A few days ago I received this email about the Itty Bitty House Company’s tiny house on a trailer post.
The insanely livable tiny house is almost $300/sq/ft. In my region, that’s insanely expensive ;-). My insurance company tags my stick-built ‘big’ house at $100/sqft replacement.
And for the most part, that statement is true, wouldn’t you think? But why? There has to be a reason for that, right? Big houses, when looked at from the perspective of cost per square feet, are cheaper. But what about maintenance costs?
It turns out that square footage is relatively cheap to make more of in a home. Especially with ‘big’ houses since materials like drywall and inexpensive flooring are used.
The real big costs are in windows, appliances, heat/cooling, plumbing, and electrical wiring if you don’t know how to do those last two yourself.
A perfect example of this is seen in Tumbleweed’s lineup of tiny houses. Their XS-House, at 65-square feet, would cost you $16,000 in materials to build it yourself. But If you purchased it ready made from Tumbleweed it would cost you $38,997 because you’re paying for someone else to do ALL of the labor.
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That’s $599 per square foot or $246 per square foot if you do the labor. The cost is high per square footage because it’s so tiny, yet it has most of the features/appliances in a home besides a washer/dryer.
Tumbleweed’s Popomo, at 172 square feet, would cost you $20,000 in materials to build it yourself. For $4,000 more you get 2.6 times the square footage! If you had Tumbleweed build it for you it would cost you $44,997. In this case, for $6,000 more, you get 2.6 times the square footage.
The Popomo has a cost of $261 per square feet, or just $116 per square foot if you do the labor. The point I’m trying to make is that cost per square footage is usually always cheaper the bigger the house gets.
So let’s take one more look at an even larger tiny house design from Tumbleweed. The Z-Glass House, at 370 square feet would cost you just $26,000 in materials to build it yourself. That’s just $70 per square foot if you built it yourself. Tumbleweed doesn’t offer to build this one for you because it’s not mobile. But you can buy the plans and have a contractor do it for you, or do it yourself.
Want to see a preview of what a Tumbleweed tiny house workshop is like? Here are a couple of videos that give you a sneak peek…
For a list of upcoming tiny house workshops click here.
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