Tiny House FAQ

 

faq_smallWhat is a tiny home?

A tiny home is usually considered anything under 400 square feet. As banks do not finance homes under that square footage. In order to avoid a “wide load” haul each time you move, you can build up to 13’6″ in height, and 8’6″ in width. If you go over these dimensions, and are pulled over while moving your tiny home you could face large fines. It’s also safety reasons.

How do you move your tiny home?

Most tiny homes are built on a flatbed trailer so you can transport your home by hooking up your trailer to a truck, and transporting it to your destination. Remember your trailer must have a registered tag, working brake lights, and turn signals.

What kind of vehicle do I need to tow my tiny home?

You will need a two and a half ton vehicle or larger to move your home with ease. If you don’t have one of these many companies like Uhaul, Penske, etc have moving trucks you can rent to be able to move your tiny home. 

What are the rules when transporting my tiny home from one state to another?

Each state varies. But as stated above the average transport home size is 13’6″ in height, and 8’6″ in width. It is better to be safe than sorry, as bridges may be lower in certain states. Your best option is to visit the department of transportation website for each state, and plan your trip accordingly. 

How much does a tiny home cost?

That is a difficult question. Depending on if you purchase or build your own tiny home affects the cost. It also depends on if you are using new materials or recycled materials. But, realistically speaking it can begin at $15,000 dollars and upwards of $100,000 dollars. It depends on your personal needs, and aesthetics.

Can I finance my tiny home?

The answer is no. Most people that decide to build do so to be debt free. Financing is not ideal for them. However, companies like Tumbleweed Tiny House company build under the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association standards, therefore you are able to finance it as certified RVIA vehicle. However, you may be able to obtain a personal loan, or other creative financing to finance your home.

Where will I be able to park my tiny home?

Regulations, and ordinances are different in every County, City, and State. You have to check locally. But usually in an RV park. Or you can find, and purchase land that allows you the freedoms associated with a tiny home. Friends or family may rent you space on their property. Or you can join a Tiny House Community. 

Are tiny houses legal?

This is a grey area again. People build on a flatbed trailer, and try to ensure their tiny home is certified as a recreational vehicle to avoid falling into that grey area. However, because of the advancements in this movement, many local towns, and cities are allowing the building, and living of tiny homes. We recommend you check with your local code enforcement office regarding what they allow in your county. You always have the option to petition, and create change in your county regarding tiny houses, and their legality there. 

Do I need a permit to build my tiny home?

The good news is that when you are building on a trailer you avoid needing typical home construction permits. For non-permanent structures not on a trailer may vary. Always check your local statutes if you are concerned. It’s as simple as a phone call. 

Can a family live in a tiny home?

Absolutely, it depends on your families needs. Don’t give up on your tiny house dreams. The reality is that you have no reason to “keep up with the Jones’s”. What works for you may not work for anyone else. That’s the beauty of this lifestyle. It’s a wonderful adventure you can take with your family. 

How is sewage handled?

You can hook it up to a regular septic system. This will give you regular flush toilets, and running water. You can use composting toilets. Or you can set your tiny home up like an RV with holding tanks.

What kind of power should one use?

To have traditional appliances (ex; washer, dryer, oven, water heater) you will need 220. If you prefer to not have traditional appliances you can research alternatives, and use 110 throughout your home. 

Why do most interiors have wood?

These are tiny homes! So you can usually afford the luxury, and quality of expensive materials. It is not necessary. You can build to your hearts content. Another reason is drywall cracks easily if you are transporting your home. Better quality materials can prevent damage.

How is a tiny home off-grid?

Off-grid means you are unplugged from traditional electricity. You can power your tiny home using solar power energy.

Can I insure my tiny home?

Absolutely, but this movement is new, and still growing. However, agents still don’t understand the tiny home concept. You are better off describing it is a custom travel trailer. You are able to obtain property insurance to ensure certain valuables, but that depends on the company.  A great resource is a Mr. Darrell Grenz, and agent that has networked with Loyd’s of London to develop a tiny house insurance policy. The policy is not available in every state. His information is Darrel Grenz of Grenz Insurance Agency. His email is darrellgrenz@gmail.com. His phone number is 503-206-6736. 

I want to use recycled materials, where can I get some for my tiny home construction?

You can find recycled materials at yard sales, dumpsters, Craigslist, Habitat for Humanity store, Freecycle.org. Be creative.

How do I create the floor plan for my tiny home?

You can use online programs like roomsketcher.com or floorplanner.com. You can also find a space in your current home, garage, etc., and tape out the dimensions. Take a picture. Or you can purchase the designs/plans from companies like TinyHouseDesign.com, or TumbleweedHouses.com.

How do I keep track of all of my tiny home plans?

Pinterest, Evernote, or even traditional methods like print, and catalog in a binder (Try eco-friendly paper. Every little bit helps.)

Are there any Tiny House Associations?

Absolutely! They are a plethora of resources. You can visit the American Tiny House Association here.

Are there Tiny House Communities?

Absolutely! Tiny House Talk has compiled a great list. Click here to see it.

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