Month: February 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tiny home safety: Inside your home

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

Bathroom 

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

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

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

1. Install grab bars. 

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

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

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

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

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

3. Add anti-slip accessories.

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

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

4. Add tamper-resistant outlets. 

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

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

5. Install night lights. 

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

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

Kitchen 

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

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

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

1. Use a cast-iron skillet. 

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

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

2. Stock on hooks. 

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

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

3. Prevent gas buildup in your propane stoves.

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

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

4. Avoid/eliminate electric stove hazards.

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

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

5. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby. 

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

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

Bedroom 

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

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

1. Prevent bed bug-friendly moisture. 

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

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

2. Use dust-proof pillow and mattress covers. 

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

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

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

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

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

Tiny home safety: Outside and beyond

Travelling/On-road safety

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

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

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

1. Follow the required service schedule. 

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

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

2. Ensure there’s proper weight distribution. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Storms, hurricanes, etc. 

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

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

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

1. Elevate your tiny house.

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

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

2. Toughen your roof against strong winds. 

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

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

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

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

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

4. Secure your appliances. 

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

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

5. Invest in your insulation. 

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

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

Protection against theft

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

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

1. Use wheel clamps and claws. 

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

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

2. Purchase heavy chains. 

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

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

3. Get trailer hitch locks.

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

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

4. Buy an alarm system. 

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

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

5. Conceal a tracking device in your tiny house.

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

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

Conclusion 

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

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

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

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

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

Related questions

Do tiny houses get stolen? 

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

How do I keep my tiny house from being stolen? 

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

How do you disconnect a trailer? 

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

10 Surprising Reasons Why Critics Don’t Like Tiny Houses

10 Surprising Reasons Why Critics Don’t Like Tiny Houses

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why critics don’t like tiny houses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Not the most ideal space for pregnancy.

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

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

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

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

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

3. Raising a kid is difficult. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Structural safety concerns.

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. The high cost of building one.

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

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

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

How much can a tiny house cost?

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

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

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

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

6. Inevitable isolation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Poor-performing resale value.

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Sanitation issues. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. There are many fakes in the industry. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. Too many legal hoops and obstacles. 

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

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

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

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

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

More about tiny house critics 

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

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

Restricted common area

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

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

Not enough space for recreation

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

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

Complicated for throwing a party

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

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

Zoning issues

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

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

Conclusion 

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

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

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

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

Related questions 

Why is tiny house living illegal? 

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

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

Can you live in a shed in Oregon? 

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

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

What rooms do tiny houses have?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Make Your Tiny House Immovable 

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

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

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

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

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

2. Lock Up Your Tiny House

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

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

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

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

3. Lock the Doors and Windows

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

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

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

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

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

4. Install LED Outdoor Safety Lights

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Have a Security System for your Tiny House 

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. Install Security Cameras 

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

Do everything you can to make sure that your tiny house is safe. Always remember that prevention is better than cure. It is better that you prevent your tiny house from getting stolen than looking for it once it is lost.

12 Life-Saving Tips for Living in a Tiny House with Kids

12 Life-Saving Tips for Living in a Tiny House with Kids

living-in-a-tiny-house-with-kids
Living in a tiny house with kids can be challenging but a fun experience for all of you.

Living in a tiny house has its own sets of advantages and disadvantages. But living in a tiny house with kids is a totally different story. One thing is for sure, it comes with a lot of benefits. 

One pertinent benefit of living in a tiny house with kids is that you can save money from house and utility bills. This means that you have extra bucks to spend on other things such as treating your kids to a sweet dessert. Aside from you can save money, you are also teaching your kids to be frugal and eco-friendly when you are living in a tiny house. 

But of course, living in a tiny house with kids isn’t exactly as good as it sounds. It has its drawbacks too. Normally, kids love to play around and get messy and chaotic at times.

Dealing with chaos and mess in a full-sized house is already challenging, what more in a tiny house, right? This could even make you question whether your decision to live in a ti y house with kids is right or not. 

The key to successfully living in a tiny house with kids is to plan ahead of time. Living with your kids in a tiny house could be a fun learning experience for all of you. Here are 12 real-life tips on how you can survive to live in a tiny house with kids.

1. Be Practical with Your Home Design 

Surviving living in a tiny house with kids starts with how you will design your home. It all starts with a plan that is made on the drafting board. If you want to live comfortably and happily in a tiny house with your kids, you have to choose a layout that is fitted for you and your kids. 

your home. It all starts with a plan that is made on the drafting board. If you want to live comfortably and happily in a tiny house with your kids, you have to choose a layout that is fitted for you and your kids. 

The layout and features if your tiny house should simplify your lifestyle. For example, instead of going for a smaller sink, you can choose a larger one. Why? Because most probably, your dishes will get piled up with all the responsibilities you have on your shoulder. 

Also, you could have a small bathtub installed instead of having a shower alone. Having a shower alone is space-saving but is not practical just especially when your floor is not engineered. Remember, kids, love to run around when their feet are wet. Your floor might get destroyed easily because of that. 

2. Go for a Big Porch Where Your Kids can Play and Run Around

For sure, you grew up in a full-sized house since tiny houses were invented not too long ago. This means that you have a lot of fond memories playing and running around inside the house. Just like you, kids love to play in big spaces too. 

They can’t spend a long time staying indoors, more so if they are living in a tiny house. The limited space that tiny houses offer is something that they can’t easily deal with. This is most especially true when they are very active and love to play and run. 

Due to this, having a large porch in your tiny house is a good idea. With this, your kids can have enough space that they need to have fun. Aside from having a place to play, they can also hang out and relax here. 

If your tiny house is built somewhere with a beautiful view, like near the ocean or forest, then that is even better. They would feel like they are just camping. They can have a sense of freedom even when they are just near you.

living-in-a-tiny-house-with-kids
Kids easily get bored that is why it pays off if you build your tiny house somewhere with a picturesque scene.

3. Design Your Tiny House with Expansion Mind 

If you are already in a tiny house and have plans to have more kids, you should design your homes with that thought. Make your home expandable so that you can easily make space for new family members. You can give them the space that they need so that your tiny house won’t feel too crowded. 

For example, you can have a covered patio that you can easily close and turn it into an extra room once you have another kid. With this, your kids can have their own bedroom right in your tiny house. 

Have your tiny house designed in such a way that you can make more room for adjustments as needed. In as much as possible, do not go for a confined design which will make it hard for you to have more space very soon, when changes are necessary.

4. Set Up Spaces in Your Tiny House for Kids’ Storage 

Living in a tiny house isn’t the same as living in a big suburban house. This means that most if not all of the stuff of your kids are stored in their bedroom while yours are stored somewhere in the house. But living in a tiny house doesn’t work this way. 

With the limited space that you have, you and your kids have to equally share the space. Their things will be stored I lofts around the house unlike in a traditional house where their stuff is stored in their own bedrooms. 

It is very important that you allot spaces for your kids’ staff to be more organized. This will also make it easier to find their things when they need them. And, your tiny house will look even better as well.

Keep in mind that your space is very limited which makes it necessary for you to be creative in maximizing the available spaces that you have for your kids. In as much as possible, do not allow even just an inch of space to be wasted. Get the most out of what your tiny house has to offer. 

living-in-a-tiny-house-with-kids
Space storage for your kids’ stuff is very important to keep your tiny house clutter-free and organized.

5. Set Aside Spaces for Private Time

Living in a tiny house doesn’t mean that you can’t have your own private time. That’s not the way it goes. Tiny houses don’t take away privacy from you. 

Achieving privacy in a tiny house is very difficult but is possible. Privacy is important not just to you but to your kids as well most especially when you are living with a teenager. So make sure that you provide them the private space that they need. 

To do so, you could have a wall dividers. But if you are rubbing out of budget, a thick curtain to cover the space will do. TheSpaceesn’t have to be big. What matters most is that they can have their own private space where no one is watching over them almost all the time. 

Having a private space in a tiny house is really challenging. Like how can you even have that with such limited space? Well, creativity and resourcefulness is the key.

6. At Some Point, Plan to Build Your Tiny House for your Teens

Your kids won’t kids won’t stay kids forever. They will eventually grow up and become teens. This means that the comfort they are feeling right now of having you around even when they are sleeping won’t be the same soon. 

Most probably, they will crave to have their own personal space soon. They will look for autonomy and would like to try to be on their own. With this, considering such changes is very necessary when planning to build your tiny house. 

A good way to give them what they want is to let them build and design their own tiny house. Doing so gives them the opportunity to do whatever they want in their tiny house while they are gaining construction skills along the way. This will also teach them to become more sufficient. And you are helping them to become financially free from paying the mortgage and all very soon. 

This is indeed a good idea for your child to have more freedom and autonomy over their life. Plus, this will teach them to be more responsible for their decisions. 

7. Give Kids a “Hideaway”

What does giving kids a hideaway mean? Well, there are times that a nook isn’t enough to give your kids the privacy that they need. Sometimes, what they need is a hideaway where they can be free.

Perhaps, you can build a Kid Cave for them to give them complete privacy. You can build it underneath their bed where your child fits. For your kid to have fun, you can also add fun games and activities that they can do while they are there. 

In making their hideaway, make sure that they are comfortable and that they are safe. Their safety is very important. You should always consider it when making their own private space. 

living-in-a-tiny-house-with-kids
Building your tiny house with kids in mind is a very important step in preparing towards the tiny house lifestyle.

8. Put Away Project Materials at the End of the Day

The living room of your tiny house can be very messy when you or your child is working on something. If you are living in a full-sized house, you can just leave it when you can’t finish it within the day. You can just store them in the garage, basement, or in the bedroom. 

But since you are living in a tiny house, doing so is not allowed. Not unless you want to live in a total mess. With tiny houses, you do not have the luxury of enough space. 

Left out projects will accumulate clutter rapidly. In no time, this could get all the spaces that you have to relax, eat, and do other activities. So, the best thing to do is to have a separate space where you can do projects. The space could also serve as storage for u finished projects and project supplies. 

It is very important that you put away any material that you have used during the day. This will make your space clutter-free and more organized.

9. Use a Storage Shed for Toys 

Kids love toys that they collect a lot of them. But their toys can easily add up to a lot of clutter. This makes it necessary for you to do something to ensure that your tiny house will still look organized and clutter-free. 

In as much as you want to keep away the toys of your kids away, it would be impossible to do so. This is especially true when your kids are very attached to their toys. So, your best option is to build a storage shed at the back of your tiny house. If building a shed is impossible, then your next best choice is to rent a shed nearby. What is important is that your kids can easily access their toys and your tiny house is not chaotic. 

Your tiny house has very limited space. The toys of your kids will eat up much of this space if you do not put them somewhere else. So, in as much as possible, keep them away inside of your tiny house. 

10. Carefully Weigh the Pros and Cons of Homeschool

Another important thing that you have to consider is whether you are going to homeschool your kids or not. Many tiny homeowners choose to homeschool their kids due to their lifestyle. Homeschooling their kids gives them the freedom to move from one place to another or to live off the grid. 

But the thing is, homeschooling the kids takes away their chance to mingle and learn from their peers. They are not given the chance to experience the school setting. Moreover, their kids are only given limited means to develop their social well being. 

There is no such thing as right or wrong when deciding whether you will homeschool your child or not. It differs from one family to another. Homeschooling might be the best option for your child. But what is best for you isn’t exactly the same for others. The point is, do what you think is better and more convenient for you and your child.

living-in-a-tiny-house-with-kids
Homeschooling a kid when you are living in a tiny house has its own set of good and bad.

11. Go for Convertible Spaces

Living in a tiny house with kids means that you have to create multifunctional areas to maximize everything. Like for example, the bed takes up a lot of space in your tiny house. And if you make it convertible, then basically you are saving space and money at the same time. 

When it comes to sleeping space and beddings for your kids, always choose designs that are multi-functional. You can find a lot of these multifunctional designs in apartments. These designs work great when adapted to tiny houses. 

In as much as possible, choose a design that serves multiple functions. Instead of going for a large bed, why not choose a sofa bed instead? This way, you have something to sit during the day and your kids can sleep there at night. Be creative in discovering what you can do to make every space useful in your ting house. 

12. Focus on Quality Over Quantity 

When living in a tiny house with kids, it is better that you buy high-quality stuff. Go for stuff that doesn’t easily get destroyed. This is because your kids will surely move and play around. 

With the limited space that you have, your kids could easily mess up and break your stuff. With this, you will have to bug another from time to time. And, that is more expensive than you think. 

If you think you have saved from buying cheaper things, then you are certainly wrong. High-quality materials last longer while cheaper materials easily get destroyed. And you might not notice it, but you actually have spent more on buying every time certain stuff is destroyed.

Get more ideas here.

Conclusion:

 Living in a tiny house is very challenging but is possible. You can make it work as long as you are prepared and you certainly know what to do. If you have been planning to live in a tiny house but is holding off because of your kids, then think again. 

Having kids around isn’t exactly a problem. Your kids will adapt just fine in no time. So, go and live the tiny house lifestyle now. 

Related Questions:

Is it okay to live in a tiny house with kids?

Yes, it is certainly okay to live in a tiny house with kids. There is no such law that prohibits you from living in a tiny house with kids. But of course, you have to be responsible for ensuring that your kids are safe. Besides, raising a kid in a tiny house is less expensive. 

What is the best thing to do when living in a tiny house with kids?

The best thing to do is to make our tiny house child-friendly. This is possible by baby-proofing your house. It is also very important that you keep away sharp and harmful materials. And if possible, do not leave your kid unattended. 

Can kids still have fun even when they are living in a tiny house?

Yes, they can still have fun even when they are living in a tiny house. After all, happiness doesn’t rely on how big or small the house is. But of course, it pays if you exert extra effort for your kids to have fun. You can give them a space where they can play.

Zoning Regulations: The Most Tiny House-friendly States Out There

Zoning Regulations: The Most Tiny House-friendly States Out There

Are you looking for the most tiny house-friendly states? You’re right for doing so. 

These places usually have lenient or, in other cases, limited zoning regulations. 

Zoning regulations primarily exist for the public’s safety and wellness. That is why any interested buyer or builder should not only have an inkling about these laws; they should also follow them. 

That brings us to the importance of being aware of the tiny house-friendly states. Not all states in the U.S. are friendlier with tiny homes.

By knowing these tiny house-friendly states, not only will you avoid hassles, but you will also be at peace since you’re not violating any zoning codes.

The most tiny house-friendly states in the U.S.

When a state is tiny house-friendly, it means they have looser zoning regulations for tiny houses. It could also mean their laws for Recreational Vehicles (RVs) is friendlier.

Since Tiny Houses on Wheels (THOWs) are considered RVs in some states, then the same lenient laws also apply to them. 

Here are the most tiny house-friendly states.

1. Texas 

most tiny house-friendly states - dallas, texas
Aerial drone view uptown Dallas, Texas during sunny autumn day.

Why are they friendly? 

Texas is one of the most tiny-house friendly states out there. It welcomes tiny houses with wide-open arms. In fact, in 2014, Spur became the first town in the U.S. to have tiny house-friendly zoning ordinances. Texas has relatively limited zoning regulations, which makes it easier for people to buy lands and build their small abodes.

The latest news about tiny houses, RVs, and ADUs

Houston is already gearing towards the trend even though they don’t have official zoning regulations. Spur, meanwhile, is steadfast in encouraging people to invest in their town’s lots and build their lives there. They are even preparing to help in people’s transitioning to tiny houses.

2. California

Why are they friendly? 

This sunny state is also friendly with tiny houses. However, they have notable house rules. In 2016, based on the California Department of Housing and Community Development, a tiny house should have a chassis with axles. The house should also measure under 400 square feet. Homeowners must follow that plus other local-specific zoning rules of each city in Cali. 

The latest news about tiny houses, RVs, and ADUs

In December 2019, Los Angeles has officially legalized Tiny Houses on Wheels (THOWs), viewing them as Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). Meanwhile, the Park Delta Bay of North California is the only legal tiny house community as of the moment.

3. North Carolina 

Why are they friendly? 

Just like California, NC is another one of the most tiny house-friendly states. That is, as long as they follow zoning and construction codes. You can own a small abode anywhere within Brevard, Asheville, and Buncombe County. However, they are cold with THOWs, prohibiting them anywhere except in campgrounds. 

The latest news about tiny houses, RVs, and ADUs

December 2019 has been a progressive month for tiny houses in NC as well. The first draft of the RV/Mobile Home Park Ordinance has been written by the Board Of Commissioners for Clay County. The aim of the ordinance is to regulate the mobile homes properly in the area. It also promotes appropriate street planning. 

4. Colorado 

most tiny house-friendly states - denver, colorado
Panorama of Denver skyline long exposure at twilight.

Why are they friendly? 

Tiny houses also find a home in Colorado, but not without having a few thorns to its existence. Particularly, THOWs still get parking restrictions. Still, compared to other states, it has been doing well. It even has its first legal tiny house community, the Peak View Park. 

The latest news about tiny houses, RVs, and ADUs

Last Jan 22, 2020, the Denver Channel reported that the Boulder City Council updated their building code. The changes allowed people and builders to build tiny houses in residential areas starting July 1, 2020. 

5. Arizona

Why are they friendly? 

Tiny houses are allowed in Arizona, given that they follow the required size and space restrictions by the state’s building code. There are also several notable tiny house communities in Arizona such as the Village on 13 (V13), Tiny Camp Sedona, and LuxTiny Community. 

The latest news about tiny houses, RVs, and ADUs

Last January 2020, FOX 10 reported good news for foster kids in Phoenix. Those who have outgrown the system can now live on their own in 240 square feet tiny houses. This initiative was spearheaded by Thrive, an organization that supports age-out young people. 

6. Georgia 

Why are they friendly? 

Georgia’s zoning regulations vary in every jurisdiction, but their building codes have been updated to tiny houses’ favor. In 2017, Georgia allowed the minimum size of livable rooms to reduce into 120 to 70 square feet.

According to this factsheet, RVs, mobile homes, site-built dwellings, and Residential Industrialized Buildings each has to follow different zoning codes.

The latest news about tiny houses, RVs, and ADUs

Similar to Phoenix, AZ, people with compassion and money are also seeing tiny houses as housing solutions. In fact, an anonymous donation was sent to Hand by Hand to build 60 tiny houses in Glynn County, each measuring 240 square feet. 

7. Idaho 

most tiny house-friendly states - boise, idaho
Colorful balloons in a blue sky over the little city of Boise, Idaho.

Why are they friendly? 

Idaho sure is one of the most tiny house-friendly states in America. It has become more welcoming to tiny houses by being the first state to adopt the IRC Tiny House Appendix V on June 27, 2017.

That was a major move since the appendix describes the tiny house as a dwelling that measures 400 square feet. This, in turn, encouraged the reduction of the square foot threshold from 500 square feet to 400 square feet. 

The latest news about tiny houses, RVs, and ADUs

In Moscow, the Moscow City Council has now allowed RVs and THOWs are now allowed in mobile home parks. The mayor himself, Bill Lambert led the council. Each member was supportive of the decision. 

8. Indiana

Why are they friendly? 

Indiana is moderately warming to tiny houses. Still, properties considered as tiny houses will have to comply with the Log Cabin Rule, which adheres to Indiana’s old housing regulations. Indiana also has tiny house communities such as the Lomax Tiny House Community, which is around the Kankakee River.

The latest news about tiny houses, RVs, and ADUs

Tiny houses are also being used in Indianapolis to help homeless people. Last year, in Nov 2019, it was reported that the Lynhurst Baptist Church will build 28 tiny houses for citizens who don’t have houses. Each of the dwellings will measure 264 square feet. 

9. Michigan

Why are they friendly? 

This Midwestern state has no state-wide zoning laws that prohibit tiny houses. However, it has the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act. This allows legislative bodies within Michigan to demand zoning requirements from tiny houses. Also according to the Michigan State Building Code, the required minimum size for dwellings is 120 square feet. 

The latest news about tiny houses, RVs, and ADUs

Based on Great Lakes Tiny Homes, a tiny house-friendly area in Michigan is Newberg Township. Still, properties will be subjected to the State of Michigan Residential Building Code. 

11. Minnesota

most tiny house-friendly states - Minnesota
Downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota at night time as seen from the famous stone arch bridge.

Why are they friendly? 

Minnesota approves of tiny houses. Their 2020 Minnesota Residential Code, defines tiny houses as dwellings that measure 400 square feet excluding the loft. In 2016, American Tiny House Association reported that the state was about to pass a law that allows THOWs in backyards.

The latest news about tiny houses, RVs, and ADUs

The state allows tiny houses, indeed—oddly, its citizens are quite adamant about the movement. Twin Cities Pioneer Press reported that the people might be hesitant because of zoning codes or property depreciation. 

13. Nevada

Why are they friendly? 

Nevada is warm towards the construction of tiny houses—that is, of course, if they measure under 200 square feet. Meanwhile, Las Vegas and Clark County have varying zoning regulations, but you can build an RV or tiny house in your own lot or in a tiny house community. Nevada’s first-ever tiny house community was the Airstream Village. 

The latest news about tiny houses, RVs, and ADUs

The Tiny House Movement is becoming more prominent in Clark County, Henderson, and Las Vegas, where the tiny houses are treated as RVs. The most notable tiny house communities are Sugar Shack, Goldspike Backyard and Ferguson Downtown. It’s no doubt that it’s one of the most tiny house-friendly states in the United States.

15. South Dakota

Why are they friendly? 

South Dakota allows the building of tiny houses in their state as well. Tiny houses on foundation, particularly, have to comply with Spearfish’s residential zoning laws. The house must measure at least 450 square feet. And if someone moves in after the construction of the tiny house, the owner must add an extra 100 square feet for the occupant. 

The latest news about tiny houses, RVs, and ADUs

At the moment, South Dakota has done a good job in regulating tiny houses, especially in Beresford and Spearfish. The state has approved ordinances that work in favor of the movement. It’s safe to say that the future also looks bright for tiny house communities in the area. 

16. Tennessee

Nashville, TenneseeUSA - January 30, 2020 Nashville city skyline, including the AT&T Tower or Batman Building
Nashville, Tennesee/USA – January 30, 2020: Nashville city skyline, including the AT&T Tower or Batman Building

Why are they friendly? 

Tennessee allows the building of tiny houses provided that the properties follow the building code’s requirements. A new tiny house community also developed in East Tennessee.

Interestingly, many municipalities in Tennessee don’t require building codes and impose zoning regulations, but you still have to pay and submit an Electrical and Septic Permit. 

The latest news about tiny houses, RVs, and ADUs

News Channel Nashville reported that a big demand for tiny houses has been growing in Tennessee. In Nashville, tiny houses can be built in the backyards of multi-family duplexes. 

More about zoning regulations

Every state, county, and city has a specific set of zoning regulations. But why should homeowners and business owners follow those rules? We answered your questions below.

Why should you follow zoning regulations? 

Zoning regulations don’t just exist for compliance. These are state and city laws that ensure an individual’s quality of life during the entirety of their residence in a house or occupancy a corporate building. 

In a nutshell, zoning laws protect the health, safety, and wellness of the residents. Without them, any city would be in disarray. And that is why you should follow them. 

What are the consequences of violating zoning regulations? 

Violating zoning regulations results in serious trouble. The person in question may have to pay civil penalties. Their properties might also be demolished or seized. 

In most cases, the person in question is served with a citation, which requires them to appear in court and then enter their plea. 

If they’re found guilty, the zoning authority in that area might “blacklist” that person if he or she is guilty of the violation. They won’t secure a zoning permit for that person in the future.

How does zoning regulations benefit homeowners?

  • Implementing zoning regulations prevents overcrowding of structures in a residential area. Overcrowding will bring many safety and health risks—fire hazards, noise, poor quality of life, and easier spread of diseases.
  • The best development standards on space and height in properties, preventing overcrowding inside a property. 
  • These laws encourage the preservation of property values by prohibiting the incompatibility of infrastructures in one area. For example, a liquor store shouldn’t be built near a school.
  • Zoning regulations also help maintain the aesthetic quality of a neighborhood since it creates and preserves recreation areas.
  • Through the enforcement of zoning laws, residential properties and commercial structures are protected from each other’s inevitable nuisance.

In a nutshell

Through knowing the regulations of these states in the U.S., you will save yourself from a tantamount of legal and financial blunders. 

Whether you’re planning to move into another state or you just want to build a tiny house in your backyard, zoning is the very first aspect you should study. 

If possible, get help from a property developer or inquire at your local zoning authority. 

Related questions 

What are the tiny home-friendly cities in California?

In Fresno, California, Tiny House On Wheels (THOWs) can find a good home. Other areas in California such as Long Beach, Milpitas City, and Marin County are also making their regulations of ADUs and tiny houses friendlier. Fresno, particularly, made waves by announcing that they allow secondary houses and THOWs on properties without a caregiver. 

What is the average size of a tiny house?

Mostly, you will find tiny houses that measure under 400 square feet. Some tiny houses on foundations can go beyond that size. Tiny houses on wheels, on the other hand, measure under 2.4 meters by 6 meters.

How to live big in a tiny living space: The best ideas and hacks

How to live big in a tiny living space: The best ideas and hacks

The Tiny House Movement, like its name, can often leave a person feeling small. Do you feel the same? Well, you need to find ways to live big in a tiny living space. 

In your downsized living journey, feeling inadequate is typical; but you shouldn’t have to stay that way forever. 

In this post, we listed a few hacks on how to live big in a tiny living space.

Live big in a tiny living space: What does it mean?

To “live big in a tiny living space” means residing comfortably and living your best life in a small home. Just because you’re living in a tiny house doesn’t mean you should prevent yourself from tasting the good life. 

Now, that might confuse others. The purpose of living in a tiny house is to downsize and sustain a minimalist lifestyle, right? 

Well, that’s true. However, being human, you need your own space to nurture your creativity. That space, of course, is usually your house, where you feel the most comfortable.   

As a result of feeling comfortable, you’re more eager to let loose, make mistakes— thus resulting in you generating the best ideas. Heck, living in a tiny house might even make your imagination run even wilder.

That’s why to “live big in a tiny living space” is essential. It lets you enjoy life and nurture your creativity even in a small area. 

So, how do you actually live big in a tiny living space? 

In life, you have to be pragmatic to achieve pleasure. You have to work hard in order to play hard. If you want to live big in a tiny living space, then be prepared to make adjustments mainly in the following: 

  • Your tiny house
  • Habits
  • Lifestyle

Nevertheless, don’t think about changing your whole personality in a snap just to live big in a tiny living space. To know what we’re talking about, you can take the popular YouTube channel, Living Big in a Tiny House, for example.

As you can observe from their videos, different individuals with various jobs and personalities manage to live in a tiny house happily. They achieved to live big in a tiny house because they made adjustments and perhaps sacrifices. 

Below, we provided some ideas and hacks on how you can live big in a tiny house. 

Live big in a tiny living space: Ideas and hacks

1. Don’t balance light and dark.

live big in a tiny living space - tiny house interior with brown and white hues
Don’t put too many dark objects inside your tiny house.

You want to start creating a spacious look to live largely in a tiny living space. Investing lighter hues in your walls and furniture is a good jumping start. 

Don’t meet halfway when it comes to lighter and deeper hues in your tiny home. Use your dark accessories and furniture pieces sparingly. 

As for your walls and even your ceilings, off-white, stark white, and light taupe paint is a good idea. You can start contrasting those colors with their deeper versions. Finally, top it all off with a few pieces of dark-hued furniture and accessories

2. Create a reading nook. 

To live big in a tiny house, you must nurture your alone time; therefore, you must dedicate a space as your personal reading nook, no matter how small you think your space is. Here’s how to do it. 

  1. Choose a corner in your loft or bedroom with good lighting and ventilation. 
  2. Find a good chair—something on which you can relax for an hour or two. 
  3. Make it a comfortable space. Put throw pillows, a light blanket, and a small coffee table with storage under it. 
  4. Do your best to seclude the area or, at least, the chair from the other sections of the bedroom or the loft.
  5. Use a stack of boxes to conceal your nook, but not too much that it overshadows the natural light. 

3. Hook ‘em on the wall. 

;ive big in a tiny living space - mounted kitchen utensils and pans on hooks
Hooks should be staples in every tiny house!

Have you ever heard about using the power of hooks? Many homeowners swear by hooks in saving space in their tiny homes. They’re great because not only are they durable but they also stick to anywhere, literally—plastic, metal, wood, glass, or tiles surfaces. 

Want to be smart in living small? Follow these tips in using hooks:

  • Repurpose your main door into storage by hanging a bag with similar-sized pockets for brushes, dog-leashes, screws, and other knick-knacks. 
  • Stick a hook to your baking ingredients container and hang your measuring cups on them. 
  • Drill holes in your plant and herb pots and hang them on the hooks. 
  • Stick two hooks and hang caddies on your kitchen or bathroom. You can now store your spices, beauty products, and bath products. 
  • Got drawers and open storage boxes? Stick three hooks on the inside walls and hang whatever you need to. 

4. Invest in mirrors. 

This one’s pretty obvious already, right? Mirrors instantly widen an area in a small house, but how about in a tiny house under 400 square meter? 

The key is setting aside a premium space only for mirrors. If the goal is to make an illusion of spaciousness, then it wouldn’t be a waste of wall space, right? 

So, strategically place your mirrors in places where a lot of natural light hits the wall. If you have an empty wall space adjacent to windows, then you can place them there. 

Oh, and we suggest using wall mirrors instead of standing mirrors to save more floor space.

5. Buy pegboards. 

White pegboard with a pouch and cacti
You can do hundreds of creative and organizational activities with pegboards.

Pegboards are rectangular pieces of wood or metal with a uniform row of holes. The best thing about pegboards is they are like Google Spreadsheets—you can customize them to your heart’s content. And that is why they should be a permanent staple in your tiny house!

Almost anything is possible to store using pegboards. Here’s how to use them. 

  • Place them above your kitchen sink. Stick caddies for your spices and dishwashing liquid. Hang a small towel rack as well.
  • Use the space above your bed by placing a pegboard. You can hang caddies for your phone chargers, books, and even lamps. 
  • You can also use a pegboard for your art. Bond with your kids by stitching colorful threads on a plain pegboard. 
  • Do you feel like the sunlight hitting on your tiny house’s outside walls is being put to waste? Just stick a pegboard and place your succulents and cacti. That sunlight will never go to waste again. 
  • If you have kids, you can use a pegboard to hang their artwork, art materials, and achievements. Meanwhile, if you live alone, you can hang pictures, printed photos of inspirational quotes, and more. You can make magical places of inspiration using pegboards!

6. Schedule a monthly storage cleanup. 

We know, this is not easy to do… With a busy schedule, a hectic work routine, you can’t possibly follow a by-monthly cleanup six months in a row. 

However, just like with achieving big goals, you can win by starting small! You have plenty of storage and shelves in your tiny house, right? 

Don’t do an entire cleanup of all your storage spaces. Start with your kitchen. Separate the things you stored into two categories:

1 – Those you’ve been storing for quite some time but didn’t really get to use

2 – Those you can see yourself using in the long run 

Ditch those items in number 1 and keep those things you placed under number 2. Next month, you can proceed to purge your bedroom’s storage spaces. 

7. KonMari your life. 

organized clothes and potted flowers on shelves
Celebrate tidying up and getting peace of mind in your tiny house.

As a downsizing enthusiast, you probably heard about Marie Kondo by now… or at least you have an inkling about her and her KonMari method. 

Why should you try practicing it in your tiny house? Well, the most unique aspect of the KonMari method is tidying up by category and not by location. This makes tidying not only just a chore but also a healing process for the people involved. 

The method requires the user to tidy these five categories but not necessarily in order: 

  1. Clothes
  2. Miscellaneous items
  3. Books 
  4. Paper
  5. Sentimental items 

As you can see, there’s a category called sentimental items. In a tiny house, space is highly crucial, so you can’t allow yourself to be too attached to multiple sentimental items. 

That’s why we suggest you follow the KonMari process. It’s empathetic and unique, which is refreshing for people who constantly tidy up their small spaces. 

8. Practice the art of Wabi-Sabi. 

Okay, enough about tidying. How about preserving? 

If KonMari celebrates bidding farewell to essential and non-essential things, then practicing Wabi-Sabi will help you make peace of living without the most unnecessary thing of it all—perfection. 

Wabi-Sabi is the ancient Japanese philosophy of appreciating life’s flaws and mistakes. It is a worldview that accepts and celebrates imperfection. 

If you live in a tiny house, practicing wabi-sabi will be a great foundation. It will help you fully embrace the downsized life. 

How? As human beings, we tend to desire stuff and believe that owning them can make us feel great… but we all know that’s not what happens, right? Or it could be that you felt that temporary high after owning that pair of shoes, but after a few days, you didn’t seem to feel that great anymore. 

If you practice wabi-sabi, you will feel okay, or even satisfied with not owning many things. As a result, you might not even get to the point where you need to do a monthly storage cleanup—because it’s not your thing to keep things that are not essential! 

Practicing wabi-sabi will make you feel grateful that you are living the downsized life.

9. Be smart with your windows. 

Live big in a tiny living space: a cozy young guy looking out the window
Windows are “your eyes” to the soulful, beautiful views outside.

You might not have realized it yet, but windows are a big deal in tiny houses. 

In a tiny house or an RV, wall space is crucial; therefore, your windows’ placements must be worth the space they are occupying. Particularly, your windows’ positions should allow for a cross-breeze, which provides optimal ventilation. 

Moreover, don’t hesitate to open your windows during the day if it’s not raining. Let the natural air in. Besides improving the indoor airflow, the sunlight will also energize you more if you’re feeling lethargic. 

To keep on getting those benefits in your tiny house, follow these tips about taking care of your windows:

  • Make them moisture-resistant by applying a sealant. We recommend choosing vinyl windows if you haven’t built your tiny house yet. 
  • Add panes to your window if you’re traveling in cold places—make your windows triple-pane. 
  • Attach shutters or use tempered glass if you’re always on the road.  

Being clever with your windows will make a big impact on your living in ways you never thought it could. 

10. Go for solar. 

Finally, we arrive at sustainability. What better way to live largely by cutting even more dollars from your utility expenses? 

Even if your tiny house has a foundation, we suggest you get solar panels. 

The benefits of installing solar panels on your roof are independence, more after-tax budget, and extra cash. 

You become more independent by generating your own electricity, which means you’ll be learning more about sustainable energy along the way. Through this, you might find or even innovate ways to recreate clean energy. 

By saving a huge percent on your electricity bills, you can spend those extra dollars on recreation, learning, and even charity instead. More after-tax money means you can allocate more to other important things as well. 

Finally, you can even gain extra dollars by selling back your generated electricity to the grid. It will also offset your average energy consumption. As for the rates, it depends on where you live. 

Will doing it make you a bit richer? Nah. Doing this might not make you wealthy, but it can already help you save for the rainy day. 

Now, THAT is how you live big in a tiny house.

Final thoughts 

Well, what did we say? We listed the pragmatic things you could do to achieve a pleasurable life even if you’re residing in a tiny house. 

As you can see, it’s not that hard to live big in a tiny living space. Don’t limit yourself just because your home’s size is not gigantic. 

Remember: you can live big by starting with small steps. Just follow our effective tips above. 

Related questions 

How big is the Tiny House Movement? 

The Tiny House Movement is not only popular in the U.S. but also in other developed countries—Japan, Germany, Britain, New Zealand, Australia, France, and Spain. People from all walks of life have started downsizing to achieve financial freedom. Some states in the U.S. are starting to be more lenient with this movement, while others are still hesitant in giving this movement a chance. 

What is the biggest tiny house?

The typical tiny house measures under 400 square feet, but the biggest tiny house you can build is 4 meters tall and 2.6 meters wide. However, some tiny house enthusiasts say you can go beyond that if you’re building an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). ADUs don’t have wheels, while Tiny House on Wheels (THOWs) are basically RVs, so you’re limited to their prefab size.

RVs and ADUs: Which one would suit you best?

RVs and ADUs: Which one would suit you best?

RVs and ADUs have become more in demand, as everybody is downsizing these days. From their eating habits and their clothing to their houses—people are craving more for something less in their lives. 

But how do you know which of those two is suitable for you? You must carefully consider this. Just because you’re pining for smaller dwellings doesn’t mean the consequences for the wrong choice is also tiny. 

In this blog post, we explained the differences between Recreational Vehicles (RVs) and Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). We also listed the things you should consider when shopping for an RV or an ADU, so you can make a better-informed buying choice.

RVs and ADUs: What are the differences?

two white RVs on the mountains
RVs and ADUs: Which of them is right for you?

First, let’s make it clear. Recreational Vehicles (RVs) have wheels, but Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) don’t. A property has to be built on a foundation to be legally considered an ADU. 

RVs are also known as tiny houses on wheels, while tiny houses on foundations may be considered as ADUs given they meet the required minimum size. That size varies in every state. 

RVs are not considered ADUs because they have added safety risks due to being mobile. As a result, they are more difficult to regulate. For instance, the city of Boise, Idaho, prohibits tiny houses on wheels (THOWs) from being recognized as ADUs. They consider THOWs as RVs and vice versa. 

ADUs can be any small structure that is a standalone unit. It can also be a former attic or garage that you remodelled, which has its own living space, bathroom, and kitchen. It can also be an added room to an already existing residential house. 

The term ADU also includes structures like casitas, cottages, granny flats, and in-law suites. RVs also have many types, including truck campers, travel trailers, toy haulers, and more, which we discussed in the later sections. 

Choosing between RVs and ADUs: Things to consider

In the later sections, we discussed the different types of RVs and ADUs. However, below, we’ll give you a rundown of the important things to consider when choosing between RVs and ADUs. 

Purpose of buying/building

cute small white house on green grass
For whom or for what are you building this property?

It’s easy to make a choice when you’re clear about your purpose of buying an RV or an ADU. And when we said clear, we meant laser-focus clear. 

For instance, ask questions like: Are you having a family member come over and/or live beside you? Are you financially equipped to tour entire North America? 

If you want to care for your aging in-laws or elderly relatives, then an ADU will be your choice. If you already set aside a budget for travel-by-land expenses, RVs will easily fit your lifestyle. 

Don’t just plan to buy an RV or build an ADU “in case” you might need them in the future.  This is a property, mister/miss—you’re still going to spend a huge amount on these. As a result, your purpose should be clear, urgent, and sure.  

Features and amenities

ADUs can have a similar amount of amenities in a regular house. The only difference is theirs are smaller versions of their amenities.

For example, an ADU like a Granny Flat can have two bedrooms, a toilet and bath, a kitchen, a living area, a porch, and even a garage. You will not get these together with an RV. If you want to live with accessible amenities, then your best choice might be an ADU. 

Although, some RVs have bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen, and a common area. For instance, these travel trailers, such as the Forest River Wildwood, can let up to four people sleep, with each trailer having two to three beds.

Bigger RVs like Fifth-Wheel trailers and Travel Trailers can give ADUs a run for their money when it comes to space. However, if space, especially outdoor space for amenities, is crucial to you, we suggest building an ADU. 

Resale value

RVs and ADUs - resale value
How will this property fare in the future?

If your goal is to live a sustainable life, then you should mull over for a while. Think about a property’s resale value. 

RVs are terrible at holding their value, especially those poorly designed ones and, interestingly, the luxurious, high-end RVs. Although, if an RV is well-designed and well-maintained, it will fare well in the resale value department. 

If you don’t want something that loses its resale value in a wink, maybe an RV is not for you. 

On the other hand, since ADUs are often built separately but nearby the main house, the original property value will increase. Your original PV will increase a good half of its value at 51%

That’s why if you prefer developing your property for a tasty resale in the future, building an ADU is a good idea. 

Budget 

We’re going to give it to you straight. Both are going to be expensive! 

ADUs are basically second houses. It will still require building permits, foundation, structure, electricity, and other essential appliances you need in a regular house. 

Also, other construction fees like the System Development Charges (SDC) may apply to your project, especially if you live in Portland, Oregon. SDC is a one-time payment that will cover sewer and water fees. 

So, it wouldn’t be surprising if your expenses will almost cost you similarly to building a regular house.

RVs, meanwhile, besides their retail price, will have you spending on travel costs and vehicle maintenance fees once you’re out of the car’s warranty. 

When choosing between RVs and ADUs, make sure your budget can compensate for the hidden costs as well. 

Speed of construction 

extended porch, white RV
If you’re in a hurry to travel by land, an RV might suit you better.

This one’s easy, right? RVs are the way to go if you want something immediate. 

You just scour the internet for the best RV deals there is and you’ll find a page or two in a jiffy. If you like customization, you can even design your own RV in RV Wholesalers.

There are even tiny house kits you can use to build your own tiny house. The company will just ship the parts to you. and you can start hammering the nails. Just make sure you have a legal residential lot, first!

Meanwhile, ADUs are generally known to take longer, even if you’re building on the same lot—they often take a year and a half to build. According to Santa Cruz Green Builders, a standalone ADU will take seven months to complete. Converted garages will be faster. 

However, don’t lose hope. There are prefabricated ADUs these days. Prefab ADUs start at $50,000 and can cost as much as $120,000. 

Since they are already pre-built in the factory, they will take a lot shorter to complete. All you need to do is assemble and build it. You can even save a huge deal if you build it yourself.  

Mobility 

This is an easy one, right? If you want a mobile house, go for an RV. ADUs are stuck in your main property’s lot. So, in case you have no plans of moving to another place, ADUs should suit you. 

RVs are for people who don’t like having a permanent address. It’s also suited for people who are financially and emotionally equipped to deal with the legalities of owning a recreational vehicle. 

Living in a mobile house brings many challenges, one of them being the weather. If you’re prepared to weather-proof your RV, then great. Environmental elements will eventually scar your RV, making you spend on maintenance costs. 

Sustainability

a large red house and one small brown house
You can’t invest in a property without looking at its sustainability.

What is sustainability, anyway? It’s the capacity to maintain a property at a steady rate. 

If you want a sustainable property, then all you have to do is to… Go green!

Regardless of whether you own an ADU or an RV, maintenance costs will pile up together with your other expenses. That’s why you should take matters in your own hands before the construction begins or before you buy a prefab ADU. 

Make sure you’re working on an energy-efficient property. Consider solar panels, well-designed ventilation, environmentally-friendly construction materials and sealants, and more. 

Any ADU or RV can be energy-efficient as long as you take the time and effort in making sure it does become that way.

More about RVs and ADUs

Are ADUs expensive to build? 

RVs and ADUs - small white house
ADUs can be as expensive as a regular house.

It depends on the kind of ADU you’re trying to build. However, they are pricey to build and maintain, in general. Standalone ADUs, for example, can cost homeowners up to $400,000. You also have to pay for permit/s. Your property tax will also increase, especially if you’re making it for rent. Meanwhile, yearly maintenance costs can start at 1% of the property value. 

Types of ADUs

Casitas

Casita, in Spanish, means “tiny house”, which makes them more than qualified to be called ADU. It’s often separately built with a bigger, single-family house. In the US Southwest, you can see plenty of casitas. In fact, many realtors offer properties with ready-made casitas because of their popularity. 

Cottages

If casitas are “tiny houses,” then cottages are their more “chill” version. You can find cottages beside lakes or on seashores. They are typically more open, so the breeze can come in. However, cottages can also come in two-story forms, even having bathrooms, dirty kitchens, and bedrooms. 

Granny flats

Granny flats, like Casitas, are structures built in one lot together with the main house. Although, granny flats have more amenities and features compared to Casitas. You can say granny flats are smaller and slimmer versions of the main house.

In-law suites

Also known as “mother-in-law suites”, these structures are typically made for a family’s in-laws or/and grandparents. They are either attached to the main house or built separately on the same lot. Like granny flats, the elderly commonly live in these structures.

Guesthouse

Guesthouses are secondary housing units meant for friends and families who want to stay temporarily. The guesthouse’s difference with the previous structures is that the amenities are meant for temporary use. They could be adjusted to be viable for permanent living, of course. 

Are RVs pricey to build?

three white RVs, parked in the mountains with pillows and blankets on the ground.
RVs have the ability to drill a hole in your pocket as well. But is it worth it in the long run?

Just like an ADU, an RV is also expensive to build and own. Buying one alone can cost you up to $300,000. However, the overall cost can depend on the features, materials, type of RV, and your state’s imposed sales tax (if you’re buying one). 

So, some types can cost cheaper than others because of their design and amenities. In choosing an RV, you also have to consider the tax laws in the state in which you’re planning to register your RV.

Types of RV trailers

Classic travel trailers

These RVs stay faithful to their name. Travel trailers are not complicated to set up in camping grounds. You can also park most travel trailers in campsites. So, if you’re the type to move around a lot and camp with your friends, the travel trailer is a worthy investment. 

Truck campers

If you want a reliable RV with incredible towing power, you should start looking for truck campers. You can cook, do number 1 and number 2, and sleep on a truck camper. However, we don’t recommend bringing a lot of stuff since most truck campers have limited storage. 

Fifth-wheel trailers

If you see yourself living in an RV for a long time, this is your choice. It’s more spacious and has more storage area. It’s easily recognizable for its elevated frontal part, which gives the illusion of two floors. You can even set up an outdoor kitchen area with this. 

Toy haulers

This RV is more suitable for business use, especially if your business involves towing motorcycles and smaller cars like golf carts. It has a big rear opening and a ramp. Since they can also serve as fifth-wheel trailers, they become heavier once they carry another motor vehicle. 

Pop-up trailers

Pop-up trailers are soft-sided small and cheap trailers. Soft-sided means their sidewalls are made of cloth or plastic. Although, some sellers are already making pop-up trailers with hard sides or frames. Pop-up trailers are usually for temporary use since they don’t have enough space for storage and essential facilities like a bathroom. 

Hybrid trailers

Hybrids are a mix of pop-ups and travel trailers. They are still lightweight like a pop-up, but they have more space like a travel trailer. It also comes with a small bathroom, a canvass, and a kitchen. You can’t park it in your garage because of its bigger size, but it can sit comfortably in a camping site.

The bottom line

In choosing between RVs and ADUs, you will go through many considerations. You might even give up and slide back to looking for regular homes. 

However, you must not falter because the truth is there is no perfect RV or ADU. 

As long as either of these two dwellings meets your needs, keeps you safe, and enriches your life, then you are free to choose one. Your choice won’t lead you to a doomed life. 

Regardless, just keep learning and watching out for regulations, so you can live a healthy and sustainable downsized life. 

Related questions

Should I buy a travel trailer? 

If you’re a single person who lives an “on-the-go” lifestyle, and if you see yourself in the future sustaining it, then, by all means, consider buying one. However, if you see yourself settling with a family, please reconsider. Raising a kid in a travel trailer poses many challenges. We don’t recommend it unless you are emotionally and financially prepared.

How long do RVs last?

Similar to other vehicles (or house-vehicle hybrid), RVs will last up to two decades or fifteen years if you work hard to maintain them. If you skip service schedules, it might only last a decade or even less. You can also drive an RV up to more than 250,000 miles if you take good care of it. So, remember to do preventative care on your RV, especially if you travel around a lot or/and live with your family in it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preparation Tips

1. Go Spend Time in a Tiny Space

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

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

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

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

2. Determine What’s Really Important in Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Start Getting Rid of Your Stuff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Learn to Ignore the Critics

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

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

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

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

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

5. Stop Being a Crazed Consumer

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. Define Your Idea of Meaningful Space

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

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

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

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

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

7. Find Your Tiny House Community

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

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

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

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

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

Things to Consider when Planning to Live in a Tiny House

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

1. Toilet 

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

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

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

2. Personal Space

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

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

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

3. Lights 

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

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

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

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

4. Maintenance 

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

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

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

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

5. Lifestyle

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

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

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

Tips For Adjusting To Life In A Tiny House

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Where Do You Put Your Clothes?

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

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

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

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

3. What about Cooking and Cleaning?

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

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

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

4. Are the Bathrooms Outside?

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

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

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

5. Am I Supposed to Live Without a Garage?

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

Related Questions

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

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

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

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

Tiny House Living: 8 Clever Ideas to Maximize Your Space

Tiny House Living: 8 Clever Ideas to Maximize Your Space

Everything is Open in Small Modern White Kitchen
Maximizing the space of a tiny house isn’t as hard as you thought – just be creative.

Living in a tiny house means having limited space. This also means that you have to be very smart and clever to put everything you need in there. But how?

The answer relies on how you will get the most out of the spaces that you have. Yes, space is limited, but your imagination and creativity are unlimited. You just have to be creative and imaginative to come up with amazing ideas on how you can maximize your space. 

It might be a little bit challenging, but once you get its rhythm, it will come out easily. Plus, it is fun too especially when you do it with family and friends. So, here are some of the things that you could do to maximize the space in your tiny house. 

1. Find Space Storage in Unique Locations

Unlike traditional homes, tiny houses don’t have basements or attics where you can store your stuff. You don’t have all the space you need to accommodate all the luxurious items that you want. Besides, living in a tiny house will require you to look for storage in spaces you never thought are useful.

Thankfully, interior designers and architects have taken the challenge of creating storage space in very small spaces. So, if you can’t handle this problem, the best thing to do is ask for professional help. This way, you can maximize the space that your tiny house has to offer.

But if you do not have the budget, you can do it yourself instead. For example, instead of having a dish cabinet in the counter, you can opt for a hanging dish drying cabinet. This way, you can save counter space. It looks posher as well.

There is actually a lot of space in your tiny house. Some of them are waiting for you to discover them. You just have to figure them out and start using them creatively.  Who knows, the space under your table might serve a purpose, right?

2. Go Vertical

In most homes, vertical spaces are of no use. But when it comes to tiny houses, vertical spaces are very useful. These vertical spaces are basically empty canvasses waiting for you to design it the way you wish. 

Using vertical spaces for storage purposes is a very practical way to store your stuff. And at times, they save you from spending too much just to fill all your things in your tiny house. Here are some ways on how you can maximize the vertical spaces of your tiny house:

a. Add a vertical garden 

Adding a vertical garden in your tiny house is a very practical way to maximize your vertical space. With this, you are saving money and getting the most out of your space at the same time. You will no longer find yourself lacking any of the spices that you need when cooking. 

b. Consider shelving above your doorways

You might not have considered it yet, but your doorway can actually store some of the stuff that you have. When doing so, you have to make it look more open first. This is because you will be placing items at an eye level. 

You can simply add a shelf and there you go. You can already display the stuff that you have such as bowls, vases, and other decorative items that you have. Shelving your doorways is a very practical way to redecorate your tiny house. 

c. Think thin and tall

If your tiny house offers a lot of vertical space, then ideally, you should incorporate tall pieces rather than the wide ones. Doing so does not just add visual variation but it also makes your tiny house more interesting. 

Thankfully, you do not have to splurge your hard-earned cash on expensive furniture just to achieve this look. You can simply stack several pieces of art. You can also add framed family pictures vertically to add height to your vertical space. 

d. Make the most of closet space by organizing

There is a lot of vertical space in your closet that is being wasted. So, how will you get the most out of the space in your closet? Shelving is the answer. 

Shelving gives you easy storage for your personal items such as shoes, handbags, and the like. High-end closets are obviously expensive. Luckily, there are a lot of low-cost closet organizers that you can easily find in stores. 

e. Add vertical space under the bed with risers

Too much stuff will make your tiny house bedroom look cluttered. It will also make it look even smaller. If you want to maximize the space in your bedroom, adding bed risers is your best bet. 

Bed risers instantly give you space where you can store stuff you do not frequently use. This is more practical rather than buying other furniture where you can place your stuff. Besides, this is a perfect way to hide clutter from your eyesight.

White kitchen with red components, cosy tiny home after the reconstruction in panel house
Maximizing the space of a tiny house will require you to think outside the box.

3. Slatwall Shelving

Slatwall panels are a superb way to maximize the space in your tiny house. These are flexible storage spaces that can accommodate different items for you. From books to vases and more, Slatwall shelves are your perfect go-to for your ting house. 

In securing the shelves, slats are used instead of bolts. This makes it easy to install and remove at the same time. Also, rearranging them would be easier too. 

Slatwall is also a good alternative to a nightstand table. You just have to figure it out if it works on the space where you will be installing it. 

Aside from giving you more space in your tiny house, Slatwall shelves also make your room more aesthetic. They improve the overall look of your tiny house by making it look more spacious.

Slat wall shelves rent just stylish. They are also very easy to install and configure. They are made of aluminum which means that they are very lightweight yet extremely durable. They are very versatile too. 

Ideally, heavier Slatwall systems are better. This is because they allow virtually endless space storage for almost anything. They can be custom designed as well. 

Slat walls can be used as anchors for hooks, hanging rods, shelves, and any other thing that you want to display in your tiny house. Slat walls are also more affordable. Thus, you save space and money at the same time. 

Generally, slat walls are a great way to maximize your tiny house space. It is an incredible way to make use of the vertical spaces that you have. This helps you keep your things neat and organized.

4. Creative Outdoor Storage

Sure enough, you have outdoor stuff that you need to store as well. Bringing these things inside your tiny house is not advised due to the limited space that you have. What will you do then?

In such cases, what you can do is to make the most out of your outdoor space. For example, your outdoor stairs can be used as a shoe store. Or, you can store your gardening tools and supplies there. 

This will not just save you indoor space but it also helps you secure your outdoor items. Thus, you do not have to worry so much about them.

Here are some of the things that you can do to maximize the outdoors of your tiny house:

a. Use a hanging organizer to store gardening tools

A hanging organizer is like baking soda – it literally fixes everything. Having a hanging organizer outside your tiny house is very helpful. 

You can use it to store your crafts, cleaning supplies, shoes, winter accessories, and so much more. In addition, hanging organizers can also be used to store gardening tools and supplies. This includes twine, gloves, clippers, seed packets, and plant stakes. 

Interior design of a kitchen and bathroom in a tiny rustic log cabin.
In most cases, living in a tiny house will require you to use compact items in order to fit the space.

b. Have an outdoor cooking space

An outdoor cooking space is a good idea if you want to have more space when cooking. It is also more ideal if you love camping. This will make cooking, grilling to be more particular, a lot easier. 

Baking is also possible. An outdoor cooking space is perfect for anyone who loves the outdoors. Besides, staying outdoors will help you save electric bills for air conditioners and the smoke system as well. 

c. Have a hammock 

Having a hammock outside can make your tiny house look bigger and wider than it actually is. It also gives you extra space to relax during the day or even when the night is still young. It is also a fun way to enjoy the outdoors of your tiny house.

5. Go for a pull out bed 

If you want to maximize your floor space in your bedroom, you can use a pull out bed. A pull out bed is easier to manage on a daily basis especially when you want to keep things organized most of the time. Pull out beds can also accommodate more, so, you will not need any additional beds. 

You will also have more space during the day and have enough sleeping space for everyone during the night. This is a good option aside from beds with storage under them.

Pull out beds are very versatile.  It can convert the living room of your tiny house into a guest room or a compact bedroom. With this, you can enjoy your living room while you can easily sleep at any time of the day. 

It is also very ideal if you want to stay up late at night to watch a movie. This is because this allows you to stay in a comfortable position. It is also a perfect choice if you work at home since you can just lie down and take a break in between shifts.

6. Buy furniture that is multifunctional

Having a bed with bookshelf on its headboard and drawers below it is already three furniture pieces combined into one. Using multifunctional furniture in your tiny house is very useful given the limited space that you have. With such furniture, you have more space for other items while saving money. 

The more furniture you have, the more clutter there will be. The chance that your tiny house will look disorganized is also higher. These things will make your tiny house even look smaller. 

Having multifunctional furniture pieces in your tiny house helps you reduce clutter. This is because the number of furniture pieces in your tiny house is reduced. It also highlights the beauty of your tiny house, making it more inviting and bigger. 

In addition, multifunctional furniture is also easier to clean and maintain. You only have a few pieces to clean so, you won’t be rushing just to clean your entire place. Cleaning your tiny house will take you less time, so you can dedicate the rest of your time to other things.

7. Get items off the floor

The holy grail to having more space in your tiny house is to keep items off the floor. Of course, you can still put rugs or furniture on the floor. Keeping items off the floor means not using the floor to store your stuff. 

Do not use the floor of your tiny house as storage. In no time, your floor will end up as a dumping ground. And, your tiny house will look messy with no space for other things.

The best thing that you can do is to do shelving. This will make your tiny house less cluttered. Doing so also makes cleaning the floor easier. 

In as much as possible, keep things off the floor – including your shoes. Learn to put them into organizers or shelves. If that is not possible, at least keep items on the floor as minimal as possible. 

8. Declutter

Less is more is very applicable when it comes to tiny houses. Actually, having a small space is the problem. Having too much stuff is the issue. 

Letting go of the things you have is very hard. This is because you think that you can use them one day. But, when is that one day coming?

If you want to maximize the space of your tiny house while keeping things peaceful, calm, and uncluttered, learn to declutter. Declutter by figuring out first the things that you actually need and the things that you will not use now or soon. 

Start by finding out all the things that you have and separating the items that you necessarily need from the items that are useless to you. 

Decluttering might be hard to start but it is very freeing once you are done with it. Remember, your space is very limited. Your tiny house can’t accommodate all your items. 

The best way to keep your tiny house look organized is to declutter. This will also help you maximize the space of your tiny house. So, go, purge as much as you can’t.

Find out more hacks here.

Conclusion 

The space in your tiny house is very limited. You might find it almost impossible to fit all your necessary things in there. But as long as you know how to get the most out of your limited space, fitting them all won’t be as hard as you think. 

Related Questions

Is it possible to cook in a tiny house?

Yes, it is very possible to cook in a tiny house. In fact, tiny houses have kitchens which you can use to cook all the food that you want. You can cook in your tiny house whenever you feel like doing so. 

If you are into cooking, you can have your tiny house designed with a bigger kitchen. This will give you enough space to move around while doing what you love. Space is the only difference that makes tiny houses different from traditional houses. 

What is best: propane or a wood stove?

Propane is more favorable. This is because wood stoves need to be tended from time to time. They also need more clearance to the wall so your space becomes more limited. 

Propane, on the other hand, is directly mounted to the wall. Thus, less space is required.

Tiny Houses and Taxes: Everything You Need to Know

Tiny Houses and Taxes: Everything You Need to Know

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

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

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

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

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

About property taxes

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

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

What are property taxes?

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

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

Why are property taxes important?

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

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

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

How are property taxes collected? 

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

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

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

States with property taxes: Lowest Vs. highest 

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

Tiny houses and taxes

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

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

Does a property tax apply to tiny houses? 

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

What is a personal property tax? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More about tiny houses and taxes

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

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

Taxes

Sales tax

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

Real estate transfer tax 

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

Death taxes 

1. Gift tax. 

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

2. Estate tax. 

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

3. Generation-skipping tax (GST). 

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

Tax breaks

Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction

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

Home office tax deduction 

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

Tiny house resale values

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

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

Do tiny homes retain their value?

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

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

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

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

Are tiny homes relatively cheap to own? 

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

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

How to retain my tiny house’s value?

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

Spend on smart improvements.

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

Care for your SUV or pickup truck. 

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

Connect with other people with nomad lifestyles.

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

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

Take heed of your local government’s regulations. 

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

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

Renting out tiny houses: Does it work? 

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

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

Is it possible to profit from a tiny house?

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

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

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

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

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

In a nutshell

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

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

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

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

Related questions

What are the tiny house laws in Texas? 

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

What are Wisconsin’s tiny house laws?

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