How Much Does It Cost To Build A Tiny House [With Foundation]

We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Tiny houses have been growing popular for the last couple of years. They are eco-friendly, cheap, and easy to maintain. Also, living in a tiny space close to nature gives you peace of mind.

How much does it cost to build a tiny house?

Building a tiny house costs about $25,000-$125,000. Calculating the cost of building a tiny home on a foundation depends on many factors. Firstly, you’d need land of your own. Then getting a house foundation and a permit are also important. Other building costs include framing, roofing, flooring, insulation, electrical and plumbing work.

That was only a preview of the whole discussion. Read along to learn in detail about the cost of each section!

Let’s begin!

Tiny House Building Cost Calculator

Building a tiny house costs $150 to $300 per sq. ft. To know how you’ve ended up with such an amount use this calculator below-

Cost of Each Factor200 sq. ft.300 sq. ft. 400 sq. ft.500 sq. ft.
Land$590-$820$820-$1,500$1,200-$1,600$1,360-$1,800
Foundation(Poured Slab Concrete)$600-$1,000$900-$1,500$1,200-$2,000$1,500-$2,500
Building Permit$30-$170$45-$255$60-$340$75-$425
Framing$8,730-$12,150$13,845-$18,450$18,460-$24,600$23,075-$30,750
Electrical $830-$3,240$850-$3,300$870-$3,360$890-$3,420
Plumbing$3,450-$7,780$3,525-$7,910$3,600-$8,040$3,750-$8,130
HVAC$1,300-$2,920$1,350-$2,990$1,400-$3,060$1,500-$3,200
Interior Cost$1,350- $6,200$1,350- $6,200$1,350- $6,200$1,350- $6,200
Total Cost$16,880-$34,280$22,685-$42,105$28,140-$49,200$33,500-$56,425

Wanna know in detail about all of the criteria above? Then read along till the end. We’ve broken down all the costs individually for you.

Tiny House On Foundation Cost Breakdown

Building a tiny house on a foundation costs about $25,000-$125,000. That is with the prefabricated structure. If it’s custom-made, the price range is $30,000-$200,000. The price range can be pretty high depending on your preference. They’re usually built on 400-500 sq. ft. areas.

Building a tiny house comes in many steps. With each step, you’ve to calculate the cost. To help you understand it better we’ve explained the cost of each factor. Hopefully, this will help you arrange a budget for your tiny house. 

Land

To build a tiny house on the foundation first you’d need solid land. Buying land for a tiny home wouldn’t cost you much. But it depends on where you want to build your home. 

For some areas, even a single structure area can cost up to $10,000. But you can also find areas where land price is cheap. For example, in some areas, you can find an area for your tiny house even at $1,000

The advantage of a tiny house on a foundation is that its value increases over time. It also wears down pretty less compared to other style tiny homes. Testing the ground & soil, footing inspection, building permits, excavation requirements are the additional costs. 

To do all these inspections, you’ll need to hire a land surveyor. Hiring a land surveyor costs $380-$540 on average.

Size Of LandPrice Of LandSurveyor FeeTotal Cost
200 sq. ft.$210-$280$380-$540$590-$820
300 sq. ft.$440-$960$380-$540$820-$1,500
400 sq. ft.$820-$1,060$380-$540$1,200-$1,600
500 sq. ft.$980-$1,260$380-$540$1,360-$1,800

Foundation

To build your tiny house you’d need a base structure. There are three types of foundation structures for tiny houses. You can make it poured slab concrete, basement, or crawl space. 

We’ve mentioned the cost for each type-

Type200 sq. ft.300 sq. ft. 400 sq. ft.500 sq. ft.Cost Per Square Foot
Poured Slab Concrete$600-$1,000$900-$1,500$1,200-$2,000$1,500-$2,500$3-$5
Basement$2,000-$5,000$3,000-$7,500$4,000-$10,000 ($12,000-$40,000 for full basement finishing)$5,000-$12,500$10-$25 ($30-$100 for full basement finishing)
Crawl Space$1,400-$2,000$2,100-$3,000$2,800-$4,000$3,500-$5,000$7-$10

Pouring a concrete slab for the foundation is the cheapest option for building a foundation. But make sure you’ve provided enough time for the concrete slab to cure before framing

Building Permits 

If you’re partnered with a professional tiny home building company, getting a permit is easy. They can handle permits, licenses, and other legal procedures easily. In such cases, you won’t have to deal with these issues on your own.

However, if you’re building your home yourself, you’d have to follow legal procedures. The first step to legalizing your housing is to get a building permit. The permit cost ranges from $0.15 to $0.85 per sq. ft. 

Here’s the cost calculation-

Square Ft. AreaEstimated CostCost Per Sq. Ft.
200$30-$170$0.15-$0.85
300$45-$255$0.15-$0.85
400$60-$340$0.15-$0.85
500$75-$425$0.15-$0.85

Framing

Framing your home is one of the most important parts of building a home. The framing must be good to make your house strong. 

The cost ranging for framing a tiny house is $5,000-$14,000. This cost includes mainly four different costs-

Cost of Each Factor200 sq. ft.300 sq. ft. 400 sq. ft.500 sq. ft.
Lumber$7,000-$8,000$10,500-$12,000$14,000-$16,000$17,500-$20,000
Roofing$900-$1,950$2,100-$3,150$2,800-$4,200$3,500-$5,250
Flooring$720-$1,800$1,080-$2,700$1,440-$3,600$1,800-$4,500
Insulation$110-$400$165-$600$220-$800$275-$1,000
Total$8,730-$12,150$13,845-$18,450$18,460-$24,600$23,075-$30,750

Lumber

lumber is a must component when it comes to building houses. The lumber cost per sq. ft is $13 to $15. The labor cost is $22 to $25 per sq. ft

The table below explains the cost by area per square foot-

Square Ft. AreaCost For LumberCost For LaborTotal Estimated Cost For Lumber
200$2,600-$3,000$4,400-$5,000$7,000-$8,000
300$3,900-$4,500$6,600-$7,500$10,500-$12,000
400$5,200-$6,000$8,800-$10,000$14,000-$16,000
500$6,500-$7,500$11,000-$12,500$17,500-$20,000

This is the total cost for framing your tiny house with every factor included in it. But it’s still great to know the breakdown. That’s why we’ve talked about the roofing, flooring, and insulating the house in detail. If you go through them, you’ll see how the cost varies for framing.

Roofing

Roofing your tiny house would cost you $6 to $9 per sq. ft on average. A little difference in the pricing can be found depending on the material you use. Cedar, slate, and tile are the most expensive roofing materials. Clay, asphalt, and metal are comparatively cheaper options. The labor cost is usually $1-$1.50 per sq. ft

The table below shows the cost for roofing and labor fee per sq. ft. we’ve also included the total cost for you-

Square Ft. AreaCost For RoofingCost For LaborTotal Estimated Cost For Roofing
200$800-$1,800$100-$150$900-$1,950
300$1,800-$2,700$300-$450$2,100-$3,150
400$2,400-$3,600$400-$600$2,800-$4,200
500$3,000-$4,500$500-$750$3,500-$5,250

Flooring

There are a lot of flooring options available now. You can choose to tile the floor, which is comparatively cheaper. But getting a wooden floor isn’t a bad idea either. You can start with plywood and upgrade the flooring later.

The cost for flooring depends on which flooring material you’re gonna pick. But the average cost for flooring is $3 to $7 per sq. ft. The labor cost is $0.60-$2.00 per sq. ft. 

The table below shows flooring costs for different area sizes-

Square Ft. AreaCost For FlooringCost For LaborTotal Estimated Cost For Flooring
200$600-$1,400$120-$400$720-$1,800
300$900-$2,100$180-$600$1,080-$2,700
400$1,200-$2,800$240-$800$1,440-$3,600
500$1,500-$3,500$300-$1,000$1,800-$4,500

Insulation

Spending a little more on the insulation can save you money for later. That’s why go with good insulation material for your tiny house. 

You can go with fiberglass batts, foam, and sheep’s wool. But the best option would be closed-cell spray foam. 

Because the benefits of using spray foam for insulation are many. They can seal your thermal envelope well. They are water-resistant and have the ability to prevent condensation. 

They also have the highest R-value per inch. So, it’s best you choose spray foam for your tiny house.

The insulation cost on average for a tiny house is $500-$1,000. A little difference in the cost may be found depending on the insulation product. The insulation cost per sq. ft. is $0.30 to $1.50. Labor cost is $0.25 to $0.50 per sq. ft.

Here’s a table to clear up any confusion-

Square Ft. AreaCost For InsulationCost For LaborTotal Estimated Cost For Insulation
200$60-$300$50-$100$110-$400
300$90-$450$75-$150$165-$600
400$120-$600$100-$200$220-$800
500$150-$750$125-$250$275-$1,000

Electrical 

The estimated cost for electrical work in a tiny house is $750-$3,000. This amount doesn’t include the labor fee. Instead, this just includes the cost of electric materials like wire, electric outlets, etc. The electrician fee in most areas ranges from $40-$120 per hour.

Here’s a table to make things clear-

Square Ft. AreaCost For Electric MaterialCost For LaborRequired Labor Time (hour)Total Estimated Cost For Electrical
200$750-$3,000$80-$2401-2 hours$830-$3,240
300$750-$3,000$100-$3002-2½ hours$850-$3,300
400$750-$3,000$120-$3602½-3 hours$870-$3,360
500$750-$3,000$140-$4203-3½ hours$890-$3,420

Plumbing

The estimated cost for plumbing in a tiny house is $3,000-$7,000. This too doesn’t include the labor fee. This includes the cost of plumbing materials like the toilet, sink, and many more. 

Tiny houses don’t require extensive piping. Also, the appliances are smaller than the average size. So, the cost isn’t that big.

The plumber fee for most areas varies from $75-$130 per hour.

Square Ft. AreaCost For Plumbing MaterialCost For LaborRequired Labor Time (hour)Total Estimated Cost For Plumbing
200$3,000-$7,000$450-$7805-6 hours$3,450-$7,780
300$3,000-$7,000$525-$9106-7 hours$3,525-$7,910
400$3,000-$7,000$600-$1,0407-8 hours$3,600-$8,040
500$3,000-$7,000$750-$1,3009-10 hours$3,750-$8,130

HVAC

HVAC for tiny houses costs around $1000-$2,500. The labor fee is $50-$70 per hour. HVAC for building tiny homes comes in many forms. 

Not all tiny homes out there require ductwork running through their truces. In such cases, the best option for heating is using baseboard heaters.

But you can also consider heating with gas, oil, or propane. However, choosing these options might cost you more.

Square Ft. AreaCost For HVAC MaterialCost For LaborRequired Labor Time(hour)Total Estimated Cost For HVAC
200$1,000-$2,500$300-$4205-6 hours$1,300-$2,920
300$1,000-$2,500$350-$4906-7 hours$1,350-$2,990
400$1,000-$2,500$400-$5607-8 hours$1,400-$3,060
500$1,000-$2,500$500-$7009-10 hours$1,500-$3,200

Interior

You’d need to allocate a separate budget for completing the interior design. But don’t worry, since the space is already tiny. You wouldn’t have to worry much about the furniture and decoration cost. 

Compared to the furnishing cost of a 2000 sq. ft. house it is way cheaper. In most tiny houses the interior cost ranges from $1,350 to $6,200. The cost range depends on the design and material price. This estimated range also includes the painting cost. 

Painting is an important part of interior finishing. The paint you buy is super important for a charming interior. That’s why it’s best to go for high quality paints. In our opinion, these are the best paint for decorating your house-

Product 1
Product 2

After getting the paint, you can do the house painting by yourself. Because it’s not that difficult. But you might think a professional painter can do the job better. In that case, you should remember, hiring a painter would cost $3 to $5 per sq. ft.

Well, that’s it! We’ve covered all the cost criteria for building a tiny house on a foundation. Hopefully, this helps you build your own tiny house someday.

Cost Of Other Types Of Tiny Houses [Optional]

Tiny homes can be built in many ways with different materials and locations. You can also build them on a wheel, container, or even on a tree. You can even buy an outer shell and make a tiny house out of it. Turning a shed into a tiny house is also a good idea

Here’s the average cost for different types of tiny home construction-

Type Of HouseAvg Cost Of Prefabricated Tiny House(Labor Included)Avg Cost Of Custom-Made Tiny House(Labor Included)
Tiny House On Wheels$20,000-$75,000$25,000-$120,000
Tiny House Shell$15,000-$40,000Not Applicable
Tiny Container HouseNot Applicable$120,000-$180,000
Tiny Tree HouseNot Applicable$50,000-$60,000
Shed To Tiny HouseNot Applicable$5,000-$30,000

We have provided a detailed discussion on each type as well in case you’re interested-

Cost Of Building Tiny House On Wheels (THOW)

Building tiny homes on the wheel will cost you $20,000-$75,000. That is with the prefabricated structure. For a custom-made tiny house, the price range is $25,000-$120,000. They are usually built on 100 to 400 sq. ft. area. 

The advantage of THOW is they can be moved or transported as you need. They are also very much affordable. One of the reasons for this is the plumbing design for THOW. They don’t forgo traditional bathroom plumbing construction. 

Instead, it includes an environmentally friendly composting toilet and stored water system.

Cost Of Tiny House Shell

Building a tiny home shell on a prefab costs $15,000-$40,000. The shell works as the outer frame and structure of the house. They are usually finished on the exterior but empty on the inside. 

That’s why they are not adjustable with immediate living. But they are affordable and offer more DIY options.

Cost Of Tiny Container House

A tiny container house costs about $120,000-$180,000. There are many advantages of container houses. They can be built on wheels or as a permanent house. It can be moved around even without wheels. That’s why they’re called jack of all trades when it comes to building homes.

Shipping containers can be of many sizes. Some of them are a good fit to be a tiny home. A shipping container is similar to a shell house. It gives you a solid exterior. 

They are weathertight and highly durable. But it can’t be livable without preparing an interior for it.

Cost Of Tiny Treehouse

Tiny treehouses are an amazing source of refreshment. Building a tiny tree house will cost you $50,000-$60,000. With this amount, you’ll be able to make a treehouse livable for adults. This budget includes the permit and utility fee.

Tiny treehouses are usually built on 100 to 250 sq. ft. Since they are very short in space you might feel confined in your house.  But tiny treehouses can be larger than 200 sq. ft. 

Cost Of Shed To Tiny House

Sheds can be easily converted into tiny houses. Building a shed to a tiny house will cost about $5,000-$30,000. The ideal size for this type of house is 100 to 200 sq. ft.

The Cost range depends on the materials you use. The more components you add, the higher the final cost will become.

How to Minimize the Cost of Building a Tiny House?

There isn’t much to discuss in this section. Because minimizing the cost of a tiny house is not very fruitful. Why?

Well, the materials and constructions should be properly dealt with. Plus these constructions don’t support DIY installation. That’s why minimizing the cost is hard for tiny houses. 

If you buy cheap material, you won’t like the final outcome. Plus in the long run, your house might face trouble. 

But the cost can obviously vary as you can clearly see from the above sections. Hence, if you’re lucky, the cost of building the house might be less than you’d expect. Before you begin building your house, remember sheathing under the siding is important. and if there’s no seating under the siding, you can reconstruct it easily.

FAQs

Question: How long do tiny houses last?

Answer: A tiny house’s lifespan depends on factors like building materials, the building process, etc. Whether the house is on foundation or on a wheel also matters. Foundation-based homes have the same lifespan as an average house. Tiny houses with wheels may not last as long as them. Because they wear out due to frequent movements.

Question: What are the benefits of living in tiny houses?

Answer: Living in a tiny house costs a lot less than average houses or apartments. Because the monthly costs are lower and so is the total home cost. Plus, tiny homes with wheels can be moved anywhere at any time. It’s the best housing choice for people who like to travel

Question: Do banks lend money to build tiny homes?

Answer: Not all banks do. Most banks have some requirements for lending money to build tiny houses. These requirements usually depend on the type of house you’re gonna build. Also, they depend on where it’s going to be built. Some banks do not lend money to specific types of tiny houses like THOW.

Conclusion

Now, you know “how much does it cost to build a tiny house?”. Hopefully, this helps you to make a detailed budget plan for your tiny home. It’ll help you get a much simpler life.

See you next time!

Melissa Hawkins