Should I Build or Buy My Tiny House? - The Tiny House: Steps and Tips on How you can build a tiny house quickly and save money (2016)

The Tiny House: Steps and Tips on How you can build a tiny house quickly and save money (2016)

Chapter Three: Should I Build or Buy My Tiny House?

It is exciting to buy or draw up the plans of your tiny house. However, it is equally important that you don’t get caught up in the excitement and forget about the serious consequences your decision can have. You should remember that it is a house that you are building. A wrong choice of plans could be an expensive mistake that borders along the line of being dangerous. There are a number of things that you need to know about what makes a good tiny house design blueprint.


Your tiny house plan should only be purchased from a trusted source. Ideal options would be professional tiny house manufacturers or those who have had some kind of experience in dealing with such properties. It does not take much effort to whip up a couple of designs and throw in a PayPal button on the website. With due diligence, research the company or individual you intend to work with before parting with even a penny of your hard earned money.


It seems as if the world has fallen in love with the many images of beautiful tiny houses that are so popular on Pinterest. Hence, drawing up a list of features is recommended before you go out shopping. Ensure that you are aware of exactly what you want your tiny house to be like before you start drawing up a construction plan. That will ensure that you don’t get distracted by a pretty picture and end up with a house that does not meet your needs.

It would also be a highly practical approach to research the pros and cons of different features seen on a tiny house so as to understand the consequences of every decision.

Framing Plans

Framing plans help in the construction of a house that is structurally sound and fit for travelling. This is especially helpful for those who are novice in the field of constructions. Framing plans are not usually included with architectural plans that get passed onto the builders. A professional builder should be able to interpret plans and frame them properly.

Exact Specifications and Precise Diagrams

Once you have made up your mind on what to expect from your tiny house, it is important to know how big you want the property to be. It is also important that you stay aware of the specifications that you consider more valuable than the others. Any building that you choose should have exact specifications and measurements. All drawings and diagrams should be precisely detailed and labeled with exact measurements.

Materials List

If the building plan that you have chosen does not come with a list of materials, don’t consider it to be a deal breaker. Nevertheless, having knowledge of the materials that you should buy for building your house can be very useful. The list of materials is chosen very carefully so you should ideally stick to what has been mentioned.

Indication of Cost, Time, and Skill Level Required

Having the perfect set of plans will not hold well if they cannot be used for building for building your perfect tiny house. Before making the investment, it is important that you have an approximate idea of the time, money, and skill that will be required for building the house as per the plans. Your designer will probably be able to help you put here.

A Completed Build

Has the plan for the tiny house ever been implemented before? You can enjoy a certain level of comfort and confidence when you know that the plans you purchase have been put to use before for the construction of a complete tiny house. Often you may have an excellent plan on paper that does not turn out quite so well in practice so always go for the plans that have been vetted!

Photos of the Finished Product

In order to ascertain that you are buying a plan of the kind of house you intend to build, you should ask for photos of the finished product. Ensure that you are happy with the way it looks. In case you are not, you should make the necessary changes to the plans before buying them. It is wrong to assume that a change will be possible because adjusting in such small spaces is all about trade-offs - if you are making a change here, it is likely that you will have an impact somewhere else.

Systems Plans

Depending on the kind of tiny house that you require, as well as the framing, floor space, and such other considerations, the associated systems (read, electrical wirings and plumbing) will also need to be planned accordingly. For going low-tech and off-grid, this may not be necessary but if you are keen on having water and electricity then plans need to be made for them before you start with the building process. Since every decision you take will have a cascading effect, it is important that you get everything settled before starting with the construction.


If you are planning to build your own tiny house but are new to the world of construction, having some instructions to follow will be greatly beneficial for you. Depending on your level of experience, you can determine the extent to which you want the instructions to be detailed.

Sketch-Up Model

If you wish to make changes to the plans of your tiny house that you buy, do so with the help of a Sketch-Up model. This will help you determine if the changes you intend to make are worthwhile or not.

What to Do After That?

Once you have decided upon where you wish to buy your tiny house plan from and also made a few purchases of the ones that you like, check if you are really happy and comfortable with the purchases that you have made. Start by ensuring that you are happy with the design from a macrocosmic level. Can you not do without two lofts? Will the absence of running water not be a hindrance? You need to be firm with the features and dimensions of your tiny house.

Next, give an once-over to your tiny house plan with a fine-tooth comb. Look out for the things that you don’t understand. Ensure that all the items mentioned on the list of materials are easily available. Implement all changes that may be necessary and have a clear understanding of the implications of making such changes.

With the confidence that everything is just the way you want them to be, you can finally get started on building your own tiny home!