How To Build A Tiny House On A Budget

How To Build A Tiny House On A Budget

The average price of a tiny home is around $67,000, which is a massive 87% cheaper than a normal-sized home’s average price. You can build your ideal tiny house, decked out with all the bells and whistles, without having to bust out a second mortgage.

Even the thriftiest tiny house on the block doesn’t have to scream “budget build.” You can use recycled materials, ingenious budget hacks, and more to save enough cash to throw in a collapsible enclosed porch – because why not?

The big one – building material costs

With lumber and material prices skyrocketing, it’s crucial to navigate this terrain with strategic savvy. Material costs alone can easily gobble up most of your overall budget, so consider thinking outside the lumberyard box. Getting inventive with sourcing building materials can be the key to keeping your budget intact. One golden strategy is to tap into the world of used materials, where treasures can be found at a fraction of the cost – sometimes even for free!

Enter Craigslist – your trusty ally in the quest for inexpensive building materials. A simple search, like “used hardwood flooring,” could unveil a world of options that fit snugly within your budget. If you’re feeling extra adventurous and lend a hand in tearing out those materials, you might just snag them for free.

Buying or building out an existing structure

Image credit: Redd F

Why reinvent the wheel when structures are already out there waiting for your transformative touch? Campers, for example, are nomadic wonders that can become the canvas for your tiny house dreams. Purchasing a camper and giving the interior a makeover tailored to your liking can often be a more budget-friendly option than starting from scratch with a trailer, insulation, and a floor system. The same principle applies to repurposing school buses, vans, or even converting shipping containers – a cost-effective way to dive into the world of tiny living.

Alternatively, you can opt for a simple cabin structure that is usually quick to construct and hassle free. Choosing to work with established providers will allow you to choose from several pre-made home planes cutting down on unnecessary cost while getting to a functional end result.

Choosing the perfect floor plan without sending your piggy bank into a panic

Image credit: Clay Banks

The right floor plan is your golden ticket to a functional and eye-catching tiny abode. The beauty of tiny houses is how versatile they can be, ticking all the boxes for different purposes. Choosing a pre-designed tiny home floor plan can lower some of the fees associated with the design process while also speeding up the process of creating your tiny home.

You’ll likely be amazed when you see how having less space means fewer decisions. In the building process, decisions mean time and money, and a set design for your floor plan skips you forward a few steps while making sure the budget is efficient.

Saving money with a home equity loan

Saving money during your tiny home build isn’t always about the literal bricks and mortar; your financial strategy can also put more dollars back into your pocket. A home equity loan lets you tap into the equity you’ve diligently built up in your humble abode, leveraging it as collateral to borrow money.

The loan amount is determined by the equity you’ve amassed and the appraised value of your home. Most lenders will often let you borrow up to 80% of that equity, which translates to better interest rates compared to unsecured personal loans (for example). A good interest rate is going to save you lots more over the years than cheaper wood or a smaller floor plan!

Using natural materials for your tiny house project

Image credit: Andrea Davis

If you’re looking to save some serious green while being environmentally conscious, this one’s for you. You have a piece of land, and its trees become not just a scenic backdrop but the building blocks of your dream tiny house. Building a log cabin from the trees on your land isn’t just picturesque; it’s a remarkably cost-effective option. By rolling up your sleeves and milling your own lumber, you’re embracing a DIY spirit and crafting a higher quality and more budget-friendly product than you’d snag at your typical lumber yard or big-box store.

This method allows for a relatively swift construction process and minimizes the demand for extensive labor. It’s fast, efficient, and leaving a smaller ecological footprint in its wake. It’s certainly a bit tougher, and you’ll need some pre-existing building skills, but if you have them, this is how you save big!

If you’re rooted in a location for the long haul, explore the possibility of transforming an on-site shed into your tiny home. Keep an eye out for halfway-built tiny homes on the market. Some adventurous souls embark on the tiny living journey only to realize halfway through the build it might not be their cup of tea. While the layout might not align perfectly with your vision, these partially constructed gems can cost a fraction of what it would take to build from scratch with brand-new materials.

How to find the perfect home for you

A House in the Hills has a friendly and knowledgeable team that will find the perfect home for your needs. We’re on hand to answer any questions you have and make sure you have all the information you need to make the right, informed decision. Let’s chat today.

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