We’ll be posting a floor plan soon! Thanks!
We love to hear from folks who are curious or passionate about the tiny house movement. If you’ve got tiny house questions, ask us here and we’ll answer!
We’ll be posting a floor plan soon! Thanks!
Like you, I fell in love with tiny houses when I first stumbled across them on a blog in 2010. It’s easy to be enamored by their quaint beauty, but it’s also important to consider the real life applications of living in such a small space and if it’s for you! Here’s a few tips.
1. Determine why you want to live tiny. Is it for financial reasons? Is it for freedom from location? Is it for a simpler way of life? Those reasons are important to consider because there may be better alternatives for various reasons! I recently read a post by someone who had worked out the numbers for living in a tiny house (on wheels) on rented land vs. paying a traditional mortgage for a cheap, small house on a foundation that she had found. In the end, it made more sense at retirement age to have purchased and owned the small house on land.
2. Go find a tiny house to spend some time in! We actually vacationed in a tiny house-type dwelling in a KOA campground in Cherokee, NC the year before we started making plans to build and loved it. (I believe it was called a “Deluxe Cabin”) It was there that we got to experience what was like to dwell in such a small space on a daily basis, and it helped to concrete the plan in our minds.
3. What are your physical needs? Do you or your family members have any physical limitations or illnesses that would prevent you from moving freely in such a small space? (ie: door widths, the use of stairs/ladder, shower size) These are things that we’re now considering in planning future builds for our aging parents.
4. Who will be living in the space? If you have a spouse, how do they feel about the idea? Do you have any plans to expand your family, and do you think that it would be worth the investment if, at some point, you decide that your family has outgrown the home?
5. Where would you build? Where will you park? (This is a big one! People are always reaching out to us for information on this very issue.) Do you have family or friends that would let you park next door? If not, would you be prepared to buy a piece of unrestricted property or live in an RV park? Also, if you had to move from your current area to find a place to park, would the potentially longer commute to work be a dealbreaker (if you had a typical 9-5 job)?
6. Tiny house living isn’t legal in most places, which means that tiny housers are actually living under the radar and are at the mercy of the zoning departments of local governments. How does that make you feel? Would it stress you out to live knowing that you might be asked to move your house next week? Would you be happy living a life that’s more transient and not tied down to one location?
6. How will you finance your project? I’m starting to read about builders who are offering financing, but it’s still pretty rare. How could you change your lifestyle to raise the needed funds?
7. Imagine yourself without most of your belongings. That’s your future self if you choose to live tiny. How does it feel to think about loosening your grasp on all of that “stuff”?
8. Start paying attention to the amount of space that you occupy every day. How much space do you take up on the toilet? In bed? Do you work from home and need a dedicated space to use a laptop? Are you a bath enthusiast who needs a big tub, or do you love to cook and need a bigger kitchen? Much of the space in a tiny house also has to be multi-functional to serve the needs of all its inhabitants, so finding solutions to fit all of those needs require a good bit of thought and planning!
Hi there! The price of a tiny house depends on a lot of factors, including the price of the trailer, building materials, finishes and appliances that you use. I’ve seen comparable pre-built models sell for upwards of $60-70,000, but I’ve also seen DIY’ers who’ve built a similarly sized house using reclaimed materials for $11k. It all depends on your resourcefulness – on whether you seek out sponsorships or find free or reclaimed materials. That being said, the biggest costs of a build are generally the trailer and windows – if you can find ways to save on these two elements, you’ll go a long way.
Here’s a little reference – for our build, since we’re using a new materials (custom trailer, new windows, wool insulation, etc), we’re expecting to spend $25k-$30k. We haven’t completed the purchases for the build, so we’ll continue to look for ways to save money as we go. We’re planning to post our budget here on our website once we’re finished. Generally, from what I’ve read, people expect to spend $20-$30k on their tiny house build.
It sounds like you have already started thinking about your needs in a tiny house, which is great! I’d recommend start sketching floor plans and thinking about the relationships and necessity of space in your every day life so you can re-evaluate/decrease the amount of space you need, if possible. Keep in mind that unless you get a special permits to tow an oversize load, you’ll be limited to 8’6, meaning that a 300sqft house would be about 35 feet long. This information is important to know when making decisions on what you’ll lifestyle to be and if ease of tow will be a priority.
We get folks contacting us with this question a lot! It’s very clear to us that the biggest hurdle folks have with living tiny is trying to find a place to park their house.
We’re fortunate enough to have family in the area that are homeowners/landowners with no HOA. We’ll be using their front yard as a landing pad for a while after we finish the tiny house, but eventually want to buy a piece of unrestricted land in the mountains of north Georgia to call home.
If we were in a similar situation, we’d recommend researching RV parks in the area. It also helps to network with other tiny house people in your area and find a place to park that way. We’ve been attending Meetup group socials in Atlanta, and have also found a couple of local Facebook groups, so we’ve met a few likeminded folks who are planning to start their own tiny house/eco-villages in our area.