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How Much Is A Tiny House

How Much Is A Tiny House How Much Is A Tiny House

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Really, we need to be asking ourselves: What SHOULD a Tiny House cost? There are many differing opinions on this subject, and because you can’t simply call up Zillow or Redfin to get an estimated value on your investment, you get a wide range of answers. The costs of a Tiny Home have a huge range – from as little as $10k to over $100k – yet the square footage differs minimally. To understand why this is, I’ve listed several examples below, including a detailed breakdown of my own Tiny House cost.

Sure, that’s a stack of cash, but for the record, the median cost for a brand-new traditional house for the year 2017 is more than $300,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

During that time, Macy fell in love, got married, gave birth and adopted a 150-pound Great Dane named Denver. Properly planned and executed, a tiny house can be perfectly comfortable home for a family.  The MIllers, now with two children and the dog, have lived in this home full-time since 2013, 

Standard homes: The average list price for a home in the United States is currently $254k RVs: The average price of a new RV is $122,715 Mobile homes: Basic single section models sell for $30,000-$70,000.

Customized models sell for up to $100k. Tiny Homes: New tiny homes are priced anywhere in from $35,000 -$100,000. Almost all are customized.

Taylor Painter Wolfe is a do-it-yourselfer who built her dream home after taking a tiny house workshop. Her colorful abode cost nearly $21,000 to build including the money spent on construction plans ($759) and the trailer chassis ($4,500).

Related: 18 Small Cabins You Can DIY or Buy for $300 and More

Let’s compare the price of standard homes, RVs, and mobile homes (or trailers). Tiny Homes fall somewhere in between these categories.

Below I’ve listed a few examples of why people go tiny. Your reason for buying or building a Tiny House will make a huge difference in the overall cost. No one fits into every single category, and that’s okay.

Click on the image below, or here, for tips on building a Tiny House on a shoestring budget.

I, honestly, don’t even like to call these structures “Tiny Homes” as I believe they are very different categorically from the home I live in. Calling these shed-like shelters “Tiny Homes” only belittles my home and causes people to say ignorant things, like accusing me of glamorizing the homeless community. I’m not homeless, and I don’t believe I’m glamourizing their hardships. I’m simply living within my means, without debt, unlike the majority of people in this country.

Affordability Reduced carbon footprint Mobility Flexibility Minimalism Off-grid capabilities RV with year-round comfort for all weather / locations To use as temporary housing, guest home or a vacation house Survivalist house in case of emergency Exemption of property taxes Non-toxic or chemical free home Ability to design an artistic home with quality materials Ability to build your own home in short amount of time Affordable housing is one reason people go tiny, but it’s not the ONLY reason.

  Are Tiny Houses Too Expensive to Buy?

I don’t think my house “missed the point” or that “I am in the tiny house movement for the wrong reasons.” In fact, I would never say that about another tiny houser. You have achieved your goal of owning a tiny house, and that’s wonderful.

Estimated costs of lumber, sheathing, house wrap: Tyvek, & screws: Screw Solutions Starbit Head

To protect your investment, you’ll need tiny house insurance. Teensy dwellings built to meet requirements set for recreational vehicles can usually obtain RV insurance.

Secondly, the maintenance, insurance, taxes and the cost of heating and cooling would be far greater in a 1,500 square foot house than a tiny house. You need to take that cost into consideration. Not to mention the cost of your own time. Cleaning and repairing a large home is time-consuming. Time is money.

When you picture your tiny dream home on wheels, is it tricked out with granite countertops, high-end appliances, and perhaps a posh hot tub? Then expect to pay $150,000 or more for a luxury dwelling that’s less than 400 square feet.

Don’t have a free place to park? Then your biggest out of pocket expense besides…MORE monthly fuel costs will be land. Some RV parks welcome tiny houses. Expect to pay $500 to $1,500 per month for a spot. Rent usually includes electricity and water hookups along with Wi-Fi and trash service.

Related: What the Heck is a Yurt? 7 Yurt Kits for Modern Nomads

tinyhousegiantjourney / March 15, 2016 / Tiny House Budget & Cost

Can you build a tiny house on wheels for less than $10,000? It’s not impossible if you’re using mostly free building materials such as reclaimed lumber. 

To be in the know, here’s a rough breakdown of material costs…MORE for tiny houses built in 2016. Please note, tools and building plans aren’t included.

Get $25 off with this link. Brand: Nature’s Head.  Read my review.

“My 1,500 square foot home only cost $50k! Why should a Tiny House cost more?”

What’s the median cost in the U.S. for a tiny house on wheels? If you’re looking for a roaming home equipped with essential conveniences for full-time living including a 3/4 bathroom, working kitchen and dining/living area, it’s $59,884. 

To help you come up with a realistic budget for your future dream home, we compiled the following list of pricing guidelines and surprise expenses for tiny houses on wheels.

If you’re looking to buy a high-end nest, behold The Alpha by New Frontier Tiny…MORE Homes. Its 246 square feet is brimming with top-notch appliances, transforming furniture and lavish fixtures. Our favorite feature is the full-size spa tub.

If you’re an urban dweller who fantasizes about building your own tiny vacation home, listen up. Joshua Woodsman is an architect who wants to make your dream become a reality. 

You may notice some items are missing from the above list, such as hardware, electrical, and miscellaneous build materials. These items, as well as my decor and furniture, are not included in the total. I also hired a finish carpenter, plumber and electrician intermittently during my build. The cost of labor is not included in this total. The REAL total cost to build my tiny home is somewhere between $35,000 – $40,000. I did receive several sponsorships which saved thousands of dollars. Thank you! If you’re interested in gathering sponsors for your build, read this article.

“Tiny Homes are being built for the homeless. They must be cheap!”

A good for instance is this  144 square foot cedar home by Little Digs Living priced to move at $25,500.

Price per square foot does not work when comparing small or Tiny Homes. Think about it, nothingness (or the empty space in between necessary space) is not the expensive part of a house. Adding square footage is cheap! A 125 square foot tiny house will most likely have all the same systems (kitchen, bathroom, heat, etc.) as a 2,000 square foot house, just in a smaller package. As square footage goes up, the cost per square foot goes down. 

The average tiny home is built for $25,000 in materials. “Why is the price per square foot in a Tiny House more than a regular home?”

Every inch matters in a tiny house. Who can say that about their 2,600 square foot home (which is the average size of new homes being built in the USA by the way)? To properly design a tiny home you will need to purchase compact appliances. Small, energy efficient appliances are expensive. In a standard size home, you can purchase the cheapest appliances on the market and you will hardly notice the difference.

If RV parks aren’t your thing, you can rent or buy a private lot through a real estate agent or tiny house message board. Keep in mind, when it comes to extras like electricity and water, you may need to generate your own power.

Dave’s tiny house is nestled on a wooded hillside. The home features a raised deck overlooking the woods. Low-maintenance, natural wood siding covers the home, with aluminum roofing completing the cabin-like mood.  Herrle says, “It is the ultimate getaway that fuels our creativity.”

Most options like the one above by Tiny House Basics, have a finished exterior and an unfinished interior that leaves the customizing to the buyer. Depending on home size, ballpark estimates for towable shells range from $10,000 to $35,000. To make the do-it-yourself process a little easier, we suggest buying an option that has all the utility…MORE lines (water, electric and sewer) preinstalled.

To get that number we compared prices for the year 2017 from 25 tiny home building companies located in 13 different states. Just so you know, unlike a traditional house, the price for a towable abode does not include land — More on that later.

To get an accurate estimate, we interviewed seven first-time builders with no prior construction experience. Their costs range from $12,000 to $35,000. Here’s how two of those folks built their individual dwellings.

According to the above resources, Tiny Homes are less expensive to purchase than regular homes and RVs. They are about the same price as mobile homes but far superior in quality. And don’t forget, you can also build a Tiny House yourself and save a lot more money!

The average cost spent by a do-it-yourselfer building their own tiny dwelling is around $23,000, according to a recent survey. But you can build one for less–a lot less.

These tiny dome-shaped homes are called Binishells. They are constructed using a process that is similar to making a papier-mâché balloon base. In this case, concrete is poured over a heavy-duty air pump bladder and a steel rebar framework. Next, the bladder is deflated to reveal a tiny, resilient home that can stand up to extreme conditions such as earthquakes, high winds or even lava flows. 

You probably already know that tiny houses on wheels are typically less expensive than traditional home, but how much money can you expect to spend on a teensy dwelling?

Related: How to Convert a School Bus Into an Affordable Tiny House

Related: 9 Candy-Colored Tiny Houses That are Almost too Adorable

Pint-size abodes vary widely in price because they’re just as diverse as their larger counterparts. Building materials and necessary appliances — not to mention fuel costs and parking fees are just some of the things that drive up the overall cost of tiny homeownership. Spending too much on this stuff can leave you with…MORE little money for anything else.

The Average Tiny House is: $25,000 in materials. You can argue that, but this is my estimate after speaking with dozens of Tiny Housers Built with high-end materials and appliances Unique and custom in design NOT concerned with building the cheapest home possible.

Instead, they want an affordable lifestyle. There is a difference.

These structures are built with donated materials. Often the electrical and insulation is very basic, and they do not have plumbing. The shapes are simple in architectural terms. I love the concept, but there is no point comparing the price tag of these dwellings to average Tiny House. These are not homes, but merely temporary shelters.

Before you downsize, there are several surprise tiny house expenses to consider. 

It takes a lot of skill, time and money to construct a move-in ready tiny house. That’s why you won’t find many professionally built options with all the usual comforts for year-round living like a toilet and shower, for less than $20,000. You will, however, find a modest selection for around $25,000.

If you plan to hit the road, you’ll need a truck that can pull the weight of your dwelling. You’ll also need a trailer hitch and trailer brake controller.

Below I’ve listed my Tiny House materials from the most expensive to the least expensive item. I hope this guide is helpful in creating a realistic budget for your future Tiny Home.

The appliances in my tiny house alone cost over $10,000! A tiny home built on a shoestring budget would have to be frugal with their choices. Also, many lower budget builds require restoring a used trailer, such as Macy Miller’s $11,416 tiny home. Macy is a trained architect and she received several items on her build for free (such as her windows). Macy’s tiny home is fantastic, but it’s also an anomaly. Not everyone has her skills, connections, and patience for restoration.

He’s the founder of Pin Up Houses, a company that creates and sells building plans for tiny homes. The Cheryl Cabin shown above is a 107-square foot vacation retreat with a 47-square foot porch. The estimated construction costs for this beauty is $2,900. The plans cost $29, and they come with a money-back guarantee.

Splurged for the aesthetics, efficiency and off-grid capabilities. Read my review.

Originally used for emergency shelters and temporary structures such as auxiliary school classrooms, recent years have seen Binishells adopted by the tiny-house crowd. Construction costs start at around $3,500.

Onduvilla 3D Shingles. Underlayment: Grace Ice & Water Shield

I would never consider my tiny house to be outrageously expensive. Instead, I focused on quality over quantity. I splurge when I wanted to and saved when I wanted to. My tiny house lifestyle affords me a smaller footprint, mobility, and flexibility. It also allows me to work part time and travel the world. That’s real freedom and affordability.

The fact is, the average tiny homeowner would rather spend $20,000 than $10,000 to build the home of their dreams. That extra $10k might afford them better appliances, spray foam insulation, more windows, skylights, solar power, a wood stove, off-grid capabilities, a custom countertop, etc.

One drunken New Year’s Eve, Dave Herrle promised his wife that he would build her a tree house. So he did, and it soon became their second home.  The project cost $4,000 and took six short weeks to construct, though this was possible only because Herrle is a skilled craftsman. Elaborate treehouses for adults are increasingly common as permanent residences for those dedicated to tiny house living. 

Have a look at the following five tiny homes for some examples of how it can be done at prices ranging from an incredible $500 to a little less than $12,000. 

First of all: LOCATION. If you purchased a home in Los Angeles it would cost more than if you bought the same home in the rural midwest. Tiny homes cost the same amount regardless of location.

Tanks, regulator, and piping. Full breakdown on my materials list.

The tiny house movement is all about downsizing your lifestyle so you can live a more fulfilling life without a lot of debt or a huge mortgage hanging over your head. While you can buy a prefabricated dwelling or a customized small house on wheels, you can save a bundle if you make your tiny house yourself. 

Stovetop*  $176 Propane 3 burner. Buy Here.. TOTAL COST: $31,160 “Hold onto your butts!”– Samuel L. Jackson, Jurassic Park *Off-grid and/or energy efficient item* For a detailed list and photos of all materials, click here or on the image below:

What…MORE can you buy for around $60,000? One example is The Shonsie, by 84 Lumber. The 206-square-foot cottage packs plenty of nice-to-haves like a kitchen stocked with Energy Star appliances and a loft bedroom with a comfortable full-size mattress.

Trailer: $4,500 to $9,000 Lumber: $3,000 to $10,000Doors and tempered glass windows rated for four season weather: $1,000 to $3,000Metal roofing: $500 to $1,000Insulation: $500 to $2000Exterior siding: $1,500 to $3,000Electrical wiring performed by a licensed electrician: $1,500 to $3,000Water heater: $500 to $1000Propane or electric heater: $200 to $800Tile shower: $300 to $1,000 Composting toilet: $800 to $1500Additional bathroom fixtures and plumbing: $600 to $2,000Light fixtures: $200 to $800Built-in storage and kitchen cabinets: $1,500 to $5,000 Kitchen counter: $300 to $2000Basic kitchen appliances: $1000 to $3000Wall paneling: $500 to $2000Flooring: $300 to $2000Nuts, bolts, screws and nails: $500Paint: $50 to $200Furniture: $500 to $2000

Macy Miller transformed an old recreational vehicle that she bought for $500 into a 196 square foot home for roughly $12,000. That being said, it took her two years to pull the project together in its entirety, using mostly…MORE reclaimed materials. Full disclosure: Miller has a Master’s Degree in Architecture.

Let’s say you want to DIY your tiny house but prefer to skip the heavy lifting that comes with starting at square one. Consider a tiny house shell. 

Another way you can trim costs is by attending a tiny house building workshop. Many first-time builders say a DIY class helped them avoid making costly blunders when constructing their homes. You can expect to pay up to $799 for a two-day workshop by Tumbleweed Tiny Houses.

Finally, here is a fantastic custom tiny home built by Scott Brooks for a mere $500. Although it’s only 83 square feet, it is remarkably cozy and comfortable. To slash building costs, he constructed this cozy Pacific Northwest abode out of salvaged materials, such as the large reclaimed picture window looking out on the Northwest forest. Currently, Brooks is working on another residence, a cabin in Shaw, Washington. We cannot wait to see what he builds next.

Congratulations, you must be a resourceful and skilled individual! That being said, there is a difference between a $10k tiny house and a $20k tiny house (in the appliances for example). And, unless you have a warehouse of bulk construction materials, you probably spent a lot of time gathering and repairing reclaimed items. Nothing wrong with that, but time is money.

Macy Miller purchased an old recreational vehicle for $500 and then spent the following two years transforming it into the beautiful 196 square foot home shown above. Most of the home is made of upcycled materials. For instance, the siding incorporates wood from upcycled shipping pallets. The house is also loaded with resource-saving features, such as a composting toilet. For comfort, the tiny abode is tricked out with radiant floor heating.

Tiny Homes for the homeless is a wonderful concept. I fully support the effort many people are making to help others in need. That being said, tiny-homes-for-the-homeless are a completely different animal. Here is a photo from Opportunity Village:

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