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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. Tinyhousdreaming
    June 25, 2016 / 1:08 pm

    Was it hard finding places to park the tiny house for long durations of time? Did you spend much/any time in Canada?

  2. Ivan
    June 21, 2016 / 11:37 pm

    This may be a stupid question but I was wondering how, if at all, tiny houses are moved over-seas? Are they even allowed to be transported over-seas because I know there are some restrictions on container houses.

    • June 22, 2016 / 12:22 am

      It’s not a stupid questions. Tiny houses are just shipped on a boat. Ours has been on ferries before and some have been shipped to Hawaii. The restrictions would come more from the highway laws. In Europe for example they can’t really be over 3.5 tons.

  3. Gerry Cain
    May 30, 2016 / 4:38 pm

    Hi. I love your home and am considering joining the tiny home community. You note that you are on the go quite a bit. How do you handle mail delivery, especially docs or credit cards that can’t be delivered to POBoxes, or “place/state of residence” for things like voting registration or auto registration/tags, etc?

  4. Nannette
    May 5, 2016 / 4:30 pm

    First off, I recognize you from a tiny house video I watched….maybe TV. While it is a wonderful idea, it seems so hard to reach when you have debt and such. You mentioned that you were in debt and hated your jobs. What did you do to financially prepare for this lifestyle and how do you setup for making a living on the road? We want to do this but with 14k in debt, car payments etc…it seems so hard to see. How long did it take you to get out of debt, what are your suggestions on reducing your belongings and what steps did you take to get to where you are now financially?

  5. Beth Powell
    May 4, 2016 / 7:11 am

    just wondering..did you think of just buying an RV or is the tiny house more environment friendly? Would love to just travel the world with no worries.

    • May 4, 2016 / 7:28 am

      We wanted to be able to build something ourselves with the materials we chose. Something that would be comfortable year-round and longterm. And something that would set us apart for our travel blog too.

  6. Angie
    April 14, 2016 / 4:24 am

    Hi,
    How do you get an address for a mobile tiny house? What do you put down on forms, or recieve Mail?

    • April 20, 2016 / 8:06 am

      I would recommend getting a P.O. Box at your local post office