Building your own home is the dream of many people, and thanks to the popularity of tiny houses, this dream is within the reach of many more people. Building a tiny house is usually less complicated than planning and building a normal sized house, and thanks to DIY kits, even people who are not professional builders can think about building their own tiny house.
This tiny house DIY guide will give you all the information you need to start planning and building your own tiny home.
A lot of planning is necessary before you start
You won’t be able to just walk into a DIY store and buy everything you need. A tiny house needs a lot of planning before you can even think about buying all the materials.
You want to make sure that you consider everything before you start building—and if you are not experienced with making plans or any kind of building, you might also want to consider visiting a tiny house DIY workshop. Those are often offered by companies that build tiny houses. These workshops will teach you all you need to know about building a tiny home.
The things you need to think about:
The size of the tiny house
The size of your tiny house is one of the first things you need to think about—you will need to think about how compact your tiny house will actually be. This depends a lot on how many people will end up living in the house, and how much time you spend in there.
A single freelancer who works from home will have different needs than a single business woman who does not spend a lot of time in her home. A couple with a dog will also have different needs. And if you are a family with two kids, you will need to make sure that your house is big enough to give everyone some space of their own.
What do you need from your tiny house?
To get an idea about how big your house needs to be, and how the plan should look (more about plans later), you should write down what you do in your current home every day. Things like taking a shower or taking a bath, watching TV, sitting at a desk, relaxing on a couch, preparing meals with different kitchen equipment, etc.
Once you have written these down, you know what you need to continue living your life as you did before moving into a tiny house. Those are the essentials, e.g. kitchen appliances, bath or shower, toilet, living area, and so on.
What do you want from your tiny house?
Now you can think about what extras you would like your house to have. These are not essential, but will make your life easier, more comfortable, or simply more enjoyable.
On that list, you could put things like a king-sized bed (possible even in a tiny house as long as you plan accordingly), an artist’s corner for creative undertakings, a porch to relax on after work, and so on.
Plan it yourself—or buy a plan?
There are various options when it comes to the plan of your tiny house. The plan is one of the first things you need. If you have experience with planning, whether it is by hand or by using planning software, you might want to design your tiny house completely on your own. This is an option only recommended for experienced people.
The easiest option is to buy a completed plan by one of the companies that is building tiny houses. You will find many of them online and can get them instantly delivered as PDF files. Many of these plans also come with a list of construction materials, and additional information to help you with building your tiny house.
Some of the tiny house companies also give you the option to customize one of their plans according to your own wishes—this is the best option for people who do not have planning skills but would like a more personal layout than the ones offered by fully finished plans.
Use a kit—or buy all materials yourself?
If you use your own plan or buy a plan from a tiny house company, you will have a list of materials, and you will need to buy them on your own. When you draw up all the plans on your own, you need to put a lot of care into getting the list of materials right as you do not want to find something missing while you are in the middle of constructing the house.
The easiest option is to buy a plan and a construction material kit from a tiny house company. This ensures that you have all materials and the necessary instructions to build the house. Kits often come partially assembled, and this also makes the DIY construction of a tiny house a lot easier.
The latter option is ideal for people who do not have a lot of experience, but would still like to be able to say that they have built their own home.
Building the tiny house
Once you have planned the layout of your house (or bought a plan), bought all the materials, or received the tiny house kit, it is time to start building your cozy home.
This is also a stage you need to plan well. It would be best if you had a few helpers, of course.
Write down some goals for each day, and make each task achievable, i.e. set realistic timelines. Also consider what to do on days during which the weather is too bad to work on your tiny house. These days could be used to think about interior design, for example.
Make sure that you double check everything as it is difficult to undo a mistake once you have advanced too far with the next building steps!
(Photo Credits: www.newfrontiertinyhomes.com, www.blog.opportunityspace.org, www.housebeautiful.com)