If you had to guess what the most complicated part of building a tiny house is, what would you say? Building the walls? Making sure it’s all square? Putting in the gas and electrical? Nope….
This one thing has been a lot of fun, but a major pain at the same time! There are times that I feel like I spend more time on this one thing then I spend building my house. So what is it?
What I have found is that when you tell people about your tiny house, they are often really excited and really interested. It is here where you can forge some great connections and maybe even friendships, in the end having people as your advocate goes a long way. At this point when I walk into my local hardware store, everyone there know me. To some I am the Tiny House guy; To most, we know each other on a first name basis and in part it’s because how much time I spend with them finding the right materials for my house.
There are times that I feel like I spend more time at the store searching the various vendors for the perfect fridge, flooring, flashing, or a million other details, but it is worth it. The details that go into building a tiny house is mind boggling.
I would argue that I spend more time on the details in my 130 square feet than a person does in a McMansion. The reason why? Because when you have such a small space, every little thing matters, you have to consider how things will fit together perfectly because the tolerances in a Tiny House are much smaller.
Another thing to consider is that traditional building materials are of a scale for a larger house; there have been many times where traditional materials won’t work because of the size or the scale would look weird on a house so small. When you get into the building process you see how substituting one thing for another could have a ripple effect throughout the whole house for various reasons.
One factor that I am constantly grappling with is the timing of ordering all the materials. While I have a great space to build my house, I don’t have a lot of space to store stuff out of the elements. This means I have to time things to arrive just when I need them or sweet talk the warehouse manager at the hardware store to hold onto them for me.
To give you an idea of how much time it takes to do all this, take for example ordering windows. I literally spend 10 hours reviewing different vendors, choosing various options, matching colors, and so much more. Today I went in and spent 3 hours ordering all the parts to my roof, but before that, it took 3 weeks of phone calls to get a color sample to make sure it matched my windows. By the time I had selected my roofing I had considered 10 different metal roof manufacturers, collected 6 different color samples and spent a lot of time on the phone. The reward was when I opened that last packet to find the perfect shade of red to match my windows. It is identical, even though its two different companies and it is going to look great when brought together!
So just know going in that finding the perfect materials for your house will be a daunting task, but in the end, it’s worth it!