The FOUNDATION of the tiny home! There are a lot of questions around this topic. I’ll try to help answer a few of them here!
What size trailer do you want? Do you have a truck and feel comfortable towing the house yourself? Do you plan to just get it towed to your “spot” and never move it or hire a mover? We purchased a diesel Ford F250 to tug it around and it does the trick. Grant has experience driving large trailers with heavy loads. I can’t say the same. Make sure you consider this when sizing your home. It can be expensive to have someone else haul your house across the country for you. It just depends what your plans are.
Do you buy new or used? Can you use an RV trailer, tear it down and rebuild? If you are an experienced welder, the answer is yes you can find a cheaper RV trailer and build up the frame to ensure it will handle the weight of the tiny house. Most tiny houses are heavier than the manufactured RV’s so you need to consider this when shopping around. If you are not a welder the better bet is to BUY a new reliable trailer from one of the best tiny home manufacturers, Tiny Home Builders. These trailers are ready to go, no work required. Just hook up, take it home, and start building!
We went a different route…
We purchased a used 20 foot car hauler and reinforced the frame for $3,500 and a lot more TIME! We were then able to reuse all of the metal flashing from the car hauler to flash the trailer before building the floor. What was left over we ended up putting on our ceiling! We still need to do crown molding and I plan to paint the ceiling white as well. That day will come, right?
Another really important thing to think about is insurance. If you want your tiny home insured you will need to buy a manufactured trailer. Since ours was a “home-built” trailer it can not be insured. It is insured by our auto plan while being towed, which is what we cared about, but it is un-insurable when parked and unhitched from the truck. Looking back, we would have been able to start building three weeks sooner had we not had to deconstruct and weld the existing trailer into a “tiny house worthy” frame. At the time we thought we were saving money, but it ended up being about the same price to buy the 20 foot trailer from Tiny Home Builders (here).
Learn from our mistake! It will be better if you just do it the right way the first time! In the end we still have a safe, sturdy trailer, but it would have been a heck of a lot less work and you can get straight to the REAL fun stuff… building the HOME!
“A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.” –Lao Tzu
Every single person on this planet today is on a journey. Some of us are still uncertain of our purpose on this journey, but I’m beginning to see my purpose more clearly everyday. My mom seems to think this journey I’m on is worth sharing too so here I am writing to you!
To jump right into it, my now husband and I were surfing Netflix back in 2014 when we stumbled upon a documentary titled “Tiny”. About five minutes into the show our minds were made up. So… we set out planning. I’m a LIST freak! I LOVE lists, goals, plans, all of it! We heard a lot of naysayers over the first few months and to combat the questions and negative energy, we researched a TON! We had the plan nailed down from start to finish before we purchased the trailer. That doesn’t mean things didn’t come up. We had to improvise at times! You can’t stop others from questioning your ideas or trying to instill fear in your dreams. I’m sure it isn’t always intentional, but it played a HUGE role in our success. We believed we could, so we did.
We had the idea that we needed to make our own plans, build our home exactly how WE wanted it. We found the website for Tiny Home Builders and their book “Tiny House Design & Construction Guide“. With this we were able to visualize the process. I had NO prior building experience, but I had basic knowledge of power tools from a high school shop class. Grant had been in a building competition in high school so he had essentially built a tiny house from start to finish before he even graduated from high school. STOP! I say this, but I don’t mean that everyone has to have experience building! You can still do it! I worked some days without Grant by my side, so I truly believe anyone with a will to build it can do it! With my planning and his skills we got straight to work with the Tiny House Guide mentioned above, thousands of Google searches and HOURS of YouTube videos! We began building on New Year’s Day 2015 in Bozeman, MT at 30 degrees Fahrenheit and the snow was coming down (we built outside). Fast forward to present day 2017 we are nearly finished. Only trim/ appearance work to do. We have towed it cross-country. First, we moved from Montana to Tennessee. Then, from Tennessee to Wisconsin. Now, we are about to embark on another quest to Washington to begin our homesteading dreams! So… to tie up my first blog post, what I mostly wanted to share, is that EVERYONE can follow and achieve their dreams. It just takes some inspiration, dedication, and a belief in yourself and your purpose. Even when things go wrong, remember your goal and trust your journey.
Check out our About Us page to get our short and sweet bio!
Or, start your journey by Scaling Down!