THE DETAILED VERSION...
COST OF LIVING: In Austin, Texas where we are based, houses can cost 200k on average; signing yourself up to continue paying a 30 year mortgage, taxes and utilities. Tiny houses on the other hand are in the price range of a nice car. The extra cash you would have from not being locked into any kind of long term mortgage can really go along way either for your savings or for your life goals. The utilities are a fraction of that large home and the taxes are quite different. Since Tiny Houses are on wheels and are impermanent structures , there are no property taxes. The less money you have to spend, the more you can save or the more free time you can acquire for yourself to enjoy life outside of the rat race. The best part? You can do all that and still have a beautiful high quality home.
SUSTAINABILITY: In America, we live a consumer driven society that wastes so much. We who choose to live in Tiny Houses can be happy to know that we are reducing our carbon foot print. Tiny Houses by their very nature allow you to use only the things you need and very easily eliminate the consumer wastes we have all done are part to produce. It is about minimizing and living within our means. Tiny houses use less utilities, less space and less waste.
BEING GREEN: Its also a great way to go green! You can decide to use a composting toilet, you can recycle your grey water into your garden to water the food you eat or the flowers you love. They can easily and inexpensively be set up with solar power and since you're living smaller there is always less waste. Being in the tiny house movement is a great way to reduce your space needs and give some space back to nature to grow and produce some of that oxygen we all breathe.
KEEPING YOUR OPTIONS OPEN: Tiny Houses are a great investment, especially for keeping your options open. You may decide that you want to travel and want to cut your costs down by not paying for a big home back in the states. Store your tiny house in a storage facility, rent it out while your gone, or just keep it where it is. What if you decide after a few years and maybe some kids you need to move to a bigger home? You can park your tiny house in the backyard and there you can have a guest house, your own backyard office or move it to your favorite lake and you have a vacation home. Since tiny homes are built as traditional homes they retain their quality and thus their value, so you can always sell it for a good price.
MOBILITY: Did we mention it's on wheels? So next week you get a new job, or just want a change of scenery, you can readily move your house. Pull it anywhere the road takes you. Tiny Houses are built to be pulled by standard trucks. Never move your furniture again! Maybe you would like one as a vacation home and half the year you want it in the mountains and the other half at the beach, you can do that! You own a hunting facility and you'd like to move the cabin to and from different sites over years, you can do that! You run a music festival and each year you change where the artists camp or rental houses are, you can do that! The possibilities are endless!
BEING OFF THE GRID: Tiny houses have the perfect design to be fully self reliant. Because your utility needs are very minimal, supplying your own is very attainable. Solar panels on the roof, water holding tank or tanks in the house, wind vane set on top and exterior water tanks are all great ways to get all of your resources from the world around you.
TINY HOUSES VS TRAVEL TRAILERS AND RV'S: The main difference is in the purpose each are built for. Tiny Houses are built like traditional houses. Tiny houses' main function first and foremost is to be a very high quality home built to look as any other house may look, just smaller. The material and building methods that are used in tiny houses are generally of a higher quality than travel trailers. Although Tiny Houses are built to withstand high winds and road conditions, they will never be as practical for traveling as a traditional travel trailer. Travel trailers are generally built to be temporary living structures for people who are traveling. The materials and building method are different. Generally travel trailers are not as high of quality and although they come with the same price tag and many times much more they aren't built to last nearly as long, with required re-roofing maintenance every 15 years. Traditional travel trailers' aerodynamics can not be beat as that is their main purpose. Tiny houses will retain their value where travel trailers will not. In the end it's really a matter of preference, if you are planning on traveling a lot, a traditional travel trailer may be better for you, but if your intent is to have a nicer quality home that has the option to move whenever you'd like, then a tiny house is for you!
PRICE: How much does a Tiny House cost to buy? A fraction of a traditional home! You can own a tiny home for around the same price as a new car or RV and you'll have an awesome place to live! Tiny Houses generally range between 30-70k. It mainly depends on the size of the house, materials used, amenities included and man hours to build. We price very competitively and hope to offer better financing options in the future.
WHY HIRE A BUILDER INSTEAD OF BUILDING ONE YOURSELF: So you say you want a tiny house! You have thought about building your own and you can, but it is a big task! There are many things that go into it, towing knowledge, foundation securing, framing, framing for high-speed wind, roofing, and weather sealing for small structures with no overhang, installing windows, doors, welding, counter framing, furniture building, electrical, plumbing, loft building, siding, flooring, building the proper appliance connections and the list goes on. It may take a couple over a year to build their own tiny house, while juggling jobs and all the other things life likes to throw their way. In addition to the skills and time necessary to build a Tiny House, procuring all of the obligatory power tools and materials can be costly. Our Job is to build Tiny Houses in a fraction of that time. We have over 15 years of building experience and know how to build a sturdy, quality structure capable of withstanding all the elements and travel requirements. Through our previous building experiences we have acquired sizable knowledge as to how Tiny Houses need to be built and fitted. We live Tiny Houses, so we've had a lot of time and thought that has gone into the design aspect that may prove to really enrich the quality and functionality of your home. This is not meant to discourage you from building your own, but if you decide to hire a professional builder, Nomadic Cabins would love to help build your new home!
HOW DID NOMADIC CABINS COME TO THAT PRICE? : You may hear, "look at this tiny house built for only 28 thousand dollars." What they don't disclose to you is that it took a couple over a year to build and the said price is only the price of materials. There are obvious financial advantages to building your own tiny house, but as one could imagine it takes a lot of time, with a large set of building skills to do it in a safe manner. So lets say you decide it's worth it to hire a professional builder to build your tiny house; the builder in order to operate must pay his/her carpenters, electrician, plumber, designer, and charge a standard home construction profit to stay in business. To operate a Tiny House company, there are certain expenses that must be paid: space to rent, utilities, insurance, taxes, various government fees, tools, supplies, accounting, office hours, time and the list goes on. So suffice to say there may be more to it than some may originally think to building their own Tiny House, but that's where we come in. We will build your tiny house in a timely manner, with all the expertise, and skill to build you a beautiful house you can feel safe hauling down the highway to anywhere your life may take you.
WHERE CAN I PUT MY TINY HOUSE: There are three answers to this. First and easiest, an RV park. Second, you may buy your own property and put it there. Depending on your city the area may have to be zoned for a mobile living structure. Lastly you may decide to rent some space on someones private property (familiarize with your city's housing laws). In many places the laws are still very vague, but if you approach your living status more like an RV it becomes much easier to figure out as RV's have been around for a long time now. In Austin, where we are based, you may drive around and see RV's in peoples back or front yard. In Austin, as long as you can not be seen from the road or there is a six foot tall privacy fence around the structure, it is allowed. A non-permanent living structure such as an office or an entertainment space does not have to meet the same kind of restrictions. It may also depend on the city you're in but most are much more lenient to non-living structures in your yard. You may decide the hustle and bustle of the city isn't for you or your lifestyle; once your are beyond the city or incorporated areas (i.e. the country side), the laws loosen up and it becomes easy to place your tiny house.
CAN I INSURE MY TINY HOUSE: We will build your house on a hauling trailer that you will be able to insure the trailer itself and the value of it's load.
HOW DO I SECURE MY TINY HOUSE: There are a few ways this. First off, we suggest you invest in a master lock universal coupler. Second, if you are in a more permanent place, you may decide to take the tires off and place them under the house for storage. A skirt around the house looks aesthetically pleasing and is a great way to store things under the house out of sight. Third, you may decide you'd like to place a chip in a hidden spot, essentially the same way its done for a motorcycle. All of these options are great if you have any concerns about securing your house where you are, but you could always do all three if you wanted to be extra safe.
HOW WELL DO TINY HOUSES TRAVEL: This can be a tricky one. It is a case of give and take. The smaller size tiny houses are great for travel, since they weigh less they can be pulled with smaller vehicles. The larger Tiny Houses have more living space and amenities but requires a truck rated to pull the corresponding weight and may be a bit harder to pull, relatively speaking. We like to advise people if you plan on traveling a lot to go with one of the smaller models. Tiny Houses are not traveling homes as much as they are homes that can travel.
HOW BIG CAN A TINY HOUSE BE: Tiny houses by their very nature are meant to go down the road. They can be no wider then 8.5 feet to be driven down safely and legally. They are designed so anyone with a class C drivers license may pull one. Anything over 40 feet long is not a Tiny House, but more importantly if they are too large and too heavy you can no longer use a regular truck to tow one. Downsizing is what it's all about, and we pride ourselves in designing exceptionally useful and abundant living space in Tiny Houses.
ARE THEY INSULATED? Yes! They are built just like an ordinary home.
HOW DO I PARK MY TINY HOME: The same as you would an RV. You ideally would like to be on very level ground. You put down your stabilizing jacks, if you plan to be in one spot for a while you raise the house so the wheels are off the ground and you level it out of jack stands rated to hold over the weight of the house.
TAXES: Only sales tax! It's not a permanent structure so there is no property tax!
CAN I COVER THE WHEELS WHEN ITS PARKED: Yes absolutely! You can put a leather cover on them, or you can put a skirt around the house. Once skirted, you no longer see the Tiny Houses' wheels, portraying a grounded countryside cabin.
HOW MUCH WILL MY ELECTRICITY BILL BE?: Cheap! If you're in an RV park most of the time this is included, but if not, depending on your area and amenities we estimate between $25 to $65 per month at maximum.
HOW DO I STOP THE HOSES AND PIPES FROM FREEZING IN THE COLD OF WINTER?: You may either let them drip if you're anticipating a freeze, or you may insulate the intakes, but you may decide to do both.
DO I HAVE RE-SELL VALUE: Absolutely! Tiny houses are built the same as traditional timber frame houses. They are built to last just as long, the materials used are high quality and the longevity of the materials is very long. The galvanized aluminum we use is rated to last 100 years. Cedar exteriors are great as they naturally repel insects and take much longer to rot than other wood materials. Cedar does not take much heat and is a strong wood lasting longer than most others. Because of all these things the Tiny Houses we build at Nomadic Cabins have great re-sell value.
FINANCING: Financing is a great option for someone who may have enough to put a down payment versus an upright full payment. Tiny Houses cost around the same amount as a car so the payments would be similar to that or a car loan and not a large long term 30 year home mortgage. Can you get financing on a Tiny Home? This is a tricky one at the moment, you may be able to get a loan from your bank depending on your credit. We currently do not offer financing but we are working hard to complete the steps we need to be able to offer financing.
ELECTRICITY: Tiny House, tiny electricity bill! If you're not set up in a lot where electricity is already included in the cost then you may be paying directly for your electricity. Either way, you are in luck because tiny houses are very small and are built with modern energy efficient fixtures lessening your bill. Your electricity bill would generally range anywhere from $25 to $65 dollars a month depending on your use and habits.
TOILET: You have a few different options here. You may choose to have a traditional toilet. Traditional toilets require a black water line that is connected to either city sewage or septic. Septic can be hard to find or get if you live in the city limits depending on the laws of your local governments. You may choose to have a composting toilet. There are low tech and high tech versions. The low tech is as low tech as it comes, where you will have to saw dust and remove your waste the same as those in the pioneer days may have. The high tech compost toilet does much of the dirty work for you. There are incinerating toilets that burn the waste. There are quite a few options and the best way we can advise someone is to get the toilet that is better geared to to there lifestyle.
PLUMBING: Tiny House plumbing can be done a few different ways. First off, you connect your water the same way as any RV. You hook a garden hose to the connection on the side of your house and now you have water! You may heat the water with either an instant propane heater or a traditional tank but we suggest the instant propane because it takes less space, energy, and resources. It also works immediately and only runs out if you're out of propane so you can take hour long showers and not run out of hot water. Now you have water, there are two types of outs. Your grey water and your black water, depending on how you're going to set up where you live you may choose to run those together or separate, but we can build any configuration for you to do so. All in all Tiny Houses are very easy to set up and maintain!