- What is a Tiny Home?
While the average American home is around 2,600 sq ft, a Tiny Home is typically 100 to 400 sq ft. These Tiny Homes are built using conventional building methods and meet or exceed building codes. They are typically built on a trailer that has been specially manufactured for a Tiny Home. These Tiny Homes can also be built on a concrete foundation. Tiny Homes come in all shapes, sizes, and styles, and while very small compared to the “average” U.S. home, they support a simplified lifestyle by making the most of a smaller, more efficient space.
What’s with this “Tiny Home movement?” Why would someone want to live in a Tiny Home?
It’s a social movement where people are choosing to simplify and downsize the space they live in while experiencing greater freedom, savings, and space efficiency. People consider Tiny Homes for a lot of reasons, ranging from environmental and financial concerns to having less to clean, store, and maintain. Tiny Homes are a great alternative to dorms for college students, a creative solution for people who want to experience the perks of travel and taking their homes with them, a second home for the in-laws, or a great place to rent out as a bed and breakfast.
I’m thinking about having a new Tiny Home built. What things should I consider as it relates to the actual construction of the Tiny Home?
Similar to building a house on a foundation, there are a number of items to consider when having a Tiny Home built. We have put together a great checklist to walk you through this process. Please click here to access that checklist.
How much does a Tiny Home cost?
The base price for professionally built Tiny Homes is typically between $30,000 and $50,000. When working from a base model and making customizations, the price typically ranges from $50,000 to $75,000. A fully customized Tiny Home (with added features and premium accessories that vary from the “standard” floor plans) might cost $80,000 to $100,000. The main 2 factors in determining price are the size of trailer and interior finishes (similar to regular house built on a foundation).
Do you have a price catalog?
That’s something we’re working towards. For now, everything is custom priced based on size, interior finishes, etc.
Will you deliver to other states?
Yes, we will deliver to anywhere in the United States. For standard width trailers, our delivery fee is $2 per mile. There are also several reputable businesses that specialize in hauling Tiny Homes.
Can I get financing for my Tiny Home?
Yes! While it was fairly difficult in the past to find Tiny Home financing, there have been several lenders warm up to the idea. As the Tiny House industry matures, we believe more and more financing options will become emerge. For now, here are several options available to finance your Tiny Home:
- Lightstream, which is a subdivision of SunTrust. Lightstream offers an easy, streamlined application process at lightstream.com/tiny-houses.
- RockSolid Funding is located in Texas and finances Customers all across the United States. Please visit their website at https://www.financemytrailer.com/
- We’ve heard of other local credit unions and smaller banks offering in-house financing based on more of a relationship lending situation. As we come across specific banks and/or credit unions that offer financing for Tiny Homes, we’ll add their names to this section.
Can I get insurance for my Tiny Home?
Contact your local insurance agent for Tiny Home insurance, which will differ depending on your location and circumstances.
What’s the average width, height and weight of a Tiny Home?
The limits to pull Tiny Homes on the road without a permit are 8’6” wide and 13’6” tall in most states. Most of our builds will be within these limits. However, sometimes we will build on a 10’ wide trailer knowing a permit will be required to haul it. On average, the weight will be 10,000 to 12,000 lbs with larger Tiny Homes pushing 15,000 to 17,000 lbs.
Who manufactures your trailers?
We build our Tiny Homes on trailers manufactured by Trailer made Custom Trailers, LLC in Denver. See why here.
Can I get vintage finishes?
Yes! We love vintage finishes. In fact, we work with an AWESOME designer that has done some FABULOUS vintage finishes on old buildings, etc. She has quite an eye for vintage! She even hosts her own antique/junk sale twice a year at an old gas station she refurbished.
Where are your Tiny Homes built?
Our trailer manufacturer is in Denver, but our construction facility is in Texas. Once a trailer is built at the manufacturer’s Denver location, the trailer is hauled down to our construction facility in Texas for the remainder of the Tiny Home construction.
What inspections are required or done on Tiny Homes
As it stands right now, there is no “standard” for inspections in the Tiny Home industry. While some Tiny Homes are built to RVIA standards (which is the code that governs the camper industry), we feel that standard is too low for the Tiny Home Industry. We build our homes to similar codes as a stick-built house on a foundation. After much research, we have recently selected Bildsworth to inspect and certify our Tiny Homes.
Do you provide any kind of certification w/ your Tiny Home builds?
We have made a conscious decision to not get the RVIA Certification for our Tiny Home builds. RVIA Certification, by definition, is meant for Recreational Vehicles that are used for temporary living. Our Tiny Homes are built for permanent living, which requires a higher quality of building materials and workmanship. These are fully functioning homes, just like a standard stick-built home. The quality of our builds far exceed the requirements in the RVIA Certification. As such, we don’t feel the RVIA Certification aligns with the quality guidelines of our builds. As mentioned above, our Tiny Home will be certified by Bildsworth, which more closely aligns with the quality guidelines we believe Tiny Homes should adhere to.
We’re thinking of a “college dorm room” Tiny Home for our student instead of paying for on-campus housing. But where do we park it?
It’s different for each state and municipality. If someone knows where their son or daughter is headed for college, we are happy to check on the local zoning regulations for the surrounding municipalities for that area as it relates to Tiny Homes.
How do you hook up to utilities in a Tiny Home?
Some Tiny Homes are built to be fully self-contained with Solar power. While Solar is the most earth-friendly of the options, it is almost a more expensive undertaking when having your Tiny Home built. If your Tiny Home is not built to be fully off-grid with Solar, you’ll need to make sure you have access to electricity where your Tiny Home is parked. The electric load is different for each Tiny Home. Understanding the full electric load of your Tiny Home and having the proper types of plugs, cords, etc is vital in making sure the electricity is a good match for your Tiny Home. Most Tiny Homes are built with either 30 amp or 50 amp hookups.
When it comes to water, you have a few options: 1) Exterior water connection – If you have access to an outside spigot (for example, if you are keeping your Tiny Home in your back yard or at an RV Park), you can use a regular RV white hose with a pressure regulator for connecting to the water source. 2) If you choose to build a Tiny Home without running water or plumbing, you can carry water from outside water sources in and out of your Tiny Home. 3) Similar to the setup of most RV’s, you can have a freshwater holding tank installed inside your Tiny Home and use a pump to circulate and pressurize the water system. 4) We’ve seen a few Tiny Homes set up with a full water catchment system. While water catchment is not an area of our expertise, if this is an option you’re interested in, we’d be happy to jump into the research with you.
Propane or Natural Gas is often a good choice in Tiny Homes to reduce the electric load that is needed. The 2 easiest places you we can reduce electric load and replace with a gas supply in your Tiny Home is with a gas stove and gas tankless hot water heater (instead of electric for each). When constructing a Tiny Home, the gas holding tanks can be built into an external storage shed area right on the Tiny Home.
What about … you know … the bathroom? How does waste disposal work?
Waste disposal is something that needs to be addressed early in the construction process of a Tiny Home as it dictates the type of plumbing needed. There are several options for waste disposal:
- Self-composting toilet – if you do not have access to sewer facilities, this is a great option. Lots of Tiny Home enthusiasts that are living an off-grid lifestyle love this option! There are several different models of self-composting toilets, so be sure to do your research. These types of toilets are the most expensive of the 3 options.
- Wastewater holding tank – similar to an RV, a wastewater holding tank can be installed. When needed, this tank is emptied into a sewer system using similar sewage hookups as a standard RV.
- Regular flush toilet – if you have access to sewer hookups, this is the cheapest and easiest of the 3 options since we can use regular plumbing materials during construction. The cost of a regular flush toilet is typically around $100-$200 as opposed to a self-composting toilet that can cost $1200-$2000.
I’ve heard you can build a Tiny Home to be completely off-grid. Is that true?
Sure! There are a lot of options with custom builds to help lower your footprint and save money. From solar power, self-composting toilets, a propane tank, and onboard water storage, you can have maximum off-grid freedom.
How can I prevent my Tiny Home from being stolen since it’s on wheels?
If it’s mobile, it can be stolen, so prevention will be your best recourse. Some ways to protect your Tiny Home from theft are to always use a hitch lock for your trailer hitch, use an Anti-Theft Wheel Lock clamp, and take other precautions like using security lights and motion sensors. If you’re not going to be moving around a lot with your Tiny Home, you might even consider removing the wheels to your Tiny Home.
Are Tiny Homes really mobile?
If built on a trailer, then, yes, they sure are! If you want to explore the country and move from city to city every weekend or few weeks, we’d recommend getting an RV. But if you want to go somewhere new (and take your house with you!) a few times a year, a Tiny Home will enable you to do that. While they ARE mobile, they’re not meant to be moved every weekend like an RV.
Do I have to get a permit to move it since it might be considered an oversized load?
Great question! Most of our builds will be within the legal road limits, so a special permit is not required. In most states, the road limits are 8’6″ wide and 13’6″ tall. We will, however, also build on a 10 foot wide frame from time-to-time, which would require a special permit in whichever states the trailer is being hauled. The process is fairly easy to obtain that permit, and it’s fairly cheap to get one from the DOT. For example, in Colorado, the single trip oversize permit is $15.00 and can be obtained online fairly quickly & easily.
What does Rafter B mean? How did you come up with your name?
“Rafter B” started as the Barton family’s cattle brand back in 1972 (the letter “B” with a “Rafter” above it, which looks like a roof line. The brand was registered in Tarrant County, Texas, to identity the livestock that belonged to the Barton family. It was only fitting to keep the family brand name as part of our Tiny Home business.
Do Tiny Homes appreciate/depreciate in value just like the regular housing market?
Since the Tiny Home movement is still somewhat in its infancy at the national level, we currently do not have enough data to confidently answer this question. We can say this, though: if you’re looking for a much simpler lifestyle where you can quickly pay down the principal balance on your home and not be riddled with debt, Tiny Homes are an excellent investment.
Can I put a Tiny Home on my existing property and use as a rental or guest house?
This varies from State to State, and even municipality to municipality, so please consult with your local Planning & Zoning department to see if they are allowed in your area.
Do you have models that I can tour? Is there a way to have a Tiny Home experience before I decide to buy?
Yes we do! Stay tuned for an announcement soon about where you can visit one of our models at a beautiful resort near Ft. Worth, Texas. We are also working towards having several units available at our construction facility (a working ranch) near Bluff Dale, TX. We welcome you to join us at any of the Tiny Home Festivals where we’ll be showcasing one of our Tiny Homes. Throughout the year, we will also host a few Open House events. Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram for announcements about these events.
How soon can I have a Tiny Home built? Does the timing change depending on your model selections versus a custom build?
It depends on a few factors such as how quickly we can get the trailer from our manufacturer (depending on their timeline), how many Tiny Homes are currently in the construction process, the availability of materials, and other factors as they arise. However, around 2 months is probably a decent average. The timing on a custom build might be a little longer if we are using some harder-to-find materials.
Do I get to select appliances and design elements?
Yes, whether you are purchasing one of our standard floor plans or working with us on a custom build, there are a number of design elements you’ll be able to select.
Do you have pre-built in inventory that are ready to buy?
At this time, we are only building to order. However, starting in early 2019, we anticipate having pre-built inventory available as we land on a few “standard” floor plans.
Do you sell Tiny Home plans so I can build my own?
Yes, we do have several floor plans available where we have worked with a design person to design the footprint and exterior elevations. If you are a DIY’er planning to build your own Tiny Home, we’d be happy to sell you a copy of those plans for a nominal fee. We are also happy to consult with you during construction. The consulting fee varies depending on how much or how little we’ll be involved in the process.
Do you give back to your community with any of your Tiny Home profits?
We do! Giving back to our communities is very important to Rafter B Tiny Homes. We have a heart for the homeless, children and our veterans. We are always looking for partners to help with these efforts. Click here to learn more.
Didn't see your question here? Please contact us to discuss in more detail. We want to help to provide you with all of the information as you start your Tiny Journey!