Posts Tagged Design

Tiny House Closets To Inspire Your Closet Design

Tiny House Closets To Inspire Your Closet Design

tiny house closets

Tiny House Closets For Your Clothes

I think the biggest piece of advice I have when it comes to your wardrobe is to question everything. You first want to pare down your wardrobe to only pieces that you love to wear and that work well together. I’ve covered how you can embrace a minimalist wardrobe, but I know that isn’t for everyone.

Ryan Mitchell in his tiny house living a simple lifeHi, I’m Ryan

Storage is a huge part of making a tiny house practical.  I’ve been living in a 150 sq/ft for close to a decade now and having a great designed closet for my clothes and organized storage for all my possessions keeps my house tidy despite being such a small space!
Ryan Mitchell - Simple living expert

That said a massive study that interviewed 18,000 families found that 82% of clothes in a closet aren’t worn in a given year. That means that opportunity lies in everyone’s closet to declutter.

wardrobe worn in last year

Ryan’s Tiny House Clothes Closet Video Tour

tiny house clothes closet video tour

The way I dress isn’t for everyone, but I thought I’d show a practical example by giving you a video tour of my own closet in my tiny home that I’ve lived in for close to a decade.


Tiny House Closet Design

tiny house closet design

Once you’ve figured out what you need to store in your closet, it’s time to figure out how to design the actual layout. I find that people either like to hang their clothes or keep things in drawers. While most of us might use both, we tend to prefer one way or the other.

Think about how you like to store your clothes and what kind of wardrobe you have. If you have a lot of nicer blouses or business-casual wear, your closet will be different than someone who wears yoga pants and T-shirts most days. You may also be a person who has two types of clothing: casual wear and a professional wardrobe for when you’re in the office.
When I built my tiny house, I also transitioned away from my corporate job, leaving my business wear behind me. I now only keep one suit and a few polos. The rest is a minimalist wardrobe of just grey shirts for a minimalist uniform.

Tiny House Closet Dimensions

Tiny House Closet Dimensions

There are some key dimensions you should consider when designing your closet. I recommend you first figure out exactly what you want to store, then design around those exact items. I also tell people to figure out what you need to store, then double the volume for things you forget and to future proof your design.

tiny hosue closet shelf depth


Standard Clothing Dimensions
Men’s Suit Coat 1-1/24″ x 38″ long
Men’s Shirt 1″ x 38″ long
Men’s Pants Straight 44″ long
Men’s Pants Folded 44″ long
Women’s Dress 68″ long
Women’s Jacket 36″ long
Women’s Blouse 24″ long
Women’s Skirt 36″ long
Folded Clothing 10″ wide x 12″ deep
Shoes 9″ x12″ per pair

Tiny House Closet Layout

Tiny House Closet Layout

When it comes to the layout of your tiny house closet, you want to build it to suit what you need to store. Keep things that you use often in places that are easily accessible. Items that you don’t wear often or are out of season can be tucked away on higher shelfs or in drawers you need to bend over for.

Storage is something that you’re going to want to take pretty seriously, I usually advise people to gather everything you want, down to the very last item, then design your storage around that.

If you’re a person who hangs a lot of things, you’re going to want more hanging space.  But if you’re like me, I don’t like hanging much, so I’d swap these spaces for shelves, drawers and bins that I can fold and stack thing into.

I don’t have a lot of accessories, I keep my shoes to a minimum, and I have a backpack that I keep my laptop in while I’m on the go. You’re going to want to balance how much space you dedicate to your clothing and other stuff in your tiny home, because we don’t have a lot of space to begin with.

Here is a design I recommend:

tiny house closet layout guide

Items You Might Want To Store In Your Tiny House Closet

Items You Might Want To Store In Your Tiny House Closet

Tiny House Closet Items
Underwear Shorts Winter Coats Dress Shoes
Socks Dresses Rain Coats Sandals
Bras Skirts Hats Belts
Sleepwear Sweaters Gloves Ties
T-shirts Sweatshirts Scarves Jewelry
Dress Shirts Suits Leisure Shoes Purses
Casual Shirts Vests Hiking Boots Workout Clothes
Jeans Swimsuits Sneakers Towels
Pants Cover-ups Snow Boots Bandanas

declutter challenge

Open Shelves Vs. Cabinets In A Tiny House

Open Shelves Vs Cabinets In A Tiny House

Open shelving has been trendy for a while now, but I’d argue that you should set aside whether something is fashionable or not and think about how it suits your needs. I think there is a case for both open and closed storage, but it depends on your needs, the placement, and your behaviors.

Use Open Shelves For Quick Access Of Regularly Used Items

Use Open Shelves For Quick Access Of Regularly Used Items

Open shelves are something that you need to carefully consider, as they are part practical and part decorative. This means you can’t jam a lot on them without looking cluttered. Because of this, the storage density isn’t very high, which should give a tiny house person pause, because you often need to maximize every square inch.

I use open shelving right above my kitchen counter in a small nook I couldn’t otherwise use as cabinet space. Here I put things I use multiple times a day: dishes, bowls, toothpaste, and my little Bluetooth speaker. These are easily grabbed but can be tucked out of sight when not in use.

use open closet shelves for quick access

Use Cabinets For Higher Density Storage And To Hide Disorderly Items

Use Cabinets For Higher Density Storage And To Hide Disorderly Items

The nice thing about cabinets is that you have a door that you can close to hide stuff behind. This isn’t to say it’s messy, but there are things that are disorderly, like your landing pad for your wallet, purse, mail, keys, etc.

have a landing pad for your stuffI think the big realization I had with this is that even if you’re pretty organized, your storage is going to have an irregular pattern to it. There are always some disorderliness to things like jackets hanging, etc. These irregular patterns can cause some subconscious stress at an almost undetectable level because it enters our visual field.

A tiny house is just too small for such things. A cabinet door lets you visually cloak the irregular patterns, making the space feel really comfortable; that’s the brain telling you that the micro stress of irregular patterns is gone.

Everything Has A Place And Everything In Its Place

Everything Has A Place And Everything In Its Place

The reason I emphasize figuring out what you want to store first is because the key to a tidy home (tiny or otherwise) is that every item you own has a designated spot in your home. That means that when you use something, you know exactly where it should go afterwards.

As you live like this, you’ll train your brain to flag items that don’t have a home. That brain pattern will signal to you that either this item needs a designated spot or it’s not important enough to have one in the first place, which tells you that it should be decluttered out of your house entirely.

Learn about this while I talk about my junk drawer here:

Tiny House Closet Ideas

Tiny House Closet Ideas

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Living In A Yurt As An Affordable Way To Live Tiny

Living In A Yurt As An Affordable Way To Live Tiny

living in a yurt

Image Source – The Yurt Life

Before I moved into my tiny house, I was really interested in living in a yurt. I almost closed on some land and moved for grad school. I could have set up a yurt on the land for the same amount I would have spent on just a few months of college housing. Living in a yurt was a very affordable option.

I’ve always found the modern versions of Mongolian yurts interesting. They offer a way to set up a structure quickly on a plot of land that is more than just a tent, but isn’t a permeant as a building. They’re an excellent solution for shelter as you’re building a tiny house or setting up a homestead. Most of the time, when homesteaders buy land, they need to get on it immediately; living in a yurt presents a nice, quick option.

If you’re considering the merits of living in a yurt, here’s why living in a yurt is an excellent choice for a temporary tiny home.


NAVIGATION


What Is A Yurt?

what is a yurt

A yurt or a “Mongolian yurt” sounds exotic and different if you haven’t heard the term. You may be wondering, what is a yurt anyway?

mongolian yurtThe short answer is that a yurt is essentially a round tent. These structures were native to Mongolia and were used by the nomadic groups across Mongolia and Turkey. The translation of the Turkish word “yurt” means “home,” and that’s precisely what a yurt is—a simple home.

Traditional yurts were created out of wood, with a wool outer covering. These are portable homes that nomadic tribes would take with them as they herded sheep, goats, and yaks. The entire structure could be folded down and carried on a camel. It’s similar to the Native American tipi.

Mongolian yurts could be quite large and include different rooms, a cooking space, and more. They were often decorated with beautiful patterns, some of which aligned with Buddhist philosophy.

Today’s yurts aren’t covered in wool anymore. They’re usually made out of strong tent fabric. These yurts will withstand quite a bit of use, and there are many permanent yurt-like structures throughout the United States. Many national and state parks offer permanent yurt dwellings for campers to use when visiting. Yurts are also popular across Europe in many different camp settings.

There are several types of yurts, and when someone refers to living in a yurt, they could be discussing any of the following:

Types Of Yurts

Types Of Yurts

mongolian yurt

Mongolian Yurt

The original type of traditional yurt. If you find an authentic “Mongolian yurt,” it will likely be historical reconstruction (similar to a tipi).


Modern Fabric Yurt

This describes most modern yurts—a lattice structure with a fabric overlay. You can buy yurt home kits online.


wooden yurt

Wooden Yurts

These are made entirely out of wood and are essentially a round, home structure. There’s also the “hexayurt,” which is a hexagonal, six-sided yurt (making it a little easier to construct than a rounded yurt).


No matter the type of yurt you find is best for you, it offers a fun and affordable living option. Some hexayurt kits are available for use as indoor-friendly and backyard yurts as well. These structures are made of lightweight material and could be used as classrooms, meeting spaces, or even a studio.

yurt interiorWhat has always drawn me to the idea of living in a yurt was the affordability. They make great temporary houses that could last years if needed. When I was looking at using a yurt home kit as a housing option, I calculated that for less than $10,000, I could set up a nice place to live. If the land cost around $5,000, a quality yurt home kit would only cost another $3,000, making it cheaper than a few months in most other housing options.

Ultimately, I didn’t end up living in a yurt, but I’ve stayed in them many times, and I find many of the traditional yurts beautiful. With a wide range of yurt home kits available, you can set up a yurt with very little assistance. It only takes two or three people to get it set up and can come together fast.

By and large, yurts are better as temporary structures. Living in a permanent yurt is an option in climates that are very temperate all year long, but a modern fabric yurt (from a yurt home kit) will degrade in 5-10 years. The fabric molds and mildews eventually.

You can think of a yurt as a step up from a tent—a “glamping” option with more space than an RV. It’s more affordable than most RVs too, but living in a yurt forever probably isn’t a realistic option. If you’re looking for a long-term home, a tiny house is a much more viable choice.

The Anatomy of A Yurt

anatomy of a yurt

Yurts are essentially round tent-like structures. They can be enormous, with multiple rooms and spaces just like a typical home. Yurts are circular, which can be challenging from a design and decorating perspective, but they’re also very sturdy and practical as temporary or semi-permanent yurt homes.

If you’re planning to build a yurt, it’s essential to understand the structure so you know exactly what to expect. Even if you’re living in it for a short time, you’ll want a yurt to be well-built and structurally sound.

The Base Of The Yurt

The Base Of The Yurt
Traditional yurts were homes for nomads, who built the base of the house right on the ground. Today’s yurt owners usually set up a pre-made wooden base for their homes. Companies sell pre-made insulated bases consisting of SIPs (structurally insulated panels).

base of a yurtConstructing the base of a yurt is the most challenging part of building. The base must be level, which requires some intense labor. It’s also surprisingly more complex to build a circular base. Some folks opt for a big square and then build up a smaller circular base on top.

The base fabric of the yurt will need to tie into a circular base to ensure that it’s air-tight and free of bugs and pests (like a round peg in a square hole—a square base will leave gaps). Pre-made SIP yurt bases are typically the way to go. They’re insulated, and you can get the right size for what you need.

The Lattice Walls Of The Yurt

The Lattice Walls Of The Yurt
Once you’ve established a solid, insulated base, you’ll need to construct the wooden lattice walls. Some yurt builders prefer to work with bamboo, and either construction works well. It depends on where you live and what you prefer.

yurt lattice wallsMany yurt kits include space for windows that zip closed and have a mesh screen. These are nice for ventilation and a cross-breeze in your yurt. Most yurts feature a traditional wooden front door too. You can use electric in your yurt (see my guide on setting up electric) just like a tiny house, so an air conditioner is also possible.

Should you buy a pre-made lattice for your yurt? Yes! While there are plans out there to show you how to build your own lattice, it’s very time-consuming (even if you’re a capable woodworker). Look at the value of your time. Even if you can do the construction yourself, you could earn quite a bit more by working with that time and buying your lattice walls from a yurt manufacturing company.

The Yurt Rafters And Ceiling

The Yurt Rafters And Ceiling
yurt raftersRafters usually come along with the lattice in a wood yurt kit. Companies like Pacific Yurts sell well-made yurt home kits that help you through the building process. You could go through the build yourself, but unlike a tiny house, it’s usually much less expensive to invest in a wooden yurt kit and save yourself time and effort.

Yurt rafters come in a pair. There’s a wire that weaves between every other top part of the lattice, and then the rafters have a notch, which you place over the wire. The top usually doesn’t come together but hooks into a metal piece that forms an operable skylight (compression ring).

The Top Of The Yurt: The Compression Ring

The Top Of The Yurt The Compression Ring
yurt ceiling compression ringAt the center of the top of the yurt, the compression ring holds the yurt together. Usually, this center ring is covered by a domed skylight. The yurt’s compression ring will also be included in most yurt home kits, and it’s an essential component.

It would take you too long to build the bones of the yurt yourself, not to mention the engineering required and the cost of materials. Lumber is at an all-time high price and buying the lattice, rafters, and compression ring from a manufacturer is the best choice.

The Cover of the Yurt

The Cover of the Yurt
yurt coverUnlike Mongolian yurts of old, most of the covers are made of waterproof vinyl or canvas backed with felt or foil insulation instead of the traditional yurt cover of wool. If you’re having any questions about buying the extra layers of insulation, you should go for it.

Even if you don’t live in the coldest climate, any insulation will help keep the weather out (heat and cool). The cover has some insulation similar to bubble wrap with foil on either side. Most of the time, it’s rated at an R3 or 5, which is about 20% of the code. It’s well worth the price to increase your comfort with extra insulation.
design and build collection

Building A Yurt Platform and Setting Up A Kit

Building A Yurt Platform and Setting Up A Kit

If you’re ready to try living in a yurt, the first step will likely be to select a yurt kit and decide where you’d like to set up your yurt on your property. Look for a flat area of land that’s large enough to accommodate a yurt. There is a range of sizes, up to a 50-foot yurt and beyond. So like a tiny house, select the size that meets your needs (especially if it’s a long-term temporary dwelling).

You can build the platform yourself. It’s very similar to building a deck like you’d set up on the side of a house. Eventually, you could even use this platform as a spot to set up a deck area for your tiny house. If you’d like a semi-permanent structure, it’s worth it to hire a deck company. Most will come to any field and build you one.

Setting Up A Yurt Kit

Setting Up A Yurt Kit
The easy thing about a yurt home kit is that it usually comes with detailed steps and instructions. Keep in mind that you probably won’t be able to set up a yurt fully by yourself. It will take around 2-3 days once the base is built and requires several people. It’s more involved than setting up even an elaborate tent.

If you go the DIY route, there are many DIY yurt guides online to help. My advice would be to consider the time and effort you’re going to put into a temporary home. Building a yurt from a kit isn’t terribly expensive and is a much better investment of your time and money.

Even with a kit, you will need to plan out several days and several helping hands. However, you won’t need a whole bunch of tools outside of a drill, screwdrivers, a level, post-hole digger, shovel, and string. Remember that nomadic farmers who built Mongolian yurts needed to set up a dwelling without much effort or many tools.

The Basic Steps Of Setting Up A Yurt Home Kit

The Basic Steps Of Setting Up A Yurt Home Kit

yurt decking icon
Start with the base – The base is one of the biggest challenges of setting up a yurt kit because it must be dead flat. As I explained above, most yurt dwellers prefer to set up a deck-type platform, then a round flooring base on top to ensure the yurt is completely secure. You may want to put down a moisture barrier on the ground to keep the floor extra dry. Skirting and a drip edge are also a good idea for the floor.

lattice
Set up the door and the lattice walls – You will nail the lattice walls into the base to form a sturdy structure. This is one part of the yurt building where you’ll need multiple people—at least one person to hold and one person to nail. The tension cable will go around the top of the lattice walls.

rafters
Set up the rafters – You will secure the rafters to the tension ring in the center. You will need a platform to hold up the tension ring until all the rafters are completely in place. Brace each rafter against the ring as the yurt is constructed.

wall framing
Set up the walls with additional support structures, if preferred – The walls may require additional support beams to ensure that the yurt stays steady and strong. The bones of the yurt can last for many years (beyond the fabric outside), so solid construction is essential, especially if it’s a semi-permanent or permanent yurt.

insulation
Set up the insulation layer – The insulation layer goes on next, which typically starts by covering the roof and then moving down the sidewalls. Again, it depends on your planned use, climate, and the yurt kit you purchase, but you may also insulate the walls.

fabric
Put up the outer fabric walls – The outer fabric walls go around the yurt to form the walls of your new yurt home. The window vents will let in a nice breeze, and your yurt should be fully livable at this point.

interior walls
Frame interior walls as preferred – Depending on how detailed you want to get with your interior construction, you can frame in the walls, include a bathroom, install lighting, countertops, storage, and more. If your yurt is your home for a few years, it may be worth it to go ahead with the framing and interior build-out. If you’re using it as a temporary dwelling, then bare bones may be the way to go.

Here’s a great example of setting up a yurt kit (with an elaborate interior design).


The Challenges Of Living In A Yurt

The Challenges Of Living In A Yurt

Whether you build a yurt yourself or buy a yurt kit, there are advantages and disadvantages to living in a yurt. Here are a few challenges of yurt living to consider before you commit.

Code Enforcement

Code Enforcement
cracking the codeI recommend always having the installation manual from your yurt home kit handy to help you navigate code enforcement. If local building code enforcement should question the structure, you’ll be able to show them how you plan to affix the yurt to your platform or how it will perform in high winds or storms. The manual is a great backup. Choose your words carefully; rather than saying, “I want to live in this,” explain that it’s a temporary house.

Buying a kit will allow you to check everything out before you build. If your code enforcement isn’t okay with the yurt structure, you’ll know before you’ve spent hundreds of hours constructing a platform, creating a lattice, and setting up your yurt. Learn more about yurt building codes here.

Yurt Insulation

Yurt Insulation
Another challenge of living in a yurt is insulation. You’ll only be able to get up to an insulation rating of 5, which is basically the same as a sturdy tent. If you live in a climate with a lot of rain or humidity, you’re going to battle dampness and moisture continuously. So living in a yurt in a rainy climate like the pacific northwest could be a challenge.

If you live in a very cold climate, the insulation will not offer much protection from the weather, either. The insulation isn’t nearly as strong as a house, and even with a heater, it will get very cold. Similarly, hot weather can be a challenge too. Although, if you go ahead and wire the yurt for electricity, a fan or small air conditioner can keep you pretty cool. Yurts are well-ventilated, so warmer climates are your best option.

Security

Security
Yurts aren’t secure. Period. It’s a piece of fabric on a wood lattice, so it’s not an extremely sound structure against outside forces. A hexayurt made of wood may offer some additional security, but not much.

If you live in an area where hurricanes or tornados are prevalent, then a yurt is probably not a safe or practical option. While it’s safer than a tent and will keep out some basic natural forces, it’s not going to be as secure as a house.

Kits Are Heavy

Kits Are Heavy
The wood yurt kits are very heavy and impossible to move on your own. It’s not wise to attempt to build a yurt by yourself (even from a kit). When you order the yurt kit, you’ll need to plan on appropriate delivery transportation. You may receive the kit via freight, but you may need to rent a lift gate or mini forklift to move the kit.

If you’re a homesteader, a tractor may also be an option for moving the yurt kit. Sometimes land can be inaccessible to delivery drivers, too, so it’s essential to have a plan of how you’ll get your kit to your foundation.

tiny house tools

Fabric Doesn’t Last Forever

Fabric Does not Last Forever
Yurt fabrics have a shelf-life of about 5-10 years. At that point, you’ll need to invest in a new cover. While the shells are affordable, they’ll degrade over time, and you’ll need to replace them and perform upkeep and repairs.

If you build your yurt carefully, with a strong structure, then it can last a very long time. But keep in mind, you’ll probably need to continue to replace the fabric roof, walls, and possibly the insulation layer regularly.

Curved Walls Present A Challenge

Curved Walls Present A Challenge
From a decorating and design perspective, the yurt’s curved walls are tricky. You can’t put a couch against a curved wall. You can’t hang things from latticework or the fabric. You also shouldn’t have anything flush against the wall because it’s a tent—you’ll want ventilation for drying should the walls get wet.

The workaround with a yurt is to either opt for a hexayurt with wooden, flat walls (basically a hexagonal tiny house) or to build a nice, sturdy interior structure with walls as partitions. I’ve seen some elaborate layouts, and I’ve listed several ideas for yurt layouts here.

How Much Is A Yurt Kit?

How Much Is A Yurt Kit

Assuming you go with a yurt home kit to build your yurt, you’ll look at a kit price range between $4,000 and $13,000. It will depend on the size of your kit, the materials, and what’s included with the kit.

Yurt kits generally range from about 12-foot yurts to 30-foot yurts. Some larger kits will even build a 50-foot yurt, so there’s quite a large selection. Keep in mind that the price of the kit is usually just for the lattice, roof, tension ring, and outer fabric. The extras for your yurt will usually cost more.

Most kits don’t include the base or foundation, so you’ll need to figure in the price of building a deck and platform. They won’t have heating or HVAC, water, a power hookup, or any amenities for building out and furnishing the inside.

Still, for around $10,000 (especially if you already own the land), a yurt offers an ideal temporary home for months or even years as you work on building a tiny house or setting up a homestead.

Yurt Layout Design Ideas

Yurt Layout Design Ideas

I’ve created some layout design ideas to help you brainstorm the ways to set up your yurt. Because the structures are pretty versatile, you can set up space for one or two people to simply sleep or an extensive more permanent yurt home.

12 foot yurt

12-Foot Yurt Layout

A 12-foot yurt home is a cozy but comfortable room for a single person or could be set up for two people as a temporary weekend camp. A small yurt will make a lovely guest dwelling if you’re looking for a way to host people at your tiny house.


14 foot yurt

14-Foot Yurt Layout

A slightly larger 14-foot yurt has room for a bed, a sink, small table, or chair for lounging. The 14-foot sized yurt is a better option for couples who would like a little more room in their yurt.


16 foot yurt

16-Foot Yurt Layout

A 16-foot yurt layout is roomy enough for a bathroom and a bedroom. With a partition wall, you could split up space into a studio-like living area. A 16-foot yurt is an ample option for a single person but room enough for a couple to use as a weekend getaway.


20 foot yurt

20-Foot Yurt Layout

A 20-foot yurt is roomy and comfortable enough for even a small family to make as a temporary home. As you can see from this layout, there’s room for a kitchen, a bathroom, and a small lounge area. With a futon or foldout couch, you could sleep up to four in this yurt.


24 foot yurt

24-Foot Yurt Layout

A 24-foot yurt offers a really good amount of space for a family to use as a semi-permanent yurt home. Using inner walls to create partitions, you could divide the space into several rooms with some storage, lounge areas, and a spacious bathroom.


30 foot yurt

30-Foot Yurt Layout

A 30-foot or even a 50-foot yurt kit offers a significant amount of living space. You could easily have enough room for a small family for several months or a couple as a long-term or permanent yurt. If you build out the deck beyond the boundaries of the yurt walls, you could use the extra porch area for cooking and entertaining.


desiging your tiny house

Designing A Great Yurt Interior

Designing A Great Yurt Interior

yurt interior with kitchen and loftThe interior needs of a yurt are pretty similar to those of a tiny house. If you have a bathroom or kitchen in your yurt, you will want to have access to hookups just like you would in your tiny home. The big difference is that with the fabric walls, your utilities will need to run on the interior.

Many yurt owners put interior walls in the kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom to set up outlets and run utilities through there. As far as bathroom plumbing, composting toilets are a very popular option amongst yurt owners.

Besides being inexpensive, fun, and easy to build, the other big draw of a yurt is that it’s easy to build a yurt off-grid. For homesteaders and those looking for a temporary dwelling while they finish building their dream tiny home, a yurt is very appealing.

Here are a few examples of yurt interior design to inspire you.

yurt interior partition walls

Yurt Interior Partition Walls

The walls that break up the interior of your yurt are more like room dividers. Most leave some space between the top of the wall and the ceiling. You can use the interior walls for electric and as a spot to hang storage and even décor.


wood stoves for yurts

Wood Stoves for Yurts

Wood stoves are practical for off-grid living and many folks like them for yurts. Not only do they offer heat, but there are some beautiful choices too. You’ll need to consider how you plan to run the flue pipe through the canvas exterior. Some yurt kits come with a flue pipe option.


kitchen

Yurt Kitchens

The most common choices for yurt kitchen design are L-shaped or galley kitchens. Typically, you’ll want to put your kitchen up against an interior partition wall since your utilities will be on the interior. Otherwise, a yurt kitchen is similar to other tiny house kitchens.


windows and doors

Yurt Windows

There are several options for yurt windows—you can have clear vinyl sewn into the outer fabric shell, you can use the screened windows that are part of the outer shell, or you can build in an actual window. Real windows are beautiful, efficient, and functional, but they’re more costly to install.


tiny houe kitchens

Yurt Home Kit Brands

Yurt Home Kit Brands

Ready to try a yurt home for yourself? Here are the best yurt home kit brands to choose from. I highly recommend investing in a yurt kit to make building a yurt much simpler and faster. For the cost, it’s well worth it.

Best Brands for Yurt Home Kits

Best Brands for Yurt Home Kits

pacific yurts
Pacific Yurts
Pacific Yurts is one of the most popular yurt home kit brands in business since 1978.

freedom yurt cabins
Freedom Yurt Cabins
Freedom Yurt Cabins offer customizable yurt home kit choices with features like real windows.

colorado yurt company
Colorado Yurt Company
The Colorado Yurt Company sells yurt home kits, tipis, and tents and offers many resources and guides.

rainier outdoor company
Rainier Outdoor
Rainier Outdoor Company has been in business since the 1800s and offers an array of yurts and tipis.

smiling woods yurts
Smiling Woods Yurts
Smiling Woods Yurts offers wood yurts and hexayurt kits to help you build a permanent yurt home.

chelter designs yurts
Shelter Designs
Shelter Designs started building yurts back in 1999. There core designs include generous standard features in the base cost of every yurt kit.

designing your tiny home

If you’re ready to try yurt living, there are plenty of yurt home kit sellers to help you build a beautiful, spacious, and comfortable place to stay.

Your Turn!

  • What size yurt most appeals to you?
  • Would you feel comfortable living in a yurt?

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.

PROS

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

CONS

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

Parts:

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.

PROS

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

CONS

  • 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

A 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!

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

A 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!

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

NAVIGATION

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:

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barndominium floorplans

80 x 100 Barndominium Floor Plan #1

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

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

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

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

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 #3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
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