Thank you so much for your interest in hOMe! We truly appreciate it. We receive a wide range of questions regarding tiny house living, hOMe, etc. and have come up with this tiny house FAQs page for your perusal. If you don’t see the answer to your question(s), please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WILL YOU BUILD ME hOMe?
We don’t build for others and focus entirely on inspiring and teaching what we know. That said, if you want to hire a local builder of your choice, we have our architectural plans available which you can purchase and give to them to work off of.
CAN I COME VISIT hOMe?
The second most asked question we receive is “Can I come visit hOMe”? And as much as we are tickled that so many want to come and see it in person, we don’t open it up for visitors. If we said yes to each person that asked, we would need to make giving tours a full time job (nearly!) 🙂
I’M NEW TO TINY HOUSE CONCEPT. WHERE SHOULD I START?
The very best place to start down your tiny house journey is by signing up for our free 7 day e-course. It will be delivered daily to your inbox and covers everything from downsizing, where to park, trailers/foundations, framing, electrical, plumbing, finishing, and roofing. You can find it here: https://tinyhousebuild.com/free-7-day-ecourse/
HOW DOES hOMe DO IN A TRULY COLD CLIMATE?
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR ELECTRICITY FROM?
We are off grid on our property. Our electricity comes from a 1,600watt solar system that charges 4 deep cycle, high quality batteries. On cloudy/rainy days, we charge our batteries with our generator. During sunny days, this system is enough to run an electric fridge, charge our 3 laptops, power our LED TV, run our LED lights, power our tiny vent fan for our composting toilet, charge our toothbrushes, and run a VitaMix.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR WATER FROM?
We had a well drilled on our property that provides us with our water. We use our generator to power up the well pump, which sends water about 75′ vertical feet above hOMe on a hill and fills a 1,500 gallon tank. Gravity does the rest of the work for us and provides us with decently pressurized water for hOMe. We fill the tank every 5-6 weeks.
HOW DO YOU HEAT YOUR WATER?
With a propane instant hot water heater. It is an Eccotemp FV-112LP. Having never owned a tankless system, we are amazed at how well it works. We highly recommend this product. The Eccotemp is stored inside our utility closet which stands between our kitchen counter and eating/working desk.
WHAT DO TINY HOUSERS DO ABOUT GREY WATER?
To read a great article about grey water options for tiny houses, please click HERE (please note you will be leaving our website).
WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR TRAILER FROM?
Our hOMe trailer was custom made by a local trailer manufacturer. It is 28′ long x 8′ wide. Our hOMe plans come with the engineered trailer plans which can be taken to a local fabrication shop. You can also search for manufacturers on this page (please note you will be leaving our website).
WHAT TYPE OF FUEL DO YOU USE FOR HEATING/COOKING?
Since we live rurally we use propane. We have two 100 gallon propane tanks which are filled every 6-8 months. We opted to go with such large tanks because our winters can be severe. We wanted to make sure we had enough propane to last us for several winter months in case the propane delivery truck couldn’t make it up our driveway because of snow and ice.
DO YOU OWN YOUR OWN LAND?
Yes, we own 5 acres.
HOW DO YOU HEAT hOMe?
The stove is made by Hampton and is fueled by propane. It generates a significant amount of heat and even in -10F weather, we had absolutely no issues staying warm. You can read more about it HERE or watch our Tiny House Minute review HERE.
WHAT ABOUT PRIVACY?
We live in the mountains and we have no neighbors who can see into our home so curtains are not necessary. However, one could easily add curtains to the house for privacy.
WHAT TYPE OF MATERIAL DID YOU USE ON YOUR INTERIOR WALLS?
Basically, we used a product called Iron Ply which is actually substrate for vinyl flooring. It is super light weight, very inexpensive compared to all other wall paneling options and easy to work with. We created gaps in between each panel by placing 16 penny nails to hold a consistent gap. We didn’t want it to be too big but also it couldn’t be too small. We attached each panel with adhesive and finish nails. Couple coats of paint and what you see is the result. We are super happy with how it turned out and that we saved at least 75% in what we would have paid for the expensive modern paneling systems that we originally wanted.
WHAT KIND OF TOILET DO YOU HAVE?
We use a composting toilet made in Sweden called the Separett. You can read our full review and watch a video on how it works here.
WHERE DO YOU DO LAUNDRY?
We have a washer and dryer set up in our solar shed. The hOMe plans though do layout for a washer/dryer combo to fit under the stairs to the master loft.
WHERE CAN I PARK A TINY HOUSE?
I don’t know what your local codes are like in your area so can’t say for sure. Here are a couple suggestions though. Check out TinyHouseMap.com for anyone in your area registered with a tiny house and make contact with them. Local resources are your best ones. Call your local zoning and building departments and let them know that you are thinking about living in a tiny house. See what they say. If they have concerns about them, write them down. When it comes time to formally approach them, come with answers and solutions to each of their concerns. You can always ask for a variance if they don’t have anything in the code to support you living in a tiny house. Also, take a look at this great resource listing various tiny house communities/developments in the US: http://tinyhousecommunity.
WHAT KIND OF VACUUM WAS THAT IN YOUR VIDEO TOUR?
We have the Rocket by Shark. Honestly, we can’t imagine there is a better vacuum for a tiny house. This one is lightweight, collapsible, and powerful. It even handles the fur from all of our dogs and cat! Here is our video review of the Rocket: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rg-6Gx92jsE
CAN I GET FINANCING FOR A TINY HOUSE?
Though in an ideal world, no one would have to get financing for their tiny house, sometimes that is a necessity to make the dream come true. To find out more about financing options for tiny houses, please click here for an article: https://tinyhousebuild.com/tiny-house-lending/
WHAT DOES “hOMe” MEAN?
The emphasis on the name “hOMe” is on the “OM”, which is a mystic syllable and often used as a mantra to obtain states of inner peace and calm. Because making the move to tiny was synonymous with us making a commitment to our inner joy and peace of mind, the name “hOMe” was born.
I HAVE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN 2 KIDS. CAN I STILL LIVE TINY?
There are families living tiny with kids. If you want to have a mobile tiny house that will be a challenge, however if that is not necessary, it opens things up a lot. You can read the story of a large family creating their tiny house dream here: http://tinyhousebuild.
WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR CABINETS?
All of our cabinetry, TV stand, dressers are from IKEA.
WHAT SIZE TRUCK DO I NEED TO TOW hOMe?
The engineered estimate for weight is around 17,000# (including the trailer) though that varies from region to region and on what building materials one uses. You will likely need a 1 ton pick up truck to pull hOMe. A dually is highly recommended. Check with individual truck brands though to see how much their engines can pull.
HOW MUCH DOES hOMe COST?
For us to build it, it cost just a little over $33,000. That includes everything from the composting toilet, cabinetry, appliances, furniture. The only things not included are the beds and personal belongings in drawers.
HOW DO YOU INSURE hOMe?
We have insurance from Darrell Grenz Insurance in Portland, OR who brokers it with Lloyd’s of London. You can read about that HERE.
WHAT SLOPE IS THE hOMe ROOF AND CAN I ALTER IT?
Our hOMe has a 2/12 slope. In most cases, the lowest slope will be determined by the roofing manufacturer specifications. You can usually go fairly low with metal roofing and some extra attention to the deck preparation (roofing felt or adhesive). That said, anything much less than 2/12 is at risk of leaking due to wind driven rain.