July 30

Money-Saving Tips When Designing Your Own Tiny House



Have you designed your own tiny using our “design yours” feature but felt overwhelmed at the final price tag? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one! We often have clients design their own tiny’s but then realize they need to shave off ~$10K. Well, there’s a way to knock down the cost and have it still meet your tiny house dreams. Here are some money-saving tips to cut down the cost of your future tiny house!

Do You Really Need The 28′ Tiny?

While the difference between a 24′ and a 28′ tiny may not seem like much, it could mean big savings. Designing your tiny to be a little smaller can save you up to $10,000. All the essentials can fit in a 24′ tiny. You can make up for the more compact space by adding a bump-out nook or a deck! (See our Payette, Kootenay, )

Cost also increases when people choose a 5′ bathroom instead of our standard 3′ bathroom. The difference is that the 5′ bathroom can fit a full tub, whereas the 3′ bathroom fits a standing shower. If you can go without that occasional bath soak, then the 3′ bathroom will be just right for you. And your wallet will be happier too! 🙂


Making the decision to go tiny is the easy part, the hardest part is deciding how to build it. People decide between building the house themselves or hiring a builder to build it. Hiring a (Tru Form) builder ensures that you get quality design, craftsmanship, and the dream house you have always wanted in a timely fashion. That being said, you may want to do some of the building yourself.

Building the structure of the tiny can be a challenge to do by yourself if you don’t have construction expertise, machinery, or the space to do it. But, there are some aspects of tiny construction that you can do after the tiny gets delivered to you.

Here’s Some Money-Saving Tips…

  1. Flooring/Tiling- You can save anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars on labor if you install your own flooring/tiling. We can prepare the entire house so that all you have to do is purchase your material and install it yourself. There’s a ton of instructional videos on Youtube. It might be a challenge at first but imagine the feeling of satisfaction after you complete it!
  2. Siding- Similar to flooring and tiling, you can save a lot of money by doing your own siding, as long as you have a ladder or two. You can order quality stained wood from your local hardware store and install it yourself. But, having a friend help in exchange for a 6 pack of cold ones could help speed up the process. Check out this instructional video on installing cedar siding on a tiny house!

See our minimalist home tips to get style ideas!

Practice Self Control When Shopping For Custom Add-Ons

Customizable options like built-in furniture and extra storage seems great for your tiny but hard on your budget. You want your tiny to be functional and organized, so combining furniture and storage is important in using the most of your small space. But, there’s a way to do it cost efficiently. Instead of getting the built-in furniture/storage, you can often find cheaper options when you shop for them separately. Just make sure to bring a tape measure with you to the store to make sure it’ll fit perfectly in your tiny! Use google search terms like “modular storage,” “small living furniture” or “furniture with storage space” to find the perfect furniture for your tiny.

Save For Later…

If you want to move into your tiny sooner rather than later but can’t afford all the add-ons, you can always save them for later. Once you start living in your tiny, you can get a better feel about what you value in your tiny so that you can best meet those needs with add-ons. Some upgrades you can add later on includes:

  • Solar
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Countertops/Folding table
  • Deck
  • Awning
  • Sinks
  • Shelving

Solar is a great example of something that can be an expensive addition to the initial price, but can be added later on. Your custom tiny can be designed to accommodate solar so that the panels can be added once the time is right for you. This means your tiny will be ready to be hooked up to electric, but no costly re-wiring will be necessary once you make the shift to solar!

Tiny House tips
28′ Urban Payette W/ Solar Panels

Now that you know where to save money when designing your dream tiny house, click here to design your own!

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About the author 

Maia Sparkman & Adrian Winchester

Maia and Adrian have unique backgrounds that have led them to working on our marketing team. Maia, a PNW native, graduated with an undergrad in Environmental Studies and Biology from Seattle University. Adrian comes from Atlanta, and studied International Relations at Rhodes College in Memphis. Both Maia and Adrian were serving as Peace Corps Volunteers in Zambia where they lived in a unique form of tiny living in rural villages before joining the Tru Form Tiny team. They are both excited to help showcase the pros of tiny living and hope to help guide interested clients in finding the right tiny for them!

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