Tiny houses are becoming more popular — and for good reason. The cost of housing has skyrocketed in recent years, and having less space allows you to save money on energy and get back to the essentials.
Downsizing your living quarters is no simple feat, though. A poorly executed tiny house can be a prison, but one that’s well done can be a tribute to craftsmanship and efficiency. We’ve compiled a short list of the things you should keep in mind before getting started on your tiny home.
Know Your Local Laws
Many tiny houses don’t satisfy the size requirements to be viewed as an actual house in certain parts of the country. It would be a shame to spend all your time and effort building your home and then find out you’ll be spending months tied up in legal conversations with your local government over the fact that it’s not big enough. Do some homework and figure out whether you’ll be allowed to declare it a mobile home and build on wheels or if there’s an alternative approach you can take.
Keep It Efficient
The entire reason you’re building a tiny home is that you value the things you do in your life over the things you have. A tiny house is meant to be efficient, but you’ll need to put some thought into how it will be powered, the types of appliances you can accommodate, and the way you’ll manage insulation with things like energy-efficient windows and air conditioning. Consider the weight of the materials you will use. If you’re going to tow the house to its location you can’t have it weigh too much, but a home that’s too light could be endangered by severe weather.
Don’t Just Shrink a Larger Floor Plan
A layout that would have worked well for the average 2,600-square-foot house won’t translate to your 250-square-foot space. You’ve got to maximize every inch, which means you can’t allow anything to be used for a single purpose and you can’t have a bunch of clutter in the way of your walking path. Find ways to repurpose things, have a folding bed and table, use sliding doors to reduce the space occupied by the swing of a normal door, and incorporate lots of windows to make the space light.
Make It Your Own
You’re going to be very cozy with this space for the foreseeable future, so give it some character. If you’re handy with woodworking tools, pick a theme and add some texture to the interior and exterior surfaces. Add eye-catching stains that will also help protect your wood from weather and ensure your multiuse surfaces shapes are not just utilitarian. You’ll be glad you did so after you’ve lived in your tiny house for years.
It’s important that everything is just right in your tiny home. These tips should prove helpful during your home building project. Drop us a line in the comments below and let us know how your project is coming along.
Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington