Don't let the building process discourage your from building your own tiny home. Modern sheds can provide the shell for your dream home. Add in electricity, a firm foundation and some finishing touches, and you will end up with the tiny house you desire.

Step 1: Learn the law.

Home sizes are determined by building code. Often, you can skirt around minimum home sizes by building in someone else's backyard (with permission) or by building on land outside of city limits. Before you start your build, check with your local building permit office or planning committee and find out what you need to stay on the right side of the law.

Step 2: Choose your shed.

Not all sheds are created equal. A wood, timber-built shed is your best option for turning it into a comfortable, small house. Fortunately, there are plenty of pre-built options available in this realm. Check that the wall and roof supports are sturdy 2-by-4 construction. Also check the door – you likely want a standard door with side hinges and not one that opens from a bottom hinge to form a ramp.

Step 3: Build a foundation.

All good homes, regardless of size, start with a great foundation. Cement slab foundations are inexpensive and sturdy, but if you are placing your new home in a flood plain or marshy area you may want to build it on piers instead. If go with a slab foundation, you can have it poured larger than the footprint of the shed so you have a built in patio area.

Step 4: Get it wired.

The foundation is poured and the shed is in place – now it's time to call in the electrician. Before you call, have a basic floor plan for your small home in hand. Your electrician can then work from the floor plan to place outlets and lights. If you will be putting in any kind of electrical heating system or appliances, he can help you wire for those as well.

The advice of a good electrician is money well spent. Not only will you know your wiring is safe, he can also help you avoid future problems so your small house can grow to fit your changing needs. He can also help you overcome any permit or inspection hurdles you run into when running electricity out to a shed.

Step 5: Install the insulation.

You're built and wired, now it's time to make it a bit more livable. A tiny home has few heating or cooling needs if it's well insulated. Insulation boards take up less of your livable square footage than traditional fiberglass batting, but they can be more expensive. Don't skip on the insulation and make sure windows and doors are well sealed.

Step 6: Finish the interior.

Now is the fun part! Install drywall or paneling to finish out your interior walls. Add shelves, room dividers and cabinets for storage. Trim, including baseboards and a finished ceiling, can really take your building from shed to home. Pick items that you will enjoy using and looking at for years to come.

Now that it's move in day, you can finally enjoy that small home of your dreams. Taking the time to plan and calling in the professionals when needed makes it easier to downsize and simplify your life.

Share