I think affordability is one of the first things people think of when Tiny Homes come to mind. And yes, they can be quite cheap but they can also get pretty expensive! It all just depends on how you do it. I think we did ours on the more affordable side and thought I'd share how we managed to build our own tiny home for under $10,000.
1. Become a Craigslist troll. This was a huge resource for us. We got a lot of awesome things and saved a lot of money by utilizing Craigslist. Almost all of our windows, which are in mint condition, are from Craigslist as well as all of our siding (it was so cheap!) and a few other pricy items like our white, ceramic, farmhouse sink which I looooove. So when you have something in mind but it seems out of your price range, get on Craigslist and see what you can find!
2. Shop around for the best deals. I think this goes without saying. Sometimes you need something quick, but if you can be patient and shop around, you can save quite a bit of money! Amazon is a great place to find deals, as well as Wal-Mart and just the internet in general. You can find places that offer free shipping or even sites that ship to the store for free like Home Depot and Lowes. Don't limit yourself to one place!
3. Reach out to the people around you for help, equipment, and supplies. *Most* of our equipment came from my Dad. I got really lucky to have a person close to me that loves his toys. And whatever he didn't have, we were able to ask around and easily find another generous friend that had the tool we needed. You can also rent from Home Depot but it's much cheaper to ask your friends, most people don't mind at all! Also, we found that people were more than willing to help when asked! My Dad happens to be an electrician and we had a plumber friend that donated their time to help us with those things that we were a little uncomfortable accomplishing ourselves. And a handful of our friends came out to help us on random days with whatever we were doing. I think getting the community involved was one of the best parts about this adventure! We could not have made this dream possible without the support of the beautiful people around us.
4. Plan on diy-ing a lot. I mean, obviously if you're going to build a house, you're going to do a lot of it yourself. But let me tell you, the internet... is your best friend!! People ask me all the time how I learned how to do so many things, and it's simple. The internet. I literally learned how to build a house online. I tried borrowing a few books from the library but I found that they were outdated and not specific enough for my needs. And especially now with the whole "tiny home movement" craze, there are so many more resources out there to gather knowledge from. You can learn to do just about anything via the web which makes diy-ing all the easier to do!
5. Create a budget and stick to it! This is something we were not so great at but luckily I'm really good at finding used/pre-owned things and diy-ing so it wasn't a huge issue. But like the old saying goes, "If there's a will, there's a way". We splurged on a few things in my house but even those weren't even a huge amount of money because everything in our house in tiny! So I would say, choose your battles. Decide what you absolutely need new and try to find the rest used. Or make it yourself. You know, whatever works for you.
While we are still adding on to this little home of ours, I can safely say that we definitely spent under $10,000 to make it livable. Which is amazing considering the prices of houses these days. But to achieve that, we utilized our resources to the fullest! We proudly took advantage of hand-me-downs, reclaimed and used items, and any donations/free items thrown our way. It absolutely took more effort than just going to the local hardware store but that's what makes our house so special! It was all so worth it. I love that I can look around my house and remember where we got random little pieces. So many people and so many adventures are a part of this home already, and in a way, it's like a blessing to our house. I love it. Every single bit of it.