For the past few years, living in tiny homes has been on the rise as many individuals and families recognize its lifestyle and environmental benefits. The tiny house movement is a big deal for helping the environment, from requiring less energy to using less building materials. And the best part for most homeowners? It’s great for your finances and pockets!
Today, we can see tons of amazing sustainable and well-designed tiny houses that are fueling up this growing trend even more. There are homes made from salvaged materials like shipping containers and tiny houses built using reclaimed materials such as bard wood sidings. If you’re also looking to downsize and planning to own a tiny home, you’re in the right place. In this guide, we’ll give some of the most important things you should think of and prepare for.
While building a tiny house is incredibly more affordable than buying a standard two-bedroom home, that doesn’t mean you can pay for it outright. The cost for building one typically depends on your design, size, location, and most of all, the materials you’ll be using. On average, you can get by around $20,000 to $40,000 if you build it yourself. Double the numbers in case you’re hiring a professional builder to do the work. Nevertheless, the cost can vary a lot depending on your options.
Some of the top things that make up the overall costs include the windows ($500 to $6,000), insulation ($500 to $3,000), HVAC ($500 to $1,500), electrical ($700 to $3,000), flooring ($300 to $1,000), interior finishes ($400 to $4,000), appliances ($400 to $4,000), and fixtures ($1,000 to $5,000). Also, don’t forget to consider the costs of repair or maintenance for air conditioning, water heater, plumbing, and roof.
When it comes to building materials, it’s always recommended to use reclaimed or salvaged ones to save money and, of course, help the environment. Visit junkyards and garage sales in your local area for materials you can recycle or refurbish. You can also check eBay, Amazon, or Craigslist for some cheap supplies. If you got tons of building materials on your old home that you can repurpose, that’s better.
You can build your house’s frame from lumber that you can find on demolition sites or old sheds, siding materials like vinyl, metal, and wood, and second-hand doors and windows. For affordable utilities, you can consider installing solar panels, a basic water pump, a freshwater tank, a propane heating system, and a tankless water heater.
While there’s no explicit rule about how small or big a tiny house can be, you’ll need to consider things such as zoning requirements in your area and enough livable space. If you’re building a tiny house on wheels, check the road height limitations to ensure it’ll fit under bridges and overheads. Generally, bridges on side roads and major highways have a 13.5 clearance. As for the width, most states required trailers to be not more than 8.5 feet. If you go over this number, you need to get a special wide load permit.
And since there are strict limitations for the height and width, you can take advantage of the length to have the square footage, which can be up to 30 feet long. For the total square footage, tiny homes on trailers can range from 60-400 square feet. Furthermore, don’t forget to consider your stuff and the number of persons who will live in it when planning for your house’s size.
The weight of the tiny house is crucial, especially if you’re planning to build it on wheels. Not only are heavy structures difficult to tow, but you’d also want to consider the weight limits on road permits. This is where building materials play an important role as well. For instance, instead of using wood for your entire structural frame, you can use a steel frame that tends to be just durable yet lighter. You can also opt for metal roofing panels which are more lightweight compared to those clunky regular shingles.
On average, a dry weight of 10,000 pounds is expected for a tiny home without the furniture, belongings, and people in it. The biggest models can go way up to 15,000 pounds, while smaller ones start in about 3,000 pounds.
Whether you’re looking to save money, reduce your carbon footprint, or live minimally, owning a tiny house is a sure win. You can design it the way you want using salvaged or reclaimed materials and even move to a new location without hassle or worrying about spending a lot. Ready to discover for yourself how living in less space can improve your life? Start planning for your tiny home right now.
Meta title: Planning to Build a Tiny Home? Here’s What to Consider
meta desc: Building a tiny house is not a small venture at all. If you plan to live economically, here are some factors to consider when building your tiny home.