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Tiny House FAQs

What is this movement sweeping the nation? Why do I see Tiny Houses all over television? Is it just a bunch of millennials trying to get out of paying taxes or are they onto something? Are Tiny Homes here to stay? Read on for some answers to your Tiny House FAQs.

TINY HOUSE FAQS: HOW SMALL IS A TINY HOUSE?

This question is under heavy debate as many tiny home owners take square footage pretty darn seriously. Some think “tiny homes” need to be under 220 square feet. Others think under 500 square feet is an adequate number. A few try to say that anything under 1,000 square feet is tiny! Here’s the truth: the average new home built in the United States is over 2,400 square feet. Home sizes in the USA have skyrocketed in the recent decades and continue to do so.

Why is this bad? Well, for one, it’s not sustainable. Imagine if everyone lived in 2,400 square feet, all over the world. Imagine the waste it would take just to build these large homes, not to mention to energy it would take to heat, cool and maintain them. The average new home in the USA sells for $360k, according to the census. How many people can afford a regular home without going into debt for years and years? There is something not right about this equation. Many tiny housers believe owning a home shouldn’t require sacrificing financial freedom for luxury. More on Tiny House costs and why people go Tiny.

The tiny house movement is a counterculture movement. It’s also a minimalist alternative lifestyle that’s meant to be affordable and eco-friendly. One common misconception is that tiny home owners are poor, this just isn’t true. In fact, most tiny home owners have more savings than traditional home owners. So how small is a tiny house? I believe it’s as small as you’re willing to go to obtain financial freedom with a small home footprint.

World's Largest Axe, New Brunswick

My house is 125 square foot with a 60 square foot loft

I modified a Tumbleweed Cypress-20 Overlook. Here are the stats/dimensions:

  • Exterior dimensions: 20′ long, 13’5″ high, 8’6″ wide at the wheels, 7’4″ wide at the walls
  • Interior dimensions: 6’8″ wide and 10’6″ high inside
  • Weight: 10,100lbs with all of our belongings including water and propane, 1,500lbs on the tongue.

WHERE DID I GET MY MATERIALS?

I purchased most of my materials at hardware stores, on Amazon and on Craigslist. Visit my Tiny House Materials page for more details. A big thanks to my sponsors!

Framing right wall - 0051

HOW MUCH DID IT COST? HOW LONG DID IT TAKE? RANDOM BUILD STATS?

  • Cost of Build: See my detailed Cost breakdown
  • Human Hours: 1,000+. Built from September 2nd 2013 – September 2nd 2014. One year exactly!
  • Nails: 6,500+
  • Screws: 8,000+
  • Expanding Foam Cans: 55+
  • Beers Consumed: Impossible to calculate…
  • Fingers Remaining: 5 per hand (not impossible to calculate!!!)

WHAT WOULD I DO DIFFERENTLY?

  • Put the porch on the sidewalk side instead of the street side. It’s also better for RV parks (picnic tables are usually on the right).
  • Widen the bathroom just a couple inches
  • Think more about total weight and distribution
  • Vent the roof OR insulate with spray foam instead of rigid foam.

Tiny House Faqs

HOW FAR HAVE I TRAVELED? RANDOM TRAVEL STATS & TINY HOUSE FAQs?

  • Tow Truck: 2006 Ford F250 6.0L Turbo Diesel CrewCab Long Bed FX4
  • Tiny Odometer: 24k+ miles
  • Tiny Nautical Miles: 1,190 nmi (Yarmouth, NS to Portland, ME and Haines, AK to Bellingham, WA)
  • Top Speed: 75 mph
  • Cruising Speed: 55 mph
  • Mileage: 9 mpg (at cruising speed and with a fresh oil change)
  • Law Enforcement Encounters:
    • Driving under the minimum speed limit: 1
    • Kicked-out: 1 (Central Park NYC)
    • Parking violation during our open house events: 2
  • RV Park Stats:
    • Parks I stayed at: 50+
    • Parks I was turned away from because they don’t allow Tiny Homes: 1
    • Parks I stayed for free because “our house is so cool:” 3
  • Reactions On The Road:
    • Pictures taken: countless
    • Thumbs up: countless
    • Middle fingers: 2

WHERE CAN YOU PARK A TINY HOUSE?

This is the number one question asked here at Tiny House FAQs! The answer? It depends on if you want to live legally or “under the radar.” Tiny Homes on wheels fall into the same category as RVs. The easiest way to find out where you can legally park a Tiny Home is by checking your local RV parking regulations. Every county is different.

Click here for a list of USA campgrounds that I parked at from 2014-2015 on my one-year road trip.

If you are looking for parking, a great resource is this website: Tiny House Community. Review her Tiny House FAQs page for parking info. You can also subscribe to different Tiny House community Facebook groups in your area and post on the Tiny House Hosting Facebook page.

FOR MORE TINY HOUSE FAQS, CHECK OUT THE BELOW RESOURCES.

My Favorite Tiny House Websites:

Other Tiny Housers:

My Favorite Tiny House Books:

Click here for a full list and reviews of my favorite Tiny House Books!


My Favorite Build Guides (for beginners):

Before building a Tiny House, I had zero construction experience. I attended a Tumbleweed workshop and purchased the “How-To” DVD. The DVD is little out of date now, but still very helpful for covering the basics of Tiny House building. I highly recommend the workshops. I also recommend Tiny Home Builder’s Construction Guide and Video Tutorials. 

 

You can also book me for a Tiny House Consultation!

My Favorite Tiny House Movies:

  • TINY: The Movie. Christopher Smith & Merete Mueller’s story of their build and interviews with other tiny house experts.
  • Small Is Beautiful – Look for it online soon! This is an amazing film that really “hits home” for any novice builder.

If my Tiny House FAQs article has helped you in some way, consider making a small donation. This is how I am able to maintain this website, and without donations, I will not be able to continue. Even $5 helps! Thank you for your support!

98 Comments

  1. Kaley
    April 1, 2016 / 12:01 pm

    Hey!
    First off I think you guys are awesome, and have been following you for quite some time. I am planning on starting my tiny house build this summer. How did you go about registering your trailer/home so its legal on the road?

    • April 1, 2016 / 12:07 pm

      Honestly, we just went to the DMV. We had a different experience in LA then we did in Illinois so we can’t really answer specifically. I suggest you go to your local DMV with a photo of a tiny house and ask them

      • Kaleylndstrm@yahoo.com
        April 4, 2016 / 12:09 pm

        Right on, Illinois is actually where I will be building my house. Was that a good or bad experience in Illinois?

  2. Bruce Nguyen
    March 27, 2016 / 11:12 pm

    The Ford F-250 is too small to be moving a 10000 pound house you probably need an F-350 dually or bigger I don’t know what problems you had with the truck but I wouldn’t be surprised if you guys destroyed the transmission and engine and that would explain all the truck problems you had

    • March 28, 2016 / 10:34 am

      While I agree on some points, the f250 we have is rated to tow 12,500lbs. Most f250 of the same year can tow more with shorter beds, cabs and 2wd instead of 4×4 which are heavier. As far as f350, for the same year dually or not, it’s actually the same engine I believe (not sure about the transmission). The 6.0L turbo diesel engine is what sucks on this truck. Cost us $10,000 in repairs over 22,450 miles of towing but people report the same issues without really towing. Our transmission seems fine so far. But yeah, bottom line is a bigger truck certainly wouldn’t hurt, though on the paper, our truck shouldn’t have issues.

      • Kirsten Combs
        June 14, 2016 / 1:25 pm

        Yep…we had one of those. Got rid of it before having to fix the issues. The good thing is that once they are all fixed and the truck is “bulletproofed”, they will never die. Good “F250 6.0 bulletproofed” and you’ll know what I’m talking about!

      • November 8, 2016 / 1:07 pm

        Hello, and thanks for your info.

        I have a question: how the heck dip yall move around? You’ve got your diesel top move the home from A to B.

        But do you have to continue to drive your diesel to the doctor or grocery store?

        Or does 1 person follow in an every day vehicle when you move from A to Boston?

        Thanks again,

        Tiny Curious

      • November 9, 2016 / 9:46 am

        We did not have a follow car. We just unhooked the trailer and drove the truck to the store, etc.

    • November 8, 2016 / 1:09 pm

      Darn auto correct. Pardon the errors!

  3. Robin Williams
    March 17, 2016 / 6:07 pm

    Hello, I’m gathering info to build one. First, since I plan on traveling with mine, I’m so surprised that most are not very aerodynamic. Do you know of a source that shows better designs for the roof to be aerodynamic to save gas milage. And two, do know of a source that shows how to build so that everything doesn’t fall when traveling. So many people build open shelves in kitchen. That seems like alot to have to move when traveling. How do you secure your things when traveling? Thank you

  4. Brandon Blakley
    March 12, 2016 / 6:44 pm

    Hi! I’m considering purchasing a air ventilator to improve air exchange in my house. I am near the point of insulation and am going to use spray foam for the roof and rigid for the walls. I live in Washington so there is a lot of moisture. Do you feel a air exchanger would be beneficial or are you fine with simply opening a window? The down side is the ventilator requires tweaks in the construction and an extra cost so debating if its worth it. Thanks!!!

    • March 12, 2016 / 6:45 pm

      We wish we had one in ours and we’re in a dry environment! Look at Lunos

  5. Vincent
    February 21, 2016 / 4:48 pm

    Thanks! I’m gonna be driving it from Alaska to final destination in South Carolina, so knowing that 2×4’s will be safe is a huge relief!

  6. Vincent
    February 21, 2016 / 4:42 pm

    There’s some great info in your article! Thank you for sharing… I’m just getting started on mine and am doing the great debate between 2×4 and/or 2×6. Suggestions??

    • February 21, 2016 / 4:44 pm

      Unless you’re facing extreme heat or cold, 2×4 should be sufficient for a standard build, especially with higher end insulation. It’ll save you some space and quite a bit of weight.