You’ve caught the tiny home bug and you’re wondering where to begin. If you feel as if you don’t even know what you don’t know, don’t worry! You aren’t alone. The tiny home movement is growing exponentially, attracting people from all walks of life. But everyone starts at the same place–the beginning. Read on to find a blueprint that will help you get started building.
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Start with a good set of plans
Planning and location go hand-in-hand. When planning, you’re able to get creative designing your home space in a minimalist fashion while prioritizing your lifestyle. A tiny house technically qualifies as a home that’s less than 1,000 square feet. Even with that small space, however, tiny home plans can still include:
- living rooms
- breakfast areas
Your tiny house can essentially be your dream house, just scaled down to miniature proportions. Do your research. Look at big houses and tiny houses alike to get inspiration. When planning your tiny home, have a positive mindset but keep local building regulations and Mother Nature in mind.
Consider home decor and furnishings
Did your mother give you your current couch? Did your grandfather make your dining room table? If you have furniture you simply can’t part with, factor these pieces into your design. The amazing part about building a tiny home is the creative freedom you have and the ability to make the home exactly as you want it.
Understand your budget and limitations
Building a tiny home is an expensive ordeal. Unless you’re planning on building it completely by yourself, you’ll have to hire contractors, builders, and materials. These costs can range anywhere from $10,000 to $180,000.
If you’re planning on building the house yourself, consider these questions. Do you have the knowledge and skillset? If not, you may cost yourself by having to redo things. Will you have to take time off work? If so, make sure you budget that loss of income into the equation. It might average out to the cost of hiring a contractor or builder.
Are you counting on resale? Resale value on tiny homes might be lower because you’ve designed the house to fit your needs. Additional hidden costs in building a tiny home include local zoning laws and homeowner’s insurance.
Choose the right location
Deciding on a location for your tiny home goes hand-in-hand with design. Certain U.S. states are more friendly towards tiny homes than others. You may want to consider becoming part of a tiny home community.
Rural areas are typically less strict about building regulations. Contact city officials to hear their advice and input. It’s also a smart idea to connect with your local zoning department. If your tiny home is on wheels, you’re technically classified as an RV, which has much less stringent codes than a house with a foundation.
When deciding on a location, be sure to consider the size of the lot. Is it big enough to settle down on? Is it near a town that you like? Will you potentially have neighbors down the road? Will the weather cause damage to your home in the future?
Look at the soil, too. Will it support the building? If you’re using a contractor or building company, they’ll help you answer these questions. But if you’re building your home yourself, start doing your research now.
Never cut corners
Cutting corners will only slow your progress. Make sure you’re abiding by local permit requirements. Be sure that your entire plan and any unforeseen incidents are within your budget. Failing to do your research or bypassing “Go” will cost you money down the road and could even be detrimental to your health and safety.
Building a tiny home requires careful planning. Sit down and hash out your budget, location, and design before you begin. Building a home of any size is not an investment to take lightly. The process of making your own tiny home, however, is fun, exciting, and perfect for the creative go-getter. And when your little house is built, you’ll be able to enjoy it for years to come.