Decided to do a little shout out for my friend Andrew Odom of Tiny r(E)volution. He has spent a lot of time and hard work putting together a e-course for people interested in tiny houses and looking for a place to start. Here is the description:
"This four-week, self-guided course is designed to carry you through the beginning stages of building a tiny house. Beginning with the dreaming phase and continuing through the drying in of a tiny house, the course infused my personal experiences with detailed instructions, creative prompts, guest artists, and multi-media, to inspire and educate you. In addition you’ll receive a course PDF and exclusive discounts and giveaways at the end of the course."
The cost is $85 and registration is open until June 23rd. It starts June 24th.
Something to think about if you are building a tiny house, everyone has an opinion. I listen to people’s comments, but there are solid reasons why I built my house the way I did. We are on a tight budget therefore I cannot afford many of the “luxuries” that other people have with budgets 3 times the amount of mine. I understand that sharing my project publicly will result in people asking questions and I will gladly answer them. I have only shared it on my personal Facebook page and Tumblr, and that’s as far as I will go. In the end, I am the one living in my house and I built it to fit my budget and needs. And that’s all that matters. I am happy with it.
We have been building our house since November 2012 and since then we have had several set backs. You have to factor these in when you build anything, especially when you are paying as you go.
In December my car decided to break on us and it was an expensive fix. So we did nothing in that month. Then in January and February we had a LOT of rain so we had to work around the weather.
Now we are waiting to get power to our house. Our electrician can only help us on Sunday. I’m not complaining though because he is helping us for free. He has been busy. For the past couple of weeks we have been very busy editing wedding photos. So for now, everything is on hold.
We’re moving right along! Our house is wired. No power yet though. Our house is next to a bookcase shop. We will be connected to it’s main service box. We have to bury a service line about 100 ft. to the house. We will also have a grounding rod. I am so thankful to have an electrician helping us. It made things go by much faster and without all the mistakes we could make on our own. We can start putting up our bead board for the walls. Here’s what we have: 3 outlets for the kitchen, 3 outlets for the “office”, 12/24 circuit breaker box with 3 20 amp breakers and 2 15 amp breakers, an outlet for the AC, an outlet for the loft, a three way switch for the lights in the loft, a GFCI outlet for bathroom, and one outlet for outside. And of course all our lights and bathroom fan.
If you want to build a tiny house, one the first things you must do is figure out how much you are willing to spend. We set our budget at $5,000. Most of this we are paying as we go. Tiny house costs vary widely from a few thousand dollars to $20,000 or more. It depends on the materials you are using and how much of the work you’re doing yourself.
We took a very utilitarian approach to our house. I know not everyone will like what we do or agree with it. But it’s important to remember everyone has different needs and budgets. Even though we are being cheap, our house is built with all new materials except for the trailer.
One of the biggest expenses you will have is the trailer so this is one item you can save a lot of money on if you buy used. We bought an old camper, demolished it, and harvested the trailer for our house for only $850. And we have some metal to scrap, a fridge, and a sink. We also sold some of the appliances and windows from the camper.
Another way to save money is on your siding. We used LP SmartSide panels. You do your framing, put on your house wrap, and then just nail on the panels. They come already primed. Think of them as OSB and siding together. Another advantage is that it makes your house lighter.
For the roof we used corrugated metal. You can get it at Home Depot and it’s not that expensive. It’s pretty easy to install and works effectively at preventing leaks.
We live in the south so we are using regular fiberglass R-13 insulation. It’s easy to install and inexpensive.
You can try to look for reclaimed materials but the only problem with that is it takes so much more time. We bought the door from a surplus store. I got the shower faucet from craigslist. We’re using the sink from the camper. Other than that, everything is pretty much new.
So far we have spent a little over $4,000 and have about another $1000 to go so I think we are going to stay pretty close to our budget. We started the plumbing and we have to wire the house. And then we have to finish the interior walls, floor, etc. We are getting very close to moving in!
If you want to take a closer look at our costs, I have been recording our purchases on Google Docs. You can check out the spreadsheet here.
We got our water supply lines roughed in. We used PEX pipes with sharkbite fittings. It’s more expensive than CPVC but worth it. Each sharkbite fitting can cost $6-$10 or more. But there is no need for cement. All you do is push in the pipe and it’s good to go. It’s also easy to remove with a cheap, plastic clip. PEX is also less likely to burst.
Originally we planned to go through the walls but we decided to go under the house so that any leaks can be easily fixed. We used the old gas line holes to run the pipe through the trailer. Then we just drilled a few holes through the floor. We just just have a shower and a sink. We are using a composting toilet so it doesn’t need water.
We have to build an attached shed to house the hot water heater (Eccotemp L5). It runs on propane so it can’t be inside the house. It has to be vented. We may also need a pressure regulator because the water heater can only go up to 80 PSI. We will finish insulating the pipes after we do a pressure test and check for any leaks.
The next “fun” part will be digging a trench to bury a water supply line to the house from my husband’s parents house about 500 ft. away or so. And we still have to build our drain lines and figure out what to do with our greywater.
Wiring starts on Sunday! We are getting close to moving in but there is still so much work to be done.
Where did u buy most your appliances? I'm planning on building a tiny home and am curious
I got my waring double burner on Amazon. I got my Eccotemp L5 on Amazon. My other kitchen appliances like toaster oven were wedding gifts. My mom bought me my microwave. I got my AC at Lowe’s. Amazon is a great place to look, and usually free shipping.
Are you dreaming of having your own tiny house but are apprehensive about the process of building it? Maybe you have no experience or you are a seasoned builder looking for more information on tiny houses.Dan Louche’s Tiny House Design & Construction Guide will help you get started. The guide consists of 143 pages and over 100 color photographs and illustrations. You can get it as a paperback or an e-book. I purchased the guide myself and it has helped me during my tiny house build. The guide isn’t specific to any plan so you can choose any one that you prefer along with it. Though, Dan Louche also sells his plans at a great price.
The guide covers everything from tools and materials, the trailer, framing, plumbing, electrical, and all the finishing touches. You can even download a sample chapter on his website to see if it’s right for you. He also has several great videos on his website that you can subscribe to showing the building process. So with the guide, plans, and videos you should have all you need to start your journey. I really love the design of his houses. It just makes more sense to me than some of the other plans. In fact, it inspired the design of my own house. Dan Louche believes that anyone can build a tiny house if you’re willing to do the research and take the time to learn.
We built our bathroom wall yesterday and also talked to our electrician about wiring the house. Wiring the house is easy, it’s getting power to the house that will be a project. We are next to a bookcase shop and the meter box has an open circuit. We are going to tap into that and bury a service line to the house. We have about 100 ft. of digging to do. Luckily he said we can still get the house wired for lights and we can stay in there with just an extension cord until we get the service wire finished. We couldn’t run a fridge or AC until that’s done. Another issue we have is that our shower drain goes right over the top of a beam of our trailer. To solve this we have to raise up the shower pan to allow room for the P-trap. Lots to do! At least we are starting to get good weather.
We haven’t been working on the house for about two weeks. But we finally got the ridge cap on, so now the house is closed in. It wasn’t that difficult. The longest part was screwing on the 2x4 blocks to the trim so that the ladder didn’t bend the metal. The roof and the siding still needs another coat of paint, but it can wait. We are looking forward to start working on the inside and making it livable!
The trim on the exterior is nearly finished. We used Cypress (our dog’s name haha). We also started caulking. It’s a lot harder than you think! Especially with a cheap gun. It takes a lot of hand strength. It’s also very messy. It’s almost like icing a cake! We also started screwing down our metal roof panels. I bought the Eccotemp L5 tankless hot water heater, window AC, and 36” x 34” shower pan today. I am looking forward to working on the inside soon.
I have noticed on the social media websites that people are sticker shocked at the prices of tiny houses. I just want to point out that most of that cost is labor. You are paying someone else to build it for you. Do you expect them to work for free? No. And these aren’t minimum wage jobs. This is skilled labor. For example, a Tumbleweed tiny house costs 20 K in materials approximately. If you want to buy one from them it can be 50 K.
We have a budget of $5,000 for our tiny house. But we are doing everything ourselves. We are only buying the materials. So yea, if you want a tiny house for $10,000 or less, you have to build it yourself.
Also keep in mind when you build it yourself you can be pretty frugal. We demolished an old camper and harvested the trailer from it for our house. Would a professional tiny house builder do this? No. Their work will be held to much higher standards for liability and their reputation. They will be using high quality materials that are expensive. They have to buy a new heavy duty trailer which can cost $5,000 by itself.
So you have a choice, either learn how to build it yourself or fork out the cash for someone else to do it.
Today was awesome! I got to tour another tiny home It was about 6’ by 16’ so it was quite smaller than my house but we were able to fit six people in there comfortably. Finally, I met Andrew and his family from Tiny Revolution. He was generous enough to give me his left over Malaysian hardwood countertops. They are gorgeous!!
I also got to chat with friend, King Unicorn (Eric). He is an awesome monster sculptor. He is interested in building a tiny house and it was great talking to him.
We finally have windows. We will just have two. They are 2’ x 3’ and low E glass. We installed the first one, opened up the second one and was about to nail it in when we realized the corner of the glass was cracked. So reluctantly we had to go back to Home Depot and exchange it. They didn’t give us a problem though and it was easy. Next step is to do the exterior trim.
We finally closed in the gables and started closing in the wheel wells. We had some nice weather today so my husband hung out in the loft for a few hours. Next time we’ll install the windows. Our goal is to move in by April.