Have Tiny Home Costs Already Spun Out of Control?


So over the years I have seen many people touting their tiny house as only being a few thousand dollars to build and many crying out in protest over how much some Tiny Houses cost. While I do think there are many ways to save quite a bit of money during the building process, the fact is Tiny Houses cost money and a good bit of it. Even though Tiny Houses pale in comparison to the cost of traditional homes, the price tag of a tumbleweed style house or similar often leaves people wondering how they can cost so much. So I thought I’d break down some key factors that those who claim their house is only a few grand often neglect to mention.

I get a lot of people asking me how to get a tiny house built for them and for many, this is how they want to get to their dream of living in a Tiny House. For many they don’t have the skills to build a house (though I firmly believe almost anyone can learn)or they have the time to do it. The fact is that regardless of it being a Tiny House or a McMansion, labor costs to build a home can be anywhere between 40% – 60%. Now there are some that criticize tiny house builders of charging $50,000 when it costs $25,000 in materials, as building in huge profit margins. The fact is, if you sit down and really crunch the numbers for what it takes to hire workers, insurance, rent a build site, tools, utilities, and a million other things, I’m surprised that they can eek out a modest living; in fact I don’t know for sure that anyone has been able to have it as their sole job. Even Jay Schaffer had to expand into books, classes and plans when he first started.

There are many of us who don’t have a location to build our home for free. There have been many tiny houses built in rented space or land that they are paying for. Sometimes that location doesn’t have power, so you need to either get a power hook up (expensive) or a generator that uses gas. While I do think there are areas that you can get some great savings on, I really could go on for a while about the fallacy of a Tiny House for only a few thousand dollars, but I think I made my point. If I do the math on the topics I covered here you are looking at around $4,500 minimum plus whatever your time is valued at. For your time figure around 1000 hours if you buy the materials, 3000 hours if you reclaim most of it.


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