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Build a Tiny Home to Decrease Your Ecological Footprint

Updated on August 29, 2014

I have always wanted to buy a tiny home. They usually run 88 feet wide, and are approximately 12 feet high (but this differs according to the homeowner's preference). These uber small homes can fit in the size of a parking space. Most tiny homes are placed on a trailer rig. The reason why they are built this way is, so the builder does not have to be bogged down by building codes. I guess you could say this is a mobile home, but you can make it chic, and quite elegant inside. Shandalier in the sitting room? I think so.

The bathroom is like the ones on trains or boats, it has the shower head over the toilet. In mine, I make it a completely different room. While I want to be careful with how much space I am using, I will never take a shower that is directly over the toilet. A girl has to have stardards.

For cooking and heating, I will use a propane heater. It will cost me about $10 a month, and it will be my only monthly expense. I could use rainwater for bathing and the toilet. I could make a very hygienic system to ensure the water is potable, so I could use it for drinking and cooking.

I would go over my blue prints with a home contractor. I would want to know what I would do to make my mini home self-sufficient and economical.
I would buy a solar power generator. They are actually not as expensive as you may think. Plus, you can buy a really good used one from reputable pawn. My house would be capable of generating enough electricity to power my air conditioner.

It would be fun living off the grid, but I think I would only have it as a summer and vacation home in some sunny state. This project is just something I always wanted to do, and I believe I could do it for under $10,000, if I used Craig's List for buying used parts. Plus, they have a free section that every frugal shopper should use.

My biggest tips for building a tiny home are:

1. Do all your research on solar panels and how to instal them. Make sure you read the directions carefully before starting this project. Follow the directions to the T, you don't want to spend a lot of money on solar panels just for it to fall off the house and break.

2. When in doubt, hire a professional. They say pride cometh before the fall, and it's true in home building. Don't play John Wayne and just wing it, it could cause you your life if the house electrocutes, or falls down right on top of you. Not worth it, hire a professional.

3. Save the receipts since it can be a tax write off. Contact your accountant for directions on how to do this.

4. Check out you local laws concerning solar panels and mini homes.

5. Always have smart (and abled bodied) friends who are willing to help.

7. Have fun!

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    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 3 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Maybe a small house could replace what we call a granny flat in Australia or outside cabin..sounds like they would be cost effective as well..interesting article Allison & great photos..Cheers

    • rebelogilbert profile image

      Gilbert Arevalo 3 years ago from Hacienda Heights, California

      Fun article Allison. Small custom portable homes is a nice alternative choice for travelling. You chose an interesting informative video and marvelous photographs. Good luck with your house project.

    • PADDYBOY60 profile image

      PADDYBOY60 3 years ago from Centreville Michigan

      Great article. I would love to have something like that for a fishing shanty. Thanks for sharing.

    • kj force profile image

      kjforce 3 years ago from Florida

      Alli Rose....Cool article...are you aware there is now a program "Tiny House" on TV ? Two guys travel throughout the state. , building them,Very interesting program...Don't believe it has been done state of Florida, due to yet, but it would make sense here due to the all year round climate, outdoor living etc. Great for single parents, better than an Apartment complex.

      Thanks for bringing this subject to awareness...very well written.

      keep up the good work.

    • tebo profile image

      tebo 3 years ago from New Zealand

      These tiny homes are lovely. My sister has built a "hut" in her back yard. Not a house, just a room, but cool anyway. Lots of advantages with a small home, from heating to minimal housework. Great hub.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      To me, these are gorgeous. I'd love to have one to myself, just for me alone. However, that's not going to happen, not with my family always hanging out at my place. haha! I particularly liked your #5 on the list, about having lots of friends to help. It was a pleasure to read this Hub. Voted up!

    • Matt Jordan III profile image

      Matt Jordan 3 years ago from Gulf Coast

      Kick ass piece, Marine! Bravo Zulu. I have wanted to do micro project for years. I will let you know if my mad schemes come to fruition.

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 3 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      I've always been fascinated by tiny houses. I especially like the ones I've seen that look like castles.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 3 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Will I ever learn to proof before clicking submit? It's: I've been fascinated by "tiny houses," not "tin hoses." It's a funny blooper, tho.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Tiny homes are so practical. They're also really cute. I want one!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 3 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I've fascinated by tin hoses also. sometimes I imagine living in a yard shed. I live in Florida. The big issue for me--I like my stuff. I did downsize to 1,500 sq. feet from 2,500 sq. feet. That's about as low as I want to go. Voted up

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 3 years ago from Florida

      These are so cute and cozy. I would love one for a summer home in the mountains---if it was only me.

      I enjoyed this hub and I will share it with my FB friends.

      Bobbi Purvis

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      I could live in a home like that. It is so cute and cozy. I like cozy -- I would get lost in a big house. As much as I would love a big old Victorian, a tiny house would be much easier and inexpensive to care for. Great hub.

    • daborn7 profile image

      daborn7 3 years ago from California

      Very cool! I am thinking I will eventually build one of these for my kids, but it would be more of a playhouse for them than anything. Thats nice that you are concerned about your footprint, and that you are able to build one of these for yourself. I would most definitely live in one of these tiny homes if I was alone. Thanks for sharing!