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5 Things You Need to Know Before Building a Tiny House

5 Things You Need to Know Before Building a Tiny House
The tiny house movement of downsizing and living in small 100-400 square foot homes on wheels, has become especially popular over the past couple of years.
While television shows and the increased media coverage have made tiny homes famous, people know relatively little about what it actually takes to build one. If you’ve ever thought about building your own tiny house, then there are some things you need to know.

1. Set a budget from the start

A tiny house doesn’t have to be an expensive thing, but in order to avoid overspending, you’ll need to develop a strict budget from the very beginning. People have built tiny houses for just a few hundred dollars to as much as $40,000. If you don’t establish parameters, there’s no telling how much you could end up spending.

The best way to set a budget is by developing a master plan. Before starting, you should know exactly what your house will look like, which materials will be used, and how much material you’ll need. Then, you can do some research online and find out how much you think you’ll need to spend. Add in a 10-15 percent cushion and this is how much you should reasonably expect it to cost.

2. Know where the home will go

Never build a tiny house without first knowing where it’s going to end up. Just because it has wheels doesn’t mean you’ll want to move it across the country once it’s complete.

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Ideally, you should build the house in a location that’s close to a hardware store. You’ll quickly discover that multiple trips to the store on a daily basis are a regular occurrence.

3. Think about insurance

One thing that most people don’t realize is that tiny homes actually need to be covered by an insurance policy. “If you own a tiny house designed to be permanently installed on existing land, it should be covered by a home insurance policy,” Marie-Claude Dulac explains. However, if the home is on wheels, you’ll have to think about other options.

“If you think you’ll move your tiny house no more than once a year, then a stationary trailer insurance policy might be right for you,” Dulac says. “If you think you’ll move your tiny house more than once a year, then your insurer will likely suggest a travel trailer insurance policy.”

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4. Consider size and layout

Remember, you’re building a tiny house. Many people think they want a tiny house, but when they start planning, they keep coming up with many things they consider “must-haves.” Too many must-haves can make a tiny house impossible and counterproductive.

Instead of thinking about the tiny layout in terms of sacrificing conveniences, begin to look at the small spaces in light of what it will allow you to do. By switching your mindset, you’ll discover that tiny is certainly better.

5. Try before buying

Would you ever buy a new car without first test driving it to see what it’s like? No….that would be ridiculous! Why, then, would you build a tiny house without ever stepping foot in one?

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It’s important that you try it out before buying one. Spend a week in a tiny house to get a feel of what it’s like. There are lots of tiny houses available for rent, so pick one that is similar in size and layout to the one you hope to build.

The truth about tiny houses

Tiny houses are great. Unfortunately, they’re also over-sensationalized and glamorized on cable television. In real life, the process of planning and building doesn’t take place in a 30-minute vacuum. It takes a lot of forethought, careful budgeting, and meticulous execution.

Before embarking on the journey of building your very own tiny home, make sure you understand what the process is actually like. It can be highly rewarding, but you want to make sure you know what you’re getting into prior to starting the journey.

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Featured photo credit: Wikimedia Commons via commons.wikimedia.org

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Anna Johansson

Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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