Posts Tagged Design

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.

NAVIGATION

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
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tiny house entry door
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tiny house entrance door
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tiny home front door
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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.

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french doors on small house
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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
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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
tiny home with garage door

tiny house windows

Tiny House Barn Doors

Tiny House Barn Doors

Barn doors are all the rage right now and for good reason: they can be used to add a door where a swinging door wouldn’t be possible because of the small space. Barn door rails and roller hardware is becoming a bit more affordable—there are even some great DIY options too.

tiny house with barn doors
tiny home with interior barn door
barn door in tiny home
barn door in tiny home kitchen
barn door i n tiny house kitchen
tiny home with accent barn door
tiny house barn door design
tiny house with barn door as ladder
tiny house barn door style
barn door in tiny house kitchen

Tiny House Pocket Doors

Tiny House Pocket Doors

Pocket doors are my favorite option for small spaces. They require planning and you can’t put them in walls where plumbing or electrical are needed, but they’re well worth it. I like these much better than barn doors, personally. Just make sure you buy a really high-quality pocket door hardware kit and good frame.

pocket door in tiny home
tiny house pocket door

tiny house building checklist cta

Your Turn!

  • What are you going to do for your tiny house doors?

How To Choose Windows For Your Tiny House

How To Choose Windows For Your Tiny House

choosing tiny house windows

NAVIGATION

When I went to buy windows for my tiny house, I had no idea how many options there were. The choices you have when buying tiny house windows is dizzying, so let’s make the process as simple as possible.

tiny house window design ideas

How To Choose Tiny House Windows

how to choose tiny house windows

When it comes to windows, there are a few big things to consider. These boil down to cost, custom vs. stock, and styling. Windows should be one of the things you decide on pretty early because it takes a lot of time for them to come in. If you’re buying stock windows, it may be a few weeks, while custom windows can take 30 to 60 days to arrive.

Cost is going to be a huge factor in your decision. Simply put, you’ll either be able to afford custom windows or they will be so far out of your budget that you’ll have to go with stock. Beyond that, you’ll want to choose a style that suits your design. More on that soon.

Tiny House Windows Costs

Tiny House Windows Costs

One of the first things I learned very quickly is that windows are expensive! Even using stock windows, the cost really adds up. I spent about $6,500 on just windows for my tiny house, which is actually pretty comparable to a more traditional-sized home.

In a tiny house, you’re going to want a lot of windows to let in as much light as possible. The average traditional home of around 2,600 square feet has about 10 to 12 windows in the entire house. Compare that to my house of 150 square feet, which I have 12 windows in — kind of shocking when you think about it.

My windows were custom, averaging out to about $375 per window, plus one very expensive casement window and a skylight that opened which cost me about $600.

Using Reclaimed Windows

Using Reclaimed Windows

This is where a lot of people will begin to ask about using reclaimed windows. You may be able to find used windows, factory rejects, construction surplus, etc. at a very attractive price. I’m going to tell you something you don’t want to hear and there will be many that don’t heed my advice. Those people will also be very sorry later on.

using reclaimed windows on a tiny houseUsing second-hand windows or reclaimed windows is a bad idea. First and foremost, it’s almost impossible to find second-hand windows that are tempered. You’ll be tempted to use untempered windows and that’s a really bad and frankly dangerous idea.

Unless your tiny house is built on a foundation, you must have tempered glass for all your windows. I’d go as far as saying this isn’t really even a question. Not only is it the law in many states, but it’s also a major safety concern. Tempered glass is much safer and if you ever move your tiny house, not having tempered glass will lead to a lot of broken glass (and wasted money) as you go down the road.

Beyond the issue of tempered glass, used windows also come with a lot of issues typically. The seals are broken, the windows don’t work well, the nailing fins are broken, or the housing is beat up. Windows are very precise things and if everything doesn’t go perfectly, you’ll have a drafty house that costs more to heat and will run into water issues that could cost you thousands.

For these reasons and many others, it’s best to buy new windows. Much like when people buy used trailers against my advice, it often ends up costing more in the long run, eating up any savings that were initially gained.

Custom Window Vs. Stock Windows For A Tiny House

Custom Window Vs Stock Windows For A Tiny House

When you plan your budget, realize that windows are going to be a pretty big percentage of that budget. Figure windows will be around 10% to 15% of your budget.

If you’ve finalized a budget, figure out what 10% of it is. If that number is $1,000 to $3,000, you’ll need to go all stock windows. If that works out to $5,000 or more, then custom windows are possible.

This decision is really a budgetary one — either you can afford it or not. Either way, it’s going to be expensive.

tiny house building checklist cta

Types Of Windows For A Tiny House

Types Of Windows For A Tiny House

One thing I didn’t think too much about is all the different types of windows and which kind were best for me. I chose a lot of awning windows for my tiny house, which are nice, but don’t allow for a ton of air flow. They are really great for when it rains, though, as you can open them up and not have to worry about water coming in.

I think a mix of window types is the best way to go, but double hung or fixed picture windows will be the cheapest. Below are some of your window options.

Awning

Awning windows

tiny house awning windows

Like I mentioned, I went with a lot of awning windows in my tiny house, but I wish I had a few more in a different style. Awning windows are hinged at the top and open outwards from the bottom. They’re good to have when you want the window open but don’t want to worry about rain coming in.

Awning windows are especially great in your loft, so you can crack them open while you’re sleep to allow fresh air in, while not having to worry about getting rained on in your sleep.

Casement

Casement windows

tiny house casement windows

The other style of windows I have in my tiny home is casement windows, and if I could do this all again, I’d have more of these. In particular, I’d have these at either end of my tiny house: one at the front, the other off the back near the kitchen.

This would allow a nice cross breeze to flow through the entire house when I want to cool things off or air things out. Having one of these near the kitchen would also help me better deal with kitchen smells, smoke, and other things I’d like to vent outward.

The downside to this style is that it’s usually about twice the price as double hung windows.

Double Hung Windows

Double Hung Windows

tiny house double hung windows
These are the most common windows, and that brings the benefit of economies of scale. This means you can find these windows for pretty affordable rates (relatively speaking) and they will perform pretty well, too. You also want to consider how easy it is to clean them and the material they’re made of.

Fixed Picture Windows

Fixed Picture Windows

tiny house fixed picture windows
These are a great way to allow in a lot of light without too much cost. Since they aren’t operable, you can save a good bit of money because they’re less complex. Additionally, since they don’t open, you can have much larger spans for your openings.

Slider Windows

Slider Windows

tiny house slider windows
Slider windows are basically a double hung turned on its side. These are good for places you might want to be able to reach through or some other specific need.

Louvre Windows

Louvre Windows

tiny house louvred windows
I thought I’d include these, but realistically they’re not very practical because of how much air leakage will occur. They’re also not secure, so in general, I’d pass on this style all together.

Bay Windows

Bay Windows

tiny house bay windows
Bay windows are one of those things I have a love/hate relationship with. Done well, they can be an amazing place to sit and read a book. How they’re most often done, however, is an awkward architectural feature that is prone to leaks. From the inside these usually look good, but on the outside, the odd bump out really can ruin the aesthetic very quickly.

Transom Windows

Transom Windows

tiny house transom windows
This is a great way to add more light around a front door, increase ventilation at the top of a bedroom door, or extend a traditional window’s height without a ton of extra cost. These come in two types: operable and fixed, with ones that open (operable) often costing double.

Hopper Windows

Hopper Windows

tiny house hopper windows
Hopper windows are basically the opposite of awning windows. They are hinged at the bottom and open out from the top. Often wider than they are tall, they’re used for passive house ventilation so that hot air can be passively vented out.

Skylight Windows

Skylight Windows

tiny house skylight windows
Skylights are one of those things that need to be installed very carefully so they don’t leak. Where possible, I don’t like to put any holes in my roof, no matter how well planned. You have two options: fixed and operable, with fixed usually being about three times cheaper than skylights that open. My go to brand on these is Velux.

Tiny House Window Materials

Tiny House Window Materials

Choosing the right material for your windows is a balance between cost, maintenance level, and looks. My tiny house has aluminum clad wood frame windows and while I love the look of them on the outside, I find them finicky to clean on the inside. I don’t think white vinyl windows would look good in my house, but the ease of cleaning and durability is definitely appealing.

Fiberglass Windows

Fiberglass Windows

Fiberglass Window PROS

  • Low expansion rate
  • Paintable
  • Good thermal performance
  • Low maintenance

Fiberglass Window CONS

  • High cost

Vinyl Windows

Vinyl Windows

Vinyl Window PROS

  • Low maintenance
  • Low cost
  • Good thermal protection

Vinyl Window CONS

  • Non-paintable
  • Strength
  • Expansion and contraction

Clad Wood Windows

Clad Wood Windows

Clad Wood Window PROS

  • Low exterior maintenance
  • Color choices
  • Interior paintable/stainable
  • The look and feel of real wood
  • Hardware choices

Clad Wood Window CONS

  • High cost
  • Lack of exterior detail
  • Interior maintenance
  • Quality can vary

Wood Windows

Wood Windows

Wood Window PROS

  • Exterior architectural detail
  • Color choices
  • Thermal performance

Wood Window CONS

  • Exterior maintenance
  • High cost for quality

Aluminum Windows

Aluminum Windows

Aluminum Window PROS

  • Strength
  • Color choices
  • Low maintenance
  • Durability

Aluminum Window CONS

  • Quality varies
  • Low thermal performance
  • Thermal barrier issues

Steel Windows

Steel Windows

Steel Window PROS

  • Strength
  • Narrow sight lines
  • Color choices
  • Durability

Steel Window CONS

  • Feels cold
  • Commercial look
  • High cost

Glass Types

Glass Types

You also are going to have a lot of options when it comes to the type of glass you put in your tiny home, but you want to make sure that you choose glass that can withstand the impacts of driving down the road.

Tempered Glass For Tiny Homes

Tempered Glass For Tiny Homes

This is essentially safety glass just like your car windshield or a glass shower door. It’s treated with heat to be much stronger and, when it does break, breaks in to little small pieces instead of large shards, which can cause deep lacerations.

You’re going to want to buy tempered for every piece of glass in your house because the added strength will withstand all the bumps and jostles of the road. When you’re going down the highway at 60 mph and hit a big pothole, you’ll be glad you did.

Laminated Glass For Tiny Homes

Laminated Glass For Tiny Homes

This has become more and more popular mainly because Florida and other hurricane-prone states require it in code now. Laminated glass is essentially several pieces of glass layered with clear vinyl sheets so that if it does break, it will still hold together.

Laminated glass is more expensive than tempered glass by a good margin. A standard size laminated window will cost around $500, while a tempered window of the same specs will cost about $300. That said, you have the added benefit of increased security with these windows, so you might consider spending the extra money for glazing around your front door where someone might want to try and break in.

Plexiglass Windows For A Tiny House

Plexiglass Windows For A Tiny House

Let’s just put this one to bed. Many people considering plexiglass windows are doing so as a way to cut costs, and while the notion is a good one, the practicality of it falls short.

The main reason for this is that a standard window is a double pane window that is sealed with a gas between the panes. That adds a huge advantage in both insulation value and reduction of condensation. If you make your own windows with plexiglass, there isn’t a way to seal two panes of plexiglass, draw a vacuum, fill it with a more suitable gas, then create a long-lasting seal.

Using plexiglass as a storm window isn’t a bad idea for some protection, but it won’t meet any local code requirements if you’re in a storm-prone area that has special codes for windows. There may be some advantage in terms of insulation performance, but I’d be concerned about moisture buildup between my window and the storm window, which would lead me to want to vent it, negating any insulation benefit.

Double And Triple Pane Windows

Double And Triple Pane Windows

In a perfect world, we’d all have triple pane windows, but the added cost means we have to consider the benefit vs. our budgets. I’m still very split on this issue, but if I had a stack of extra cash, I’d probably put it toward better insulation first, then turn my attention to the windows.

In case you’re not familiar, windows are really bad insulators. Today’s windows have a ton of science and engineering baked into them, but even so, a good quality window might only be the equivalent R-value of 3 (technically U-factor of 0.20 to 1.20).

Compare that to your average wall which today is anywhere from R 23 to R 30, and you can see that’s a big difference. We take the hit in efficiency in exchange for comfort, natural light, and practicality.

Tiny House Window Ideas – Tiny House Window Photos

Tiny House Window Ideas

At the end of the day, having a ton of natural light in your tiny house can make your house a great place to live. Here are a bunch of photos of tiny house windows for you to get inspired when planning your tiny home windows.

Tiny House Window Designs

Tiny House Window Designs

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Tiny House With Big Windows

Tiny House With Big Windows

Think about which way your house will face when you park it and which way the sun will rise and set, then design a big wall of windows to capture all the natural light in your tiny house.

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Tiny Houses With A Wall Of Windows

Tiny Houses With A Wall Of Windows

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Tiny House With Accordion Windows

Tiny House With Accordion Windows

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tiny house accordian window

Tiny Houses With Fold Up Windows

Tiny Houses With Fold Up Windows

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Tiny Houses With Stained Glass Windows

Tiny Houses With Stained Glass Windows

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Tiny House Dormer Windows

Tiny House Dormer Windows

tiny house with dormer windows
dormer windows in tiny house on wheels
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tiny home dormer with windows

Tiny House Loft Windows

Tiny House Loft Windows

tiny house loft windows
loft windows in tiny home
tiny home loft with windows
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tiny home loft with windows
slider window in tiny house loft
tiny house with skylight and loft windows
loft windows

Your Turn!

  • What are you planning on doing with your tiny house windows?

Tiny House Kitchen Cabinets – Ryan’s Design Guide To Kitchen Cabinets

Tiny House Kitchen Cabinets – Ryan’s Design Guide To Kitchen Cabinets

tiny house kitchen cabinetsThere weren’t many places that I obsessed over as much as I did my kitchen when designing my tiny house. I love to cook, so I knew I had to have the perfect kitchen cabinet design in my tiny house. Storage is also a big deal in a tiny home, so planning out your cabinets is a must to maximize every square inch.

NAVIGATION

kitchen base cabinetsBase Cabinetskitchen wall cabinetsWall Cabinetskitchen tall cabinetsTall Cabinetstiny house cabinet tipsBuilding CabinetsinformationCabinet Tips

One point I like to make right up front is that there are some standard kitchen cabinet dimensions and building practices, but you should seriously consider if “the way it’s done” is right for you. A good example from my own tiny house is that I chose to make my kitchen cabinets taller than normal for more storage and a working height right for me.

I’m going to get into some creative tiny house kitchen cabinet ideas, but first I want to go over standard dimensions.

Tiny House Base Cabinets: Height, Depth, and Width

tiny house base kitchen cabinets

Your base cabinets in your tiny house are the mainstay of your kitchen and often are the bulk of your kitchen storage because people like to keep their home as open as possible. That means most of the storage space and working surfaces are made up of base cabinets, unless there is an exterior wall you can take advantage of.

Standard Dimensions For Tiny House Base Cabinets

standard dimensions for tiny house base kitchen cabinets

Standard Dimensions For Tiny House Base Cabinets
Height Without Countertop 34 1/2 inches
Height With Countertop 35 – 36 inches
Depth Wall To Cabinet Front 24 inches
Depth With Countertop 25 – 26 inches
Standard Widths 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36, 42, 48 Inches

tiny house base cabinets

Base Cabinet Height

base cabinet height

A typical tiny house base cabinet is 35 inches tall. This does include the counter top, but keep in mind that if you’re building custom cabinets, you can build what’s right for you.

Base Cabinet Depth

base cabinet depth

Standard cabinet depths are usually 24 inches deep on the outside dimension. This does not include the counter top, which is usually made to overhang by about an inch or two so you can more easily catch crumbs when wiping the countertop clean.

pro tipConsider what is going work for you, but remember that a lot of this is driven by appliance depth and sink size. For sinks, you’ll need enough room to install your sink and the faucet. One trick I used was to get a sink that wasn’t very deep front to back, then I also mounted my faucet to the side, allowing me to mount the sink as far back as I could to maximize space.

Base Cabinet Widths

base cabinet width

The width of your cabinets really can be whatever you want, but you’ll find off-the-shelf cabinet options in 12, 18, 24, 30, 36, and 48-inch options. Keep in mind that you’ll need certain widths to fit a sink or cook top. When you get above 18 inches, you’ll typically find they’re built with two doors instead of a single door.

tiny house kitchen ideas and inspiration

Tiny House Wall Cabinets: Height, Depth, and Width

tiny house wall cabinets

Cabinets mounted on your wall are built differently than those meant to be used for base cabinets, which include a base frame and toe kick, whereas wall cabinets don’t need these. You’ll also find that wall cabinets have trim pieces or molding added to the top.

Standard Dimensions For Tiny House Wall Cabinets

standard dimensions for wall cabinets

Standard Dimensions For Tiny House Wall Cabinets
Standard Heights 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36, 42 inches
Standard Depths 12, 15, 18, 24 inches
Standard Widths 9 to 48 inches, in 3 inch increments

tiny house wall cabinets

Wall Cabinet Height

wall cabinet height

Your wall cabinets will be mounted on the wall and often will find a home under a tiny house loft, so general rule of thumb for height is to run it from where ever you want the bottom to start all the way up to your loft floor or ceiling. Use your judgement here to keep things looking normal, but typically these are a standard height of 36 inches, plus any trim or molding you might add.

Wall Cabinet Depth

wall cabinet depth

Usually, you want to keep the depth of your wall cabinets pretty shallow—the standard wall cabinet depth is 12 inches on the outside dimensions. Really this can be any depth you want, but make sure you’re not obstructing your counter top so that it’s still comfortable to work at.

Wall Cabinet Width

wall cabinet width

The width of wall cabinets is similar to your base cabinets—you typically want to match the width of the base cabinets so your doors align vertically top and bottom. This just ensures a more pleasing look to your whole kitchen. In general, you’ll find top cabinets in widths from 12 inches up to 48 inches, often in 3-inch increments.

Distance Between Base And Wall Cabinets

Distance Between Base And Wall Cabinets

When you hang your wall cabinets, you want them high enough above your counter top so that you can easily work. The typical distance is 18 inches, but some prefer to do 24 inches.

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Tiny House Tall Cabinets: Height, Depth, and Width

tiny house tall cabinets

Tall cabinets are sometimes referred to as built-in pantries and they span from the floor all the way up to the ceiling. These are really helpful for storing your brooms and mops with long handles.

A smart way to use one of these is to “book end” your kitchen with a tall cabinet to more clearly define the start and end of the kitchen space. A floor-to-ceiling line helps make that transition really clean.

Standard Dimensions For Tiny House Tall Cabinets

Standard Dimensions For Tiny House Tall Cabinets
Standard Heights 84 or 96 inches
Standard Depths 12 or 24 inches
Standard Widths 12, 24, or 36 inches

tiny house tall cabinets

Tall Cabinet Height

tall cabinet height

Tall kitchen cabinets are typically 84 or 96 inches tall. A 96-inch tall cabinet will run from floor to ceiling in a standard 8-foot room. In a tiny house, you’re going to have a lot of nonstandard ceiling heights, so my advice is to build to the ceiling for maximum storage space.

Tall Cabinet Depth

tall cabinet depth

Usually this will be either 12 inches deep or the same depth as your base cabinets, depending on how it’s being used. If you’re able to put one of these at the end of your kitchen in a corner, you’ll gain a ton of storage space.

This also works great as pantry, given the huge volume. Consider installing pull-out drawers instead of simple shelves to make the most of the depth. Otherwise, you might lose stuff in the back because it will be out of sight, out of mind.

Tall Cabinet Width

tall cabinet width

Typically, these are 12, 24, of 36 inches wide, but you can build to suit. If you go much bigger than 36 inches, you might want to consider having two separate tall cabinets instead of one really wide one. This breaks it up and helps you organize a little better.

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Building Tiny House Kitchen Cabinets

building tiny house kitchen cabinets

Like I said at the beginning of this post, there is standard practice when building cabinets, and then there are some unconventional methods that I’ll suggest to maximize space.

Standard Cabinet Construction

standard cabinet construction

While cabinets are often custom made, they all revolve around a modular approach. They typically utilize 12, 24, or 48-inch width combinations so that they can be assembled into many possible configurations.

Everything revolves around the cabinet box or housing. This is essentially a plywood box with an open front that sits upon a wooden frame. Instead of one solid piece, the top of the box is usually just strips of wood so that you can access the bottom of the counter top when it comes time to install, allowing you to secure it from underneath.

base kitchen cabinet construction

The front of the box is often left open to apply a face frame made of solid wood with a nice finish. The edges of the plywood box are pretty rough, so adding a face frame to the front of it makes things look really nice.

You want to look for cabinets or build them yourself out of a good quality plywood. Baltic Birch veneer plywood is commonly used because it’s stable, has a nice surface, and can take both paint and stain very well. Veneer plywood comes in other species of wood to best suit your taste, too.

For the first-time woodworker, you might think that a solid wood piece would be preferred, but that kind of dimensional lumber will expand and contract with the temperature and humidity, which leads to warping.

Plywood is a more stable option because it has several layers of wood that are oriented in different directions, which means that if it does move, another layer of the plywood is likely moving in the opposite direction, canceling out the movement.

Tiny House Style Cabinet Construction

tiny house style cabinet construction

My biggest tip here is instead of building your cabinet boxes in a shop, build them in place in your tiny house. This way, the back of your cabinet boxes can be the rear wall of your kitchen, giving you a few inches extra of space. I’d also suggest still having a base frame that your cabinets sit on—this allows you to have a recessed area for your feet to fit into—but turn that space into a drawer for even more storage.

tiny house kitchen cabinet drawer