What is the first step in planning and building your own tiny house?


How much of it do you want to build yourself? There are 3 main options: 1. Building it yourself from the Tiny House Trailer up. Option 2: Having a Shell Built by a builder and completing the rest (interior finishes) Yourself. Lastly, Option 3: Having a fully turn key tiny house built all for you by a builder. All 3 of these options are covered in greater detail in chapter 4 of the best selling book: “Tiny House Basics, Living the Good Life in Small Spaces”. Chapter 4 is titled: “Building, The unspoken realities of doing it yourself plus the cost”. To read more about these three options of building, you can buy the book: “Tiny House Basics, Living the Good Life in Small Spaces on Amazon”

For this blog post we are going to discuss the title of this article: What really is the first step when you have decided to build your own tiny house? The first step is to decide on the size of tiny house you want to build, to do that lets ask some questions and we hope you will share your thoughts in the comments below:



How many people will live in your tiny house? – This will help determine the length of trailer best suited for you and your family. Single people usually choose trailer lengths 28ft and smaller. The smallest tiny house trailer we have built for full time residence was only 10ft in length. The most common size for single occupants is 24ft. 28ft is the most popular length we build, for single people and couples. Small families usually choose 32ft and longer, we have even built 40ft goosenecks for families of 6!


Do you plan to travel with your tiny house or be “Permanently Temporary” and only move a few times a year or maybe even never move it at all? The answer to this question will help us determine the best width to choose for your tiny house trailer. If you plan to move often, We suggest choosing a deck width of 98″ or narrower. This will allow you to stay under the legal limit of 102″ once siding and trim are installed. If you do not plan to move often you may choose the widest deck width for a standard trailer at 102″ wide. We chose 102″ wide for our trailer deck and have only moved our tiny house once since we built it and therefore did not worry about being a few inches over the legal limit. We like many others will always have our tiny house moved by a professional tiny house mover when the time comes. Another option is choosing our special 10ft wide tiny house trailer models. These have become extremely popular lately as they add 15% more width and square footage to your tiny house. This is the perfect trailer to choose if you do not plan on moving regularly with your tiny house. The permit process is quite simple, if you hire a shipper they can do it all for you or you can watch this video on our facebook page where i discussed the process in more detail .


Will you have sleeping lofts? This is the last piece of the puzzle before you decide on the trailer you need. If you plan on having sleeping lofts, We suggest choosing a standard deck or a drop axle style trailer. These are available in our bumper pull, gooseneck and even 10ft wide models. This style trailer will have a lower deck (26″ for standard and 22″ for drop axle) which will allow having sleeping lofts with actual headroom. If you plan on having a sleeping loft we would not recommend choosing a deckover style trailer. A deckover style trailer is ideal for a single level floor plan with no sleeping lofts. The Deckover will be about 35″ above the grade which will greatly decrease head room in your lofts.


At this point you may have a idea of the length of tiny house you want to build, right? Well no worries if not, its a lot to think about. This next step will help you even further. Think about a size you like, maybe 28ft? Now map it out with painters tape in your living room or tape it out in your driveway. Doing this will only set you back a little bit of time and less than $10 but could save you thousands in the build. After you map out the size of tiny house you are thinking of building, add in the mock of the fender locations per this link and proceed to place items like a taped out front door, lofts, kitchen, bathroom and living area. Just take one area at a time and when you do this you can see how much space these things will take up and this will help you think about and reflect on what size tiny house is best for you. Here is a example of the layout for our 28ft triple axle trailers:


If you are serious about going tiny, The best thing you can do to fully prepare you in to pick up the book: “Tiny House Basics, Living the Good Life in Small Spaces” This will fully prepare you for taking that leap in going tiny. The average reader can finish this book in under 4 hours. You will learn tips, tricks and secrets in going to tiny and preparing for your journey. This book has tried and true advice for real people who have lives, kids & pets. Plus, those like us that love to entertain and want the freedom to be able to take your home on the road if you choose.


Start now by requesting a Tiny House Trailer quote below. When we respond we will send you lots of additional info to help fuel your research. Take it from us, there is no downside to downsizing!

12 Comments on “What is the first step in planning and building your own tiny house?”

  1. Brittany Angiel

    We are looking into options for a mobile tiny home for my self, my wife, and our 3 large breed dogs. We don’t want a lot of frill and unnecessary accessories. We just want to get back to basics in life. We do plan on the first year not travelling in the tiny home but we want to be able to travel whenever/wherever after that first year.

  2. Gina Wells

    I absolutely love the idea of owning and living in a Tiny House.
    I currently pay 1,500 a month for rent plus utilities.

    Do you Finance?

    I want to travel the U.S., but want to confirm that there will be reasonable places to park and stay a while throughout the U.S.

    Do you have a list of places throughout the U.S. that is acceptable to Tiny House living.

    I have been designing my Tiny Home for about 5 years now and would really like to move forward now.

  3. Wilber Peebody

    Brittany First let me say Bravo to you for choosing to go tiny, not everyone can do it. If your planning on having someone else build your house, be present while the work is happening so you can catch building/design flaws while they’re still changeable. I’ve noticed that when I visit builders sites that sometimes the person that designs your layout will over look the simplest thing and then later once everything is built you see that aspect of the design and realize you have to live with it. As for traveling with your house, My suggestion is that you have the front pulling end shaped arrow dynamically so you don’t find yourself getting even less gas millage then you thought you were going to get. Almost everyone I know that has a flat end on the hitch tells me it’s like pulling a parachute. One guy I know said he could be on a super steep grade headed down hill, take his foot off the gas and break and the drag from the tiny house would stop him cold. If your going to build your tiny house yourself, buy the trailer and before you put anything on it, register it and get the plate and tags. I made the mistake of building first and then I had to drag my house to the DMV just to get it registered and it was a huge hassle. The VIN plate on most trailers is on the hitch end and you have to get on your back to see it. Which means a guy from the DMV will have to get dirty to see your VIN tag.

  4. April

    I’ve done my research on most things. I’ve read the book Tiny House Basics. I really am at the point off figuring out the cost to complete the build from start to finish. Getting quotes and looking up the cost of each item to be used in the house. Thanks for the free quote.

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