Month: January 2020

Are You Pregnant Living in a Tiny Home?

Are You Pregnant Living in a Tiny Home?

I was watching a documentary about tiny home living the other day, and something caught my eye. There was this pregnant woman who lives with her husband and a kid, and it led me to this question. Is a tiny home an ideal place for a pregnant woman?

Pregnancy is an exciting yet challenging time for any woman, especially if they live in a tiny house. However, because there is limited space to move around, it can be quite difficult for a pregnant woman to live in a tiny house. 

Several situations can also be a bit dangerous for pregnant women, such as climbing a ladder to reach the loft. For these reasons, it’s crucial to plan your living situation in a tiny house. 

Are Tiny Houses Safe During Pregnancy?

Generally, spending time in a tiny house is mostly safe because it also provides comfort and necessities like your traditional houses. However, because of its smaller liveable space, there are a lot of adjustments that you will need.

Aside from a limited living area, tiny houses also have smaller storage for the additional items you will need during pregnancy. Hence, you might want to prioritize things that you need during this period— medicines, extra sets of clothing, and additional food.   

Tiny houses also have less comfort-centric amenities that you might need during pregnancy. For example, it doesn’t have the best heating system to keep you warm during the winter months. As such, you may need to buy an additional portable heater to ensure you get the temperature just right. 

On the flip side, if you are pregnant during the summer months, you may need better air conditioning and ventilation system. Tiny houses can get warmer because of its compact space. Hence you need always to keep your windows open to let the air in. 

Overall, tiny houses are safe for pregnant women, provided that you have prepared everything to make yourself more comfortable. Just make sure to plan specific changes during this time with your family so that everyone can cope with this new setup.  

Main Challenges of Pregnant Women Living in a Tiny House

The key to a good plan is to preempt what problems or challenges lie ahead, so that you can come up with advanced solutions. Most of the challenges during this time revolve around two things— ensuring the comfort and safety of the pregnant woman. 

For this reason, we have listed some of the challenges that pregnant women encounter when living in a tiny home. Based on their experiences, we have also listed some suggestions on how you can prevent accidents and better cope with the situation.

Here are some of the situations that you have to be prepared for: 

1. Moving Around the House

As your belly grows in size, it will be more difficult to navigate around the cramped tiny house. Depending on how your small home is designed, moving from one part of the home to another can be daunting to almost impossible. 

Make sure that you have plenty of room to move around by rearranging your furniture, if necessary. Removing or relocating any item that can stop you from your track is also crucial at this stage. If you have wall decorations that stick out and can hinder your movement, you should consider removing them for your safety. 

Moreover, you also have to watch out for sharp edges of tables, cabinets, and other furniture. Hitting these places, especially with your baby bump, can be quite painful and can even threaten your pregnancy. One of the quick-fixes you can do to prevent such a dilemma is to install safety edge strips and corner guards. 

2. Taking a Bath 

Most tiny homes have small bathrooms that pale in comparison to their traditional house counterparts. A typical tiny house bathroom measures 4’ x 3’ or 3’ x 3′. It also has just about a foot between the toilet and shower, which also makes it harder to enter and exit this room.

Given its compact space, taking a bath is also quite challenging for pregnant women. The worst thing that could happen is the soap sliding out of your hand, and you have to pick it up on the floor. To avoid this, you can instead use liquid soap and place it on an easily reachable height or about your chest level. 

 If you have a tub in your tiny home, you may want to install new handlebars where you can hold on for extra support. It’s also recommended that you place anti-slip floor mats right after your shower or tub to prevent you from falling over. 

3. Going to the Second Floor

Going up and down the stairs (or ladders) is something you should avoid while your pregnant. Not only will it be challenging to do, especially in the later stage of pregnancy, but it also exposes you to unwanted accidents. 

As such, we recommend you and your household to make certain adjustments. For example, if you have a loft that is accessible only via a narrow ladder, then you might want to take extra care when climbing it. If you sleep on the loft, you can instead buy a foldable sofa or another bed so you can stay on the first floor. 

Better yet, you may want to swap beds or rooms of those who are staying on the ground floor of your tiny home. If you don’t have a bedroom on the first floor, you can buy a foldable sofa bed and make it comfortable enough for you to sleep in. 

4. Cooking and Dining

A mother’s work doesn’t stop just because they are pregnant. Preparing meals for the family is a choir that you don’t merely delegate to another member of the household. As such, you need to make sure that even when you are cooking meals, it won’t pose any harm to you and the child you are carrying.  

Hence, make sure that all of your kitchen cookware and utensils are placed where you can easily access them. Preferably, this should be around easy to reach cabinets or drawers. If you need any cookware that is on the top shelves, ask someone to bring it down for you. 

Additionally, avoid bending down to reach any housewares that are placed on the bottom cabinet. If you frequently use a particular pot or skillet, you can instead bring it out and put it somewhere more accessible. 

5. Cleaning the House

A tiny house can get messy fast, especially if you have a kid around. Hence, even if you are under prenatal care, you can’t help but clean your abode now and then. Be careful, though, as you usually shouldn’t stress yourself with all the chores during this period in your life. 

Limit your cleaning chores to simple tasks that don’t require any complicated movements. You can dust off the house or even vacuum the floor. However, please avoid anything that puts your body in awkward positions like squatting. 

If you still need to clean the house, you can hire someone to tidy your dwelling for you. You can also delegate the task to other occupants of your home— be it your husband, partner, or even your children. 

How to Cope with Living in a Tiny Home During Pregnancy

Pregnancy can bring a lot of changes not only to you but also to your household. Women who are pregnant are more vulnerable to different ailments and conditions such as anxiety. As such, it’s paramount that their environment must not cause any stress or strains. 

Fortunately, a tiny house can be the perfect dwelling to carry your pregnancy because of its homey feeling. If you live in a tiny house on wheels, you can also get around places, such as a nature park, where you can de-stress and relax. 

As much as possible, you want to be as safe and comfortable during pregnancy. However, it shouldn’t stop you from doing the things you want to do. Some pregnant women even continue to work until the last couple of months of their pregnancy. 

Coping with pregnancy usually revolves around dealing with common pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness, lightheadedness, and feeling tired. Below are some things you can do to ensure you have a safe and comfortable pregnancy.

1. Focus on Your Baby’s Development

Don’t forget to take a breather if you feel tired. During these small breaks, you can just pause and feel your baby bump. Some studies have suggested that unborn babies can hear sounds as early as the sixth month of pregnancy.

Reading books and chatting with them is an excellent bond with you and your baby. Several pieces of research also pointed out that early reading can help them develop language learning much sooner. 

2. Get Plenty of Sleep and Rest

During your pregnancy, your number one priority is to listen to your body. People usually need at least eight hours of sleep each day. However, pregnant women may require 10 hours or more to ensure that they are fully recharged, both physically and mentally.

If you have another child in the tiny house, perhaps you can ask your partner to look after them while you take short naps. To ensure you get a good night’s sleep, cut down your caffeine consumption, put aside your worries, and try relaxation techniques like deep breathing exercises. 

3. Eat Well

Make sure that you are getting all the nutrients you and your baby need. Eat regular meals on time so you won’t feel irritable and keep your blood sugar level in check. Some of the so-called superfoods for your baby are spinach, carrots, bananas, avocados, broccoli, nuts, salmon, and yogurt. 

Furthermore, you should also be consuming at least six to eight glasses of water a day. Dehydration can significantly affect your mood and harm your pregnancy. Most physicians also advise pregnant women to skip alcoholic drinks, especially during the early months of pregnancy.

4. Try Simple Exercises

Even if your movements are limited, don’t forget to do light exercises now and then. Scientists have found out that exercising and doing other physical activities make the brain release feel-good chemicals like dopamine. 

Exercising and doing other gentler physical activities is perfectly safe, especially during the first half of your pregnancy. You can also try an aquanatal swim class or a prenatal yoga class to keep your body toned and in great shape. Even walking around your area or a nearby park, for at least 10 minutes, is already a great stress reliever. 

5. Try Complementary Therapies

There are plenty of ways to help you lessen your stress and relieve the pressure of pregnancy. For example, getting a massage and spa baths can help relieve stress and give you a good night’s sleep. The great news is that your husband or partner can learn or apply some of these messages.

Another great way to help you relax is through the help of aromatherapy. Certain plants and mixtures can help you feel calmer and reduce anxiety. Overall, these complementary therapies can help you lessen the discomfort brought by your pregnancy. 

6. Talk to Your Midwife or Physician

During your consultations and scheduled checkup, don’t be shy to discuss any worries you have for your baby. Tell your physician and midwife any concern you have on your pregnancy. Most of them can give you not only their professional advice but also their reassurance. 

You can also talk with your partner about your worries, so both of you can feel better and not keep any secrets. Moreover, you can also go to group sessions with other moms-to-be and meet people who can relate to your situation.  

7. Resolve Money Worries Early

Financial matters are one of the things that may always bother you and your partner. More so during pregnancy, when you will spend on prenatal items and medical care. As such, you need to sort things out the moment you know you are carrying a child.

If you want to save money, you can instead borrow items such as maternal dresses from your friends or relatives. Some charitable institutions also give out used prams, cots, and other maternity items that are still in good condition. 

8. Learn to be Mindful

Pregnancy is such an excellent time to practice mindfulness. Being mindful of the world around you and the moment you are in can help you remove any negative thoughts. Just by paying full attention to simple things, like your baby’s kicks, will help you achieve this state. 

Recent scientific research has found out several benefits of mindfulness to the mental state of a person. It’s one of the best practices that can help fight depression, which affects more than 20-percent of pregnant women. 

Below are some ways you can practice being mindful in your daily life:

  • Spend at least five to ten minutes to just focus on your breathing and the sounds around you. This practice will help your mind to wander and improve your focus. 
  • When you feel at peace, allow your mind to drift and explore the thoughts you have at the moment. Try to analyze these thoughts and feelings and notice if they have positive or negative patterns. 
  • Try doing something new each day and break away from your usual daily routine. You can even learn new crafts such as knitting or tailoring clothes for your baby.
  • Practice just being in the moment and pay close attention to your senses. By bringing your consciousness to higher levels, you can better perceive the child you are carrying. 

Safety Tips for Pregnant Women Living in a Tiny House

Pregnancy can be quite a delicate time where you have to put some safety mechanisms in place. Some pregnancies can also be quite unpredictable, so you need to be extra careful in almost everything. 

For these reasons, we have compiled some safety tips which can help you have a comfortable pregnancy: 

1. Practice Safe Commuting

A new study from the Economics and Human Biology has shown that there are significant dangers for pregnant women who commute long distances. According to their research, traveling more than 10 miles can increase the probability of low birth by 0.9 percent and intrauterine growth by 0.6 percent.

Hence, if you need to commute to work or to do groceries, choose the most comfortable means of transportation available. Avoid crowded mass transportation such as trains and buses, especially during the rush hour. If you can ask a friend or an acquaintance to drive you to your destination, then go with that option. 

If you can’t avoid riding public transportation, make sure you head to the seats reserved for the elderly, pregnant, and disabled. It’s usually on the first row of the bus or the lead coach of the train, which makes it easier to board and alight the vehicle. 

2. Wear Loose Clothing and Footwear with Good Grip   

You should wear maternity clothes that are comfortable for you. Make sure that they are loose and laid back, so you can quickly move around without being restricted by your clothing. Avoid wearing something that feels tight, especially around your waist. 

Start wearing maternity clothes on your first trimester or by the time your baby bump appears. The great news is that most of these garments are quite trendy and can become your fashion statement. 

Furthermore, choose footwear that has plenty of grips so you won’t slip in wet and smooth surfaces. Make it a habit to wear shoes or any footwear, even when inside your tiny home. Doing so will prevent potential injuries from sharp and pointy objects lying around. 

3. Park Your Tiny Home Close to a Hospital

If your tiny house is parked somewhere remote, you might want to relocate it to a community near a hospital. As you progress to your third trimester of pregnancy, you need to make this into your priority. If you have a relative or acquaintance living in an urban area with access to a hospital, then you might want to park your tiny house on wheels there temporarily.

There are numerous advantages to putting your mobile home to an area with access to a medical facility. If you ever get yourself involved in an accident, like slipping off, you can get treatment or be rescued much sooner.

Just make sure to stay in a quiet area.  It should also have all the necessary facilities like access to water, power, and sewage. During the last trimester of your pregnancy, make sure you always have someone monitoring you just in case you unexpectedly give birth. 

4. List Emergency Number Contacts

Always keep a list of emergency numbers in your smartphone- from the local fire department and rescue centers. It’s also essential to get to save the contact info of your midwife and physician. Register them on the speed dial just in case you ever find yourself in a fickle. 

If you have a neighbor or a friend who lives near your area, get their numbers, too, as you will never know if you might need assistance. Make sure that you keep your smartphone with you or place it somewhere easily accessible. 

Three Stages of Pregnancy

Most pregnancies last 40 weeks from the time of your last menstrual period to the day you give birth. It’s usually divided into three stages, which are called a trimester. Each semester consists of three months and is based on the maturation of the fetus. 

When you find out you are pregnant, through pregnancy test kits or other methods, you need to see a physician the soonest. The doctor can give you a blood test to validate or invalidate the results of the test and give you an estimate when you give birth. 

1. First Semester

During the first semester, your ovulation will cease, and the fetus begins to grow. Hormonal changes will start affecting your body and develop different symptoms. Things like mood swings, fatigue, frequent urination, cravings, and weight gain (or loss) are every day during this period. 

Pregnant women at this stage need to eat more frequently, but with smaller meals. They also need to get to bed much earlier and avoid stress. Given that you are more mobile during the first trimester, you should do a bit of exercise. 

2. Second Semester

The second semester is often much more comfortable than the first one. However, you will notice more physical changes, such as your baby bump expanding. During this time, you will likely experience less nausea and finally will be able to sense your baby move. 

Changes like stretch marks, numb hands, itching abdomen, swelling of the ankles, and dark patches on your forehead are frequent during this period. It’s essential to be vigilant during the second semester and report to your doctor if you feel or experience something out of the ordinary. 

3. Third Semester

The discomforts you felt during the second semester will likely continue during this period. Additionally, you may have to urinate more often and even experience difficulty in breathing. Contractions will also be quite frequent, which can be a sign of false or real labor. 

As your due date approaches, it’s important to make necessary arrangements such as making sure you have your maternity kit ready. Also, you need to have a vehicle available just in case you get into labor earlier than what’s scheduled. 

Raising a Baby in a Tiny Home

When you have given birth, the next question you might have is, “Can I raise my newborn child in a tiny home?” And the answer is yes. 

However, you need to prepare a few things to ensure that you can take care of your new baby to the best of your abilities. 

Ideally, you want to have storage for your baby’s stuff, such as food, toys, and clothes. They also need additional space in your tiny home for their crib or a hammock. 

Here are five crucial tips for raising a healthy baby without stressing yourself too much:

  • Use a smaller or compact version of anything such as a mini crib or a collapsible bathtub to save space. 
  • Create a schedule for you and your baby such as when to sleep, eat, play, and maybe even go outside for a walk
  • Buy items that are needed at the moment. For example, you only need a high chair when your baby is about six months old. 
  • Cleverly use every space in your tiny home. Think which part of your tiny house can be used as a nursery or crib while still retaining a secondary function. 
  • Create a dedicated and safe baby space. Baby proof this space or crib, so they won’t be harmed in any way.  

Conclusion

Pregnancy is a great time to celebrate life. Spending your pregnancy in a tiny home can help get your family much closer. While there are certainly some challenges ahead, coping up with the situation is much easier if everyone’s on board. 

Related Questions

Should I modify our tiny home during pregnancy?

You should change the layout of your tiny home to ensure that it’s roomy and allow you to pass quickly. Furthermore, you may need to install things like handles in your bathroom and anti-slip mats on the wash area. 

Should we get a tiny home now that my wife is pregnant?

If you plan to buy a unit from a tiny home builder, we suggest informing them of your situation. They can make certain modifications and adjustments to ensure that the tiny house can provide the utmost comfort and safety for your partner. They may also add things like a baby room, which is not on the initial design or layout of the unit. 

Host a Party in Your Tiny Home: The Ultimate Guide

Host a Party in Your Tiny Home: The Ultimate Guide

Think it’s not possible to host a party in your tiny home

Well, you’re wrong. 

You may think an awesome party is out of your means because your abode is small. However, you can actually host a party in your tiny home—just prepare a layout, clear the cutter, be smart with food and drink arrangement, simplify the menu, and extend your serving areas. 

Nevertheless, yes, you’re right—throwing a party is never a walk in the park, let alone hosting it in a tiny home. That’s why we created an ultimate guide, so you can throw an unforgettable party in your cute house. 

Read to know more. 

How to host a party in your tiny home?

Just follow our steps to give your friends an unforgettable time!

1. Prepare a party layout

example of a party layout
This is an example of a party layout or map. | Source

If you still have your house’s floor plan or blueprint, you can use that as a guide to creating a party layout. 

The purposes of creating a party layout are to:

  • regulate the traffic inside your tiny home; 
  • be more in control if something goes wrong since you know the rightful place of anything; 
  • arrange furniture easily, and;
  • avoid disarray and clutter during and after the party.

Meanwhile, it’s okay if you make a layout without knowing your floorplan. It doesn’t need to be incredibly detailed—you just need to map out the essential areas in your house. 

Although, the number of components of your party layout will also depend on the type of party you’re throwing. However, in almost any North American party, you can see these on party layouts. 

  • Coat and bag area
  • Food table 
  • Beverage stations
  • Sanitation area
  • Bar
  • Bathroom 
  • Kitchen
  • Entrance/Exit doors

If you want your party guests not to get lost, you can also include the layout in your invitations. Also, by handing them a map, they will be more informed if you give them a house tour!

RELATED: Tiny Houses: A Good Idea or A Terrible Investment?

2. Clear the clutter. 

clutter under a small reds couch
Get rid of clutter before it gets rids of fun.

Done creating a partial party layout? Now, it’s time to clear the clutter in your tiny house. By clutter, we mean anything that’s not necessary for the party. 

Now, we assume you’re not hoarding that many unnecessary items, considering you’re living in a tiny house. However, you still need to make space for the people and leave only the essentials. 

Here’s how to do it. 

  • Make the common areas more spacious. That will be your living room, bar, and the seats in your yard if you’re placing several there. If you can, move all the furniture to the wall. 
  • Remove anything that blocks the entryways, passageways, doors, and windows. This is both for your safety and for avoiding congestion. 
  • Place only the essential cutlery and utensils in your kitchen sink. 
  • Remove the almost stale food in your refrigerator. 
  • Display wall decor, artwork, or photos, instead of centerpieces, extra chairs, or small tables. The latter will only take the space that surrounds your bar or your main food station. Guests tend to linger around these areas, so it’s best to ensure an allowance around those.
  • Put up extra lights inside or outside your tiny house for a chill ambience. 
  • Prepare cleaning/sanitary products nearby for those inevitable spills and food drops.

RELATED: 50 Genius Tiny House Furniture Ideas

3. Be smart with the food & drink arrangements. 

finger foods and guests in a party
Strategize with your food and drink arrangements.

Andrea Correale of Elegant Affairs, a celebrity caterer from New York, has some great tips about food and beverage in a tiny house party. 

  • Spread bite-sized food everywhere—your kitchen, common areas, dinner table, coffee table, etc. This way, your guests won’t be confined and cramped in one area when they’re hungry. 
  • Put up a bar with only one to two signature drinks and put up a sign indicating the signature cocktail drinks. This way, people won’t gather around that area. 
  • Use 7-inch dinner plates instead of 10-inch dinner plates. 
  • Finally, you should avoid serving food that requires using utensils.
  • Pour candies and mints into tall containers like glasses or vases. 

PRO tip: Since guests will surely move around a lot, you don’t want them to keep asking you where to find some spoons or snacks or mints. Instead, you can hang up an unused and clean shoe organizer for storing utensils, snacks, paper napkins, etc. 

4. Simplify your menu 

Simplicity is the key to making the perfect menu for a tiny house party. You don’t also need heaps of ingredients and spices to whip up the best party foods.

Here are some recipes we highly recommend if you want to host a party in your tiny home:

Finger foods that don’t take up too much space

spread of vertical stacks of grazing foods on a table in a party.
Grazing food is suitable for parties.

These recipes are easy-to-make, bite-sized, and space-friendly. You can also readily find them at your nearby deli or grocery unless you want imported products.

  • Grazing table (Charcuterie, cheeses, berries, green olives, crackers, etc.)
  • Deviled eggs with herbs
  • Fruit-and-cheese kebabs/kabobs (Strawberries, cheddar, kiwi, and green grapes in a skewer)
  • Classic bruschetta (French bread with tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil)
  • Baked vegetable chips (Carrot, beets, sweet potatoes, taros, etc.) 

Bar: Easy to make cocktails 

two glasses of gin and tonic with lemon wedges
Gin and tonic with lemon wedges.

Here are some inexpensive mixes that don’t need many ingredients. 

  • Lemon drop martinis (Vodka, lemon juice, and sugar)
  • Gin and tonic (Gin and lime or gin and any fruit syrup or juice)
  • Rum and coke (Add lime for a citrusy kick)
  • Mojitos (Rum, mint, and club soda)
  • Perfect White Russian (Vodka, milk, coffee liqueur, and Baileys)
  • Tanqueray & Lemonade (Tanqueray gin, lemonade, and lemons)

PRO tip: Make your humble kitchen sink a cooler for wine and other alcoholic drinks.

5. Extend your serving areas. 

couch made of hay in the yard with light bulbs above it
Stacks of hay creatively turned into a couch for a party

Do you have a spacious area outside your tiny house? Great. You can extend your serving areas outside—don’t just cram all the excitement in your cute abode. 

You can create activities that require your guests to participate outside. 

For example, if the weather is nice, you can give your guests the option to just wind down, stargaze, and play some card games. You can set up a small telescope, lay down a blanket, and place a picnic basket of cheese, wine, and fruits. 

Also, the couch you moved out of your house? You can drape it with a fancy blanket and place them outside. You can also place more grazing tables outside to free some space inside your house.

This will also create the illusion that you have a bigger venue. 

6. Just make the whole space comfortable, clever, and casual. 

three people enjoying a pizza on a table
Make your friends and guests comfortable no matter what!

Since you will host a party in your tiny home, your goals should be to make your guests comfortable and give them a good time. To create an upbeat, chill vibe, then you can do a few tricks to make things more casual. 

  • Encourage your guests to label their drinks by writing their names on sticky notes and then sticking it to their glasses. This way, you won’t deal with stacks of cups or glass shots. 
  • Have an empty corner at a common area? Lay down a blanket and place some throw pillows. Since you won’t be putting a couch or some space-consuming chairs, they might want to relax by sitting on the floor. 
  • Instead of spreading snacks and delicacies on a table, use cupcake stands, tiered trays, and risers to display the finger foods. 
  • Compensate by giving good entertainment and playing tasteful music. It’s already a small space—you can’t allow things to get boring. As a result, prepare some interesting games or activities that don’t require much moving. Play music to liven up the mood.  
  • Avoid turning on the TV. In our own experience, a party should be an engagement between multiple individuals. It’s not the appropriate time for a person or for two people to focus on sports or the news.

Conclusion

It’s not an impossible task to throw a party in your tiny home. In fact, such a restriction will only let you focus on having fun and spending time with your guests—instead of consistently tending to mere decorations. And if you follow our tips, you might just host a party in your tiny home that’s truly unforgettable.

Related questions 

How do throw a dinner party in a small setting?

This is a small setting, therefore it will be beneficial for the host and the guests to graze on bite-sized meals. This will also minimize the noise that the utensils might produce. Extend your buffet-style dinner spread to your coffee table as well. Just maximize your space as much as possible.

How do you accommodate guests in a small space?

If you have a loft, you can buy a cheap but good quality air mattress. Provide a comfortable blanket and clean sheet. Also, prepare them a kit of their essentials—toothbrush, toothpaste, wipes, tissue paper, allergy medicine, and some snacks. 

5 Kick-Ass Tips On How To Find The Right Tiny House Kits

5 Kick-Ass Tips On How To Find The Right Tiny House Kits

Fast, convenient, and nature-friendly—these are just a few of the benefits of building tiny houses. It’s no wonder why tiny house kits are so in demand these days.  

Excited to build your first tiny house? Don’t let your zeal overwhelm you—somewhere out there is the right tiny house kit for you. However, to find it, you should prepare to do a few actions. 

Below, we listed five kickass tips. These will help you find that one almost perfect tiny house kit. 

How to Find the Right Tiny House Kits

With the spread of lists on Google and deals on Amazon, it can be daunting to find the right tiny house kit. That’s why we want you to make an informed shopping choice. To find the right tiny house kit, you must create a list of your preferences, study your town’s building code, set a budget, browse for reliable sites, and then prepare a contingency plan. 

We expanded on those steps below. Follow our tips, so you won’t regret anything! 

1. Create a list of your preferences. 

a tiny house with a unique design.
Just because they’re tiny doesn’t mean you need to limit their aesthetic.

This will help shorten the time and minimize your effort in searching. You don’t want to realize halfway in the construction that you don’t like the floor plan, right? So, take the time to list down your preferences on your Notepad app or on a Google spreadsheet—whichever you prefer will do.  

Your personal taste

Are you the hardcore minimalist, the mid-century fanatic, or the vintage lover? You’ll find different sorts of tiny house kits that cater to your taste. So, decide what style you want—this way, you can narrow your Google search results as well. 

Number of living occupants 

Next, list down the number of occupants in the house. If you’re living alone, you can do well with a 10×40 kit or something even smaller. Obviously, if you’re living with your significant other or your family, choose a bigger size than 400 square meters. 

Mobile or stationary?

You can find kits and prefab models of tiny houses on wheels online. If you’re the adventurous and nature-loving type, go for those models on wheels. Regardless, take note that it’s quite challenging to find legal areas for tiny homes. But if you happen to find an empty legal lot for tiny houses, then go for stationary models. 

Surroundings of your tiny house 

Whether you want a mobile or stationary tiny house, make sure its surrounding area is still spacious. You have to secure a setback at the rear, front, and side areas of your property. Setbacks are the distance from your property line to the main street. It’s imposed by the national building code. 

Needed appliances

Another factor that will affect your choice is your essential equipment. Make sure to list down only the appliances that you really need. Any unnecessary tools will occupy space in your tiny home, which will compromise your mobility inside.

2. Study your town’s building codes about tiny houses. 

a row of white tiny houses on a cloudy afternoon.
Some towns in the US are pro-tiny house, while others don’t even recognize their existence.

You will be buying a DIY kit that’s most probably manufactured by builders with a vast knowledge of the US building code. Nevertheless, not all regulations about tiny houses are universal. Therefore, we suggest you still take the time to study your town’s rules about tiny houses. 

In general, tiny houses in the US should have the following: 

  1. Living room or entertainment area with a ceiling height of 6 ft and 8 inches.
  2. One functioning bathroom, with a ceiling height of 6 ft and 4 inches.
  3. Easily accessible emergency opening like a door or a window.

Some states like Texas are well known to be relaxed with the Tiny House Movement. Texas even has no required minimum square meter for tiny houses, which is why there are over 29 million tiny properties by population in the state.

States like Colorado, Nevada, and South Carolina also allow tiny homes construction, as long as you follow the mandated property and lot dimensions. However, other states like Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, and Iowa are very unaccepting or dismissive of tiny houses. 

As a result, your search for building codes should be more location-specific. 

While reading your city’s codes, run through your list of preferences. Check if your preferences violate anything. If you need more information, we suggest you check out this guide about tiny homes regulations in every state.

3. Set your budget for the tiny house kit. 

an isolated wooden tiny house in the woods.
The expense for a tiny house like this can depend on several factors.

Secured about your list of preferences and your locality’s rules about tiny houses? If you are, then it’s time to talk about your budget. 

There are many price ranges of house kits you can read online. According to Tiny House Giant Journey, the average overall cost of building a tiny house will be $25,000. Meanwhile, some built their tiny houses with a budget of $17,000, including the appliances.

On the web, you can buy tiny house kits that cost under $5000. You can also spend on pre-designed tiny house plans or even buy an old van and recreate it into a house, all for $12,000 to $35,000. 

However, don’t expect to spend those same amounts. Those expenses varied upon the skill and construction knowledge of the builder. Even some first-time builders spent less compared to seasoned builders. 

Moreover, you won’t be going to spend on a DIY kit, and then after that, you’re done. You’re still going to spend on other stuff, such as:

  1. Electrical work
  2. Water/plumbing
  3. Panelling
  4. Roofing 
  5. Other construction materials (ex. Hammers, nails, wires, etc.)
  6. Appliances (You might have to buy new equipment because some device for traditional houses aren’t really designed for tiny houses.)
  7. Courses (If you’re serious about quality, you have to spend on workshops, too. After all, this is your home we’re talking about.)
  8. Other hidden costs (You have to prepare for these expenses as well. Better be safe than sorry.)

When budgeting for building a tiny house, just keep in mind that you’ll never have a final budget. Just expect to spend extra costs along the way.  

RELATED: This is How Much it Costs to Live in a Tiny Home

4. Browse the internet for the best tiny house kits.  

a wooden tiny dwelling with a sea green roofing. it's under construction. a man is inside the house.
Many reliable sites can ship you prefab tiny houses.

You listed your preferences. You read your city’s building code. And you already have a reasonable (but impartial) budget for a tiny house kit. Now, it’s time to hunt! 

To help you, we listed these sites where you can buy tiny house kits. Since you’ve taken the time to know what you really need, then you’ll probably spend less time searching for the right tiny house kit. 

  • 84tinyliving.com – They sell blueprints and blueprint + trailer packages.
  • Amazon – You’ll find cheap house kits here, but your search won’t be as refined as when you shop on other sites.
  • Wheelhaus – They ship their models to you, but the pricing of each model can vary depending on the state.
  • MBShouse – MBS House ships flatpack kits to you, which you can assemble in the lot you desire.
  • Allwood Outlet – They sell kits with free shipping. They also offer to finance. 
  • Tiny House Me – This shop sells stationary tiny houses and houses on wheels.

Found the sites that you like? Great, now, choose your top three sites. Make sure these sites have the kits that fit your preferences, your locality’s building codes, and most especially your budget. 

RELATED: The 11 Best Tiny Home Kits That Won’t Break the Brank

5. Prepare for contingencies. 

a small house with a simple, flat, black roofing.
Prepare for instances that delay your tiny house construction.

We have one last advice for you. Since life is very unpredictable, we suggest you create contingency plans. 

For example, what if your shipping gets delayed or it arrives with incomplete parts? What if you realized you need more help assembling the tiny house, and you can’t call anyone on short notice?

That’s why you should plan ahead. Connect with other homeowners who have built their tiny homes. Ask about their experiences and request for resources. Watch YouTube videos of vloggers who built their own tiny houses. 

You can also enrol in short online courses on building a tiny house or interior design basics. 

It never hurts to prepare. 

RELATED: Tiny Houses: A Good Idea or a Terrible Investment?

Conclusion

In the end, it all comes down to your preferences, budget, and long-term sustainability. So, be careful of spending on something unnecessary. 

Also, don’t expect to find the most suitable tiny house kit right away. Along the road, your needs and preferences might change. 

So, just take your time and never hurry… After all, your aim in building a tiny house is to be resourceful, right? 

Related questions

What is a prefab tiny house?

Prefab is the shortened version of the word “Prefabricated”. These system-built or prefab tiny houses were designed and constructed in a factory by building professionals. After that, they are shipped to the lot where the house will permanently stay. 

Where to find free tiny house plans?

You can find several free blueprints here: 

Tiny House Safety: 5 Major Safety Issues You Can’t Ignore

Tiny House Safety: 5 Major Safety Issues You Can’t Ignore

Living in a small quaint house sure does sound like a dream. And with the Tiny House Movement, that dream isn’t far from reach for many. Nevertheless, you still have to face issues such as tiny house safety.

Just because you’re living in a tiny house doesn’t mean you’re free from hazards. Below, we discuss these five crucial safety issues of living in a tiny house. 

5 major tiny house safety issues

In the US, you will find many different types of small housing. The tiny house that we’re describing below is any dwelling that measures less than 400 square feet and is built on foundations, as defined by this review. 

If you’re planning to live in a tiny house, you have to face reality. Having one isn’t a walk in real estate park. Read on to know more.

1. Fire hazards

burnt roof of an old house.
Burnt roof of an old tiny house

There are two common fire hazards in most tiny houses—combustible materials and space heaters. 

If a tiny house is built with combustible materials, and you use gas or electric heaters and gas stoves, the fire risk is greater. 

For example, plywood fire is a Class A fire, which means the fire can spread easily on a structure built with plywood. Therefore, if you’re planning to buy or build a tiny house, consider other non-combustible materials. 

Fiberglass, for example, won’t burn when it catches fire—instead, it will just melt. Besides that, it’s also lightweight, strong, and an excellent heat insulator, which means you can rely on it during cold nights. 

Moreover, because it’s a tiny house, you should watch out for space heaters. Appliances like space heaters commonly cause deadly fires in US homes because they easily overheat.  

2. Carbon monoxide poisoning

a hand holding a white carbon monoxide detector device.
This CO detector will help save lives.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning is a common house hazard, but it’s deadlier than others since it’s colorless and odorless. Therefore, it’s very tricky to detect without a device, making it even more critical in a tight space with poorly designed ventilation. 

Since a tiny house is often tightly sealed, you have to be three times careful with equipment. A gas-powered kitchen range, especially, gives off a lot of CO when you start it. 

The CO level in your kitchen’s air elevates even more when you don’t use a range hood when using your gas range. So, don’t forget to use that range hood to reduce the harm of CO. 

Are you still serious about living in a tiny house? Besides using a range hood when cooking, you can also invest in a carbon monoxide detector. In the US, 27 states mandate residential buildings with fossil-fuel burning devices to install at least one CO alarm. 

Other cost-effective ways to prevent CO poisoning is making sure your kitchen is well-ventilated and letting a qualified pro inspect your gas range for combustion safety. 

3. Indoor air quality 

female Asian disgusted of indoor air quality in her house.
Indoor air quality has long-term effects on wellness.

Indoor air quality is a significant factor in your wellness. Whether you’re in a tiny house or a workspace, the indoor air quality will affect your physical health and even your productivity. According to this study, people perform poorly if they work in an area with terrible indoor air quality. 

Now, in a typical residential house, improving the indoor air quality can be as simple and cheap as opening the doors and windows. However, in a tiny house, it can be a bit trickier. Compared to a wider space, where the moisture can dilute better, a tiny house with poor indoor air quality will bring you many issues. 

Humidity problem

First, you might encounter a humidity problem. When a house in an already humid area develops a high level of air moisture, it will pose some risks to the occupants. People’s bodies might not cool down easily, exposing them to a risk of heat strokes. 

Allergies

Another issue you might encounter with a humid place is allergies. Dust mites thrive on air moisture since they can’t absorb water. Their waste is particularly dangerous, as it can trigger allergic reactions like red eyes, sneezing, runny nose, inflammation, and itchiness. 

Make sure to have an air purifier available in your tiny home.

Costlier electricity bills

With poor quality and circulation, a tiny house’s indoor air will easily allow dust buildup in the HVAC systems or Air Conditioning (AC) units. And if they do have dust buildup, they will work harder to maintain the required level of heat exchange in your house. What comes next will be a series of repairs or high utility bills. 

4. Mobility inside the house

wooden interiors of a tiny house
Any occupant should be able to move freely inside a tiny house.

Mobility may be the well-known benefit of tiny houses, especially for the elderly who can still take care of themselves. Since all the facilities are near each other and easily accessible, older people won’t need to walk several meters just to relieve themselves. 

However, mobility inside a tiny house might pose safety risks for most people.

For example, if a person injures themselves, and they use a wheelchair, their dwelling needs to have enough space to cater to wheelchair mobility. However, it’s rare for a tiny house to have ramps. 

Another concern is the occupants doing different activities in the house at the same time. What if one person is cooking and another person is fixing something nearby?

They should be able to move freely to avoid bumping into each other. The stairs inside a tiny house shouldn’t be too steep as well to prevent falls and slips. 

The point here is a tiny house should supply adequate mobility for each occupant. You can’t ignore this issue because people’s needs change, and so do the activities in the house.

5. Mold growth 

disgusting mold growth on a white wall.
Long-term exposure to mold growth will worsen underlying upper respiratory diseases.

Mold growth is another crucial safety concern in a tiny house. 

Humid spaces enable the growth of mold. Therefore, any small signs of growth in a poorly ventilated tiny house will blow up to a mold infestation in no time.

Wooden materials are especially notorious breeding grounds for mold. If you notice a rotten wood smell or a musty smell, you might be having a huge mold infestation. You should not dismiss this and identify the source. 

If you find mold, you can instantly get rid of it. You can either use a soap and water solution or bleach to remove mold from a wooden surface. Bleach is a known mold killer.

Mold is dangerous for a number of reasons, just like the following. 

  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Asthma 
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy nose
  • Red and itchy eyes

If a person has a compromised immune system or an undiagnosed lung problem, they should be extra careful of living in tiny houses. They are more at risk for complications if they get exposed to mold. 

Conclusion

Do you still think tiny houses are good investments? If you do, then never forget to address these five safety risks we listed. Tiny houses already have a bad rap to the public, so don’t add fuel to the fire by being even more careless with your tiny home. 

Related Questions 

How do you avoid mold growth in a tiny house? 

To avoid mold growth in a tiny house, make sure to fix any roof leaks immediately. Make it a habit to open the windows and doors frequently if possible to allow better air circulation inside the house. Finally, ensure that you have properly functioning vents. Tiny houses easily get wet inside.

Are tiny houses safe? 

Living one will surely not expose you to fatal conditions. It can also withstand storms and strong winds if it’s properly designed and constructed. However, just like the ones we listed here, you will still encounter major safety issues, and you should be ready to address them. 

Is It Cheaper To Build Or Buy A Tiny House? We Do The Math

Is It Cheaper To Build Or Buy A Tiny House? We Do The Math

Owning a tiny home is regarded as a crucial step to achieve financial freedom. However, have you ever asked yourself which is the cheaper option– to build or buy a tiny house? And by how much?

Generally, it’s more affordable to build a tiny house than to buy one if both units are the same. You can save not only on labor but also on the overhead that most tiny home builders put on their products. However, in some instances, buying a tiny house is much more practical than building your small dwelling.

To give our readers a better perspective on these two choices, we decided to look deeply into the numbers. In short, we did the math and put things into perspective on which option is better for you. 

The Cost of Building a Tiny House 

Most small home construction projects require a few things like building materials, construction tools, and preferably additional manpower. If you are building a tiny house on wheels (THOWs), then you will also need a trailer or hauler. 

Your typical Do-It-Yourself (DIY) tiny house that doesn’t have any appliances or fixtures can cost between $5,000 and $12,000. Several factors affect the price of your small self-built home, especially your selection of construction materials. For example, if you use repurposed wood planks, you can save at least $1,000 for the project. 

Pioneering DIY tiny home builders estimate the average cost of a fully-functional tiny home at $220 per square foot. This type of tiny house is equipped with some of the necessities, such as its toilet. Using this figure, a 250 square feet tiny home will cost around $55,000.  

In comparison, the costs of building your traditional housing options cost at just $150 per square feet. However, regular homes in the US have, on average, 2,000 square feet, which translates to a build cost of $300,000.

Breakdown of Tiny House Materials Prices

Eighty percent of the cost of your tiny house project will go to building the structure. The remaining twenty percent is usually spent on amenities like fixtures, water heaters, air conditioning, and necessary appliances. 

To get a better understanding of how much building your small home costs, let’s look into some of the expenses of this project. 

Lumber- $1,500 to $4,500

Most tiny houses, whether they are built over a foundation or are placed in a trailer, are mainly made with wood. This material is lightweight, has good strength, can last for a long time, and can be reshaped for different purposes. You can buy them at your local home depot and other lumber marketplaces. 

Metal Roofing- $500 to $2,500

Aside from metal, there are other roofing options such as vinyl, concrete tile, clay tile, wood shake, and asphalt. However, metal is the preferred roofing material because it’s lightweight, nature-resistant, and quite durable. These metal sheets can also be cut to conform with the shape and contours of your roof. 

Windows- $500 to $3,000

When building a tiny home, you need large windows to improve air circulation indoors. There are numerous types of windows to choose from, like awning, casement, hopper, jalousie, sliding, and skylight. Make sure the window you want is also quite durable to provide an extra layer of security. 

Doors- $150 to $500

Most tiny houses usually have one or two main entrance doors and a few other doors for different rooms such as the bathroom. You also have a wide selection of doors available in the market like sliding, swing, glazed, paneled, and metal covered plywood doors, just to name a few. 

Sliding- $1,000 to $2,000

Sliding panels are great to have in a tiny home because they can save a lot of space. Aside from sliding doors, you can also install them on your cabinets and wardrobes. Installing them is also not that difficult and requires just a few construction tools. 

Flooring- $300 to $1,200

Most tiny homes on wheels have wooden floors since they need to be light while still being strong enough to carry your weight. However, if you plan to live in a tiny house settled over a foundation, you can instead use concrete or tiled flooring. 

Insulation- $600 to $3,600

If you live in the northern part of America or any areas with a cold climate, you definitely will need to insulate your walls and floor. There are numerous materials for covering your tiny homes, such as fiberglass, cellulose, cell spray foam, sheep wool, and hemp. Make sure your choice of insulation has enough R-value to maintain a comfortable temperature inside your dwelling. 

Electrical- $750 to $3,000

The great thing about living in a tiny home is you won’t need a complex system of electrical wires and outlets. You may also need to invest in an exceptional main electrical panel to ensure your home is safe from any untoward incidents. 

Toilet- $100 to $700

If you intend to construct a tiny home over a permanent foundation, then it’s ideal to have a toilet connected to a septic tank. However, if you plan to build a THOW, then you can go for a self-composting toilet because they don’t require too much water. Another option you can look into is an incinerator toilet, which burns the waste into a sterile ash.  

Adhesives/ Fasteners- $1,200 to $1,500

There are many ways to keep the sections of your tiny house together. However, fasteners and adhesives are the preferred joining method because they are relatively affordable and easy to use. 

Paint- $50 to $250

This item is the cheapest material that you will need for your tiny house. However, you need to pick a color palette that will make your dwelling look more spacious and comforting. Some of the interior colors you can try include: dark blue, green, off-white, and other neutral colors. 

By adding things up, you are looking at a cost range between $6,650 for the low-end build and $20,000 on the high-end unit. 

The final price of your tiny home construction project can also vary depending on its size and the brand or type of materials you used. For example, stock size white vinyl windows cost $120 each, while its custom-sized counterpart is tagged at $250.

Additional Cost of Constructing a Tiny Home

home appliances your tiny house needs

Interior finishes- $500 to $3,500

If you want to make your tiny house look more polished, you need to install interior finishes. This decoration can be anything from tiles, varnish, divisions, and decorations. Aside from improving your interior’s aesthetics, some items, like cabinets and countertops, also add functionality.  

HVAC- $500 to $1,500

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) are crucial if you want to keep the temperature in your house just right. There are many options for this system, such as portable heaters, ducts, mini-splits, and mini-furnaces. However, some tiny homes that are situated in more moderate climates may only need a fan during the summer months. 

Appliances- $500 to $4,500

It’s entirely up to you which appliances you will need for your portable home. However, we recommend you to get a refrigerator that can store enough food for at least two weeks. Additionally, get a reliable washer and dryer combo which can save a lot of space, instead of buying them separately. 

Fixtures- $1,200 to $6,000

Fixtures are fantastic to have if you want to save more space into your tiny house. You can buy them online and in furniture and home accessory shops like IKEA. Furthermore, you can also hire an artisan for custom fixtures or better yet do them on your own. 

Water heater- $450 to $950

If you like to take hot showers, then you need a water heater in your tiny house. If you want more portability, you can choose tankless water heaters. You can also select between electric and gas models, depending on how your unit’s setup.  

Tiny House on a Permanent Foundation or Wheels

Another thing you may need to consider is where to place your tiny house. There are two popular options here which is to build it on wheels (or a trailer) or over a permanent foundation. In some states, like Maine, they also build tiny houses on barges or small boats and register them as Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU). 

Cost of a Permanent Foundation

Some states allow tiny houses to be built on a private property provided that they sit over a fixed foundation. If you plan to build your tiny house on a foundation, you have five options. They are:

  • Stem wall and footing construction
  • Drilled shaft concrete piers with grade beams
  • Slab on grade combined with turned-down edge
  • Basement foundations built with cinder blocks
  • Permanent wood foundations

Foundation costs depend mostly on which materials you are going to use. For example, the slab costs $7 per square foot, while the crawl space is at $13. Assuming that you have a 250-square foot tiny house, that’s $1,750 and $3,250 for the slab and the crawl space, respectively. 

Cost of a Trailer

In states that don’t allow tiny houses on private land, you have the option of putting it on a trailer. By doing so, you need to register your small home as a recreational vehicle (RV) for it to be road legal. Your state’s Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) is the one who issues these permits or certificates. 

Trailers can take up as much as 20-percent of the budget for your tiny house project. The great news is that there are plenty of trailers that can accommodate a wide range of budgets. Below are your three options when buying a trailer:

  • Used Trailer ($800 to $2,500)
  • Brand New Trailer ($5000 to $10,000)
  • Customized Trailer ($8,000 to $15,000)

When choosing a trailer for your tiny house, make sure that its load rating is enough to carry the weight of your home. 

Pros and Cons of Building a Tiny House

Building a tiny house is quite popular during the early days of the small house movement because there are only a few companies that make them. Today, there are dozens of tiny home builders in the United States that offer a wide range of ready-to-move units. 

Despite having the option of purchasing a tiny house, a lot of people still choose to build their small dwellings because of practical reasons. Below are the advantages and disadvantages of constructing a tiny home. 

Pros

  • Allows you to customize your dwelling’s design based on your personal preferences and needs 
  • Lets you experience building your own tiny house from the ground up which enables you to treasure your abode a bit more
  • Gives you more control with your budget and saves you a lot of money, mainly if you use repurposed materials
  • A tiny house project can bring your community or family together. You can also ask your friends for help and compensate them later with free meals and beers. 

Building a tiny house can be an outlet to showcase your creativity and craft. It can be quite a stress-reliever and a real escape to your lazy days. 

Cons

  • It consumes a decent amount of time for everyone involved in the project. Depending on the size of the tiny house, it usually needs roughly 200 to 400 hours to build. 
  • The build quality of the tiny house is not comparable to those done by professionals. As such, it’s prone to more issues in the future. 
  • You may need to learn some workshop skills and do a bit of research. If you have no background in carpentry, building one may have a steep learning curve. 

The Cheapest Tiny Home You Can Build

One of the recurring questions that people who have just heard about tiny houses is how cheap they can build their units. Several factors affect the price of one small home; the realistic amount is somewhere around $2,000 to $5,000. 

There are plenty of ways you can bring down the cost of your build. For example, you can find free blueprints and floor plans online for your tiny home project. This quickly eliminates a few thousand dollars; you might have to pay an architect or structural engineer. 

best-tiny-home-kits

In terms of sourcing for inexpensive materials, you can use recycled or repurposed materials. You can usually find them lying outside construction sites or junkyards. Just make sure to choose items that are in excellent condition and get the permission of the person in charge before you take them. 

Happen Films also did a documentary about affordable micro-housing options. They interviewed a couple named Liam and Rachel, who were able to build their own tiny house for only $420. Their 70-foot dwelling is made mostly from repurposed materials and other cheap materials.

Alternative Option: Tiny Home Kits

If you still want to build your tiny house, but don’t want to get into the gritty work of cutting wood and sanding them– then buy a tiny home kit. You can buy them online and from your favorite little house stores.

Once you have made your order, the seller will then send you a package containing all of the pieces of the tiny house. From there, you have to figure out which parts belong together and put them together like a jigsaw puzzle. Don’t worry, though, as there are handy instructional materials included in the package. 

Aside from the usual floors, walls, roof, windows, and doors, some tiny home kit manufacturers also throw in other stuff like a wooden deck. Overall, if you want to experience building your tiny house but don’t have time to source the materials, then buying a small home kit is a great idea. 

You can also choose from a great selection of kit that varies in sizes, designs, and functionality. The average price for a tiny house kit is between $8,000 to $18,000. During the build, you may also need to buy additional fasteners, nails, screws, and adhesives to ensure it’s held together correctly.    

The Cost of Buying a Tiny Home

On the other hand, purchasing a tiny house requires only one thing– money… and lots of it. The significant part about purchasing a small house is that you are presented with more choices, especially if you have a reasonable budget.

We scoured the inventory of more than 20 tiny home builders and found out that the average tiny house cost between $30,000 to $60,000. There are, of course, much cheaper and more expensive options that are also on the market. 

tiny house for sale

Tumbleweed Tiny House, one of the pioneering tiny house builders in the US, sells its units at an average of $300 per square feet. As such, if you buy a 250-square feet little house, it will have a price tag of $75,000.

Below are some of the best examples of tiny houses in the market:

1. Railroad Box Car Special ($10,000)

This 400 square foot dwelling is smacked right in the desert of Phoenix, Arizona. The seller has converted a railroad boxcar into a tiny home with an oaken floor and French doors. The house is currently bare but can easily be added with an array of features.

You can also upgrade it into an off-grid residence by installing a self-contained propane system and solar panels. It’s also made from rugged materials that can withstand all kinds of weather. This property currently has one bedroom, but it has plenty of space for another one. 

2. Tough Dome ($12,500)

The dome is one of the most structurally sound shapes in nature. This 315 square foot tiny can easily be assembled and disassembled, much like a tent. The builder is currently located in Beaverton, Oregon, and sells other types of tiny portable homes. 

While it’s the perfect off-grid tiny house that you can stay in for temporary residence, it does have a few challenges. For example, it doesn’t have any built-in bedroom and bathroom. 

3. Escape Traveller’s Vintage Tiny House ($64,300)

This 313 square foot THOW already has a custom-built trailer and is ready for occupancy. For its exterior, it has cedar lap trim and siding matched with protective panels and steel accents. Meanwhile, its interior is made with pine T&G trim coupled with a laminate floor of either hardwood or oak. 

The Vintage also has a first-floor bedroom with a queen size bed and under-bed storage. Additionally, it also has its own bathroom with a 60-inch tub and its plumbing system. Escape Traveller also equipped it with utility hookups for water, electricity, and septic connection. 

The Cheapest Tiny House You Can Buy   

We scoured hundreds of listings on some of the popular tiny home builders in search of the cheapest small houses on the market. Based on our research, the most inexpensive tiny houses out there measure between 70 and 90 square feet. 

Depending on its features and the materials used, it can go from $2,000 to $5,000. These houses are also unfurnished or partly finished. Furthermore, they are missing one or several main components, such as a trailer, a bed, or a wood block foundation. 

Before buying any tiny house, make sure that the builder or company has the necessary certificates and permits. Moreover, you should also do your due diligence, such as researching their building practice and getting feedback from past customers. 

Pros and Cons of Buying a Tiny Home

If you don’t have time or knowledge to build your tiny house, then buying one is not a bad option either. The majority of the states in the country have at least one small home builder company in their area. 

buying a tiny house cost

Additionally, some independent contractors are also constructing tiny homes and sell them on online listings. Below are the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing a micro-housing unit. 

Pros

  • You wouldn’t need to bother about the whole process of designing and building your tiny house. Most units sold by tiny home builders are ready for occupancy. 
  • The structural integrity of professionally built tiny houses from building companies is better compared to its Do-It-Yourself counterpart.
  • Looking around for a tiny house that fits your needs and preferences consumes less time than building your unit.

Some builders also offer other services such as getting registration for your THOW and even financing. They can also install other features like HVAC for your convenience.  

Cons

  • Buying a tiny home is generally much more expensive simply because the builder also needs to make a profit. 
  • Not every state in the US has a tiny home builder in the area. Hence, you may also need to travel for hours to check the products of the small house company that is nearest to your place. 
  • Some tiny house models also offer limited customization. As such, you have to make do with the specs and features you have on hand. 

If you ever find yourself in the market for a tiny house, here is a Comprehensive List on Where to Find a Tiny Home Builder.

Conclusion

Based on the prices and figures we gathered, we can conclude that it is much cheaper to build a tiny house than it is to buy one. By crunching the numbers, we also have found that constructing a tiny house is thrice more affordable than purchasing a customized unit. 

However, building a tiny house is not for everyone because it requires both skill and time.

 Furthermore, If you also factor the average work hours for the build, which is around 200 hours or more, and multiply it with the average hourly income of $25 an hour– the results are staggering! Doing the math, that’s about $5,000 worth of labor spent on building your home. 

But even if you factor in the said amount, building your own tiny home is much more cost-effective. And the best part of it is you can tell friends and relatives about a story of how you put together a shelter over your head. 

Related Questions

Do you need a permit to build a tiny house?

Well, it depends on your local building code and jurisdiction. Most places in the U.S. have the minimum square footage for a structure before they require a permit. But because tiny houses are smaller than traditional homes, most localities and cities don’t require them. 

Where are the best places to construct a tiny home?

The tiny house movement is a relatively new housing concept. Hence there are only a few states that have regulated it. The states of Arkansas, Georgia, Texas, Colorado, California, Florida, and Oregon are some of the best places to live in a tiny home. These states regulate tiny house building and have fewer restrictions in their zoning laws and local building codes. 

Related Article: The 7 Best States for Living in a Tiny House

What companies sell tiny houses in the US?

There are close to a hundred tiny house builders in the country today. Some of the notable ones include Sanctuary Tiny Homes in Florida, Tiny Diamond Homes in Colorado, and Nomad Tiny Homes in Texas. These companies sell both- tiny houses on wheels and those that can be placed in a permanent foundation. 

State-by-state Tiny Home Regulations Explained For Beginners

State-by-state Tiny Home Regulations Explained For Beginners

tiny house regulations

One of the challenges of building a tiny home is understanding the zoning laws and housing regulations set by the state. Only when you have read and understood the provisions can you decide whether building a tiny home in that state is a good idea or not.

Home regulations for tiny homes are usually placed to ensure the safety and quality of living of its occupants. However, because the tiny house movement is fairly new in the US, several states don’t have a concrete framework on how to deal with them. 

Additionally, there are a lot of legal issues that surround tiny homes once you consider building one in a particular state, county, town, or jurisdiction. In some cases, you need to consult with a real estate attorney to ensure that everything is legal. 

Tiny Home Regulations in the Different States

If you are new to the concept of tiny homes and where you can build them, we created this article for you. Here we will briefly explain some of the requirements you need to comply with to be able to make a tiny house in a particular state. 

tiny house zoning laws

1. Alabama

Tiny houses aren’t widely prevalent in Alabama yet. Zoning requirements and building codes vary from one county to another. In some cities, they even have their unique provisions on their zoning laws. 

In short, it’s quite challenging to build a tiny home in Alabama, given that the state is not quite ready to accept this housing revolution. However, there are a few counties that are showing some great potential. In some areas of Jefferson County, for example, they allow them as Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) provided they are smaller than 200-square feet. 

2. Alaska

The Last Frontier state has a slightly more accommodating treatment of tiny houses. Roughly 40-percent of Alaska’s population dwells in the Anchorage metropolitan district. This unified home rule municipality allows tiny homes on wheels (THOWs) in their jurisdiction. 

However, there are also some limitations to THOWs ownership in Anchorage. For example, tiny mobile houses are considered as recreational vehicles and can only be parked on lands designated as R-5 zoning. 

On the other hand, tiny homes built over a foundation must comply with residential building codes. Furthermore, homeowners are required to get a conditional use permit before they can develop their unit. Sewage and water connections are also needed if the structure will be built within city limits. 

Areas around the city of Anchorage have slightly more flexible laws, but there isn’t anything specific yet about tiny house building codes. While there are a few tiny homes in Alaska, their popularity has grown over the past few years. 

3. Arizona

Arizona is considered one of the friendliest states when it comes to the tiny house movement while there are no statewide zoning requirements and building codes for small homes, many of its jurisdiction favor micro-housing. 

In Pima County, for example, it’s legal to construct a tiny home on any lot that is designated as single-family detached houses. However, the small house must be built over a permanent foundation. In case you didn’t know, Pima County is the second most populated county in Arizona and encompasses Tucson and its suburbs. 

Meanwhile, THOWs can be categorized as factory-built homes if they are placed on a fixed foundation. In addition, Pima County has also come up with its building codes specifically for tiny houses. For example, loft areas must have access to stairs or ladders, plus they must meet fall protection essentials.

Coconino County, located on the Arizona northern border, is also following the footsteps of Pima. Other counties in the state have also shown interest in the movement. 

4. Arkansas

While Arkansas is not yet on the list of friendly states towards tiny homes, it’s at least pointed in the right direction. The town of Rogers, for example, allows tiny homes in their residential area provided that they are built over a fixed foundation. The town has also rezoned an area near Bella Vista Lake Park to accommodate tiny houses.

Meanwhile, tiny house regulations and codes may still differ by county, city, or town. Some jurisdiction has also placed size restrictions for tiny houses. Walnut Ridge city, for example, limits the minimum size of a tiny home at 600-square feet, which is a bit big’ in micro-housing standards. 

Restricting the size of tiny homes has made it challenging to build tiny homes that are usually 400-square feet or smaller. Consequently, the state also views THOWs as RVs and therefore restricts these types of dwellings to mobile home or RV parks. Furthermore, the complicated zoning laws are slowing down the development of potential tiny home communities in the area. 

5. California

The recent housing crisis in California has made the state more open to micro-housing alternatives. Most cities in California authorize its residence to build tiny homes and treat them as ADUs. Historically, the state is also known as a travel destination for people who live in camper vans and mobile homes.

However, California does not legally allow people to live permanently in tiny homes or RVs. The exception being Sonoma County, which is vulnerable to wildfires every year. The local ordinance allows displaced persons to temporarily live in mobile homes and THOWs outside the burn zones even without permits. 

Additionally, California Title 25 also doesn’t allow RVs to be used as dwelling units. The state’s Health and Safety Code also bans truck campers, motor homes, truck campers, and travel trails, with or without a motor engine, as a permanent or temporary residence. 

On a lighter note, the city of Fresno allows THOWs to be used as secondary dwelling units. Fresno is the first city in the US to allow tiny mobile houses as ADUs in residential neighborhoods. San Francisco followed suit and has allowed secondary dwelling units in the city’s residential areas. 

Overall, while specific rules about tiny homes vary by county and city, California is quite supportive of the tiny house movement. 

tiny home rules
PHOTO by Pedro Szekely via Flickr

6. Colorado

The state of Colorado and the tiny house movement has a rich history together. One of the pioneers of the tiny home movement, Jay Shafer, started his company Tumbleweed Tiny Homes in Colorado Springs. Furthermore, nothing says nomad living than being on the magnificent rocky mountains. 

That being said, tiny house regulations in Colorado still vary depending on which county, city, or town you currently reside in. The town of Walsenburg, for example, has waived the minimum square footage of a tiny home to allow people to build their micro houses. Furthermore, the town also has limited stairway regulations and revised the minimum width requirement for exit doors. 

Colorado’s Park County, a well-known destination for tiny home supporters, also has specific allowances for stick-built dwellings. Such as:

  • The living room of tiny homes must be at least 220 square feet and must have an additional 100 square feet for every person living in the unit more than two occupants.
  • Each tiny home must have a separate lavatory, bathroom and water closet, shower, and a bathtub.
  • The Refrigeration unit, kitchen sink, and cooking appliances must have a clear working space of at least 30-inches. 
  • Efficiency dwelling units that are not part of a multi-unit structure are required to have provisions for mechanical equipment such as pressure tanks, heating components, and hot water.
  • Life safety requirements, including light and ventilation, must be met no matter what the size of the dwelling. 

Meanwhile, the county’s Land Use Regulations still require manufactured and modular dwellings to be at least 600 square feet at grade level. Overall, Colorado is one of the best places in the US to build a tiny home.

7. Connecticut

One of the least progressive states in terms of accepting tiny homes, Connecticut, has many restrictions for site built micro-housing. They also have several limitations to THOWs, which the state classified as RVs. In short, it’s one of the countries that may get you into trouble when you build a tiny home.

However, this situation could change in the near future. Connecticut requires affordable housing for its residents, and tiny homes offer an alternative solution. Right now, it’s only waiting for someone to advocate micro house in its communities. 

That being said, there are numerous challenges ahead. The state has strict zoning laws that don’t support the idea of someone living in a tiny house. As such, if you are a resident of Connecticut, you need to look elsewhere to build your tiny house. 

8. Delaware

Building a tiny stationary house in Delaware is quite tricky at the moment. The state doesn’t have specific regulations for small homes. The great news, however, is that many organizations promote micro-housing as an affordable dwelling for their communities.

Meanwhile, THOWs are more promising, given that the state regulates them. For example, tiny mobile houses need to get titles within the next 30 days after it was purchased. These THOWs must also be no bigger than 400 square feet. Furthermore, they should not be longer than 40 feet and must be 8 feet or shorter per the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

9. Florida

Unsurprisingly, America’s go-to-place for vacations is all for the tiny house movement. While not every county allows tiny houses, the majority of Florida does allow them– be they mobile or stationary. 

If you have a THOWs, you need first to register it with the state’s DMV. Fortunately, Florida has plenty of tiny house communities and RV parks where you can park your unit. They also have several little house hotels where you can experience the “downsized” lifestyle for a small fee. 

Below are some specific provisions that your tiny house met if you want to build in a particular area in California:

  • In Orange County, your tiny stationary house must be at least 400 square feet to be considered as an ADU.
  • If you plan to build in St. Petersburg, your small dwelling must be at least 375 square feet and should not exceed 750 square feet in meeting their ADU requirements.
  • People who want to park their THOWs in Sarasota county can only stay in an RV park for no more than 45 days. If you plan to stay longer, your unit must sit on a foundation. 

Since every case is different, you might need to hire a local tiny house builder or an attorney to help you sort out what is legal and what is not. 

tiny home bylaws

10. Georgia

Another state that we can call tiny house friendly, Georgia, is on the right track of establishing more tiny home communities. The small house regulations are not state-wide, but most jurisdiction allows both mobile and stationary micro-housing. 

Consequently, almost all counties in Georgia follow the 2012 International Residential code as part of their local building codes. If you want to build a tiny home, you must abide by the standards specified in this document. 

The city of Atlanta allows tiny homes used as guest houses to be built or parked in R1 to R5 zoning districts. However, when someone permanently stays in these structures, it’s now classified as ADUs and not guest houses. The state only allows ADUs to be built in the R-5 areas.

Meanwhile, THOWs currently don’t have any definition or restriction in most zoning ordinances. Moreover, renting out an ADU is illegal in Georgia.  

Some cities, like Chamblee, allow tiny house communities or cottage cluster development in their area. However, they are limited to NR-3 districts only. THOWs must also be on a permanent foundation, or they can only still be on these sites for no longer than 180 days or six months.  

11. Hawaii

The warm tropical islands of Hawaii are the perfect place to build a tiny house. The state has launched several initiatives to promote small houses as alternative housing for their farm workers. THOWs are also allowed if they are registered as recreational vehicles through the state’s DMV.

However, there is a minimum floor space of at least 220 square feet for the tiny home to be legal. Most county codes also require that the dwelling have its kitchen, living area, and bathroom. You can also build your tiny homes on a privately owned piece of land, or you can purchase a plot of land for your small dwelling. 

Meanwhile, a custom-built travel trailer is considered by the Hawaiian DMV as “house trailers.” As such, they don’t need to comply with the International Building Code (IBC). While they are considered dwelling units, these trailers are subject to severe zoning restrictions. 

Over the years, Native Hawaiians have faced several issues regarding the rising prices of real estate and housing, especially in Hawaii’s main islands. Shortly, tiny houses might be a staple housing option for its people.  

12. Idaho

In 2017, Idaho became the first state to implement the International Residential Code (IRC) for its tiny houses. As such, Idaho has come up with definitions for the many types of small houses. These definitions will serve as the basis for future regulations on micro-housing. 

 According to Idaho’s definition a tiny stationary house, it can be either:

  • Site Built Tiny House- is a small home that is constructed at a permanent location and is designed without the intention for it to be moved.
  • Modular Tiny House- is a structure or building component that is not a manufactured home with closed construction. It can either be substantially or entirely assembled or prefabricated at a location that is not the building site. 

Meanwhile, the state treats travel trailers, motor homes, camping trailers, and truck campers as recreational vehicles. Aside from recreational purposes, these mobile tiny homes can be used as an emergency human habitation. The state also limits their length to only 8.5 feet or shorter. 

Idaho is the first state to elaborate on tiny houses, RVs, manufactured homes, and modular dwellings in the same reference document. While building codes and regulations for tiny houses still vary by town, city, and county, a statewide law is right around the horizon. 

tiny house order

13. Illinois

Depending on what area of Illinois you want to build your tiny home, it can be allowed or prohibited based on their zoning laws. For example, most suburbs, including Chicago, prohibit tiny houses. However, some areas in the state don’t expressly prohibit micro-housing. 

On the flip side, tiny mobile homes are quite welcome in most places in Illinois. However, you need to look at the specific County rules where you can place them. Furthermore, they must also be registered on the state’s DMV, which will then classify it as a recreational trailer. 

Depending on the county, THOWs can be parked in private properties, campgrounds and mobile home parks.

14. Indiana

The state of Indiana does not have a statewide regulation when it comes to tiny houses. Instead, it allows counties to create their own specific building codes. However, the state has particular laws when it comes to private homes constructed and later be occupied by its builders, which is referred to as the Log Cabin Rule. 

Under this rule, tiny homes built in the state of Indiana are required to have a foundation. Furthermore, the rule also sets several guidelines in lieu of traditional housing in Indiana. 

A few tiny house communities have also emerged in the state. In some residential neighborhoods, they have allowed tiny homes to be built alongside traditional housing options. Meanwhile, some places like Bloomington, Carmel, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, and Southbend have specific building codes and zoning laws. 

If you plan to build a tiny home in cities like Urbana, Springfield, Rockford, and Naperville, then it’s best to consult the local zoning offices. 

15. Iowa

Iowa is one of the hardest places to build a tiny house. The state has complicated building codes and regulations that vary from one town, city, or county to another. While some of the metropolitan areas are catching on the tiny house movement, there are still too many restrictions. 

Joppa, a non-profit group, proposed to build tiny houses near Des Moines. However, they were not given permits because the jurisdiction has not adopted the International Building Code’s section on tiny houses. 

Meanwhile, the Iowa Falls Council has changed its city code to reduce the minimum size for new homes from 600 square feet to just 500 square feet. However, tiny houses are usually much smaller, with an average floor size of 300-400 square feet. While building a small home in Iowa’s cities is quite difficult, it’s possible to build in rural areas that have more flexible regulations. 

16. Kansas

The state of Kansas quite welcomes the tiny house movement. However, you need to navigate some bylaws to ensure you can build one, especially in metropolitan areas. You will also find more success constructing a tiny home on a permanent foundation than a unit that sits on a trailer.

Stationary tiny houses also must follow specific guidelines, such as:

  • At least one room should be at least 120 square feet. Other places, except for the bathroom and kitchen, need to be 50 square feet or larger, according to IRC 2012.
  • ADUs are not allowed in RS3 or RS5 districts. However, they are permitted in areas such as RS7, RS10, RS20, and single-dwelling residential areas like RS40. 
  • Tiny houses can use solar panels and small wind devices. However, the latter needs to be no taller than 35 feet. Furthermore, propane usage is regulated by the International Fire Code (IFC).
  • Composting toilets are not allowed. 

Meanwhile, THOWS are allowed on campgrounds. However, there are no codes that allow you to park them in your backyard or any privately owned land. 

17. Kentucky

Kentucky is also moving forward in terms of accepting tiny houses in some of its areas. The state, however, still doesn’t have anything specific about tiny homes and how they should be regulated. As such, most jurisdiction requires tiny homes to be reviewed under building codes meant for traditional houses. 

Louisville is one of the few places in Kentucky that has a concrete guideline when it comes to building tiny homes. However, they are required to follow some local codes before the structure can be built or assembled. 

Site-built tiny homes built on a permanent foundation are processed and reviewed the same way as any new house. Meanwhile, THOWS fall under portable dwellings which are not intended to be placed permanently on a site. 

The state also recognizes tiny house kits as modular or prefabricated dwellings. For this type of tiny house, local or municipal agencies may review or ask for additional documentation before the structure is assembled on site. However, if it’s been assembled off-site, it will be classified as “pre-manufactured” and requires the approval of the state of Kentucky. 

state by state tiny home laws
Photo by paula soler-moya via Flickr

18. Louisiana

In 2019, the state of Louisiana finally made its guidelines about tiny houses. Unfortunately, the new guidelines that follow the IRC 2015 only apply for tiny houses built on a foundation and not on THOWs. 

All cities in Louisiana follow the 2015 IRC, which requires at least one room in the tiny room to be at least 120 square feet big. It also states that lofts need to have stairs (not ladders) and a window. Additionally, it also insists doors to be at least three feet wide and ceilings to be 7 feet or taller.

That being said, it will be difficult for a tiny home builder to follow such complex provisions. Tiny house regulations in Louisiana also change from one town, city, and county to the next.

19. Maine

As one of the leading states that support the tiny house movement, Maine is an excellent choice to build your small dwelling. They are the first state to implement statewide building guidelines specifically for tiny houses. It’s even possible to convert old boats into floating tiny houses that you can register as a secondary dwelling. 

The state defines tiny homes as dwellings that have a floor area of 400 square feet. If you build your tiny home on a permanent foundation, it needs to comply with Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code (MUBEC), which covers dwellings that are 400 square feet or smaller that are built on foundations.

With the passage of MUBEC, municipalities can now give out building permits for tiny homes. However, they still have to follow certain standards such as skylights and ladder access for lofts. The new tiny house building code, however, does not cover mobile tiny homes.  

On the positive note, some areas, such as North Yarmouth, allow THOWs to be parked privately owned lands. However, the lot should be larger than 30,000 square feet and has existed before the tiny home provision was passed. Consequently, tiny houses that still have wheels can only be placed on-site for less than 120 days a year. 

tiny house zoning laws per jurisdiction

20. Maryland

Demand for tiny homes in Maryland has been on the rise for the past few years. However, the state’s zoning laws prevent more people from living in micro-housing options. You are also more likely to construct a tiny home in rural areas than in Maryland’s metropolitan areas.

However, there is a bit of silver lining for the tiny house movement. The state is more lenient towards THOWs as they are treated as RVs. As such, mobile tiny homes can be parked in RV parks. Consequently, most RV parks restrict parking on their facilities to just a few months. 

Generally speaking, Maryland has not fully acknowledged the role of tiny houses as an alternative housing option. 

21. Massachusetts

The Bay State is a bit friendly to tiny homeowners. You can own a small home built on a foundation with ease as long as you register them as ADUs. Unfortunately, it’s more difficult to own THOWs in Massachusetts. 

Tiny homes registered as ADUs are widely accepted in many cities and towns in the state. Some of these areas include Ashland, Bedford, Medfield, and Rockport, just to name a few. Specifications for an ADU vary from one city or town to the next, so check out with the zoning authority first. 

Massachusetts has not yet defined what THOWs are, making it difficult to own one. However, they still allow camping using THOWs, but using them as permanent dwelling remains illegal. Additionally, the town of Nantucket allows an additional ADU dwelling that is 550 square or smaller. 

22. Michigan

In the past few years, Michigan has revised some provisions of its zoning regulations to accommodate tiny houses. Residents who are advocating affordable housing options are also pushing for tiny homes to be considered as ADUs in metropolitan areas. 

A few places also allow tiny houses to be built in designated areas. The town of Briley, for example, considers tiny homes as “Economy Efficient Dwelling.” However, there are certain specifications that tiny house builder must comply with such as:

The tiny home’s floor area must be at least 240 square feet big and should not exceed 500 square feet. 

Additionally, the unit’s height should not exceed 12 feet, while its length should be between 20 and 30 feet. 

An economy efficient dwelling must be built over an approved fixed foundation. It must also comply with Michigan’s building and sanitary codes, and obtain a certificate of occupancy. 

Michigan allows tiny houses in agriculture areas, recreational forest areas, and residential two zones. 

23. Minnesota

Minnesota is quite lukewarm when it comes to the tiny house movement. There are several municipalities in the area that support micro-housing options, especially for the disabled and elderly. However, the major cities in the state have no specific regulations about them.

In some areas, you can build them as ADUs as long as they are built on a permanent foundation. The structure must also comply with Minnesota’s State Building Code.

Meanwhile, you can also register a mobile tiny home as an RV. However, there are only a few places in the state where you can park them, such as RV parks and campgrounds. 

tiny home zoning laws per jurisdiction
PHOTO by Greg Gjerdingen via Flickr

24. Mississippi

The state of Mississippi used tiny houses as emergency shelters after the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina. Seeing the positive benefits of micro-housing, several companies in the country now sell small homes. However, the local government is not yet in full support of such an initiative. 

On a lighter note, there are a few places where you can likely build a tiny home. These places include Biloxi, Gulfport, Hattiesburg Jackson, Meridian, and Tupelo, just to name a few. Just to be sure, research first the local building code of each municipality before attempting to construct or buy a tiny home. 

Tiny house builders in the area, such as Tiny House Life, usually construct units with a floor space between 100 to 900 square feet. It is also expected that tiny houses will get more attention in the next few years because of its increasing demand. 

25. Missouri

Located in the Midwest region, Missouri has 6 million residents and is the 18th most populated state in the country. However, it is also one of the few states that haven’t officially dealt with micro-housing. 

Building a tiny home on a foundation can be quite difficult because of complex zoning laws. Some of its largest metropolitans like Jefferson City, Springfield, Kansas City, St. Louis and Branson all have varying building codes. 

THOWS are considered RVs and are not meant for permanent living arrangements. Furthermore, you can’t park them in public places and are not even allowed for city-use. If your THOWs is less than 220 square feet, it does not require any special permits to be used in Missouri’s highways. 

The state, however, allows temporary residence in tiny homes in times of a disaster. 

26. Montana

Montana is one of the few places where building a tiny home is next to impossible. The majority of the local ordinances have yet to recognize tiny houses as a means of affordable housing. Hence, it’s still illegal to build a tiny home in most areas of the state.

Some jurisdiction does allow tiny self-built houses, but only when they sit on a trailer. In this case, these THOWs are considered as travel trailers or RV and have the same restrictions as the latter. 

27. Nebraska

Nebraska is one of the first states to draft an official document that discusses the different kinds of tiny homes. However, the paper also mentions that it’s up to the local jurisdiction how they will deal with tiny homes in terms of zoning requirements. 

Mobile tiny homes that are manufactured by tiny home builders must pass the requirements of the Federal Manufactured Home Act by the Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD). Only those manufactured mobile tiny houses with HUD labels can be sold legally on the market. 

Meanwhile, modular housing units need to comply with the IRC and the National Electrical Code. On the other hand, THOWs needs to pass the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards for RVs. 

On the other hand, tiny stationary homes need to comply with the zoning requirements of the local jurisdiction. Overall, building or owning a tiny home in Nebraska is quite complicated and needs extensive initial research. 

tiny home laws to abide
PHOTO by david__jones via Flickr

28. Nevada

The desert state of Nevada is quite upbeat about the tiny house movement. Depending on the local ordinance of the area, you can even live in THOWs provided that the owner complies with local regulations. 

Clark County, for example, allows tiny homes that are over 200 square feet provided they get a building permit. While their code doesn’t specifically talk about tiny homes, you can work around some of the loopholes in their regulations. 

In most cases, it’s more favorable to build a tiny home on a foundation. However, you should not register them as ADUs because they can’t have cooking facilities like a kitchen. 

29. New Hampshire

When the 2008 financial crisis hit, New Hampshire was strongly hit by the effects of the housing bubble. This prompted the state to legalize tiny houses and ADUs. Your best bet to build your tiny home is on the Coos County, which sits on the Northern part of New Hampshire. 

The state has also passed several laws that allow ADUs to be built on private property, provided they comply with the local building codes. Additionally, the state does not require ADUs and tiny homes to be occupied by the owner. However, they do require the owner to live on-site, preferably on a larger main residential structure. 

There are also thirteen towns on New Hampshire that don’t have zoning laws such as Alexandria, Ellsworth, Haverhill, Warren, Chatham, and Lempster. You can build a tiny home in these areas without having to worry about common issues like minimum square footage requirements. 

30. New Jersey

In recent years, New Jersey has developed a great interest in affordable tiny houses. However, complicated zoning laws still hinder its growth in the state, prompting many tiny homeowners to go under the radar. 

Some of your best bets where you can build a tiny home are the towns of Rockland and Haverstraw. The former allows THOWs in their residential areas, provided that they are not used for permanent residential use. 

Meanwhile, the town of Haverstraw allows tiny houses granted they are used as ADUs or as a caretaker’s cottage. That being said, there are also a few places that allow tiny house communities, especially if they contribute to solving social problems. 

31. New Mexico

New Mexico is one of the best places to build your tiny home, primarily because of its mild continental climate. Additionally, the state allows people to build tiny houses provided they follow local building codes and regulations. 

The state requires tiny houses here to have at least 70 square feet of floor space and at least be 7 feet tall. The structure must also sit on a permanent foundation and comply with the state’s Energy Conservation Code. 

Furthermore, the dwelling must have sanitary facilities like bath, sink, toilet, and shower. The kitchen and bathroom sinks must also have access to both cold and water. There are a few other requirements which you can check out on the building code of a particular town or city. 

Albuquerque also provides its guidelines for constructing tiny homes. It’s also possible to live in a converted THOWs that sits on a foundation, so long as you get a residential certificate. You also need your THOWs to comply with a permit if you want to tow away or move your tiny home. 

32. New York

The populous state of New York is not an ideal place for tiny houses. The state doesn’t authorize temporary structures, where tiny homes fall according to their state laws. 

Consequently, you can register your THOWs on the state’s DMV; you can’t live there permanently. There is also a small chance that you can live in a tiny home built over a foundation on areas that are farthest from the city.

Overall, we do not advise you to build your tiny home in New York, unless more positive regulations on tiny homes are in place.  

33. North Carolina

North Carolina is currently divided with the issue of tiny houses. Some residents are worried that these alternative housing can drive the prices of their properties down when allowed near residential areas. Meanwhile, some acknowledge its potential as an affordable dwelling for those who can’t afford traditional housing options. 

Your best bets to build your tiny home are in the towns of Wilmington and Winston-Salem. The former requires tiny homes to be 150 square feet or larger for a single occupant structure. It also needs to have an additional 100 square feet for every additional occupant, and the building must abide by its local housing ordinances.

Meanwhile, the town of Winston Salem allows tiny homes as ADUs provided that they sit on a single-family lot and are occupied by caretakers or relatives. Meanwhile, THOWs need to be examined and approved by the state’s DMV inspector before hitting the road. 

34. North Dakota

North Dakota is not very keen on the tiny house movement despite its popularity. Very few places have laid out a framework on how they should regulate these micro-housing options. The few places that do require them to meet standard building codes and other restrictions. 

Your best bet in living in a tiny home is in Burleigh County, which has loosened its ordinances to allow tiny homeowners. However, tiny houses built here are not considered as ADUs but are more leaning towards housing for the elderly family members. 

Burleigh County also has a minimum square footage requirement of 965 sq. ft., which is too big to be considered as a “tiny home.” They also require THOWs to be placed on a foundation. Additionally, micro houses need to have access to water, electricity, sewer, and gas.

tiny house laws

35. Ohio

Ohio’s housing crisis has forced many people to live in tiny homes under the government’s radar. Many neighborhoods and communities have yet to set minimum square footage and other regulations about micro-housing options.

However, they are mostly allowed as ADUs and must have a minimum square footage of 950 square feet or less. In cities like Cleveland and some other counties, you can file for “variance” for the local government to grant you a special permit to build your tiny home. 

In this case, you need to go to the City Hall or zoning office and submit your case. There are a few instances that the local government will allow you to build a tiny home, such as using it for housing an elderly member of the family. 

36. Oklahoma

Oklahoma has also faced a housing crisis in the past decade or so. Because of this, the state has become more welcoming about the idea of tiny houses. However, regulations are not yet in place for micro-housing options. 

Currently, there are small tiny house communities in northwest Oklahoma City and in the Wheeler District where you can build your unit. However, you have a better chance of complying with zoning requirements if you build them outside the cities.

Furthermore, the state is more lenient with stationary tiny houses built over a foundation than THOWs. The state treats tiny mobile homes as RVs and is regulated as such. 

37. Oregon

Tiny houses are quite popular in Oregon and for a good reason. The state’s outdoor scenery is quite exceptional, and tiny homes that sit near these natural sceneries are perfect for accommodating tourists. 

The city of Portland allows tiny houses built on a foundation provided they meet the city’s building codes. Meanwhile, THOWs and RVs can be hosted in a residential property for a limited amount of time. 

Oregon is also home to the famous Tiny House Hotel, which lets you experience what it’s like to live in a downsized dwelling. They also allow THOWs to be parked in RV parks and campgrounds. However, mobile tiny homes need to be registered with the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) before you can drive them around. 

However, some places in Oregon are not yet clear about their stance on tiny houses. As such, it’s best to check with local zoning authorities if it’s allowed in their area or not. 

38. Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is generally a tiny house friendly state. It is home to Elizabethtown, which claims to have the biggest tiny house community in the country. Many of Pennsylvania’s rural areas also allow tiny houses to be built on private lands. 

Even some of the state’s largest cities are also getting into the action. Philadelphia, for example, has no minimum square footage for tiny homes. However, they require the structure to be compliant with the guidelines of IRC 2009.

Under this building code, a tiny house must be at least 120 square feet or bigger. Habitable rooms in the structure must also be at least 70 square feet, with the exception of the kitchen. Furthermore, rooms should be 7 feet or longer in any direction except for the food prep room or kitchen. 

Overall, the state is an exceptional place to build your tiny home, given their lax regulations. Before building a tiny home, though, make sure to check with the local municipality for specific details they have on tiny houses. 

tiny home regulations
PHOTO by Doug Kerr via Flickr

39. Rhode Island

The smallest state of the US is not yet sold with the idea of tiny houses. In most places, tiny houses are more likely to be referred to as sheds, where gardening tools are kept. 

In most areas, such as the city of Providence, tiny houses have not yet been acknowledged by their local ordinance. However, the state recently allows tiny houses to be used as ADUs for single-family homes where there is a senior relative aged 62 and above. 

40. South Carolina

South Carolina is among the states that currently experience rising real estate costs. As such, some counties are now leaning towards allowing tiny houses as an alternative to the more expensive traditional housing options. 

Places like Greenville County and Rock Hill allows tiny houses on a foundation provided they meet minimum square footage. For Greenville, that’s 400 square feet or larger, and for Rock Hill, it’s 850 square feet or bigger. 

However, building codes and regulations still vary in different places in South Carolina. On the flip side, many counties are beginning to consider the merits of small dwelling units. 

41. South Dakota

In the past decade or so, South Dakota has made significant changes in how they regulate tiny houses. Several places have stepped up and created a concrete framework on how to control small homes, especially the towns of Beresford and Spearfish. It’s expected that other towns and cities in the state will follow in their footsteps. 

In Spearfish, a tiny stationary house built over a foundation is required to comply with the local building code. Additionally, they must also obtain permits to construct residential zoning districts in the town. THOWs can also be parked on any commercial campground in the area. 

Meanwhile, Beresford requires tiny houses to be no less than 8.5 feet wide and 20 feet long. The minimum floor area is set at 187 square feet and only requires an additional 50 square feet per occupant. Additionally, THOWs must be set on a foundation; its trailer must be licensed and must be secured to withstand severe weather when parked. 

Overall, it’s one of the best places to establish a tiny home community, given its “considerate” nature to micro houses. 

42. Tennessee

Tennessee is quite divided with regard to the tiny house movement. Several counties and cities allow them provided they comply with building codes and regulations. However, some municipalities ban them altogether. 

If you are planning to build your tiny house in this state, you may want to consider the following places:

Warren County- authorizes tiny dwellings as long as they are at least 138 square feet. 

Dandridge- created their guidelines for building tiny houses. However, they only allow those built over permanent foundations and needs to be between 100 and 300 square feet. 

Knoxville- still follows the 2012 IRC when it comes to tiny houses. As such, the dwelling must have at least 120 square feet for single person residency and 320 square feet for two-person occupants. The town also only allows up to three people to live in tiny houses at a time. 

Meanwhile, towns like Etowah have made it harder to build tiny houses because of a recently amended ordinance. To create a tiny house in Residential 2 and 3 zones, it needs to be 600 square feet or larger, which is way big for your typical micro house. 

43. Texas

The Lone Star State is one of the most welcoming places for the tiny house movement. Texas widely accepts and regulates micro-housing options– both on the foundation and wheels. Additionally, there are several small home builders in the area where you can get your unit for a reasonable price. 

While there is yet a statewide definition and guidelines, several towns and cities have favorable regulations to tiny houses. Some of these places include:

  • Spur – which prides itself as the “first tiny house friendly town” in the US, does not have any minimum square footage requirement for tiny homes. Additionally, they allow THOWs on private property provided that its wheels are removed. 
  • Breckenridge- allows tiny houses built on a foundation as long as they are at least 320 square feet.
  • Austin- the city, allows tiny stationary houses of any size. Meanwhile, they treat THOWs and RVs and regulate them as such. 
  • Fort Worth- allow tiny houses as ADUs provided they are less than 400 square feet big. However, you need to apply for their Town Hall manually. 

Overall, the state of Texas has one of the best policies when it comes to tiny houses. While there are some restrictions in some places, building a tiny home is generally legal. 

small home regulations per state
PHOTO by Jimmy Emerson, DVM via Flickr

44. Utah

Utah is one of the most visited tourist destinations, especially during the winter months. Tiny houses are viable optional housing for tourists who are into outdoor activities. The state is also home to some of the best tiny home builders that supply the mountain states. 

Building codes and regulations about tiny homes vary from one town, city, or county to another. Below are some of the best places to build your tiny home:

Eagle Mountain City- allows tiny houses on the foundation to be built in residential areas. However, THOWs need to be in a base and are restricted in Tier I residential zones. 

Salt Lake City- authorizes tiny houses to be used as ADUs provided that they are at least 650 square feet large or has a half square footage of the main structure (whichever is greater).

Washington County- stationary houses in residential areas require them to be connected to basic utilities like water and power. The structure must also be at least 300 square feet big. Meanwhile, THOWs are considered as park model RVs.

Overall, Utah is one of the best places to own a tiny home because of its more lenient treatment of micro-housing options. 

45. Vermont

The Green Mountain State is relatively lenient when it comes to tiny houses, especially on THOWs. However, many of its major cities are quite strict when it comes to constructing tiny homes in metropolitan residences.

On the positive note, there are a few places where you can register your tiny home as an ADU such as Burlington. The city does not have minimum square footage for ADUs. In the town of Williston, however, tiny homes are restricted to a maximum of 1,500 square feet. 

46. Virginia

The tiny house movement has been on the rise in Virginia for the past few years. However, while many of its significant cities allow micro-housing, the state has tighter regulations compared to everywhere else. 

Fortunately, there are a few places which are more lenient than others. Virginia Beach, for example, treats tiny houses as residential space provided that they meet Virginia’s building code. Staunton County is also another place that allows tiny homes as long as they are at least 200 square feet large. 

47. Washington

In recent years, tiny houses have become more popular in the state of Washington. The majority of the cities in the state allow tiny homes to be used as ADUs. However, building a THOWs is more challenging because of the many restrictions, especially where you can park it legally. 

Below are some of the best places where you can establish your tiny dwelling:

Seattle- generally allows tiny houses built on a foundation when you register them as ADUs. However, the city doesn’t allow THOWs in residential communities. 

King County- also allows tiny stationary houses in their area. However, they only have a few places where you can legally park your THOWs.

Woodland- permits people to build their tiny homes provided they are used as ADUs. Additionally, they need to be 300 to 800 square feet big. 

Ultimately, if you want to live in a tiny home– you’ll find more success on a unit built over a foundation than its wheeled counterpart. 

small houses rules per jurisdiction
PHOTO by Diana Robinson via Flickr

48. West Virginia

The tiny house movement hasn’t gotten any significant traction in the state of West Virginia. However, there is a lot of potential in micro-housing, especially as a temporary shelter for disaster-stricken residence. 

The majority of West Virginia has yet to adjust the building codes and housing regulations to accommodate tiny homes. One of the few exceptions includes the town of Charles in Jefferson County. The township restricts tiny houses registered as ADUs at a maximum size of 1,700 square feet. 

49. Wisconsin

The Badger State classifies stationary tiny houses as ADUs, while tiny houses are still left without any definition. With that said, Wisconsin is not the best place to build a tiny home because of the many restrictions in place.

However, there are a few places that welcome the idea of micro-housing. Madison, for example, is considered as “portable shelters” and should be no more than 150 square feet. On the other hand, Dane County allows them as long as they are registered as ADUs with a floor area that is no larger than 800 square feet. 

50. Wyoming

Wyoming has stunning mountain views and tons of outdoor activities to offer. For this reason, tiny houses have become quite popular as an alternative dwelling near-natural destinations in the state. Consequently, several cities and townships have also made specific definitions and regulations about tiny houses.

In the town of Cody, which is located near the Yellowstone National Park, tiny homes on wheels are considered as RVs. As such, they should follow all restrictions and requirements, and not that of an ADU. 

Meanwhile, the town of Casper classify THOWs as trailer homes and are only allowed to park with R-6 zoning. On the other hand, tiny stationary houses are allowed on private lands provided they are larger than 120 square feet. Additionally, the unit’s living room and bedroom should at least be 220 square feet combined. 

Wyoming is also using tiny houses as rental properties to help boost its tourism. Tiny homes built on a foundation are also defined as “efficiency dwelling units. 

Conclusion

If you have made it to this point, congratulations! 

As you can see, some states have more complicated laws and regulations on tiny homes than other places in the country. Ultimately, if you want to build a tiny home in a particular area, make sure you first check with the city council or zoning law officer, if your plan is plausible or not. 

Related Questions

Do tiny homes need permits?

In most states, you need to obtain building permits before you can construct a tiny home. Doing so will ensure that the structure is built based on existing building codes and zoning laws of the town or county. 

If you make or buy a THOWs, you may also need to apply for a special driving permit, especially if you intend to drive it on major highways or roads.

Do tiny house owners pay real estate taxes?

If you build your tiny house on a foundation and it sits on private or residential property, you are likely required to pay taxes. However, some places impose tax breaks on residents who live in tiny homes. Meanwhile, if you live in a THOWs, you are less likely to be required to pay real estate tax. 

How to Build a Tiny Home with (Almost) No Money

How to Build a Tiny Home with (Almost) No Money

build a tiny home with no money

Building a tiny house is often regarded as an affordable alternative to traditional housing. However, have you ever wondered if you can build a tiny home without spending any money?

Constructing a tiny home without any money is not an impossible task. In fact, some of the most ultra-conservative practitioners of the tiny house movement had done it. And based on their experience, anyone can start their tiny home almost for free.

Now you might be wondering how is that even possible? After all, a traditional house is one of the most expensive single purchase of an average person in his lifetime. 

Bringing down the cost of building a tiny house to almost zero, requires a certain degree of resourcefulness and creativity. Often, people build no-cost tiny houses out of necessity and just use whatever materials are available on their surroundings.

And no, we’re not talking about building a makeshift shack, but a functional tiny house that can accommodate you and your family comfortably.  

Things that Could Cut the Cost of Building a Tiny Home

Much like building a traditional home, building a tiny house requires a lot of things. Aside from construction materials, you may also need to find a trusty trailer if you plan to build a tiny home on wheels (THOWS).

Below are some of the things you need to create a traditional home and how you can reduce its cost to virtually zero:
 

1. Tiny House Blueprint

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” or so the saying goes. The first thing you need in any construction project is a house plan or blueprint. It details every aspect of the house such as its layout, the materials used in each section, and all the important dimensions. 

Usually, you need to hire the services of an architect or a civil engineer to draw out a structurally sound house. However, these professionals usually ask thousands of dollars for them to design your home. 

Fortunately, you have the option of not hiring a professional builder to design your tiny house. You can simply go online and type in “free tiny house blueprint” on your favorite search engine and it will yield hundreds of results. 

Below are some of the best websites to get your  free tiny home designs:

When choosing the design of your low-cost tiny home, we suggest that you start with the smaller ones first. Tiny homes that are smaller than 200-square feet require fewer materials and are faster to build even without external help. 

zero cost tiny house

2. Building Materials

Most tiny houses are made mostly of wood for flooring, doors, walls and even fixtures. Meanwhile, its windows can either have glass or metal screens; and sometimes a combination of both. 

As for roofs, the most affordable materials are metal sheets, which are also lightweight. Some tiny home owners also use roof tiles, but they are quite heavy and more expensive. Plastic roof is also an option if you live in the warmer states.   

The question now is where can you get these construction materials cheaply or, if possible, for free. This situation will test your resourcefulness. Here are some of the places you can get them:

  • Junkyards and recycling areas usually have construction materials lying around. Some planks of wood, doors or window frames have minor issues but are still quite usable if you remove or fix the damaged part. You can also go dumpster diving around your area for any usable stuff. 
  • Check out the construction sites in their area for leftover construction materials. If the contractor doesn’t give it for free, perhaps you can negotiate to buy them at a reasonable price. 
  • Go around your area and ask your neighbors if they have building materials that they don’t use anymore. It can be as simple as a piece of wood, cables, metal rods, or anything they are willing to give out. 
  • Flea markets are also a great place to find cheap materials and house fixtures. You can also check out the garage sale near you if they have anything that might be useful to the tiny house you are building– such as power tools
re-purposed materials for affordable tiny home build

Websites Where You Can Get Cheap Materials

In most cases, you won’t get all of the materials you need for your tiny home. For example, cinder blocks are quite hard to find in the places mentioned above. Hence, you need to buy them at your local home depot. 

Smaller items like nails, screws, electrical wires are also hard to source out for free. Consequently, insulation materials like fiberglass are not easy to find and often need to be bought. Fortunately, you buy or get for free most of the materials you weren’t able to scavenge online for a cheap price. 

Below are some sites where you can find inexpensive and free materials for your tiny home:

3. Construction Tools

Aside from building materials, you can’t make a tiny home without a trusty set of construction tools. There is a long list of tools you need for erecting a tiny home such as a saw for cutting wood, hammer for hitting nails and a ladder for reaching elevated places. 

However, not every home or person owns a complete set of these tools. So where do you get these equipment, if not buying them from the nearby home depot? Again, depending on the person’s resourcefulness, you can obtain these tools without spending a dime. 

Here are some clever ways to get your hands on construction tools without having to draw money from your pocket. 

  • Borrowing tools and repair kits from your neighbors is a good way to save money while building your tiny home. Just make sure that you are able to get them back once you’re done with the project. Also, handle every loaned tool with care or you may have to pay for them if they get broken.
  • Check if the local highschool in your area has a woodshop. Some schools may allow you to use these facilities, especially if you explain to them your purpose. Make sure you first get permission from the school administration before using any of their equipment. 
  • Ask a contractor a friend or someone in the construction business if you can lend their tools for a while. If they have a workshop in their garage, you may also ask permission to use that facility. Just be polite when asking for the favor and explain your plan so that they better understand your situation. 
  • Some non-government organizations (NGOs) and private groups who construct homes may also provide you with the construction tools you need. Many of these charitable institutions also provide other forms of support including building materials especially for the homeless.
tiny house build construction tools

4. Labor

Depending on how much time you have your time on your hands, building a tiny home by yourself can take a few months to more than a year. If you need to finish your tiny home much faster you will need additional manpower.

However, getting contractors and carpenters usually require you to pay them for their work. As such, you need to figure out how you can get people to work on the project for free?  Well, this is really more of a question of how many people are there in your inner circle who are willing to help you out.

Not everyone might be willing to help you out because they might be too busy with their schedule. However, people tend to contribute if they know that it will lead to a good cause. Creating a tiny home is in a lot of ways good for the environment because it leaves less carbon footprint. 

Here’s how you can get people to help you build your tiny house:

  • Invite friends or relatives for the tiny house building project. Tell them it is a unique experience in which they can learn a lot about building their own small homes one day. Don’t forget to make them feel comfortable and offer them food for their hard work. 
  • Ask for the help of like-minded people from the tiny house community. You will be surprised how many people would love to reach out a helping hand. After all, one of the tenants of the tiny house movement is to bring back the communal nature of homeowners in their areas. 
  • Reach out to volunteer groups for their assistance. While many of the NGOs are focused on building homes for the homeless, many of their members are willing to do it even for regular people. Explain your situation beforehand and why you badly need their help to finish the project on a much earlier date. 
constructing a tiny home at less than $2000

Websites Where You Can Get Help From Volunteers

Believe it or not, volunteerism is still quite alive in the US. There are numerous groups which are willing to help you with your endeavors without asking for anything in return. However, you must explain properly why you badly needed help or how dire your current situation is. 

  • Habitat for Humanity

This is an awesome group that helps people build their own homes. The nonprofit group has a huge network all over the country. Aside from volunteers, they also provide building materials for the needy and homeless. 

  • Operation Tiny Home

The group has hundreds of volunteers who are willing to dedicate their time to build a small home. Many of their members have years of experience in tiny home making or have built their own tiny houses. Aside from manpower, they can provide you with useful insights into the tiny home lifestyle. 

  • Tiny House Citizens

Volunteers from the Tiny House Citizens have constructed numerous tiny house communities across the country. They provide stable housing for homeless individuals and even community support. 

At the end of the day, if you want to build a tiny home with the least amount of money you need to sacrifice both your time and energy. That being said, asking for people’s help is also a great way to speed things up with the project. However, don’t forget to help them in return if they ever need help from you in the future.   

Constructing Your Own Tiny House

Once you have gathered all four of these important elements- a blueprint, construction materials, tools, and volunteers the next step is the build. If you are building the project by yourself, you need to allot at least 8 hours a week to finish the project in half a year. 

During the first days of the build, you need to ensure that all of the materials are stored in a dry and secure place. It will also be quite helpful if you sorted out the components based on each part of the house. For example, all flooring materials go into one pile, while another may contain those for roofing. 

build a tiny home with no money

Below are some of the general steps in building a tiny house and their time frame:

  1. Setting the foundation (i.e. cinder blocks, concrete, or wood blocks) usually takes about a week
  2. Laying out the floor and main pillars will consume about seven to ten weeks depending on the number of people working on it. 
  3. Installing the roofs will take roughly two to four weeks depending on the type of roof you want. Plastic roofs are much faster to install, while roof tiles take a bit longer.
  4. Putting the doors and windows takes about a week and can be done even by just one person.
  5. Setting up the house water, electrical and sewage system takes roughly eight weeks and may require some professional help.
  6. Finally, creating some of the house wooden fixtures like chairs, tables, and cabinets may take another two weeks. 

If you organized a group of volunteers to help you on the build, it’s important that you assign them on tasks that matches their abilities. Some volunteers may only know how to lift stuff and basic carpentry, so you shouldn’t assign them on the more technical aspects of the build. 

It would also be helpful if you can get their availability for the build, so you can get a timeline when the project will be finished. This will also help you in other matters such as budgeting for the food you will feed your volunteers during a build day. 

Overall, building your tiny house may take half a year or even more. If you worked with volunteers make sure to thank them for their service at the end of every build they and especially when the project is over. Inviting them into your finished tiny home for dinner and a few beers is one way to celebrate the group’s accumulated efforts. 

Cleaning the Trash During Your Tiny House Project 

Aside from building the tiny home, another thing that will probably keep you and your group of volunteers busy is disposing of your trash properly. Building a house usually produces 10-20 percent of the materials used as trash. 

window panes re-purposed materials for tiny home building

So, what do you do with all of those garbage and excess materials? Here are some helpful tips:

  1. If you have repurposed materials left after the build, you can donate them to organizations that give them away. You can also store them temporarily and use them later to build a small structure like an outdoor kitchen or a small shack.
  2. You can recycle any materials such as metal, glass, cardboard, and paper for later use. If you have excess wood boards, you can use them to build your bed, a simple desk, or even your compost toilet.
  3. Donate leftover paints and wood blocks to your local artists who can make those into a work of art. If you know someone who is into upscaling, you can give these excess materials to them.
  4. Wood shavings and small pieces of wood can be used as firewood. But before you burn them, make sure that they are not treated wood which releases harmful chemicals when lit.
  5. If you know someone who is also building their own tiny home, perhaps you can donate these excess materials. Aside from the leftover stuff, perhaps you can also share with them your experience and what you learned about building a tiny home. 

At the end of the build, make sure that you dispose of your trash correctly– especially plastic. After all, it’s one of the ideas that defines tiny house living which is to leave as little footprint a  

Building a Tiny Home for Under $2,000

We scoured the Internet and looked for people who actually found success in constructing a tiny home with almost no money. Two stories caught our attention, because of the low amount they spend to build your dwellings. 

Both stories also have shown ingenious ways of getting the cost down such as using repurposed construction materials. Furthermore, the owners of the two houses were able to finish their projects without using complicated construction tools and equipment. 

how to build a tiny house on wheels with no money

1. Rob Green’s 100-square-feet Tiny House

The first one was Rob Greenfield’s tiny house project that only cost $1,138. His 100-square foot tiny home is made mostly from repurposed materials which he got from build sites and charitable organizations. As for labor, Rob employed the help of some of his friends who were more than eager to help him build his small abode. 

While most of his materials and labor were free, Rob also had to spend on things which he can’t get for free. He bought things like nuts, screws, bolts, glass windows and other house parts which he can’t find in dumpsites and recycling facilities. 

It took Richard and his team of 40 volunteers a total of 225 hours of work to build the tiny house. 

At the end of the project, they were able to build a fully functional home with its own dining table, a comfortable bed, cabinets, and multiple storage spaces. It’s also connected to the power grid and has its own kitchen outside. Rob collects rainwater which he uses as drinkable water once it’s treated by a purifier; as well as for hygiene purposes. 

2. Lamar Alexander’s 400-square-feet Tiny Home

A homesteader from Utah, Lamar was able to build a 400-square foot rustic cabin with a budget of less than $2,000. Lamar is an advocate of financial freedom through tiny homes. He lives mortgage-free and has an off-grid residence in a family-owned land where he lives a simple lifestyle. 

The 14-foot by 14-foot cabin he designed has a wooden floor and a full loft. It’s spacious enough to house a bedroom and even a home office. It also has its own living area, bathroom, and kitchen. According to Lamar, the house can accommodate six people. 

The initial cost, however, does not cover the amount needed for its gas power source, appliances, fixtures,and solar panels. However, considering that the tiny house built on a foundation already has plenty of floor space– a couple of thousand dollars is well worth it. 

Mr. Alexander’s simple abode can be used as a bug-out dwelling or a starter home. You can buy his Ultimate Off Grid Guide ebook for just $7.00. Here, he teaches not only how to build your own tiny home, but also other essential stuff like creating a solar composting toilet. 

How Much is an Average Size Tiny Home Unit?  

If you are curious about how much money you need to buy a tiny house unit vs. building one- we have the answer.  

An average tiny home usually costs between $19,000 and $39,000. There are several factors that decide its final price such as the design of the unit, its floor area, and the materials used.

The most expensive part of a mobile tiny home is definitely the trailer which costs about 20 to 25-percent of the entire structure. Used trailers cost $2,000 to $4,000 depending on its size, condition, and layout. The number of axles and its load rating also affects its price.

tiny house building without spending a dollar

Meanwhile, buying a brand new trailer will set you back around $4,000 to $8,000 dollars. The advantage of buying a new trailer is that you can be assured it doesn’t have any hidden issues or damages. 

Finally, a customized trailer is worth around $8,000 to $10,000; sometimes more. Customized trailers are retrofitted based on the design of the floors of a tiny home. Tiny home builders, like Tumbleweed Houses, can customize a tiny home trailer based on the needs and preferences of their customers. 

In retrospect, building a tiny home out of store-bought materials and employing contractors costs around $7,000 to $12,000. Doing the math, you can save $5,000 to $10,000 or more if you use repurposed materials and do the build yourself.  

Conclusion

Building a tiny home with almost no money is not an impossible task. Many people have done it, and you could too. If you want to start a journey into financial freedom and a simpler way of life, then constructing your own affordable tiny house is the way forward. 

Related Questions

Is it cheaper to buy or build a tiny home?

Generally speaking, it’s much cheaper to build your own tiny home because it removes labor costs. However, one of the primary concerns about a self-built tiny home is the structural integrity of the home and whether it’s been done with the same quality as professional builders. 

Furthermore, a tiny house bought from tiny home builders usually has certification from the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), which you need for THOWs. 

What’s the Cheapest Tiny House Build Out There?

Many tiny home builders usually don’t get online exposure after they have built their affordable tiny house. However, we have come across a couple who were able to build a 70-square foot tiny home for only $420. Liam and Rachel made the house entirely from repurposed materials and were even featured in HappenFilm’s documentary.  

Guide To Tiny Homes for Big Families

Guide To Tiny Homes for Big Families

big family in a tiny home

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a guide to tiny homes for big families who want to live in them? If you are also wondering about such a topic, you’re in the right place. 

Living in a tiny home with a family of four or more can be quite challenging, especially because of the limited living space. However, through careful planning and minor adjustments, you can make your life in a tiny home more comfortable and enjoyable. 

While a tiny home can only provide up to roughly 400 square meters of floor space, it’s still possible for a big family to live in it. For example, the couple Debbie and Gabriel Mayes were able to live in a 250-square foot converted school bus tiny home with their four kids. 

However, there are still a lot of things that must be addressed to ensure that living in a tiny home won’t be an issue for any of the family members. At the core of it all is the shift to a minimalist lifestyle with less stuff and privacy.

Downsizing is not for everyone. Most families need to give a lot of stuff and keep only what is most needed in their daily lives. Furthermore, it requires everyone in the family to adopt a new way of life that is only familiar to a few. 

That being said, there are also some rewards for families who choose to live in a tiny home. Generally speaking, living in a smaller home is much cheaper because of the low upkeep costs. Furthermore, it’s easier to own a tiny home because of their low cost that usually doesn’t require you to take a mortgage. 

Residing in a Tiny Homes for Big Families Guide

Big families usually have two options if they want to live in a tiny home. They can either live in a tiny house on wheels (THOW) or in a unit that is stationary and built over a foundation. Both have their own pros and cons.

Living in a Mobile Tiny House

Living in a THOW gives it more mobility as they can just move from one place to another in a jiffy. For a family who loves to travel and discover new places, this is quite a good incentive. However, most states in the US don’t allow people to live in a tiny home for a long period. 

Furthermore, there are several struggles with living in a tiny home. For example, there are only a few places where you can legally park your THOW. Finding a spot that provides water, electricity, and sewage can also be quite challenging in some states. 

Extended family in a tiny house

Pros

  • You can travel to a variety of places which is good if you want to teach your kids to explore the world
  • Allows you to visit distant relatives and perhaps stay at their place for a few days
  • You can easily relocate if you want to change your job or if there are new opportunities in another city or town
  • Most states don’t require you to have a building permit if the liveable space is below 120 square feet

Cons

  • Liveable space is much smaller as you have fewer storage options
  • Requires you to have an off-grid setup and your own sewerage system 
  • You have to research the zoning and parking laws of every place you want to visit

Living in a Stationary House

On the flip side, living in a stationary tiny home gives you the same comfort as living in a traditional home– only smaller. Additionally, if you bought a piece of land where you can settle your small house unit, you can pretty much use the outdoor space for multiple purposes. 

Some families can build a small shed on the property and use it for storing some of their stuff. Meanwhile, some families who live in a tiny home build a playground on their lot so that the kids can play outside. 

Pros

  • Doesn’t take as much time for the whole family to adjust living in a smaller house compared to a mobile tiny home
  • If you live in your own property, you can build other structures such as a shed, a deck or some patios
  • Easier to connect to power and water lines. You can also build your own sewage system instead of relying on the facilities of RV parks or campgrounds
  • Allows you to extend your living space by adding another tiny home or a separate structure

Cons

  • In most jurisdictions, you will be subject to zoning laws and building codes
  • You have to design your tiny home based on certain specifications required by the local government 
  • In some cases, you might be required to pay real estate tax

Big families usually choose to live in a tiny home built on a foundation because it’s more convenient to raise kids in such a setup. However, there are also instances where large families elect to live in a tiny home, especially if the children are already teenagers who require less supervision. 

Things to Consider in Designing Tiny Homes for Big Families

The first challenge for a big family to fit in a tiny home is to design a unit that can maximize every nook and cranny of their dwelling. Hence, you need to take into consideration what is most important to you and your family to live a comfortable life in a tiny home.  

The process usually means you have to take some things in precedence to others. Ideally, you want to spend more resources or space in things that can help you meet your basic needs. For example, you need to prioritize storage for food and clothing as you usually need them on a daily basis.

To figure out which goes in your tiny home and which does not, you need to come up with a list of things you can’t live without. They take priority over other things, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have a little bit of luxury in your home. You can still install things like television and even gaming consoles if you have the space for it.

That being said, below are some of the things that you have to consider adding to your tiny home. 

family with seven members in a tiny house

1. Storage area for your food

Large families living in a tiny home need more food storage than a couple in the same living situation. As such, you need a full-size refrigerator in your home rather than a mini-fridge.

The average full-size fridge measures 24 to 33 inches in depth, 23 to 36 inches in width, and 65 to 69 inches in height. In terms of interior volume, a full size fridge can have anywhere between 10 and 25 cubic feet. For a family of four to six, that is enough to store more than a week’s worth of food. 

Besides your fridge, you might also need other food storage options such as rice dispenser or a cabinet for canned goods and other non-perishables.  

2. Additional food prep and cooking space

Aside from storage space, your kitchen also takes a lot of your tiny house’s floor space. Larger families consume more food and thus need a large food preparation area. Other cooking appliances like an oven or full gas range also take a decent amount of space.

Fortunately, you can find many ingenious kitchen solutions that can curb the amount of space you need for food prep. For example, some kitchens have sinks that can easily transform into a tabletop just by putting a block of wood on top of them. 

Some gas ranges also have an oven below them which generally saves a decent amount of space compared to having them as separate appliances. Induction cookers also don’t take as much space as your traditional burners which need a propane tank.

3. A place to store your child’s toys

At first glance, kids don’t seem to consume as much space as adults, that is until you account for their belongings. Most kids usually have dozens of toys that require their own storage space. In the US, parents spend, on average, $306 a year for toys. 

That being said, you can expect that your children’s toys will require a decent amount of space in your tiny home. What most parents living in petitte houses do is store the toys in multifunctional furniture. For example, a sofa bed may also have a storage compartment small items like toys.  

Children ages 6 to 12 tend to have larger toys such as a bicycle or a small billiards table. Moreover, they may also have educational toys and board games that you want to keep because they can contribute to your kid’s development.

4. Sleep and play spaces for your kids

Kids can be quite active, especially during their early years. Hence, they may require a spot in your tiny home where they can just play and just be children. If you have a toddler, you may need a playpen with a fence which is almost the same size as a crib– 40-inches in length and 30-inches in width. 

 If you live in a tiny home built over a foundation, this becomes less of an issue. You can simply build a play area outside of your home. What about a simple tire swing, slide, or see-saw on your front yard?

For families living in a mobile tiny home, this can be quite challenging. However, if you are able to teach your kids to play around nature, then it becomes less of a burden. For example, you can teach them to fly kites which doesn’t take a lot of space and can be carried around almost anywhere. 

5. If a child is homeschooled, they need a learning area 

One of the great things about living in a tiny house is that you can homeschool your kids. If your home is also mobile, you can take your kids to historical places and nature parks as part of their homeschooling experience. 

However, homeschooled kids also require a learning area where you can teach them. The learning area doesn’t need to be as big as a classroom, but it must be a part of the house where they feel most comfortable. 

Whether it’s in your balcony or a loft, the learning area needs to be quiet enough for them to concentrate on their studies. It should also be far from any distractions such as your television. Furthermore, it also needs to be next to or near where you keep their learning materials. 

6. Extra storage for winter clothing

Aside from your wardrobe or cabinet for your regular clothes, you might also need storage space for your winter wearables. If you live in an area that experiences snow, then this place is a must in your tiny home. 

Winter clothing takes more space than your normal clothes because the former is much thicker. Additionally, the bulky ones can’t be folded, so you need a place where you can hang them. Most families who live in a stationary tiny house store their winter clothes in a shed or rented storage and have them out during winters. 

Consequently, you might also want to install a portable heater inside your tiny home to regulate the heat during cold weather. Doing so may also help you keep just a few winter clothes that are not as thick.

7. Additional storage for bedding and blankets

The more people living in a tiny house, the more blankets and beddings you need. In most cases, you need to have at least two sets of beddings and extra blankets so you will always have at least one clean set in reserve.

Storing your blankets and beddings can be quite challenging, especially in a tiny home. For that reason, you need furniture that also functions as storage spaces. Some beds, for example, function as a cabinet and have a storage compartment underneath them.

If your tiny home has a loft, you can also store them in there while you still don’t have a cabinet where you can store them. Some tiny home families store their beddings and blankets on chair blocks whose lid can be opened to reveal a hidden compartment.   

8. Waste disposal area 

Trash cans and waste bins are some of the most overlooked parts of a tiny home. However, you will still need them, especially if you live in a tiny mobile home. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average person produces roughly 4.4 lbs of waste in a day. For a family of five, this could amount to more than 20 lbs daily. You can just imagine how much space this can take in your tiny home!

Additionally, some garbage needs to be sealed or handled more carefully. Diapers, for example, need to be placed on a tightly sealed waste bin so that its smell won’t spread inside your tiny home. Ultimately, you want to segregate your trash and dispose of them properly, even if you don’t have access to garbage collection. 

9. Laundry and drying area

Every tiny home also needs to have a sizable laundry and drying area. Large families have more laundry, especially if there are more teenagers and adults at home. It will help you save a lot of money if you wash your own clothes instead of having them cleaned in your local laundry shop.

Your tiny home also needs a drying area or a place where you can just hang your clothes. Drying your clothes isn’t a problem during the summer and warmer months. However, it can be quite a huge issue during winter months. 

In this case, you might want to invest in a washer and dryer combo. These machines not only wash your clothes, but they also wring them out until they are a bit dry. Fortunately, they come in a variety of sizes that can fit even in a small corner of your tiny house.  

laundry area for a tiny home

Two Places in Your Tiny Home that Requires More Space

Now that we have identified some of the design considerations of your tiny house, it’s time to point your attention to places that will surely eat a lot of space. In a tiny home, two places are usually larger than any part of your home– the kitchen and  the bedrooms. 

1. Kitchen & Dining Room

Most tiny homes usually have their kitchen and dining room next to each other. This is quite a practical design as you won’t need to walk far to transfer food from the kitchen to the dining table. 

Preparing meals for more people requires a bit more kitchen space. Consequently, you will also need more space where family members can sit and enjoy their meals. When designing this part of your tiny house, it’s important to make it as functional as possible. 

For example, your dining table may also function as your work desk. Hence, you may want to place additional sockets where you can plug in your laptop or any work-related devices. Additionally, you can install additional lighting options to ensure you can see well while working. 

2. Bedrooms

Bedrooms, too, can eat up a lot of space, especially if they are made for adults. The typical double size bed measures 4.42 feet by 6.2 feet. Aside from beds, you also have to take into consideration the size of the wardrobe, cabinets, desk, chairs, and other furniture inside the bedroom. 

On the other hand, children don’t require as much bedroom space. Some kid’s room can be as little as 5-feet by 3-feet. They can also fit in double-decker beds, especially if they are ages 12 and below. 

If you need additional beds in your tiny home, you can try building a loft, which can easily fit one or two adults, depending on its design. However, you also need to build stairs as an access point towards the loft. To save space, you can also use these stairs as additional storage options. 

tiny house loft for big families

Steps to Maximize a Tiny Home’s Livable Space

1. Use Multi-Functional Furniture

Furniture such as sofas, cabinets, tables, and chairs take up a lot of space in your tiny home. However, you just can’t eliminate most of them in your residence as they are integral in everyday life. In that case, using furniture that serves more than one function is a practical way to save space.

For example, some beds have storage underneath them, which you can easily pull and tuck away when not needed. You might also want to invest in wooden boxes with casters that can easily slide beneath your bed or other tight spaces in your house.

2. Go for Smaller Appliances

Downsizing your appliances can also save you a lot of space. For example, if you live near a supermarket or store, you can easily replenish your food supply. In which case, instead of going for a 6-feet tall refrigerator, you may instead want to settle with a smaller 3-feet fridge. 

Additionally, instead of working on a Desktop PC, you can instead invest on a top-performing laptop, which doesn’t take as much space. Furthermore, you can take your laptop with you which enables you to work anywhere from your dining table to your bedroom. 

Using the same principle, you may want to install a smaller flat-screen TV. Even a 24-inch television is quite plenty if you live in a tiny home. The space you save on your appliances can be used to more important parts of your home, such as more space for your bedroom. 

3. Get Multi-Purpose Furniture

Saving space inside your tiny house is a priority for many big families. In this regard, one of the best ways to save space is to use furniture that has one or more functions. You can find multi-purpose furniture on most home depots like Ikea and even online.  

For example, some couches can be folded and reconfigured into a bed. This feature can be quite useful if you are expecting a visitor to stay overnight. Just make sure you have extra beddings, comforters and bedsheets which they can use.

If you have overhead room left in your home, you can also place a loft in it to serve the same function. Aside from being extra sleeping quarters, lofts can also be used as extra storage space. Be sure to build a secured foothold or stairs leading to it. 

Conclusion

Big families can live in a tiny home provided that each member can be provided with enough space to make them comfortable. The great thing about living in a tiny home is that it may help bring the family closer, as you have to work together to manage a simple life. 

Related Questions

What’s the best tiny home for a big family?

Tiny home builders offer a wide variety of tiny house units that are meant for large families. For example, Escape Traveller built the 344-square-feet Traveller XL, which it claims can fit 10 people. However, some of its occupants need to be children. This tiny home is also off-grid ready and has the convenience of most modern homes. 

What do I do with all the stuff that I can fit into the tiny home?

One of the challenges of families transitioning from traditional housing options into tiny homes is letting go of their stuff. If you can’t part with a particular item just yet, you can store them in a rented storage space or containers. If you have relatives or neighbors who have extra room to store your items, you may want to ask them for such favors.

This Is How Much It Costs To Live In A Tiny Home

This Is How Much It Costs To Live In A Tiny Home

cost-to-live-in-a-tiny-home

You probably have heard about the tiny house movement and how it’s been helping several people obtain a comfortable dwelling place without hurting the bank. Thousands of people have already moved from traditional homes to tiny houses because smaller dwellings are way more affordable. But are they really? How much does it cost to live in a tiny home?

Knowing the actual cost of building, owning, and living in a tiny house will help you determine if it is the right lifestyle to choose, especially if budget is an important factor to consider. 

To answer how much it costs to live in a tiny home, we will discuss the following:

  • The cost of building and buying a tiny home
  • The cost of living in a tiny house

We will also talk about how you can minimize your expenses once you live in it, as well as the possible complications that you may have to deal with that could add up to your expenses. 

The Cost of A Tiny Home: Building

cost-to-live-in-a-tiny-home-building
The cost of building a tiny home depends on several factors, including materials and workforce needed.

One thing that’s really great about tiny homes is that they’re easier to build compared to traditional and large homes. They require fewer materials and less workforce. Moreover, you can actually build a tiny home very quickly. In fact, many were able to put up their new tiny home in just a day or two. 

If you’ve been watching documentaries and TV shows about tiny homes, you’d know that there are several individuals (even kids) who were able to construct their tiny homes alone or with very minimal help. And you can do so, too. Of course, it helps if you have skills and experience in construction. 

If you can build your home alone, then you’ll be able to save a lot of money as you don’t have to pay for professional construction workers. Building your house alone is a money-saver, but sure it might take you longer to assemble it. Consider asking a friend to help you with your project. 

When constructing a tiny house, consider not only how to have it done but also the amount of money you will have to spend to set it up. 

However, there’s no definite answer on how much it would actually cost to have a tiny house built. Several factors could affect the cost, including the size of your house, your location, and the materials you will use. 

Size

A residential structure that’s no more than 400 square feet is considered a tiny house. Tiny homes can even go as tiny as 8 square feet. Any residential homes that are more than 400 square feet but no more than 1,000 square feet are considered small houses. 

The school of thought is that smaller houses are cheaper to build. And, logically, bigger homes are pricier to construct. This is especially true if you’re planning to set up your tiny home over a foundation; land price is usually high, mainly in well-developed areas or states. 

So, if you’re planning to erect your tiny home, consider the size first. Then, see if your finances can keep up with your plan. 

Location

We’ve just talked about how the size of your tiny home can impact the total cost. Usually, the bigger the house, the more expensive it gets to build it. And if you’re planning to construct it on a foundation, then consider the price of the property you’re building the house on. 

However, it’s not only the size of your property that can impact the building cost but the location as well. The land price depends on where you plan to build your tiny house. 

Determining the land price in the US is a bit complicated to understand. Usually, a home’s cost for a square foot is featured on listings that you can find online and in property information sheets. 

The latest estimates show that the median price for each square foot for a home in America is $123. Of course, that can vary widely based on your location and other factors. 

For example, in Detroit, you will have to pay $24 a square foot. And if you plan to buy residential land in San Francisco, that would cost you $810 a square foot. But why the wide range?

It’s because some neighborhoods are way more desirable than others. Hence, they fetch a better price. 

According to Anthony Stellini, a realtor, “the hotter the neighborhood, the higher the price per square foot.”

Fortunately, there are several tiny house communities you can find in several states in America. To get a comprehensive list, read our article: The Ultimate List of Tiny Home Communities

Materials

Another vital aspect to consider when building a tiny home is the materials you will use. The kind, make, and brand of the materials you plan to use will prominently impact the building cost. 

The school of thought is that more expensive materials are more durable and have better lastingness. On the other hand, cheaper materials may be cost-efficient but aren’t intended for long-term use. They are also believed to be less durable. 

While that may be somewhat true, it’s essential to remember that several factors affect your home’s durability — harsh weather conditions, road damages, and maintenance. 

Cheap materials don’t always necessarily mean they can’t last long. In fact, with proper care, they can outlast you. Logically, neglecting your tiny home may result in your house falling into disrepair, even if you’ve used expensive materials. 

These are the necessary materials you will need to complete your tiny home: 

  • Wood: exterior and interior siding and trim, plywood, and dimensional lumber
  • Trailer and jack stands
  • Insulation: housewrap, tape, spray foam, and XPS boards
  • Roofing: rain and ice shield, metal roofing, tar paper
  • Strapping and flashing: straight straps, hurricane straps, H Clips, nail plates, flashing
  • Hardware: exterior screws and nails, metal screws, strapping nails, brads, bolts, nuts, washers, finishing nails, and door hardware
  • Electrical: wire, outlet boxes, electrical panel and breakers, lighting, switching plates, wire staples, cable, network, telephone wires, and switches
  • Flooring: tile, flooring transition pieces, mortar, thinset, adhesive, and hardwood flooring
  • Paint: construction adhesive and paints and stains
  • Plumbing: supply plumbing, drain plumbing, kitchen sink and faucet, shower, shower faucet, dryer vent, water heater, toilet, and hanger tape role
  • Millwork: exterior and interior door, windows, and shims

Professional Service

One of the best things about tiny houses is that you can build them all by yourself, more so if you have experience and skills in constructing a home. You can even purchase tiny home kits that you can assemble within a day or two without the need for tools. They come with step-by-step instructions and are specifically designed for quick and easy setup. 

However, if you want a bit more elaborate tiny house, then you might want to get help from professional workers. Getting professional service will help you save time, albeit the cost. 

Constructing a tiny home without any skills or experience may result in costly mistakes.

Companies like Tumbleweed Tiny House Company and Tiny Heirloom offer custom-design tiny homes at reasonable prices. They have designs already available, or you can design your home so you can add some personal touches. 

If you wish to hire a professional construction worker, then prepare yourself for paying the labor. The average construction labor cost is $35 per hour. Note that your location and the size of the crew can impact the cost. 

A tiny house on a foundation

The building cost will also depend on how you will build your tiny home. As mentioned previously, if you wish to construct a home over a foundation, you will have to find and buy a real estate property. 

The price of real estate property varies depending on your location and the current market value. A well-developed neighborhood may price higher. 

Given that your home will be constructed over a foundation, some states require that you comply with their building codes. These standards can also add up to the total building cost. So, when calculating your finances, consider knowing the building code in your local state first. 

A tiny house on wheels

A tiny house on wheels  (THOW) may require you to purchase more durable materials that can withstand road trips and harsh weather. While that isn’t necessarily compulsory, it helps if you choose materials with proven lastingness, especially that you will be living in your tiny home in the long run. 

THOWs are more likely to get damages from road debris. Hence, we recommend that you use better materials. 

Moreover, THOWs need to have a trailer. A trailer is probably the single most expensive item you have to buy. And it’s not that you can just purchase any available trailer. You need to choose the right size. Stability and road-worthiness are also factors to consider. 

You can choose to purchase a used trailer or a new one. You can also buy a customized trailer, so you’ll get what you specifically need. 

A second-hand trailer can cost between $800 and $2,500. Brand new trailers, on the other hand, costs from $5,000 and can go as high as $15,000. For example, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company prices their 20-feet long trailers for $5,779. Customized trailers can cost from $8,000 (low end) and up to $45,000 (high-end).

Remember, when selecting a trailer, you have to consider the right size that can accommodate the weight of the tiny home structure (including the weight of all the materials of your home from floor to roof). You must also think about everything you will put into your tiny home (i.e., appliances, decors, furniture, and occupants).

A new car for your THOW may also be necessary. You see, not all cars have that power to tow heavy trailer homes. Here are some of the best vehicles that can tow 7,000 to 12,000 lbs trailers:

  • Toyota Sequoia – 7,400 lbs
  • Toyota Land Cruiser – 8,100 lbs
  • Nissan Armada – 8,500 lbs
  • Chevrolet Tahoe – 8,600 lbs
  • Lincoln Navigator – 9,000 lbs
  • Ford Expedition – 9,300 lbs
  • Toyota Tundra – 10,200 lbs
  • Chevrolet Silverado – 12,000 lbs
  • GMC Sierra – 12,500 lbs
  • RAM 1500 – 12,750 lbs
  • Ford F150 – 13,200 lbs
  • Tesla Cybertruck – 14,000 lbs

To know more about trailers, read our article: How To Choose A Trailer Size For Tiny Home: Complete Guide

The Cost of A Tiny Home: Owning

Now that we’ve covered the cost of building a tiny house let’s talk about the cost of owning one. It’s essential to make sure that your tiny home is always in peak condition to preserve its beauty, mobility, and stability. 

Damages are inevitable. Your kids may punch a hole in the wall, your furniture may scratch the floor, harsh weather may damage your roof, strong winds may break your windows… the list goes on. 

Maintenance, repairs, and renovations can cost a lot. The good news is that because your tiny home is technically small, you won’t be spending as much as you would in a traditional large home. 

The Cost of A Tiny Home: Maintaining the trailer

When you live in a tiny house, it is very easy to overlook what should be the most meticulously maintained part: the trailer. 

The structure and engineering of a tiny house are pretty basic: some wheels, a couple of axles, and some breaks. Yet, a trailer in a tiny house plays the most crucial role. The steel frames are the tiny home’s foundation, which means they are the very things we lay our homes, families, and lives on. 

The trailer is what allows us to sit still without motion. It also lets us relax comfortably while allowing us to travel at whim. Hence, maintaining the trailer is a top priority. 

These are the things you must check in your trailer:

  • Tire pressure

Before going on a trip, make sure to check your tire pressure in all tires. Inflate the trailer tires to the maximum inflation indicated on the sidewall. You should also check the inflation when the tires are cool and have not been exposed to the sun. While it may seem fine to underinflate, it can actually cause tire failure. 

  • Lighting

Your lighting is very crucial for your safety (and everyone else’s that’s in your trailer home). If you have failing lights, you are at risk of being pulled over and getting a ticket. Before zipping the road, make sure to connect the plug from your trailer to your tow hitch. Check if the turn signals and brake signals are fully functional. 

  • Lug nuts

Loose or improperly attached lug nuts can put you at major risks. Make sure to check lug nut tension at least twice during the first 1,000 miles of the trailer. From then forward, you must check the lugs each time your vehicle and trailer serviced. 

  • Bearings

Bearings play an important role in your trailer’s performance. When the bearings have proper grease levels, it keeps your tire from overheating and your breaks from wearing unnecessarily thin. Mechanics suggest checking your bearings every 12,000 miles or so, but there’s really no definite time as to when to do it. 

  • Grease your hitch

When the trailer ball and the hitch aren’t regularly greased, they may cause loud sounds and bad friction. As a result, there would be a buildup of heat around the distribution area, and your turn radius will be limited, along with other issues. Greasing your hitch is an easy task to do.

On average, tire repairs will cost you approximately $200 per month. Meanwhile, routine trailer maintenance will cost around $100 per month. The maintenance cost depends on several factors, including the age of your trailer, the technology used, and the use of your trailer. 

As your trailer ages, mechanical problems become more prevalent. Trailer repairs and regular inspections become even more necessary. 

The Cost of A Tiny Home: Maintaining the vehicle

Not only do you need to maintain the trailer but the car you use to tow it as well. Your vehicle needs as much maintenance as your trailer. 

And the same with the trailer, the more your car ages, maintenance becomes even more needed.

It’s essential to maintain your car to keep the engines running smoothly and other car problems at bay. Also, it’s relatively inexpensive. In fact, basic car maintenance only costs about $100 per year. 

Thankfully, modern cars do not need as much maintenance as old models, thanks to the increased computerization and improvements made in engine design. But of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t require regular inspection. 

These are the basic car services and their cost:

  • Oil and filter change

Dirt can cause corrosion and, thus, decrease the life of an engine. Hence, it’s important to perform routine oil and filter changes to remove particles and keep the engines in the best condition. 

cost-to-live-in-a-tiny-home-maintenance

You must perform oil and filter change every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. The estimated cost would be between $20 and $100. 

  • Tire rotation

Tire rotation is important to ensure even tire wear. Yes, tire wear is actually desirable to extend the useful life of the tires as a set. That’s because the front of the car often carries more of the weight.

You must have your tires rotated every 3,00 to 7,000 miles, and it costs about $20 to $50 only. 

Other than these, you must also replace the parts of your car that have worn out already. 

  1. New tires cost around $50 to $300 per tire. 
  2. Wiper blade replacement costs between $7 and $15 and must be replaced every six to twelve months. 
  3. Brake pad must be replaced every 30,000 to 50,000 miles. The price is approximately anywhere from $100 to $350. 
  4. Engine air filter replacement must be done every 20,000 to 60,000 miles, and it costs around $20 to $75.

To better know the cost of maintaining your car, it’s essential to understand what your car needs. You can check the maintenance schedule indicated in your owner’s manual. For example, if you own a 2015 Nissan Armada, you must follow these maintenance schedules:

  • Conventional oil change every 5,000 miles.
  • Tire rotation every 5,000 miles.
  • Flush or replace the coolant every 75,000 miles. 
  • Replace the air filter every 30,000 miles.
  • Have the spark plugs replaced every 105,000 miles.
  • Replace the cabin air filter every 15,000 miles.

The Cost of A Tiny Home: Living

The daily or monthly expenses depend on several variables, including your location, the size of your home, the number of appliances being used, the number of occupants, the structure of the tiny house (if it’s on foundation or wheels), and if the home is in or off the grid. 

We can’t definitely say that living off-grid is way cheaper because, as just mentioned, the costs of everyday living depends on so many factors. 

tiny-house-living

But one thing is for sure: tiny homes are more affordable and sustainable than traditional homes. 

For example, most tiny houses use a solar panel system as a primary energy source, instead of hooking to an electrical grid. The home being totally reliant on the sun means you won’t be spending anything on electric bills. 

But let’s also not forget that although you’ll be saving a lot every month, having a solar panel system installed in your tiny home requires you to pay a huge amount of upfront fees. The average cost of a solar panel system goes up to $6,500 or higher, depending on the brand, market value, and demand. 

Water is another thing to consider. You can choose to connect to the local water system or live off-grid and rely entirely on your water tanks and rainwater collection. 

Your appliances also do play a role in your expenses. We highly recommend that you purchase home appliances that are energy-saving, compact, and functional. Check out our highly recommended appliances in our article: 10 Home Appliances Your Tiny House Needs

Living in a tiny home doesn’t mean you have to live small. You can live big in tiny living space by making sure you’ll get the utilities you need, including electricity, water, and internet. 

[Must read: How Do Tiny Houses Get Utilities?]

Parking fees are also another thing to consider. The cost to park a tiny home depends on the period you’re going to use the spot, the location, and the time of the year. Short-term parking may cost between $10 and $12, while monthly parking fees can range between $600 to $1,200. 

Final Takeaway

There’s a ton of things to consider if you’re planning to transition from a traditional home to a tiny house. The cost to build, maintain, and live in a tiny home may be larger than what is usually advertised in TV shows and documentaries. 

You can buy pre-manufactured tiny homes or have them built either by yourself or with help from a professional crew. Remember, your location can impact the building cost. Land properties in well-developed neighborhoods can be very expensive. Building codes can add up to the total cost as well. 

It doesn’t matter if your tiny house is constructed using the finest and most expensive materials, if you’re not maintaining it, it can still fall into disrepair. Maintenance is even more important if your tiny home is on wheels. 

Don’t forget that your towing car needs regular inspection as well.

Lastly, your monthly expenses would depend on how you live in your petite dwelling. Guaranteed, you’d be able to save a lot of money if you go off-grid and rely on renewable energy sources like a solar panel system. 

Related Questions

Is it cheaper to buy or build a tiny house?

The cost of a tiny house depends on if you purchase it or build it. Tiny homes with luxurious and elaborate designs can go as high as $150,000. Some individuals were able to assemble their tiny homes with only a $12,000 to $35,000 budget.

Can you park a tiny house on your own land?

There are zoning laws and building codes across the country that prohibit you from buying land and building a tiny house on it. What you can do instead is that you will have to build an accessory dwelling unit — a secondary dwelling unit located on a family lot. Ask your local state regarding the zoning laws and building regulations you must comply with. 

Tiny Houses: A Good Idea Or A Terrible Investment?

Tiny Houses: A Good Idea Or A Terrible Investment?

how-much-does-it-cost-to-live-in-a-tiny-home
Are tiny homes a good dwelling option? Or are they a terrible investment you must avoid?

The tiny house movement has inspired many to downsize and focus on what’s more important: conserving energy, creating better communities, and saving the environment. However, the question remains: are tiny houses really a good idea or a terrible investment?

Experts and people, in general, have varied opinions. Some say tiny houses offer a lot of benefits, and others beg to differ. Banks and insurance companies believe that tiny houses are a terrible investment. 

While we can’t deny that tiny houses have downsides, there are many other reasons why we firmly believe that they are a good idea. Read further as we discuss why tiny houses aren’t that bad as others make it sound. We’ll also talk about why many say they are not a good investment.

The Pros and Cons of Tiny Homes

To determine whether you should invest in tiny homes or not, we have to understand what makes them good and bad. 

Why is it important to know if tiny homes are a great housing option? Understanding the advantages and pitfalls of tiny homes will help you make an educated choice for you and your family. By knowing the downsides of the tiny house movement, you can better weigh your options. 

Many people believe that renting is a better choice rather than investing in a conventional home. While it’s no doubt that renting is an affordable alternative if you cannot afford up-front costs, we can’t just ignore the fact that living in a rented dwelling is actually living on a temporary basis. 

Renting a home doesn’t offer stability. The monthly payments you shell out also don’t provide long-term security, nor do they grow your savings. 

That being said, people nowadays look for an excellent housing option that doesn’t hurt the bank. 

Thanks to tiny house TV shows and documentaries, more and more people learn about how the tiny house movement can help one to get his own comfortable and sustainable dwelling place without spending an arm and a leg. 

Are tiny homes a good idea financially and environmentally? Let’s find out. 

Tiny Houses: A Good Idea?

We’ve listed several reasons why we believe tiny houses are a great option. 

#1 You can take it with you

how-much-does-it-cost-to-live-in-a-tiny-home-mobility
Living in a tiny house on wheels gives you the freedom to travel almost everywhere you want.

Living in a tiny house on wheels (THOWs) gives you the freedom to travel almost everywhere you want. And what’s great about it is that you’ll never have to leave your home. You can bring your tiny home wherever you want to go. 

The number of people addicted to traveling has insanely increased over the years. Take these statistics as proofs:

  • According to Phocuswright, 36% of travelers rated travel as an important spending priority. 
  • Travel Agent Central reported that Americans spent $101.1 billion on summer vacations.
  • As per Allianz Travel Insurance, millennials (aged 18 to 34) spent, on average, $1,373 on summer vacations. 
  • US Travel Association reported that leisure travel accounted for $718.4 billion in spending in 2017, while business travel accounted for $317.2 billion. 

These numbers and reports tell us one thing: people love to travel more than ever. So, imagine traveling from one place to another without having to leave your home? Wouldn’t it be nice to explore new places without spending big on hotels? 

There are over 10,000 tiny homes in Northern America, and 700 tiny homes are being built every year. We can conclude that one of the reasons for this surge is that people like the idea of having a dwelling place they can bring everywhere. 

Vacationing is a bit different when you have a tiny house on wheels. There’s no need to pack a suitcase because you basically bring everything with you. 

Traveling is not just for leisure. Others travel because that’s what they do for a living. A tiny house on wheels is a great idea for those who travel a lot as part of their job. 

Tiny homes are built in different ways. Most of them are equipped with a solar panel system and has a rainwater collection, which makes them absolutely perfect for off-grid settings. And because tiny houses are sustainable, you can park them anywhere you want. 

Of course, traveling with your tiny house is only possible if it is built on a trailer. There are, however, some drawbacks with a tiny house on wheels, which we will talk in-depth later on this post. 

The bottom line: mobility is one of the things that make tiny houses a great idea. 

#2 They require less money to build

In a study conducted by Harvard University, almost 40 million Americans live in housing they cannot afford. Rental prices continue to increase, and homeownership has dropped, meaning that millions of residents pay more than they reasonably should.

The prices of homes in the market go up, making homeownership a difficult feat. And while the prices hike up, the wages haven’t kept pace. 

That said, many people are stuck at renting. Harvard reported

“The surge in rental demand that began in 2005 is broad-based — including several types of households that traditionally prefer homeownership.”

For some people, they believe that renting is more affordable than actually getting a house built. But the truth is, “rent gains… continue to far outpace inflation.” 

Harvard reports: “the number of modestly priced units available for under $800 declined by 261,000 between 2005 and 2015, while the number renting for $2,000 or more jumped by 1.5 million.”

Again, renting price continues to elevate, while wages remain the same. 

So, why not build a traditional home instead? It’s harder than it sounds, actually. According to Home Advisor, building a new house comes at $298,660, which would mean a 2,000-square-foot home costs about $150 per square foot. 

Let’s not forget that there are lots of variables to consider, such as the location. On average, the cost of constructing a new home is between $150,000 and $450,000. 

Clearly, renting is not for everyone — so is building a new home. People search for other alternatives, and tiny house living is one of the best options. 

In an article from The Spruce, the average cost of a DIY tiny house is approximately $23,000. But you can build one for a lot less than that. Some tiny homes were built for no more than $12,000. Some even go as cheap as $500. 

Many choose to construct a tiny house because it costs a hundred-thousand-dollar cheaper than traditional homes. What’s more, if the tiny house is on wheels, there is no need to purchase a property, which is usually pricey. 

#3 With a tiny home, you can go extremely environmentally-friendly

A tiny home is basically small, which means you will be using fewer materials to build it. And with the limited space, it comes with a notion that you cannot put as many household items as you would in a spacious traditional home. 

However, tt’s not a guarantee, that small dwelling space always means fewer appliances. But most often than not, tiny house dwellers choose to have minimal household items to save space. Fewer appliances mean more space and less carbon footprint.

In building a tiny house, you can use recycled, salvaged, and repurposed materials. Some tiny homes can be built even without the need for tools. You can assemble DIY homes even without professional experience. 

Compared to traditional houses, you can cool or heat a tiny home efficiently and quickly, meaning you’ll use less energy to get the right temperature for your home. Depending on your location, you may not need a cooling or heating system. Sometimes, opening the windows can already give your home the right level of coziness. 

For environmentalists and conservationists, a tiny house is, indeed, a great idea. For those who want to go off-grid, a tiny home is an absolute good choice as they can rely solely on solar panels and rainwater. 

Off-grid tiny houses do not need to hook up to electric grids and water and sewer systems. When your petite dwelling relies on solar power and water tanks, you don’t have to worry about spending big on your utility bills. 

On top of saving big on utility bills, you don’t have to worry about mortgages, too. Think about all the trips you can make with the money you will be saving!

But it goes without saying that off-grid tiny homes have a lot of setbacks — more of that later. 

#4 Tiny houses let you declutter

Did you know? We only use 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. This leads us to the question: do we really need many clothes if we don’t wear them often?

how-much-does-it-cost-to-live-in-a-tiny-home-declutter
By necessity, you will have to sell, give away, or disregard the things you don’t need.

Here are more mind-blowing facts about clutter:

  • The average American household has 300,000 things. Obviously, no one uses that many items every day, but people usually cling to items that mean something to them. 
  • The average American spends a year of his life searching for lost/misplaced items. In houses full of clutter, finding missing items can be disastrous. In fact, Americans spend an average of six minutes looking for their keys each morning. 
  • Papers, documents, files, folders, cards, and letters don’t take up much space, but collectively, they are major contributors to household clutter. According to Agency Sales Magazine, 8 out of 10 papers in the house don’t even get a glance. 

Imagine a life without clutter… your home is mess-free and contains only the items that serve a true purpose. A home without clutter can actually improve your health — physically and mentally. 

A neat and organized room can also help you focus more, which will enhance your productivity. And when everything is within reach, you can do your chores a lot easier than if there are clutters. For example, cooking, cleaning, and other chores come in handy. 

Having fewer gadgets and appliances lets you have direct access to things that are tried and true. If your kitchen is decluttered, cooking is simpler and more time-saving. 

A clutter-free home has a domino effect on maintenance. And not just that, a decluttered home can free up your mind, which then results in feeling less anxious. It also helps you to be more peaceful, confident, and have stronger decision-making skills. 

Living in a tiny house doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll naturally be able to remove clutters. However, because of the limited living space, there is a notion that you will have to let go of the items that you don’t really need, leaving only the things that serve a true purpose. 

When you live in a traditional home for several years, it’s easy to overlook the stuff you have. And before you even know it, your things just pile up everywhere. Logically, you cannot stuff everything that fits into a 2,000-square-foot-home into a 200-square-foot dwelling. So, by necessity, you will have to donate or sell most of your things. 

This gives you the chance to take a deep look at your possessions and determine what honestly matters to you. Sometimes, we tend to keep things even when we don’t necessarily need them just because they have been there. And most of the time, we buy things only because they look cool.

Once you have narrowed and sorted your possessions, you will end up with the only meaningful and really necessary things. Plus, you’ll have more room for other important items in your tiny dwelling. 

Have you heard about Henry David Thoreau? He is a popular American essayist and a well-known transcendentalist. He is one of the founders of the tiny house movement. In 1845, he published a book entitled Walden. It talks about the life he had when he lived in a cabin for two years and two months. 

His principle was “to live deliberately” with the things that are truly essential in life. In his cabin, he only had a desk, chair, bed, and fireplace. His goal was to become “one with nature.”

To learn more about Henry David Thoreau and the history of tiny homes, read When Did Tiny Homes Start? A Tiny History. 

As a recap, we’ve learned that a tiny house is a good idea because:

  • You can take it with you
  • It requires less money to build
  • You can go extremely environmentally-friendly with it, and
  • It lets you declutter.

Now, let’s talk about why many believe that tiny houses are a bad investment.

Tiny Houses: A Terrible Investment?

While there are a lot of people who like the idea of living in tiny houses, there are those who believe that tiny house living is a terrible investment. 

Tiny house shows and documentaries have shown us that the tiny house movement can help in paying debts and saving money. It is also the best option to go for those who want to live a financially and environmentally sustainable lifestyle. 

However, what looks good on TV can be much less appealing in real life. Living in a tiny house has several setbacks. 

#1 Tiny houses are actually expensive

Just because tiny houses are technically small doesn’t always mean they are cheaper to build. In fact, the typical tiny house costs more per square foot than traditional houses do — relatively because larger construction projects make for more efficient use of resources. 

According to HomeAdvisor, an average 2,000-square-foot home costs approximately $150 per square foot to build. On the other hand, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company — one of the leading tiny house builders in America, typically price tiny homes over $300 per square foot. 

But worry not, we’ve listed affordable DIY tiny houses in this article: The 11 Best Tiny Home Kits That Won’t Break The Bank

#2 Tiny houses might be a home, but they’re technically not a house

Many tiny homes are built on a trailer, which makes them recreational vehicles. In fact, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company calls most of its products “tiny house RVs.” They follow the standards set by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association in building tiny homes. 

The company defines tiny homes on wheels as licensed RVs, not houses. This leads us to the next reason why many believe that tiny houses are a bad idea:

tiny-homes-depreciate-market-value

#3 Tiny houses are a terrible investment

Tiny homes are cute and adorable. They offer minimalist lifestyle — which isn’t just a fad, but a kind of living that actually offers a lot of scientifically-backed benefits. And like what was discussed at the beginning of this article, tiny homes, having built on wheels, offer mobility and the freedom to move from one place to another without ever leaving your home. 

However, financially speaking, tiny homes are a bad investment. Why so? Because they are technically recognized as RVs and not as traditional houses, they depreciate at the same rate as vehicles and RVs. 

There are many reasons why they lose value. 

  • Tiny houses on wheels are more prone to damages. Unlike in large houses, small damages in tiny houses may look so much bigger. Also, tiny homes are not intended to withstand harsh weather. Road debris may also cause damage to tiny houses on wheels. 
  • Banks see tiny houses not as residential homes but as RVs, or, in other words, vehicle. And vehicles, as mentioned earlier, depreciate fast. Banks don’t invest in things that they know won’t outlast them. They only put their money on things they know that will surely pay off, and unfortunately for them, tiny homes are not worth it. 
  • Insurance companies also have a strong objection against tiny homes. Tiny houses are more vulnerable to damages, especially if they are frequently hitting the road. And when your tiny home gets damaged or destroyed, insurance companies will have to pay you… something they’re really not a fan of doing. 

Also, for insurance companies, tiny homes on wheels are far worse than cars. Cars are also relatively fragile, but you don’t actually live in them. 

A tiny house could only hold or appreciate only if it happens to be unique that there is a high demand for it — like collectible cars. And while this is not impossible, it is very unlikely to happen. 

On top of that, the tiny house should also be in peak condition over a long period so it can hold value — something that’s difficult to guarantee since you will be living in it and damages are insanely inevitable. 

#4 Tiny homes need to follow stringent rules

Many people like tiny homes because they offer mobility, require fewer materials to build, and can be built without the need of buying a land property. But these things aren’t really that great if you think deeply about it. 

Yes, you can transport a tiny home from point A to B, but certain states don’t allow tiny house and RV owners to park anywhere they want. In fact, there are only a few places where the law lets you park a tiny one. The reason is because of the combined size of the towing vehicle and the trailer. 

Much like cars, tiny homes on wheels have their designated parking spots. Often so, RV parks allow tiny houses on wheels to settle on their grounds because their sizes are closely similar to RVs. 

Note that there are different types of parking: short-term, long-term, and permanent. Parking in a prohibited spot may result in a $10 fine or more. In some states, living in a tiny house permanently is illegal — most often than not, it is not because of a specific law, but rather the rules aren’t that clear about tiny houses. 

So while a tiny house does offer mobility, at the end of the day, you still have to stress about where you can park your mobile home. 

[Must read: Exactly Where Can You Park A Tiny Home Legally?]

Another thing about tiny homes that might hold you back from getting one is that they have to follow specific building codes, some of which are too stringent. Depending on which state you plan to build your petite home, you must follow a certain set of standards to avoid getting fees or penalties. 

tiny-homes-buiding-codes

For example, in Spur, Texas, they only allow tiny houses that are built on a foundation. It also has to have at least six inches of cement footing with steel reinforced for load-bearing walls. 

In Georgia, you must comply with the standards set by the local state. The minimum area of a tiny house must be not less than 70 square feet, and the dimensions of the rooms must not be less than 7 feet (horizontal dimension). 

Most states require that a tiny home gets inspected to ensure it has complied with all the codes and regulations before it gets approved. 

To summarize, tiny homes could be a bad investment because:

  • While they require fewer building materials, the total cost of building or buying tiny homes is actually expensive.
  • A tiny home can be a home, but not a house.
  • They depreciate just as fast as vehicles do.
  • There are many building codes and jurisdictions that must be complied. 

Final Thoughts

So, are tiny houses a good idea or a terrible investment? You’ll be the judge. One thing’s for sure: tiny homes offer a lot of benefits, but like anything else, they have setbacks that could hold you back from owning one. 

Others move into tiny homes not by choice, but because it’s only what they can truly afford. Some people downsize to experience a mortgage- and debt-free living. And many transition into tiny homes to build a better environment and community. 

Whatever your reason is for considering tiny homes, you must weigh the good things and the bad things about them. By understanding the upsides and downsides of tiny house living, you’d be able to make an educated choice that could benefit you and your family. 

Related Questions

Do you pay property taxes on a tiny house?

Yes, but it won’t be as enormous as with traditional homeownership. You’ll likely pay an annual personal property tax on your tiny home as a trailer or an RV. 

Will banks finance a tiny house?

Banks can finance a tiny house, but most choose not to. Several reasons drive banks not to shell out money on a tiny house: tiny houses depreciate as fast as vehicles, for example.