From Texas-sized 2 Tiny House For Three
I still see lots of posts and comments going around the interwebs of people complaining that some tiny houses are too big, too expensive, or too intricate to be considered a “true” tiny house, and I recently reposted an article on our FB page about it with my $0.02 on the subject. Since we ourselves are spending $15,900.00 just for the trailer and shell of our house (courtesy of the Bank of Dad with full payback at 3% interest TYVM!), I feel it bears repeating that everyone’s tiny home decisions are theirs and theirs alone! Before anyone starts the “that’s too expensive, why would you spend that on just the shell, I could build the whole house for that, etc etc ad nauseum” arguments, allow me to clarify why, for us, $15,900 is a MINUSCULE price to pay considering the nightmarish alternatives I imagine regularly.
As I’m sure everyone has realized by now, most people don’t do a lot of traveling with their tiny house-on-a-trailer. Most build close to their final location or, at the very least, have the house moved shortly after completion to its permanent (or semi-permanent) destination. They build their homes with all the same love and care they would any other home they want and may or many not use experts for certain portions of their builds as well. They often reclaim materials for various portions of both the inner and outer facades (something we definitely hope to do as well), and many of them report spending full-time hours working tirelessly on their house to have it completed in just a few shorts months (average seems to be about 4-5mo). Bully for them!! Their houses are fantastically beautiful, unique (even if they used mass-produced plans, as we essentially are), and loved by them and tiny house admirers the world over. They may have even spent under $20k – trailer and all – to create their tiny house, and the time taken to choose everything to their specific taste is evident in the details. They likely, however, didn’t pay labor to anyone (including themselves for obvious reasons), and that fact alone saved them thousands of dollars without even blinking. Yes, these houses are truly masterpieces, each and every one of them, and we are envious of them, I assure you.
Our situation, however, is pretty different from the story of many of the tiny houses already in existence. We actually plan to do extensive traveling around the US and (hopefully) Canada after we spend about a year in Colorado for my job, and with me working 2 jobs and Brandy being a full-time student and stay-at-home-dad to R.A.D we simply don’t have the envious luxury of spending 8-hr days working on our tiny house. I also have a recurring nightmare of our house sliding off the trailer as we pull it up a steep hill in our travels, so the peace of mind that comes with having a professional tiny house builder secure the house to the trailer is worth its weight in gold, jewels, and naming rights to our 2nd born! We would LOVE to reclaim as many materials for our house as possible, but sourcing them takes time on the web and time driving to the pickup locations – and time is a precious commodity in short supply for us. We also have to consider the needs of our growing child in our build, so we will be doing a fair amount of customizing the interior layout to suit both our current needs and ones we foresee in the near future. This will necessitate taking even more time to work out exactly what goes where, which then takes more time away from the physical build itself.
In (not so) short, we are more than willing to pay a professional builder roughly the same price many people may spend in just materials to have our house framed and, most importantly, properly secured to the trailer, thus greatly reducing our actual build time and the likelihood my nightmare of our house crushing a car behind us will come true. Yes, a large portion of that cost is just labor, but again – we’re paying skilled craftsmen to do what they do best! There’s a saying that goes something to the effect of, “You can’t put a price on peace of mind,” and I agree with that whole heartedly. You also can’t put a price on safety, and having the most critical portion of our house crafted by professional builders affords a much higher level of safety for traveling and, with that, the peace of mind that comes with knowing it was done right.
So, go forth unto your own tiny house adventures remembering this one simple phrase:
How you would build a tiny house is how ~YOU~ would build a tiny house.