Transitioning to a tiny house is a perfect solution to downsizing (especially if you’re looking to further organize your possessions in personal storage!). Across the country, tens of thousands of people have joined the micro-living trend and are a part of the tiny house community. And those that do love it.
Wondering how to build a tiny house and need some tiny house ideas? Then this guide is for you.
What Is a Tiny House?
As the name implies, a tiny house is a fully liveable space—just one that’s significantly smaller than your standard home. Typically, the standard size ranges from 100 to 400 square feet. Insider estimates that there are more than 10,000 tiny homes in the U.S., with a significant minority (15%) residing in California.
Aside from the freedom to live a more minimalist lifestyle, having a tiny house also translates to more money in your pocket:1
- 68% of tiny house owners are mortgage-free
- 89% of tiny house owners have less credit card debt than the average American
- 60% percent of tiny house owners have no credit card debt at all
- 55% of tiny house owners have more savings in the bank than the average homeowner
How To Build a Tiny House Step By Step
Are you excited to make the move into accommodations that are a bit cozier and join the tiny house movement?
Follow these steps to turn your dreams of a diminutive home into reality:
Step 1: Choose Your Tiny Home Setup
One of the benefits of a tiny home is that you have a lot more freedom about where you can build it. That said, your first main decision will be to select one of two options:
- Build a tiny home on a foundation – This option gives you greater control over the square footage and tiny house floor plan, although it may cost more to purchase the plot. A concrete slab gives the tiny home a feeling of permanence and stability; however, depending on your state, there may be zoning regulations and building code regulations that you must follow. If you’re leaning toward this option, be sure to first research your local and state laws.
- Build a mobile tiny home – Some tiny home dwellers want to be free to hit the open road, going where they like when they like—and to bring their house with them! A tiny house trailer affords greater mobility and flexibility, but it also means that your home on wheels may be subject to RV regulations and limited to RV utility hookups.
Step 2: Set Your Budget
How much does it cost to build a tiny house?
According to the Tiny House Society, the average home cost is $46,300. That’s significantly cheaper than the average home cost of $272,000. This reduced cost of living is why tiny homes appeal to so many people, especially couples over the age of 55.
That said, some tiny homes cost less than $10,000. But to keep prices in this lower range, you’ll likely have to perform construction yourself. Since most people lack the trade skills to build a tiny home manually, it’s wise to apportion at least $50,000 for land, materials, design, and labor.
Step 3: Select a Tiny House Design
If you opt to hire someone for your tiny house build, there are two routes a tiny house owner can take: either hire a designer to custom-make your tiny house floor plan and layout or purchase a pre-designed model.
Naturally, the first option will be more expensive. But it does grant you the freedom to create something unique and bespoke to your preferences. The second plan will save more money in your pocket at the expense of personalization.
Once you’ve settled on the ideal course, it’s time to get to work.
Step 4: Break Ground
A building timeline depends on the design of the home, its size, and whether you’re going to do it yourself or hire a professional builder. According to Tiny Life: “This [building timeline] can vary depending on size, skill level, and complexity, but 500 hours to build a tiny house is often a good rule of thumb for the average DIYer. Professional builders who have a dedicated facility will be able to reduce this down to about 300 hours.”
Remember, there’s a lot that needs to be done, even for a small house. This includes:
- Laying the foundation
- Framing the home
- Installing windows and doors
- Framing the roof
- Laying roofing materials
- Installing plumbing, electrical, appliances
- Setting up the sleeping quarters
Step 5: Prepare to downsize
Whether you’re moving from a home or an apartment, you need to be creative when it comes to storage. That’s why many tiny homeowners will invest in a self-storage space to keep all of their stuff organized and prevent clutter from building up in their new house. In a tiny home, every square foot of space is extra valuable!
By storing your items in a nearby storage facility, you can get the best of both worlds—on-demand access to your things and a neat and tidy tiny house living space.
Storage Solutions for You
Now that you know how to build your own tiny house, are you looking for self storage for your tiny home?
Then you’ve come to the right place!
Are you ready for the tiny house lifestyle? We’re here to support your journey.
Insider. Tiny House Zoning Laws. https://www.insider.com/tiny-house-zoning-laws-what-you-need-to-know-2020-12
Tiny House Society. Living in a Tiny House. https://www.tinysociety.co/articles/tiny-house-statistics/
The Tiny Life. How Long Does It Take To Build A Tiny House? https://thetinylife.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-build-a-tiny-house/