Tiny houses are small by definition. But within the range of tiny houses, we still have an upper limit to just how big you can build.
What is the biggest tiny house you can build?
The biggest tiny house you can build is 13.5 feet tall by 8.5 feet wide. These are standards for how big you can build to be able to tow it. If you build the house on a foundation you can go bigger.
The most important thing to remember is that these dimensions are specifically for tiny houses on wheels.
This means that depending on where you live, these numbers may differ slightly. So, if you’re looking to build the biggest tiny house possible, you will need to plan ahead.
Here is everything you should know about staying true to recommended dimensions of a tiny house.
Why Is The Size Of a Tiny House Limited?
If you are thinking that it is strange to have such a specific size for a custom-built house, don’t worry!
There is a good reason why you would want to stick with these numbers. You have to keep in mind that these tiny houses are built to travel. This means that they need to be considered to be safe to drive or tow.
If you are planning on building a tiny house that drives, much like an RV, you have a little more wiggle room.
However, if you are going to tow your tiny house by using a hitch system, you are more restricted. Depending on the type of towing vehicle you will be using will also determine the size of the tiny house you can build.
Also, you need to remember that your vehicle and house cannot exceed 65 feet. This is the maximum length of the full rig when you hit the road.
This includes the measurement of the trailer as well.
The reason that these specifications are put in place is that the roads are not built to be open pathways. There are signs are well other low hanging structures that you will meet along the way.
Keep your tiny house within these dimensions is not only the law but also what is best for the safety of yourself as well as others on the road.
While the dream extension on the top of your tiny home may be cool, you wouldn’t want it to take out a street lamp.
Is The Overall WEIGHT Of A Tiny House Limited Too?
While there is plenty of talk about how tall a tiny house can be, one thing is often forgotten about. This is the overall weight of the home.
Weight is just as important as dimensions.
This is because a weight the exceeds standard can put you, and your home in a dangerous situation. This is one of the main reasons why there are specific weight limitations put into place for tiny houses on wheels.
You might get pulled over at a weigh station to have your Tiny House Checked.
So, what is the maximum weight for a tiny house on a trailer?
Any home that is heavier than 16,000 pounds needs to be towed using a larger rig.
This means that for your tiny house, you want to keep the weight lower than 14,000 pounds in order to use your own vehicle and trailer.
The average dry weight of a Tiny House is around 10,000 pounds so you have plenty of wiggle room here.
Also, once the weight and width exceed this limit, you will need the assistance of an “overload” tow.
And overload tow will come with special signs and flags as well as a safety regulated escort. This escort vehicle will flash special lights in order for the traffic to adjust. This isn’t in the spirit of tiny house living. Owners of tiny houses relish in the freedom of being able to travel as they wish.
By needing special assistance, you no longer will be able to travel according to your whim.
Why Is There a Weight Limit?
The weight limit has less to do with how hard the house is to move and more to do with the weather.
For example, tiny houses need to be weighted enough to not move in stormy weather by not to heavy to create a traffic danger.
You have to consider that moving a tiny house is not like keeping it in place.
A typical moving vehicle will experience up to 60 mph of wind resistance. This, along with the bumpy roads and other road conditions can cause your precious cargo to shift and jump. Your tow is only as safe as you allow it to me.
So, make sure that your tiny house is weighed properly at weighing station before hitting the road.
What Are The Factors That Account For The Weight?
When you’re talking about the weight of your tiny house, it is easy to forget all the factors that go into it.
Mainly, the furniture as well as other “stuff” you have in the home.
While the structure of your house may only be 10,000 pounds, you have to account for everything else.
More specifically, the weight of your furniture as well as heavier appliances. Heavy appliances like ovens, washing machines, and even propane tanks can really knock the entire weight of the tiny house up a notch.
Not to mention to the trailer and the towing vehicle as well.
However, there are a few ways to help keep the weight low. If you know that you are going to be traveling often, try to invest in more lightweight furniture for your tiny house. Also, avoid being a pack-rat. Only fill your home with the essentials that you need and avoid any unnecessary weight.
If you are only planning on moving your tiny house a few times throughout the year, consider moving with the aid of a moving truck. Smaller rental trucks are affordable.
This way you can pack smaller furniture as well as heavier appliances in the moving truck to help keep the overall weight of your tiny house low enough to safely move.
What Are Supersized Tiny Houses?
A unicorn among the tiny house community is “supersized” style tiny homes.
The name of these tiny houses is deceiving.
These are not larger scale tiny houses, but ones that have found ways to make the overall space look and feel bigger.
The one major thing to note about these style of tiny houses is that not only will they take some creative design, but also money.
People who build these styles of homes are backed with a bigger budget as well as help from professional designers. This isn’t to say that just because you have a strict budget that you can’t have an amazing tiny house too!
One thing that can be learned from this style of houses is that there are plenty of creative tricks to get more out of your space.
How Do You Make Your Home Supersized on a Budget?
The first thing you can do to make your tiny house feel bigger is to take advantage of the height. While less than 14 feet may not seem like all that big, it has some serious potential.
When you consider that the average height of one floor of a tiny room is 7 feet, you nearly double your living space.
There is no rule that says you can’t make your tiny house a multi-level home.
In fact, this one of the best ways to make your tiny house feel more luxurious. When you look at more traditional homes, the trend is that common area remain downstairs while sleeping areas are upstairs. This same logic applies perfectly to a tiny house.
With a little bit of special planning, you can easily fit in a small living area and well as a dual kitchen and dining area on the lower level.
Preserve the upper level of your tiny house for a small bedroom and maybe even a second loft-style sleeping area.
This will not only help to give you more options for sleeping, but it could also help with the overall resale of your home.
People who own tiny houses are always thinking about the future.
This includes how much their tiny house will one day be worth.
One way to stand out from the crowd is to use the space of the home in creative ways like this. If you are able to live comfortably in your tiny house, there is no reason why the next family can’t feel that way too.
For more information about how your tiny house may gain value over time, check out this article on tiny house depreciation for tips!
One amazing thing about living in a tiny house is that you don’t have to feel limited by the space.
In fact, people feel like tiny houses offer more freedom than traditional houses.
While specific dimensions are in place for good reason, there are plenty of ways to work with what you have.
Think about the size of a tiny house like a way to step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. After all, a life without challenges is no life at all. You will find that at the end of your journey of self-discovery that you have created something truly unique.
Most importantly, but sticking with the guidelines of size, you have created something safe for you and your whole family.
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Maria is the founder of GoDownsize. While studying architecture in Denmark she became fascinated with designing living spaces for boats, tiny houses, RVs, and other small spaces.
She mainly writes about space optimization, interior design, and downsizing. She’s also in charge of our YouTube channel. Read more about Maria here.