The hardest part of building a tiny house

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I’m frequently asked what the hardest part of building a tiny house is. People expect that I’ll respond that it’s the electrical or the plumbing (the two tasks that seem to scare people the most), or perhaps attaching the house to the trailer. But really the hardest part is just getting started, and taking that first real step. By real step I’m not referring to the planning phase, while technically that is where you start when building a tiny house, it isn’t a commitment (it’s easy to walk away from an unstarted plan).

It’s human nature after all to resist change and to avoid the unknown. And for most who are building a tiny house, since many have no construction experience, that means a tremendous amount of firsts. Then, beyond the construction, you’ve got the actual living in a tiny house. Something that isn’t exactly common quite yet and thus not ‘normal’ as viewed by society.

Those can be really scary. Some people consider living in a tiny house and then immediately abandon the idea thinking that they just can’t do it (and for some, they are right since it isn’t a fit for everyone). I’ve seen others that have been in the planning phase for 5 years and that have attended 5 workshops who can’t seem to move past the planning stage. That doesn’t count as getting started :).

While building and living in a tiny house can seem insurmountable when looking at everything that goes into it at once, you can do it. Just look around on the internet and see the countless individuals and couples who you wouldn’t think could do it, doing it. The difference is they picked up a hammer and got started.

7 thoughts on “The hardest part of building a tiny house

  1. emma said:

    SO true! I’m only in the wall and ceiling building phase, haven’t even gotten to electrical which i know will baffle me. But good to hear that just taking the initial plunge into constructing the tiny home is hard for others! Once you’ve put in the first nail, you don’t really want to turn back but it’s scary to move forward with something that so many people think is weird or impossible!

  2. Mason_Moore said:

    Have any objections about me publishing this on my twitter?

  3. Brad said:

    I’m excited for that show on the DIY network that builds tiny houses! It looks very interesting, something I would love to do one day.

  4. Andy said:

    I plan to build my own tiny home with my wife. I have a few years of building and repair experience. But have no plumbing or electrical experience. Do outlets and lights come with installation instructions for everything? i.e. wiring, switches, etc. Plumbing. How do you install plumbing into a tiny home with out it being exposed or having to cut through the trailer to install the tank? I mean to have a sink and shower and a compost toilet. Any info you can share would be extremely helpful.

    • Tom Bastek said:

      Andy, I would recommend Dan’s book, eWorkshop and maybe even a hands-on workshop. You will get much of the experience you need from those.

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