ON WHEELS VS. SITE-BUILT

More often than not, when you say the words “Tiny House” most people picture what has come to be known as the standard tiny house on wheels. This type of tiny house is usually constructed on a purpose built flatbed trailer or a trailer that had been reclaimed or repurposed. That being the fact, there are definitely more options when it comes to choosing the foundation of your tiny house.

So which one is right for you? A number of different factors will determine what type of foundation is best for your tiny house project. To help think through some of the issues, consider the following preliminary questions:

  • How do you intend to use your tiny house? For example, will it be used as your primary house, home office, art studio, or just a separate bedroom?
  • What type of foundation does the law require? In light of your intended use, does your local building code or zoning ordinance require a specific foundation type?
  • Do you own or rent the land the tiny house will be located on? If you own it, do you want the option of removing the tiny house if you sell your land?

We’ve put together some Pros and Cons of both for your review. We’d be happy to sit and chat with you about your project to help figure out which is the best solutions for your needs.

TINY HOUSE ON WHEELS

PROS

  • Very portable living solution.

  • Does not require a building permit

  • Does not require any land work or excavation to begin building.

  • Does not require you to own land. (Many RV parks allow THOW’s)

CONS

  • Less architectural freedom.

  • Height and width limitations.

  • Shape limitations.

  • Financing a THOW can be difficult.

  • Insuring a THOW can be difficult.

SITE BUILT TINY HOUSE

PROS

  • You have more foundation options including concrete slabs, concrete footings (sometime with a basement or crawlspace), or even wood pilings.

  • Easier to meet building codes for permanent residences.

  • More options on size and shape.

  • More options on utilities, fixtures and finishes.

  • Easier to finance and insure.

CONS

  • Usually requires land work and excavation.

  • Usually requires permits.

  • Not very portable after it’s been built.

  • Requires that you own land.

  • May require infrastructure enhancements to accommodate utilities.

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