Which Tiny House Size is Right for You?

There is a fact finding mission that everyone goes through when they are starting out looking to go tiny. During this search, most people’s idea of what size they want their house to be changes a couple of times. There are definitely some pros and cons to the different sizes that are out there. Here are some of items to look over when considering your tiny house size.

Family Size

I know that this seems like a no brainer, but if you have two kids, they are going to need their own sleeping space. Two bedroom tiny houses are becoming more and more popular, and as I called out to in my article last week. But this also holds true in the other direction. My wife and I originally thought we wanted a 24”trailer with an additional 8’ building space over the fifth wheel. After walking around in a 28 foot tiny house, we decided that not only did we not need our idea, but the 28’ even seemed too big. So get out there and experience a tiny house in person.

Read More: How to Find Tiny Houses Near Me

Stuff

You will want to make sure the home is big enough for your stuff. This can be hard since your ideas of what you need will surely change after your move. We’ve witnessed it over and over where people are concerned they are going to have enough room and then end up not needing it. The things they thought they just couldn’t live without end up not being as important.

But the desire for some things likely aren’t going to change. For instance, you’re not likely to decide that you don’t want a washer and dryer after the move. Or that you wished you had a smaller couch. So, make a list of some of the larger items you’ll want and add them to a drawing at scale. This can really help in deciding the length of your house.

Towing

Tiny House Size - TulsaDan and I recently took a 24’ tiny house shell out to Tulsa, Oklahoma. That’s the finished product there. Turned out pretty good, huh? Well let me tell you a thing or two about driving a 24’ tiny house. There are definitely things you are going to have to think about and wind is one of them. Also, you are going to get worse gas mileage, but you would have that with any larger vehicle. And clearance is the the biggest one. Sure you want to build to the highest level you can, but you don’t realize how tall 13’6” is without seeing it first. Remember the longer the house, obviously, the more it weighs. And that means the bigger the tow vehicle that you need. Sure, I know, you likely aren’t planning on moving it often, but 20 years from now (and yes, your home will last you even longer if you build it right) when your children are in charge of the house and want to take it across the country, you want them to be able to.

Read More: Watch Your Roof! Respecting Tiny House Height

Building for Resale

As the tiny house movement continues to grow there are more and more people turning over their house. Whether they are just interested in building a new house to make what they have better or they are planning to build for others, think about what would resale. The most popular models are the 20’ and the 24’ sizes. They are easier to build, tow and sell and they don’t intimidate either way. Trying to sell a 12’ is tough, but for the right person, it is exactly what they want. We sold one the other day to a young lady who wants to have it for college. It is her permanent dorm room.  But even in the last year alone, we have seen MANY more 28′ and 32′ popping up which means down the road, their should still be a draw for them.

Knowing if it is the Right Time

Which brings us to the next point. Are you really ready to go tiny? If you need to have a 32’ long with an 8’ gooseneck at 8.5’ wide and 13.5’ tall because those are the maximum dimensions you can have, you may not be ready to go tiny. There are plenty of ways to simplify your life without having to buy or build a tiny house. So seriously give it a real thought before you pull the trigger to do so.

Read More: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Going Tiny and  5 Signs You Aren’t Ready to go Tiny

Bigger isn’t always better for everyone and neither is going really, really tiny. Knowing what your goals are, truly going over what stuff you need to take with you, and doing a headcount of the kids and pets are just some of the things you need to do before building or buying your tiny house. Whats tiny house size do you want or have? What considerations went into your choice? Let me know in the comments below.

This entry was posted in Tiny House Research and tagged by Tom Bastek. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tom Bastek

Tom Bastek has been on the tiny bandwagon for years. In his spare time he enjoys improv comedy acting, pinball, LEGO building, bowling, craft beer and the New York Jets. He resides in Atlanta with his wife and his hound Josie, who takes up most of the bed.

10 thoughts on “Which Tiny House Size is Right for You?

  1. Brittany @ Tiny Ambitions said:

    I’ve landed on a 24 foot tiny house. I wanted something that was long enough to incorporate my tiny must haves but I also wanted it to be manageable for transportation. Anything bigger would have been too much for me, and anything smaller would have felt like a box!

  2. Mike Geyer (HikerMiker) said:

    Tom,Mike Geyer here,I’ve made sketchs and plus and minus dimensions of the “Tiny House” that I want,but I need a

    draftsman to detail it out.You known, a plan! That any journeyman anything can read and all be on the same page.

    • Dan said:

      I’m a draftsman and can draw them up for you but of course they would be hand drawn because I don’t have a drafting program on my computer. I got my degree when they taught both avenues of study (CAD & Board Drawing). We can discuss price after I see the sketch-ups

      • Jordan said:

        Hi Dan!

        I’d be very interested to hear how much you charge, and if there are any glaring issues with my sketches and rough plans.

        I’d be very happy having a plan drawn out to an actual scale.

  3. Squeaky said:

    I’m still trying to figure out what size I need, actually. My THoW will be my “forever home” but it also is going to be going on road trips a few times per year to visit family, who live 900+ miles away.

    I’ve been agonizing over interior space dimensions in an attempt to have the smallest house possible (for ease of travel) without giving up that which is going to make it a comfortable place for me and my two cats. My first floor plan was 24′ long with a 7′ gooseneck-trailer bedroom, which is appealing both for my arthritis & for the added towing stability (or so I’ve read). Now I’m thinking that I can get a 20′ + 8′ gooseneck trailer & still fit my must-haves in it.

    I haven’t found anyone who travels a lot with a 24′ house, but will continue to look in case I decide I need that extra space. This blog is amazing, though – thank you for putting so much helpful information in it!!

    • Dan said:

      Have you considered building a first floor bedroom instead of a loft bedroom? Even though lofts are popular, people don’t consider the inevitable…they are going to get old! And, who wants to risk a broken leg or worse, missing a step or ladder rung going downstairs half asleep in the dark to use the potty. I’ve been looking and planning for years at different designs and manufacturers and with a little modification, everything can be on one floor which would leave the overhead for storage and/or to drop the height of the roof line of the tiny house which will cut down on wind resistance and fear of overpasses. Of course one has to consider the height of the person and how minimal you are willing to go.
      One thing I have noticed is when something new comes out (tiny houses for example) there are millions of people coming up with new ideas of how to make it better. Sometimes patience is a good thing.

  4. Christine said:

    I think I will build a 20’ NC800 it will have all the amenities that I will need and I can live on one level in that size. However, I designed a 12’ at a point when I was frustrated at how long the saving process was taking. I really like the 12’ but am not sure that it will be as practical when I am 65+ so I should keep saving and waiting. :/ The wait will increase the joy when the time comes!

  5. Joe Doakes said:

    IMHO, anyone who plans to “travel” with their tiny house should rent a large truck/trailer rig (private parties are online, offering to rent such rigs…….not thousands, but enough to “taste” before taking the BIG step) and take a multi-day trip. The lessons learned could enable a person to make a much more informed decision, and raise the odds that they will be comfortable/happy with the solution that they settle on. If that’s too much work, at least go down and price 1 ton, dual rear wheel trucks with engines large enough to drag your “tiny” house where you want to go. Get some info on what these “tiny” houses weigh (I believe them to be much, much heavier than a travel trailer of comparable dimensions), with all the year-round gear that goes with day to day living. Compare that to the rated towing capacity of that 1 ton truck and see how close you are to the edge of the vehicle’s capability. Finally, remember the news reports showing big rigs on their sides, blown over by the wind. Total height, center of gravity, cross-sectional size……..these and many more factors may make “traveling” in your “tiny” house a very dicey prospect. Also, there are many examples of “tiny” houses that can be reduced in cross-sectional size by lowering some portion of the upper portion of the coach, thereby reducing the unit’s susceptibility to wind, and lowering the center of gravity. I sincerely wish the best to all those who go down this road (no pun intended). Travel safe, be well and let everyone have the benefit of your experience.

    • Tom Bastek said:

      Joe, RARELY (I won’t say never) has a tiny home been blown over. They are WAY too heavy for that to happen.

  6. Sherry said:

    My guy and I are in our 3rd and final year of building my THoW in Oregon and, even though I hope to never move it, we’ve built it to the legal specs for travel just in case. It’s an 8×24 with a centered door on the back end with an attached porch, and the sleeping loft has a dormer roof. I think if one wants to tow such a house, the type of roof pitch may have some bearing when it comes to wind resistance. Even though I don’t plan to tow my tiny anywhere, I’m curious how the steep roof and dormered roof compare with the more flat roofs on the highway. I love this house and look forward to spending lots of time inside it. :-)

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