Creative Transformations: Tiny House Remodel Ideas

By Janet Siroto · December 19, 2023 · 6 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. Read more We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right. Read less

Creative Transformations: Tiny House Remodel Ideas

The median home size in the US is currently about 2,014 square feet, but there’s lots of interest in tiny houses these days. How big is that? A typical definition of a tiny house is that it’s smaller than 500 or 600 square feet. Some people pride themselves on living in a mere 225 square feet or even under 100 square feet.

Living in a tiny house can be affordable, eco-smart, and part of a minimalist ethos, whether your tastes run towards cottage charm or contemporary. But how much does it cost? And what if you’re in a small home and want to remodel it; is that even possible?

Read on to learn more about tiny houses and the related costs to decide if this style of living is right for you.

Creative Tiny House Designs

Sixty-three percent of Millennials said they’d consider living in a tiny home, according to a survey by Technovio. That’s a lot of people, with a lot of different tastes and preferences when it comes to home styles.

There are small houses that look like classic woodsy cabins, A-frames, treehouses, charming Victorian structures, ultra-modern boxes, and more.

Some are built on site; others are fabricated wholly or partially elsewhere and brought to your site. You may see terms like prebuilt or prefabricated used.

House Beautiful, Country Living, and other design publications often highlight inspiring tiny house designs, and you can also find ideas on Pinterest, Instagram, and other social media platforms.

Typically, tiny houses are all about flexibility and functionality. Just as you budget your money, the square footage in a small home must be allocated. Some are one open room with different zones for living. Others may be divided into separate spaces with privacy, but there is usually an element of multifunctionality to allow the house to serve whatever the resident’s needs are, from working to relaxing, from sleeping to entertaining.

💡 Quick Tip: A low-interest personal loan from SoFi can help you consolidate your debts, lower your monthly payments, and get you out of debt sooner.

Downsizing into a Tiny House

If you’ve recently purchased a home that’s tiny and are seriously considering doing so, you will probably need to downsize more first. If you’re the kind of person who has drawers’ full of workout wear, hundreds of books, and/or a growing art collection, you may need to do some pruning. Here are some tips:

•   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 their home 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.

•   It can help gamify the process of downsizing to challenge yourself to toss, regift, or give away an item a day.

•   Do consult the works of Marie Kondo, of the “KonMari” method fame, for guidance on deciding how to keep what truly sparks joy and jettison the rest.

•   Hold a “take it or pack it” party. Set up a table full of stuff you don’t want for friends to take as they help you box up what you do want to take with you when you move.

•   Sell your stuff that you no longer want or need to raise funds for your new home.

•   Keep furniture that has multiple purposes. A sofa, for example, may be what the family uses during the day and a guest sleeps on at night.

Recommended: How to Lower Credit Card Debt Without Ruining Your Credit

Tiny House Design Tips

As you move towards tiny house living, consider these design pointers to help ensure that your little kingdom works as well as possible for you. This advice can also help if you are remodeling a tiny house.

•   Prioritize your needs so the space can accommodate what is truly important. Do you need to be able to work from home and be on Zoom calls regularly? Or is this a place where you want to carve out room to cook with your best friend? Be ultra-clear about your top priorities because there is no room for error in these compact homes.

•   If you are renovating a tiny home, don’t forget to consider how your remodel can impact your house’s value. You likely want to add value to your home vs. invest money that can’t be recouped. Using a home project value estimator can help you understand your project’s potential return.

•   Think storage, storage, storage. For instance, consider 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 (which can extend right up to the ceiling) 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.

💡 Quick Tip: Home improvement loans typically offer lower interest rates than credit cards. Consider a loan to fund your next renovation.

Costs to Expect with a Tiny House

The cost of a tiny home can vary tremendously, as you might imagine. Here are some guidelines to get you started:

•   Overall, tiny houses tend to be less expensive to build and own than a larger home, due to economies of scale. However, the per-square-foot costs are typically higher. To build a tiny house may run $300 per square foot vs. $150 per square foot for a standard-size home.

•   Prebuilt tiny homes can cost around $75,000 (this doesn’t include the land they are on), and purchasing a pre-owned one can be as little as $30,000. Building your own can easily cost $100,000 or more, depending on the complexity and detailing. However, when you compare this to the average home value of $410,200 mid-2023, you see that the savings can be significant.

•   Tiny homes can use a fraction of the energy (even less than 10%) vs. a typical-size home. This is due to the smaller size, certainly, as well as there may be other efficiencies in terms of their design.

Using a Personal Loan for Your Tiny House Expenses

If you already own a tiny home but want to renovate it or are buying one and want to remodel your home right away, it may be tempting to put the costs on your credit card. After all, a small home means small expenses, right?

Not necessarily. Even if the costs are low, by putting them on a credit card, which probably charges a high interest rate, you can wind up with debt that is hard to pay off. That interest can have a way of accumulating quickly.

A better solution might be a personal loan vs. a credit card, which can offer a significantly lower interest rate. You’ll have a fixed, predictable monthly payment instead of potentially multiple fluctuating credit card bills.

If you think a personal loan could be the right move for you and your tiny home plans, shop around to see what offers are available.

Picking a Personal Loan

Think twice before turning to high-interest credit cards. Consider a SoFi personal loan instead. SoFi offers competitive fixed rates and same-day funding. Checking your rate takes just a minute.

SoFi’s Personal Loan was named NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Personal Loan overall.

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see Equal Housing Lender.

Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website .

Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.


All your finances.
All in one app.

SoFi QR code, Download now, scan this with your phone’s camera

All your finances.
All in one app.

App Store rating

SoFi iOS App, Download on the App Store
SoFi Android App, Get it on Google Play

TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender