Top 10 Common Tiny House Questions

People contact us all the time with questions about going tiny and the tiny house lifestyle. We wanted to share the most common questions so that people could get a feel for what others out there are thinking most about when it comes to going tiny. So without further ado, here are the top ten common tiny house questions and their answers.

Are all tiny house people the same?

Common Tiny House Questions - time for changeAlmost everyone who finds interest in the tiny living lifestyle shares the common desires of simplicity, organization and downsizing. Those who actually make the commitment to moving into a tiny home share the characteristics of courage, commitment and willingness to change. So while each individual person is motivated by different goals, there is frequently overlap between what they hope to get out of this change.

What are the legal obstacles of living in a tiny home?

Every city and town across the country has a different set of rules, codes and permitting for tiny homes in their communities. Sometimes there is a minimum square footage requirement or a permanent structure ordinance that may require a work around or variance. That is why we highly recommend that people who are interested in going tiny work actively with their local legislature to find compromises so tiny living can become more accepted nationwide. You can read more about that in our Tiny House Parking Guide.

Is it possible for tiny houses to be safe and sturdy against extreme weather?

We build all of our houses to the International Building Code and to withstand hurricane force winds. It may sound extreme, but if you are driving down the road at 60 mph with a 15 mph head wind, you are technically exposing your house to hurricane wind speeds. Our homes are insulated very well and we have many folks who live in homes in extreme cold temperatures and report little problems.

Are tiny houses off-the-grid? How does someone access energy while living in a tiny house?

Tiny houses can be off-the-grid or grid tied. If you are going to go OTG, then you are going to need wind or solar power to drive the electrical devices within your home as well as a source for water and a way to process waste. For more information check out our FAQ question: How does a tiny house get and connect to utilities?

How do tiny houses promote a sustainable lifestyle?

Common Tiny House Questions - Hoarder

Photo By Grap via Wikimedia Commons

In a world of excess, tiny living promotes a simpler, less consuming lifestyle that lends itself to using just what you need instead of keeping up with the Jones’. In a tiny house you are forced to break away from a life of excess consumption.

How has today’s consumer culture influenced many people to adapt the tiny-house lifestyle?

Americans love to go big or go home. We are all guilty of buying two of something when on sale, even if we don’t need it. If you have a house that is bigger than what you need, you will find a way to fill it. If you look around and find that you have three of anything, it may be time to downsize.

In your opinion, what are the greatest benefits of deciding to live in a tiny home?

Saving of money and time; allowing you to get back to the things that are really important to you.

What are the greatest drawbacks of living in a tiny home?

You have to learn to compromise and say no. This is very tough for a lot of people to understand.

In the design you’ve created in the past, what are some features of your tiny house that are not commonly seen in others?

Our reverse loft in our Tiny Studio is a unique feature that I like a lot. I would also say that I love the fact that we provide education through our company. Whether you are building yourself, buying a home from us, or just perusing doing research to find out more about this movement, our website and staff are there to educate, answer questions and help guide you through the process of going tiny.

What words of advice would you give someone who is thinking of going tiny?

1. Do your research. There is a lot of information out there. Some of it is valid and of value and some is not. The best part of this movement is the customization and freedom that it allows the builder/buyer. Learn as much as you can so you can figure out exactly what you want. Also check out Five Tiny House Questions to Ask Yourself Before Going Tiny.

2. Try it out. Make sure that going tiny is right for you by renting out a tiny home for a weekend. Get a feel for the space by visiting a tiny house show or by even walking through sheds that are of equivalent size.

3. Choose Wisely. As this industry continues to grow, there are a lot of people who are new to the business with little to no experience. Choose to do business with people who have credibility and who are looking to build relationships more than just business.

What tiny house questions do you have for us? Let us know in the comments below?

12 thoughts on “Top 10 Common Tiny House Questions

  1. Doug Barnes said:

    For your question #10, another thought might be to spend time in an RV trailer to see if the space is sufficient. I’m still a couple years away from actually building my tiny house so in the mean time I have placed an RV trailer with the same footprint size on my property where I will land one day. I spend numerous weekends and nearly every vacation day there and love the fact that the smaller home allows me to do those things I WANT to do rather than HAVE to do. I have made a few modifications to the trailer so that I am completely OTG as that is where I will arrive with the tiny house as well. It’s been a marvelous experiment and one others may want to try before making the jump. As a side note, I find it interesting that many people do exactly this when they want to enjoy “getting away from it all” without realizing that they are tiny living at the time.

    • Sherry said:

      We started in a two bed two bath and were transitioning to a efficiency apt when we just decided to go straight to an rv. It was the most wonderful experience and we are now looking into getting our tiny home.

      • Danielle said:

        If you can live in an RV I feel you can definitely live in a tiny home! I find Tinys to be even more spacious and set up for very comfortable living.

  2. mick said:

    The biggest problem with tiny houses is where one can legally park them. There is so very much emphasis placed on the tiny house itself, but so little on the fact that even if one builds or buys the greatest tiny house of their dreams, its really all about where to park it! Location, location, location can make or break the scenario. One can buy or build the greatest tiny house, but if not in a good location, living in it will not be so comfortable. Because of government regulation, it is very difficult to find a suitable location, unless one wants to live way out in the boondocks or one of the very few rv parks that allow them. Too many people get caught up in building/buying a tiny house without a good plan on where to live in it. If one adds the land cost or rental cost to the cost of the house itself, living tiny can be an expensive project.

    • Dean said:

      Exactly…$500 monthly more or less for annual lease or payment of about same on a lot w a mortgage…tiny home communities are the solution but that is slowed by the regulatory enviironment and tiny nimby issue…

    • Kat said:

      Thank you for your honesty!!

  3. Ingrid Stanway said:

    Hi tom. I love reading these articles…. Do you live in a tiny house full time also?

    • Tom Bastek said:

      Hi Ingrid! Thank you so much for you praise! I do not as of yet live in a tiny house. My wife and I and the dog live in a tiny 1 bedroom apartment and have been embracing the live simple lifestyle for a long time. We are in the planning stages of our tiny house right now and will be putting it in the mountains for the time being as a vacation cabin until our local legislature is more accepting to tiny living. Our plan is upon retirement to take that cabin across the country and spend some time visiting distant family and riding roller coasters!

  4. Ed Peterson said:

    I have to agree with Mick and that is why I founded the Tiny Town Association. We are working in Canada to build a network of towns for tiny homes on wheels (THOWs) located within commuting distance of 133 cities across Canada. The towns are being designed to be off-grid, reducing the cost and complexity for tiny homeowners. Our affordable living plan is to encourage tiny homes as a legal housing option. We are hopeful that others will embrace the concept and develop Tiny Towns in their countries as well.

    • Maria said:

      Hello Ed,

      I live in Canada and am interested in finding out more about this network of towns ‘friendly’ to tiny houses. How can I get more information ? I am also interested in attending tiny homes events…especially those in Ontario

  5. Christine said:


    I live in the Philippines and I’ve been wanting to build a Tiny house here. But my question is does anyone have any idea what I would need in terms of materials that can withstand tons of sun and tons of rain as well? It’s super humid here also and there are only 2 seasons. So I’m scared that the usual materials won’t be a durable in our weather? Any feedback would be much appreciated. Thank you!

  6. Diane C Jones said:

    I am just starting to think about a tiny house in the future. My biggest question is what is done with waste water from showers, sinks, washing machines, dish washers and how often do you empty the septic system?

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