The typical house in the United States averages 2,600-square-feet, but demand for manageable (read: smaller) spaces is rising. According to CNBC.com in 2017, homes less than 500-square-feet are clearly increasing in value. In fact, these tiny homes are appreciating twice as fast as more typical-sized homes in the overall real estate market, with the median list prices of tiny homes up 19% over the previous year.
Why? Well, people who live in these tiny houses often find that they enjoy not having such a big house, one where they might have needed to work overtime to afford the payments. But, what about when it comes time to remodel? Unique challenge exist when you need to creatively remodel tiny homes, especially with these homes typically ranging from 100 to 400 square feet. And that space, of course, needs to include the kitchen and the bathroom, the bedrooms and all of the plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling mechanics.
Fortunately, we’re up to the challenge! Here are tips on how to transform your tiny house design, whether you want an elegant look or one with rustic appeal.
Creative Tiny House Designs
CountryLiving.com shares images and overviews of 71 tiny house design possibilities, each style designed for maximized functionality. And, if you’ve ever worried that a spacious design can’t really be created, think again! Look at the spaciousness of this stunning home .
This home , meanwhile, is treehouse-inspired, one that makes the old new all over again. For example, it includes reclaimed wood, salvaged windows from a church, and a “funky dining table set crafted from old boats.” Looking for a sleeker design?
In just 200-square-feet, this home even includes a sliding glass door that houses a deck that can pop right out for outdoor dining.
And before we go on to share design tips for your own tiny home, we’ll bust another myth. Yes, you can use dark colors in tiny spaces. Just check out this tiny house design design. Now let’s do some reverse engineering.
Downsizing into a Tiny House
If you’ve recently purchased a small home and are ready to customize it for your needs, you may need to downsize more first. If you will be living in this home alone, then you can make those decisions yourself. If you will be living with others, it’s important to first make sure you all have the same goals for the home, and the same vision of what to keep and what to donate or sell.
In a tiny house, virtually everything needs a purpose—and ideally, can have multiple purposes. Dishes that are purely decorative, for example, are less likely to have a place in your home than beautiful ones that are also functional. Have an adorable cup that you love? Great, but will it double as a pencil holder?
Most people who downsize quickly realize that a good percentage of their belongings have been kept for sentimental reasons. Some people moving into tiny houses have found that, if they carefully photograph these items and then find an excellent new home for them, then a scrapbook containing these photos provides pleasure without taking up much space.
Keep furniture that is more durable because it will also likely have multiple purposes. A sofa, for example, may be what the family uses during the day and a guest sleeps on at night. An ottoman may also serve as a blanket or pillow storage unit.
If you find it hard to downsize certain belongings, get advice from someone who can be objective. Should you sell it? Donate it to a treasured charity? Or find a way to repurpose that item?
Tiny House Design Tips
Curbed.com points out how important it is to be logical with your tiny house remodel. Yes, creativity is important, but so is a logical, functional approach. So, think about how you plan to use your home. Do you, for example, intend to work from home?
Do you want to have space for guests to stay in your home overnight? Be ultra-clear about your top priorities because there is no room for error in these compact homes. Additonally, undergoing a renovation is also about adding value to your home. Use this Home Project Value Estimator to get an estimate on your project return.
As a second tip, think storage, storage, storage. HGTV.com suggests adding a sleeping loft and then using the space beneath the stairs leading to the loft for more storage. Drawers can be built into loft stairs and there can be a space reserved for hanging your clothes. You can store plenty beneath your bed, or even try drawers under your couch.
In your kitchen, you can hang appliances beneath cabinets to keep counter space free, add drawers to the kick plates of your cabinets—and even choose plug-in kitchen appliances (including a stovetop) that can be put away, as needed, for extra space. HGTV also encourages tiny home renovators to look up. All that wall space can contain storage cabinets and shelves, all the way up to nearly the ceiling, as needed.
Costs to Expect with a Tiny House
As with most questions related to cost, the answer is “it depends .” If you are the new owner of a tiny house, you’ll first want to make sure you have the right location for your dwelling. For example, some are like treehouses and if that’s what you bought, then you should already be aware of the associated costs.
But many tiny houses are built on wheels. So, in that case, do you have a lot where the home can be placed? Or do you need to buy one? Or, is your plan to take the tiny home on the road, much like an RV, and reside in an RV park?
That last option tends to cost about $500-$1,500 per month and often includes utilities such as electricity, water hookups, trash services, and WiFi availability (something you’ll need to independently address if you’re on a single lot). You’ll need to investigate RV insurance and have a vehicle that can pull your new dwelling, one with a trailer hitch and brake controller.
Then, costs really depend upon how much you plan to remodel. The average cost in the United States to purchase a tiny home is $59,884. This can vary greatly, based upon where you live and how customized the home is. This price was calculated by averaging costs provided by 25 tiny home builders in 13 different states in 2017.
Using a Personal Loan for Your Tiny House Remodel
It can be tempting to put the costs for your remodel on one or more of your credit cards but, unless you can quickly pay off the balances, the interest will just keep accumulating, typically at a high rate.
A better solution? A personal loan at a much lower rate and flexible terms that allow you to pay off the balance over a period of time that works for you. Applying for a personal loan is quick and easy, especially with a lender like SoFi, who offers no-fee personal loans – that means no prepayment penalties, origination fees, or even late fees.
You’ll want to make sure you borrow enough money for any upgrades you might want to make. This is where it really makes sense to explore your options and, if possible, talk to other owners of these tiny homes to find out what splurges are really worth the extra investment. In this tiny house cost breakdowns from 2016, you’ll see these three examples of no-regrets splurges:
1. Wood stove and flue that provides desired aesthetics, as well as efficiency and off-grid capabilities ($4,495)
2. Propane heat blanket that offers extra warmth in cold climates ($380 each)
3. Windows and vented skylights that allow you to see the stars ($4,000)
Decide which upgrades, customizations, and luxuries you really want and then figure out how much you’d need a personal loan for using this Home Improvement Cost Calculator.
Then, check out SoFi.com to see if a home renovation loan is right for your tiny house remodel, ditching high interest credit cards. We can’t wait to hear about the creative transformation you have planned.
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