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Planning Your Tiny Home - 4 Things You Must Consider

You’ve seen those videos on YouTube showing you cool designs. But these cool features may not necessarily provide functionalities while costing you extra cash. 

Luckily, planning and designing your home is one of the most fun parts of building a tiny home. We can easily take out what we want, add in what we need, and find ways to be creative with the limited space we are given.

Let’s get creative!

Table of Contents

4 Things You Must Consider When Planning Your Tiny House on Wheels

Here are the questions you must answer when planning your tiny house.

In addition to these questions, I advise you to see lots of tiny house tour videos on YouTube. and browse through tiny house posts on Instagram for additional ideas. 

During the planning phase, you don’t need to figure how where exactly everything will go. You want to get a general idea of your tiny home’s layout and incorporating your wants and needs into it. 

1.How Big Should My Tiny House Be?

Your tiny home should be big enough to house everyone including your pets. However, the term “big enough” is a relative term and different people will give you different answers. 

Typically, tiny homes are built on a 8’6″ wide trailer with varying length. It is unwise to live a tiny home that is either too small or too big that it is unaffordable. 

From my experience, 8’6″ x 24′ tiny home is just enough space for two people living with one or two pets. Using this as a baseline, you can figure out how big your tiny home should be. 

Still can’t visualize the size of a tiny home? Then try doing the following:

Go to a Tiny House Festival

Going to a tiny house festival will let you experience first hand what it is truly like to be inside a tiny home. Seeing a picture or a video of a tiny home is completely different than physically being in one of them.

Book a Couple of Nights in a Tiny House Airbnb

One of the first mistakes in my tiny house journey was not staying in a tiny home on wheels for a few nights before building my home. 

I thought a 8’6″ wide trailer would be enough for us but after installing putting in our furniture, space feels a lot smaller than you imagined. 

Draw a Layout of Your Tiny Home

Can’t go to a festival nor stay in a tiny home Airbnb? (although you should). No need to worry! You can draw a layout of your proposed tiny home using chalk on your driveway or create the same layout in your living room.

Be inside it. Be inside it with your partner. Is it big enough? Does your house need to be longer? Does it need to be wider? 

2.What Do You Need and Want in Your Tiny Home?

Here’s a quick reality check for you. You cannot bring everything you own into a tiny space. 

Yup. Absolutely no way. If you do, your living and bedroom space will diminish into nothingness. You will feel forever #cramped.

Instead, declutter and downsize. Start by making a list of things you need in a tiny home and move on to things that you want to bring into a tiny home. Then try to visualize how big of a tiny home want to allow for all your wants and needs.

Do you have an entire set of home gym equipment? You can try doing some bodyweight exercises or get a gym membership instead. It’s all about making the right sacrifices.

3.How Frequently Will You Move Your Tiny Home?

Traveling around in your tiny home can be amazing. But tiny homes are heavy, cost a lot of money to move frequently, and difficult to find parking spaces on the go. 

Regardless, if you do plan on moving it a couple of times a year, I suggest building a smaller tiny home (20ft or less) or maybe buying an RV instead is a better option for you. 

Most tiny home folks, including myself, plan on moving our home only a few times in our lifetime. We can opt to build a slightly larger tiny home. 

If you have a target square footage in mind, we highly suggest a wider tiny home (9′ or wider) than a longer home. Adding an extra foot into your home’s width will make the house feel very spacious. You won’t get the same effect building a long house.

Note:  Anything larger than 8’6″ is considered oversized. You must apply for an oversize permit to tow it on the road. You can easily apply for a single-use, oversize permit at DMV and typically cost only less than $50.  

4.Where Will I Spend the Most Time Around the Tiny Home?

Where do you spend the most time around your current home? Where do you spend the least amount of time? Are there spaces you don’t utilize at all?

I spend the most amount of time in my living room and my bedroom. So planned my tiny home to reflect my living pattern.

My living room and the bedroom take up the most square footage in my tiny home. And I love it! Make sure you give more space and priority to the areas where you spend the most amount of time.

5.Where Will You Store Your Tools?

One place I didn’t account for when planning my tiny home is a place to store all my tools. 

I thought my storage box built on the front of the trailer will be large enough. But I was terribly wrong. I had to sell and dispose of some of the bulkier tools. 

Make sure you plan for space either indoor or outdoor where you can store all of your miscellaneous items. You can create a larger outdoor storage space integrated into your build or buy a movable outdoor storage shed instead.

Horizontal Storage Shed

A simple solution to creating more space for your tools.

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Final Thoughts

These questions are all the major questions you need to ask yourself as you plan your tiny home build. Once you get a feel for the size of the tiny home you want, you can move on to choosing and ordering your tiny house trailer

Remember, don’t feel overwhelmed by the notion that you have to get every decision correct the first time. It doesn’t have to be that way. Focus on the important questions we’ve outlined, answer them then move on to the next step. 

Happy Building!

Frequently Asked Questions

Your tiny home should be spacious enough to house all occupants, pets, and your belongings without feeling too cramped. You can’t know this for sure unless you try living in a tiny home. Go to a tiny house festival or book a tiny home AirBnB to see for yourself.

If you’ve never built a structure before, it is best to find a tiny home plan (created by an architecture) that you like, purchase it, and make small modifications using SketchUp to your liking. This ensures that you aren’t making structures that will fail from engineering perspective.

Tiny house plans are only a couple of hundred dollars. It’s super inexpensive compared to a full house plans and doing so will help you save you time and money in the long run.

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