Things to Consider Before Building a Tiny Home


The trend of tiny houses is sweeping the nation. Many find the idea of a tiny house appealing because it is cost-efficient, or because they’re trying to downsize, or because they want to travel but want to take their home with them.

Some homeowners prefer to build their own tiny home so that they can completely customize their space. If you’re among them, there are certain things you should consider before jumping on board the tiny house movement.

What living in a tiny house is really like

The first thing you’re going to want to consider is if you really want to live in a tiny house. While many fantasize about getting out of debt and traveling the world, they often forget to think about the cons of living in a tiny house. Some people really dislike just how cramped tiny homes are. If you’re one of them, you’ll want to figure this out before you build your home.

Before you commit, talk to people that are currently living in a tiny house. Ask them for both pros and cons. You might even want to consider renting a tiny home for a few days, just to see what it is really like to live in one.

Where you’re going to be living

Once you figure out if tiny home living really is for you, think about where you’re going to be living. Do you want a stationary house in one location or do you want a house that can travel? If you build a stationary house, you’re going to need to think about things such as building codes in the area and climate in the area. If you’re going to be traveling, you’re going to need to think about how you’re going to haul your house. Traveling tiny houses can only be so big, but you’ll need to make sure your vehicle can support the trailer.

How you’re going to power your home

There are a few different ways you can power your tiny home. If you’re going to be near energy sources, you might be able to get by with extension cords and adaptors. But if you’re going to be frequently off-the-grid or if you’re trying to be green, you’re going to want to invest in solar panels.

You’ll also need to think about what all you need to power. Some electronics, such as televisions, aren’t essentials but there are still ways to make them work within a tiny home. You just need to factor in how much power they’re going to need.

What your layout will be

Once you get some of the logistics out of the way, you can start thinking about one of the more fun aspects of building your own home. Think about what you really want in your tiny home. For example, some people might prefer to have a large master bedroom over a dining area. You might also be able to utilize some spaces in multiple ways, such as by using a pull-out sofa to create both a bedroom and a living room. If you want a loft area, factor in where your stairs will go. Looking online for sample layouts is a great way to start generating ideas.

Is there enough room for everyone

Speaking of layout, think about how many people are in your family and make sure there is enough room for everyone to sleep. Sometimes this requires some planning ahead. For example, you might need to consider if you’re going to be expanding your family while you’re living in your tiny house. If you don’t have enough space for everyone to sleep comfortably, it is time to rethink your layout.

How much you need to downsize

Now that you have your layout, look at how much stuff you have in your current house. How much stuff would you need to get rid of? If you’re planning on traveling for only a few years, you might be able to rent a storage unit. But if you’re traveling long term, you’re going to think about what your essentials are and what you can get rid of. For example, if you have a treadmill, think about whatever of not that is an actual need or if there is another way to exercise.

What your budget is

Once you have an idea of your layout, you can begin to start calculating what the cost of your materials is. Since your building your own home, there is some flexibility on how much it will cost to build your home. Some people manage to only spend $10k on their homes, while others spend closer to $180k. It all depends on the features you want in your home. Most of the time, however, people spend between $30-40k.

This is also the time you’ll want to factor in additional costs, such as appliances. Depending on your location, there are certain features of your home that you might be able to eliminate. For example, if you’re planning on living somewhere hot, you won’t have to factor the cost of a heater. Instead, you’ll need to figure out how to keep your home cool. Check out for a list of affordable tiny house air conditioner units.

Will you DIY or get an expert

Finally, the last thing to consider is if you’re going to build your own house or if you’re going to get an expert to do it. Some of this will depend on your skillset. Many homeowners find it more affordable and fulfilling to build their own house, but will occasionally bring in a professional for specific tasks, such as installing the plumbing features.

Part of this also depends on your schedule. If you’re hoping to hit the road quickly, a professional can probably build your home more quickly than you could.

Final thoughts

If you’re serious about building and living in a tiny house, start planning out the logistics! Tiny house living isn’t for everyone, but many find that it helps them live a more cost-efficient and minimalistic lifestyle.


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