Tiny Homes 101

When it comes to building a tiny home there are a number of questions that you need to ask and answer before you start building. To help you get started this Tiny Homes 101 section will help answer the common questions we here. If you have any additional questions feel free to contact us.

1. Where do I find info on road restrictions for my tiny house: weight, length, width, and height?

  • Woodalls.com
  • Your local ICBC or BCAA, national transport agency or insurance company, depending what country you're in

2. Where do I park my tiny house?

Anywhere you like where the landowners will let you (if that's you, you're a lucky duck). Legally, we have to say to check with your local by-laws etc. That being said, you can legally park a home on a trailer anywhere a flat deck trailer or RV may be legally parked. If you want some more in-depth thoughts and ideas from us on this topic, check them out here.

3. How do I insure my tiny house?

If we build your home, your castle on wheels shall have a VIN, which will allow you to insure your home as an RV. How do we make this magic happen? We are currently seeking certification as a Recreational Vehicle Manufacturer.

If you built your home yourself, or have it parked in a sketchy back alley somewhere, you can insure it as a regular trailer, or as a recreational vehicle. You'll have to provide the VIN for the "vehicle", which, if you built the house on a trailer, your VIN will be registered as a trailer, not an RV. To register as an RV, you'll need an RV VIN, which may require that the trailer be built by a registered RV manufacturer, or that you register your trailer under an RV manufacturer. This gets complicated. I foresee laws being changed in this area in the next decade.

If you have a wood stove or anything not to code in your home-on-a-trailer-bed/tiny home, you may have difficulty insuring your home as anything but a regular trailer. I always recommend to make sure everything's to code, and to have all work done by licensed tradespeople.

4. What's the most important part of the tiny house build?

The trailer. We custom build every trailer - your foundation (insert umpteen bazillion proverbs here) is the most important part of your home. If you bring us a trailer to build on, we will test it Mythbuster style. If it somehow vanishes during our testing, we'll build you a new one.

5. What's the most frustrating part of the tiny house build?

Waiting. Time. Snags. If you have your design planned to the teeth, this will be much easier for you. Good luck with the patience though.

6. How long does it take to build a tiny house?

4-8 weeks, depending on how much we want to see you squirm. Kidding! Time depends on complications in design or you - eh hem - changing your mind. Which we totally expect, by the way.

7. How do I know my tiny house will be road worthy?

Our homes are engineered to road restriction height and width, with cap weight in mind. Let's just say we've done our research.

8. What materials do you use when building a tiny house? Why isn't my tiny house compostable?

We use recycled, upcycled, downcycled, new, used, unwanted, abandoned, donated, purchased and all other kinds of materials. If you want eco-friendly stamps on everything, we'll get the little faeries out just for you. But seriously, living small decreases your footprint and decreases the resources used substantially, and on top of that, we do try to be as eco-friendly as possible, and we do take your allergies and sensitivities possible - we know that's probably a big part of why you want to live this way!

9. Can my tiny house survive bitter-cold Canadian winter climate?

All our houses are insulated as per normal construction regulations, based on the area for the designated home. So, for example, in the Lower Mainland we would use R16-R24 insulation. In Alaska, we would use R40-R60. Variables such as heating method, number of windows, roof style, size of home, etc. would be part of the calculation process to determine the best rating for a tiny house.

10. Who will design my tiny house?

We will work with you on your design, unless you choose not to be a part of the process; in that case we will work with our star four-legged employee, Scotch – he works for dog treats! In the design process, we will ask you so many questions you will wonder if you're applying for residency on Mars.

11. I need help! I want a tiny house, but I don't know where to start!

Hi, my name is Kayla, and I'm here to help. Start with what you want, not what you can't have or what won't work - I stop listening at that point. Start with your dream home, even if it's on a fluffy cloud of dancing ponies. We can work with that. We can't work with "I don't want" or "I can't" - chances are you want a whole lot of other things that are way more inspiring, and you can have what you think you can't, you just haven't thought of the possibilities yet. Click here to sign-up for our mailing list and receive our tiny house design guide and get started on the process now!

12. I want your tiny house floor plan. Where can I find it?

Good question. Scotch?

13. I love your tiny wood burning stove! What is it? Where can I get my own?

One of our most frequently asked FAQs! Kayla's wood burning stove is a magical little feature, aptly named "The Hobbit". The stove is made by Salamander Stoves out of England. You can buy them (when they can keep them in stock!) at Wright Mariner Supply. Tell them Kayla at Tiny Homes Canada sent you!

14. I have product I want to sell you, I want to buy a house built by you, or I want to work with you. How do I get in touch?

Show up for one of our open houses, intro events, send us a message, give us a call. Sign-up for our newsletter to receive updates!

15. When are your tiny house open houses? Seminars?

Check out our blog for seminar and open house dates, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

16. I've found you, but I didn't look through your site, your pictures, or your Facebook page, and I have three million questions for which I'd like answers. Can you please respond with an essay?

This page. Or call us - much quicker!

17. I really want to live this way. I have every tiny house book out there, I watch the TV series, I get daily newsletters, I dream in tiny, and I want your design ideas, your unlimited time, your resources, your energy, and your every breath.

Um, no? We are here for the people who would do anything to give up everything to gain something even better. We're here for the people who are done being stuck, and are ready to live again. We're here for the people who are committed and engaged to AWESOME. We're here for the people who have caught the bug, have seen the dream, are staring the catalyst in the face, and lacking the fuse!

18. I have a question you didn't answer.

Probably! Shoot us a message! We'll probably just call you back, so call me, maybe?

19. Are there any good tiny house documentaries out there?

Yes! Here's a very short list. Let us know what we've missed that's worth adding!