Tag: tiny homes

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

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

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

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

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

How to Find the Right Tiny House Kits

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

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

1. Create a list of your preferences. 

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

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

Your personal taste

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

Number of living occupants 

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

Mobile or stationary?

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

Surroundings of your tiny house 

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

Needed appliances

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Set your budget for the tiny house kit. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Prepare for contingencies. 

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

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

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

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

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

It never hurts to prepare. 

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

Related questions

What is a prefab tiny house?

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

Where to find free tiny house plans?

You can find several free blueprints here: 

This Is Why Tiny Homes Are Better For The Environment

This Is Why Tiny Homes Are Better For The Environment

tiny-homes-are better-for-the-environment

The room for tiny houses in the market is getting bigger. According to a 2018 survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), more than half of American adults would consider living in houses no more than 600 square feet. This means that a majority of the American population is willing to live in a tiny house. 

Why? Tiny houses have helped solve many of the housing problems. They cost less than a traditional house, don’t necessarily put you to commit to mortgages, and occupy less space. And most importantly, tiny homes are better for the environment. 

If you’re thinking about downsizing and transitioning into a more eco-friendly and conservationist living, then a tiny house is the way to go. In this blog post, we will go through all the details on why tiny homes are better for the environment. 

Tiny Homes Lets You Declutter

Have you ever felt like there’s just too many clutters in your life? Don’t worry, you’re far from alone. Many Americans felt the same way. Their solution? Declutter, sell most of their things, then move into a tiny house. 

Tiny homes are recognized as tiny because they only measure between a hundred to 400 square feet, which isn’t much compared to traditional houses. Others feel that houses that are 400 to 1,000 square feet cannot be considered tiny, but small home. 

The tiny house movement started in the 1980s. It did not bloom as much as it did today. In fact, in 2012, the real estate sales that came from tiny homes were only at 1%. However, in the past several years, there has been a whopping 200% increase in tiny house business, according to Escape Tiny Homes. 

tiny-homes-are-better-for-the-environment-declutter
You can give your old clothes to friends or donate them to charities

That said, it’s clear that many people have joined the movement. As more and more families move into tiny houses, the more they are to declutter and stick to Zero Waste management. 

Zero Waste management inspires people to prevent waste and reuse most, if not all, products. 

And this is fundamentally true to tiny houses. Tiny house dwellers have a limited space, which means they are less likely to purchase things they don’t necessarily need. They are also more likely to buy items that are compact and durable for prolonged use. 

What do you do if you have many old clothes? Getting rid of your old clothes is a good way to free up some space in your cabinet. Or, you can give them to your friends or hand them to charities. 

Textiles play a major role in landfill waste, so instead of throwing your old clothes, you can donate or sell them. 

The tiny house movement will encourage you to declutter, recycle, and reuse household items. And this is just one of the many reasons why tiny homes are better for the environment. 

Smaller Carbon Footprint

First, what does carbon footprint really mean?

When we talk about climate change, footprint is used as a metaphor to symbolize the impact of something has. Carbon, on the other hand, is the shortened term for all the different greenhouse gases that play a part in global warming. 

Hence, the term carbon footprint is a shorthand to describe the climate change impact of something. By something, it could be an item, an activity, a company, a lifestyle, or even the entire globe. 

Compared to small and residential homes, a tiny house uses less electricity and natural gas. Most off-grid tiny houses use a solar panel system as the main power source. 

smaller-carbon-footprint
Tiny homes let encourages smaller carbon footprint

To save power, many tiny house owners use energy-saving household appliances like washer/dry combos, eco-friendly air conditioner system, and more. 

The tinier the place, the less it costs to heat or cool it. Tiny house owners also tend to use more fresh foods than frozen or pre-packaged foods because they have a smaller fridge. 

How do you calculate the carbon footprint in appliances?
Be warned: calculating the carbon footprint may sound technical, but it’s actually easy. In appliances, electrical power consumption is measured in watts (W). Add the amount of time the item was used, you’ll get watt-hours (Wh). 

So, if you turn on a 20 W bulb for three hours, you’ll consume 60 Wh. If, for example, you live in Arizona which electricity costs around $12.8 per kilowatt-hour (kWh; 1 kWh = 1,000 Wh), and you have five 20W bulbs turned on for six hours a day for 365 days a year, the calculation goes like this:

(number of bulbs)  x (bulb electricity consumption in watts) x (hours used) x 365 days

That’s:

5 x 20W x 6 hours x 365 days = 219,000 Wh or 219 kWh. 

Because you live in Arizona, at $12.8 per kWh, the lightbulb alone will cost you $2,803.20.Now you know how much energy you use. Now let’s calculate the carbon footprint from the kWh. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the carbon cost in the US, on average, is 0.7 kg of CO2 per kWh. So, that’s 219 kWh x 0.7 = 153.3 kg CO2

The fewer appliances you have, the less carbon footprint you create. And technically, there’s really not enough space for big, bulky appliances in a tiny house. So, with this in mind, we can say once again that tiny homes are better for the environment. 

You might be interested to learn how much electricity does a tiny home need. Click here to read

Tiny Houses Are Easier to Build

The way we build things actually matters, and you may not know this yet, but it can also have a long-term effect. Tiny houses are more environmentally-friendly to build for many reasons:

  1. They require fewer materials

The principle of tiny house movement is to promote sustainable living. It also emphasizes that there are a lot of benefits to living in micro homes, including the freedom to travel and affordability.

And what’s another interesting thing about tiny houses is that they are more environmentally-friendly to build. Obviously, they require fewer materials. You will be building a tiny house, which means you don’t need as many materials as you would with small, traditional houses. 

A tiny house basically has one small bathroom, which means there will be fewer fixtures to repair, maintain, and replace compared to a traditional home. You are also less likely to use as much wood as residential homes do. 

An ordinary home requires approximately seven truckloads of lumber. Meanwhile, a tiny house only requires half of one truckload. This implies that with tiny houses, there are fewer trees cut down for lumber and less fuel used in transporting building materials. 

tiny-homes-are-easier-to-build
Tiny houses are easier to build and require fewer materials than residential homes

Most trailer houses are made from abandoned container vans, too. If this is not eco-friendly enough for you, we don’t know what is. 

We’ve provided a list below to help you keep your tiny house building cost low. 

  1. You can use environmentally-friendly supplies

Because there are fewer materials needed in tiny houses, it is easier to build them using recycled materials.

Using green building supplies has a lot of benefits, aside from the obvious environmental impact. They can be beneficial for productivity and health. They are, most of the time, much more affordable, too. 

You may use grown and renewable materials. These kinds of building materials can be recycled after use. Some examples of such materials include wood, bamboo, and cork. 

Wood can be used for structural components of your tiny houses like the wall trusses, beams for roofs, and panels. You may also use wood for non-structural elements, including wall facades, flooring, cabinetry, doors, window trim, and furniture. 

Bamboo, on the other hand, can be used for hardwood flooring. It can withstand wet elements. You can easily refurbish bamboo flooring if they have scratches and other damages. 

Cork is naturally anti-microbial and hypoallergenic. So if you want a building material that’s eco-friendly, safe, and just as durable as wood and bamboo, then cork is the way to go. 

And instead of using paint, you can use wallpapers instead. Purchase wallpapers that don’t emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are extremely hazardous. They pose a lot of health problems, like irritation in the eyes, nose, and throat. They can also cause nausea, headaches, and worse, can destroy the kidney, liver, and central nervous system. 

If you need to use pain, use natural paints instead. 

If you’re thinking about adding carpet to your tiny house, use carpets that are made from natural materials like cotton or sisal. Carpets of this kind do not have chemicals and do not emit any harmful toxins. And at the end of their life-cycle, you can easily recycle these carpets as organic material. 

  1. Tiny houses have lower life cycle cost

Committing to a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle is not only about living in a tiny house. You could be living in a micro-home, but your household items may not be as green as you think. 

It’s empirical that you consider the lifespan and replacement costs of your household items. For example, a tiny house may only have one bathroom instead of five, which means there will be fewer fixtures to repair and replace. 

According to a 2014-study of College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, “reducing home size by 50% results in a 36% decrease in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from materials on the house and the emissions produced by actions of the inhabitants.”

Lower Your Tiny House Building Cost By Following These 10 Tips
1. Go smaller. Consider a small floor plan. Reducing the floor plan size will lower the overall costs of the build as there will be fewer materials needed.

2. Buy a tiny house building kit instead. Sourcing your materials yourself can be costly, so buy a building kit instead. You’ll also get good deals and savings. 

3. Buy building materials on your local ads. Check Craigslist or your local newspaper if there is someone in your area selling items or building materials from home demolitions or renovations. You can use second-hand household items, too. 

4. Go to construction sites. Many materials from construction sites are just thrown into the dumpster when they are not used in the project. Talk to a site foreman and ask if you could take anything. 

5. Go to lumber auctions. You can buy usable building materials in a lumber auction for less. 

6. Use pallets and wooden crates. Take them apart properly, and you’ll get free wood. Pallets and wooden crates can be found everywhere. With them, you can create stunning floors, decks, and garden items. 

7. Build your tiny house yourself. Hiring experts can cost so much. Building a tiny house is technically a small project, which you can attempt to work on yourself. Of course, if this is beyond your skills, getting professional labor is not bad. 

8. Get free plans. You can hire a professional to design your tiny house, but if you want to lower your building cost, you can find free designs and plans online. 

9. Take your time. Find the best deals on materials online. Read reviews. 

10. Ask for help. Never be too shy to ask your family and friends to help. If asking your friends to help you build your tiny house can help lower your building cost, then do so. 

You Get More Connected with the Environment

Another reason why tiny homes are better for the environment is that the lifestyle lets you get closer to nature instead of the internet of things devices. 

As the advancement of technology continues, more and more people connect to the internet. This means a majority of the population likes being on their devices instead of going outdoors and connecting with the environment. 

According to the latest research by Monsenso, more than 160 million Americans are regular internet users. In a Stanford study, researchers surveyed 2,513 adults. 68.9 percent of which were regular internet users, 13.7 percent said they found it hard to stay away from the internet for several days at a time, and 12.4 percent stayed online longer than they intend to. 

Clearly, the poll is evidence that many people prefer connecting to the internet instead of nature. 

Remember when we talk about carbon footprint? Using internet devices can increase the carbon footprint of a home, which means, the more you are in using your smartphone and other smart devices, the more carbon footprint you create. 

One of the many great things about tiny houses is that they give the notion that you need to spend more time outdoors and indoors. That’s technically why tiny houses are intended to be built on a trailer, so you can travel and explore new places. 

Carleton College published a study (Undergraduate Journal of Humanistic Studies, Winter 2016, vol. 2) said:

The space of a tiny house reverses the home theater syndrome to some extent by limiting indoor leisure and restricting technology that tempts people to stay inside. In The Big Tiny, Dee Williams writes about this intimacy with nature found in her everyday interaction with her skylight: ‘The fact is, even after all these years of sleeping with my bed inches from the roof… nature still surprises me. And then I’m surprised by my surprise, thinking that, at this stage in the game, I should be a bit bored by things like frost.” 

The study tells us that those who live in tiny houses interact more with the environment and have more awareness of their independence with nature. Those who live in cities and suburbs, however, spend more time indoors. 

Tiny house dwellers depend on nature directly for things that those who live in the urban area get in other ways. For example, tiny housers use wood (bonfire) to get heat, use the sun to get electricity (solar panels), and sometimes water from a nearby spring or river. 

Should-you-live-in-a-tiny-house

Is Living in a Tiny House Right for You?

We’ve presented reasons (backed by science) how tiny home are better for the environment. And maybe you’re someone who wants to make an impact on nature. Perhaps it has crossed your mind that this may be the right time to downsize and join the tiny house movement. 

What you have in mind is commendable. But hold up. Living in a tiny house is a big step, especially if you’re accustomed to living in a traditional house. So before you take a leap, think about this: is living in a tiny house right for you?

True, you’ll be making positive environmental impacts when you downsize, but there are also hardships that you need to face.

Little Room for Clutters

With little room, little closet, little drawers, there’s not much space for your clutter in a tiny house. So if you’re a hoarder, perhaps a person who gets too attached with your things, be warned. 

There’s little room for clutter in micro homes. This means you’ll only get to keep things that you really need. Sometimes you have to say no to things that can eat so much space in your tiny home. 

That 50% sale on the couch? That velvet, bulky closet? You have to turn them down, especially if you have very little livable space in your tiny home. 

If you have old clothes, it’s best to hand them to others who might actually need them instead of storing them in your closet, wishing one day you’ll still be able to wear them. 

Depreciates in Market Value

Tiny houses depreciate just as fast as vehicles do. That’s because they are frequently being transported, which means they are prone to wear and tear. A tiny house may appreciate in market value only if it is so unique, which is rare. 

To get more in-depth information about the value of tiny homes, read Do Tiny Homes Hold or Lose Value? What You Must Know

Hard Getting Financed

Another deal-breaker for tiny house aspirants is that it’s usually difficult to get financing when it comes to a tiny house. This is mostly true for those who do not have a large amount of savings. 

If that’s your case, then you may find it hard to settle in a tiny home. Banks see tiny houses as high risk, not as investments, especially if you plan to build your tiny house yourself. 

It’s possible to get a personal loan, but most companies are skeptical about giving resources to tiny house projects. 

Insurance Companies Hate Tiny Houses

Again, tiny houses are a big risk not just for mortgage companies but also for insurance companies. You’ll be fortunate enough if you’ll be able to get RV insurance for your tiny house, but this option is not always guaranteed and is usually a difficult process. 

Getting insurance for your tiny home can even get trickier if it is built on a permanent foundation. 

For insurance companies, tiny homes are prone to road accidents and damages due to harsh weather conditions like storms. 

[Must Read: Tiny Homes In Storms: How to Stay Safe]

Not Much Room for Personal Space

In a survey conducted by Freedom Debt Relief, they polled 1,028 American homeowners, and they found that many of these people have lots of regrets. Thirty percent of the polled US homeowners say that the house they bought is too small. 

They probably wished they had more room for personal space. Living in a tiny house means you have to accept the fact that you may not have a personal room as you would in a traditional house. 

Yes, there’s just not much privacy in a tiny home, and you may not have any space you can call your own in a home with only about 400 square feet of livable space. 

This can be really challenging for families with children. Day after day, it’s hard for them to ignore the fact that they live in such a small place. Many tiny house owners move back to a larger traditional home because they needed more space for their kids. 

Finding Places to Park

If your tiny house is on wheels, you need to find a place to park your home. Some areas will not let you park your portable tiny home permanently within city limits. 

You can find campgrounds and parks where you can park your home for a specific period. However, parking in these places is just temporary. 

Final Thoughts

Without a doubt, tiny homes are better for the environment. The principle of tiny house lifestyle emphasizes on living with little to no clutter, zero waste management, making fewer carbon footprints, using green building materials, and getting closer to the environment. 

The tiny house lifestyle will also teach you to use fewer appliances, donate clothes, and reuse and recycle household items and materials. When you do these things, you contribute to the environment. Small steps toward a greener future should never be underestimated. 

Yet, there are challenges with living in a tiny house. And if you want to make changes by downsizing, you have to deal with the drawbacks. When you live in a tiny home, you may not have as much privacy as you have in a traditional house. You will also be constantly finding parking spots.

Related Questions

What are the pros of living in a tiny house?

Living in a tiny house means you’ll have lower expenses, lower energy use, and freedom to move to places. You can also live a simpler life and get more connected with nature. 

Is it cheaper to buy or build a tiny house?

The cost of your tiny house depends on several variables, including if you buy or build it. The design, size, materials to be used, and location also play a role in determining the price of a tiny house. 

How Much Electricity Do Tiny Homes Use?

How Much Electricity Do Tiny Homes Use?

tiny house power consumption

When it comes to finding a new home, it’s not only the size and location that we need to consider. These days, power consumption has become an important factor to include in the checklist, especially that the electricity rate is increasing. 

Regarding tiny homes, you’re confident that no matter how you power your house, you’ll consume far less electricity than big, traditional houses. 

The structure of tiny homes is intended to limit your power consumption. And because you have limited space in your house, you will likely use fewer appliances and utilities. 

However, just because you live in a tiny house doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be using too much electricity. Your power consumption will depend on several factors: (1) the size of your home and household, (2) the quantity and quality of the appliances you have, (3) and how frequently you use your household items. 

Logically, the more appliances you have at home, the bigger your power consumption will be. And big power consumption means a high electricity bill. And you don’t want that, especially if you’re living on a budget or off the grid. 

How Much Electricity Do Tiny Homes Use: Your Power Consumption

Living in a tiny home doesn’t exempt you from a high electricity bill. Several factors can impact your power consumption. It’s essential to take note of these factors so you’ll know what to do to save energy or at least lower your utility bill.

The Size of Your Tiny House

The size of your home matters when it comes to your power consumption. 

Nowadays, people build bigger and bigger homes. According to the latest data, the average family house in the US has been steadily increasing in size—from 2,057 square feet in the year 2000 to 2,386 square feet in the year 2018. 

A large, spacious house is good. For the most part, big families prefer capacious homes. But large houses pose a lot of concerns, high utility bills included. 

According to the US Energy Information Administration, the average annual consumption of a US residential utility in 2018 was 10,972kWh. That’s about 914kWh per month. 

The bigger the house, the higher the electricity bill will be. Likewise, the tinier the home, the lower the utility bill will be. 

A tiny house is… you know… little. The average size of tiny homes is 120 square feet (8 x 20 ft). Because you have limited space, you have the notion of avoiding using high-powered appliances. 

Your Household Items

Household items can impact your power consumption. 

When it comes to appliances, the size doesn’t really matter. A small machine doesn’t always mean less energy. A conventional blender, for example, uses 500 watts, while a powerful blender uses a blasting 1500 watts.

A window air conditioner uses somewhere between 500 to 1500 watts (depending on the brand, make, and size). Using it for 8 hours is equal to 8,000Wh (or 8kWh). 

Let’s say the price of electricity in your state is 16 cents per kilowatt-hour. If you use your air conditioner 8 hours a day for 30 days, it will cost you about $40. 

The price may be higher if you use your air conditioner longer than 8 hours in a day. The price will also vary depending on the rate of electricity in your locality. 

The Price of Electricity

tiny house electricity rate

The rate of electricity varies from state to state. According to the EIA, the average electricity rate for residential houses is 12.89 cents per kWh. Below is a table that shows the average price of electricity in different states per kWh.

8 cents per kWh
Idaho
North Dakota
Washington
Arkansas
Utah
Louisiana
Wyoming
9 cents per kWh
South Dakota
Nebraska
Kentucky
West Virginia
Oklahoma
Oregon
Montana
Missouri
Tennessee
10 cents per kWh
Indiana
North Carolina
Mississippi
Iowa
Kansas
Virginia
Virginia
New Mexico
Minnesota
11 cents per kWh
South Carolina
Arizona
Georgia
Alabama
Colorado
Ohio
Texas
Illinois
Florida
Nevada
13 cents per kWh
Michigan
Wisconsin
Pennsylvania
Maryland
District of Columbia
Delaware
14 cents per kWh
Massachusetts
Rhode Island
15 cents per kWh
California
Maine
16 cents per kWh
Vermont
New Jersey
New Hampshire
17 cents per kWh
Alaska
18 cents per kWh
Connecticut
New York
33 cents per kWh
Hawaii

Take note, the rate of electricity may change from time to time. 

The Size of Household

The size of your household can also impact your power consumption. This means the number of people living in your tiny house will determine the number and intensity of use of appliances. 

For example, the more people there are in your home, the more intensity needed by your air conditioning or space heating to maintain a specific temperature. 

The Outside Temperature

The outside temperature can also affect the intensity of use of air conditioning or space heating. 

During the hot summer season, you might use your air conditioner longer than you usually do. And chances are you probably will adjust the air conditioner to the lowest temperature to give you that cool breeze. 

Likewise, in the winter season, you might use your space heater longer than usual. A space heater uses somewhere between 600 to 1,500 watts (depending on the intensity). 

The Amount of Time Spent Outside the Household

The longer you are outside your tiny house, the lesser you are to use your appliances. But then again, this will be primarily determined by the size of your family.

The Different Types of Energy for Tiny Homes

The type of energy you use for your tiny home also plays a vital role in determining how much power you consume and, radically, how much you will spend for it. 

If you build your tiny home on an affixed land, you can easily connect it to an electrical grid. Or you can lease or buy a property that already has a power source. It’s best to talk with your town to get more information about hooking up to a power line. 

Using alternative power source shouldn’t be a problem anymore if you’re living on a stationary home unless if you decide to use it to save money, get that off-the-grid vibe, or have a power backup. 

Fuel Power

Many tiny house dwellers choose fuel and hot water tanks to power up appliances. Some use some variation of propane, while others prefer other options. 

Tiny house owners who promote greener lifestyle like using reused oils, albeit it’s harder to come by. 

If you wish to use clean oil to power your tiny home, you will need to have a reliable supplier. 

Solar Power

tiny house solar panels
Solar panels for tiny houses

When it comes to power, we can always rely on Mr. Sun. His intense heat can be used to power up your tiny home (even big ones). 

Using solar power doesn’t necessarily mean you need to fit solar panels to your roof. You can start small by finding household items that can run on solar energy. 

Using solar energy for a tiny house on wheels can be quite a challenge. Your mobile home should always have a clear view of the sun for most of the day. 

But it doesn’t always have to be that way. Some solar panels can generate power even on cloudy and rainy days, albeit expensive. 

External Generators

If you want to live off the grid, then we recommend using external generators as your power source. 

Fortunately, there are lots of generators in the market. These generators are the same generators that you can use to power an RV. 

You can use gasoline, diesel fuel, electricity, and even propane to fuel these generators. 

For external generators, we recommend Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240,

Getting Off-The-Grid

One way to determine how much electricity your tiny home will use is to jot down the appliances you use and how much power they need. 

Check out the table below:

(Note: we’ve added our product recommendations, make sure to check them out.)

Household ItemWattsQuantityUsage (in hours on each day)The energy in watt-hours
Led Lights645120
Cellphone53345
Laptop4229756
Internet Router6124144
Energy-efficient fridge831241992
Space heater1000188000
Conventional blender50010.0945
Table fan5524440
Window air conditioner1000188000
Total watt-hours per day


19542
Total watt-hours per month


586260
Total kilowatt-hour


586.26

Formula = (watts x usage in hours) x quantity = total watt-hour 

This is just to give you an idea of how much electricity a tiny house uses. In actuality, your power consumption will vary in several factors, as discussed above. The appliances, number of occupants, outside temperature, the intensity of use, and the price of electricity largely impact your electricity bill. 

Going back to the example we have above, if, for example, you live in Alabama (11 cents per kWh), you’ll pay $64 for your electricity bill per month. 

If you think that’s too much, then you can reduce your power consumption by following the tips we’ve listed below.

How to Save Even More Power

The tiny house movement leads you to an environmentally-friendly and sustainable lifestyle. The tiny lifestyle allows you to live off the grid and use energy efficiently! 

The great news is that there’s a lot that you can do to save even more power. The tips below will save you a lot of money from the electricity bill (or fuel consumption). Not just that, by following them, you’ll be able to go greener. 

Lightbulbs

Your lightbulbs will probably be one of the most used items in your tiny home. Large, residential homes use anywhere from 20 to 30 light bulbs, while tiny houses use 6 to 10 bulbs on average. 

Although you tend to use fewer lightbulbs in your tiny home compared to larger houses, they can still impact your electricity bill. 

When purchasing light bulbs, find energy-saving bulbs that can last for several years. These types of bulbs use low wattage, which means using them will not cost you much to power. 

And to minimize your use of lightbulb, we suggest doing your activities during the day, so when the nighttime comes, you’ll only turn on the bulbs for a short period. 

Windows 

tiny house windows

You can lessen your use of table fan or air conditioning with your windows. 

During the night, you can leave your windows open to allow the cold night air to enter your room.

And if it’s windy outside, allow the wind to enter your tiny house and push the hot air out. 

Windows also play a part in giving you good lighting. Sometimes during the day, we tend to turn on the lights to provide us with extra brightness. But if you have wide and open windows, you will not need to switch on your lights on the daytime anymore. Besides, big windows are good, especially if you live in a tiny home with a dog. 

Also, make sure that your windows are properly installed, so when you turn on your air conditioner or heater, the heat or air won’t fly out of the house. 

Appliances

tiny house appliances

Choose energy-efficient devices. They’re not that hard to find since they are in high demand. 

Buy household items that can use solar energy as a power source. Also, make sure that your appliances are up to date. Appliances of older models tend to consume higher power. 

If you have a refrigerator, ensure that the rubber seal is doing its job properly. It must be able to seal the cold air inside. The seal may break down over time, so it’s essential to do a regular inspection on your fridge. 

If you plan to install an HVAC in your tiny home, use a system that has a programmable thermostat. It allows you to adjust the temperature automatically at specific intervals. 

And also, we recommend using a laptop instead of a desktop. An average desktop idles at about 80 watts, while a laptop idles for just 20 watts. 

Ventilation

When your tiny home has proper ventilation, you’re less likely to use a high-powered heater or air conditioning. 

How to Get Power for Your Tiny Home

A stationary tiny home can quickly hook up to an electricity grid. 

If your tiny house is on wheels, there are options you can choose to power up your home. 

A. Connect to a building that already has power

This is the cheapest, and perhaps the simplest way to get the power you need for your house. 

If your tiny house is parked full-time beside or behind a friend, relative, or landlord’s house, then you can run an extension cord to their home to power up yours. Of course, if they agree on that. 

B. Buy or rent a property that already has a power source

You can buy your property or rent a stationary tiny home that already has a power source. Connecting to a power source is no longer rocket science. Just plug and play!

C. Use fuel or solar power

As mentioned above, if you want your tiny house to be off the grid, then the best power source would be fuel or solar power. Either of the two can work well for tiny houses. 

Bear in mind, though, that both have advantages and disadvantages. As for the fuel, finding a supplier of clean fuel can be quite a challenge, especially if you’re always moving from one place to another. Also, the price of fuel changes occasionally.

Solar powering is good, but it’s usually pricey. Solar panels and batteries can cost anywhere between $4,000 to $10,000, depending on how much power you need. 

Conclusion

The electricity a tiny home uses depends on several factors. But one thing is for sure, you’ll consume far less power than large, traditional houses.

There are things you can do to save even more energy. By following the tips we’ve listed above, you can go greener and avoid a high electricity bill! 

Related Questions

How many solar panels does it take to power a tiny house?

The number of solar panels you must use will depend on how much energy your tiny house needs. For example, if your tiny home requires 2kW (or 2,000 watts) of solar panels to make 100% energy, then you would need seven 300-watt panels.

How do tiny houses get water?

You can hook up your tiny house to a town water line or a well.