Tag: Tiny House

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

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

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

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

5 major tiny house safety issues

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

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

1. Fire hazards

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Carbon monoxide poisoning

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Indoor air quality 

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

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

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

Humidity problem

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

Allergies

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

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

Costlier electricity bills

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

4. Mobility inside the house

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Mold growth 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

Related Questions 

How do you avoid mold growth in a tiny house? 

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

Are tiny houses safe? 

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

Tiny Houses: A Good Idea Or A Terrible Investment?

Tiny Houses: A Good Idea Or A Terrible Investment?

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

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

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

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

The Pros and Cons of Tiny Homes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tiny Houses: A Good Idea?

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

#1 You can take it with you

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#2 They require less money to build

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#4 Tiny houses let you declutter

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

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

Here are more mind-blowing facts about clutter:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tiny Houses: A Terrible Investment?

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

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

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

#1 Tiny houses are actually expensive

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

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

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

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

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

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

tiny-homes-depreciate-market-value

#3 Tiny houses are a terrible investment

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

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

There are many reasons why they lose value. 

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

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

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

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

#4 Tiny homes need to follow stringent rules

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

tiny-homes-buiding-codes

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

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

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

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

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

Final Thoughts

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

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

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

Related Questions

Do you pay property taxes on a tiny house?

Yes, but it won’t be as enormous as with traditional homeownership. You’ll likely pay an annual personal property tax on your tiny home as a trailer or an RV. 

Will banks finance a tiny house?

Banks can finance a tiny house, but most choose not to. Several reasons drive banks not to shell out money on a tiny house: tiny houses depreciate as fast as vehicles, for example. 

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

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

best-tiny-home-kits

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

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

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

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

7 Best Tiny Home Kits in Amazon

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

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

Sunset Log Cabin Kit 

Manufactured by: BZBCabinsAndOUtdoors

Sunset-Logcabin-Kit
Image source: BZBCabinsAndOUtdoors

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

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

Price: >$9,000

Features: 

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

Check it out on Amazon

ECOHOUSEMART | Timber Frame Kit #Tf-033 | Prefab DIY Building Cabin Home | GLT Engineered Wood...
Pre-Cut Kit - 16x20 Timber Frame Post and Beam Vermont Cottage (C) with Loft Pre-Cut Kit with...
ECOHOUSEMART | Timber Frame Kit #Tf-033 | Prefab DIY Building Cabin Home | GLT Engineered Wood...
Pre-Cut Kit - 16x20 Timber Frame Post and Beam Vermont Cottage (C) with Loft Pre-Cut Kit with...
ECOHOUSEMART | Timber Frame Kit #Tf-033 | Prefab DIY Building Cabin Home | GLT Engineered Wood...
ECOHOUSEMART | Timber Frame Kit #Tf-033 | Prefab DIY Building Cabin Home | GLT Engineered Wood...
Pre-Cut Kit - 16x20 Timber Frame Post and Beam Vermont Cottage (C) with Loft Pre-Cut Kit with...
Pre-Cut Kit - 16x20 Timber Frame Post and Beam Vermont Cottage (C) with Loft Pre-Cut Kit with...

Allwood Dreamcatcher 

Manufactured by: Allwood

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

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

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

You can also add canopy roof storage. 

Price: >$10,000

Features:

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

Check it out on Amazon.

Allwood Bella Cabin Kit

Manufactured by: Allwood

allwood-bella-cabin
Image source: Allwood Outlet

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

Price: >$17,000

Features: 

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

Check it out on Amazon.

Rubio Monocoat Wood Stain Pre-Color Easy Nordic White 1 Liter
Rubio Monocoat Wood Stain Oil Plus 2C Super White 1.3 Liter
Rubio Monocoat Wood Stain Pre-Color Easy Nordic White 1 Liter
Rubio Monocoat Wood Stain Oil Plus 2C Super White 1.3 Liter
Rubio Monocoat Wood Stain Pre-Color Easy Nordic White 1 Liter
Rubio Monocoat Wood Stain Pre-Color Easy Nordic White 1 Liter
Rubio Monocoat Wood Stain Oil Plus 2C Super White 1.3 Liter
Rubio Monocoat Wood Stain Oil Plus 2C Super White 1.3 Liter

Timber Frame Post and Beam Vermont Cottage 

Manufactured by: Jamaica Cottage Shop, Inc. 

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

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

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

Price: >$12,500

Features: 

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

Check it out on Amazon.

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Allwood Solvalla Studio Cabin Kit

Manufactured by: Allwood

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

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

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

Price: >$6,900

Features:

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

Check it out on Amazon

Allwood Arlanda XXL Tiny Home Kits

Manufactured by: Allwood

Allwood-Arlanda-xxl
Image source: Allwood Outlet

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

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

Price: >$10,000

Features:

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

Check it out on Amazon.

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Allwood Mayflower Garden House

Manufactured by: Allwood

Allwood-Mayflower-Garden
Image source: Allwood Outlet

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

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

Price: >$7,000

Features: 

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

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

Check it out on Amazon.

The 4 Best Tiny Home Kits From 84 Lumber

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

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

Roving Tiny Home Kit

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

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

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

Price: 

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

Specifications:

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

Features:

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

Bath:

For full specifications, visit 84tinyliving.com.

Degsy Tiny Home Kit

84tinyliving-degsy
Image source: 84tinyliving

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

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

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

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

Pricing: 

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

Specifications:

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

Amenities:

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

Master bedroom:

  • French closet 
  • Queen-sized mattress

Bath:

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

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

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Shonsie Tiny Home Kit

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

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

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

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

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

Pricing: 

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

Specifications:

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

Amenities:

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

Kitchen:

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

Bath:

  • Composting toilet
  • Exhaust fan
  • Full-sized shower

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

Countryside Tiny Home Kit

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

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

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

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

Pricing: 

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

Specifications:

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

Amenities:

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

Kitchen:

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

Bath:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Tiny Home Kits

Shelter in a Day

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

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

Pricing: $4,999*

* Tax and shipping are not included. 

Features:

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

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

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

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

Tumbleweed Tiny Houses

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

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

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

Tumbleweed Models:

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

Elm 26’ Equator Key Features:

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

Elm 30’ Equator Key Features:

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

Elm 30’ Alta Key Features

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

Cypress 20’ Overlook Key Features:

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

Cypress 26’ Equator Key Features:

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

Cypress 26’ Horizon Key Features:

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

Cypress 30’ Alta Key Features:

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

Cypress 30’ Equator:

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

Farallon 26’ Vista L1 Key Features:

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

Farallon 26’ Alta L1 Key Features:

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

Farallon 30’ Alta L1 Key Features:

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

Farallon Pacific L1 Key Features:

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

Roanoke 20’ Clear SL Key Features:

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

Roanoke 26’ Pacific L1 Key Features:

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

Roanoke 26’ Alta L1 Key Features:

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

Roanoke 30’ Alta L1 Key Features:

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

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

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

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

Jamaica Cottage Shop

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

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

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

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

Final Takeaway

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

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

Related Questions

How much do tiny home kits cost?

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

Are tiny houses less expensive?

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

Are tiny houses a bad investment?

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

How Do Tiny Houses Get Utilities?

How Do Tiny Houses Get Utilities?

how-do-tiny-houses-get-utilities

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

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

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

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

The Importance of Utilities

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

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

How Tiny Houses Get Water

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Drainage Solutions

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

Greywater – water from your shower and sink

Blackwater – water from your toilet

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

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

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

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

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

dumping-station-tiny-house

Using Blackwater Tanks

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

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

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

How Tiny Houses Get Electricity

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

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

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

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

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

Solar Panels

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

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

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

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

solar-panel-for-tiny-house

The Disadvantages of Solar Panel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fuel Power

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

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

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

Disadvantages of Fuel Power

Noise

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

Fuel expense

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

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

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

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

Price

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

Price of generator:

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

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

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

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

Installation

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

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

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

Maintenance

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

Tasks to perform includes:

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

The Best Generators to Consider

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

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

WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800W Portable Generator

Features:

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

Pulsar 4,000W Gas-Powered Quiet Generator

Features:

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

An excellent alternative would be this Pulsar G2319N 2,300W.

Champion 100233 3,400W Generator

Features:

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

DuroStar DS4000S Gas-Powered Generator

Features: 

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

Westinghouse iGen4500DF Inverter Generator

Features:

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

How Tiny Houses Get Internet Connection

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

Wired Connection

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

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

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

Local speed is important when:

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

Wireless Internet

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

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

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

Satellite Internet

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

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

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

Related Questions

How do tiny houses handle sewage?

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

Can you use the bathroom when power is out?

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

10 Home Appliances Your Tiny House Needs

10 Home Appliances Your Tiny House Needs

home appliances your tiny house needs

Fitting all you need in a tiny house can be hard sometimes, but there’s no denying that pulling your creative muscle is one of the best parts of owning a tiny house. You’re working in a limited amount of space, which may be new to you. And so it requires innovation so you can use every inch of your tiny home. 

Therefore, it only makes sense to purchase appliances with design and performance that fit your needs. You may be wondering what home appliances your tiny house needs. 

Read on as we give you a list of the best appliances for tiny homes. We’ll also talk about how to choose appliances that’ll reduce your energy use and lower your electricity bill. 

Home Appliances Your Tiny Home Needs

Tiny houses have escalated in popularity, and they attract more and more people nowadays. The tiny house movement, however, is not just a passing trend. It inspires people to live a minimal, cost-effective, and eco-friendly living. 

Many believed that traditional homes are a great investment until the housing market crisis happened in 2006. Called the United States housing bubble, the housing prices exponentially increased in early 2006, then soon started to decline that same year and the year after. 

The year 2008 was reported to have the largest housing price drop in history. This left many people to feel disillusioned with the idea of homeownership. 

Then came the tiny house movement. Affordable, sustainable, and environmentally-friendly, many people transitioned from traditional homes to tiny houses. 

But then again, living in a tiny house poses a lot of challenges, choosing small-scale yet high-performing appliances included. While the market is already bombarded with household appliances for tiny houses, choosing the best items is still tricky more so if your house measures no more than 200 square feet in total area. 

That said, it’s important to consider buying appliances that are extremely compact, yet durable and high-performing. Here are some great home appliances your tiny house needs. These items will save you some space and reduce your energy usage and even water consumption.

Water-Conserving Appliances Your Tiny House Needs

Did you know? On average, each person uses about 80 to 100 gallons of water per day for indoor home uses. Globally, that’s around 4 trillion cubic meters of fresh water a year!

So what can you do to make a change in the environment and conserve water? Living in a tiny house is one, but you can do more than just that. How? By using water-conserving appliances in your tiny house. 

Many companies are stepping towards providing greener alternatives to conserve water and reduce water usage every month. For most consumers, conserving gallons of water every month and saving big on utility bills is as easy as changing old appliances for more eco-friendly models. 

Check out some of our favorite water-conserving appliances below:

Low-Flow Toilets

According to a report, a conventional toilet uses 3 gallons per flush. An average household flushes six to eight times per day. 

3 gallons per flush x 6 to 8 flushes per day = 18 to 24 gallons*

Niagara Stealth is one of the best low-flow toilets available in the market. Consumers report that this toilet does not clog. It only uses 0.8 gallons per flush. And compared to other similar products, Niagara Stealth is way more affordable. 

low-flow toilet

Low-flow toilets are a good option only if you want a toilet system similar to that in a traditional home. You can conserve more water if you use composting toilets.

Here’s why we think composting toilets are a better option.

Composting toilets are cheaper than a traditional toilet system. They are also faster to install, consume a minimal amount of space, require little maintenance, conserve water, and generate nutrient-rich fertilizer. 

What’s another great thing about composting toilets is that most companies offer lifetime warranties. 

[Must Read: The 3 Best Toilet for Tiny Houses]

Shower Filters

Did you know? An average person uses 2 gallons of water a minute in a shower. That means a 10-minute shower consumes 20 gallons of water. 

Shower filters purify water to reduce chlorine, chloramine, and chemical content in your shower, so you can keep your skin and hair healthy and soft. The Pelican Water, however, does more than just filter dirt from water. It comes with a dual-head system that allows you to conserve hundreds of gallons of water per month! 

The pressure mode lets you enjoy a standard shower experience. The water conservation mode does the same, except you save water while still benefiting from healthier and safer water.

Pelican Water functions:

  • Filters chemicals in water, including chlorine, chloramines, and other contaminants
  • Improves softness in skin and hair by reducing dryness, flakiness, and fading of dyed hair.
  • Removes unpleasant odors from water.
  • Maintains shower pressure for excellent shower experience. 
  • Features dual-head function. 

Advanced Dishwashers

Did you know? A dishwasher uses four to 10 gallons of water a day. That’s 120 to 300 gallons of water per month.

If you have a large household and cook at home frequently, then you might use more water than the average presented above. You can conserve water by purchasing an efficient Energy Star-certified dishwasher. 

The Beko DIT28430 uses a very minimal amount of water, only 2.4 gallons of water per cycle to be exact. A standard dishwasher uses about 5 gallons of water per cycle, which means the Beko DIT28430 is 52% better than the standard dishwasher. 

It is Energy Star-certified and is 27% better than US Federal standard dishwasher in terms of energy use per annum. 

Alternatively, consider this Farberware Professional Compact Portable Countertop Dishwasher.

Water-Saving Washing Machines

A standard washing machine uses 15 gallons of water per load. Sometimes, it can go as high as 45 gallons. You can combat this alarming amount of water waste per washing cycle by opting for high-efficiency and water-conserving washing machines. Eco-friendly washing machines can help you save as much as 15 gallons of water per cycle, or even more. 

water-saving washing machine

Consider Samsung 4.5 cu. Ft. Front Loader Washer. It has eight preset wash cycles and another nine washing options. Plus, it is Energy Star-certified. 

Purchase a washing machine that’s not only water-saving but also compact and uses a minimal amount of energy. 

Read The 8 Best Washer and Dryer Combos for Tiny Homes to learn more.

Kitchen Appliances Your Tiny House Needs

As tiny houses grow more and more popular, a lot of companies across the United States and around the globe produce small-space kitchen appliances with top-notch aesthetics and performance. 

However small… or technically, tiny… the living space is, there’s no doubt that people still want the convenience of a microwave, refrigerator, hood, stove, and washer/dryer. Fortunately, manufacturers are able to meet the demand of tiny house owners by producing small-scale products — both built-in and freestanding. 

As reported by The New York Times, “micro kitchens are now being embraced by a group of early adopters who could easily afford much larger ones, and whose culinary preferences could shape kitchen design for years to come.” 

Clearly, millennials now prefer shrunken kitchen appliances because they perform efficiently yet use less energy compared to full-sized, conventional appliances. 

Plus, small kitchen appliances can make a kitchen feel larger. 

Refrigerator

You need a fridge that can efficiently provide healthy living by keeping your food fresher longer. If money isn’t a big deal, we recommend Bosch Benchmark® Built-in Freezer B18IF900SP. This 18” custom panel single door built-in freezer is Energy Star qualified for energy efficiency. 

What’s more, with the Home Connect app, you can monitor and control your fridge even if you’re away from your home. 

It has ice maker technology in its Ultra Capacity Ice Drawer and a bright all LED lighting. This slim fridge has three modes to help you control your fridge: Sabbath Mode, Economy Mode, and Vacation Mode. It also has Door Open Alarm technology. 

If you want to opt for something more budget-friendly, consider 800 Series Freestanding Easy Clean B1CB81SSS, still from Bosch. It has NoFrost technology, so you’ll never have to defrost your fridge again. It is almost 40% cheaper than the Bosch Benchmark® Built-in Freezer. Plus, it’s freestanding, so you can place it anywhere it suits in your tiny house. 

And just because it’s more affordable doesn’t mean it doesn’t have style. The stainless steel exterior looks classic and chic. And oh, it’s easy to clean.  

Remember, though, that refrigerators use the most energy, so it’s best to buy an energy-efficient fridge. 

Another option is this TACKLIFE 7.0 Cu. Ft Fridge with Freezer. It’s compact, efficient, and features frost-free operation.

Microwaves

If you want to reheat food, cook popcorn, or try quick Buzzfeed snacks, then you need a microwave. But not just a standard microwave but a compact, energy-saving one. 

home appliances your tiny house needs microwave

Take note, there is no Energy Star label for microwaves at this time. Yet, that doesn’t necessarily mean you cannot find energy-efficient microwaves.

In this world of big guides, we’ve listed down five best compact microwaves available in the market. 

ModelPowerDimensionPrice
Panasonic SD372S950 watts14.8 x 19.3 x 11$140+
Daewoo KOR-7LREW700 watts13 x 17.5 x 10.5$80+
Panasonic NN-SN686S1200 watts15.8 x 20.65 x 12.2$190+
Danby Designer700 watts14 x 17.3 x 10.1$85+
Whirlpool WMC20005YW750 watts13.75 x 15.5 x 14.1$250+

Oven

No space for a stove or stovetop? No worries. You will love Avanti Multi-Function Oven. With it, you can prepare your favorite dishes. This small yet powerful oven has two burners for stovetop cooking. Yes, with it, you can spend less on the gas bill. 

Your kitchen might have shrunk, but that doesn’t mean you have to downgrade your lifestyle as well. By choosing compact yet high performing appliances, you can still enjoy the comforts you’re accustomed to while choosing energy- and water-saving choices in the process.

The Cuisinart TOA-60 Convection Toaster Oven Airfryer is an excellent multifunctional oven, too!

Coffee maker

If you’re anything like us, you can’t start your day without a sip of coffee. There are a lot of coffeemakers in the market. Hence, we understand how overwhelming it can be to pick the best one. 

We’ve narrowed the list and picked the three best coffee makers there is for tiny houses. 

Keurig K-Mini Plus Coffee Maker

Sometimes we just want to get a cup of coffee as quickly as possible. Keurig K-Mini Plus Coffee Maker can make coffee within a few minutes only. It has a removable drip tray for easy cleanup. It is also energy-efficient, making it even more perfect! 

Black+Decker Coffee Maker CM0700BZ

Ergonomic, space-saving, and affordable, Black+Decker Coffee Maker makes delicious coffee in an instant. All it takes is a flip of a switch to brew a cup of aromatic coffee. And with its permanent grounds filter, you never have to remove messy paper filters. 

Ninja 12-cup Programmable Coffee Maker

Need a coffee maker that can brew coffee for the entire family? This coffee maker is capable of brewing up to 12 cups of coffee. If you want to wake up to the smell of a freshly brewed cup of joe, it takes a few taps to program this coffee maker. 

Other Home Appliances Your Tiny House Needs

Air Conditioning System

Air conditioning was once seen as a luxury, and by then, only those who have the $$$ are able to enjoy the comfort it provides. But now, as more and more companies offer air conditioning systems, they have become more affordable. 

Adding an AC system to a tiny house isn’t uncommon. Many tiny housers install AC systems in their tiny homes. 

But before getting an AC system, consider these:

  • Pick the right AC system

Look for an AC system that’s within your budget. This can help you narrow your search for air conditioners. 

Take note, too, that there are different kinds of AC units, like (1) central air system, (2) standalone units, and (3) window units. 

If an AC system is not within your budget, you can opt for alternatives instead. You can use fans or bladeless fans instead. Or better yet, keep your house cool without using AC. 

To learn more about the air conditioning system for tiny houses, read How to Get Air Conditioning in a Tiny Home. 

Heaters

Has the weather kept you chilling on your bed? A heater can help. Take note, heating your home doesn’t have to be expensive. Several portable heaters are now available at affordable prices. 

Here are some ideal portable heaters for your tiny house.

Lasko 754200 Ceramic Portable Space Heater

Pros:

  • You can use the fan only feature all year round
  • The adjustable thermostat lets you pick your preferred temperature
  • Compact and space-saving
  • No need to assemble

Cons:

  • You can’t set a specific temperature 
  • It only heats in one direction

Mr. Heater MH9BX Propane Heater

Pros:

  • Made of durable and high-quality materials
  • Compact
  • Equipped with safety features
  • Light and portable

Cons:

  • Propane is more expensive than electricity
  • Heating real estate is pretty small

Homegear 1500W Infrared Electric Portable Space Heater

Pros:

  • Energy-efficient
  • Comes with a remote control
  • Equipped with temperature display

Cons:

  • Bulky and hard to move around
  • Noisier than its competitors

Get our full list of portable heaters here: The 10 Best Portable Heaters for Tiny Homes

home appliances your tiny house needs electricity

How Much Energy Do You Need?

With all these appliances in your tiny house, how much energy do you need to power them up? And how much will it cost you?

Your energy consumption depends on several variables, including the number of appliances you have, power usage of each item, frequency of use, and size of your household. And take note, having few appliances doesn’t always guarantee you’ll use less energy. 

Remember, not because you live in a tiny house doesn’t mean you’re exempted from a high electricity bill. As mentioned, several factors affect your power consumption. 

The Size of Your Tiny House

Compared to traditional homes, you can only fit in a few appliances in a tiny house. Technically, that means you’ll consume far less electricity than conventional houses. 

The average power consumption of a traditional home in the US in 2018 was 914kWh per month, according to the US Energy Information Administration. A tiny house consumes an average of 21kWh per day, which is about 630kWh per month. 

The Power Usage of Appliances

The number of appliances you have is a factor we must consider in determining the amount of power you need. But what is more important than the quantity is the power usage of your home appliances. 

It’s easy to assume that if you have fewer appliances, you’ll consume a minimal amount of energy. That’s not the case if your home appliances, though few, are high-powered. 

Let’s say you have only eight appliances at home, but six of which consumes more than 1000 kWh per day. You’re most likely going to spend big for your utility. 

Now, let’s say you have 15 appliances at home, all of which are energy-efficient. You’re likely going to spend less on your utility bill if this is the case. 

The Household Size

The number of your dependents can also impact your power consumption. The more people living in your home, the more the appliances are to be used. 

For example, your air conditioner may need to work more to accommodate eight people compared to when there are only two or three people. 

Also, cooking for eight people on an electric stovetop may take longer than if you’re cooking for two or three people only. 

Your Electricity Cost

Now you’re probably wondering how much it would cost you to power up your tiny house with all your appliances. 

There are different kinds of energy for tiny homes, including fuel power, solar power, external generators, and on-grid power. 

If you’re directly connected to an electricity grid, your electricity cost will depend on your (1) energy consumption and (2) location. 

The price of electricity varies per state. Idaho, North Dakota, Arkansas, Washington, and Utah, for example, charge 8 cents per kWh. While Arizona, Florida, Texas, Ohio, Alabama, and Nevada charge 11 cents per kWh. In Connecticut, the price of electricity is 18 cents per kWh. 

It’s important to remember that the rate of electricity may change from time to time. If you’re not sure about the cost of electricity in your area, we suggest asking your local authority. 

Solar panels are also a great choice to power up your home. A solar panel system can provide you with free and clean electricity. It’s also an excellent power option if you want to go greener. 

Though a solar panel system requires a huge amount of upfront payment, it’s a good investment considering it can power up your tiny house for years without being reliant on in-grid electricity and without having to pay for the monthly electricity bill. 

You might be interested in reading this: How Many Solar Panels Does It Take to Power a Tiny Home?

How to Buy Home Appliances

Shopping for home appliances for your tiny house is fun and exciting until you’re presented with so many options that it becomes rather overwhelming and tedious. 

So, to make your home appliance search easy, it helps to have criteria so you can narrow down your search and focus only on those that are in line with your standard. 

Here are a few tips when buying for home appliances. Thank us later. 

  • Measure it

Since you’re living in a home with limited space, you want to purchase items that are compact and can be fitted in your tiny house. 

Purchasing an appliance that fits perfectly in your house is much easier than buying one that is too large to pass through the doorway or hits the walls as it is carried in. 

When it comes to stoves, don’t forget to consider the space it needs to connect any pipes. For refrigerators, make sure that you consider the depth of the door. 

  • Look for online reviews

To make sure you get the best out of your hard-earned money, do research, and learn about the appliances you want to buy. Read online reviews from people who have actually used the product. 

You may also want to check consumer publications like Consumer Reports to get authentic reviews.

  • Choose energy-efficient appliances

Energy-efficient home appliances can help a lot in reducing your power usage. Such appliances often have an eco-mode feature that optimizes power consumption without ever sacrificing performance. 

Energy-saving items are usually easy to detect. Look for appliances that are Energy Star compliant. 

Learn more about How Much Electricity Do Tiny Homes Use here. 

How to Save Energy

Aside from choosing Energy Star appliances, there are other smart things you can do to save energy. 

Open Your Windows

Feeling hot? Why not open your windows to let cold air in instead of turning on your air conditioner? Or better yet, go outside for a quick walk, go to a windy place, and relax. 

You can use this time to unwind and be in the “now.” 

Coffee in a Flask

Instead of frequently turning on your coffee maker to get a cup of joe, you can brew your coffee once in larger amounts, drink a cup of coffee, and keep the rest in a flask. A high-quality thermos should be able to keep your coffee hot for 5 hours or so. 

This being said, make sure to invest in a high-quality flask that can keep your joe warm for several hours. We recommend the Stanley Classic Vacuum Bottle.

coffee in flask

Use LED Light Bulbs

LED light bulbs use less energy than conventional light bulbs. An average household keeps lightbulbs on for an average of 5 to 8 hours (depending on your location). So if you’re going to keep your lights this long, you can save money (and energy) if your light bulbs only consume a minimal amount of energy. 

Final Takeaway

Living in a tiny house doesn’t necessarily mean you cannot enjoy the comfort of a traditional home. You can still get to use appliances, just this time you’re going to do it smarter. 

Choose energy-saving, compact, and high-performing household appliances with sleek aesthetics. Refer to our buying guide when selecting home appliances your tiny house needs. 

Owning energy-saving appliances is good, but there are other steps you can take to go greener.

Related Questions

Where can I purchase home appliances for tiny houses?

Home improvement centers offer a wide range of appliances for both tiny homes and traditional houses. Some of the famous brands known for creating high-performing, durable, and reliable appliances are Samsung, Whirlpool, Bosch, LG, Frigidaire, and KitchenAid.

Refrigerators consume large amounts of energy. Do I really need one?

To have or not have a fridge is totally up to you. But let’s not forget how a refrigerator can keep your food chilled and your produce fresh for a long period. 

How Many Solar Panels Does It Take to Power a Tiny Home?

How Many Solar Panels Does It Take to Power a Tiny Home?

solar panels tiny house

There are a lot of ways to power up your tiny house, but most of the tiny housers choose solar panels. Not only are solar panels more conservative but they are also perfect for off-grid tiny houses. But how many solar panels does it take to power up a tiny home? Many are asking, and now’s the perfect time to finally lay the answers straight. 

The number of solar panels you need to power your tiny home depends on a few key factors, including your location, size of your roof, orientation and shading of your roof, number of appliances, and you (or your household’s) electric usage. 

Clearly, there’s no definite answer to tell you how many solar panels you need. It depends on the variables presented above. So now, let’s dig deeper into these variables to help you out. 

But first, let us talk about how beneficial solar panels are for tiny houses. 

The Benefits of Solar Panels for Tiny Houses

Many people move into tiny houses in an effort to minimize energy usage. The tiny house movement has moved many, per se, to live a more sustainable and conservationist living, putting the environment first before anything else. 

Compared to traditional houses, tiny houses are much smaller. Yet, that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t need energy. In fact, tiny houses need energy as much as conventional homes. They need power for heating, cooling, lighting, and other appliances. 

Tiny house dwellers choose solar panels because they generate clean and free electricity. This way, they cut their energy bills further and save money. 

There’s a lot of benefits you will reap from having solar panels on your tiny house. As mentioned already, you can save money on electricity bills. Plus, you can also help protect the environment and take control of your own electricity generation. 

If you have a solar panel system, it will help increase the value of your home if you decide to put it on sale in the future. You see, prospective buyers admire free and renewable energy. 

Moreover, tiny houses are mobile, meaning you’ll likely move from various places over time. So if you have (or are thinking about building) a tiny house on wheels, then a solar panel system is the way to go!

And because you have your very own electricity, you will not have to rely on power sources wherever you end up placing your tiny home for a bit of time. Instead, you can have a continuous source of energy no matter where you are. 

Plus, if the city experiences a blackout, you’ll be in your tiny house relaxing while your neighbors envy the solar power that’s powering your home. 

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How Many Solar Panels You Need – Location and Orientation

Now let’s go straight on the factors that will determine how many solar panels it will take to power your tiny home. First on the list is your location and orientation of the solar panels.

Where you are and how your solar panels will be oriented can help you determine the number of solar panels you need. A solar panel will get the most power when the rays of the sun hit its surface perpendicularly. So it’s important that your solar panels face the correct direction and have the right amount of tilt to ensure they will be able to produce as much energy as it can. 

If you install your solar panels correctly, then you may need fewer solar panels than if they face the wrong direction.

solar panels sun

The solar production also varies by location. Is your tiny house in a place with lots of sun? Or is it inside the arctic circle that only gets 6 months of light time? Or are you in a place with lots of clouds? 

If your tiny house is in Yuma, Arizona, then you’re in a good place to use solar panels. Arizona, apparently, is among the places in the United States with the most sun. Interesting fact: Arizona gets 4300 sunny hours a year. 

States like Nevada, California, Colorado, Florida, and New Mexico also get a healthy dose of sunlight every day. While states like Alaska, Connecticut, West Virginia, and Michigan are among the cloudiest states in the US. 

But regardless of where you are, either in Nevada or New England, you’ll still be able to get enough power to cover your energy needs. Take note, however, that if you live in a place that gets less sun, you will need to have a larger system. 

The good news is that many solar panel companies have been able to create solar panels that are capable of producing energy no matter the weather — be it cloudy, sunny, or even rainy. 

Solar panels with this feature are usually pricier than the standard panels. So, unless you have the $$$ to purchase top-notch solar panels, you won’t have to worry about your location or the weather. 

Table could not be displayed.

How Many Solar Panels You Need – Size of Your Roof and Solar Panels

You can install your solar panels virtually anywhere that the sun hits. The most common place to set them, though, is in the roof since it is substantially exposed to the sun. 

Logically, you can’t fit too many solar panels if the size of your roof doesn’t allow it. A typical residential solar panel has a size of 65” x 39”. That’s 5.4 feet by 3.25 feet. A standard tiny home that’s 8 by 20 feet can only have up to 6 solar panels of that said size in the roof. 

Solar panels are usually able to produce 250 to 400 watts of power. Say your tiny house is exposed to 5 hours of sunlight a day and your solar panel is able to produce 250 watts, you’ll compute it this way =  5 x 250 watts. In this case, you’ll produce 1,250 watt-hours per day or 1.2 kWh. That’s roughly 430-450 kWh of energy per year. 

A 1.5kW solar panel system will need about 6 solar panels, assuming each panel produces 250 watts. In this example, a 1.5kW solar system will perfectly fit a standard tiny house (5.4 ft. x 3.25 ft.). 

Assuming a 1.5kW solar panel system isn’t enough to 100% power your home. You would need a solar system with higher kW production. A 3.5kW solar panel system requires up to 14 solar panels, which wouldn’t fit in a standard-sized tiny house. 

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[Check out: A Guide to Tiny Home Sizes (What Makes A Tiny Home Tiny)]

The amount of power your solar energy system can produce depends on your location. Again, your location is a key factor in regards to solar production. 

If you’re in an area with less sunlight, then you might need high-efficiency solar panels. With high-efficiency solar panels, you’ll need fewer solar panels (which is good if you have limited roof space). 

Refer to the table below.

System SizeNumber of Solar Panels (Estimated) *250-watt panels
1.5 kW6
3.5 kW14
5 kW20
7 kW28
10 kW40
12 kW48
15 kW69
appliances in a tiny house

How Many Solar Panels You Need – Appliances

A tiny house isn’t always a guarantee that you will be less energy. A tiny house could be small in size but is full of appliances. Or maybe you have a few appliances, but most of them are high-powered, like blender, heaters, or aircon. 

[Must read: The Best 10 Portable Heaters for Tiny Homes]

So, the number of solar panels you need depends on how much power your appliances consume. 

How many solar panels do you need for your household items? The best way to determine this is by listing down all your appliances and see how much energy each of them consumes. 

ProductWattsUsage (hours)Energy in watt-hours
Space heater1,00088,000
Refrigerator180244,320
Air conditioning unit1,00088,000
Blender1,5005 minutes125
Internet router624144
Laptop charging42284
Laptop running148112
Led lights (5)64120
Incandescent light604240
Cellphone5420

In this example, you’ll be using 21,165 watt-hours per day. That’s 21kW a day x 30 days = 630 kW per month, which is 7.6kW per year. 

A 250-watt panel that’s exposed to the sun for 7 hours can produce 1,750 watts per day. So assuming you use 21kW a day, you will need 12 solar panels. 

The fewer the appliances, the less energy you need. And the less energy you use, the fewer solar panels you need. But then again, you also need to consider how much power a panel can produce. 

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

If you choose a 100-watt solar panel, then you’ll likely need about 30 solar panels to cover your 21kW usage. Or if you choose 300-watt solar panel, you will only need 10 solar panels. 

You probably cannot use 10 solar panels in a 120 sq. ft. tiny house. So the best solution would be to use a high-efficiency solar panel system that can cover your energy usage with fewer solar panels. 

Several factors come into play when it comes to energy usage. You see, the size of your household needs to be considered. The more people living in your house, the higher your power usage will be. 

And also, the quality of your appliances can also affect your power usage. For example, an incinerating toilet requires energy, unlike a composting toilet system. Old appliances also tend to use more energy than newer models. 

To reduce your power usage, we recommend using energy-efficient household items. They’re pretty easy to identify. Energy-saving items usually have an Energy Star sticker. 

[Check This Out: The 3 Best Toilet for Tiny Houses]

Here are some other tips on how you can reduce your power usage:

  • Open your windows

Opening your windows to let cold air in is one of the best ways to save energy. Instead of turning on your air conditioner, why not let the cold breeze fill your room? Of course, this may not be very ideal if the heat outside is too intense. 

  • Use LED light bulbs

LED light bulbs are energy-efficient and longer-lasting. They look like normal bulbs, except they use minimal energy and more affordable. 

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  • Perform your tasks during the day

It’s best to finish all your tasks while the sun is still up, so you’ll only use your light bulbs at night for a short period. 

  • Spend more time outdoors

Instead of staying in your room with the aircon on, why not go outside and enjoy the cold wind? Besides, the tiny house movement inspires people to spend more time outdoors. Are you living with a dog? Why not give your pooch a walk in the park?

Solar Panels – Tiny Houses VS Traditional Homes

Solar panels aren’t just for off-grid tiny homes. Traditional houses also use them because they’re convenient and can help save a homeowner from spending more on electricity bills. And as mentioned, solar panels allow you to get clean and free electricity. 

And you know what else is great about solar panels? Even if your city or town experiences a blackout, you’ll still have power (mind you, this is a great advantage if the town experiences power outage on SuperBowl). 

A typical house that’s 1,500 square feet usually needs about 16 panels to cover the entire electrical power needs. Of course, to fully determine a home’s average energy requirements, it’s best to check past utility bills. 

You can calculate how many solar panels a traditional house needs by multiplying the household’s hourly energy usage by the peak of sunlight hours in the area. Then divide the product by a panel’s wattage. 

The lower the wattage, the more panels you need. For example, to generate 11,000kWh in a year, you will need 17 370-wattage panels or 42 150-wattage panels. 

Take note that solar production, your location, roof size, and battery storage are factors to consider. 

A small home in a pleasant climate might use about 200 kWh per month. A larger home, on the other hand, might use about 2,000 kWh per month or more (considering air conditioners, especially if the home is located in the south).

Meanwhile, an average house uses about 900 kWh per month. That’s 30 kWh per day or 1.25 kWh. 

A traditional house that uses 30kWh per day will need about 10 to 15 solar panels, assuming the panels are 350-wattages and are exposed to sunlight for 6 to 7 hours a day. 

Tiny houses may use 20 to 25kWh per day. Such a tiny house may need 7 to 10 solar panels. 

Which of the two uses more solar panels?

It’s easy to assume that the bigger the house, the more solar panels it will use. While that may be quite true, we should not forget the variables that determine how many panels a house must use.

Just because a traditional house is bigger than a tiny house doesn’t necessarily mean it will require more solar panels. 

For example, a small house with one or two occupants may use less energy than a tiny house with 4 to 6 occupants. Or, a small house may have fewer appliances than a tiny house. 

Again, we need to consider the key factors, including the size of the household, the number and quality of appliances, the location, and where the solar panels face. 

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Are Solar Panels Worth It?

Many people have started to install solar panels, and now you might be wondering if they are worth it. 

The price of solar panels has exponentially lowered over the years. Almost a decade ago, a 50-watt panel cost around $215 (or $4.50/watt). But now, you can purchase a 50-watt panel for only $1.50/watt or $75. 

However, the panels aren’t the most inexpensive part. What really costs an arm and a leg are the components, including the inverters, mounts, and wirings, which, in an average house, can cost up to $6,500 on average. 

An average homeowner will pay anywhere between $2,000 and $5,000 to pay for the installation, permits, and also inspections. 

In tiny homes, it’s best to ask your local government about the rules or codes it has regarding the installation of solar panels, especially if your tiny house is on a foundation. 

The upfront payment for solar panels can be overwhelming. So you’re probably thinking if it’s worth the pay. Well, yes. With electricity prices continuing to skyrocket across the United States, many have opted for solar power to reduce their utility bills, especially now that solar panels have become more affordable. 

solar panels electricity grid

Is Your Tiny House Connected to the Grid?

On the grid tiny houses (or those that are situated near or within the city) are able to connect to utility power lines. 

The electrical setup works similar to standard residential rooftop systems. As you produce solar energy during the day, it will cover your home’s electricity needs first before sending excess energy out of the grid. 

Several utility companies have net metering incentive or NEM. It is a solar incentive that lets you store energy in the electricity grid. So if your solar panels produce more power than you need, the excess energy will be sent to the grid in exchange for credits. 

And if your solar panels are underproducing, you pull energy from the grid. Then you can use these credits to offset the costs of that energy. 

Solar Options for Your Tiny House

No doubt, tiny houses can really benefit from solar power, especially those that need low electricity needs. If your tiny house uses only a minimal amount of energy and you only need a few panels to cover your energy usage, it’s best if you do a DIY solar panel installation.

There are a lot of companies out there that sell out solar kits. If you don’t know that much about setting up your solar panel system, then we recommend hiring a professional electrician to do the work. 

It’s also best to consider working with a solar installer that can help you go through the nuts and bolts. Most solar panel companies offer packages that include the entire solar panel system, labor, permitting, and more. 

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How to Shop for Solar Panel System

Here are a few tips that can help you when shopping for a solar panel system. We understand how the market is already bombarded with solar panel companies that choosing one has become rather overwhelming.

So when picking your solar panel system, consider these tips:

research quotations
  1. Research, research, research

Shopping for a solar panel system requires a lot of research and consideration, just as how it is when you’re making big-ticket purchases. 

There’s a lot of companies out there, and each company has offers that, at first glance, are hard to resist. It helps if you conduct thorough research and review of the companies in your area. 

Don’t just take it from the company. Instead, look for reviews from real customers. Sometimes it’s best to choose the products that your friends or neighbor recommended. Chances are they are using the product already and are satisfied with it. 

It’s best to compare as many solar options as possible so you can avoid paying inflated prices offered by large companies in the solar industry. 

A lot of solar companies offer free quotations via their website. 

2. Large companies don’t usually offer the best prices

It’s time that you believe that the bigger isn’t always better. When choosing a solar panel installation company, don’t just stick on brands that are large enough to pay for advertising. According to a report, large solar companies are $2,000 to $5,000 more expensive than small solar companies. 

If you receive offers from big installers, ensure that you compare the bids with quotes from local installers. This way, you can avoid overpaying for solar. Again, do your research. 

3. Compare your equipment options

Big solar companies do not just offer higher prices. Sadly, they also tend to provide fewer solar equipment options. This can have a major impact on your system’s solar energy production. 

So, collect as many solar bids as you can, compare the cost, and calculate the savings you’ll get on the different packages available to you. 

Remember, investing in a top-dollar solar panel system doesn’t always guarantee higher savings. The best way to save money and get the best solar option is by evaluating quotes and doing a thorough review. 

The Effect of Solar Panel Size

If your roof has limited space for solar panels or if it has an unusual shape, the size and the number of panels are a primary consideration. Clearly, if you have a large usable roof area, you can buy low-cost larger panels. 

However, if you have a limited roof area, you can opt for a few yet high-efficiency panels so you can get the most possible power over the long term. 

Yes, the size of your solar panel matters, but what’s more important is the efficiency and output. 

Now, if you’re having a hard time determining how many solar panels you need and how you must install them, we suggest calling a professional installer to help you throughout the process. They can help you from assessing the right number of panels to your roof to installing the solar panels in the right direction and orientation. 

You must also consider net metering if you want to get ROI (return on investment) for your solar system. With net metering, you’ll get credits for producing excess solar energy (especially if your solar panel system is overproducing). 

With the credits, you can use a conventional power grid at night. This is essential if you do not have a solar battery storage system. 

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Related Questions

How long do solar panels last?

The durability of solar panels differs depending on its make. Film panels can last for only 2 to 5 years. Photovoltaic and crystalline solar panels can last up to 25 years. 

How much electricity does a tiny house use?

The amount of energy a tiny house use depends on several variables, including the energy usage, number of appliances, size of household, location, and weather. Guaranteed, tiny homes use only 7% of energy compared to traditional houses.

Do solar panels work at night?

Solar panels need sunlight to generate power for your home. If you need electricity at night, you can use your net metering credits or pull electricity from your solar battery storage.

Do Tiny Homes Hold or Lose Value? What You Must Know

Do Tiny Homes Hold or Lose Value? What You Must Know

tiny house lose or hold value

Tiny homes have been growing rapidly popular this year. However, many wonder if tiny homes are reasonable. Typically, people buy a house with a plan to turn it into an investment and make a profit. But can you hold on to the same plan with a tiny home?

So, do tiny homes hold or lose value? 

Unfortunately, tiny homes depreciate at the same rate as mobile homes and cars lose value.

A tiny home could hold (or appreciate) value only if it happens to be unique that there is a high demand for it (like a collectible car), which is very unlikely. On top of that, you also need to keep it in peak condition over a long period. 

But why exactly do tiny homes lose value? And when it comes to appreciation and depreciation, how do tiny homes and small houses differ? 

Why Tiny Homes Lose Value

Tiny homes are basically houses on wheels. With that in mind, they are similar to RV or a trailer, and banks treat them as such. 

Automobiles don’t last long as much as homes. The longer they are used, the more run-down they get, meaning if you put them back up for sale, they will make less, if any, profit. 

Technically speaking, tiny homes are vehicles. And vehicles, as we all know it, depreciate in time. Sadly, tiny homes depreciate faster than any vehicle. That’s because unlike cars that you only use for driving, you don’t just drive around in your tiny house, you live in it. 

Do Tiny Homes Hold or Lose Value: Wear and Tear

If you live in a traditional house, you’ll eventually notice little damage here and there. You might see a scratch in the paint, stains on your carpet, or a dent in your marble countertop. 

These things can be easily overlooked if you live in a big house, especially if you always take good care of your home. It’s hard to avoid wear and tear. 

The same is true with a tiny house. But unlike in big houses, damages in tiny homes are visible. Because you have a smaller space in your tiny home, “little” damages may look so much bigger. 

There’s also another problem with living in a smaller space. The smaller the room is, the messier it will look. Also, there’s not much room to spread out without the chance of punching a hole in the wall. 

A tiny home can easily look dirty, damaged, and crowded. And if you try to sell a home like that, how much profit do you expect?

Tiny houses are also not intended to withstand a lot of weather. RVs and cars can last long only if you store them in a garage. And if that’s the case, they usually depreciate slower. 

This applies to tiny houses, as well. But of course, you intend to use your tiny home, not just to store it in a garage. Chances are, you will be driving around the country with your tiny house, have a blast, withstand heavy rain, snow, wind, hail, or even falling rock. 

That tiny house of yours will surely experience a lot of wear and tear, and eventually, you will have to start looking for a new home.

But there’s still a problem… you will have a hard time selling your tiny house to finance your new search, and that’s because you possess damaged goods. 

Sure, people don’t like to buy a damaged tiny house that’s been zipping the road and got beaten by rather devastating hail storms. 

tiny house lose or hold value bank loan

Do Tiny Homes Hold or Lose Value: Banks and Loans

You also need to consider how banks see tiny homes. Most people turn to banks to get loans to buy or build a house. Banks usually hand out loans if the blueprints, payment plan, and credit score look excellent.

Banks don’t invest money into things that they know that won’t outlast them. They only invest in things they know that will pay off. And for them, tiny houses are not worth it. 

You also need to consider how banks would see someone who wants to get a loan to buy a tiny home. Chances are, the bank will think that you aren’t in a situation to pay the loan back. In case you aren’t able to pay your obligations, they can’t flip your home and sell for a profit. 

Banks are more likely to approve loans to rich people with good credit scores. And if you’re rich, then you won’t be needing a loan anyway, so this case is just a fiction. 

tiny house insurance

The Differences Between Tiny Homes and Small Homes

Small homes and tiny homes have a lot of differences. 

And this section forward will explain their financial, physical, and functional differences.

Tiny Home VS Small Home: Financial Differences

Tiny Home

As discussed above, tiny homes, like cars, RVs, trucks, trailers, and boats, depreciate as time goes by. And one of the main reasons is that tiny homes get worn out over time, aren’t a safe investment for banks, and aren’t as durable as traditional houses. 

And it’s not only banks who have a strong objection against tiny houses but also insurance companies. Tiny houses are a hard sell for these companies to shell out insurance for. And if in case you’re able to convince them, the monthly payment will be extremely enormous anyway. 

Tiny houses are fragile, especially that they are more susceptible to damage both from weather and damaging effects of simply driving it around. 

The chances of your tiny home to get damaged or destroyed are pretty high, which means there’s a high possibility of the insurance company to pay you. Something as simple as a hail storm could lead to the insurance company paying you a lot, and that’s something they don’t want on their plate. 

And for insurance companies, tiny homes are far worse than cars. Cars are also relatively fragile, but then again, unlike tiny homes, you don’t actually live in them. 

When you live in a place, the chances of that place getting damaged exponentially increases. And besides, it’s not like you’re only going to store your tiny house in your garage, where it would be protected against hail storms, thieves, and vandals. 

And remember, when you hit the road with your tiny house, the risk of a crash significantly increases. 

In 2013, the motor vehicle deaths totaled 33,804 for a death rate of 10.7 per 100,000. And the odds of an American driver dying as a result of automobile crash is 1 in 77, according to data

This is to say that anyone on the road is at risk of road accidents. Collisions can cost insurance companies thousands of dollars. So several companies just avoid insuring tiny houses. 

small house

Small Home

The price of building tiny houses and small homes are almost the same. The average cost of building a tiny home is anywhere between $15,000 to $23,000. Small houses, however, can cost a bit higher, considering you have to purchase a property and lay a foundation. 

Still, small houses are far cheaper than an average home (approx. 2,500 sq. ft.) that costs anywhere between $210,000 to $310,000. 

Unlike tiny houses, you can insure small homes (and insurance companies are willing to do so). Small houses are more durable and can last longer. They could even be around for generations (i.e., several small stone houses have been around for centuries. Check this out!)

Insurance companies see small houses a safe investment. Apparently, banks and insurance work hand in hand. 

If you go to a bank to ask for a loan to build a small house, you’ll likely to exit the bank with a huge amount of money in your pocket (provided, of course, that you have a good credit score, practical payment plan, and reasonable building plan). 

For banks, small homes are a much better investment. Plus, they know that small homes are much more durable and appreciate in market value (as long as you take good care of them). 

Small houses are also easier to remodel, update, and repair with a much better result. And if you add a garden and lawn, it would have an added appeal. Since small houses are immobile, the house and its inhabitants can contribute to a community, which also helps with appreciation. 

Tiny Home VS Small Home: Physical Differences

Tiny Home

The average size of a tiny house is about 500 square feet and are usually no bigger than 20 by 8 feet. Tiny houses usually have 120 square feet of living space. 

Tiny homes are intended to be only this tiny, so they can be easily transported from one place to another. Some tiny houses are simply perched on a trailer and towed to different places, depending on the season. 

Most tiny housers equip their homes with furniture and fixtures that have dual purposes. The couch can also be used as storage, and the stairs could also be a drawer. You get the idea. 

But sometimes things with dual purposes aren’t always practical. For one, you usually cannot use both of its purposes at the same time. For example, a couch could be turned into a bed. But you can’t use both purposes at the same time.

Since you want to save space, almost everything in your house has a purpose. While there are some that like a minimalist lifestyle, many start to feel overwhelmed by it after some time. 

The limited space in tiny houses makes it hard to decorate and keep sentimental items, which could be an issue for some people. 

But there’s a silver lining that we tend to overlook. The tiny house lifestyle inspires us to keep only the things that we really need. Plus, you can build your tiny home to fit your every need for a relatively affordable price. 

Small Home

Small homes can be the same size as a tiny house, but they are usually as big as 1,500 sq. feet. 

And unlike tiny homes, small houses have a foundation and are affixed on a piece of land. You could build a garden, porches, and even a basement. 

When it comes to decorating, you’ll have more freedom in small houses. You can use items without the need for dual functionality. You can keep sentimental items like pictures, centerpieces, and that huge wooden closet you got from your dad. 

Tiny Home VS Small Home: Functionality Differences

Tiny Home

Unlike small houses, tiny houses are marketed as a way to live a conservationist lifestyle. This has a lot of merits. You can use solar panels and hook up to a generator to power up your tiny home. Self-composting toilets are also a great way to conserve water and “go green.” 

You’ll also have a lesser carbon footprint if you live in a tiny home.

And if you’ve been wanting to live a nomadic lifestyle, then a tiny house is a good option. They are typically on wheels, meaning you could go anywhere you want to go. 

Tiny houses on wheels allow you to explore various places and cultures without having to commit to staying anywhere. 

Other great things about tiny houses are there functional kitchens and bathrooms. A tiny kitchen can have dishwashers, ovens, stoves, toilets, sinks, showers, etc. It’s like living in a house, but smaller.

But worrying about the weight of your tiny home is a setback, at least to some people.  When you need to travel between states, you need to weigh your trailer on a scales. And there could be fines if you exceed some pounds than what’s only allowed. 

So, if you’re thinking about the tiny house movement, then you need to think about everything that you’re going to put into it. Are you ready to let go of some of your valuables? 

And because weight is a major concern in tiny houses, you have to contemplate your design — both interior and exterior. Like, choosing between a porcelain sink (which looks undeniably fancy) and a stainless steel sink. 

That’s not the only concern. Since your tiny house is not situated in a permanent spot, you will have to find a place to park it wherever you go. 

There are already a lot of RV parks or trailer parks in almost every state. However, the parking fee is usually as much as spending a week in a hotel. 

Small Homes

When it comes to carbon footprint, size does matter. Basically, the smaller your house, the lesser carbon footprint you’ll have. 

And because small homes are (mostly) the same size as tiny houses, it takes less to heat, cool, and power it. Like tiny homes, you can use solar panels and generators to power your small house.

Small homes, since they are perched in a permanent spot, could easily hook up to water, electricity, and even the internet. 

You can also contribute to the community if you have a small house. When you stay in a place for a long time, you get to know your neighbor and the culture around you. 

With a small house, you don’t have to squeeze yourself in a loft or use a fold-up kitchenette because you now have a full-size kitchen. 

Hold up! The fun doesn’t stop there. Unlike tiny houses, you can expand your small home. A tiny home may not be able to accommodate a growing family. 

Final Thoughts

Tiny homes depreciate like cars and RVs, while small houses appreciate in market value. While this may be a major setback, there are still a lot of things tiny homes offer that small houses don’t, such as being able to go greener, live a minimalist lifestyle, and being able to live a nomadic living. 

Related Questions

How much does it cost to live in a tiny house?

Living in a tiny house can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $200,000. 

Can you legally live in a tiny house?

If your tiny house is on a foundation, you must follow the same building codes as residential homes. Tiny houses on wheels may fall under the recreational vehicle code

Get Your Tiny Home Connected: How to Get Internet

Get Your Tiny Home Connected: How to Get Internet

get your tiny home connected surfing the web

The tiny home movement is a practical campaign that inspires people to live a more affordable and sustainable living. While many have already joined the movement, a lot of people are still skeptical about the tiny house lifestyle because of the challenges it imposes. 

One of the concerns of tiny house aspirants is how to get fast and reliable internet service to their tiny home. 

This article will go through the ins and outs of how to get your tiny home connected. 

Get Your Tiny Home Connected

Sure, when your tiny home is near or within the grid, connecting to the internet is easy as pie. It’s even easier for tiny homes that are affixed in a permanent property and is on the grid. 

If you live in the city, you have a lot of internet options to choose from. However, the farther you are from the city, and the closer you are to living off-the-grid, the more difficult it is to get connected. 

And chances are, once you connect to the internet, the experience would not be as smooth as it would be in a regular home within the city. 

If you live in someone’s backyard, then the easiest option would be to share their service — only, of course, if they agree to it. More on this will be discussed later. 

How to Get Internet Connection for Your Tiny Home

The good news is that you can still connect to the internet even if you’re living off-grid. There are a few internet options you can pick, but take note that each has its pros and cons. 

Wired Cable Internet

If you live within a city or other developed residential areas, you can connect to the internet via a traditional cable hook-up (or DSL). It is the easiest and most affordable solution to get connected. 

wired connection tiny house

Wired internet connection has some advantages over WiFi. There’s no denying that WiFi has gotten so much faster over the last few years. And besides, WiFi helps us handle most of our everyday tasks. 

Wired connection is way slower than WiFi, but it excels in some ways. A DSL connection can transfer files faster between devices on your network compared to WiFi. This is because your internet connection won’t matter on this, but only the speeds your local network hardware can provide. 

Local speed is important in some aspects, including:

  • If you have devices streaming from a media server of your network, a wired connection will give you a great boost in terms of the quality of the stream.
  • Backups are way faster over a wired connection. This is helpful, especially if you have a lot of devices that back up to a backup server or shared hard drive. 

When it comes to the internet connection, it’s not only the speed that we should consider but also the latency. 

Latency is an important factor. In case you don’t know, latency pertains to the delay or the amount of time it takes to send traffic from one device to another. Latency, in speed tests, is referred to as ping rate and is usually measured in milliseconds (ms). 

Pros

  • Faster transfer speed
  • A good option for a home office
  • Connection speed is usually faster than wireless
  • Offers more security than wireless

Cons

  • Can be expensive and difficult to set up
  • Your location is limited as you need to connect to a cable or port
  • Sharing files can be less convenient as you must be cabled
  • Requires lots of cables and ports
  • Not convenient for public use

Wireless Internet

Wireless internet has become widely used all around the globe. It offers prestige convenience and fast connection, making daily internet tasks seamless. 

You can connect several devices to your wireless network without the need for cables and ports. You can connect your laptops, tablets, and smartphones to it with the freedom to move around freely while still maintaining a strong connection. 

Using your mobile phone to get a wireless connection is the most common option, especially if you have a good mobile data plan. This is called a hotspot. 

The only problem with using your phone to get a wireless connection is that you cannot simultaneously use it as a phone. But of course, in every problem, there’s a solution. You can use 4G LTE or data-only plans wireless routers to free up your phone for regular use. 

Pros

  • You can move around your tiny house while still connected to your wireless network. 
  • The wireless network does not require cables 
  • Several devices can connect to your wireless internet connection
  • You can use phones as a mobile hotspot, saving you money
  • Most establishments (like cafes and restaurants) offer free wireless connection
  • You can transfer files to other devices connected to the wireless network without the need for cables

Cons

  • Transferring files is usually slower than a wired connection
  • You may experience slow connection if there are too many devices connected to the network
  • Wireless connection has higher latency. 
  • Items in your tiny house may block the signal and cause lowered speeds
  • Interference from other electrical devices can also slow down your internet speed
  • The wireless connection usually loses signal. When streaming, dropped signals may cause your media to buffer. 
  • In mobile hotspots, the strength of your wireless connection depends on your location. If you’re in a secluded area, getting a signal may be hard. 
  • Using your phone as a hotspot means you cannot use your phone simultaneously. 
  • A wireless connection is less secured. Hackers may access your information and bandwidth. 

There are things you can do to reduce interference and enjoy seamless browsing. 

Wireless connection works like magic, but it is not. It’s basically radio waves. And there’s a lot of factors that can interfere with radio waves, which causes your wireless connection to become slow, weak, and unreliable. 

The common cause of interference is to remove obstructions around your router. Here are the things you can do:

  • Put your router in the middle of your house. 
  • Position the antenna of your router vertically. 
  • Place your router in an elevated area. You’ll get a better reception if the router is on your table, not on the floor. 
  • Household appliances like cordless phones and microwave ovens can cause interference. Do not place your router near household devices that may interfere with your signal.

Satellite Internet

Satellite internet is probably one of the best internet options. As the name implies, your connection will come directly from a satellite up above the skies, which means no problems here on Earth can affect your connection. 

get your tiny home connected satellite internet

Also, what’s best about satellite internet is that you can still get reliable internet connection no matter where you are — be in on top or bottom of a mountain. The only downside is that you won’t get internet connection if the signal is blocked, say if you’re underground. 

Satellite connection is perfect for tiny housers who want to put down roots in a secluded area or a place far from the grid. 

However, compared to wireless and cabled connections, the speed of a satellite connection is still far worse. Satellite connections may not be the best option for modern-day users. The slow bandwidth is not suitable for streaming videos or even for playing online games. 

Many companies offer satellite internet. The plans are usually tiered like mobile data plans, but cheaper. 

Pros

  • Satellite internet is available in most areas, especially in places that cable and wireless connection cannot reach. 
  • The prices are more affordable.
  • If you use satellite connection in a basement, you may experience dropped signals or slow bandwidth.
  • A satellite connection can accommodate several devices, so everyone in the household can connect to the internet all at the same time. 
  • It is easy to use. Your service provider will set up your account and install a receiver outside your tiny house. Once finished, you’re ready to go. 
  • Satellite internet does not require additional equipment. 

Cons

  • The Fair Access Policy (FAP) limits the speed of a user’s daily internet use. That means during peak hours of use, you will experience a slower connection that it would be if you’re using DSL or cable connection. 
  • The weather can cause your network to slow down. Rain, snow, clouds, and even high winds can contribute to lost data signals, which causes an interruption in your connection. 
  • The strength of your internet connection will depend on the placement of the receiver. There must be no trees blocking the receiver. 
  • Rain can cause interference referred to as rain fade. This can lead to slower download and upload speeds and intermittent connections. 
  • Acquiring satellite internet can be expensive. The installation can also add to the total cost, unless if it’s provided by the service provider.

Connect to a Neighbor or Host

Sharing internet connection with your relative, friend, or landlord who lives near you may be the easiest solution to stay connected. 

This is the best option if you live in their backyard. Connecting to your neighbor’s wireless connection is a good option, but because of the distance, you may get a slower connection.

The best and most reliable method would be to string an ethernet cable from their house to your tiny home. With that cable, you can set up your wireless router for your house. 

Using this method, you do not have to piggyback to the main router since you already have a direct cable to your home. You also don’t have to worry about the signal strength. As long as the modem in the main house is functioning, then you’re good to go. 

Of course, this option is only viable if your neighbor agrees to this kind of set up as this would affect their internet usage. 

A few reasons why your neighbor might not agree to this set up are:

  • Sharing their internet connection means sharing the bandwidth. The more devices connected to the network, the slower the connection and the higher latency there will be. 
  • Whatever the reason they have an internet connection — be it for business, work, or entertainment purposes — they do not want irritating internet interruptions, which will likely happen if there are too many devices connected to the network. 

Pros

  • Connecting to a neighbor’s internet network means you do not have to subscribe to a new service. 
  • You’ll be able to save money by sharing an existing connection. 
  • It is the cheapest and easiest solution to get your tiny home connected. 
  • You can connect to their internet connection wirelessly.

Cons

  • If the wireless connection is slow, you may need to use a cable to connect to their network. This requires an additional cost and setting up. 
  • You will have to rely on your “host” keeping their router working. 
  • If a problem occurs, you will have to rely on your host to get the problem fixed. 
  • If the host has already a lot of users in their household, then you may only be getting a slow bandwidth, which can affect your overall surfing experience. 
  •  This may not be the best option if you need an internet connection for work or business as interruptions and speed are not reliable.

How Much Data Do You Need?

Internet providers usually offer network connections in a tiered plan. So before getting an internet connection, it helps if you determine how much data you will actually need. 

netflix data usage

Here are some ideas to help you determine your data usage:

  • One gig of data lets you send 100,000 emails without attachments.
  • One gig of data lets you stream music for 10 hours. 
  • You can watch a lot of YouTube videos, but the number depends on the quality of the videos. 
    • 6 hours of 240p videos;
    • 4 hours of 360p videos;
    • 2 hours of 480p videos;
    • 1 hour of 720p videos; and
    • 30 minutes of 1080p videos
  • In one gig of data, you can stream on Netflix or Hulu for several hours, again, depending on the quality of the movies. 
    • 3 hours of movie per gig on low quality
    • 2 hours of movie per gig on medium quality
    • 30 to 45 minutes of movie per gig on high quality

As you can see, streaming videos uses a lot of data. You can cut your bill down pretty big if you can control that. To save data, you can turn off the autoplay feature of your browser or social media apps like Facebook.

And if you’re going to watch videos, you can reduce your data usage if you watch them on low quality. 

Do You Really Need an Internet Connection?

The internet has made several tasks easy and convenient. 

Thanks to the internet, you can now easily connect with your loved ones who live far away, shop without leaving your home, watch countless movies and TV series, work remotely, or manage your business in the comfort of your home.

surfing internet

Could we live without the internet? We guess not. The majority of people and businesses use the internet to perform everyday tasks. 

To have an internet connection or not is entirely your choice. Maybe you need it for your business or work, or maybe you just want it for entertainment or to stay connected with everyone else. Or maybe you don’t see it as a necessity or want to avoid the internet of things. 

An internet connection is not obligatory, but it sure is a nice thing to have. 

Conclusion

There are lots of ways to get your tiny home connected to the internet regardless if you live on or off the grid. 

Each option has advantages over the other. 

Cabled connection offers a more secure internet experience and faster file transfer between the devices connected to the network. Wireless connection, on the other hand, offers mobility and wider accessibility. 

Satellite internet gets your tiny home connected regardless if you’re in a secluded place. And if none of these options fit the bill, you can ask your neighbor if you can connect to their internet. 

Related Questions

What is the fastest satellite internet? 

The speed of your internet connection depends on your area. In some places, Viasat offers speeds up to 12 Mbps, and HughesNet, another satellite internet provider, delivers speeds up to 25 Mbps. 

How can I access free internet?

You can ask your neighbor if you can connect to their network. But if that’s not an option, you can go to cafes and restaurants that offer free WiFi connection (usually only for customers, though). 

Most public libraries offer free internet access. 

How to Choose the Right Windows for a Tiny House

How to Choose the Right Windows for a Tiny House

choose the right window for a tiny house

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

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

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

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

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

Choosing the Right Windows for a Tiny House

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

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

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

Energy Efficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Durability

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

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

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

When you shop for windows, give attention to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fiberglass is durable, reliable, and stable. 

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

Glass – Tempered or not?

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

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

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

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

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

Cost

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

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

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

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

Types of Windows for a Tiny House

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

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

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

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

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

Bay Windows

right window for a tiny house bay window

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

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

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

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

Awning Windows

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

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

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

Sliding Windows

right window for a tiny house sliding window

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

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

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

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

Skylights

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

right window for a tiny house skylights

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

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

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

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

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

Transom Windows

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

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

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

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

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

Accordion Windows

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

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

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

Storm Windows

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

right window for a tiny house storm window

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

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

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

Replacing Your Windows

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

When to Update Your Existing Windows

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

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

Selecting Window Tips

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

When selecting windows, consider these:

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

Installation of Windows for a Tiny House

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

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

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

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

Final Takeaway

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

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

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

Related Questions

How much does window replacement cost per window?

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

Is it worth it to replace windows?

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

8 Tiny House Safety Procedures: An Important Guide

8 Tiny House Safety Procedures: An Important Guide

tiny house safety procedures

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

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

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

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

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

Are Tiny Houses Really Safe to Live In?

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

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

1. When Building Your Tiny House

tiny house construction safety

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Reducing Risk Inside and Around Your Tiny House

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

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

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

Kitchen

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

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

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

 Bedroom

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

Bathroom

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

Roof Deck

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

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

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

In the yard

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

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

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

Stairs

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

3. Living in a Tiny House with Children

tiny house children safety

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

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

Choking

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

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

Cuts

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

Poisoning

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

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

Burns

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

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

4. Living in a Tiny House with Elders

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

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

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

5. Guard Your Tiny Home Against Fire

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

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

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

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

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

Fire Detectors

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

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

Smoke Detector

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

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

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

Propane Gas Detector

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

Propane leaking may result in a destructive fire. 

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

Fire Extinguisher

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

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

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

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

Exit Access

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

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

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

Loft Window

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

6. Keep The First Aid Kit Handy

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

7. Get Directions

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

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

8. Guard Your Tiny Home Against Intruders

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

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

Related Questions

Why is home safety important?

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

What are the most common home accidents?

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