Designing and Budgeting Our Tiny House, Part 1

The Process of designing and budgeting for a tiny house can be complicated, but it can also be very exciting and fun. After we found a strong interest in tiny houses, we watched video after video on Youtube and pin after pin on Pintrest. We observed and reused many of the unique ideas that we found from other people who built their own tiny house.


The Layout:

The design is the most important part of building your own house, because if you want or need to change something, it is pretty easy and very cheap to erase a few lines and change some measurements. In the contrary, if you don’t put enough initial thought and planning into your design, you might end up with some very costly and pain in the neck changes. After months of collecting ideas from other tiny houses, we had to somehow draw up a floor plan and try to include all of our favorites. It’s not easy to incorporate so many ideas into such a small house. We had to start somewhere, so we decided on the length and width of the house. We knew that 8.5 ft was the maximum width to pull this house down a county road. We also knew we didn’t want anything too long, in order to keep costs down. We came up with 22 ft for our length and 8 ft for our width. There is also a road height restriction at 14 ft, however we wanted to maximize the height, so we would have enough headroom in our loft. We planed on the house to be about 13.5 ft tall. Our total square footage without the loft came to 176 sqft. Pretty small, seeing as we just came from a 1400 sqft house… with a dog.


Tiny house floor plan & sectional view

Tiny house floor plan & sectional view

The great thing about designing your own tiny house is that you can design it custom to your lifestyle and get rid of all the aspects of a normal house that you hardly ever use. For instance, designing our bed to go in a loft. It just makes sense that we didn’t need standing room where our bed is because our bed is meant to lie down on. For us, we had two important things we had to design around, we love to cook and we love our dog. We basically designed our house around the kitchen. In fact, we have close to the same amount of useable counter space that we had in our previous regular sized home. Our kitchen sits in the middle of our house, with a long, 9ft counter on one side, and a smaller 20” counter on the other side. The 9ft counter includes a sink, while the side with the small counter includes a refrigerator, stove, oven, and full pantry under the steps to the loft. One end of the 9ft counter is open underneath for two “Old Tree” bar stools (which you can find for sale on my website). That end of the counter is our dining area. At the tongue end of the trailer, we have a 5ft x 8ft bathroom/closet. My aunt, who is an architect, suggested a change to our original design with the closet outside of the bathroom to enlarging the sqft of the bathroom and including the closet. That was one of those inexpensive and easy, but important changes, I had talked about earlier. Adding the closet to enlarge the bathroom has become very convenient. It created enough room for a full size shower, plumbed toilet, closet, vanity, and enough space left over for both of us to get ready in the morning. Mumford, our dog, would like to come in too, but that is pushing it for space. On the other end of our house is our living room, which basically is just a couch and Mumford’s bed. We have plans to build our own custom couch, but for now we have our old leather couch, which just happened to fit perfectly there. Above the kitchen is a loft for our bed. Continuing deeper into that loft, above the bathroom, is an area for extra storage and the hot water tank. That pretty much sums up the layout for our tiny house.



After I began this topic of “Design and Budgeting” I quickly found out that there is a lot to talk about and I don’t want to leave anything out, so I am going to make this topic a multiple part blog entry. The next portion will include information about the materials we decided to use and why. I hope you find this information helpful, and please if you have any questions feel free to email me at:


See ya soon!