Check Out This Perfect Tiny Home and Plans

Compact and efficiently planned, this 2 bedroom cottage is perfectly sized to sit on the back of a lot as a guest house, or clustered with other cottages to create small villages. Building a quality home starts with a quality design. If you decide to design your own home, be sure to have the design reviewed by a professional to make certain it is sound.

Tiny house plans vary in detail and quality. Plans of even the most well known tiny house companies can have errors or omissions. Before purchasing plans, you might want to take a look at the Small House Catalog. They offer free plans for a tiny house on wheels and for small houses on foundations. Do you expect be able to ask questions of the designer during your build? Will there be an extra charge for this support? What kind of turn around time does he or she offer to respond to questions? What if the designer is on vacation — will anyone else be available or will you have to wait? Will you want the designer's help with customizing features?

What should you expect in plans that you purchase? Some, but rarely all, of the below items will be included. In particular, numbers 9, the Bill of Materials, is often absent or incomplete. Number 10, Step by Step Instructions, and Number 11, Consultation Services, are rarely included, although they may be provided at an additional charge.

The most common roof built. Simple, center-peak, two-sided roof. While simplest to build, it also wastes the most space. As lofts in a THOW average about 4 feet, you essentially have a space you can crawl up into and lay on the bed. Lack of storage space and little utilization of the wall are biggest disadvantages. As far as building a gable roof, everyone has seen it done and doesn't take much to learn how to properly cut your roof trusses and secure them in the build. Of the roofs I have discussed so far, this is the second weakest roof next to the saltbox roof. It doesn't take much to reinforce it for strength, but doing so properly will take about a foot off of your headroom in the loft. If you're not in a snowy area, I wouldn't even reinforce it as you don't have to worry about snow loads.There are additional roof types, but those described above are the standards. You can add dormers and skylights for more space and lighting, but they will also add to the cost and complexity of construction.

According to the article, Design for Climate, "approximately 40% of household energy is used for heating and cooling to achieve thermal comfort. This rate could be cut to almost zero in new housing through sound climate responsive design." While written for Australia, the tips and different climate types are easily translatable to other regions of the world.

The International Residential Code for One- and Two- Family Dwellings (IRC) is a comprehensive reference for best practices in home construction and the basic standard for all home builders. A completely new version is published every three years. Small revisions are published more frequently. While all states have adopted the IRC, there is great diversity in the specific versions (scroll down to see the US map.) Additional codes may be written your state, county or city that are stricter than the IRC, particularly in regions vulnerable to earthquakes or hurricanes. Check with your local building inspector or a contractor licensed in your region for guidance.

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