4 every inch of thickness. This insulation material is often sold in 4×8 foot sheets. On average, installing foam boards cost $0.67 per board foot.

There are two types of foam boards, namely: extruded expanded polystyrene (XEPS), 

molded expanded polystyrene (MEPS). The more expensive XEPS is denser, has higher comprehensive strength, and better resistance to moisture absorption. Meanwhile, MEPS is cheaper and is often used in structural insulated panels and insulating concrete forms.

Foam boards are also sold in various thicknesses and can be trimmed down to fit the floor and wall cavities. The unique property of foam also allows them to be DIY-friendly since they are relatively easy to install. However, the main challenge with foam boards is cutting them into smaller pieces so that they fit perfectly.  

insulating a small home
Photo by ann-dabney via Flickr

Pros

  • Offers high R-value even without a foil facing 
  • Expanded polystyrene board doesn’t have Hydrofluorocarbons which is good for the environment
  • XPS is very resistant to moisture and can be used underground
  • Polyiso board has numerous facing options like plastic and aluminum

Cons

  • Joints between boards and sheets need to be taped together which prolongs the installation 
  • EPS contain air bubbles which may stop heat transfer
  • Rigid foam is susceptible to UV ray damage when exposed directly to the sun

6. Sheep Wool

If you are looking for a sustainable insulation material, then you should consider sheep wool. Clothes made of sheep wool are excellent in regulating heat and absorbing humidity. If you ever had woolen jumpers, it’s made of sheep wool.

In terms of insulation efficiency, sheep wool has an R-value of 3.6 per square inch for wool batts and 4.3 per square inch for blow-ins. However, while sheep wool offers a lot of benefits, you have to pay a premium of $0.67 per board foot. 

Regardless, sheep wool offers better thermal conductivity than many of the other materials on the list. Sheep wool has a thermal conductivity that ranges between 0.035 – 0.04 Watts per meter times Kelvin (W/mK) compared to other mineral wool, which is at 0.044 W/mK. 

Wool fiber also has a crimped nature, thanks to millions of tiny air pockets that create a thermal barrier that effectively traps air. Furthermore, wool absorbs harmful substances like formaldehyde, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. It then neutralizes these substances through a process called Chemisorption. 

Pros

  • Environment-friendly and has a minimal carbon footprint
  • Excellent at absorbing moisture and has an excellent thermal conductivity
  • Non-flammable and can last for a long time when treated with boric acid
  • Material is flexible and fills gaps easily

Cons

  • Borax is potentially toxic
  • Quite a bit expensive; especially on its installation cost
  • Sheep wool is also treated in harsh chemicals to remove scab mites

7. Cotton

While very few use cotton to insulate their homes, it’s still pretty viable. Cotton is a non-toxic material and can easily fit even the thinnest walls. Furthermore, it has a less negative impact than most of the items on this list.

In terms of R-value, cotton averages around 3.5 per square inch. However, because they are much thinner than say fiberglass, you need to stack more sheets to get the same insulation efficiency. The average cost of cotton insulation is around $0.95 per board feet. 

Another reason you may want to consider cotton is its ability to block sounds. Furthermore, it’s safe to handle and does not cause any irritation. However, there are a couple of issues that you should also consider before installing cotton.

First, cutting cotton is not an easy task, and you need to use a very sharp knife to get it done. Second, cotton is a bit heavier than other materials on this list. Hence, if you are quite particular with the weight of your tiny home, this insulation material might not be for you. 

Photo by CaraGreen via Flickr

Pros

  • Cotton is safe to handle and easy to install
  • Doesn’t have any toxic or harmful substance
  • Effectively blocks sounds 

Cons

  • Lower R-value compared to other materials on the list
  • Cotton is a bit heavy which can be an issue for tiny homes on wheels
  • It’s hard to cut into the right sizes

8. Hemp   

One of the insulation materials that holds much promise, hemp is a great sustainable alternative. It’s non-toxic, renewable, and quite sturdy, which under the right conditions can last a lifetime. Furthermore, it has moisture control properties that help regulate the right temperature for your tiny home.

In terms of insulation efficiency, it has an R-3.5 per square inch rating. However, because they are quite rare in the US, you may need to spend a much higher sum to install them. On average, installing hemp into your tiny house will set you back $1.90 per square foot.

Despite its hefty price tag, hemp might be worth it mainly because of its resistant to pests and insects. Additionally, they also reduce sound transmission and can absorb moisture from your home’s framing materials.

However, aside from being twice as expensive as fiberglass, hemp is also hard to cut down. As such, you may need a power saw if its in a DIY project. Hemp also doesn’t compress well, which can increase your shipping fee by a bit. 

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic and natural which makes it safe to install even without special equipment
  • Quite sturdy and has a longer lifespan than most materials in the list
  • Safely absorbs moisture especially from framing materials
  • Reduces sound transmission

Cons

  • More expensive than most popular insulation materials
  • Tough to cut and requires a saw to do the job
  • Takes more volume when it’s shipped because it doesn’t compress well
how to insulate a tiny home
Photo by Nicolás Boullosa via Flickr

Conclusion

Insulating a tiny home is a must, especially if you want to live comfortably during the winter months. Fortunately, there are tons of materials you can choose from to match your budget and preference. 

Related Questions

Is it easy to install insulation in a tiny home?

Some materials are easy to install and doesn’t even require professional help. However, some substances require proper handling or treatment. As an example, fiberglass may irritate when it touches your skin. 

How long do insulations usually last?

Most insulations can last a lifetime, especially if they are correctly installed and are not exposed to any damage.