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How Much Does It Really Cost To Build A Tiny House

Let’s set up one factor first. I don’t wish to spend a buck until vital. I might not contemplate myself frugal or frivolous. I’m simply cautious about expenditures and I don’t care to squander cash. That stated, let’s speak about an oft-argued upon matter within the tiny home universe.


Just this previous week I learn a gem of a remark in a tiny home group: “The tiny house movement has become another great thing ruined by the capitalist pigs. They sea [sic] the money and they run after it. They don’t care about the same vision Jay Shafer saw a couple of years ago. They just sea [sic] dollar signs. For the cost they want now for a tiny house I might as well just buy a normal home on land.” 

There are simply so many issues incorrect with that assertion. Conjuring up the factors of capitalism, the misguided historical past of Jay Shafer, the price of constructing a tiny home, using the time period “normal”; it was a painful learn. I learn it anyway. I contemplated it. I began to reply a few occasions. Then I digested it, lived with it, and got here to the next conclusion. The value to construct a tiny home is relative to the individual/get together constructing the house, the extent of legality of the home, and the market it’s being inbuilt. For the sake of argument, listed here are a few concepts we should always use:

  • Average home measurement within the United States >> 2150 sq.ft.
  • Cost per sq.ft. in in the present day’s actual property market >> $125
  • Cost of stated 2150 sq.ft. home >> $268,750
  • A “normal” home >> 1100 sq.ft.
  • A small home >> 600 sq.ft.
  • A tiny home >> lower than 400 sq.ft.
  • A micro home >> lower than 150 sq.ft.

I noticed a quote just lately that stated, “The small house movement is not about cramming one’s life in the smallest space possible, it is about pursuing a more effective lifestyle through one’s environment in pursuit of a balanced, enjoyable life. It is better living through simplicity.” I really like that thought. I’ve been saying for years that what’s tiny to at least one individual is probably not tiny to a different. What is tiny to six individuals could also be big to 2 individuals. It is all relative. So to say that a tiny home shouldn’t value greater than (random quantity task) $25,000 is absurd. Your model of what a tiny home ought to value might not exceed $25,000. Everyone has a special model of what truthful pricing is.

While a “normal” home constructed by licensed contractors is averaged nationally at $125/sq.ft. a 300 sq.ft. tiny home customized constructed, will run about $300/sq.ft. Now that, my associates, is freeway theft. It is reasonable by quantity, sure, however costly by proportions. One of the first issues is that when constructing in small style, contractors can’t benefit from bulk buying as they might on a bigger home. For occasion, the contractor would solely want 16 sheets of plywood to dry within the partitions of a 24′ tiny home. On a bigger home that might solely cowl maybe the outside partitions of 1 room! The worth break on plywood at most lumber yards is about at 50 sheets (or a bundle). So a contractor/builder developing a tiny home doesn’t get to benefit from bulk charges and subsequently has to pay extra per sheet.

It can also be necessary to notice that a tiny home on wheels begins with a trailer. I’ve written earlier than about why salvaged trailers are usually not a sensible concept and why you must solely construct on a correctly rated, tiny home particular, metallic trailer. At 24ft. lengthy that’s going to run about $5300. So even earlier than the primary nail is hammered or screw is drilled in, your finances is at a $5k deficit.


The third consideration is that when constructing a tiny home or having one constructed you’re pitting your personal time and expertise up towards these of knowledgeable and licensed builder. While chances are you’ll be Bob Vila and know your means round home framing together with your eyes closed, you additionally need to think about time. How a lot is your time value? In order to construct a tiny home on wheels are you having to forego regular work and focus solely on the development of the home? Are you having to work full-time and construct solely in small increments of perhaps Three-Four hours per day? As the saying goes, time is cash! This doesn’t even get into the effectivity with which knowledgeable builder could possibly add in free of charge.

The fourth consideration is how a lot luxurious you need. Take a stroll by means of Lowes or Home Depot or Menards. Everything you see has a price ticket. We already established that plywood prices cash. Well, so do nails, screw, spools of wire, bats of insulation, sheets of drywall, rolls of tape, and so on. Everything has a worth and if you wish to have an exquisite picket countertop correctly put in and sealed for long-term, it will value barely greater than your common Formica laminate countertop. Same goes together with your fridge, your tile work, your mini-split, and so on. Most individuals are left speechless once they discover out the typical tiny home has eight electrical retailers at $1.87 every. That is $15 proper there. Add an outlet plate cowl and you’re including $Three. May not sound like rather a lot however that’s primarily the least costly element to a construction construct!

Am I making sense? The argument just isn’t whether or not a tiny home on wheels is in line with the micro home Jay Shafer constructed a decade in the past. It isn’t about the way it compares to an entirely authorized, “normal” home. It isn’t even about how little you possibly can construct a tiny home for. The worth to construct a tiny home on wheels is solely about what you need the home to be and the way a lot that home prices.

What do you assume a tiny home on wheels ought to value? Have costs gotten out of hand? Should customization even be related to the dialog or is that this a problem for builders fashions solely? Let us know within the feedback under.

By Andrew M. Odom for the [Tiny House Blog]

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