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5 Things You Need to Know Before Building a Tiny House

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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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