Tiny Houses Are Everywhere: What Is the Cost of Building a Tiny House?

cost to build a tiny house

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The cost of building a tiny house has been debated throughout the tiny house movement. Some people claim to have built their homes for less than $500, and others complain about spending thousands on a home that’s smaller than usual. The truth is the cost of building a tiny house is much more complicated than it seems. With different kinds of tiny houses, different builds available in each specific style and different additions to each home the costs can fluctuate wildly.

If you’re looking at a tiny home, there are plenty of people to take direction from. There are also plenty of tips to follow when building your own tiny home. Tiny living is said to expand lives, and to encourage personal growth in all the right ways. All while spending much less than you may have on a traditional house or RV.


The Sturgis

A tiny house is generally a home that was built to be 400 square feet or smaller. This leads to a minimalist lifestyle that according to some encourages a more adventurous spirit. They pack in everything that they may want, into a tiny space. Some people revere tiny houses because of the cost of building a tiny house while others think it’s too steep of a feat to tackle. Sometimes you have a maximum weight requirement, especially if you go with a tiny house on wheels, that you can’t go over.

The target goal is to be able to live rent free without a wide variety of bills for many people. With over 75 percent of tiny house owners, who are mostly women, owning their home, it makes the dream of being a homeowner come true. Others like the minimalist lifestyle and some like to save up to pay back their student loans. There are a lot of reasons to build a tiny house, but the only reason that matters is yours.


With a variety of different potential plans, you can easily pick the tiny house that’s right for you. What kinds of tiny houses are there though?

Trailer mounted

The Wheel Pad

This tiny house is rested upon or built on top of a trailer of some kind. You design these tiny houses for mobility. So you can pick up and go where you want when you want without difficulties. It’s a great choice for someone who wants to live a more nomadic lifestyle, or for someone who would like to travel. Some people even live in a tiny house built on wheels full time. And depending on what you label as a requirement for your home, you’ll be able to judge the cost of building a tiny house.

These trailer designs hook up to the back of a truck or SUV to cart your home around where you please. You may have issues parking in new towns. You shouldn’t have an issue getting into RV parks though as long as you tell them you’re bringing a tiny house.

Fixed foundation

WheelHaus Wedge

This tiny house is built just like any other home. Some of them even come with basements or crawlspaces, giving you some more room for storage. With a plethora of designs out there you can even incorporate lofts, terraces, and balconies. Allowing you to have a small home with everything you specifically desire. These houses which are crafted with solid foundations, and with heating and water plans just like any other home.

Tiny homes like these allow you to spend less on building your home or getting a mortgage and save more. In fact, a majority of tiny house owners have a larger savings account than the average American. With the majority of tiny house owners being over 55 these homes are wonderful for those who are looking into smaller retirement homes.

Shed based

The Nugget

There isn’t just houses on wheels and houses on foundations; you can also build a tiny house out of a shed. These homes come in the basic layout of a shed, but much like the tiny trailer houses, they’re often built to move around, though several of them are in fact still standing These homes can even be two stories and have all the comforts of home. They can be small, but they’re often cozy and comfortable for one or two people in the small space.


Cost will really depend on what tiny house you want to build. You can build a tiny house with just about any budget, but it really depends on what you decide you can or cannot sacrifice in your home. If you decide to build your home on a trailer, for example, you may have to build your house without a traditional bathroom. Which can cause some issues if you don’t have a place to go.

You need to figure out what you want your home to have, and be able to do before you start to build it. This will make sure you can build your house for you and that you won’t spend much more money than you need to on the home that you want. The cost to build a tiny house is all about what you personally need in your tiny house. Roughly what would be the cost of building a tiny house?

The trailer based tiny house

The trailer based tiny home can be incredibly cost efficient, but you’ll need to take into account what you need. Do you want a lot of space or do you only require a little room? You’ll need to buy the trailer itself to build your new home on, which can run anywhere from $100 for an old used one, to a few thousand dollars depending on the size of the initial trailer. This is without any plumbing, siding, or even walls — just a basic trailer frame to start building your house on.

$100 to $8,000

Thankfully there are people out there who have mastered figuring out how to build tiny houses on a next to nothing budget. If you’re creative with your space and work well with repurposed materials, you can buil
d a tiny trailer house for starting at $8,000 easily. Overall you’ll need the trailer, lumber, a building plan, plumbing, electrical wiring, and so much more. This is one of the cheaper options when you’re looking at the cost of building a tiny house.

The fixed foundation tiny house

This one is likely to be the most costly since you’ll have to have land to put it on. If you already have the land though you can start looking for some high-quality building plans. Make sure all your building plans, regardless of if you want a fixed or trailer based tiny home, are professional and sturdy. You don’t want a tiny house that’s going to fall apart. For this home, you’re going to have to pour a foundation. Once that’s settled though, and you have a building permit, you can start working on the walls of your home. You’ll need lumber, insulation, plumbing, electrical work, and so much more.

$10,000 to $15,000

These houses cost between $10,000 and $15,000. That does not include the cost of the land. It depends on the budget you have to work with. What is absolutely a must-have in your tiny house? The cost of building a tiny house doesn’t have to break the bank; some people don’t even have to take out a mortgage to build their tiny dream home. If you want all the luxuries and amenities that you’re used to in day to day life, you should be ready to sacrifice a minimum of about $10,000 or more. Comfort costs, and the large and more luxurious your house, the larger the total build cost will be.

The tiny shed house

$800 to $2,000

The cost of building a tiny house is a little more straightforward with a shed. You’ll need to buy the actual shed which can cost between $800 and $2,000 if you build it yourself. If you buy it and have it transported you could be looking at lesser costs. You could also be sacrificing space. You can add anything you want to the house, but if you plan on living in this shed full time, you’re going to need warmth. Insulation is very important if it doesn’t have it already. Along with plumbing, electricity and a solid source of heat you should be able to settle in full time.


There are of course more than one additional cost of building a tiny house that is not in the basic building of the home. These costs are amplified depending on what kind of tiny house you want to build. Firstly the trailer style tiny house requires a vehicle strong enough to pull the trailer. If you don’t have a vehicle that can pull the tiny house, you’ll have to buy one. The foundation based tiny house has the most cost associated with it outside of building the home.

  • Strong vehicle
  • Pay land taxes
  • Own a land to build
  • Building permit
  • Zoning laws
  • Homeowners insurance

You need to pay land taxes. You’ll also need to actually own land to build your home on in the first place. The tiny shed house is the most difficult to build, considering there are a lot of states that don’t want you living in a shed. If you’re going to be building anything on any properly at all, you’ll need a building permit to do so. Which you’ll have to apply and pay for.

Zoning laws can add quite a lot of cost to building a tiny house. You’ll also need homeowners insurance; a mortgage will be nearly impossible to acquire overall. These are just the starting additional costs. Depending on where you live and what the laws are for your area, you could have to sink much more into the extra costs.


tiny house

The tiny house costs so much less than the traditional home. Depending on what you add to it you could have the same luxuries in a smaller space. It’s easier to heat, and easier to maintain with a plethora of different heating and cooling methods. The tiny house movement has grown significantly over the past decade and with over 40, 000 visitors at tiny house events in Colorado it’s evident that the trend is still growing. Depending on your style of tiny house you can live in a quaint suburb or travel across the country in your tiny home. It all depends on how you want to live your life.

Traditional homes are so much larger than the tiny house’s and allow for much more room. If you want to host Thanksgiving, you won’t be able to do so in a tiny house, unless you hold it outdoors. It’s also socially acceptable to buy a larger than necessary house to fit into the world.

Some manufactured homes can be much more expensive though. With all the upkeep and repairs it can feel like you’re throwing your money in the trash. With the cost of building a tiny house, you don’t have this problem. There is only so much you’ll have to fix with a tiny home overall. Pair that with being eco-friendly and relatively cost efficient and you have a great lifestyle.


If you’re looking to save money while owning your own home, tackling student loans and more a tiny house may be for you. You will need to take into account what kind of house you want and what you want to bed added. Look at some detailed build plans to see if other people have made what you need. The cost of building a tiny house doesn’t have to be daunting.

It won’t matter in the end if you decide to travel in a trailer or live in a stationary home a tiny house is quite affordable. So if you’re ready to downsize your life to prepare for what seems to be a fulfilling and delightful experience now is a better time to do so than ever. Do you live in a tiny house? Are you building one yourself? Leave us a comment telling us your tiny house story.

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