Now that the insulation is done, Charlie’s turning his attention to several other projects. While he sorts them out, let’s get back to basics…namely, planning.
To come up with an effective plan, you need to know exactly what you want in a tiny house. You do this by asking the following questions:
- What is the purpose of your tiny home? In our case we knew we wanted to travel and couldn’t afford a Class A RV. Our tiny house will serve as our RV and will be constantly mobile. Mobility adds to the design challenges and construction methods – more on this in a future post.
- Where is your tiny house going to be located? Are you going to need a heater and/or air conditioner? Since we don’t know where we might take our tiny home, we’ve opted for both a heater and an air conditioner.
- Who is building your tiny house?
- Buying a pre-built tiny house means you’ll have the least amount of work to make it livable, but you’ll have the least amount of choice if you want to customize it.
- Having a tiny house built allows you to customize it to a greater extent without having to do much work on it yourself.
- Designing and building a tiny house yourself allows the greatest freedom of optimization but means you’ll be doing most, if not all, the work yourself. This is the method we’ve chosen despite our lack of building experience. It’s the most time-consuming but also the cheapest option.
- What are your must-haves? Here are ours:
- The bathroom could not be near the kitchen
- We had to be able to stand up in the master bedroom
- We had to have room to walk around our queen-sized bed
- I needed storage space for my guitars and recording equipment
- I needed a separate space to make and edit audio and video recordings
- Are you going green or not? We’re pretty much off grid with solar panels and possibly a composting toilet. We’re not using green materials exclusively because we’re primarily concerned with weight and cost.
- Who can help you build your tiny house? Very important, especially if you’re going the DIY route. You’ll need to have someone who can help with the “heavy lifting”. We lucked out again because one of the property owner’s sons agreed to help us.
- To help you stay within budget, think of everything you own that can be repurposed to fit in your tiny house. For example, we’re reusing 3 storage cabinets, our bed, our washer, my desk and chair, as well as making sure we use as much scrap lumber as possible.
Depending on your answers to these questions, you may need to make many other choices. For instance, since we’re going to use our tiny house as an RV, we needed to choose lightweight construction materials. We also needed to make sure our construction method would build the strongest RV possible from the lightweight materials. I’ll go into more detail on materials and methods in a future blog post.
Some other considerations:
- If you’re building your tiny house yourself, where are you going to build it? We’re very lucky that a friend has acreage in a nearby town and is letting us build in her front yard. We also have power to the building site.
- If you’re building out in the open, where are you going to store tools and supplies? We built a shed which we’re donating to the property owner when the build is complete. I’ll have a video on the site soon detailing how we built the shed.
- Make sure the pickup you pull the tiny house with is rated for that heavy a load. The last thing you want is to get everything hooked up only to find that your pickup can’t handle the load. I’ll have an entire video about our pickup on the site soon.
A tiny house means lots of decisions. Helping you make the right ones is what this site is all about. We’re going to have lots of videos, images, and pdf downloads to show you what options are available as well as explain the choices we made.
In the meantime, we’d really like to know what topics you would like to see us cover on this site. Just let us know in the comments below.