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MISTAKES WHILE BUILDING TINY HOUSE THAT CAN COST YOU A FORTUNE

MISTAKES WHILE BUILDING TINY HOUSE THAT CAN COST YOU A FORTUNE

We as humans are bound to make mistakes (a lot of them) and that’s why they say, To err is human. While everyone has made mistakes in at some point in their lives be it big or small, and a lot of times these mistakes were committed in negligence. Going tiny is one big step in your life (that you’ll be proud of) and I don’t want you to make any mistakes in your tiny house journey. A lot of you are wondering about going tiny while a lot of you have already gone tiny or are in the process, these mistakes that I’ve listed below are for everyone of us no matter what stage you’re in.

Had someone informed us in advance about all the pitfalls that we’d occur in our lives we’d have been extra careful in not doing those mistakes and might have avoided the mistakes that we did. Thankfully you have this article to make sure you don’t do the mistakes that others have done in their tiny house journey. Let this be an advance warning for you and learn from other mistakes.

Best Truck for Towing your Tiny House

1. BUILDING A HOME THAT’S DOWNRIGHT THREAT TO YOUR LIFE

Improper weight management and loading pattern on a tiny house trailer is one of the mistakes that can make it extremely dangerous to move and relocate. This makes the entire point of going for tiny house on wheels useless. What good is a THOW that can’t move or if moved can risk your life?
Well, who’s to blame? I’d say YOU. If you haven’t taken the help of an Architect-Engineer and did all the work yourself, you have yourself to take the blame

Solution: Hire a competent professional with experience in movable homes and get his service.
better yet, hire a tiny house planning agency, they do all the work related to tiny house.

2. BUILDING/BUYING A HOME THAT DOESN'T MATCH YOUR LIFESTYLE

Most of the folks interested in tiny house want to buy it rather than build, which is fine mostly. It’s just that they end up buying something that’s not suited to their needs and wants.  Do you work from home? Then you will need working space. Do you like to cook? Then you may need a larger kitchen area, relative to the rest of the house. Do you have overnight guests? Then you may need a guest bed or fold-out sofa.

Solution: Study different types of tiny house plans and pick a design that best suits how you actually use your living space. Communicate these needs to your builder so you have plans and, eventually, a home that meet your needs. Otherwise, you may move into your tiny home only to realize that it’s not a good fit.

couple-investment-key

3. MISSING VITAL SPACES WHILE DESIGNING

Designing a house is fun, especially since you have plethora of software & tools to help you design it, but let’s keep it just a fun exercise and leave the actual job to professionals. I hate to tell you this, but this is vital, I’ve seen countless examples of people effing up their tiny house because they came up with a plan that was bound to fail, since they missed spaces for vital things.

Most commonly they miss spaces for trash can, recycling and compost bins, suitcases, bulk paper goods storage, brooms, and other cleaning implements.

SOLUTION: Use tiny house building checklist, it covers all the essential things you need to keep in mind.

4. ROUGH OPENINGS FOR WINDOWS AND DOORS

Again, one of the most common  mistakes or misconceptions amongst non-Architects/Engineers is to design the rough opening of windows and doors to the exact dimensions of windows & doors.
Windows and doors need room of about ¾” on all the sides to wiggle.

Solution: Check stickers on windows & doors for exact wiggle room.

ROUGH OPENINGS FOR WINDOWS AND DOORS
STORAGE PROBLEM SOLVED

5. LITTLE STORAGE SPACE

O my sweet summer child, most tiny housers overestimate their capacity to downsize which is one of the reason people go for little storage. Other times people just tend to forget that they’ll need storage space. On average, folks living in conventional homes have about 300,000 articles, even if you downsize to 15,000 articles, you need storage space to keep it.

Since the space is tiny is very limited, it takes an experienced Architect to accommodate for your storage needs.

Solution: Be sure to measure how much space your belongings take up, and design your storage to accommodate everything with room to spare. Designing in empty space is important, because you’ll inevitably buy things as you live in your tiny house.

6. NON-TEMPERED GLASS WINDOW

Most states have laws that require vehicles to have tempered glass windows. Even if you’re not planning on towing your tiny house much, you’ll need them.

SOLUTION: Check your local guidelines to see if there’s a law on the books before ordering.

7. SKYLIGHT THAT’S NOT EGRESS-RATED

Most counties require egress rated window on their lofts/first floor. Since we cannot have egress window, we gotta make up for it by having an egress rated skylight.

SOLUTION: Hire a professional to install your skylight so it doesn’t leak.

8. NOT WIRING FOR INTERNET & SPEAKERS

Even if you don’t plan on having any of these features in your tiny house, it’s nice to have the ability to add them later on if you choose. The additional wiring is easy to install, and will only cost you a few extra dollars. Think about how cool surround sound in a tiny house will be!

SOLUTION: Ask your Architect to include it in the tiny house build plan.

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9. DOWNSIZING TOO LATE

Like I said an average American house has about 300,000 articles in it, when you downsize to a tiny house, you can utmost have 30,000 articles (in a 24’ long tiny house). Downsizing takes time, in fact a lot more time than you imagine.

SOLUTION: Start downsizing at least 6 months prior to getting your tiny house plan drafts.

10. BUYING LAND IN WRONG AREA

Tiny house is still in a nascent stage and will need few more years to go mainstream. Many counties don’t have laws regarding tiny house on foundation or wheels either. They say that if you’re building a THOF your house needs to match the laws of a conventional home (that’s true for most towns in US, Canada, Oz, Nz). Furthermore, for THOW there are either no laws or your house gets registered as a trailer, while at some places it falls under RV laws.

SOLUTION: Check local laws where you’re going to buy land, or build in one of the places where there are no laws whatsoever.

11. NOT HIRING PROFESSIONALS

Most people over-estimate their abilities when it comes to building tiny house. Sure, DIY is the best and most feasible option for anyone to get a tiny home, but you need to roll in the help of professionals when it comes to professional things, such as drafting build plan for tiny, electrical wiring, installing HVAC and plumbing.

SOLUTION: Hire professionals, if you can’t hire them at least get a word with them.

12. NOT INSTALLING ANTI-THEFT MECHANISMS

Most people over-estimate their abilities when it comes to building tiny house. Sure, DIY is the best and most feasible option for anyone to get a tiny home, but you need to roll in the help of professionals when it comes to professional things, such as drafting build plan for tiny, electrical wiring, installing HVAC and plumbing.

SOLUTION: Hire professionals, if you can’t hire them at least get a word with them.

13. BUYING A FAULTY-USED TRAILER

Your trailer is the foundation of your tiny house, and it’s important to invest in a trailer that’s structurally sound. We strongly urge you to buy a new trailer, but if you do purchase a secondhand trailer, make sure you have proper proof of title and it’s in like-new condition. Otherwise, don’t take the unnecessary risk of buying used as it is one of the mistakes that you will live to regret.

SOLUTION: Get your used trailer inspected by a 3rd party before buying it. If you don’t want to pay a professional, you gotta gear yourself up with necessary info.
Get this info here

14. TINY HOUSE WEIGHS MORE THAN TRAILER’S GVWR

GVWR: The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), or gross vehicle mass (GVM) is the maximum operating weight/mass of a vehicle as specified by the manufacturer including the vehicle’s chassis, body, engine, engine fluids, fuel, accessories, driver, passengers and cargo but excluding that of any trailers.

How much should be your trailer’s GVWR?
It depends upon how long your trailer’s gonna be and how many people are going to live in that tiny house apart from lot of other factors. For right advice, you’ll need to ask your Architect/Engineer.

SOLUTION: Ask trailer’s seller about the details regarding GVWR and take help of your Architect-Engineer duo, who can help you pick the right trailer or at least suggest you the right one.

15. NOT MOISTURE TREATING YOUR TRAILER

Not moisture treating your trailer is one of the mistakes that you need to look into. Since trailers have a ground clearance of minimum 12” this is sufficiently a large room for moisture to penetrate your trailer and compromise the structural integrity of your tiny house. You gotta avoid it all cost.

If you build your tiny house on a trailer, it doesn’t have the luxury of being tied down to the ground. There is plenty of space under the trailer for moisture and pests to infiltrate if you don’t seal and waterproof it properly. Make sure to install galvanized metal flashing and a vapor barrier and fasten them with galvanized fasteners. Don’t use aluminum flashing – it will react with treater lumber decking, and rodents can chew through it!

SOLUTION: Seal and waterproof the base of your trailer by installing galvanised metal flashing(except aluminium) and vapor barrier.

16. NOT USING STABILIZER JACKS

Tires tend to get deteriorated when left at a place for long time. This is what happens when you park your tiny house on a land for months. This calls for the need to use stabilizer jacks, they help in stabilizing your tiny without the need for tires. Detach your tires and keep them somewhere safe.

17. TRAILER WITHOUT BUILT IN BRAKES

Think about it, let me help. Imagine your 12,000 lbs (5500 Kgs) tiny house moving at a speed of 40 MPH (65 KMPH) and suddenly you apply brakes, your truck will stop immediately but your trailer (without or poor brakes) won’t stop since it’s in a state of motion and without brakes there’s nothing to stop it. I hope I’ve made my point and it’s well received.

SOLUTION: check for the brakes of your trailer before you buy it.

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HEATER

18. WRONG HEATER

Not all heaters can be used in a tiny there sure are different ones that come for small spaces such as a tiny house. You gotta find out which one’s for your space by knowing how much heat you’ll need to properly heat your house. To know this, you can use an online BTU calculator.

SOLUTION: Buy a heater that’s properly vented, and has thermostat to control the temperature.

air-conditioning

19. IMPROPER HVAC

Improper venting of heater, not including HVAC plan by you or your Architect are sure some big mistakes that you should avoid at all costs.

Make sure the outlet vents of your heater are not placed near window.
Installing a ductless mini-split A/C can do wonders for cooling your tiny home.

SOLUTION: Ask an expert about HVAC. Get HVAC included in your tiny house plan

FIRE ALARM

20. ABSENCE OF SMOKE ALARM, CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR AND FIRE EXTINGUISHER

This seems basic and it is required by law, but many tiny houses don’t have any of these life saving devices. You should always have a second point of egress in your house and be sure to consider that your windows should be tempered for when you are going down the road, but it would make them difficult to break in an emergency. Keep an emergency hammer designed to break auto glass in your loft and another somewhere on the main floor of the tiny house.

fasteners

21. NOT USING GALVANIZED FASTENERS WITH TREATED LUMBER

Galvanized screws don’t rust and degrade over time unlike the non-galvanised ones. That stands true for any iron-based fasteners which includes screws too. This happens because the chemicals in the wood will eat through the metal and will cause massive structural damage in an alarmingly short period of time.

SOLUTION: Invest money on galvanised fasteners

TOO-LARGE APPLIANCE

22. TOO-LARGE APPLIANCE

Appliances such as refrigerator, bathtub, shower stall need to places inside your house before framing up the walls. You won’t have sufficient space through your door to bring them inside.

SOLUTION: Make a list of big appliances and furniture that you’ll need and make sure that you bring them inside before framing up the walls.

23. NOT VENTING YOUR ROOF

Mold growth happens when heat and moisture rise in your house and doesn’t have an exit passage. I don’t need to lecture you on ill effects of mold growth on your health.
once mold has grown, the only option is to redo the ceiling and that costs a lot, A LOT!

SOLUTION: vent your roof properly, make sure it’s included in your tiny house plan

24. NOT CONSIDERING WATER DRAINAGE AND DRIVING RAIN

Water can cause wood rot and mold growth if it finds its way into the structure of your home. The adage to follow is “be the raindrop” – picture how water will hit your house, and build so the house will shed it quickly. Don’t forget to angle your window and door trim so water doesn’t gather. Make sure your eaves are deep enough so that the roof sheds rain, rather than it directly flowing down your walls.

SOLUTION: Seal your siding on all sides with stain or paint before installing. Layer your siding so that it will shed, rather than catch, driving rain as you tow the house down the highway. If you live in a coastal region or an area with a lot of precipitation, give serious consideration to a rain screen system for your siding.

brick plumbing

25. NOT VENTING YOUR PLUMBING LINES

Proper ventilation is an important part of a plumbing system. Unfortunately, not venting your plumbing lines is one the mistakes made by tiny enthusiasts. Every plumbing fixture, from a sink to a shower (and a flush toilet, if you choose one for your tiny house), needs to be connected to ventilation piping. Ventilation prevents a vacuum from being formed in the drain system, which allows waste or water to flow smoothly through drain pipes. The pipes also allow harmful gases and bad smells to be drawn from a home. Do plenty of research before tackling your plumbing, or hire a professional.

PIPE LEAK

26. NOT PUTTING P-TRAPS IN YOUR DRAINS

Installing drains for your sink and shower isn’t as simple as a pipe jutting straight through the floor. Putting P-traps in your drains collects just enough water in the bend of the pipe to block fumes, odors, insects, and other nasty things from coming back into your house. Do plenty of research before installing plumbing lines, or hire a professional to help.

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