Building a Tiny House Advice: Start Here

Building a Tiny house prepartion basics

If you're considering building a tiny house, you're in for a fun, challenging, and rewarding experience! Just make sure you plan everything out carefully and meticulously, or you may run into some problems down the road.

In this article, we will give you some advice on how to build your tiny house as efficiently and affordably as possible. So read on for materials, design, construction, and more tips!

A detachable covered deck & screened-in porch - click to get the plans!

Check Local Laws Before You Start Designing.

Many people who are interested in building a tiny house want to know if they can do it in their city or town. The answer is that it depends on your local laws. Some places have specific regulations about the size and type of structure that can be built on a property, and others don't have any regulations at all. 

Check out THIA's Tiny House Resource Map to see where movable tiny homes are currently allowed.

If you're not sure about the regulations in your area, the best thing to do is to contact your local building department and ask. They should be able to tell you what you need to know in order to get started.

A few key questions to consider before contacting your local government: 

  • Do you want to build on a foundation or wheels?
  • Do you want to build a stick-built tiny home or a conversion of some kind, like a shipping container house?
  • If they only allow certain kinds of tiny homes, would you be willing to change your plans? For instance, do a foundation-based tiny home instead of one on wheels.
  • Can you afford to buy land, or do you already own land? Will this be a primary or accessory dwelling?
  • Are you open to other locations?

Once you know what the regulations are, you can start designing your tiny house to fit the requirements and your needs. There are a lot of great resources available to help you with this, like the 3D Tiny House Designer.

A Good Plan is a Good Building.

When it comes to tiny houses, planning is key. You want to make sure you have a solid blueprint before starting to build. This will help avoid costly mistakes and save you time in the long run.

This is one of the most important things to think about when building a tiny house. What size do you want your tiny house to be? Once you know this, you can start to look for materials and figure out how you want to build it.

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the size of your tiny house. The first is that you need to make sure it is comfortable for you. You don’t want to be cramped up in a tiny space, so make sure you choose a size that will be comfortable for you to live in.

Don't Simply Shrink Everything.

When it comes to designing and building your tiny house, it's important not to simply shrink everything down to size. Just because you're working with a smaller space doesn't mean you can't have all the amenities of a traditional home. In fact, there are a number of ways to make your tiny house feel just as spacious and comfortable as a larger one.

Don't Forget the Foundation (And the Roof)

The foundation is key to ensuring your tiny house is stable and doesn't move around. It's especially important, even if you're going to be putting your tiny house on a trailer. You want to make sure the foundation is level and secure, so your tiny house doesn't tip over when you're driving down the road.

The roof is also important. Make sure you use quality materials and build it to withstand the elements. This could one area where it's worth hiring help to install it because a leaky roof will ruin your tiny house in no time flat.

Focus on the Weight.

When building a tiny house, it's important to focus on the weight. The last thing you want is a house that's top-heavy and likely to topple over in a strong wind. Build your house using lightweight materials whenever possible. This may mean using materials like plywood instead of lumber or opting for plastic storage containers over metal ones.

Think Outside the Box for Materials.

One of the beauties of tiny houses is that, because they're small, you can get away with using unconventional materials. For example, you could use reclaimed lumber or steel framing. You can also use salvaged materials for your countertops, flooring, and other fixtures. This can help you save money on your build and also give your tiny house a unique look.

Bottom line for Building a tiny house.

When it comes to tiny houses, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, think about how you'll use your home. If you plan on using it as a full-time residence, make sure that it is able to meet your needs in terms of comfort and functionality long-term. If you're just using it as a weekend getaway or guest house, then you can be a bit more flexible in terms of design and amenities.

Now that you know the basics of tiny house building preparation, it's time to get started. Remember to always do your research and plan everything out before starting construction. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to successful DIYers and professionals, like Buildi for more advice. Best wishes with your planning!

Take the Next Step!

Sign-up for our acclaimed 16+ hour Digital Tiny House Workshop. Learn how to build a tiny house on wheels, the legalities to be aware of, how to make the transition to living tiny, and more!


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Looking for more tiny house resources?

Check out our Resource Directory for recommendations on books, courses, trailers & other tools to help you fulfill your tiny home dream.