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13 Greatest Container Home Builders USA

13 Greatest Container Home Builders USA

Are you looking for container home builders in the USA?

Finding affordable living solutions can be challenging, especially ones that feel like home!

With over a decade of experience living in tiny and alternative spaces, I’m here to help guide you through the best container home solutions.

From studio home containers to multi-level family homes, containers are a great modular building block.

Let’s dive in and look at some container homes with efficient layouts and gorgeous designs!

1: Container Homes USA

Image Credit: Container Homes USA

Container home builder: Container Homes USA

Location: Ohio

Price range: $42,400 – $350,400 USD

Size range: 160 – 960 sq ft

About: 

Container Homes USA is an Ohio-based container home builders firm that produces high-quality modular buildings.

Working closely with their customers, they create fully customized homes and DIY options.

You can also buy a sauna or steam room to go alongside your container house. 

Homes they sell: 

  • Studio 160 sq ft = $42,400 – $58,400 USD
  • 2-bed 1-bath home 640 sq ft = $169,600 – $233,600 USD 
  • 3-bed 2-bath home 960 sq ft = $254,500 – $350,400 USD

2: Bob’s Containers

Image Credit: Bob’s Containers

Container home builder: Bob’s Containers

Location: Austin, Texas

Price range: $26,373 – $207,222 USD

Sizes: 160 – 655 sq ft

About: 

Bob’s Containers are pros at building containerized homes, dorms, and offices

They sell bespoke completed homes and DIY build kits

Renowned for their quality, they’ve worked with Netflix, Honeywell, and Harvard University.

Homes they sell: 

  • 20ft 160 sq ft DIY kit = $26,372 USD
  • 40ft 320 sq ft DIY kit = $37,818 USD
  • 20ft container 160 sq ft = $39,196 – $49,715 USD
  • 40ft container 320 sq ft = $53,312 – $134,325 USD
  • Multi-unit 655 sq ft = $80,223 – $207,222 USD

3: Snap Space Solutions

Container home builder: Snap Space Solutions

Location: Maine

Price range: $64,900 – $179,900 USD

Sizes: 320 – 960 sq ft

About: 

Snap Space solutions have been around since 2003. They specialize in building modular spaces using steel shipping units.

As well as residential units, they also build disaster relief units and commercial kitchens.

Their focus is on building eco-friendly solutions in a short amount of time.

Homes they sell: 

  • 320 sq ft unit with 1-bath = $64,900 USD
  • 640 sq ft unit with 2-beds and 1-bath = $124,900 USD
  • 960 sq ft unit with 3-beds and 2-baths = $179,900 USD

4: Containers in Motion

Image Credit: Containers in Motion

Container home builder: Containers in Motion

Location: Boca Raton, Florida

Price range: $15,595 – $61,795 USD

Sizes: 160 – 480 sq ft

About: 

Containers in Motion build high-quality and low-priced container homes.

They build homes from tiny homes to spacious family units by capitalizing on the versatility of shipping containers.

Their stand-out option is the “home in a dome,” consisting of a shipping container home placed inside a geodesic dome.

Homes they sell:

  • Family unit 160 sq ft = $15,595 USD
  • Back view unit 320 sq ft = $29,995 USD
  • Expandable home 160 closed 320 open sq ft = $31,995 USD
  • Home in a dome 160 sq ft container + 1521 sq ft dome = $41,000 USD
  • 2-bedroom home 480 sq ft = $61,795 USD

5: Alternative Living Spaces

Image Credit: Alternative Living Spaces

Container home builder: Alternative Living Spaces

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Price range: $35,900 – $108,000 USD

Sizes: 160 – 320 sq ft

About: 

Alternative Living Spaces are experts in quirky living spaces, including custom container homes, A-frames, and campervans. 

They’re constantly working to provide customers with homes built to the highest standard.

For lower budgets, they also sell DIY courses and kits.

Homes they sell:

  • Eco 160 sq ft = $35,900 USD
  • Eco 320 sq ft = $49,900 USD
  • Luxe 160 sq ft = $48,000 – $75,000 USD
  • Luxe 240 sq ft = $71,000 – $96,000 USD
  • Luxe 320 sq ft = $82,000 – $108.000 USD

6: Steel Blox

Image Credit: Steel Blox

Container home builder: Steel Blox

Location: California

Price range: $162,000 – $576,000 USD

Sizes: 540 – 1920 sq ft

About: 

Steelblox designs modern living spaces that utilize the versatility of container homes. 

The founders have over 50 years of combined experience and are responsible for projects totaling over $100 million USD.

Their focus is real people, real purpose, real products, and real production!

Homes they sell:

  • 1-bed and 1-bath 540 sq ft = $162,000 USD
  • 2-bed and 1-bath 1120 sq ft = $336,000 USD
  • 3-bed and 2-bath 1920 sq ft = $576,000 USD

7: CW Dwellings

Image Credit: CW Dwellings

Container home builder: CW Dwellings

Location: Pennsylvania

Price range: $40,000 – $130,000 USD

Sizes: 160 – 640 sq ft

About: 

CW dwellings are a container home building company creating affordable homes without sacrificing style.

As well as residential containers, they also build bunk rooms.

The interior of their container homes are warm and inviting, utilizing a lot of wood and natural light.

Homes they sell:

  • Basic 20ft container home 160 sq ft = $40,000 USD
  • Plus 20ft container home 160 sq ft = $50,000 USD
  • Basic 40ft container x 2 home 640 sq ft = $110,000 USD
  • Plus 40ft container x 2 home 640 sq ft = $130,000 USD

8: Backcountry Containers

Image Credit: Backcountry Containers

Container home builder: Backcountry Containers

Location: Texas and Wisconsin

Price range: $49,000 – $90,000 USD

Sizes: 160 – 320 sq ft

About: 

Founded by Jon Meier – a former aeronautical engineer – Backcountry Containers have been a hit since their launch.

Their homes quickly became sought after, leading to the company expanding from just Jon to a large family affair.

You can watch Jon, his wife Kristen, and the whole family working alongside one another on their 6-part tv show Containables.

Homes they sell:

  • The Rockne office 20ft container 160 sq ft = $49,000 USD
  • The Ezra 20ft container 160 sq ft = $63,000 USD
  • The Kennedy 40ft container 320 sq ft = $90,000 USD

9: Off Grid Dwellings

Container home builder: Off Grid Dwellings

Location: Florida

Price range: $36,995 – $89,995 USD

Sizes: 160 – 320 sq ft

About: 

Off Grid Dwellings are not only expert container home builders but experts in just about every kind of off-grid living solution.

They build shipping containers, tiny homes, domes, and even yurts for full-time living. 

They build all of their container homes in the USA. Off Grid Dwellings are happy to have people swing by their workshop in Florida to see the homes in person before making a purchase.

Homes they sell:

  • Sugarloaf 20’ base 160 sq ft = $36,995 USD
  • Sugarloaf 20’ upgraded 160 sq ft = $42,495 USD
  • Haleakala 20’ 160 sq ft = $52,995 USD
  • Kings Peak 40’ base 320 sq ft = $77.995 USD
  • Kings Peak 40’ upgraded 320 sq ft = $89.995 USD

10: Honomobo

Image Credit: Honomobo

Container home builder: Honomobo

Location: Alberta, Canada

Price range: $216,150 – $417,319 USD

Sizes: 640 – 1600 sq ft

About: 

Honomobo are Canadian container home builders.

Their vision is to create modern, beautiful, and modular homes. They practice what they preach, and every decision stays true to these pillars.

When building homes, they pride themselves on low waste and energy-efficient production.

Homes they sell:

  • HO2 2-bed and 1-bath 640 sq ft = $216,150 USD
  • HO3 2-bed and 2-bath 960 sq ft = $267,249 USD
  • HO4 3-bed and 2-bath 1280 sq ft = $348,222 USD
  • HO5 3-bed and 2.5-bath 1600 sq ft = $417,319 USD

11: Blok Studio

Image Credit: Blok Studio

Container home builder: Blok Studio

Location: California

Price range: $55,000 – $120,000 USD

Sizes: 160 – 640 sq ft

About: 

Blok Studio is run by a team of design, build, and business professionals.

They build safe, durable, and sustainable container home solutions.

Building modular homes with speed and quality is what they pride themselves on.

Homes they sell:

  • BLOK 20 160 sq ft = $55.000 USD
  • BLOK 40 320 sq ft = $79,000 USD
  • BLOK 220 640 sq ft = $85,000 USD
  • BLOK 240 640 sq ft = $120,000 USD

12: Meka Modular

Image Credit: Meka Modular

Container home builder: Meka Modular

Location: California

Price range: $59,200 – $338,000 USD 

Sizes: 160 – 1600 sq ft

About: 

Meka Modular is a California-based container home builder renowned for their high-quality and fast turnaround. 

Their work has caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal, Tree Hugger, Dwell, and HGTV.

With a vast range of container homes that not only meet but often exceed local building codes!

Homes they sell:

  • Liberty 1-bed and 1-bath 160 sq ft = $59,200
  • ALP 320 studio and 1-bath 320 sq ft = $88,900 USD
  • SOL 480 1-bed and 1-bath 480 sq ft = $114,000 USD
  • HELA 1280 2-bed and 2-bath 1280 sq ft = $256,000 USD
  • Sonoma 1600 3-bed and 2-bath 1600 sq ft = $338,000 USD

13: Kubed Living

Image Credit: Kubed Living

Container home builder: Kubed Living

Location: California

Price range: $110,000 – $284,000 USD

Sizes: 240 – 960 sq ft

About: 

The Kubed Living team work to promote sustainable and healthy living. 

They build innovative modular living spaces using shipping containers with pre-designed and fully customizable options.

Kubed Living work on residential, commercial, and backyard structures.

Homes they sell:

  • The K240 240 sq ft studio = $110,000
  • The K480 480 sq ft 2-bed and 2-bath = $174,000
  • The K800 800 sq ft 2-bed and 2-bath = $242,000
  • The K960 960 sq ft 3-bed and 2-bath = $284,000

Wrap Up: Best Container Home Builders

Container homes can provide a cost-effective living solution that gets you out of the rent trap.

Alternative living can be a life-long lifestyle or an effective short-term tool to save money.

Moving into a container home has more to offer than financial savings.

Container living will encourage you to live a more conscious lifestyle, and with limited space can help you break that consumer culture habit!

If you’re up for the adventure of living tiny, then a container home could be the solution you’ve been looking for.

Keep Living Tiny xx

Nadia

container home builders pinterest image

The 3 Best Tiny House Shells For Sale USA

The 3 Best Tiny House Shells For Sale USA

Have you been looking to buy a tiny house shell?

Knowing where to buy from can be tricky, especially when it’s your first tiny home.

With a decade of experience living tiny – from tiny homes on wheels to vanlife rigs – I’m here to help make buying your tiny house shell a breeze. 

Are you ready to find your dream home? Let’s dive in!

Mustard Seed Tiny Homes – Sprout Tiny House Shell

Image Credit: Mustard Seed Tiny Homes

Best for: Families

Size: 20’ version 

Price: Starts at $36,995 USD

Completion level: House exterior fully complete

The Sprout model from Mustard Seed Tiny Homes boasts a spacious layout ideal for families. 

Mustard Seed describes the house as “Designed to last a lifetime,” thanks to high-quality materials and construction.

With a homely cottage-esque exterior, it’s up to you to finish the interior and create your dream home!

Liberation Tiny Homes – Leola Tiny House Shell

Image Credit: Liberation Tiny Homes

Best for: Long-term living

Size: 30’ version 

Price: Starts at $64,500 USD

Completion level: House exterior fully complete

The Leola tiny home shell boasts a Scandinavian style, with copious amounts of natural light. 

The house has excellent space for day-to-day functionality, with plenty of room to work from home.

Available in three levels of completion, making it ideal for any DIY experience level.

Tiny House Basics – Standard 24’ Tiny House Shell

Image Credit: Tiny House Basics

Best for: Affordability

Size: 24’ version 

Price: Starts at $33,637 USD

Completion level: House exterior fully complete

The standard 24’ tiny house shell from Tiny House Basics is an ideal size if you want to travel with your house. 

It combines maneuverability with a spacious living area.

With add-on electrical and plumbing packages, this is an excellent option if you want to focus on interior design.

Wrap Up – Best Tiny House Shells For Sale 

Buying a tiny house shell can be a great way to kickstart your tiny living journey!

With multiple sizes and budgets catered to, it can make for a more affordable option. 

Making your tiny house feel like a home is easier when buying a shell, as you get to customize it in every way you want.

If you’re up for a partial tiny home-building adventure – tiny house shells could be the perfect solution you’ve been looking for!

Keep Living Tiny xx

Nadia

FAQs

What is a tiny house shell?

A tiny house shell is a partially completed tiny house build. It usually consists of a complete exterior and an incomplete interior.

How much does it cost to finish a tiny house shell?

It depends on the level of finish and amenities you want to have. Basic interior costs will start at around $10,000 USD.

What is included in a shell home?

Most companies that sell tiny house shells will offer different stages of completion. The most common phases are:

  1. Framing complete
  2. Exterior complete + framing
  3. Plumbing and electric complete + exterior + framing.

How long does it take to build a tiny house shell?

The actual build time is usually 4-8 weeks, but many tiny housebuilders have waitlists.

Tiny house shells pinterest image

Tiny Home Trailers: Everything You Need to Know

Tiny Home Trailers: Everything You Need to Know

What trailers are best for tiny houses? 

If you’re about to embark on your tiny home-building journey but have no idea where to begin when choosing a trailer – tiny houses specific for your build, you’re in the right place. 

We’re going to walk you through the A-Z of tiny house trailers, and we’ve even popped together a buyer’s guide. 

That way, you’ll leave this post knowing the dos and dont’s of tiny house trailers – and maybe even have one picked out for your dream tiny home build!

Terms you should understand: The tiny home trailers thesaurus

Buying a trailer is pretty straightforward, but one of those off-putting aspects is simply having no clue what specific terms and acronyms mean.

So, let’s remove that barrier by breaking down some of the most common terms! If you already know your trailer lingo feel free to skip past this section

GVWR – This stands for gross vehicle weight rating, which means the maximum weight limit of the trailer when fully loaded. 

Tongue Weight – This indicates the weight of the front part of the trailer, where the tow ball that attaches to the hitch of your car is.

Axle – The rod passing between two wheels (or sometimes more) on one line.

Single Axle –  A trailer with one axle.

Dual Axle – A dual-axle trailer has two axles.

Tandem Axle – A tandem axle varies from a dual axle as tandem axles are placed closely together to increase the weight capacity. 

Tri Axle – A tri-axle trailer has not two but three axles!

Axle Weight – The weight each axle of the trailer can hold; this is important information to have as it impacts the weight distribution in your build.

Gooseneck – A trailer hitch that attaches within the bed of a pick-up truck. 

Fifth Wheel – Can be used interchangeably with gooseneck.

Bumper Pull – A trailer hitch that connects to the bumper.

Crossmembers – Beams that run widthways across the trailer, usually a few inches below the frame height.

Flush Crossmembers – Beams that run widthways across the trailer at the same height as the frame.

Breakaway System – An emergency feature activates the trailer’s brakes if it detaches from the towing vehicle while driving.

Dovetail – A built-in partial ramp; essentially, this trailer slopes down at the back and is designed to make it easier to load and unload goods.

Tiny House Trailers From A-Z 

Let’s run through the most important considerations when buying a trailer for your tiny house.

Going into your trailer buying experience with some info on what to look out for is vital, and can take your trailer buying experience from stressful to exciting. 

After all, this is the first step in putting together your dream tiny living space!

Stationary or Roaming?

If you’re planning on keeping your house stationary, then your primary consideration will be the trailer’s gross vehicle weight rating and structural integrity. 

For the tiny roaming house, your primary consideration is weight and size, especially if you’re planning on venturing off of paved roads.

As while many tiny homes are built up to maximum weight before the owners belonging are even added, you’ll need to ensure your build allows weight for all of your possessions while still meeting the towing weight.

Weight and Size

Every trailer has a maximum weight that it can hold, so knowing what you expect from your tiny house build will help inform what capacity trailer you need to buy.

As you put together your layout and design plans for your home, this will help to guide your trailer purchase.

I know it sounds boring, but calculating the weight of your build is something you most definitely need to do. 

As you’re weighing up the materials you’ll need, it’s also important to consider added extras such as that tiny house bathtub you’ve been dreaming about or your built-in office space. 

As a rule, it’s always better to buy a trailer rated for a heavier weight than you need. Better to be safe than sorry!

Axles

With single, double, dual, and tri-axel to choose from, which is better? Well, it depends on how heavy your tiny home will be.

It’s an oversimplification – but basically, the more axels, the more weight your trailer should be able to carry.

Built-In Leveling Jacks

As you’ll probably know by now, when you live in a tiny house on wheels – it doesn’t actually rest on its wheels. 

When you park your tiny house in its new stationary home, you place it on jacks or blocks to keep it stable and take the strain off the wheels. 

One big pro for built-in leveling jacks is that they’re built-in, but a downside is that by using these, you’re causing wear and tear to the trailer. 

My preferred alternative is to rest the house on breeze blocks with wooden planks between the block and the trailer frame.

Flush Cross Members

By looking for a trailer for sale with flush cross members, you can use the trailer itself as a subfloor – popping insulation between the cross members instead of building on top of the trailer to add insulation to. 

Is this really worth going to the trouble of buying a trailer with flush cross members? Yes. 

With only 13ft 6in height to work with, even 4 inches can make a massive difference to your day-to-day in your tiny house – especially if you’re building a loft bedroom.

Drop Axles

What’s the point of buying a drop axle, and what are they? A drop axle is just what it sounds like; it’s a slightly lower axle that provides a few extra inches of buildable height.

The lifespan of a tiny house trailer

Whether you’re planning on calling this build home for the long-term or short-term, it’s always best to invest in a quality trailer that will last for years. 

The bump in investment versus the return will prove worth it and increase your re-sale value if the time comes to sell.

Is a gooseneck or bumper pull trailer better for a tiny house build?

As you start planning your tiny house on wheels, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is whether to opt for a gooseneck or bumper pull trailer. 

Gooseneck

Many people prefer the weight allowances that come with a gooseneck trailer as these are higher than a bumper pull. 

  • Better stability and control when towing
  • They’re usually longer, meaning more living space.
  • Higher weight rating. 

Bumper Pull

But for those looking for a more traditional home aesthetic, the bumper pull provides a better fit, as once the tiny home is skirted, it looks more like a tiny cabin.

  • More affordable
  • Easier to find
  • Simpler to maneuver and park

Why you should avoid Dovetail trailers

Generally speaking a dovetail isn’t a great option for building a tiny house on wheels. 

  • Reduced Driving Clearance 

As a dovetail slopes down further than the main trailer bed, it means that part of your trailer is closer to the ground. 

Not a huge deal if you’re driving on paved roads all the time, but to get your house onto a piece of land that’s not perfectly level – it might limit your tiny house parking options.

  • Design Challenges

I’ve never personally tried to design a tiny house with a sloped floor – but it seems like a massive headache.

  • More Expensive

Opting for a dovetail design usually increases the price of the trailer.

  • Designed for Cargo 

The dovetail design was specifically made for cargo trailers – it really doesn’t have a reason to be used for tiny houses.

Custom-built tiny house trailers

Did you know that you can buy a custom-built trailer made to your exact specifications? As this is usually a more expensive endeavor – we thought we’d run through the pros and cons.

PROS 

  1. Designed to fit your exact needs, including GVWR and dimensions
  2. High-quality construction with full control over the materials used.
  3. Custom design allows you to make your trailer as stunning as your home will be.

CONS

  1. Takes longer than buying a ready-made trailer.
  2. Warranty limitations or none at all.
  3. More expensive than buying a new or used trailer.

It’s all about choosing the right option for you. If you can find a ready-made trailer to fit your needs, then that’s your best bet. 

But, if you can’t find one, aren’t willing to compromise, and have the budget for it – then by all means, buy a custom trailer!

How long will trailer tiny houses last?

This is a great question. After all, the lifespan of your trailer is the lifespan of your home! 

  1. MAINTENANCE

A well-maintained tiny house trailer can last for 25 or more years, but a mistreated trailer could have a lifespan of fewer than ten years.

  1. QUALITY MATERIALS

While maintenance plays a huge role in the lifespan of your trailer, the quality of the materials used in constructing the trailer is equally as important. 

  1. WEAR AND TEAR

Stationary tiny homes on wheels also tend to last longer than their roaming counterparts; it makes sense – they’re subject to less wear and tear from bumping around on the road.

Investing in a high-quality trailer should be high on your list of priorities, as starting with a sturdy foundation will help you to build a tiny home that will stand the test of time!

Can I register my trailer as a house once the build is complete?

One common question about living in a tiny home on wheels is whether you can register your tiny house trailer as a tiny house, once the build is complete. 

In short, the answer is – yes, it’s possible.

However, it’s a little complicated as the answer depends on where you live and the local laws.

It’s very common for tiny house trailers to be registered as RVs or manufactured homes, and having this certification is required for living in many RV parks.

What size trailer do I need to build a tiny home?

As you shop for a trailer for your tiny home on wheels, you’ll notice that there are some common sizes to choose from; these are

8ft Wide Trailers

  • 8’ x 20’
  • 8’ x 24’
  • 8’ x 28’

8ft5in Wide Trailers

  • 8.5’ x 20’
  • 8.5’ x 24
  • 8.5’ x 28’ 

10ft Wide Trailers

  • 10’ x 20’
  • 10’ x 24
  • 10’ x 28’ 

These are the most common sizes as they fit within the maximum size for driving your tiny house trailer on the road without needs for additional permits, such as wide load permits. 

So what are the maximum dimension for a tiny house trailer?

For those wanting to be able to tow their homes without the need for any permits.

Did you know that the maximum road-legal trailer dimensions vary from state to state?

To fall within the allowed limits nationwide, your tiny home trailer and build would need to be no more than 8ft wide, no taller than 13.6ft tall, and no longer than 28ft.

What’s wild is that in Wyoming, this jumps up to 8ft 6in wide, 14ft tall, and a gargantuan 60ft in length!

For those tiny living fans who feel that around 8ft is just too tiny for their liking, it’s easy to find 10ft wide tiny house trailers, and with over 90% of tiny home owners remaining stationary – this can be a better option.

Should I buy a new or used trailer to build my tiny house on wheels?

If you’re looking to save some money on your build, then chances are that you’re trying to save some pennies on the singular most expensive item – the trailer!

But before you make that big decision, let’s run through the pros and cons for both:

New Trailer Pros:

  1. Highest Standard

Brand new trailers have the huge benefit of being built to the latest industry standards.

  1. Warranty

Most trailers will come with a nice warranty that can provide real peace of mind.

  1. Custom

Many trailer companies will offer full and partial customization options.

New Trailer Cons:

  1. More Expensive 

Brand-new trailers are almost always more expensive than their used cousins.

  1. Lead Times 

Ordering a trailer doesn’t mean that it will be in stock, so there may be some waiting.

  1. Material Quality 

Buying used can mean you have the budget to buy trailers made with higher-quality materials.

Used Trailer Pros:

  1. Save Money 

Buying a used trailer can be a great way to save money on your build.

  1. Word of Mouth 

Opting for a trailer that’s been around for a while means that it’s easier to find reviews and ask fellow tiny house owners what their experience has been with the brand or model.

  1. Budget for Higher-Quality 

By opting for a used trailer you have the budget to splurge on a better model!

Used Trailer Cons:

  1. The Unknown When you buy a used trailer, you really don’t know how well it has been maintained over the years.
  1. Hidden Damage Some dodgy sellers will sell trailers with hidden structural damage and this is incredibly dangerous. 
  1. No Warranty Most of the time when you buy a vehicle from a private individual and not a company, you won’t get any form of warranty.

Whether you opt to buy new or used, please make sure to do your due diligence. 

Only buy a new trailer from a reputable dealer, and only buy a used trailer that has been fully inspected by a professional.

Can an SUV pull a tiny house? 

Yes – SUVs and trucks are the most popular vehicle choices for towing tiny houses.

For bumper-pull tiny house trailers, SUVs are a great option. 

Whereas for gooseneck tiny house trailers, you would need a truck with a gooseneck hitch.

As the towing capacity varies by vehicle – you will need to check that your SUV or truck is rated to handle the full weight of your tiny house.

Do I need an additional driver’s license to tow a tiny house?

No. Unless you’re traveling with a vehicle and trailer weight of over 26,000 lbs, you do not need an additional license to tow a tiny house. 

You do need a valid driver’s license, and if your combined vehicle weight does exceed the 26,000 lbs limit – then you will need to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL), but it’s not common for that weight to be exceeded by a tiny house and towing vehicle.

In Europe – it is very common for drivers to require an additional license to tow a trailer.

In the UK, this means that if you obtained your driver’s license after the 1st of January 1997,  you can only tow a vehicle up to 750kgs (1650 lbs), and if you wish to tow anything heavier – you need an additional license.

What’s the weight limit for a tiny house?  

With tiny homes being popular the world over, we wanted to run through a breakdown of the weight limit for tiny homes in the US, Europe, and Australia.

USA:

  • 8000 – 15,000 lbs 

Europe:

  • 5500 – 7500 lbs

Australia:

  • 6600 – 9900 lbs

This covers the average weight range for tiny homes in each area, but it’s always best to check maximum road legal weight limits in the specific area that you live.

Pros and Cons of Building on a Trailer 

So you’ve got your heart set on living in a tiny house, but still haven’t decided whether you’re going to build it on wheels.

Here are some of the pros and cons to consider before making your final decision.

Tiny House Trailer Pros:

  • Roaming Home 

One of the greatest advantages to building your tiny house on top of a trailer is that can always bring your home with you.

  • Cost-effective 

Building a tiny house on a trailer is far cheaper than building on a foundation.

  • Easier Permits 

In many areas it’s far easier to obtain a permit for a recreational vehicle than a permanent structure.

Tiny House Trailer Cons:

  • Teeny Tiny 

As you’re working with the size constraints of a trailer, you do have limited space to build.

  • Weight Considerations 

Building on a trailer requires careful weight management to ensure you’re not using any materials that are going to cause your build to go overweight.

  • Driving and Parking 

If you’re not used to towing a trailer, learning to safely hitch up and drive your home can be a real learning curve.

How to insure your trailer during your tiny house build

Before you buy your trailer and begin your tiny house project, it’s important to know what the plan is for keeping your investment safe because, let’s be honest, tiny house building isn’t cheap.

There are three stages to a well-insured tiny house project to make sure that you’re fully protected.

  1. Insure Your Trailer Before you even pick up your trailer, you’ll want to have an activated insurance policy. The best place to find this is through an automotive insurance company or an insurance company that you already hold other policies with (they sometimes give discounts for additional policies!).
  1. Builder’s Risk Insurance During the construction phase of your tiny house project, you’ll be working with a lot of expensive materials and tools. Builder’s risk insurance covers all of this, plus any unexpected disasters.
  1. Tiny House or RV Insurance Once your build is complete, you’ll want to switch from your trailer and builders risk insurance – to a proper tiny house or RV insurance. Oftentimes you can get discounts on your insurance if you join a club like AAA or KOA!

At every stage of insuring your trailer, build, and completed home – make sure to provide all of the details.

Some tiny house insurance companies charge an extra fee for any day that the house will be towed and not stationary.

That means if you don’t inform them in advance – you could be driving your very expensive rolling home with no insurance if anything goes wrong. Yikes. 

FAQs

How to build a tiny house on a trailer

Building your own tiny home trailer on wheels can be a challenging yet rewarding process. 

It’s important to have a well-thought-out plan before leaping into such a large project. 

Reading as many tiny house books as possible is a great place to start, and can provide insight into what you can expect along the way.

32’ Trailer for sale

Looking for a longer-than-average tiny house trailer? There are a few good places to start your search.

  • Trailer manufacturers
  • Online marketplaces
  • Tiny home builders

How to build a tiny house with no money

Quite the challenge, but it is possible to build a tiny house with little or no money – all you need is some creativity, resourcefulness, and a lot of time on your hands!

Your best bet is to use reclaimed materials, barter or trade for expert help, and be patient!

How much does a tiny house build weigh excluding the trailer

It depends on the size of trailer you go for and the materials used – but you’re looking at approximately 2500 – 5000 lbs for the trailers alone. 

With the average tiny house build weighing 8000 – 15,000 lbs in total, that means that the build for many tiny homes weighs around 3000 – 12,000 lbs.

What’s the lightest trailer I can buy for a tiny house build?

If you’re looking to build a very simple tiny home, perhaps one that won’t be used full-time and year-round, it is possible to go pretty small with your trailer choice.

For an 8’ x 16’ trailer, these can start at around 2000 lbs.

Which trailer for a tiny house will last the longest?

It’s hard to say for sure, but the general consensus is that steel-framed or aluminum-framed trailers tend to last the longest. 

Wrap-Up

Buying a trailer for your tiny house requires research, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

Learning trailer-specific terms and acronyms is worth the few minutes it’ll take!

There are features you should absolutely look for, like flush cross-members, and steer clear of like dovetails.

Weights and sizes aren’t always optional and they vary by country and state.

You might need an additional driver’s license, you definitely need to follow the 3-stages of insurance, and last but not least – we answered your most asked tiny house trailer questions!

Keep Living Tiny xx

What’s a Studio Apartment? The Easy TL;DR

What’s a Studio Apartment? The Easy TL;DR

A studio apartment is the multi-tool of living spaces! 

That sounds nice, but if you’re still left wondering what’s a studio apartment – let’s break it down!

It’s an all-in-one apartment that combines almost the entire home into one. 

GO STRAIGHT TO THE END FOR THE TL;DR

With the kitchen, bedroom, and living room turned all existing in one compact and efficient zone. 

The only separate room you’ll find in a studio is the bathroom, although sometimes, studio apartments don’t have a private bathroom and only have access to a shared bathroom in the building.

Studio apartments can be the perfect option for those looking to simplify their lives, downsize their living space, and focus on the adventure of life!

How is it Different Than a 1-Bedroom Apartment?

A studio apartment differs from a one-bedroom apartment in one key way – there’s no separate bedroom in a studio apartment. 

In a studio, the sleeping area is within the one main room of the home. However, many studio dwellers have found unique and creative solutions to create a divide within the different zones of the apartment.

This includes separating the living room and bedroom zones with strategically placed bookcases, or by building a murphy bed that can be folded out of the way during the day!

Is a Studio Apartment Small?

Traditionally studio apartments are the most compact kind of apartment you’ll find – but the term studio doesn’t actually relate to size, and you might stumble upon the occasional gigantic loft studio apartment!

However, the majority of studio apartments are small. 

But remember, bigger isn’t always better, and these efficient little apartments can boast more charm than a multi-bedroom unit.

Pros of a Studio Apartment

If you’re considering moving to a studio apartment but wondering if it’s right for you, well, let me tell you – there are some pretty amazing aspects of living tiny! 

Let’s run through some of the biggest pros:

Save Money

The biggest and most obvious – living in a studio apartment usually means significant savings! Whether buying or renting, studio apartments are one of the most affordable private living spaces.

Less to Clean Up

Less space means less time cleaning, and let’s be honest – nobody enjoys cleaning. Maintaining an organized and clutter-free studio is far easier than a multi-storey home!

Live in Better Locations

Prioritizing your location is far more possible when you opt for a studio!

Have you ever wanted to live in Manhattan or downtown LA but the rental prices keep that from happening? 

Opting for a studio instead of a two-bedroom could finally be your way to make it happen.

Living in an area with so much going on can make the effects of living in a smaller space less noticeable, because why would you spend all your time at home when you could be out and about exploring your new area?! 

Defeat Lifestyle Creep

Steer clear of the lifestyle creep that so many people get. 

You know what I’m talking about – when you buy things you don’t need to fill up a home that’s far too big for you. 

Keeping your home and life clutter-free and spending money on experiences over things is a real game changer to your happiness and mental health!

Cons of a Studio Apartment

But before you get carried away with all of those fabulous benefits, as with every lifestyle, there are also cons to consider.

Here are some of the biggest cons:

Lack of Privacy

Living together in a tiny living setup does not work for all couples, and having only one room can be especially challenging if you both work from home and have to juggle meetings all day.

No Room for Guests

Want to invite your best friend to come and stay? Well, they’d better be happy on the floor or the couch – because nobody gets a private room now!

Not Ideal for Families

Families with older kids can struggle with not only a lack of privacy but a lack of storage.

Limited Storage Space

If you’re not yet a minimalist, you’d better become one if you plan on living in a studio.

In-Unit Laundry

Last, but not least, it’s not always guaranteed that you’ll have in-unit laundry facilities in a studio apartment. 

Sometimes there will be laundry in the building, but other times you’ll have to lug your laundry to the nearest laundromat.

What Does a Studio Apartment Look Like?

Many hear studio apartment and think it’ll be run down or look like student accommodation. 

But with smaller living spaces becoming more popular – you can now find quie a few studio apartments that look more like a luxury hotel suite with bathtub and all!

Storage for a Studio Apartment

Finding smart storage solutions for studios has never been easier!

Thanks to the rise in tiny and alternative living, many companies now sell storage solutions specific to tiny living spaces. 

However, one of my favorite ways to find smart storage for studios is thrifting at the local vintage stores and swap meets. 

I honestly don’t know if vintage furniture is smaller and more effectively designed or if I’ve just been lucky with what I’ve found!

How Studio Apartments are Sustainable

When you live in a studio apartment, you’re forced to be far more of a considerate consumer. 

You can’t buy whatever strikes your fancy, because – well, there’s nowhere to put it.

Another environmentally friendly benefit of living in a studio apartment is the fact that you’ll use less energy on heating and cooling your home.

FAQs

Is a studio apartment cheap?

Generally speaking, studio apartments are far cheaper to buy or rent when compared to any other form of brick-and-mortar real estate. 

Living in a tiny home on wheels or a vanlife rig are two alternatives that can be cheaper, but tiny homes can be impossible for city living and vanlife is tougher if you need to be based in one spot.

How can I find a studio apartment to rent?

The internet is your friend for finding a studio apartment to rent!

Here are a few quick tips to help get you started:

  • Check out rental sites like Zillow or Realtor.com, and set the filter to studio!
  • Go old school and look for listings in your local newspaper.
  • Call local real estate agencies and let them know what you’re looking for.  

Can couples live in studio apartments?

This depends entirely on what kind of couple you are. 

Have you guys lived together in a tiny house? Or done full-time vanlife?

If not – I recommend trying it out before you rent or buy anything.

Renting a small space for a week on Airbnb is a great way to try out living together in a tiny living space.

Can you live in a studio apartment with kids?

Yes, however, it depends on what kind of lifestyle your family wants.

Some vanlife families live in a home on wheels with their kids while traveling the world, and they’re living their absolute best lives.

Living in a studio apartment as a family can be a great way to teach your kids to be happy having what they need and not everything they want.

The money saved living in a small studio can also give you much greater financial freedom and allow you to focus on making memories with your kids rather than working all the time.

Wrap-Up – TL;DR What’s a Studio Apartment?

Studio apartments are smart and efficiently designed living spaces.

Unlike one-bedroom apartments, they’re an all-in-one deal with everything but the bathroom combined in one single room.

What they lack in space, they make up for in charm.

Some of the biggest pros are that you save money, have less space to clean, can live in a better location, and it helps to avoid lifestyle creep.

There are also downsides, including a lack of privacy, not much room for guests or family, limited storage, and laundry challenges!

Studio designs can range from simple to more reminiscent of a luxury hotel suite.

There are countless storage solutions for studio spaces.

And living in a studio is one of the most sustainable brick-and-mortar real estate options!

Keep Living Tiny xx

What is a tiny house? A Quick and Easy Explanation!

What is a tiny house? A Quick and Easy Explanation!

The phrase “tiny home” doesn’t always mean a tiny house on wheels!

There are many types of tiny homes; they can float, be on a foundation, or sit on wheels – the latter being popular as you can move without having to swap houses!

Designed to be energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective, they take up less space, resources, and materials to construct and maintain. 

Renowned for their innovative and space-saving design elements, such as loft beds, multifunctional furniture, and built-in storage. 

They’ve gained popularity in recent years as a way to simplify, reduce living costs, and live more sustainably.

What Types of Tiny Homes Are There?

Tiny House on Wheels

Perhaps the most popular type of tiny house, with shows like Tiny House Nation showcasing the magic of tiny living on wheels!

A tiny home on wheels can be compared to a caravan in that it’s a mobile dwelling on wheels. 

However, tiny houses on wheels are designed for long-term living and aesthetically look more like a miniature version of a traditional home. 

These homes benefit from being entirely mobile and can be hooked up and towed by a car. 

Some drivers require additional towing licenses for a tiny house on wheels, but this depends on a few factors, so you’ll want to research what applies to you.

Vanlife Rig

Living out of a vehicle has seen a significant rise in popularity over the past several years, with more people than ever realizing that a rolling home is just as much a home as any brick-and-mortar building!

With the added benefit of being able to head out on adventures and take your home with you. 

Vanlife rigs can be expensive depending on the style of vehicle you go for, with everything from vintage vanlife rigs to ultra-modern sprinters on offer!

Shipping Container Home

Repurposing shipping containers for tiny homes is a smart way to recycle used shipping containers that have been retired from cargo ships. 

Using these pre-made structures can also help cut down on build times and be more affordable than alternative building supplies.

Tiny House on a Foundation

A tiny home built on a foundation can be a more economical option than a tiny house on wheels.

But, this is only really doable for people who own their own land in an area where the local zoning and building regulations allow for tiny home builds.

Yurts

The ultimate in pop-up tiny living, a yurt is a rounded tent-like structure that features wooden supports and sturdy, well-insulated materials covering the walls and roof.

Commonly these feature open-plan living areas, dome skylights directly in the center of the roof, and a wood-burning stove.

Houseboats 

Floating tiny homes can come in all shapes and sizes, two of the most popular being narrow boats and sailboats. 

Narrowboats are commonly seen throughout Europe and commonly moored on inland waterways. 

Sailboats are often used for living and traveling full-time; however, some people choose to live aboard their sailboats at a mooring.

How Small are Tiny Houses?

A tiny house is generally between 80 and 450 square feet, quite the range, I know! But it does depend on which type of tiny house you opt for!

  • Tiny homes on wheels – 200-300 square feet (including loft space).
  • Vanlife rigs – 80-90 square feet.
  • Shipping container homes – 160-320 square feet.
  • For tiny homes set on foundations, the size is usually decided by local zoning regulations and building codes.
  • Yurts – 250-315 square feet. 
  • Houseboats – 175-300 square feet.

Tiny living enthusiasts thrive in a smaller space, and you’ll often find tiny house owners comparing their square footage to see whose home is smaller!

The key to successfully living full-time in a tiny home is not about the size of the home; it’s about how effectively the space can be used, and how much of a minimalist you’re comfortable being.

What is The Tiny House Movement?

The tiny house movement has been around for decades, and if we look back at the history books – living in smaller spaces has been around longer than our current obsession with “bigger is better.”

The tiny living movement continues to grow in popularity as more and more conscious individuals choose smaller living spaces in favor of financial freedom and environmental sustainability.

Members of the tiny living movement often overlap with members of the F.I.R.E. (financial independence retire early) movement, as tiny homes are seen as a great way to facilitate early retirement!

How Much Does a Tiny House Cost?

This varies wildly depending on the type of tiny dwelling you choose, whether you buy new, buy used, or build yourself – and of course, the quality of the home. 

We researched prices for this piece, and they’re accurate at the time of writing – but during our research, we’ve seen that prices of materials have increased dramatically in the past few years, so these are liable to change again.

A rough guide to tiny house prices:

  • Tiny homes on wheels
    • $30,000 – home built with recycled materials.
    • $150,000 – custom built by a tiny home builder.
  • Vanlife rigs
    • $25,000 – budget self-conversion with an older used vehicle.
    • $150,000 – pro build with a very new 4×4 vehicle.
  • Shipping container homes
    • $35,000 – self-built using some recycled materials.
    • $200,000 – custom built by a fancy home-building company.
  • Tiny house on foundations
    • $15,000 – a simple self-build with salvaged and recycled materials
    • $55,000 – using a building company.
  • Yurts
    • $10,000 – for a year-round yurt kit to be self-assembled.
    • $65,000 – a fully assembled yurt with add-ons such as a wood stove.
  • Houseboats
    • $55,000 – for an older narrowboat.
    • $80,000 – simple liveaboard sailboat.

Who Can Live in a Tiny House?

Not everyone!

Living tiny is NOT suited to everyone; many are drawn to tiny living as it’s often seen as a cheap way to live – and while, yes, it is more affordable – it’s rarely cheap!

For those intrepid and minimalist souls who crave a tiny space, prioritize adventure, and are happiest with the simple things in life, tiny living could be a great fit for you. 

Whereas if you have no interest in tiny living, have a bit of a shopping addiction, get cabin fever easily, and you’re only considering tiny living to save money – it doesn’t sound like a good fit for you.

Benefits of a Tiny House

Quicker Cleaning

A quick tidy-up in a tiny home can take 15 minutes, and a full cleaning session can take only a couple of hours. 

So you can say goodbye to the endless chores after work when living tiny! 

Own Your Own Home

It can feel downright impossible to get onto the property ladder in this day and age.

But many people are out here wondering how you’re supposed to save up a down payment on a home when you have such high rent to pay.

A tiny home with a lower price tag has a much lower barrier to entry.

Invest in Stocks

Some folks scoff at the idea of owning a tiny home over traditional real estate. 

They often argue that it’s a bad investment, as real estate generally goes up in value, and tiny homes go down in value.

I’m not arguing that fact…

However, if the options are owning a tiny home and saving money every month to invest in the stock market – which also generally goes up in value.

Or throwing money away on rent every month and having far less to invest or save for the future. 

Well, I know, which makes more sense to me! 

Energy Efficient

Electricity prices are jaw-droppingly high in many nations around the world, and many home owners are struggling to heat their homes. 

Tiny homes, with a much smaller footprint, have the advantage of being far quicker and more affordable to heat. 

Sustainability

Living tiny, not only encourages you to live more sustainably but pretty much makes it a requirement. 

Most tiny homes have water tanks, making tiny home dwellers incredibly considerate of their water usage. 

Leaving lights on in another room isn’t really possible as you’ve only got two – the living area and the bathroom!

Minimalism

Less is more, and that certainly rings true when you’re living in a tiny house. 

While tiny homes have more storage space than many people think, you still have to be considerate of what you buy – and you don’t have room for unnecessary items.

Negatives of a Tiny House

Working From Home

If you’re living in a tiny home with a partner – working from home can require juggling your calendars to ensure that meetings don’t overlap. 

Having Guests Stay

There’s definitely room for a guest bed in most tiny dwellings, but you might find that some of your guests aren’t quite as accustomed to or keen on the lifestyle!

Re-Sale Value

Tiny homes tend to hold their value pretty well for a while, but they don’t go up in value like traditional real estate. 

Plus it can be much harder to sell your used tiny home than a regular home.

Zoning Restrictions 

Not every area allows tiny dwellings. 

The laws vary in every area, and they can be complicated and time-consuming to navigate.

Limited Storage

For the minimalist, you may find that moving into a tiny home requires no downsizing whatsoever. 

However, for the maximalist, you will need to pair down to fit your belongings into a tiny living space.

Wrap-Up: TL;DR What is a Tiny House?

Tiny homes are generally designed to be cost-effective, energy efficient, and environmentally friendly.

Tiny houses on wheels aren’t the only option for living tiny, and there are many types of tiny houses to choose from.

Including vanlife rigs, shipping containers, tiny homes on a foundation, yurts, and houseboats.

They ordinarily range in size from 80 – 450 square feet.

The tiny house movement has been around for some time and continues to grow, overlapping in some ways with the F.I.R.E. movement.

Prices range from $10,000 to $200,000 for tiny living spaces.

Tiny houses are not for everyone, they’re better suited to the adventurous minimalist than the picky maximalist.

There are many benefits to living tiny, with less time on chores, home ownership, more savings, energy efficiency, and a more sustainable lifestyle.

But there are downsides too, with sharing one space for working from home, guests being unfamiliar with the lifestyle, the difficulty of re-sale, zoning restrictions, and less storage space.

I hope this post has helped you to understand what a tiny house is and whether it might be something that could work for you!

Keep Living Tiny xx