Six Cost-Friendly Approaches To Building Your Own Tiny-House

The tiny-home movement is moving quickly across the globe, and many homeowners are discovering the freedom that can be had through down-sizing and living more simply. Tiny homes are typically under 500 square feet in size, and often are a solution to the owner's desire to live more economically, independently, or conveniently, which may relate to the often mobile nature of the dwelling. While not all tiny-homes are made to travel, many may emerge from the need to construct a home for a family on the smallest budget possible.

Some ways to keep the building budget low when constructing your tiny home include the following approaches:

Recycled pallets

As if there weren't enough uses for recycled wood pallets, now some inventive individuals are using them to create a tiny home. Pallets allow owners to frame-up their home in a hurry, and also make the perfect material for adding outdoor living space through decks, patios, or walkways to the home.

Shipping container

The popularity of re-purposing metal shipping containers continue to rise as consumers see the value of these durable, inexpensive containers. These are often used in construction of emergency shelters, and are also found to make an inexpensive frame for tiny homes and dwellings. The price of these vary, but the major expense comes when modifying, wiring, and plumbing the container for daily living.


One tiny-home owner reports spending around $8k to construct his 500-square foot home out of concrete blocks. He adapted the shape and style to the surroundings on his property in Thailand, and the blocks made it easy to get the house built in a hurry — in his case, six weeks. Concrete may be the most cost-effective approach for some owners that have a permanent place to accommodate the structure.

Mobile homes

One of the big appeals of a tiny home is the ability to put it on a trailer to move it from place to place. It is necessary to purchase utility or flatbed trailers that measure around seven-feet wide by no longer than 14-feet long, unless planning on obtaining special licenses and permits to move the home. Trailers vary in cost but can usually be found in fair condition for around a thousand dollars, or in new condition for up to $5k.

Salvaged structures

If you have time and insight, you might be able to construct a tiny home for under $1200. The key to this would be through finding salvaged materials and recyclables, as well as eliminating the labor costs associated with hiring a contractor. If you do not have the skill-sets to build your home, work with general contractors such as Battistelli, Glenn LLC to find the most cost-efficient ways to keep your building project on budget.

Tiny homes are presenting homeowners with the chance to live for less, which often results in a deeper appreciation of what you do have. Some homeowners may find that these six suggestions are viable options when trying to build on a tight budget.