If you’re about to set out to build your own tiny house, your fantasy might go nuts. You’ve seen a thing or two on Instagram and pinterest, and your dream house that you’ve been picturing in your head, exceeds any other that you’ve seen already. It’s only when you really start thinking about your tiny house design, that it hits you. What works in your head, might not be viable in practice. Before you know it, you lost clarity and you’re clueless as where to even start. So before you set out with your designing process, you should create some solid ground. These eight questions will help you achieve precisely that.

Will it be self build, or professionally build?

This has a lot of impact on your actual tiny house design. If you will be building yourself, you need to keep it simple and only use materials you are able to work with. Will you hire a professional, then you have to think in terms of money. Every little extra corner or complicated feature will potentially add yet another zero to the total sum.

What is your budget?

Hence, it’s important to think in terms of a budget. A tiny house, doesn’t necessarily mean the invoice will be tiny as well. When you’re dreaming about your tiny, everything will seem possible, but in practice you will be exceeding your budget within no-time. Decide on forehand how much money you can and want to spend on your tiny house. If you’re like us, keeping costs low is one of the reasons to live tiny to begin with.

How much time do you have?

A project like this can easily take over your life completely. Overall it can become an endless project, and you might start thinking about it every spare minute of your day. Obviously you want to make sure it doesn’t take up any more time than its worth. Yet again, the whole purpose of living tiny is to have spare time to do fun stuff. Think about how much time you’re willing to invest before you get all caught up in it. It will automatically help you think about how much complicated your tiny house design can become.

How important is sustainability to you?

For many, the wish to live tiny is originated in an attempt to live more sustainable. Tiny houses might have a lot of potential to be ultra sustainable, but in practice they don’t hardly have to be. The sustainable choice is often also expensive and more complicated. So decide before hand where your priorities are and what sustainability means to you. A wood oven isn’t sustainable at all, but it is cheap and cozy. There is no good or bad, but the one choice can be more sustainable than the other.

How resilient should your tiny house be?

There is also the other type of sustainable. How will your home be looking after five or ten years? What type of weather will it have to endure? And also important: how much maintenance will it require every year? These are all thing to consider before you fall in love with a certain tiny house design.

Will you be living off-grid?

Obviously you like the sound of it. Living off-grid. Sounds sustainable and it has a romantic feel to it. In reality however, off-grid isn’t always as good, viable and sustainable at all. It takes a lot of materials and resources to make tiny house completely off-grid. Most of which, are only needed a few cold and sunless months of the year. Organizing shared facilities or begin hooked to the grid, while having a green or sustainable company as a supplier, is theoretically more sustainable and effective. Many tiny houses places therefor have at least some facilities already in place. Think about what your minimal off-grid needs are and try to be flexible in your tiny house design so you can add more later on.

What will you be building your tiny house on?

Before you can draw up any potential tiny house design at all, you need to know the outside measures. These are all completely dependent on your chassis. The options differ a lot for each country and are subsidiary to legislation regarding weight and dimension limitations for vehicles and things alike.

Who will be living in the tiny house?

The answer might seem obvious, but important to reconsider nonetheless. Available space in a tiny house is very limited. Hence, almost every tiny house is unique in itself and specifically designed for a specific user in mind. Every choice will affect another one and every added space to one future, will take away from another. Before designing your tiny house, be aware of your own needs, and forget about what is generally considered as vital parts of a house.

Eventually, the answers to these questions will for a large part determine how your tiny house will look when finished. Our personal answers to these questions can be found here. Do you think we’re missing a key question? Let us know in the comments down below!


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