BHG Real Estate

2022-05-28 19:57:18 By : Ms. Jane Yan

Looking to downsize your dwelling or construct a backyard office or guest house? Consider a tiny house. Usually sized between 100 and 400 square feet, energy-efficient tiny homes allow homeowners to create a secluded backyard destination that you can customize and use as a home office, arts and crafts studio, homeschool space for kids, or simply a private escape from the main house.

Tiny house kits make it easier to construct a tiny home. Most kits come with everything you need to build your own diminutive dwelling (including parts and hardware), along with step-by-step directions that walk you through the entire construction process. Other tiny house kits just include the steel framing. With minimal tools required, some of these tiny homes can be built in just a few days with two adults. Here are some of our favorite tiny house kits to help make your tiny-home dreams come true. We looked at price, style, customization, square footage, and materials when choosing the best kits. The Hud-1 EZ Buildings Gustav kit was our overall pick for best tiny home kit because of its multi-room design, customization options, and covered porch.

Keep reading to learn more about each of these tiny house kits.

Why You Should Get It: This tiny house has three separate rooms and a loft, making it a great choice for both storage and hosting guests.

Keep in Mind: This kit requires over 750 square feet of space on your property.

Although this cabin-style tiny house kit is on the larger side with 456 square feet of interior space, we love the versatility that the design offers. Two smaller 9 x 6-foot rooms could function as guest bedrooms, a bathroom, or storage rooms, while the 19 x 6-foot loft (accessible by a ladder) could provide a sleeping space for kids or storage for seasonal decorations that you only need to access once a year. The main room has enough space for a small galley kitchen and family room, while the 300-square-foot fenced porch can host a porch swing and outdoor dining set. The cut-out design of the gable adds visual interest while improving airflow on the covered section of the porch.

Depending on your experience level, the manufacturer estimates you and a building partner can set up this tiny house in 48 to 56 hours using tools you likely already own, including a drill, saw, and hammer. The tongue-and-groove design of the wall and floorboards helps speed up installation. Finish your tiny house with a coat of paint of your choosing, or use a stain to maintain the cabin look.

Why You Should Get It: You may be able to avoid a building permit with this tiny house kit. Most cities don't require building permits for structures on wheels, but we still recommend consulting your local zoning codes.

Keep in Mind: This tiny house's wheels are purely decorative and cannot be used to transport the structure.

With its curved roof and floor-to-ceiling windows, this tiny home brings big style in a 117-square-foot package that's less expensive than many other tiny home kits. A railed stairway leads up to French front doors with dual glass panes. The doors and the two tall windows that flank them let in plenty of natural light, while another window, which can be placed on either side of the cabin, opens to welcome in the breeze. Vintage-style spoked wheels (intended for decorative purposes only) give this mini dwelling the look of a covered wagon. Ready-to-plant window boxes let you enjoy seasonal flowers from inside and outside the house.

The structure is built from solid spruce, and the manufacturer estimates it will take two adults three days to put together. Stain and seal the wood for a natural look or paint it to match your home or for a pop of backyard color. Want this tiny home without stairs and wheels? Check out the Allwood Mayflower Base kit.

Why You Should Get It: The steel frame can handle Category-5 winds, so it's a good choice for those who live in hurricane-prone areas.

Keep in Mind: This kit only includes the house's steel frame, so you'll need to choose and purchase the other materials to complete your tiny house.

While many tiny house kits use wood framing, if your geographic location experiences hurricanes or heavy snow, you may want to consider a steel-frame kit, like this tiny house. This petite home features three rooms—intended to be used as a bathroom, kitchen-and-living-space combo, and a bedroom—and would work well as a guest house for one or two people or as a detached mother-in-law suite. The retro, clean-lined design pairs nicely with mid-century modern homes, and a deck lets guests get some fresh air.

It's important to note that this kit only contains steel framing (and the necessary hardware to erect it). While architectural plans are included, you'll need to provide all of the additional materials, such as windows, doors, and siding. This does, however, give you the freedom to customize the design and better meet any local zoning requirements. A 50-year warranty shows this kit is built to last.

Why You Should Get It: This prefab backyard office space arrives already built—no construction required.

Keep in Mind: This tiny house is not set up for plumbing.

Floor-to-ceiling windows and a sleek, modular design give this office pod a distinctly modern feel. At 7.3 x 16.5 feet, the office offers enough space for a desk as well as a seating area to host coworkers or clients. You can also order a shorter-length pod, if you don't need as much space. A galvanized steel frame keeps the pod sturdy, and both the interior and exterior walls can be painted the color of your choice. The space has six recessed ceiling lights for late nights or rainy days, while the reflective windows add privacy. The pod also comes with four outlets for setting up all of your office equipment. On hot days, you can create airflow by venting the side window and opening the doors.

Since this home office kit comes prefabricated, all you need to do when it arrives is have an electrician hook it up to your main house's electrical supply. A crane will move the pod from the flatbed truck to your desired location.

Related: These 15 Office Items Can Help You Stay Focused and Organized

Why You Should Get It: This shed offers gardeners space for storage, working, and growing seedlings.

Keep in Mind: While this shed has plenty of windows and a portion of its roof is translucent, it won't let in as much light as a traditional greenhouse.

A cross between a greenhouse and a garden shed, the Sunshed includes six translucent polycarbonate roof windows that let in plenty of sunlight for growing plants and seedlings. The other half of the building is covered by traditional roofing to prevent it from getting too hot, while ten screened windows let fresh air in and keep bugs out. An included L-shaped workbench keeps plants near the windows while still providing plenty of room for a potting bar and storage. The Dutch door lets you open the top portion for airflow and keep the bottom half closed to keep pets out of plants and chemicals.

The Sunshed kit includes pre-cut solid western red cedar components, which are naturally resistant to rot and insects, and a plywood roof, but you can also upgrade to a metal or western red cedar shingled roof. Other optional add-ons from the Outdoor Living Today site include an interior wall panel kit, ramp, and shelving. A manual and helpful online instructional video guide assemblers through the construction process.

Related: 25 of the Most Life-Changing Gardening Tools on Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This tiny house kit offers both indoor and outdoor crafting space so you can take advantage of nice weather.

Keep in Mind: The ample amount of windows may quickly heat up the interior if the structure isn't in at least partial shade.

With an indoor area spanning just 86 square feet, this tiny studio is especially cozy. Although some might consider it too small for full-time living, this structure would work perfectly as a backyard craft space, art studio, or she-shed. The covered patio area just off the entrance is an ideal spot to paint outdoor landscapes or relax with a refreshing beverage at the end of the day. A sliding door leads into the bright interior, which features large windows that let in plenty of natural light to brighten your workspace.

Assembly should only take two days with two adults working. If you want to use the studio in cold weather, you'll want to add insulation to the walls followed by drywall. Some local zoning codes only require permits for buildings 100 square feet or larger, so you may not need a permit for this small structure. We recommend checking with your city. 

Related: 6 Storage Products That Will Keep Your Crafts Organized

Why You Should Get It: This tiny kit has a storage room that's separate from the main unit so you can hide clutter.

Keep in Mind: This kit comes with just one window in addition to the glazed double door, so it will have less natural light inside than other options on this list. You can purchase additional windows, however.

A wall divides the interior of this solid spruce cabin into a main living area spanning 106 square feet and a smaller space sized at 51 square feet, making this a great choice for a small yoga studio or pool house with plenty of space to store gear. Although the second room is intended for storage, it could also easily transform into a bathroom or cozy sleeping nook with a little creativity. 

According to the product description, assembly for this tiny house takes about two to three days for two people. If you purchase the kit from Allwood Outlet, you have the option of adding a factory-applied termite deterrent as well as one or two extra windows. You can also opt for an extra interior door to connect the two rooms.

Why You Should Get It: This stylish, non-plastic playhouse has a large side door that allows adults to easily enter.

Keep in Mind: The playhouse does not come with a built-in kitchen or furniture.

This miniature Cape Cod house provides plenty of make-believe space for your child while avoiding the less-sophisticated look of plastic playhouses. Functioning windows allow for airflow while two Dutch doors—one child-size and one adult-size—allow fun-seekers of all ages enter. Paint the color of your choice to match the look of your main house.

The components come labeled and precut for quicker construction. You can also add an optional deck with railing and a loft to your kit to expand the playing possibilities of this playhouse. We like the 8×10-foot size of this house, but four other sizes are also available.

Why You Should Get It: This tiny house kit allows you to customize the height of your cottage's ceiling.

Keep in Mind: The kit does not include a porch.

Paneled windows and doors line the entire front half of this cottage-style tiny house to let sunshine stream inside. The walls are made of Nordic spruce, tongue-and-groove planks, which offer some natural insulation against cool weather, but you'll likely want to add some subflooring and thermal panels along the roofing if you plan to use your tiny house year-round in cold climates. The tiny house kit comes with natural wood that's ready to be painted or stained in your desired color

For boosted ceiling height, you can order additional wall planks, which are sold separately in sets of one to three and allow you to add about 4.5 inches of height for each new layer. Want to make this a studio apartment? Upgrade your kit to include a 12-square-foot interior room that can be used as a half bath.

We recommend Hud-1 EZ Buildings' Gustav J44A Multi Room Log Building Kit With Porch because it offers multiple rooms and levels that you can customize to your needs. It also comes with a covered porch and deck for entertaining. For a more budget-friendly choice, consider the Allwood Mayflower Garden House with its curved roof, charming window boxes, and wheeled design.

When shopping for tiny house kits, you'll find most are sized between 100 and 400 square feet, although they may have a larger footprint if a deck or porch is included. Some also offer additional floor space via a loft. Consider your interior space and furniture needs when selecting the size of your tiny house. A studio apartment with a bathroom and kitchen will need more square footage than a small office. Keep in mind that a unit's square footage isn't the only amount of space your build will require. You'll want to take into account the size of your backyard and any local zoning requirements that specify the distance the tiny house must be from other structures.

Tiny house kits generally include most of the materials you'll need for building your home, including windows, doors, walls, and hardware. You'll be expected to provide your own tools to build the kit, but they're generally items you likely already have in your toolbox, like a drill, screwdriver, and hammer. Some kits will only provide the framing of your tiny house, which can be a hidden cost in less expensive kits. For more experienced builders, framing-only kits do allow you to get a custom look since you're able to select your own components. Items like foundation materials, shingles, and paint are rarely included in any kit. Make sure to carefully review the kit's materials list to understand what you're buying.

Some tiny house kit manufacturers allow you to customize your kit by adding extra windows, lofts, higher ceilings, interior rooms, and decks for an additional cost. You may also be able to make these additions yourself by picking up supplies from your local home improvement store but know that this could void the manufacturer warranty. Nearly all wood structures come with unstained and unpainted wood so you can customize the exterior.

The tiny house movement began gaining popularity in 2014 as people started cutting down their costs of living and embracing more minimalist lifestyles by living in structures that are under 400 square feet. Interest in tiny homes surged again in 2020 when homeowners were looking for private spaces to work and unwind during pandemic lockdowns. A tiny house kit provides buyers with an architectural plan and construction materials to make it easier to build their own tiny house.

Tiny houses can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $150,000, depending on the materials you use and your location. In general, it's cheaper to build your own tiny house than to hire a professional builder. Keep in mind, however, that if you're inexperienced you may quickly find yourself in over your head, especially if you're installing plumbing and electrical systems. A tiny house kit can help novice builders still reap some of the cost savings of building on your own while following a professionally designed architectural plan and using prefab materials. Do keep in mind that kits don't include foundation materials or shingles. Consider hiring a licensed plumber and electrician to handle any skilled work.

The recommended foundation varies, depending on your geographic location and the kit specifications. Pouring a concrete pad is a popular choice as is laying crushed rock or using pressure-treated beams on raised cinder blocks, which allows for good ventilation under the structure. Always consult your tiny house's manufacturer before selecting a foundation.

But before you begin building, be sure to read our guide to buying a tiny home and research zoning laws in your town.

Laura Kristine Miller is a commerce senior editor for Better Homes & Gardens. She's written about home and gardening products for over eight years. To make this list, she spent days researching tiny house kits, including different styles, materials, and customization options.