1. Remember to be road legal.
You want to be sure that the end result of your tiny house build is one that you can legally tow down the road without incurring any trouble or extra costs on the way. This means you should be no more than 8’6″ wide, and 13’6″ tall from the road to the very top of the roof.
The height is ultimately the most tricky part to get correct. You need to take into account the height of the trailer, your wall framing, the extra height of your roof pitch, the roof sheathing and lastly, the final roofing material (metal roofing, etc).
2. Get your materials in the right order.
You want to make sure that you’ve acquired your materials in the right order, so you can minimize any delay in your build. Once you’ve decided on a building style/design/plan, you want to get your materials.
First, order your trailer (or find your trailer, but we recommend buying a new trailer built and designed for a tiny home! Try these guys out at trailer made – they’re the best!).
Next, order your windows. Depending on how quick you can frame your home, another long delay can be windows. You may find that you’re waiting as many as 6 weeks for a custom window order! (we’ve never had this kind of delay, but we’ve heard horror stories!).
Next, order all of your lumber and sheathing. If things work out, you’ll have a dried-in structure and very little to zero waiting time for materials!
3. Plan for the weather.
If you’re going to be building outside, you should plan for weather. Get tarps, and plan accordingly. If you know rain is coming in the afternoon, wake up early and knock out as much as you can! It’s best to frame walls and leave them covered or in a dry area until you’re able to find the time to get everything stood up and sheathed in a dry time.
Another option here is to use water-resistant materials. We always use high quality, water-resistant materials where possible. This means that we don’t have to worry much about the rain if an unexpected storm pops up and we’ve got a tiny home sitting out in the elements!
4. Source your reclaimed windows FIRST!!!
If you plan on using reclaimed windows and you’re trying to source them from a local shop, or craigslist, be sure to do this before anything else. If you have already framed your tiny house, then you are most likely stuck with finding windows that will fit inside those framed openings. Getting your reclaimed windows first means that you can make little tweaks to window openings to make sure this process goes smoothly, and much faster!
5. Get Started!
Stop thinking about doing this, and do it. I had a friend many years ago that would frequently say “Ain’t nothing to it, but to do it”. Nothing could be more true. If you want to build a tiny home, or buy a shell and finish the rest yourself, then do it already! Get financing if you need to, or look into other options (We offer in-house financing!) and make your dream a reality.
What is a “gotcha” that you’ve thought of or come across when it comes to building or buying a tiny home? Have you ever found a great resource for materials or reclaimed materials?