TINY LIVING QUESTIONS
Where can I learn more about living a Tiny life?
Ask us first! We are here to assist you in your dream to Building a Tiny Life. Participate in our Blog posts and Facebook page to connect with others that have similar dreams! Begin by completing our Action Guide.
TINY HOUSE DEFINITIONS
What is a Tiny House?
Most people in the Tiny House movement define a Tiny House as a dwelling that is less than 500 square feet. A Small House is usually defined as 500-900 square feet.
What is a THOW?
A THOW (Tiny House on Wheels) is a dwelling that is transportable. It could be a converted school bus, a motor home, recreational vehicle, camper or a traditionally framed house that sits on a trailer for towing. Most THOW’s are 8 feet wide due to the travel regulations for towing. The length of a THOW varies but most are 18 to 28 feet due to the weight restrictions for towing. The height is usually less than 13 feet 6 inches in order to fit under most power lines and bridges while traveling.
What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit – ADU?
This is the term used to define a secondary house or apartment that is on the same property as a larger house being used as the primary house. The ADU usually uses the same connections of water and electricity as the primary house. This term also refers to granny flats, in-law suites, second units and accessory apartments. The additional living space may be a stand alone unit or attached to the primary home. It could be an apartment over a garage, a basement apartment or a tiny house in the backyard.
TINY HOUSE QUESTIONS
How much does a Tiny House cost?
The average range for a DIY is $12,000-$24,000 and if you hire a builder the range usually begins at $24,000, to the sky’s the limit. An average price really depends on the size and the amenities – just like in a larger home! Many builders have packages that offer different amenities, appliances, trailer, and transport to your site.
Can you finance a Tiny House?
There is more and more funding available each day! Do your homework! Some people that already own a home will take out a second mortgage to fund the purchase of the Tiny House and once the house is built will sell the primary and move into the Tiny. Other people rent out the primary home and move into the Tiny House to save money.
How do I do my laundry?
Many Tiny House people use the laundromat or a friend’s home, but the pricing for a combo washer/dryer is becoming more reasonable to purchase. A lot of people are designing a specific space for this combo unit. Many put it in the bathroom or in the built in section of the stairs.
What kind of toilet is best?
This is a BIG question! If you have access to water hook-ups like in an RV park then you can use a regular flushing toilet. If not, or if you want to be off the grid for plumbing, you can use a composting toilet. There are many new toilets to consider. A really good book to read about composting is Humanure Handbook by Joseph C. Jenkins.
What kinds of beds?
Where you sleep and on what type of bed is determined by the design of your Tiny House. Will you have a sleeping loft? If so, the head room is always an issue, so the typical mattress and box-spring combo does not work. Many people use feather beds, air mattresses or a really comfy mattress only. If you have a downstairs bedroom area – how big is it? Many people raise the bed in order to build storage under it. Murphy beds are also popular and big space savers but the weight needs to be considered if you plan to pull a THOW-Tiny House On Wheels.
Do I need a permit to build a Tiny House myself?
Permits are usually only issued when you are building to specific building codes set by your town or city for houses on a foundation. Many tiny houses are built on a trailer with wheels and this falls under a different set of codes and restrictions. It is a good idea to check with your township before you begin your build. Consider using all the measures necessary for making a home safe – whatever size you choose.
Can I live in my Tiny House on Wheels (THOW) year round and not have to move?
Many people live in their THOW year round without any issues. There are many Tiny House communities and RV parks that allow year round living. If you decide to park your Tiny House on your own private property or someone’s backyard or farm you may only be able to stay there if no one complains to the township. Many towns prohibit legally living in a space as small as a THOW but each day these regulations are changing.
Do I need to own a lawn mower?
That’s funny! Do you have grass? Where do you have your house located? Is it sitting on a foundation surrounded by concrete? Then no! Are you on a friend’s property? If so, many Tiny House dwellers will exchange services and offer to mow the grass and pull the weeds in exchange for free or reduced parking on their land.
Hire a builder or DIY?
If you are thinking about DIY you are in good company. There are many people that have NO building experience and are building their own Tiny Homes with the help of the Tiny House Community. They are watching videos, taking workshops, attending conferences, doing lots of homework and getting help from family and friends. If you have the time to spend with handling all the details and the place to use as a construction site, then you could try DIY. It usually takes from 6 months to 1 year to build your own Tiny House.
If you want to get started right away – you can purchase a Tiny Home from the multiple builders now available to custom make your Tiny Home. You could actually be living in a custom Tiny Home in less than 3 months. Check references before hiring any builder or building company. Doing your due diligence is critical.
Is there Tiny House insurance?
YES! If your Tiny House on Wheels was built by an RV certified manufacturer then finding insurance is fairly easy. If you built your home you can still find insurance but it may need to be bundled with other insurances, such as with an auto insurance company.
Where can I live near other Tiny House owners?
There are new Tiny House Communities popping up all over the country. Most people live in areas where the weather does not get too cold but we are seeing ads all the time for Villages and Tiny House Communities. Check out our Building a Community page for resources.
Tiny Houses are adorable! How do I decide which one to choose?
Using our ACTION GUIDE to identify the things that are most important to you is a great place to start. Writing down your Basic Requirements for a home is critical too. See our lists. Share your list on our BLOG. There are also many websites that are renting out Tiny Houses like a hotel or Bed and Breakfast so that you can try before you buy. Airbnb.com is a good place to look.
We also recommend attending Tiny House conferences, workshops, and Meetups to talk with others that are building or living in a Tiny Home. There is nothing better than the experience of actually standing inside a Tiny House in order to get the feel of the size of the space.