Tiny House Plans - Everything You Need To Know! » Tiny Real Estate

Tiny House Plans – Everything You Need To Know!


Tiny House Plans are essential part of the tiny house building process. Without a plan it makes it very hard to bring a vision to life. Almost everything that we do in life that goes really well and the end result is ‘successful’ is usually the result of a well thought out plan.

Building or buying a tiny house is no different. We need to carefully plan exactly what we want the finished product to look and feel like in order to achieve that goal. By having a comprehensive set of plans in your hands it gives you the confidence to make your dream come true. It is your very own personal road map to tiny house building success!

What Are Tiny House Plans?

Tiny House Plans are the building plans that we design before we begin building our tiny house so that we can be sure everything is going to work the way we want It to. They can be hand sketched or professionally drawn by an Architect or Draftsperson to ensure accuracy.

They are usually several pages long and consist of many different views of your tiny house, details of specific parts and technical notes. They can even include structural engineering approval for added peace of mind, framing drawings to make the timber frame building very easy and also can include a material list which can make purchasing the necessary materials a walk in the park.

Why Do I Need Plans?

By now it Is probably pretty obvious why it is a good idea to have some plans before getting started. Without them you run the risk of some serious costly mistakes. Not to mention the frustration when you realise that you have forgotten to include something that is actually really important or you have built a whole part of the house wrong and you now need to start over. It is just not worth it. Especially when you can get your hands on some great plans for very cheap. If the whole build is going to cost you $30,000 + then spending a tiny fraction of this on plans is a very worthwhile investment.

What Makes Good Tiny House Plans?

There are so many different tiny house plans out there so it is worth talking about what makes a good set. Some are great and some are terrible so check out the list below to help you in making a smart investment.

As there are so many different options these days with tiny house plans it is worth mentioning these differences as what is great for one person is not going to be so for the next. So what are the different options and what will suit me:

  1. Downloadable Sketchup Drawings – These are great if you are good on the computer or if you want to be able to modify the design to suit your own needs. They come as a downloadable file that you can open on your own computer and then you can make the changes you would like or simply leave them as they are. An amazing benefit of these is that you can change the measurements from metric to imperial and vice versa to suit your needs. You can then take your laptop or tablet to the the job and use the drawing to mark out and build your tiny house. They are really easy to use and you can measure, zoom, change views and change anything you like.
  1. Basic Plans (as a PDF or similar file) – These are great if you love the design exactly as it is. Unfortunately with these types you can’t really change the design to suite your own needs. The good part is you can print them out and use them on the job.
  1. Custom Designed Plans – This is where you work with a professional and work one on one to create the design of your dreams. There is no limit to what can be done with this option so it is great if you have lots of your own ideas you would like to incorporate into the design.


So now we have the 3 main types of plans covered we can look into what makes a good set of plans for each type:

  1. Google Sketchup Plans
  • The timber framing has been laid out for you so all you have to do is measure and build.
  • The internal layout is shown to give you an idea of what can fit in the space.
  • The windows, doors and any skylights have been put into the framing.
  • The design can easily be matched to a suitable tiny house trailer.
  • There are lofts in place (if the design is meant to have one).
  • The design has been built & tested in real life before.
  • The plans include the trailer in the plans to match the tiny house.
  1. Basic Plans
  • All elevations are included.
  • All of the timber framing is shown with detailed measurements.
  • All of the roof is shown with detailed measurements.
  • The loft is shown with detailed measurements.
  • Any internal walls are shown with detailed measurements.
  • The internal layout is shown so you can gauge space and what will actually fit.
  • The trailer design is included.
  • It comes with a material list for the main structural components.
  • The measurements are in the right units. If you like using metres, centimetres and millimetres then you need to find plans that cater for this. If you prefer imperial then the same goes for you.
  1. Custom Designed Plans
  • There is a fixed agreed price up front.
  • It includes everything you want.
  • Changes are allowed to be made along the way.
  • All elevations, sections, details and a plan view are included.
  • Structural engineering approval is included.
  • A detailed material list is included.
  • Detailed framing plans are included with all measurements and walls shown.
  • An electrical plan is included.
  • The trailer design is included.
  • The finished package is usually 10+ pages of quality drawings to make construction as easy as possible.


What To Avoid When Selecting Plans.

  • Plans that are in the wrong units of measurement. If you are American and you use feet and inches then avoid plans that are only in metric measurements and vice versa if you work in metric, avoid imperial plans.
  • Plans that don’t come with any after sales support in case you get stuck and need a hand.
  • Don’t make your decision purely based on cost as this is one of the areas where spending the extra will help you out so much throughout the whole build. You do generally get what you pay for.


How Much Should I Spend?

Plans for a tiny house range in price so much and how much you should spend is based on your own needs and budget. Plans start at around $50 for very basic designs and for a complete custom design you could spend as much as $3,000 or more. This can sound like a lot but when we consider that the average family home costs around the $4,000 + mark to design it’s still very cheap for a completely custom, high quality tiny house on wheels.

I opted to go for a complete custom design when I was designing my tiny house and I am so glad I did. I figured that I will probably only embark on a project like this once in my life so I may as well make it exactly as I would like it. Not to mention that the whole reason of going tiny in the first place is so that you can afford to have the things that are really important to you and since home is where you will spend a lot of your time, it is a good to make sure it will be a space that you will love for a very long time.


Where Do I Get Tiny House Plans?

Here at Tiny Real Estate we offer both off the shelf plans and complete custom design packages. You can check out our range of off the shelf tiny house plans here. If you would like a free quote on a custom design then send us an email here.

If you enjoyed learning about tiny house plans or if you have any experience with plans please leave a comment below. We would love to hear about your experience. Also please help us spread the tiny house movement by sharing this blog post on Facebook using the share buttons below. Every share helps us to reach someone who is struggling and in need of a helping hand and some inspiration.


P.S For those folk that skipped the post (like I probably would) to see what was at the end here is a summary of what the article is about. Learn:

  • What tiny house plans are?
  • Why you need tiny house plans!
  • What makes good plans?
  • What to avoid when selecting plans. 
  • How much to spend.
  • Where to get them.

You can view our range of plans here or contact us for custom plans here!


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