Q: What is a tiny home?
A: A tiny home is not an exclusive definition, rather, but a category of very small residences (typically classified as being under 400 square ft), meaning there’s quite a bit of flexibility and creativity in the term. Because of this, most people don’t realize that they are purchasing a Recreational Vehicle (RV) that looks like a tiny house. But we don't build RVs; 121 Tiny Homes can be built on trailers, or not, can be placed on a permanent foundation (like ADUs), or secured to the ground (depending upon engineering requirements). And because we adhere to much higher standards--using the same building codes as a residential contractor would when building you a home--our finished product is far above that of the RVIA standards. So we classify our tiny houses as "movable tiny homes."
Q: Why go tiny?
A: Though there are numerous reasons why people choose to transition to the tiny life, the majority of people who choose this lifestyle have these three reasons in common: Decreasing environmental impact, less financial burden, and leading a simpler life. Going tiny reduces your carbon footprint by using fewer resources, encourages you to downsize material objects in your life, and allows you to own a beautiful custom home at a low cost.
Q: How does living in a tiny home promote a lower carbon footprint?
A: There isn’t much space in a tiny home; every item has to have a function or a definite reason for taking up space. This alone decreases the likelihood that a person living in a tiny home will be an unconscious consumer, meaning they’ll contribute less to purchasing unnecessary material objects. A tiny home also has a much lower carbon footprint related to energy consumption and waste production, especially those built to be completely off-grid.
Q: How much does a tiny home cost?
A: The answer to this varies immensely; it’s dependent on how you go about choosing this lifestyle. Right now, industry averages run between $60,000 - $80,000 USD. If you want to have a custom-made, completed moveable tiny home, we’ve seen some range from $80,000 or more depending upon the design, trailer, materials used, interior furnishings and features--much more expensive to than if you choose to build your own.
At 121 Tiny Homes, we offer a range of purchasing options, depending on what stage you want to purchase your tiny home. For the DIYer, we offer tiny home kits, as well as fully-constructed tiny home shells that you can finish yourself from $21,950 (including a fully-insulated trailer, exterior walls, roof framing and sheathing; and optionally from $29,950 for a shell with windows and doors, exterior fascia, trim, metal roofing and siding installed).
Need help financing your tiny home? We've proudly partnered with LightStream, a division of SunTrust Bank. Learn more!
Q: What are the legal obstacles with living in a tiny home?
A: Towns, counties, and states have varying laws, coding, and zoning rules about living in a tiny home. We highly recommend that you take some time to work with your local building codes official to figure out what regulations are in your area regarding tiny home structures. Are there policies in the way of living tiny in your desired destination? Start advocating for tiny home living, contact your legislature, and become apart of the discussion. It’s extremely empowering, and you may be helping someone else too.
Q: Are they safe? what about hurricanes and earthquakes?
A: Building a tiny home requires the same codes as normal-sized homes. Those tiny homes built on trailers are required to be road-safe, which means that they can withstand much more stress than a traditional foundation based home. For high winds, hurricane strapping can be used to anchor the home to its trailer, and with proper engineering they’re ready to sustain snow loads, storms or tremors here and there. And, in the rare event that you think you're in danger, a moveable tiny home can be hooked up to your vehicle and literally moved away from potential danger (flooding, severe storms, etc.).
Q: Do tiny homes have to be off-grid?
A: Tiny homes actually have the option of being completely off-grid or not. You do not have to live off grid if that’s not your goal. If you want to be completely off-grid, then you will need to consider alternative sources of energy, such as solar or wind. Additionally consider options for processing waste and sourcing water, like composting toilets or water catchment systems.
Q: Do YOUR tiny homes have to be ON WHEELS?
A: No! Our homes can be on wheels or on permanent foundations. So if you're considering building something like an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), we can do that.
Q: What are the drawbacks to living tiny?
A: The biggest issue people run into is refusing more "stuff." The other issues are legalities related to locating your tiny home, and legislative concerns that vary from city to city, county to county and state to state.
Q: What advice do you have for someone who has decided to go tiny?
A: Definitely do your research! There is an immense amount of information about tiny homes out there, so make sure you’ve done your homework, not just about building, but about whom you’d like to learn and build with.
Q: Awesome! What are my next steps?
A: If you have further questions and would like to have a conversation about building or buying a tiny home with us, give us a call or email us to set up a consultation. All of the information you’ll need is listed on our website. We also offer classes, workshops, and have a Meetup group - Central Oregon Tiny Homes. And keep an eye on our Facebook page for upcoming events!