If you haven’t noticed, tiny homes are trending. Today, there are plenty of blogs, television shows, and user-submitted videos that offer insight into the tiny home lifestyle. After all, there are plenty of reasons many people have made the switch. For starters, there are several benefits of owning a tiny home. A tiny home can easily cost 10x less the price tag of a standard home for sale, allowing you to pocket much more than you would otherwise. Tiny homes also require less energy usage, are easier to maintain, and provide you with flexible travel (if your tiny home is on wheels, like my travel trailer was). If you’re thinking about making the leap, here are seven tips for living the tiny home lifestyle:
Call Camping Sites Ahead
When traveling with your tiny home, you need to be able to park it when you’re not on the road. Always call campgrounds ahead of time to ensure you’ll be okay to park there based on your home’s stats. In addition to requesting the height, weight, and length of the home, they’ll also want to know if you’ll need a sewage drain and how much electrical amp your vehicle will need.
Record Weight & Measurements
It’s important for you to know all the numbers when it comes to your tiny home. You’ll need to know its weight, height, and length to better understand where you can travel with it and whether it’s allowed on certain roads and in campervan park grounds. By purchasing a ready-made home, the construction company that designed it can provide you with all the small details you need to know: keep a paper record in the front of the vehicle with the most relevant information.
However, your home will weigh more after you’ve moved in all your belongings. Take it to any truck scale for an accurate weighing. The tongue weight of a mobile tiny home is also important to know. The tongue weight refers to the downward force that the trailer’s front pushes on the attached to the truck hitch. You can purchase a tongue scale for this number.
Pay Attention to Storage
“When you’re dealing with limited space, you’re forced to be creative about what you need and how you’ll store your needs,” says Bouclair’s Peter Goldberg, whose home goods ecommerce business sells storage benches, bins, and other storage solutions. “It helps to take a look at Pinterest boards and see how others are handling organization in tiny homes.” It can be difficult to come up with the best organization tips for small spaces, but it can be done. You should also consider investing in mobile storage to hold items that you don’t need a daily basis but would like to keep, like personal mementos.
Follow Zoning Codes
Not everywhere you want to live or go is tiny home friendly. Zoning codes vary from state to state, and place restrictions on home sizes—regardless of whether you’re building from scratch or on purchased land. Before you start putting in the groundwork to build or buy your tiny home, you’ll want to make sure you won’t face any challenges in the future.
It’s important to note that tiny homes on wheels are considered recreational vehicles (RVs), while tiny homes that aren’t mobile are simply homes—however, tiny home without wheels are considered accessory dwelling units. Both have different ordinances and zoning regulations to keep in mind. You’ll need to fill out an application for a variance at your local planning commission, which would allow you to build or own property outside of current building codes.
Buy an Existing Home or Commission a Builder
If you aren’t construction-minded, buying an existing home or hiring a company to build a custom home are great options. There are plenty of tiny home builders that both sell and build custom homes. Knowing that your home was built by professionals can give you peace of mind and save laborious hours trying to learn and build it yourself. The cost of building a custom home can range anywhere between $50,000 to $100,000. While this is certainly on the higher end, it still saves you a significant amount of money on a standard home price tag.
Ready-made tiny homes come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. Typically, ready-made homes can be purchased anywhere from $30,000 to upwards of $100,000 for highly-detailed and complex homes. For example, Modern Tiny Living’s Kokosing model comes equipped with smart siding, a steel roof, staircase with built in storage, custom cabinetry, a fold down dining table, and much more. This model can be purchased for $69,000, or low monthly payments around $550.
Use an RV GPS
RV navigation systems are much more comprehensive than traditional GPS devices. Tiny homes are longer, taller, and heavier than traditional cars, and therefore can’t navigate the road the way that other vehicles do. Without a navigation system designed for RVs, you could run into some serious challenges on the road. An RV GPS has a larger screen for traveling while navigating, tips of navigating around clearances, features that help you locate nearby campgrounds, warnings when weight restrictions are ahead.