Cost of a Tiny House: A Guide

ByRichard C. Sloan

Mar 26, 2022

Costs to Consider When Building a Tiny House

Building a tiny house is an ambitious undertaking, so there are many things to consider before starting your project. How big will your tiny house be? Will it be mobile or fixed to a foundation? What kind of amenities do you need to make it habitable?

These questions will impact the overall design of your home as well as the budget you’ll need to bring it to life, so let’s look at each factor in more detail.

Earth

To build a house, you will need the land to build it. Depending on where you live, local zoning laws may dictate how and where your home can be built. For example, it is illegal in many parts of the United States to place your tiny home on the property of a friend or family member for free.

If you choose to forego a permanent foundation and build your Tiny Home on Wheels instead, you can save yourself the hassle of buying land; However, you will still have to pay a decent amount in rent or campground fees to park for an extended period of time and connect your home to utilities.

If you want to build a permanent residence, you can consider getting a land loan to ease the financial burden. But keep in mind that home loans usually come with larger down payments and higher interest rates than typical home loans due to the increased risk for the lender.

To mitigate this risk and increase your chances of getting a loan, you will want to create a detailed construction plan for the lender showing how you intend to lay out the land if you are granted financing.

square area of ​​the house

Square footage can drastically change the price of any home, and with tiny homes between 100 and 400 square feet, the cost of your tiny home can depend on its size.

The national average price per square foot for a tiny home is around $150. However, you could end up paying upwards of $400 per square foot depending on the floor plan, materials, and amenities you choose.

Building permit

Building permits are another key component of home construction costs. Permits average about $1,350 nationwide, though you may end up paying more for larger floor plans and custom designs.

Amenities and design upgrades

Some of the biggest factors that contribute to the cost of building your home are the design and amenities you choose. In general, the more you want to customize the design of your tiny home, the more it will cost you.

Although tiny house kits are relatively affordable, custom designs will require specialist designers, architects and contractors which will add to the overall cost of the project. Opting to incorporate design upgrades like custom cabinetry in the kitchen will also drive up the price.

Furniture and appliances

Tiny houses aren’t just tiny houses – they’re tiny. With limited square footage, finding furniture and appliances that suit your space is of the utmost importance. To save money on amenities and maximize that limited space, many small homeowners end up targeting furniture that can serve multiple purposes, like a couch with hidden storage underneath.

Be sure to consider your lifestyle when choosing your devices. While you can certainly save money and space by choosing compact appliances, like a mini-fridge over a full-size fridge, the financial savings may not be worth it if you like to cook.