Towing your tiny home on wheels is not as simple as buying a truck and pulling the trailer along. Here are what you should know regarding the whole process of doing so.
Building a tiny home starts with deciding whether you want it on wheels or on a foundation. For the latter, here are some key points you should keep in mind.
Traditionally, tiny homes are built on trailers, for if you decide to live in a mobile house, you have no choice but to limit the space. This is because the size and the weight affect the moving and traveling conditions. However, a small house doesn’t necessarily need to be mobile. You may just want to live in minimal space to save on expenses or reduce your carbon footprint, among many other possible reasons.
If you want to reside in a mobile tiny home, then settle with a tiny house on wheels or that are more flexible approach. However, if you have no plans to make it mobile, building your house on a foundation is one of your best options. This is the first decision to make before anything else, as it will dictate your budget and living conditions. It also marks the start of the building process. After all, you cannot get started on the other parts of your tiny home without a foundation.
WHAT IS A FOUNDATION
In houses, the foundation is the lowest load-bearing part. It anchors your home to the ground and basically bears the weight of the entire structure. This makes the house stable and holds it in place so it does not move around in adverse weather conditions.
In tiny homes, foundations are optional. You can either build it on a trailer to move it around or attach it to the ground, either partially or fully, depending on your purpose, situation, and preferences.
CAN YOU BUILD A TINY HOUSE ON A FOUNDATION
It is possible to build tiny homes on a foundation, but several considerations must be assessed. The first would be the needs of your house. There are different ways to make a foundation, and depending on how you choose to go through with it, you may or may not meet your needs. To put it simply, think about why you wanted to go semi or fully permanent in the first place.
Another aspect to consider is your location. It will affect your structure limitations, climate, materials, and budget. The site should also be taken into account for tiny homes on wheels. However, not as much as in the case of having a foundation. After all, if your house is mobile, you can simply move to a different place if necessary, but that is not the case with permanent ones.
Regarding the budget, it is naturally crucial to make financial considerations. Different types of foundations come at varying prices, so choose which suits your needs best while considering how much it will cost.
The final aspect to weigh in before making your decision is your preference. Think about what you really want for your tiny home. What living conditions do you have in mind? Do you want to focus on practicality, accessibility, storage, or something else?
WHAT IS THE RIGHT FOUNDATION FOR YOUR TINY HOME
Now that you have contemplated your needs, location, budget, and preferences, it is time to determine the perfect foundation for you. If you are still unsure about committing to being permanent, consider skids or runners. This type of foundation holds your home in place but is detachable. It still would not be as easy to travel with, like a house on wheels, but it is the best option if you are thinking of moving in the future.
If you are set on being fully permanent, you have several options. The most common would be the concrete slab foundation. This is constructed by creating a wood form and filling it with concrete up to four to six inches thick. It is sturdy and easy to build, especially for those working on their tiny home alone or with minimal help, as it does not involve complex processes.
Did you know that you can also use the foundation for other purposes besides holding your house in place? With a basement, you can anchor your home to the ground and even have a space to use for more living space or extra storage. Unfortunately, it is relatively more challenging to build than slab foundation as it requires engineering, and it even costs quite a large amount of money.
If you want that extra space but for a more affordable rate, go for a crawlspace. It is like a mini basement for you can use it for more room, but it is not spacious enough to use as living quarters. Instead, you can place your wirings and pipes here. It provides an easier way to access them in case they need repairs. You can either choose a vented crawlspace, which is more affordable, or a sealed crawlspace, which is relatively pricey but minimizes moisture issues.
PROS AND CONS OF BUILDING A FOUNDATION FOR TINY HOMES
Depending on your situation, building a foundation for your small house could be significantly beneficial. Here are some of its notable advantages.
- Permanent foundations are more legally accepted.
- Tiny homes on a foundation are relatively safer to live at.
- Depending on the type of foundation, it may be more affordable than a trailer.
- Foundations offer more extensive living space and options for future expansion.
- You have more options for the structure and design of your house.
- You are allowed to connect to the city grid for electricity, plumbing, and Wi-Fi.
As mentioned, a permanent foundation is not necessary for a tiny home. You can choose to go mobile if it fits your situation better. After all, it also brings with it several disadvantages.
- Building your home on a permanent foundation means you cannot easily move.
- If you do not have land yet, buying the lot can cost you quite a large sum.
- There are additional expenses for the taxes and permits.
- Some types of foundations may be hard to build for beginners.
Whether you choose wheels, semi-permanent foundation, or fully permanent foundation, there is no right or wrong choice. After all, all options come with corresponding pros and cons. You simply have to consider what would work best for you in building your home. That also goes for what type of foundation you should use for your tiny home.
If you want an expert’s help in building foundations for tiny homes Texas permits according to its International Residential Code (IRC), visit Small House Solutions. If you need advice for your tiny home or want to book a consultation, the team is always ready to accommodate you.
Another factor that is often overlooked is the weight of the structure. Especially for a tiny house trailer, how much everything weighs is a matter of more significant importance than you might have thought.
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