Tiny Homes: What You Need To Know

Tiny Homes: What You Need To Know

The Tiny House Movement has gained its popularity as an efficient alternative living for United States families.  It lets you save the environment, diminish home expenses, conserve trees, and innovate ways of living. 

What Qualifies As A Tiny Home?

The Small House Movement is a social initiative where people started to live in small spaces of less than 1,000 square feet.  Otherwise known as micro-living, people who live in tiny houses look for alternatives to bigger houses that force them to acquire loan mortgages. 

During the financial crisis of 2006 up to 2009, a lot of families were force-evicted, left homeless, and became unemployed because of the market crash.  

Since then, purchasing pricey homes has been labeled as a bad idea, especially when it comes to borrowing money from the bank to get one. 

Tiny homes are those that follow the free-standing rule.  It allows the residents to park their tiny houses on wheels at public areas, bring their home along when evacuations are necessary or live in a remote area to be closer to nature. 

The primary characteristic of tiny homes is the maximization of limited space.  Considering that these abodes are significantly smaller than standard houses, residents are still required to have the essentials in order for the government to recognize their residential house as a legal one.

A tiny home must have a bathroom, a kitchen, a living room, and bedrooms.  They may only be a few feet away from each other but if you’re set on living the simple life, this is a good way to go. 

It’s not only a limited structure, per se, but also a lifestyle.  It observes minimalism without sacrificing the comforts of a standard home. 

You can live in a tiny space without getting too cold or too hot during the changing seasons, and you get to build it from the ground up. 

The Advantages of Owning A Tiny Home

First of all, tiny homes are quite affordable to make compared to standard conventional houses. Their price range is at $10,000-40,000 while some cost more depending on the enhancements and innovative amenities that they add to the structure. 

They are also eco-friendly and sustainable compared to their pricier counterparts.  They are powered by solar panels or generators – sources of energy that minimize your carbon footprint.

Most affordable tiny homes are built with recyclable products, furniture, and appliances making them an efficient way to use the world’s resources. 

Shipping containers, for example, are usually utilized for transporting goods.  When they lose their function, they can be converted into beautiful homes.

Tiny homes are also easy to maintain.  They use minimal amounts of energy, only contain the basic amenities without sacrificing the comfort and functionality of a standard home, and some are very mobile.  They allow you to take your home anywhere you want!

Also, some pricier types of tiny homes are hurricane-proof.  They are specifically made to withstand Intensity Five winds without damage. 

In fact, these types of models have been featured in television shows for their outstanding quality and unique minimalistic designs.

Tiny homes also bring you closer to nature.  Those that can easily be moved around can go with you on camping trips making you enjoy nature and the comforts of home at the same time.  These movable ones also save up on land space and let you avoid painful mortgages.

On top of which, tiny homes also help you live a simple life.  With the hustle and bustle of the city, things could get stressed easily.  If you live in a tiny home, you get to relax and enjoy the tranquility of nature away from the city, especially if you build a cabin by the woods. 

Speaking of which, building homes in secluded areas could be difficult especially when contractors find it straining to transport the materials and structures needed to build a house.

If you buy a shipping container home, the provider would just deliver it at the area without any hassle! The same can be true about tiny homes on wheels although some assembly may be required.

The Basics

In order for you to assess whether living in a tiny home is the right option for you, it would be wise to first align your finances and establish a budget in making the home. 

Is building a residential house too costly for you? What would be the source of energy for the home?  Are you willing to pay extra for solar panels or generators? 

Those who opt for a shipping container home would need to spend a minimum of $4000 for the structure.  It would also take three to four months if you order internationally and a minimum of 10 days for some. 

If you are not building the tiny home by yourself, you would also need to hire an engineer. The professional would remove structural components not needed for the house and create plans for welding, plumbing, and energy sources. 

How To Build A Tiny Home?

If you are up for a DIY project, building a tiny home would be a fun adventure for you.  It helps you harness your architectural, interior design, and carpentry skills and lets you follow your own rules on what your house should have. 

Another option would be to hire someone to build it for you.  At present, there are a lot of tiny houses on wheels and shipping container providers that do the job for you.

Others just order out a shipping container online and it arrives right at their doorstep about 10 days later.

There are also companies that have builders and designers from all walks of the Earth.  They help design the house for you – be it lavish or simple.  The builders, on the other hand, make sure that the tiny home structure is up to par with zoning requirements and safety standards.

Tiny Homes As A DIY Project 

If you wish to do everything on your own, the first skill you need to learn is building a tiny house.  On the technical side, you can acquire these skills by spending time with a contractor or a builder and learn from their ways. 

The things that you need to get acquainted with are the electrical and plumbing methods that are surprisingly easy to learn. 

You can also seek instructions from tons of YouTube videos that demonstrate a step-by-step procedure on how to build a tiny home. 

The next step is to know the locality’s building codes.  Every state and city has their own standards and you must know these before building your tiny home. 

You may also need to acquire a permit to make sure that you are following the rules. 

The Tiny House Association also employs a coordinator that checks up on tiny homes and labels them as tiny houses on wheels or as a stationary dwelling.  

It is best to ask around in the district about these requirements so you don’t get penalized for building your home without following protocols.

You would also need to determine what type of tiny home you would want.  Would you rather have a tiny house on wheels or a shipping container home?  Either way, these are some DIY tips on how to create your own tiny house. 

The tiny home friendly states in the United States are California, Texas, Colorado, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oregon, Arizona, Florida, and a few others.  Not all of their districts allow tiny homes but there are areas that allow tiny houses on wheels in public parks and within residential areas. 

Lumber.  You may opt for a lumber type of tiny home.  It can be used either as material for a tiny house on wheels or permanent abode.  It would generally cost you around $50,000 to build a tiny house on wheels with lumber. 

It does not need heavy construction to formulate a house built on timber.  It may be intimidating to build the structure of the framing but you can ease the tension by creating an artistic wall. 

If you order a lumber type of tiny house on wheels, it would usually come with a shell.  A shell may either be finished exterior or unfinished.  

They also come with windows, a shower, and exterior doors.  Sometimes, the provider may give you architectural blueprints and instructions on where each material goes. 

Personalized Package.  You may also opt to choose the materials you would use for the tiny home.  Usually, they would cost around $7,000.  

This includes building plans, a trailer for towing, material list, technical support instructions, and you may also opt for a financing plan. 

The thing about DIY projects is that rookie building can turn into a disaster and enable you to spend more than you bargained for repairs.

Therefore, it is best to choose the best kit that requires only the skills that you already have to be safe.

You must also make sure that the tiny home package you choose has insulation, plumbing, and electrical packages. 

Although they would cost you more, they keep your home sturdy, safe, and well-ventilated especially if you live in an area where the weather constantly changes. 

You must also make sure that they come with fastening hardware or pre cut panels so that you would not have a hard time making everything fit in such a tiny space.  To avoid confusion, it would be best to choose those that are color-coded.

If you have any trouble, providers of tiny home materials usually have a technical support team that answers your calls or chats online. 

Most of the time, you may find the answers you seek in a manual that comes with a tiny home package. 

There are also packages that do not come with accessories that you would probably need in the long run.  

If you are situated in a storm-vulnerable area, make sure that you have ridge beams and fasteners that keep the structure in place in the event that a storm would hit. 

Making sure that your insulation materials and shipping container frames are R-rated.  This ensures that your structure would last longer than most tiny homes and helps you foresee when you would need maintenance routines to keep the house functional in the long-run. 

Those who have concrete as the foundation of your tiny house, it would be wise to add a block and beam foundation which would probably cost around $35 per linear foot.  They keep the structure and the foundation intact. 

The Bottom Line

Owning a tiny home does have its challenges.  You would only get to live in a minimal amount of space.  You would also need to maintain it frequently compared to a standard conventional house.  However, despite these challenges, choosing this alternate home living method does have its advantages.

You get to be environmentally friendly.  You also get to save on big bucks, travel with your home, and enjoy just about every bit of each part of a standard home – only with a smaller space!  Now, don’t you think that outweighs the disadvantages?

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