Posts Tagged Construction

How Does A Tiny House Get Water?

How Does A Tiny House Get Water?

how does a tiny house get waterA tiny house without water is really just fancy camping, so it’s no surprise people want to know how to get water in a tiny house. If you’ve never had to go long without running tap water, trust me, it gets old quick!

How To Get Water In A Tiny House

how to get water in a tiny house

Assuming you have a water source, which we will get to in a minute, there are two main ways to connect water into your tiny home. I’ve used both over the years and which you should go with depends on how often you’re going to move your tiny house.

RV Water Supply Connection For A Tiny House

RV Water Supply Connection For A Tiny House

This is where I started with my tiny house because it was very easy, used parts you can buy right off the shelf for cheap, and didn’t require a lot of technical plumbing. It’s also what I suggest if you move your tiny home often.


  • Simple to hook up
  • Works at most campgrounds
  • Quick to connect and disconnect
  • Good on mobile tiny houses


  • More prone to freezing
  • Slightly more expensive
  • Leaky hose connections common
  • Can snag hose and damage inlet


With this approach, you’re going to want to plumb your house like you would normally. The main water inlet entry point will terminate to the outside of your tiny house with a Shurflo RV water inlet. This will let you connect any water hose to your house easily.

Water Connection For A Tiny House

One very important thing to consider is the hose you make this connection with. In the house, you’re going to want to use all PEX tubing, but from the house to your water source, you want to use a drink-safe garden hose that’s designed for RVs. This is because regular hoses have nasty chemicals which can lead to serious health issues, plus drink-safe hoses are only a few dollars more, so it’s well worth the money.

If you’re setting up land for your own tiny home, you most likely will need to install the other side of that drink-safe water hose, too. A frost-proof water hydrant will let you shut the water off when you’re not connected, and this style hose bib has a valve at the bottom of the pipe that goes into the ground. Since that valve shuts water off at the bottom, it’s below the frost line, meaning you don’t have to worry about it freezing.

how to set up a rainwater catchment

Make A Permanent Water Connection With Your Tiny House

Make A Permanent Water Connection With Your Tiny House

This is currently what I do with my tiny house water connection and have been very happy with it. Since I haven’t moved my home in over eight years, it’s worked out really well, but it’s not practical for people frequently on the move.


  • Less prone to freezing
  • Looks neater on outside
  • Cheapest method
  • Lasts long term


  • Not meant to be moved
  • Needs to be cut if you do move
  • Requires you to bury water line
  • More technical skill required

I decided to go with this over the above method because a couple of times a year, my drink-safe water hose would freeze, leaving me without water. While that Camco hose never split from freezing which is a big testament to its quality, it was still pretty rough on the components involved.

Also, the frost-proof hydrant ended up rusting over time despite it being galvanized. I think they’re made to be used temporarily instead of constantly left on That’s why I recommend the in line water filter.

With this method, you’ll make a hard line PEX connection from your house to the ground and down to the main water line. Try to keep the gap between the house and the ground where the PEX spans as short as possible and insulate it heavily. I’d also suggest installing a 1/4 turn shut off valve there to cut water off to your tiny house should you ever need to.

Pex Water Supply Connection For A Tiny House

simple greywater systems

Living In A Tiny House Without Water

Living In A Tiny House Without Water

When I built my tiny house years ago, a water connection was a must have for me, and I know I’m not alone in that. Having a readily available source of water that you can tap into and bring into your tiny home is essential. I’ve had a few friends who live in tiny houses that attempted living by only trucking in water and not one of them lasted a year.

“I didn’t put plumbing in my house because my land didn’t have running water, and so I knew I would be hauling water. Had I known what I know now, I would have put in running water—it would’ve made my life so much easier. That’s the one thing I don’t like about [my tiny house], and it has nothing to do with the size. I have drinking water in the bathroom, but if I needed to take a shower I would have to go to the gym and that was always kind of a pain.”

— Merete Mueller & Christopher Smith

tiny house plumbing

How Much Water Does A Tiny House Use?

How Much Water Does A Tiny House Use

I was surprised at how well low-flow shower heads and sink faucets work for me. At first, I was worried about the water stream being too weak, but after using them for years now, I find it to be more than adequate and never leaves me wanting more.

The average American uses around 100 gallons of water per day. After living in my tiny house for years, I’ve averaged out to around 11 gallons per day. That’s for one guy who hand washes his dishes and takes a shower every day.

Your Turn!

  • How do you plan to connect your tiny house to water?

Building A Tiny House On A Foundation – What You Need To Know Before You Build

Building A Tiny House On A Foundation - What You Need To Know Before You Build

building a tiny house on a foundation
When I built my own tiny home, I hadn’t really considered building a tiny house on a foundation. But in recent years, more and more people are skipping the trailer and directly building a tiny home on a foundation.

I get many questions about what it costs to build a tiny home on a foundation, what the legal struggles are around building codes, and why you might or might not want to consider this option.

Can You Build A Tiny House On A Foundation?

Can You Build A Tiny House On A Foundation

Absolutely! You can build a tiny house on a trailer or a traditional foundation. You could even have a basement foundation for your tiny house if you plan to build on permanent land.

When you start building your future tiny house, you’ll need some type of supporting permanent foundation to rest the house on and build off of, unless you’re building on a trailer for mobility. There are several types of tiny house foundations that you can consider for your build. Each type has pros and cons, but all will be able to support your tiny home.

Tiny House Slab Foundation

tiny house slab foundation

A slab foundation can be one of the easiest tiny home foundation options and learning how to build a tiny house foundation from concrete is simple for beginners. A concrete slab foundation is a simple pad made by first creating a wood frame called a form. Then you fill the form frame with concrete to form a slab. In some instances, you’ll lay in rebar or wire mesh to reinforce the pad, but that isn’t always necessary. Typically, a 4-6-inch-thick slab is all you’ll need to start building your tiny house; make sure you preplan any drain lines. In low-lying southern states, concrete slab foundations are pretty standard in the construction process.

Pros Of A Slab Foundation

  • Sturdy foundation
  • Relatively affordable
  • Simple to build

Cons Of A Slab Foundation

  • Have to preplan drains
  • Lacks flexibility in future
  • No access to run wires/lines

Tiny House Vented Crawlspace Foundation

tiny house with a vented crawl space

Wondering how to build a crawlspace foundation? A vented crawlspace is formed by short walls that you build your house on. Typically, footers are poured around the edge of your foundation, and walls are built on those about 2-3 feet tall. A vented crawlspace foundation works great because you can run all your wires and plumbing in the space. If there is ever an issue, you can crawl under your home to get access to fix them. Your crawlspace walls will have some vents in them to allow for moisture out. The downside is that tiny house crawlspaces (or any crawlspace for that matter) are typically dark, dirty, and can lead to moisture issues.

Pros Of A Crawlspace Foundation

  • Sturdy foundation
  • Still pretty inexpensive
  • Access to wires/plumbing

Cons Of A Crawlspace Foundation

  • More expensive than slabs
  • Moisture can lead to mold
  • Requires steps up into your house

Tiny House Sealed Crawlspaces

sealed crawl space under a tiny house

A sealed crawlspace is basically a mini basement as the foundation for your tiny house. The sealed space differs from a vented crawlspace because instead of being open to the outside environment via vents, you seal it off and condition the space as part of your building envelope. The sealed crawlspace is my preferred tiny house foundation method because we cut down on potential moisture issues, keep bugs out (mostly), and can use the space for storage! Typically, these will be built using the same walls surrounding the outside, but then a floor is poured in after. Make sure your contractor insulates and installs a vapor barrier!

Pros Of Sealed Crawlspaces

  • Extra storage
  • Access to wires/plumbing
  • Controls bugs and moisture

Cons Of Sealed Crawlspaces

  • More expensive
  • Newer approach
  • Requires HVAC

how to build a tiny house

Tiny House Basement Foundation

tiny house with a full basement

This is one of the most expensive tiny home foundation options, as you’ll be building down into the earth, which requires engineering. The additional square footage gained for extra storage space or additional living space is usually very affordable but brings with it more hoops to jump through. Make sure you check with local building codes about egress and ensure you have a contractor that properly drains, seals, and insulates the basement. Basement finishing is critical to avoid flooding in bad weather and provide that excellent storage tiny house owners always need.

Pros Of A Basement Foundation

  • Extra storage
  • Access to wires/plumbing
  • Low cost square footage

Cons Of A Basement Foundation

  • Most expensive
  • Requires permits
  • Requires engineering

Skids Or Runners For A Tiny House Foundation

tiny house on runners

Skids or runners are another tiny house foundation option that serves as a semi-permanent foundation but is also somewhat mobile. These are simply large timbers placed on the bottom of the house that act as runners to drag the house on. The tiny house skids are usually made of lumber, or sometimes steel, which gives you the best of both worlds.

Pros Of Skids Or Runners

  • Mobile in a pinch
  • Low cost option
  • Simple materials

Cons Of Skids Or Runners

  • Hard to pass code
  • Can rot away
  • Hard to access under house

Tiny House Piers or Tubes Foundations

tiny house built on piers or tubes

The last type of tiny house foundation is a footing placed in a grid pattern into the ground with a bracket on top; this bracket connects to the underframe of your house. These piers are rows of poles laid out in a grid with large timbers running between them to form the sub-floor framing of your home. They’re ideal for sloped lots where tiny house placement options are a challenge and can be an excellent choice for DIYers.

Pros Of Piers or Tubes

  • Affordable
  • Access to wires/plumbing
  • Easy for a DIYer

Cons Of Piers or Tubes

  • Requires permits
  • Not always allowed
  • Not an enclosed foundation

Cost To Build A Tiny House On A Foundation

cost to build a tiny house on a foundation

One of the significant expenses associated with a tiny house on wheels is the trailer, costing between $3,000 and $6,000 for the trailer alone. A simple slab might only cost you $1,000-$2,000, including labor. So right off the bat, you’ll be saving a pretty good chunk of change by skipping the trailer and opting for a tiny house foundation.

That said, you’ll have to make sure you’re complying with all applicable zoning ordinance regulations, which can incur additional expenses. With a permanent foundation, if things go poorly with the city, you can’t just pick up and leave. Building permits for your house project will vary based on your location, but nationally you’re looking at an average of $1,200 for all your permits to build your house. Add to this that they’ll most likely require you to have a water line and sewer connection, which is always expensive. My city charges a whopping $11,582!

If you live outside city limits in a rural location where you can’t get traditional utility hookups, you’ll need to drill a well and install a septic system. Read more here about how I installed septic on my land.

Many people, myself included, choose off-grid options like a compost toilet and solar panels because they’re more affordable in the long run. The most significant financial benefit of off-grid options is that you don’t have any bills to pay after the initial cost. Being pushed to more affordable options meant I had to step outside building codes and thus become an illegal dwelling, which then led me to choose a trailer with wheels, so I could move if I needed to.

You can see that while you’ll save some money on the trailer, you’ll have to spend a lot more to comply with building codes and local regulations. After that, building the house will be about the same for the rest of the details. Compared to building an average-sized new construction home, the average cost of a tiny house on wheels or any type of foundation is still far more affordable.

Pros and Cons of Building A Tiny House On A Foundation

Pros and Cons of Building A Tiny House On A Foundation

There is a lot to consider when it comes to building a tiny house on a trailer versus building on a foundation. Tiny homes have been traditionally built on trailers, but that doesn’t mean they have to be. Here are some of the pros and cons of building a tiny house on a foundation:

Pros Of Building A Tiny House On A Foundation

  • Can build larger than a trailer footprint
  • Can build different shape then a trailer form factor
  • Can allow for access to under house utilities
  • Increased insulation potential under house
  • Basements and sealed crawl spaces used as storage
  • Allows for future expansion and flexibility
  • More legally accepted

Cons of Building A Tiny House On A Foundation

  • Additional costs to build
  • More sturdy and permanent than trailer
  • You’ll need to pay taxes on the house
  • Slabs prevent under house access
  • Incurs additional red tape costs
  • Requires permits and engineering
  • Not mobile

How Do You Build A Tiny House On A Foundation?

How Do You Build A Tiny House On A Foundation

The primary connection between the house walls and the foundation is built on a pressure-treated sill plate, which is just a 2×4 or 2×6 laid on its broadside. Between the top of the foundation and sill plate, you want to use a gasket to act as a capillary break between the concrete and the wood, seal the joint for air and prevent bugs from getting in. I usually recommend using a foam gasket with some contiguous beads of acoustical caulking because it will make sure that the connection is always sealed tightly.

tiny house foundation drawing
how to build a tiny house

You’re going to need to anchor the sill plate to the foundation itself with anchor bolts. Sometimes these are laid when pouring; other times, people drill holes and add them after. Your local code enforcement will have specific requirements on the type, spacing, fasteners, and more, so check with them first.

Once you have your sill plate installed, sealed, and anchored, you then use that as your bottom plate of your wall framing. Consider how you’re going to run your floor joists when you pour your foundation. A good contractor will help you work out all the details on this front. Below is an excellent diagram of this process. If you like these details, my book, “How To Build A Tiny House,” is loaded with 160 custom diagrams with details like this.

Tiny House On A Foundation Design Ideas & Photos

Tiny House On A Foundation Design Ideas

Here are some great tiny houses built on foundations to help you get some inspiration for your own home. Keep in mind that your local municipality will have specifics on building codes concerning details, building methods, and sizes you’ll need to comply with.

Orcas Island Cabin

Orcas Island Cabin

This is a dream cabin of only 400 square feet built by Vandervort Architects that I’d love to stay in myself. A simple house with rich woods on an island in the Pacific Northwest.

Orcas Island Cabin view
Orcas Island Cabin interior
Orcas Island Cabin exterior
Orcas Island Cabin plan

Escape Cabin

This one is a personal favorite because of the large screened porch and the smart bedroom layout. This small house on a foundation is around 400 square feet and is built on a steel frame, so it can be transported in a pinch. Check out this house and others from Escape.

tiny house escape cabin
escape cabin kitchen
living area in escape cabin
esacpe cabin bedroom

Muji Hut

muji hut

I have personally thought about building one of these on my land — the simple design is super minimalistic while still having a lot of functionality. A simple room with a bed and a heater is all you need for a weekend getaway. I figured I could have some hidden storage in one of the walls and a simple outdoor shower off the back.

muji hut exterior
simplicity of a muji hut
modern design muji hut
muji hut interior

The Rocker

the rocker

Viva Collective designed this with an innovative L-shape that allowed for a great deck to be added. This shows that you don’t need to be confined by a trailer, and the results can be stunning!

the rocker tiny house
the rocker interior
bathroom in the rocker house
the rocker tiny house bedroom

Shipping Container Trio House

shipping container trio house

This is an interesting shipping container home that is made up of three different containers. Shipping container homes are growing in popularity as an affordable home option. They can be had for a few thousand dollars and provide most of the structure of the home.

shipping container trio exterior
shipping container house kitchen
shipping container bedroom
shipping container living area

Should You build A Tiny House On A Foundation?

Should You build A Tiny House On A Foundation

In the end, I think you need to decide if you’re willing to jump through all the hoops and deal with the red tape of building your tiny house on a foundation. Having a legal house is peace of mind, but that comes at the cost of extra permits and requirements.

Many people opt for a trailer because it skirts most of those issues and expenses, but a tiny house on a foundation is an excellent option for those who want a tiny house outside the normal trailer footprint.

Your Turn!

  • Trailer or foundation, which do you choose?
  • Which of these tiny home foundation options sounds most appealing to you?

Barndominium Floor Plans And Costs: Building a Dream Home in a Metal Building

Barndominium Floor Plans And Costs: Building a Dream Home in a Metal Building

barndominium floorplans and costs


Not long ago, I purchased some land to set up my homestead. I’ve always wanted a workshop, and eventually, I plan to build a small home on the property. As I explored my options (like moving my tiny house to the land while I build), a barndominium came up as a perfect solution!

what is a barndom inium houseWhat is a barndominium, you ask? It’s essentially just what it sounds like—a barn or metal shed that’s been converted into a living space.

Cheap and quick to erect, a barndo presents an excellent solution for my “where to live while I build” conundrum. I can put up a barndominium and set up a small living space in there while I work on my home. Eventually, it will become my workshop once I’ve finished my permanent living space.

If you’re considering the merits of living in a barndominium, here are the barndominium floor plans, costs, and details you need to get started.

What is a Barndominium?

what is a barndominium

Barndominiums, or barndos as they’re often called, are an affordable home option. They’re essentially small houses made from metal barns or buildings built with agricultural intent.

Most metal barns are prefabricated in a shop, then erected quickly onsite. Since barns are initially intended for commercial and agricultural use, they’re often scalable and inexpensive. The other benefit is that many metal building shells are large with high ceilings; this allows you to explore different barndominium floor plans and layouts to structure a livable interior.

What Are The Benefits of Barndominiums?

  • Metal siding and roofing are simple to construct.
  • The buildings are easy to find.
  • Barndos are often fire-resistant (made of metal).
  • The materials are easy to work with.
  • Costs are low.
  • Construction time is fast.
  • Metal buildings are energy efficient.
  • Built for agriculture, they’re low maintenance.
  • Barndos are excellent for homesteading.
  • They’re easily adaptable—extend them as needed.

Metal barn manufacturers have noted the popularity of barndominium conversions made by buyers and offer an array of options suitable to many different barndominium floor plans.

the benefits of building a barndominiumIf you’re wondering what your barndominium layout will look like, don’t. The building itself is just a shell. The fun part is that you can adjust it as you go and change it up to fit your needs. Because metal is so affordable, you can buy it in whatever length you want. When you side your barn, you can put up the whole side of a barn wall assembly in half a day. You can go from bare dirt to done in about four days for 5000 square feet if you’re building a simple structure.

You can dress the barn up with the siding you choose on the exterior walls and drywall or panel the inside just as you would finish a house. Some barndominium house owners even embrace the barn house appearance with trendy vaulted ceilings and barn doors on the inside. Many have the traditional gambrel roof, but even that is changing. People often go with the standard “hip roof” style.

To further add personality and functionality to your dream barndominium, you can add constructed features like a wraparound porch or patio, a deck, an outdoor kitchen, or another type of outdoor entertaining space. Making it your own is all part of the process. The more features you add, of course, the more the cost will increase.

barndominium floorplans

Why You Should Consider a Barndominium

why you should consider a barndominium

There are a lot of reasons you might want a barndominium. They work great as temporary or permanent living structures. They’re an affordable alternative tiny house, and because they’re essentially a “blank slate,” you can really adjust your barndominium floor plan and layout. They’re also nice temporary options you can later convert to a barn or shop (as in my case).

Barndominiums Are Excellent Structures For A Variety of Uses

  • Wood Shop
  • Office, studio, or workspace
  • Garage
  • Man-cave or she-shed
  • Meeting center for an organization
  • Game room
  • Pool house
  • Guest House

how to design a tiny house

If you’re building a traditional house or tiny house on your land, you can get a barndominium up in a few days or weeks and live in it until your home is complete. Similar to living in a yurt, a barndo is a good temporary housing solution. When you move into your finished house, you can repurpose your temporary dwelling for anything you like or keep it as a guest house for visitors.

barndominium interior optionsBigger barndos make great combination buildings. Ceilings can be high enough to have a garage or workshop on the ground floor and an upstairs with living quarters, offices, or a mancave. You can build a barndominium with a shop and run a business under the same roof.

Because your floor space is vast and your ceilings high, the possibilities for your barndominium floor plans are unlimited. A metal barndo is basically an affordable shell you can fill out for any purpose you envision. Play with the barndominium layout to suit your needs.

The Downside of Barndominiums

The Downside of Barndominiums

Now, as with any alternative dwelling, there are a few downsides and issues to contemplate. Before you leap, here’s what you should consider:

The Downsides of Barndominiums

  • Lenders might be wary of financing a metal-sided or non-traditional building.
  • While costs are lower, metal prices have gone up over the years.
  • It’s challenging to make an airtight steel building. You may need to experiment with spray foam and different interior finishing to combat the issue.
  • A barndominium is often a large structure. It may require you to have a larger parcel of land.
  • There may be local regulations on erecting or living in a metal structure.

All in all, despite the drawbacks, there are quite a few benefits to consider. The cost-savings is a huge benefit. Plus, barndos look great, and you can really personalize them and create a building that you’ll feel proud of.

How Much Does a Barndominium Cost: $70 a Square Foot

How Much Does a Barndominium Cost

Traditional homes run about $150 to $250 per square foot. Barndominiums cost less than half, typically coming in about $70 to $90 per square foot for finished space, including insulation, utilities, flooring, paint, and lighting. A basic barndominium shell without finishing can run as little as $20 per square foot.

barndominium car workshopThe cost savings are not limited to cheap materials, either. You save money on building erection, foundation design, and labor because the structures can be put up so quickly. While barndominium floor plans and costs vary, the outer shell is usually simple—a box with a roof on top. In response to consumer interest, barn manufacturers are starting to offer more elaborate setups and extras.

If you’re building a barndominium, keep in mind that the materials and interior structure you choose will significantly affect the price. As they start to get fancier and more-house like, the costs go up (so simple may be better if you’re staying in a budget). Once you begin adding multi-stories, French doors, and hardwood flooring, they can get pricier. Of course, as affordable as the structure is, I recommend you go ahead and splurge on the nicest finishes and updates you can afford (especially if you plan to live in the barndo long-term or turn it into a guest house).

how much does a tiny house cost cta

Barndominiums can be every bit as homey and luxurious as you want them to be, and they are endlessly expandable. Want more room? Just attach another barndo and add a pass-through or door. Modular construction makes it easy to add on as your needs change.

barndominium costsThe finished look of your barndo home is all about the details. Porch columns, window and door frames, and wood detailing turns a metal building into a warm, welcoming home. On the inside, choose from the same finishing details you would put in a traditional house. Hardwood floors, marble countertops, fieldstone trim, and even ceiling beams are doable. Again, any home-touches add expense though—the more it looks like a house, the closer you’ll creep to house-level costs too.

You can also add any functional elements you like, such as air conditioning, skylights, and solar panels. Keep in mind that similar to living in a shipping container home, metal walls can occasionally present certain wiring and alteration challenges. Be sure you’re familiar with how to weld and have the necessary information on the metal properties before you begin.

All in all, barndominiums are a unique, customizable, and, as long as it’s simple, affordable tiny home option. The bottom line is that your barndominium can be anything you imagine.

Exploring Barndominium Features

Exploring Barndominium Features

It’s common to find a barndominium with a small shop set up. Barndominiums with a garage can be a bachelor pad dream! There’s room for cars, tools, and projects with a small living space too.

Not to be too general, but most men are really excited about the shop aspect; women don’t typically think about the shop or garage size. They’re often more concerned about the features like bedrooms, kitchens, and living spaces. Fortunately, barndominiums deliver on both with features that are great for big families—you can select a barndominium floor plan with lots of square footage and room for plenty of bedrooms.

barndominium exterior styleThe folks who are most interested in barndominium life are usually homesteaders in rural areas. Often, but not always, barndominium dwellers are family-oriented with kids. They’re feeling the squeeze of feeding and caring for kids in a modern-day lifestyle, especially if one or both parents work from home. A barndominium presents an affordable, family-friendly option.

On the flip side, DIY-minded people are also really drawn to the concept of living in a barndominium. A barndominium with a shop is great for woodworkers, craftspeople, and artisans (as well as car enthusiasts). Having a barndominium with a workshop lets you have everything under one roof–a big workshop to run your woodworking or your Etsy shop!

For car fans, barndominiums with a garage allow you to store multiple vehicles and work right on your car project under your own roof. If you have a lot of ATVs, kayaks, boating equipment, or other recreation items, a barndominium with a garage is an excellent way to store and live in an inexpensive home.

barndominium floorplans

You can look for barndominiums with roll-up doors (like a garage door), allowing you to bring in big materials, and open up for fresh air. Some folks even include a car lift in their barndominium with a garage!

classic new england barndominiumOther features that are common in barndominiums include balconies, multiple doors, skylights, and porches. A balcony allows you to double your storage space (as they’re usually pretty tall). The balcony is generally featured above the workshop.

As you can see, there are an array of choices and features for barndominiums. It may seem like living in a metal building would be a challenge, but the truth is, with a little adjustment and planning (and insulation), a barndominium can really be a dream home for some.

A note on the insulation—many people living in barndos want and are willing to splurge on spray foam insulation because it helps seal the metal building so well. Metal buildings shift and constrict on the inside, which can leave gaps and air leaks. Spray foam prevents that entirely as it conforms to the space. This choice provides a huge maintenance advantage, especially if you’re both living AND working in your barndominium year-round.

design and build bundle

Barndominium Kits

Barndominium Kits

Several steel companies offer kits with everything you need to build your own barndominium dream home. The cost depends on the floor plan, materials, and extras. Kits typically include all main framing, secondary framing, exterior metal sheeting, trim, closures, fasteners, building plans, and instructions, starting at $10 per square foot.

The cool thing about these kits is how precisely they’re made. Even the holes are pre-drilled, so the work needed to assemble them is minimal. And since steel construction means there’s no need for load-bearing interior walls, you can configure your house plans in any way you choose. Want a gigantic walk-in closet or a bathroom big enough for a garden tub? No problem. Designers and engineers will work with you to design the barndo kit precisely the way you envision it.

Here Are Several Barndominium Kit Manufacturers That Deliver Anywhere

worldwide steel buildings

premier building systems

absolute steel

general steel buildings

sunward steel buildings

Barndominium Floor Plans with Pictures

Barndominium Floor Plans with Pictures

You might be surprised at all the options available. The outsides of the building are pretty standard (in varying sizes), but inside, you can have anything from an open floor plan to an elaborate home setup with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms.

barndominium bedroomIt seems the number of bedrooms is usually the most significant factor for most people, but keep in mind you can adjust the floor plan and layout of the barndominium to fit your needs. The barndo itself is just a metal shell, so it’s up to you to create a dream 3-bedroom, 2.5 bath 4000 square foot barndo. The number of bedrooms can be adjusted from 2 to 4-bedroom floor plans and on up.

Barndominiums aren’t necessarily “tiny houses” because although some are small, many can be pretty large. After all, these are meant to be barns and structures for agriculture. Many open concept barndominium floor plans rival something you’d see in Architectural Digest or a mansion!

It’s not hard to find inspiring examples of barndominiums. From traditional barn style to modern elegance, you can find all kinds of creative barn house styles online. I know “living in a barn” seems like a strange concept at first, but with the right barndominium floor plan, you can adjust the space to fit anything (and the price is right).

Below, I’ve compiled a selection of some of the best barndominium floor plans I could find. There are quite a few options, from tiny “studio” spaces to spacious barndos suitable for a family.

modern barndominium design styleWhen you design a barndominium floor plan, keep in mind that while you can build out the space modularly (adding more structures), you are somewhat limited to the size and shape of the metal barn you’ve chosen as your foundational piece. Barndos are usually square or rectangular without a lot of features on the exterior. So you may need to build in a porch or figure out ways to add the features you prefer.

You will also need to consider window placement and how many windows you would like in your barndo. Again, this is where those welding skills can come in handy. Look at the barndominium floor plans with pictures below for inspiration and ideas.

Barndos come in an array of popular sizes. While you can make your barndominium any size you like, a few standard sizes are common and easy to find (especially if you purchase a kit). The most popular barndominium sizes include:


barndominium floorplans

80 x 100 Barndominium Floor Plan #1

80 x 100 Barndominium cost: $470,400

Room Room Sizes
Living Room 40′ x 22′
Kitchen 29′ x 22′
Bedroom 1 20′ x 20′
Bedroom 2 13′ x 15′
Bedroom 3 16′ x 16′
Bedroom 4 16′ x 18′
Walk-in Closet 8′ x 12′
Baths (2) 5′ x 10′
Laundry Room 6′ x 12′
Garage/Workshop 80′ x 28′

barndominium floorplan

80 x 100 Barndominium Floor Plan #2

80 x 100 Barndominium cost: $495,500

Room Room Sizes
Living Room 40′ x 22′
Kitchen 29′ x 22′
Bedroom 1 20′ x 20′
Bedroom 2 13′ x 15′
Bedroom 3 16′ x 16′
Bedroom 4 16′ x 18′
Walk-in Closet 8′ x 12′
Bath 1 8′ x 12′
Bath 2 6′ x 10′
Garage/Workshop 80′ x 28′

large barndominium floorplan

80 x 100 Barndominium Floor Plan #3

80 x 100 Barndominium cost: $465,750

Room Room Sizes
Living Room 30′ x 25′
Kitchen 20′ x 18′
Dining 19′ x 17′
Bedroom 1 24′ x 22′
Bedroom 2 18′ x 20′
Bedroom 3 18′ x 14′
Walk-in Closet 5′ x 12′
Bath 1 10′ x 16′
Bath 2 6′ x 10′
Mud Room 12′ x 15′
Garage/Workshop 28′ x 65′

barndominium floorplan layout

50 x 75 Barndominium Floor Plan #1

50 x 75 Barndominium cost: $212,500

Room Room Sizes
Living Room 28′ x 25′
Kitchen 18′ x 20′
Dining Room 15′ x 18′
Bedroom 1 25′ x 17′
Bedroom 2 15 x 15′
Bedroom 3 15′ x 15′
Walk-in Closet 8′ x 12′
Bath 1 12′ x 15′
Bath 2 6′ x 12′
Mud Room 10′ x 12′
Garage/Workshop 38′ x 25′

3 bedroom barndominium floorplan

50 x 75 Barndominium Floor Plan #2

50 x 75 Barndominium cost: $218,750

Room Room Sizes
Living Room 25′ x 22′
Kitchen 20′ x 22′
Dining Room 20′ x 17′
Bedroom 1 15′ x 15′
Bedroom 2 15′ x 12′
Walk-in Closet 8′ x 8′
Bath 1 5′ x 10′
Bath 2 8′ x 12′
Utility Room 8′ x 11′
Garage/Workshop 25′ x 50′

2 bedroom barndominium floorplan layout

50 x 75 Barndominium Floor Plan #2

50 x 75 Barndominium cost: $209,000

Room Room Sizes
Living Room 35′ x 22′
Kitchen 15′ x 22′
Bedroom 1 18′ x 17′
Bedroom 2 19′ x 17′
Walk-in Closet 1 12′ x 9′
Walk-in Closet 2 12′ x 15′
Bath 1 6′ x 15′
Bath 2 6′ x 15′
Utility Space 20′ x 4′
Garage/Workshop 25′ x 46′

barndominium floorplan with 2 bedrooms

40 x 60 Barndominium Floor Plan #1

40 x 60 Barndominium cost: $112,600

Room Room Sizes
Living Room 16′ x 16′
Kitchen 11′ x 16′
Bedroom 1 15′ x 11′
Bedroom 2 19′ x 12′
Closet 6′ x 6′
Bath 6′ x 13′
Laundry Room 6′ x 3′
Garage/Workshop 35′ x 40′

barndominium floorplan with workshop

40 x 60 Barndominium Floor Plan #2

40 x 60 Barndominium cost: $130,000

Room Room Sizes
Living Room 27′ x 18′
Kitchen 10′ x 18′
Bedroom 1 13′ x 15′
Bedroom 2 16′ x 18′
Bath 1 6′ x 11′
Bath 2 6′ x 11′
Utility Space 16′ x 4′
Garage/Workshop 23′ x 40′

2 bedroom barndominium floorplan with garage

40 x 60 Barndominium Floor Plan #3

40 x 60 Barndominium cost: $138,500

Room Room Sizes
Living Room 27′ x 18′
Kitchen 10′ x 18′
Bedroom 1 16′ x 13′
Bedroom 2 12′ x 13′
Bedroom 3 14′ x 12′
Bath 1 6′ x 11′
Bath 2 11′ x 6′
Utility Space 4′ x 15′
Garage/Workshop 18′ x 40′

3 bedroom barndominium floorplan with workshop and garage space

30 x 40 Barndominium Floor Plan #1

30 x 40 Barndominium cost: $62,500

Room Room Sizes
Great Room 12′ x 17′
Kitchen 10′ x 17′
Bedroom 14′ x 13′
Bath 5′ x 10′
Utility Space 4′ x 8′
Garage/Workshop 18′ x 30′

medium size barndominium floorplan

30 x 40 Barndominium Floor Plan #2

30 x 40 Barndominium cost: $81,250

Room Room Sizes
Great Room 20′ x 17′
Kitchen 10′ x 22′
Bedroom 1 13′ x 13′
Bedroom 2 15′ x 13′
Bath 1 7′ x 13′
Bath 2 10′ x 8′
Mud Room 10′ x 12′

1200 square foot barndominium floorplan

30 x 40 Barndominium Floor Plan #3

30 x 40 Barndominium cost: $68,500

Room Room Sizes
Great Room 11′ x 13′
Kitchen 11′ x 13′
Bedroom 18′ x 11′
Closet 4′ x 12′
Bath 6′ x 10′
Laundry Room 7′ x 5′
Garage/Workshop 18′ x 30′

1 bedroom barndominium floorplan

20 x 30 Barndominium Floor Plan #1

20 x 30 Barndominium cost: $42,500

Room Room Sizes
Living Room 20′ x 11′
Kitchen 18′ x 9′
Bedroom 10′ x 15′
Bath 10′ x 5′

small barndominium floorplan design

20 x 30 Barndominium Floor Plan #2

20 x 30 Barndominium cost: $46,250

Room Room Sizes
Living Room 12′ x 12′
Kitchen 13′ x 8′
Bedroom 1 9′ x 15′
Bedroom 2 9′ x 11′
Closet 5′ x 6′
Bath 8′ x 6′
Laundry Space 3′ x 6′

barndominium floorplan with 2 bedrooms

20 x 30 Barndominium Floor Plan #3

20 x 30 Barndominium cost: $49,500

Room Room Sizes
Living Room 20′ x 10′
Kitchen 10′ x 10′
Dining Room 10′ x 10′
Bedroom 15′ x 10′
Closet 5′ x 3′
Bath 5′ x 10′
Laundry Room 5′ x 10′

barndominium layout with open floorplan

free aframe floor plan kit

Interior Barndominium Photos

interior barndominium photos

When you design the interior of your barndominium, you have similar options to any home. The biggest challenge is that you’re dealing with a rectangular-shaped dwelling with set parameters. Other than that, you can pretty much design your barndominium interior however you see fit (and in a way that meets your needs.

Many folks like to play up the barn-style with farmhouse décor and a rustic look, but you’re certainly not limited there. Some folks go for the barndominium with a workshop or garage on the interior—making it a spot to live and work. Check out these interior barndominium photos below to get a feel for what people are doing with the insides of their structures.

beautiful barndominium interior
barndominium style
bedroom in a barndominium
expansive barndominium interior
inviting barndominium room
barndominium bedroom
barndominium cozy living room
barndominium dining room
barndominium inerior space
solar power for tiny houses
barndominium hallway
barndominium high ceilings
barndominium kitchen and fireplace
barndominium kitchen
barndominium living room
barndominium living space
kitchen in barndominium
modern barndominium living room
barndo living space
stylish barndominium interior
barndominium hallway
installing a septic with a barndominium

Barndominium Exterior Photos

Barndominium Exterior Photos

Below, you’ll find a gallery of barndominium exteriors to help you get some ideas about your barndominium build-out. Keep in mind that some of these structures are quite large (they are barns, after all), but you can also go much smaller with your design and layout. In many ways, it’s similar to designing the interior floor plans of a tiny house.

rustic barndominium exterior
barndominium as a business building
barndominium building
barndominium entrance
barndominium exterior design
barndominium exterior style
barndominium homestead
barndominium house design
barndominium landscaping
barndominium metal and stone exterior
barndominuim style
barndominium with carport
barndominium with porch
classic new england barndominium
modern barndominium design style
simple barndominium design
rustic barndominium with wood exterior
heating a barndominium

Barndominium Workshop Photos

Barndominium Workshop Photos

One of the biggest appeals to barndominiums are the ability to have a dream workshop. You might be into cars, like woodworking or maybe you run your metal fabrication business out of your home, these are a few ideas for you.

barndominium as a garge
barndominium woodshop
barndominium garage workshop
barndominium open floor plan garage
barndominium shop
barndominium high ceiling garage
barndominium workshop and living space
huge barndominium garage workshop space
small barndominium workshop
stylish barndominium workshop
barndominium workshop and garage
how to run ac on solar power

Your Turn!

  • Did you save money and time by building a barndo?
  • What tips do you have for making a barndominium floor plan?

Tiny House Doors – What I Wish I Knew + Design Ideas

Tiny House Doors – What I Wish I Knew + Design Ideas

tiny house doors

I did a lot right when I built my tiny house over a decade ago now, but there are a few things I’d change if I could go back, one of them being the door on my tiny house. Building a door for your tiny home is akin to building furniture and woodworking; Had I known that before, I’d have gone a different direction with my tiny house door.


The Basics Of Tiny House Doors

the basics of tiny house doors

A door is made up of rails that form what looks like almost a picture frame, and within it you’ll float panels. All that comes together to make the door, which is then seated into the door casing or door frame. You’ll then add your door hardware like locks, hinges, thresholds, and sweeps.

anatomy of a door diagram

tiny house door design ideas

Tiny House Door Dimensions

Tiny House Door Dimensions

One thing you’ll quickly learn about building a tiny house is that normal building materials are scaled to a big house size, so if you use them on your tiny home, they’ll look weird and out of proportion. That means there will be a lot of things in your build that you either have to build from scratch or get creative with when finding a solution.

One of the great things about tiny houses is that you can design it for your needs and preferences, and the door on your tiny home is no different. I designed the doorway on my tiny home to be 30 inches wide because, when I measured my shoulders, they were 27 inches across.

I also designed the door to be 3 inches taller than I was (73 inches tall) so I could walk through it without any trouble, but I didn’t want to make it any bigger than it needed to be. That was really important because it kept the scale of my front door smaller than normal.

tiny house dimensions

Tiny House Door Height: 80 Inches

tiny house door height

The standard door height for a tiny house is 80 inches. This size accommodates most people and is also required by building codes in most places. You may want to consider scaling this down depending on the size of your tiny home and the design you choose. In some designs it will look great, while in others it may look too big and mess with the proportions.

Tiny House Door Width: 36 Inches

tiny house door width

width rulerThe standard door width for a tiny house is 36 inches. This makes for a really spacious entryway and again, is required by code. One thing to consider is if you have any big items: a couch, shower stall, mattress, and appliances will need to be able to fit through your tiny house door after you’re done building. You may need to build some of these in place because they can’t fit after the fact.

Tiny House Door Thickness: 2 Inches

Tiny House Door Thickness

depth rulerThe average tiny house door is about 2 inches thick. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, and code doesn’t come into play here much, but security and standard door casings will push you into a 2 inch-thick door for your tiny house most likely.

Tiny House Door Rough Opening Width: 38 Inches

Tiny House Door Rough Opening Width

width rulerThe average tiny house door rough opening is 38 inches wide. The rough opening is the part of your wall framing that you complete before you install your door frame, which holds your door. This is one thing that I think first time builders can forget: your rough opening isn’t sized for the door, but rather for the door frame (which, again, holds the door itself).

Tiny House Door Rough Opening Height: 82.5 Inches

Tiny House Door Rough Opening Height

tiny house door rough opening heightThe typical height for a rough opening for a tiny house door is 82.5 inches. This accounts for the door frame and that threshold.

Door Rough Opening Chart

Door Rough Opening Chart

Here is a chart to help you size your door’s rough opening.

Door Size Rough Opening
24″ x 80″ 26″ x 82-1/2″
28″ x 80″ 30″ x 82-1/2″
30″ x 80″ 32″ x 82-1/2″
32″ x 80″ 34″ x 82-1/2″
34″ x 80″ 36″ x 82-1/2″
36″ x 80″ 38″ x 82-1/2″
how to build a tiny house

How To Build A Tiny House Door

How To Build A Tiny House Door

Like I mentioned, doors are complicated to build. As a first-time builder of anything, I didn’t realize what an art form building a door really is. I was just learning the ins and outs of woodworking, and by the time I got to building my door, I had only just begun to get comfortable with my table saw. I was nowhere near ready to build a door and, if I’m honest, I still wouldn’t be ready today.

Tiny house doors are tricky because they need to be incredibly precise. There is a lot of joinery involved, it has to be very straight, you have to do a lot of work to keep the pieces of wood from twisting and warping, and it needs to seal really well against the door frame.

tiny house building checklist cta

Tiny House Door Assembly Diagram

Tiny House Door Assembly Diagram

Here is a diagram of all the parts that go into building a door for your tiny house.

tiny house door assembly diagram

Tiny House Door Jamb Diagram

Tiny House Door Jamb Diagram

To get a better idea of how the door sits in the door frame and the frame is mounted into the rough opening of your wall framing, here is a door jamb diagram.

tiny house door jamb diagram

Tiny House Door Threshold Diagram

Tiny House Door Threshold Diagram

Here is a detail I wish I knew when I built my tiny house. The threshold is the bottom of the door frame where it seals to the wall and deals with any water that may come into contact with the door and drip down.

tiny house door threshold diagram

Tiny House Door Tips

Tiny House Door Tips

As I said, there are a few things that I wish I had done differently with my tiny house door when I built it. While I spent a lot of time planning out my build, there was still a lot I had to change on the fly and lessons I learned the hard way. As they say, hind sight is 20/20.

Consider Buying Instead Of Building

Consider Buying Instead Of Building

I think that building a door is certainly possible, but it is also very difficult. When you buy doors, they are very expensive—even off the shelf standard doors will run you around $400 and up. That said, I think that buying a door made by a company that does so every day using advanced materials is a huge advantage.

Realize You’re Not Saving A Lot Of Money With DIY Doors

Realize You’re Not Saving A Lot Of Money With DIY Doors

My door all in cost me about $400 for the materials, plus $120 for the double pane bare window I bought to put in it. I also put in about 30 hours of labor to assemble it. If I had instead spent 30 hours working and used that money to buy a nice custom door, I’d end up thousands of dollars ahead and have a much higher quality door.

how much does a tiny house cost

Buy A Stock Door Where Possible

Consider Buying Instead Of Building

Stock doors are mass produced and you can usually find a good value between quality and price. To give you a rough idea of costs, a stock door can run around $500 while a custom door starts at around $900 and is easy to get into the $1,500 range.

Don’t Forget Your Interior Doors For A Tiny House

Don’t Forget Your Interior Doors For A Tiny House

One thing that stands out to me when I walk through other homes after gaining so much experience building is the quality of interior doors. Like anything, it can be a really easy thing to overlook, but there is just something very pleasing about good interior doors.

People fawn over granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, and other obvious upgrades, but a house with nice solid interior doors screams high quality more than most things. The reason for this is that it’s a subtle detail that penny pinchers and showy people skip over as unimportant. When you talk with a homebuilder that’s passionate about their craft, they always make sure the seemingly little details are done right too.

tiny house kitchen ideas
tiny house bathrooms

Tiny House Door Ideas – Design Photos

tiny house door ideas and photos

There are many great ideas out there when it comes to your tiny house door design. The choices you make in your tiny home around your door can set the tone because it’s the focal point of the outside of your house. There are a lot of subtle design choices that go into a door and, like I said before, they really are the labor of talented craftsman—art pieces in their own right.

Tiny House Front Door Photos

Tiny House Front Door Photos

The entryway to your tiny house sets the tone for your entire design. One great way to draw the eye in is with a bright color, like a tiny house with a red front door.

design and build collection

glass fornt door on tiny home
tiny house solid wood front door
tiny house standard front door
tiny home modern front door
tiny home red front door
tiny home wood entry door
split entry door on tiny home
wood door on tiny house
reclaimed front door on tiny home
five panel door on tiny house
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aframe front door
solid wood entry door on tiny house
entry door on tiny house
front door on tiny house
tiny home entry door
tiny house entry door
tiny house entrance door
tiny house entrance door
tiny house front door
glass front door on tiny house
tiny home front door
tiny home glass front door
design and build a tiny house book

Tiny Houses With French Doors – Double Doors

Tiny Houses With French Doors

Having French doors on the front of your tiny house is a great way to let in a lot of light and open the space up even more.

french doors on container home
french doors on small house
tiny house with glass french doors
tiny house with modern french doors
rustic tiny house french doors
open french doors on tiny house
french entry doors on tiny house
french doors on tiny house
frenc h doors on tiny home kitchen
contemporary tiny house french doors
tiny house french doors design
french entry doors on modern tiny house
french doors on tiny home
tiny house glass french doors

Tiny Houses With Glass Garage Doors

Tiny Houses With Glass Garage Doors

Tiny houses with glass garage doors that open up are very popular these days and for good reason. Living tiny also means extending your inside space outside to a deck or patio.

One thing to realize with these doors is that they’re pretty much impossible to air seal, which will dramatically reduce the efficiency of your tiny home. While most brands go to a lot of effort to seal these well with rubber strips, flaps, and gaskets, they still aren’t very air tight. That means heating and cooling your tiny house will be much harder.

glass garage door on tiny house
glass garage door on tiny home
glass garage door on tiny home bedroom
glass garage door on small house
glass garage door on tiny home
tiny home with garage door wall
tiny house with garage door wall
tiny home with garage door wall
garage door on tiny house