With the average new home price in the U.S. coming in at more than $350,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, some people are scaling down. They’re building tiny homes, complete with most of the modern conveniences of normal-sized homes, such as working kitchens and bathrooms. These homes are usually only a few hundred square feet and cost an average of $23,000, according to tiny house resource site TheTinyLife.com.
“With a tiny home, you save lots of money in the initial purchase price, maintenance and relocation to another town,” said Ross Beck, of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. Of course, without proper planning, tiny houses can lead to not-so-tiny home costs, he added.
Shawn Bronson, a film art director from Pennsylvania, recently built his tiny home. His work takes him around the country, so a home on wheels seemed practical. “(A tiny home) was my answer to having a home while paying off those crazy graduate design school debts,” he said.
Bronson hated the idea of a mortgage – more debt – and didn’t want a cookie-cutter home. His tiny home is anything but cookie-cutter, but it did run over budget, he said, costing $38,000.
Bronson talked about his biggest tiny home surprise expenses and shared some tips on how potential tiny home builders can avoid them.
The cost of windows and doors
Bronson wanted his tiny home to be unique. That meant straying from standard windows and doors. His floor plan called for windows and doors where he wanted them, as opposed to where standard framing dictated. He also wanted a lot of them to open up the confined space.