How Much Does It Cost To Build A Tiny Home On Wheels?

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Tiny Home On Wheels?

Tiny homes on wheels have been famous for years due to their high mobility and affordability.  It even comes with all the basic necessities that a minimalist homeowner would ever need. The question is: how much does it really cost to build a tiny home on wheels?

This question is usually answered with a base price.  However, building one could have added costs especially if you want to add high-tech features and extra interior design perks.  To cut back on the confusion, we will break down the costs to ensure that opting for this alternative living won’t cost you more than you bargained for. 

What Is A Tiny Home On Wheels?

A tiny home on wheels is usually referred to as a Recreational Vehicle (RV) living space.  It is a portable abode that’s perfect for those who are seeking to downsize their lifestyle but still have some basic features like a bathroom, a kitchen, and sleeping quarters. 

Its best feature is its mobility. You can park a tiny home on wheels on an existing residential lot as an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ACU) or drag it with you during a vacation trip as an added RV living space.

Tiny homes on wheels are also incorporated with windows and a door making the unit just like any other standard American home.  One common issue about owning a tiny home on wheels is knowing where you can legally park it.

Another issue is complying with height regulations which may be different for each city in the United States.  Generally, most ordinances allow 16 to 32 feet high tiny homes along national roads. They may also be 10 feet wide.

Knowing these limitations allow you to engage in a worry-free trip through national roads without getting an oversize permit.  

Another important factor to consider is matching the weight of your tiny abode with the weight capacity of the RV.  The most recommended height for mobile homes is at 24 feet.

If the unit is larger than that, it would probably be heavier and more difficult to transport from one place to another. 

Also, if you wish to travel with your abode more than once a year, it may be practical to get a smaller tiny home so that you would only need a regular truck to pull it to all of the different locations. 

How Affordable Is A Tiny Home On Wheels?

The average tiny house costs at least $10,000 up to $40,000 or more.  To know the difference between the types of tiny houses on wheels within this price range, these values are more or less accurate than most estimates. 

  • Trailer. Trailers cost at least $3,500 up to $5,500. The rate is ranked from good quality to the best.
  • Windows. You would also need to purchase windows in compliance with building codes. They would cost you around $500 up to $6,000 depending on size and how they would be incorporated into the tiny home on wheels foundation. 
  • Metal Roofing. This keeps your abode free from environmental hazards. This is optional since some shipping container homes are used as is and without a roof. For those whose models require the same, you would need to spend around $500 up to $3,000.
  • Insulation. One of the most important features of tiny houses is insulation. This regulates the pressure and temperature of your interiors. You can either choose between cellulose, fiberglass, or mineral wool. They usually cost around $500-$6,000. 

  • Wall Cladding. You would also need siding or sometimes called wall cladding. It costs around $1,000 to $2,500 and is a protective material inserted to the exterior side of the walls of the tiny home on wheels. It prolongs its durability making you enjoy comfort for more years than the standard units.
  • Lumber. This adds stability to your home. When building a standard American house, you would need a truckload of lumber, while tiny homes on wheels would only use probably half or a fourth of its wasteful counterpart. They would cost you around $1,000 to $5,000. 
  • Interior Finishes. These keep your living space more comfortable and encased with finesse. These finishes cost around $500 up to $4,000 depending on the number of corners that need it. 
  •  Electrical. A home isn’t a complete one without electricity nowadays. This power-ups your appliances and keeps the lights on including heaters and other necessities. If you hire extra professional services to include innovative appliances, it would cost around $3,000 but a standard fix would only be worth $750. 
  • Shower. Building codes require tiny homes on wheels to have bathrooms. While some only install faucets for bathing, most units have showers. You would spend around $400 up to $1,000 for its installation.
  • Water Heater. What good is a bathroom without a water heater? It keeps the water warm when the weather is cold out giving you maximum comfort while taking a shower.  It costs around $500 up to $1,000.
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC). Since we’re talking about comfort, tiny homes on wheels are also installed with an HVAC. It’s the technology that maintains vehicular environmental comfort and regulates indoor air quality. It usually costs around $500 to $1,500. 
  • Toilet. In compliance with building codes is installing a toilet into the tiny home on wheels bathroom. The median prices have a range of $20-$800 but composite toilets are more expensive costing around $1,500 up to $8,000 for luxury units.
  • Fixtures. Fixtures are equipment or furniture permanently installed into the tiny home on wheels. These may be plumbing, lighting, and other essentials of living in a standard abode. The total cost of installing them is $1,000 up to $5,000.
  • Appliances. The cost of appliances would greatly depend on your preferences. Those who follow a minimalist lifestyle would only opt for the basics – stove and a refrigerator. Others install entertainment appliances and microwave ovens. The cost of installing them is at a range of $400 up to $4,000. 
  • Interior Wall. Interior walls protect the mainframe of the tiny home on wheels. It also stabilizes the surfaces and lets you decorate your living space with a neutral surface. It costs around $500 to $1,000 depending on the space area.
  • Flooring. Flooring is also a must in building codes. The lowest quality would cost around $300 to $1,000. Hardwood and tiles flooring are the most expensive ones. Luxury units even use marble if the unit can withstand the weight. 
  • Fasteners or Adhesives. These are used to join objects in the house together. Some are temporary while others are permanent. They usually cost around $1,500.
  • Paint. Lastly, you would need to pick a color of your choice and style your home according to your preference. Paint would usually cost you around $50 up to $200, depending on the space covered.
  • Adding all of these factors together, the cheapest total price of building a tiny home on wheels would be $13,420 assuming that you’re only doing the basics or the bare minimum.  

    This minimum price does not include labor and that needs to be factored in.  You may want to pay more for something that will last longer and will need less maintenance in the long run.

    Worst Quality Tiny Homes On Wheels

    Let us break down why opting for the cheapest price is a bad idea.  First, you must ensure that the walls are sturdy enough to withstand changing climates, environmental hazards, and rusting.

    You wouldn’t want the walls of your home crumbling down if it encounters the slightest pressure now, would you? 

    Some tiny homes on wheels units on the market today use recycled roofs as their wall cladding. This is a terrible idea.  Not only will they rust easily, they are also more susceptible to discoloration, bumps, wear and tear. 

    Other unit owners even use low-quality wood as wall cladding which is an even worse idea especially when you frequent rainy areas.

    The material is not immune to the ravages of water and would rot quickly.  This would force you to replace them more frequently which would actually cost you more. 

    If you wish to live in a tiny home on wheels, there are several things that you must consider: quality of materials, durability, longevity, functionality, mobility, and best of all – comfort. 

    It would be useless to opt for a tiny house if you’re not receiving the same amount of relief you experience from living in a standard home.  Luckily, there are providers that prioritizes quality, durability, and comfort – everything that you need to experience when opting for a mobile home.  

    The Bottom Line

    Building a tiny home on wheels could be a tiring feat for a do-it-yourselfer.  There are at least 17 items that you need to incorporate into your home and, at the same time, ensure that it’s safe, durable, functional, complete, and properly styled.

    Do your research, know what you want.  And if living in a tiny home on wheels is what you are looking for price around and find the Tiny Home that is right for you! 

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