Things to Do Before You Build Your Tiny House

build tiny house

I love living in a tiny house. As a child, I usually had to stay at home by myself, so the typical house always seemed to be so vast and lonely to me. That’s when a dream of having a tiny house grew up inside of me and I made a lot of plans to build a tiny house (It just some ugly paintings). Therefore, two years ago, I decided to spend all of my saving money to build my dream tiny house.

However, it was not easy at all. I researched quite a lot before starting designing and building, but all of the information was just theory. Only when I got down to it did I realize that I lacked too many experiences and needed someone to guide.

Furthermore, I could not even calculate how much meters square my house would be at first and did not have a proper preparation. My friends and I had to fix numerous details while building. Therefore, it took about a year for my tiny home to be done while it was supposed to be only six months.

That is why I am writing this article to help you prepare a great plan before you start building your tiny house. Just keep reading if you ever have the same problems as mine. Everything is based on my experiences so I hope you would discover a possible solution in my writing.

1. Know What You Want and What You Can Do

These are the first things you need to know before having any plans to build a tiny house. They will massively affect your design. Is it a trailer home and you want to build your own tiny house on wheels? You like making it like a bus conversion, cob houses, or vardo small homes? Ask yourself those questions before making decisions. You will have the most beautiful little house designs ever.

plans to build a tiny house
Source: L H Growing a Tiny House on Wheels

For me, I like a traditional trailer house with planks attaching to one another and glass doors as well as windows. They look so cute and come in a variety of size and shape, so I could do almost everything I want. Besides, if you choose wood from oak trees, your house will always be warm in the winter and cool in the summer. A traditional trailer home is perfect for whoever likes the classic style.

Moreover, when you already know what you want, you have to determine the things you can do. Can you handle everything by yourself or you need to hire somebody else to work with you? Do you have any idea about sawing or chopping? Or does everything you know is cleaning and making some tea for the workers you hire? Defining all of those things will be a lot easier to calculate the sum of expenses and know what you should do.

I knew mostly about which materials to use, which paint is beautiful, and how to use a nail gun. So I was only responsible for planning, designing, and showing the workers the spirit of my house, a cozy and also tiny modern home. If you have a greater number of skills than I did, you won’t meet many difficulties. And it does not necessarily have to be workers. You can ask for your friends or family for a favor. Of course, only when they know how to build a tiny house. Look for high-quality workers in these sites if you still want to hire:

2. Find a Perfect Floor Plan

Floor plans is a sketch of everything you are going to have in your tiny house, which looks a like this:

plans to build a tiny house
Source: Tiny House Talk

Without this plan, you would probably end up like me a year ago in the introduction. Your workers would also be confused about what to do and what not to do. So try to draw it as detailed as possible at the beginning to avoid the same mistake that I made. You should consider these criteria to build the plan:

  • Where do you want to put your house?
  • Which outdoor space is appropriate?
  • How large do you want your house to be?
  • Should you try the space?
  • How to organize the utilities?
  • How to keep the standards?
  • What are your primary goals?

After you have done answering these questions, your floor plan is already fully formed. You can look for various designs for reference in this link: Try to maximize your creativeness and you will have the best tiny house ever.

3. An Expert is Very Needed

After you have come up with a complete plan, it’s time to look for an expert or a support community. I usually call them tiny house people. They will be responsible for checking your design and its details to see if there are any problems.

If you know some professional architect, you are definitely lucky because there will not be plenty issues to worry about. Otherwise, you don’t have to try so hard to connect or hire a builder with high expenses. Someone who used to build a tiny house is acceptable.

For example, my uncle used to make a tiny house for his wife on her birthday some years ago, so he knew quite many things about materials and reasonable designs as well as decorations. Therefore, he was a perfect expert for me. Just try to ask anyone you know who has experienced in building tiny houses to help. I’m sure they won’t refuse to show their knowledge.

However, if there are nobody around you is capable of that, you can purchase a book called: A Pattern Language. It contains all of the relevant items and issues about constructions. I learned some very useful skills in it and had to admit that it was the best manual for new builders. Unless you can find some professional or build the house by yourself, it will certainly be a big help.

4. Setting Your Budget Plans to Build a Tiny House

You are getting closer to the implementing part. Now all of the expenses have to be calculated so that you can start as soon as possible. Try to include every cost in a table as following to have an overview of what you will need to purchase.


This was my first table of expenses, and I only list the necessary items needed to build the house. Other furniture and electrical utilities were mentioned in another table. My total cost was 21,152 dollars, which was not so expensive to me. All of the items are made clear with a particular price, so you would not be mistaken while buying.

One more benefit of setting up a budget is that you can look for some methods to reduce the cost. Finding them on Amazon, eBay, or Bestbuy is one of those. Most of the e-commerce sites offer a bargained price; therefore, take full advantage of them and you can minimum your total expenses.

There are some other ways such as using recycled materials, buying items in huge chunks, or rent the building tools. I’m sure your expenses will be even less than mine if you apply those tips 100 percent.

5. Prepare for a Tiny Life

If you are living in a big house, getting yourself acquainted to a smaller one may have some unfamiliarity. Therefore, your living space is not the only thing you have to downsize but also yourself.

Some stuff you used to use before may not be appropriate in this new tiny house anymore. For example a wardrobe, double bed, sofa bed, big dressing-table and so on. Putting too significant furniture in a small room can make it look so much smaller. Instead, you can try these methods:

  • Use some handy things with smaller size, such as a drawer or folding bed.
  • Get rid of unnecessary items and try not to accumulate everything into one place.
  • Divide your stuff into smaller chunks and put it in different corners of the house

These are terrific solutions to save space for your tiny house. I applied all of them, and my home looked so clean and neat. Use them as well if you want, or think of any other creative ideas. It’s your house, so it’s up to you.

This is an article from my friend, James. He is here to share his knowledge about tiny houses. I hope his article had provided the most useful information to you. Thank you, James, for sharing your experience with us.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to leave your comments below, maybe it will be a great topic to talk about in my next post.

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