Part of the minimalist lifestyle, tiny houses average between 100 and 400 square feet, and can be put on trailers to follow you wherever you go. They’re often coveted by those who want to live more simply and save money.
But while dramatic downsizing may seem like a financially savvy move, there are a few things to take into consideration before buying or building a tiny house.
Here’s what you need to know about the cost of a tiny house.
The cost of a tiny house depends on if you buy it or build it
The cost of a tiny house varies depending on its size, style, and how you go about getting one.
Tiny-house construction starts at $45,000, Daria Uhlig of GOBankingRates reported, citing data from Tiny Home Builders. Deirdre Sullivan of the home-living website The Spruce compared 2017 prices from 25 tiny-house building companies in 13 different states and found that the median cost in the US for a tiny house is $59,884.
But, luxury tiny houses can cost a lot more than that — up to $150,000, Sullivan reported.
It’s typically cheaper to build a tiny house than to buy one. Sullivan interviewed several first-time builders, whose costs ranged from $12,000 to $35,000. But it’s possible to build a tiny home for less than $10,000: One couple paid $8,000 to build their 24-foot-long, 8-foot-wide, 13-foot-tall tiny house.
And Teri Page of Homestead Honey built her 348-square-foot tiny house for $8,270, although her neighbor’s 120-square-foot tiny house cost $21,200 to build. She told Margaret Heidenry of Realtor.com she spent $7,800 on materials alone but saved on labor costs because her husband did the work. Her neighbor hired labor, which cost an extra $7,000, she said.
People who want to build instead of buy can also get a tiny house shell — a finished exterior with an unfinished interior to personalize. A standard shell at Tiny Home Builders ranges from $17,000 for a 12-foot tiny house to $37,000 for a 28-foot tiny house, without add-ons such as electrical, plumbing, and dormers (sloped roofs that create extra space).
You can also buy a tiny-house kits that can cost less than $10,000 and can come with blueprints, a customized trailer to build upon, and a list of needed supplies, Heidenry wrote.
Compared with Zillow’s median home listing price of $275,000, a tiny house may seem like a cheaper option no matter how you acquire it, but that’s not always the case.