If you have some spare land at the back or side of your home and you want to build on it, have you considered building a tiny home? You may have a piece of land somewhere else that you are not sure what to do with. It could be used as a holiday home, a guesthouse, a place for elderly relatives to live or maybe somewhere for your teenagers to give them some independence. This need not be as difficult a project as you imagine, and there is much of the work you can probably do yourself.
You do not need a huge budget, and you may well find that you like it so much you end up living there yourself!
Table of Contents
Designing And Planning
Designing and planning your tiny home is an important first step. As a permanent structure on any land, it will need planning permission from the local authority.
Be clear about what size each room will be if there is to be more than one because if you want to move things around, no is the time to make that decision. Making changes, later on, can be costly and time-consuming, especially if they require you to submit a new planning application.
Once your plan has been approved you can start to gather the materials together. Always buy the best quality you can afford, as in the long run, it will save you money.
There are many tiny home designs already on the market and you may think that one of those would be ideal for your intentions.
Start At The Bottom
You need a foundation for your small home to stand on. The building materials you use for this dictate what the best type of foundation is, and your planning department might have specified what should be used.
The building codes of some areas require continuous wall foundations and then pole platforms are out of the question. You should also use wall foundations if your soil is soft or sandy, on a slope, in a cold climate or in an earthquake-prone district. There is also the option to use a cement foundation and typically these will last about 30 years.
Once your foundation has been laid you can then start to build the floor. You can use standard timber for this, and then sheath it with plywood or oriented-strand boards. They are both very sturdy but plywood is more expensive. Secure your floor to the foundation, putting extra reinforcement at joists and any possible weak spots.
Not all tiny homes will be constructed with timber. Sometimes a metal structure can provide a very robust building that can support a tiny home or other type of commercial purpose. The incredible team at Steel Buildings Kit supply buildings for a number of different applications and can guide you through the whole build process.
Next The Walls
The next job is to put the framework up for the walls of your tiny home. This is usually a timber frame held together with metal bracings. The bracing will be hidden from view when the walls are finished. Then you should cover the outside of the walls with plywood and wrap it with a house wrap. This will give extra protection to the exterior of your home. It is breathable and allows moisture to be released while keeping the inside dry. This will help your tiny home stand up to the weather elements.
Now The Roof
Keep the roof as simple as possible and remember, the more sloped it is the harder it will be to fit. Start by fixing the roof frame and then cover it with whatever roof material you have chosen. The quicker this job can be done the better just in case it decides to rain.
Windows and Doors
Now you have reached one of the first jobs that it is probably better to let professional complete unless, of course, you have experience in this area. The doors and windows have to be exactly the right measurements and be fitted so they are exactly square and level. This is not only important for the look of the tiny home you are building but also they will not work as they should and can become drafty if they are not fitted correctly.
Making The Outside Look Good
Before you do anything else to the outside you should seal any cracks with same caulking, Once that is done you can cover the outside in whatever materials you want, although often the pre-finished ones are less time-consuming and simpler to use. Then you can paint the outside or do whatever else you want to make it look good.
Back To The Inside
You want your tiny home to be snug and cosy in the winter months and now is the time to consider heating and other energy supplies. You could use oil fired heating as it is not expensive to run and with bunded oil tanks you can make sure you always have enough fuel. The oil can also be used to heat your water, and then the electricity will only be needed for lighting and equipment.
You also need to get your plumbing sorted. Heating, electricity and plumbing are all jobs you should use professionals for, as it is too risky for a layperson to attempt these skills themselves.
Once all the pipes and wires are in place your can insulate the inside of your home. This will not only help to keep it warmer in the winter, but it will also help to keep it cooler in the summer months. Cover everything with plastic sheeting and then use spray foam insulation, as this will fill every nook and cranny.
All that needs to be done now is the interior being walls covered. You could do this with drywall, as it is fire resistant and cheaper than many other options. Do any painting that you want, hang curtains or blinds at the windows and put shades on the lights.
You need to do all this before the final step in case anything gets spilt. Now, these finishing steps have been completed, the final stage is some flooring and furniture. These are of course, down to personal choice, but remember it is a tiny home you have built so do not put any piece that is too big inside it.
Now you can stand back and admire your handiwork. Regardless of what you end up using this tiny home for, you will have to admit that building it has been quite an experience!