Tiny House FAQs: Why We Built a Tiny Home, How Much It Cost & More
We are Taylor and Luke, and this is our tiny house. We wanted to share a little bit more about our story, where we came from, what inspired us to build a tiny house, and what the future looks like. We hope to answer some of the tiny house faqs you may have by sharing our story with you.
We've been married for four years and live in California.
Have we always lived in a tiny house?
During the first nine months of our marriage, we lived in a rundown 650-square-foot apartment, and we were paying about $1,000 a month for it.
Why choose a tiny house?
We wanted to set ourselves up for a better financial future. We had looked into tiny houses before we got married, but one of the main questions was, where are we going to put it?
Where is your tiny house located?
My parents had a shed, twelve by twelve, with just a living room and a loft, in their backyard.
Luke asked “what if we tear down a wall and add a kitchen and a bathroom? That would be a tiny house.”
From that thought, Luke built a complete 3D model of what this tiny house could look like.
Then we spent about six months working on the house.
Luke was still in school and we were both working, so we did it on the weekends. We moved in December 2017.
How much does building a tiny house cost?
Luke kept every single receipt and calculated it all, and it was about $17,000. It probably would have been easier for us to just start from scratch because we rebuilt the whole roof. Even so, we were able to save about $2,000 by keeping this place that was already here and adding on.
At the end of this article is the cost breakdown for those who are interested to know how much things cost. Since this is on my parent's property, we pay a flat rate to them every month. $200 for water, sewer, garbage, electricity, and all that.
What size is the tiny house?
- Size: 12 x 24ft
- Sq Ft: 415 sq ft
Costs for the tiny house
- Lumber: $3,000
- Sheetrock/Siding/Texture: $1500
- Plumbing: $600
- Roofing: $1,100
- Tile: $400
- Foundation: $300
- Paint: $500
- Flooring: $750
- Convection Oven: $270 (purchased ‘as is’ at Lowe’s)
- French Doors + Bathroom Door: $550
- Electrical: $600
- Octagon Window: $180
- Hot Water Heater: $600
- Mini Split: $1,100
- Fridge: $850
- Cabinets: $850
We just feel super blessed to be able to live here and save a bunch of money.
Where are you going to put your baby?
One of the main questions we get now that we have a baby on the way is, where are you going to put your baby?
We decided to keep the loft as a baby off-limit zone. We have a two-year-old nephew, and wouldn't even feel comfortable bringing him up there, let alone a newborn.
We're just going to keep the loft as our loft, and the baby is going to stay downstairs. For however long it takes, we are going to sleep on the couch and probably get a bassinet or something to have the baby nearby.
When he gets older, we'll put him in his crib, but honestly, we're just going to be flexible and kind of readjust. It's not going to be a big deal for us to move around furniture or whatever we need to to make it more baby-friendly.
One of the things we feel called to do as a family is to stay true to the way we want to live our lives.
A lot of that came from a trip Luke took to Africa. He had met a girl, and she had lived with seven other people in a shack, sleeping at night in an eight-foot by eight-foot, 64-square-foot home.
One of the most joyful people Luke ever met lived in an 800-square-foot home with 27 other family members. When Luke came back, it made him think more intentionally about the way he was living and the way that one day he wanted to raise a family.
As I'm building my registry for the baby I'm trying to be intentional about asking myself, does the baby need this or can we go without
it? Can we use something else? I think what children need the most are love and care and affection and time. I think the fewer things we have, the less busy we are, and the more time that we're able to give and invest in our children.
We live out in the country. My parents have a big house with a lot of toys and space to run. We have a big backyard and we have goats and chickens. So we're not just going to be stuck here in this little house. Truthfully, it's not going to be easy. We're going to have to reassess and readjust, but we're looking forward to the challenge.
Will you move to a bigger house?
Before we built a tiny house, we realized that it was going to cost about a year and a half worth of rent. We were kind of figuring out, well, it probably would make sense if we're here for at least three years, to go ahead and start building it.
Now that we've been here for three years, we've been able to save quite a bit, not only from just saving money but also from living more intentionally and minimally.
So this was a stepping stone for us to get to the next step, which would be one day to build our own house, buy an existing house, or
maybe even add onto this one.
What we realized through living here, is that we enjoy living intentionally and minimally. When we do build or buy a house someday, we realize that it probably won't be a 3,000 - 4,000 square foot house, it'll probably be 1,000 - 1,500 square feet or so.
Tiny house FAQs
We hope these tiny house FAQs help you decide if a tiny house may be financially right for you. Do you think living in a tiny house is in your future? Share with us in the comments!