There are some questions that I get asked regularly when discussing or telling people about my tiny house plans. I am listing them here and hope that you will send me your frequently asked questions or perhaps questions you have about tiny houses. I don’t have all the answers, I do however appreciate that people do have questions about tiny houses.
Where will you build your tiny house?
Right now, the plan is to build my tiny house in my parent’s driveway.
Where will you put your tiny house?
I am not sure where I will park my tiny house after it is built. I firmly believe that my tiny house will end up in several locations. For now, the house will start off where it is being built and then it may move to another driveway or a backyard in a community where one is permitted in the municipal bylaws to park an RV or a 5th wheel in a driveway or backyard.
Why are tiny houses on wheels?
Not all tiny houses are built on wheels. That being said, many tiny houses are on wheels in order to bypass housing codes that often require minimum room sizes. When you build a house on a trailer bed (or a foundation with wheels), it becomes a vehicle and then falls under a different set of rules for its construction. This can be helpful in communities that do not allow secondary buildings to be built on a premises. It also allows a tiny home to have a smaller literal and figurative footprint. This is a link to Wikipedia’s article on the small house movement http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_house_movement.
How much do they cost?
Tiny houses can cost as little or as much as you like. You can buy a tiny house already built, which I have seen range from $40,000 USD to $59,000 USD (but I haven’t done an exhaustive search) or you can build it yourself using reclaimed or donated materials for $1000, or build it yourself with purchased materials for about $20,000 to $25,000. I am planning on building myself (with the help of friends and family) and hope to get my tiny home built and livable for under $25,000 CAD.
How will you heat your home?
A tiny home can be heated with propane, electricity or wood. I am looking into a couple of different options. In the best of all worlds, I would like to buy a Kimberley stove to heat my tiny home. I love the idea of heating with wood and the versatility of this stove, it can be a cook top as well as a heat source. My other options for heating include a heat pump, but with the climate in Montreal, that would require a secondary heat source when it gets too cold for the heat pump to be able to draw heat out of the air. There are also propane furnaces found on boats, and that Tumbleweed promote, such as the Dickinson Marine Furnace. I could also use electric baseboard heating.
Can you live in your home year round?
My tiny home will be built to be lived in year round in Montreal. I give the geographic reference when I started looking into tiny houses, most of the designs I found have been built in California or Florida – very different climates from the one I live in. I got very excited when I discovered Laird Herbert’s Leaf House built in Whitehorse, Yukon. A house for a harsher climate.
Where will you get your water?
My tiny house will be able to get water from a hose or I will fill my water tank as needed. I am still looking into my water options.
Will there be a bathroom in your tiny house?
There will be a functioning bathroom in my tiny home. I have looked into a variety of composting toilets and am still exploring what kind of shower or tub I will install.
How do you fit everything in?
I am downsizing a great deal and plan on having my belongings limited to what I can fit into my tiny house. This is a bit of a daunting prospect, but have recently begun to go through my belongings and am surprised and how little I actually need. There isn’t much space for sentimentality. I love food and cooking is important to me, my kitchen equipment will be the most challenging to get rid of.
Is it really a house house?
Yes it is. My house will have a door, windows, a fully functioning kitchen and bathroom, a living room, bedroom loft, a roof and wheels.
How is a tiny house different from a trailer home or an RV?
In many ways a tiny house is very similar to an RV or a trailer home. A tiny house is smaller than a trailer home and unlike an RV, a tiny house can be designed as a permanent residence.
How many square feet will your tiny house be including the sleeping loft?
The main floor of my tiny house will be about 147 square feet. The main sleeping loft will be around 63 square feet and the storage loft will be about 28 square feet. Which comes to a total of 238. The loft sleeping space is generally not counted as square footage because it’s not tall enough to stand up in.