Design & Construction

The Cost of a Tiny House

The cost of a Tiny House begins with plans. The Eco Cabin Plans are sold by Pinup Houses, $490.

The cost of a Tiny House begins with construction plans. For this Eco Cabin, plans are sold by Pinup Houses, $490.

The cost of a tiny house begins with the plans if you plan to build it yourself. Then there are materials, land, utilities, and labor. Kent Griswold gave estimated prices for materials today in the Tiny House Blog:

Many people choose to build their own tiny house on wheels and there are many plans available online. (see the directory) Others choose to have them built for them and over the last few years there have become lots of builders who specialize in just building tiny houses. If you build the house yourself the average cost is between $15,000 to $30,000. This is material costs and doesn’t include the labor you put into it. Professionally built tiny homes usually start around the $30,000 and go up. In the last couple of years we have seen the price go over $100,000 for luxury tiny homes on wheels.

Kent recommends having the house professionally built by someone who specializes in tiny house construction. The Tiny House Listings are a good place to begin looking at prices and inquiring about contractors.

Pin-up Houses is a major source of construction plans. Pin-Up Houses is an international studio working both within and outside the traditional boundaries of architecture. “We work as an architecture studio with our expertise extending also to research, experimental and publication areas.” Their main concentration is proposals of small wooden house designs with an emphasis on social housing and affordable living.

Categories: Design & Construction

Tagged as:

3 replies »

  1. What is the zoning or permits that are needed to have these parked somewhere. I imagine it would vary from city to city or county to county.

    Also, do you think it may be cost effective for a beginnner and nonprofessional to buy one of those prefabricated outdoor sheds and have a professional wire and design the inside to be a tiny home?

    • Zoning is highly variable. Most of it is very local. There are often state-level restrictions on construction limitations related to safety, etc. but those are not the ones that are usually the problem. I don’t know if there are any states that would pass legislation that would void local zoning. It’s the local stuff that will limit lot sizes, permits required for homes on wheels, multifamily zoned or single family. Zoning is beginning to change to favor greater density — adding a unit in the backyard — and some places don’t have such zoning.

    • Zoning is a major problem that is increasingly being attacked. It is hard to change but not impossible. It takes focus and continued pressure. The number of apartments being built has been drastically reduced in the 21st century so it has to be addressed in some way or we will see more tent cities. One result of the pandemic is that it may reduce the population to the extent that housing will be less scarce. Cost-effective is a hard question because it depends on how much housing is costing you now. And how much of the upgrade work you can do yourself. I’m used to working-class families who do all the upgrade and maintenance work themselves. No one seems to care if people in poorer neighborhoods do their own plumbing and painting and fixing as long as they aren’t renting to someone else. If you are doing something to make money or in an attached dwelling where your mistakes endanger others, then the zoning requirements might be protective. Usually, they are to preserve the status quo and are frequently outdated so they don’t even do that. Look at the finances. How much does housing cost you now, and how much would living in the shed would cost — land is an issue unless someone gives you space on their land. Doing anything differently than the people next door do is always a challenge to the status quo. Some of the legal tent cities have developed on land owned by non-profits or owners who aren’t planning to develop it. The Tiny Life website has lots of information about figuring out the minimum wiring and plumbing needed and how much it might cost.

Leave a Reply