The tiny house trend has been going on for years. With shows like “Tiny House Nation,” “Tiny House Hunters“, and “Tiny Paradise,” so popular, it seems like everyone wants to hop on the tiny house bandwagon.
But before you decide to build a tiny house, you need to know how much a tiny house cost. Is it cheaper than a standard house? Are there any permits needed to build a tiny house on wheels? We answer these questions and more.
What Is A Tiny House?Via Sol Haus
A tiny house is a small house, either on wheels or on a small foundation. Although there is no textbook describing a tiny house and the size it has to be, tiny houses are generally under 400 sqft, and never any larger than 500sqft.
However, this size largely depends on whether the tiny house is on wheels or not. Due to regulations and the fact that you’re driving with other vehiciles on the road, tiny houses on wheels ahve to be much smaller.
Tiny House On Wheels
A tiny house on wheels is considered a recreational vehicle. In most states, tiny houses on wheels cannot be more than 13′ 6” tall, 8′ 6” wide, and 40′ long (65′ including the tow vehicle, and 53′ max for the trailer).
Another thing to consider is that there may be laws against parking your tiny house on your own property. Check out camping and zoning laws for more info on tiny house on wheels regulations in your area.
Related: How To Deal With A Tiny House Bathroom – 12 Inspiring Design Ideas
Tiny House On Foundations
Tiny houses on foundations are simply small houses that are under 500 sqft. Any bigger than 500sqft and it’s just a small house, not a tiny house. Small houses are easy to work with and aren’t as cramped as tiny houses.
Tiny houses on foundations have different rules than those on wheels. Since you won’t be driving your grounded house around, there are different codes. In general, they follow the same rules as a normal house, but there are loopholes.
Why Do People Build Tiny Houses?Via Tiny Tack House
There are many reasons people build tiny houses. Some do it for practical reasons, others spiritual reasons. The movment is here for a reason, and at this rate, it’s here to stay. There are so many benefits and most beleive they outweigh the negatives.
In general, because a tiny house is smaller than a standard house, you can build one for less. This is one of the main reasons people choose to build them. Of course, fewer materials means less money. But the price per sqft is something we’ll get into later.
Connect To Nature
Because a tiny house on wheels lets you travel and get out more, people who want to get back to nature often build them. Those who do, usually build eco-friendly, solar-powered homes. Tiny houses are also great for living off-the-grid.
Those who want to spend more time with their family, let go of materialistic things and find themselves love building tiny houses. They find purpose, passion, and a new path by cutting down and following their heart.
Related: 20 Smart Micro House Design Ideas That Maximize Space
Tiny houses go hand-in-hand with minimalism. Both are extremely popular and are about cutting back on things that don’t matter. Marie Kondo, an expert in minimalism is taking this trend through the roof.
Beating The System
This, less savory, reason is quite common. People have realized that there are certain loopholes in the system which allows them to write their home off as an RV, a “building,” or something else, which evades taxes, permits, and other government ties.
It isn’t reccomended to try to find loopholes. Doing things the right way always pays off in the end. Keeping things out in the open and handled by professionals is always the best route. So consult someone who knows the laws.
How Much Does A Tiny House Cost To Buy?Via The Tiny Project
To buy a tiny house, you’ll need to get a realtor or visit places like Tiny House Marketplace. For a 200sqft used tiny home, you can expect to pay between $25,000 and $50,000. There are houses that are cheaper and those that are more expensive.
To buy a new tiny house, that was built just for you, you can expect to pay at least 30% more than if you purchased a used one. The bigger, more detailed the house is, the more you will pay. This is why so many prefer to build their own.
How Much Does A Tiny House Cost To Build?Via Robert Edson Swain Architecture and Design
Building a tiny house can be both cheaper and more expensive than building one. Because you have more liberties to take, you can save or spend more. You can make small cuts everywhere and end up saving big.
Most tiny homes cost between $10,000 and $60,000 to build while trying your best. However, some families found out ways to cut corners the right way. This couple paid $8,000 for their tiny home.
Zack Giffin of Tiny House Nation states that the price of a tiny house is generally around $300 per sqft. The cost of a regular house is just $150 per sqft. So why is a tiny house twice as much as a large house?
It’s because, in a tiny house, every inch of space is important. You compact everything into a small space. In a larger house, you average out the price. The middle of the living room doesn’t cost as much as the corner where electricity is installed.
Labor And Materials
The biggest two costs are labor and materials. You can save up to $10,000 on labor costs alone if you have friends and family help out who are qualified. You can also save at least that much on materials if you know how to shop.
Other costs include permits and RV parking fees which apply to tiny houses on wheels. It’s smart to consider all of the costs and write them down before even beginning construction on a tiny house.
Cute Tiny House Ideas
If you’re thinking about getting a tiny house, then you probably need inspiration. Looking at plans, interior designs, and tiny house structures can help you plan your own dream home. Check out these unique ideas.
Boxcar Tiny House On WheelsVia Timbercraft Tiny Homes
Container homes are some of the most popular types of tiny houses. You can get a metal container for very cheap and build in it. This cuts the price of your home by quite a bit considering the exterior is expensive in a normal tiny house.
There’s an entire tv show about container houses called “Container Homes” where contractors transform shipping containers into livable spaces for their clients. If you’re a fan of tiny houses, you’ll love watching container homes get transformed.
Reclaimed Wood Tiny HouseVia Krownlab
If you’re going to build a tiny house because you want something cheaper, then consider finding reclaimed wood. If done right, you can find reclaimed wood from barns or other exterior buildings for a great price.
Shop around, contact farms, and other similar properties. Many will let you have materials of buildings they want to be demolished if you take the building down for them. Others will let you have extras from old projects.
Dollhouse Tiny HouseVia Mindy Nicole Photography
If you’ve’ always wanted to live in a dollhouse or playhouse, then a tiny house is perfect for you. You can get a cottage tiny house and paint it the cutest color. You will feel like a kid again in all the best ways.
Or, you can build a more sophisticated cottage that is the epitome of elegance. Just remember, there are two types of cottages. Whimsical cottages with a shabby chic feel and medieval cottages with an earthy feel.
Tiny House LoftVia Jessica Helgerson Interior Design
Every tiny house needs a loft in order to utilize the space efficiently. A loft room can be used for a bedroom, storage, or a getaway. You can add one over half of the tiny house, all of it, or just the end. Just make sure you add one.
For more info, ideas, and inspiration, cehck out this guide on loft rooms. There you’ll find everything you need to know about the tiny house’s best friend and necesary companion.
Tiny House OfficeVia Chibi Moku – Architectural Cinema
Just because you want a tiny house doesn’t mean you have to sleep in it. You can build a tiny house for anything you want. You can make a quiet office space, which can be used as a write-off, or even a nice playhouse for the kids.
Hobbit Hole Tiny HouseVia Wooden Wonders
Fans of Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit have always secretly wanted a hobbit house. Well, hobbit houses are pretty tiny, so now is the time to get one. Dugouts are great, but you don’t need one to build a hobbit house.
Old-Fashioned Tiny HouseVia Richardson Pribuss Architects
At one point in time, most houses were what we would consider tiny houses today. That’s why building an old-fashioned tiny house is entirely appropriate. Use shiplap, natural colors, and distressed furniture.
A tiny house is all about bearing down and focusing on what matters. But that doesn’t mean you can’t express yourself in the best ways possible! That’s what your living space is for! So get creative!