Finding the best tiny house to fit your lifestyle can be a struggle. This is why so many people choose to build their own tiny house. But, building a new home from scratch can be a hassle. From finding a certified building to obtain the proper permits; the outcome might not be worth it.
There are many reasons why people prefer to buy a house that is already on the market. When it comes to buying a tiny house, are you buying other people’s problems?
More importantly, can you still get everything you need from a pre-owned house? There are many factors to consider when deciding if you should build or buy.
Here are some of the top reasons why homeowners have ultimately decided to buy their tiny house.
1) Permit Problem
The main reason why people choose to buy over build is basically a legality issue.
Obtaining permits to build a tiny house is full of hoop-jumping. Also, because tiny houses are still a new concept, some states still don’t allow you to build them. But, this doesn’t mean that you can’t buy one.
The zoning process to build a tiny house is exhausting. You spend thousands of dollars in fees and you still might not be able to build the home you want.
One thing to remember is that a problem like this is almost completely unavoidable. Building a tiny house without the okay of your town’s zoning board can get you into serious hot water. So, before you decide to build, know your rights.
What Permits Do You Need To Build A Tiny House?
The permits that you will need to build a tiny house will completely depend on where you live. While some areas have become more than accommodating to tiny houses, others are still unsure.
The first thing you will want to do is to visit your local government office.
Your town’s office should have all of the information and forms you need to start construction on your home. However, before you can even hammer the first nail, you will need to get board approval. This means that you will have to submit your design plans to your town’s zoning committee.
Ultimately, the zoning committee will have the final say on whether or not you can build your tiny house. Not only can this process be lengthy, but it can also be costly as well.
This is why so many people choose to skip the headache and buy their tiny house instead of building.
2) Time and Money
Buying a house is one of the biggest financial commitments you will ever make in your life. However, building a home is an even larger financial commitment.
This is because there is a lot of financial factors that go into building a home. But, it isn’t only the obvious costs that can put a pinch on your wallet.
Building a house, especially a tiny house, is full of unforeseen problems.
With every unexpected turn, there will be an additional cost.
This is one of the reasons why people say that you should take your building budget and double it. This doesn’t mean that you will eventually spend double, it just means that you are more prepared for the problems ahead.
How Much Does It Cost To Build A Tiny House?
The cost of your tiny house will depend on a few different factors. Most notably will be size, style, and location. Tiny houses have two very distinctive styles. There are homes that are built on trailers and ones that are built on a permanent foundation.
Permanent tiny houses will cost most than ones that are lifted on wheels.
Also, keep in mind the standard size of your tiny house. Tiny houses are rarely larger than 1,000 square feet. The average cost of a tiny house is around $75,000.
How Long Does It Take To Build A Tiny House?
Another important thing to keep in mind is how long the project will take you from start to finish.
When we say start to finish, we don’t mean from the time the first wall goes up. This includes the time it takes to get permits as well as approval of a zoning board.
Not to mention the initial design process.
It normally takes 120- 500 hours to build a tiny house depending on whether you are a professional builder or you have no experience.
From start to finish, it can take upwards of 6-8 months to build a tiny house. Quick builds of tiny houses that are trailers only take on average 3 months. But, you need to consider that this timeline only works if you are working on the home full-time.
If you have a full-time job outside of building your home, the project will take much longer overall.
3) Not Everyone Has What It Takes
The best part about building your own tiny house is that you have complete creative freedom. From choosing the right siding to picking out the best bathroom tile, you are the boss. However, not everything has been bitten by the creative bug.
There is no shame in realizing that you may be out of your depth when it comes to designing a tiny house.
This is one of the reasons why people prefer to buy an already made tiny house. While designing may not be your thing, don’t quickly write it off. If you worry that you will be taking on more than you can handle, try following key simple steps.
Here are some the two biggest challenges people have when it comes to designing their tiny house:
What Materials Would You Use?
Building a tiny house is very different from building a traditional sized home. This means that the products you use in the building process will be different. When you figure that the scale of the home is quite small, you can easily get confused when picking out the best materials.
Here’s a great resource on building materials for tiny houses for you when it comes to knowing what materials work best when building a tiny house. This can also help you in making your decision about whether to build or buy.
Do You Have To Do It Yourself?
Some people choose to build a tiny house because they truly love the process of it. Do it yourself champions have been taking on projects like this for generations. But, does that mean you have to do it all yourself? No! Unless you are a professional or have tons of experience in designing and building a home, you should get help.
Designers will be able to guide you in the right direction. This way you can still voice your opinion without having to flex that imaginative muscle.
4) Physical Limitations
One thing that is easy to forget about when building a home is the toll it can take on your body.
This is especially true for those who have a hard time, physically. From lifting heavy materials to climbing ladders, physical stress isn’t good for everyone.
Before beginning to build your dream home, be sure that it is an undertaking you are prepared for. The best way to do this would be to check with your primary care physician before hitting your first nail.
Here are some physical problems that you may face when building a tiny house:
The number one thing you should keep in mind is the health of your body. More particularly, your back. Lifting heavy materials, even with assistance, can take a serious toll on your back’s health.
Even if you are in good health, constantly use of your lower back can lead to some health issues. This is why it is important to take it slowly when it comes to using your back.
Vertigo and Dizziness
Even though tiny houses are smaller in scale, there is still a bit of climbing to be expected.
This can create a dangerous situation for those who suffer from problems like vertigo. Also, sudden dizziness or midline problems can also keep you off of a ladder.
If you consider that building a tiny house is a huge undertaking, even a little bit of dizziness can keep you from building your dream tiny house.
Stress and Mental Stability
One thing that is often forgotten about when taking on a huge project is your mental health.
There is no weakness in admitting that you may not be up for the task. Building a house is incredibly stressful. Between late nights and low funds, anyone is bound to lose it once and while.
Some people choose to avoid the stress that comes along with building a tiny house by purchasing a pre-made one.
5) Save Rent And Move In Faster
Whatever you choose to do, the most important thing to keep in mind is where you plan on living.
If you want to build your tiny house, remember that it will be almost a year before you can move in. That’s 12 months of extra rent.
This is one of the reasons why people prefer to buy a tiny house instead of building one. A tiny house that is bought can allow your family to almost instantly move in.
Of course, there will be changes and design upgrades that you will want to do. But, the home itself should be perfectly safe to live in while changes are being made.
6) Sometimes The Easiest Way To Go Is The Best Way
Besides typical money and time concerns, there is always the hassle of building a home – whether you do it yourself or you have to manage people to do it for you.
So, is the easiest route the best way to go?
This is a personal decision that you will have to make. However, there is no shame in realizing that the undertaking may be too big for you.
One of the main reasons why buying a tiny house is better than building one is because it is simply easier. This doesn’t make you lazy or mean that you don’t have a passion for your new house.
It just means that for your life, buying a home can help relieve some unneeded stress.
To know if this path is the right one for your family, consider these common problems that people have when building a tiny house:
Lack of Knowledge
Building a house is full of the unexpected.
Especially when it comes to building a unique property like a tiny house. It is a natural instinct to fear the unknown.
One of the main problems people run into when building a tiny house is due to the general lack of knowledge.
Where To Begin?
It isn’t only the unknown that is scary. For many people, the hardest part of building a home is knowing where to start.
There are so many factors that go into building a home.
- Will your home be safe?
- Can your new tiny home withstand severe weather?
- How long will the structure of your tiny house last?
These are all important questions that should be answered before beginning construction.
However, one way to avoid the uncertainties is to simply buy a tiny house instead of building one.
When it comes to buying a tiny house, the process is far easier. This means that can you focus on things that matter most to you. Who wants to deal with wood samples and roof tiles.
We all know the real fun begins when you start making the house your own.
We have written a helpful article about the most common problems people have with tiny houses. This is a really good article to help you prepare well!
Buying a tiny house instead of building one doesn’t mean you are giving up on your dreams. There is no reason why you can’t get exactly what you want from a previously owned tiny house.
Also, it’s important to remember that not all tiny houses for sale have been previously lived in. There are plenty of tiny houses that were built with the sole purpose of turning a profit. If one of the reasons that you are hesitant to buy a tiny house is because you don’t want to buy other people’s problems, this is a great alternative.
However, custom-built homes that are fitted with expensive features will run you at a higher cost.
It is also good to remember that just because the home isn’t new, you can still make it your own.
It is surprising what a coat of paint and a few knob changes can do to a place. So, don’t feel like you’re settling when it comes to buying a tiny house. Instead, try changing your overall perspective and expectations.
You may find that the best house for you is already available on the market. Good luck.
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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.