frequently asked questions


 

what is a tiny home?

Recently the International Code Council (ICC), the organization responsible for creating and maintaining the International Residential Code (IRC), passed Appendix 5 titled "Tiny Homes". Appendix 5 specifies that a tiny home is "a dwelling which is 400 or less square feet (37 meters squared ) in floor area, excluding lofts". So, a tiny home is any livable unit that is 400 square feet or less, which includes trailer homes, tiny homes on wheels (THOW), container homes, yurts, cabins, etc. 

 

how much does a tiny home cost?

For our own tiny home, we set the budget at $30,000 USD. We arrived at this number after realizing that in addition to the $9,000 we had saved, we could only accrue an additional $21,000 through the course of another lease in our apartment. We have therefore designed the home and selected building materials, interior finishes, and products with the intent to be as close to $30,000 as realistically possible.

The market demonstrates a broad gradient for tiny home costs. With a quick search you can find tiny homes for as low as $5,000 or as high $80,000. This larger spectrum is due to several variables, the most crucial being whether you want to build the tiny home yourself, hire a builder, or buy a finished tiny home. 

 

Where can a tiny home be built? 

Most tiny homes are built in the backyard or driveway of the tiny home owner, a family member, or a friend, while others are built in closed facilities, such as a warehouse or a shop. We are lucky that we have space in a warehouse available to us, allowing us to build year-round and protected from the elements. 

 

how can a tiny home be insured?

Tiny home insurance can be acquired at Insure My Tiny Home. The agency is a full-service independent insurance broker. 

 

who can live in a tiny home?

Social media and television shows paint tiny home living as romantic, and while it can be highly rewarding and truly lovely in many regards, it is not easy. We have known for a long time that we, individually and as a couple, were compatible for living minimally in close quarters. Most of the apartments we have had in the past have been 500 square feet or less, accommodating ourselves, our possessions, our two cats, and our daily activities and periodic hobbies. We have always owned few possessions, and have invested in collapsible or adaptable furniture and products.

Three of the most critical components of tiny home dwelling to consider are possessions, privacy, and convenience. Storage in a tiny home is at a minimum; wardrobes, memorabilia, furniture, and small kitchen appliances must be significantly reduced from what is usually accommodated in a standard home. Privacy in a tiny home is also at a minimum, with the bathroom usually being the only 'room' with a door and everything else open into a large, single space. With no or few barriers, sight, sound, and smell can travel to all parts of a tiny home. Convenience in a tiny home is also at a minimum, with most furniture needing to be multi-functional and collapsible, dishwashers and washers being able to wash only small loads, refrigerators being able to hold only a small amount of food and few condiments, bed lofts requiring ladder access, and other possible considerations around off-grid living. 

Tiny home living should be considered seriously, as many tiny home owners do not continue the lifestyle after only a few months, finding it to be too limiting or uncomfortable. It is recommended that prospective tiny home dwellers try a small, 1-bedroom or studio apartment lifestyle before fully committing to a tiny home.