How much does it cost to build a tiny house? It really depends.
Are you doing the work yourself or hiring someone to build it?
At our Tumbleweed workshop they told us if we were hiring someone, take the cost of our materials and times it by 2.5 for a rough estimate of what it would cost to have someone build it for us. We do have to keep in mind the value of our time, but at this point we have more time than money, so it makes sense to do the majority of the build ourselves.
Are you using any reclaimed materials or buying new?
Again, we have to weigh the time versus money issue here. It takes time to scour Craig's List and garage sales and more often than not the items we have found have needed to be modified, so we need to balance that against the cost of buying new.
Will you have a washer and dryer?
Appliances are more expensive when you need them to fit in small spaces. It would be cheaper to get a separate washer and dryer, but for space saving purposes we budgeted for an all-in-one combo unit.
The budget for our tiny house is $31,000. I don't have a detailed explanation for how we came up with that number. We did some preliminary research for each of the following categories and then gave them an amount. We might end up being over in some and under in others, but our goal is to complete the build for $31,000 or less by October 15th.
We knew the exact amounts for some of the categories prior to making this budget (Plans, Trailer and Other (The Tumbleweed Workshop)). The remaining categories we are making an educated guess.
We decided ahead of time that this build would be paid for entirely in cash. At the beginning of the year we started a savings fund for a new vehicle assuming we would need to replace one of ours this year. Since the house became a priority sooner than a new vehicle, we utilized that savings account for some of the funding for the house. Here's the breakdown:
You'll notice the Extra Income is budgeted out until 9/4, so only a portion of it has been received. I budgeted only the minimum amount of pay, so the 2% left to fund will likely be made up by the Extra Income category, but I didn't want to count on it. If it came down to it we would likely hold off on getting our combo washer/dryer unit until after the build was complete if we end up short on the budget, but so far we've been fairly successful with either selling stuff or finding extra hours to pick up to make up the difference so I don't foresee the last 2% as much of a hurdle.
I feel like I would be leaving out a part of the story if I didn't mention why we have "extra income" now.
Because of the generosity of friends, we currently have no mortgage. With no mortgage comes no utilities, cable, or internet. For the first time in our marriage we are living entirely off of one income and saving the second. A friend once told me the best advice she received during their pre-marital counseling was to live off of one income when they got married and save the other and now I understand why. The second income is mine and I work part-time, but the beauty of living below our means is I have the flexibility to work part-time. Who knows what life will be like with two kids under two, but for now this has been a perfect fit for our family. The problem was when it was a perfect fit for our family but we couldn't afford it...which is one of the main reasons we decided to make such a drastic change in our living situation.
Our next work day is this Friday, July 3rd. It will be day 24 in our 127 day timeline. The progress may not look like much to anyone else, but to us the foundation of our new home is complete.
Head over to our Facebook page to see the pictures and follow our progress.