20 Free DIY Tiny House Plans to Help You Live the Happy Life
Have you heard of the tiny house movement?
Of course, you have. The idea is spreading like wildfire. More and more people are selling their large normal sized homes and in turn building houses that are about a third of the size of the original house.
Imagine living in a house that is about 8.2x23ft. It sounds crazy but the amounts of cash saved makes the change bearable and worth it.
Part of the saving comes from the fact that these houses can be turned into DIY projects. Speaking of which, I have compiled a list of small house plans you can choose from.
Hopefully, they will inspire you to embark on a DIY project.
- Things to Consider When Building a Tiny House
- 20 Free DIY Tiny House Plans
- 1. Quartz Tiny House
- 2. DIY Texas Round House
- 3. DIY Bohemian Tiny House With Wheels
- 4. DIY 8x20 Solar Tiny House
- 5. DIY Cascadia Cottage Accessory Dwelling Unit
- 6. DIY Homesteader Cabin
- 7. DIY Ash Bantalow Tiny House
- 8. DIY Tiny Solar House
- 9. DIY Tiny Market House
- 10. DIY Alberta Backyard Bungalow
- 11. DIY Sago Tiny House
- 12. 8x12 Tiny House
- 13. DIY Borealis Writers Cabin
- 14. DIY Ladder Tiny House
- 15. DIY 8x8 Tiny House
- 16. DIY Hydrangea Tiny House
- 17. DIY Lookout Tiny House Cabin
- 18. DIY Tamarack Tiny House Plan
- 19. DIY Forest Rose Tiny House
- 20. DIY Tiny Tack House
Things to Consider When Building a Tiny House
While the tiny house movement has grown in popularity over the past couple of years, people still know very little about them. Actually, most do not realize they can build their own tiny house.
But if you have and want to start on one, below are some things you should know and do.
1. Have a Budget from the Get-Go
Tiny houses are not expensive, but they can be. To keep yourself from overspending, you will have to set a strict budget from the start.
Some individuals have built tiny houses for a few hundred dollars to $40,000 even. Without parameters to guide your spending, there is no telling how high the costs may go.
Before you commence on the tiny house, you should have the design of the house in mind, know the materials to be used and how much each material will cost.
It is after asking and answering these questions that you embark on online research to determine the cost estimate. To the cost of every material, remember to add about 15 % cushioning.
2. Determine a Place to Call Home
Before you embark on the project, have a predetermined spot where it will stand. Given that it sports wheels does not mean you will drag it all over the country.
It would be best if you build the tiny house close to a hardware store. This proximity will save you time from the inevitable trips to the hardware store.
3. Consider Insurance
A common misconception about tiny houses is that they do not need insurance. Well, if your tiny house will be permanently installed on your land, you will need to pay a home insurance policy.
On the flip side, if it is built with wheels, things get a little bit tricky. For such tiny house designs, you might have to consider different options.
If you intend to move the tiny house only once a year, you could cover it with the stationary trailer insurance policy.
However, if you will move more than once a year, then you should get the travel trailer insurance policy.
4. Think About Layout and Size
It is so easy to lose sight of the goal and purpose when building a tiny house. When planning, lots of things may pop up and seem like essentials and must-haves.
But remember, too many of these will beat the whole point of having a tiny house. Instead of seeing it as sacrificing, look at it from the perspective of how much it will allow you to get done.
5. Rent Before Building
It is important to take a new car out for a test drive before buying it. The same way, before you decide to build a tiny house, ensure you have been in one.
Feel what it is like to live in a tiny house before investing your time and money in one. Good thing there are lots of tiny houses up for rent.
It is as such a matter of picking one that resembles your tiny house design in layout and size.
20 Free DIY Tiny House Plans
1. Quartz Tiny House
If you are looking for a tiny house to use while you are in a remote cabin, this is a perfect fit. It features a clean design. It is dry to minimize on maintenance and has minimal amenities too.
This DIY tiny house by Ana White has been built on a trailer measuring 8.6x24ft. Given that the tiny house features roof overhangs, Ana White had to acquire a permit before transporting it.
Ana White provides tiny house floor plans for the specific design and also additional plans for a tiny house with complete amenities. The latter is perfect for full-time living.
This tiny house design can accommodate 6 adults comfortably. The PDF plans feature perspective drawings to guide the construction of the tiny house. I should mention that the DIY tiny project requires advanced DIY skill level.
2. DIY Texas Round House
If your purpose for building a tiny house is to create the perfect getaway from normal life when things get tough, then this Texas round tiny house design will work perfectly.
The tiny house has been designed to be small for easy maintenance and at the same time large enough to avoid feeling claustrophobic. It is perfect for life off the grid, energy sufficient and features stock building items.
For size, the tiny house measures 616 sq. ft. and uses solar panels to generate electricity. For the cool months, the fireplace comes in handy.
During the warm summer season, the 8ft tall walls allowing for great air circulation come into play. Overall, the tiny house is small enough for 2 persons and most importantly, comfortable.
Small House Catalog makes available free tiny house blueprints. In this tiny house design, you can incorporate and build a deck (you will need to design your own).
3. DIY Bohemian Tiny House With Wheels
This tiny house design is both spacious and cozy. And the best part is that it sports some wheels. The curved roof and cedar siding give it a beautiful and organic look.
The designers of this tiny house incorporated salvaged doors and windows though you can always modify these to any other door and window design.
This tiny house includes a composting toilet, a bathtub, sleeping loft, a storage loft (separate), laundry closet, kitchenette, fireplace and other amenities.
The DIY small house plan with loft provided by Small House Catalogue includes 3D cross-sectional diagrams, trailer specifications, dimensioned framing plans, plumbing, and electrical sheets. The original design for this Bohemian tiny house was made by Casita.
You should note that you may have to pay to acquire this PDF tiny house plan.
4. DIY 8x20 Solar Tiny House
This is indeed an impressive tiny house design. I love the solar wall addition. The tiny house measures 8x20 and includes a wall bed, a kitchen, toilet, shower and a solar wall.
The tiny House Design avails the free tiny house design plans. In addition to these design plans, you also get 3D and 2D renderings of the tiny house. Note that this design plan was updated severally.
Good thing the complete tiny house design plans are available. Complementing these plans is a video illustrating the 3D renderings from scratch.
5. DIY Cascadia Cottage Accessory Dwelling Unit
This is a collaborative design. The cottage design is simple, smart and attractive. It features a single floor, one bathroom, and one bedroom. The foundation of this unit is made from an insulated slab.
The overall conditioned space measures 550 sq. ft. As for the dimensions, it measures 20x28ft with a porch covering 6x12ft.
The tiny house plan availed by Small House Catalog is in PDF format and comes with a license. The plan meets different design criteria including Seattle Residential Code, International Residential Code, and Washington State Energy Code.
But even with all these design criteria being met, some engineering modifications may be necessary depending on where you intend to build the tiny house.
Small House Catalog also makes available a SketchUp Model you can modify along with the design plan. For this detailed tiny house plan, you should expect to part with $29.99.
6. DIY Homesteader Cabin
This is a lovely modern tiny house plan. According to Tiny House Design, this tiny house plan is popular. The house measures 12x24ft and has a 12/12 roof and includes a loft.
The ground level of the cabin sports enough space to accommodate a bathroom, a small kitchen, laundry closet and a comfortable living room.
The loft spans over half the house. You can choose to leave it open and have a high ceiling in your living room or build an extra floor if you need the space.
The downloadable PDF tiny house plan is free. I should point out that given its size, 18MB, it may take a while to open. The plan features photorealistic renders which help in the DIY tiny house project.
The plans are made on Layout and SketchUp. Both files are available for download.
7. DIY Ash Bantalow Tiny House
I love this tiny house design and the floor plan it features. At first glance, the tiny house will come across as an easy to build and inexpensive unit. Good news, it actually is.
This tiny house has been designed complete with a single bathroom and bedroom. The ceiling height is at 8ft and the total conditioned space is 480 sq. ft.
The overall dimensions of the tiny house including the porch are 16x32 ft. as for the foundation, the tiny house features a basement.
You can download the tiny house PDF plans along with the license on Small House Catalog. The plan adheres to different design criteria. Some of these design criteria include 2009 WSEC and 2012 IRC.
The tiny house is perfect for retirees, couples, and single persons.
8. DIY Tiny Solar House
If you are one who loves to experiment, you will love this tiny house. The basic design is simple and attractive. But it is the well thought out additions that really capture my attention.
Aside from the basic design, Tiny House Design contemplates of attaching an extendable 5 ft. metal rack to hold PV panels.
The metal rack can be tilted towards the sun and then locked into place at the best angle depending on the time of year. This idea is bound to maximize the efficiency of the PV panels.
The tricky bit is having this extension remain sturdy even when strong winds blow. Also, the tiny house could have a wind turbine added as an alternate source of electricity.
The tiny house plans provided by the Tiny House Design blog features perspective diagrams and sketches. In addition, there is a materials list complete with estimated material costs amounting to $2,362.
9. DIY Tiny Market House
If you are not yet ready to give up space but feel you need to have a mobile market then this is the perfect design. While it may be small, it is just what you need for your small and mobile business.
This tiny house is designed to fit in a 10x10 ft booth space. It measures 5x8ft and features a slide out display shelf. The glass window is next to the door.
With the design of this tiny house, a vendor could sell while on the inside or outside and only use the inside for storage. The PDF tiny house plans by Tiny House Design are comprehensive and simple to understand.
The tiny house design features wheels to enable movement from one market or vending area to another.
10. DIY Alberta Backyard Bungalow
This Alberta tiny house is an upgrade version of the Ash Bantalow tiny house. The designs of the two tiny houses are similar. However, the Alberta has been modified and equipped with accessories making it fit for Alberta, Portland.
The tiny house features a single bathroom and bedroom and has a conditioned space measuring 480 sq. ft. The overall dimensions of the tiny house including the porch are 16x32 ft. The height of the ceiling is 8ft.
I love that the house features crawl space. As for the tiny house plan, the PDF download features a license as well. The plans meet the IRC design criteria with some modifications to abide by the Oregon residential Code.
The costs of building the DIY tiny house are not included in the PDF plan download. You can, however, get the estimates from the Building-Cost site. It is a free online tool dedicated to providing cost estimates.
11. DIY Sago Tiny House
This Sago tiny house boasts of a conditioned space measuring 670 sq. ft. This space includes the porch, living space, fireplace and a basement with a cold cellar.
In addition to this, it features one bathroom and one bedroom perfect for a couple or a single person. The house measures 16x24 ft which means it will fit with great ease in a narrow lot.
If you are looking for a modern tiny house, with lots of main floor space, you will fall in love with this tiny house. The upper floor houses a closet, bedroom, bathroom and a study.
The main floor ceiling measures 7.1ft while the upper floor ceiling measures 8.1ft high. The PDF tiny house plan features a license to build and meets the International Building Code criteria.
You should expect to pay $29.99 for this plan. Speaking of which, Small House Catalog does not share the total cost of building the tiny house. It does, however, provide a link to a site that calculates estimates.
12. 8x12 Tiny House
This tiny house is as simple as it gets. It is by far one of the smallest I have on the list. It measures 8x12 and comes with a classic design and a 12/12 pitched roof.
In total, Tiny House Design avails 20 pages of the free tiny house plan. The walls of this tiny house are framed with 2x4s while the roof and floor are framed with 2x6s.
The tiny house image on the plan is finished with shingles on the exterior. You are however free to finish it with the material of your choice. The same applies to the foundation.
Actually, you could mount it on a trailer. Though making this modification will mean increasing the width and making additional changes to accommodate wheels. Overall, the design is simple enough to hack.
13. DIY Borealis Writers Cabin
If you are a writer dedicated to your craft and need a quiet space, this Borealis writers cabin should be your choice. The tiny house has been designed to survive all seasons.
It sports a small kitchen complete with cabinets, sink and counter space and a composting toilet.
The tiny house design accommodates a writers desk (folding) which also doubles as the eating area, a wood stove (free-standing) and a small sofa. It also has ample room for books, after all, it is a writers cabin.
The overall tiny house dimension is 12x12 ft including the porch and the foundation is a post and pier type. Small House Catalog features a tiny house plan download complete with a license.
The cost of the tiny house is not provided by there is a link to a site that provides estimates.
14. DIY Ladder Tiny House
This is a 2-storey house designed to be built on a narrow lot. Going with its features, it is perfect for cold climates. The inspiration of this DIY tiny house came from the Forest-Rose. Small House Catalog, however, has made some modifications.
It sports 2 bedrooms and bathrooms and a finished basement, a fireplace, mudroom and more. The high R-value insulation is the reason it is best for cold climate.
This tiny house has a total floor space of 791 sq. ft. inclusive of the finished basement and a conditioned space of 531 sq. ft. The overall dimension soft the DIY tiny house including the porch is 14x22 ft.
Small House Catalog makes avails a free PDF tiny house plan with a license to build. The plan is crafted to meet the IRC design criteria.
15. DIY 8x8 Tiny House
This 8x8ft tiny house design might not accommodate a family comfortably but it is perfect for a single person or a couple leading a simple life.
The tiny house features basic amenities including the kitchen, bathroom, and loft for the bedroom. Looking at the Tiny House Design PDF plan, you should be keen to note that the interior walls double up as built-in cabinets.
The PDF plan includes a materials list along with the estimated costs. This amounts to $1,529 for the tiny house shell.
16. DIY Hydrangea Tiny House
This is one of the few tiny house designs that are perfect for large families. It is designed as a 2 story house with 2 bathrooms and 3 bedrooms. Additionally, it features a total of 908 sq. ft.
But what impresses me is not so much the modest footprint but the layout. It features 8ft ceilings and a full-sized kitchen.
To build this DIY tiny house, Small House catalog avails a PDF tiny house plan with a license. The plan adheres to the 2015 WA State Energy Code and the 2015 IRC.
17. DIY Lookout Tiny House Cabin
If you want to learn how to build a tiny house, this could make a perfect first project. The tiny house has a dramatic flair.
It has a 460 sq.ft. and has quite an unusual layout. On the first floor, it features an all-purpose room and a lavatory. On the second floor are a small bedroom, a balcony, and a full bathroom.
It makes for the perfect vacation hideaway for one person. Speaking of which, it would be perfect for a college student, a teenager or a caretaker.
Todays Plan avails a 28-page tiny house plan which covers the floors and foundations, wall and building sections and exterior elevations. It also includes the roof details, wall framing, and electrical plans.
18. DIY Tamarack Tiny House Plan
This is yet another tiny house plan designed to be mounted on a trailer. If you are one who loves to be on the road, you should consider this design. The tiny house will reduce your travel costs.
The Tamarack features a modern design and an open floor plan. Small House Catalog ,however, provides room for modifications. It features a full kitchen, living room, full-sized bathroom and a fireplace.
Additionally, it sports French doors that lead to a small deck. It is worth noting the trailer measures 32ft in length and will need professional modifications.
Small House Catalog provides PDF tiny house plans along with SketchUp models.
19. DIY Forest Rose Tiny House
I without a doubt love this tiny house. The design and finishing is absolutely stunning. I love that even though it is a tiny home, it has some charm and character.
This DIY tiny house looks larger than it really is. It is a 2 story tiny house but only comes with 1 bedroom and bathroom and features a total of 440 sq. ft. It accommodates one or two persons comfortably.
PDF plan downloads by Small House Catalog come with a license and adhere to the 2012 IRC and 2009 WA State Energy Code.
20. DIY Tiny Tack House
The tiny tack house is mounted on a 7x20ft trailer and has about 140 sq.ft. This is one of the smallest tiny houses I have on this list.
To increase the headroom and provide for extra storage, the Gable roof mergers with the dormers in the loft. The dormers also work to increase ventilation and allow more light into the unit.
Speaking of light, the tiny house features 11 windows including the skylight. These allow lots of light into the tiny house.
The plan provided by Chris and Malissa features a materials list and some useful tips on how to get started. You will, however, need to pay $175 for this plan.
Well there you have it – 20 of the best tiny houses to draw inspiration from and to point you in the right direction.
If you have any feedback about any of the tiny house layouts and plans I have compiled feel free to get in touch. If you get stuck or lost still, do feel free to get in touch.
We love hearing from you and learning from your DIY projects as well. Comment below and help encourage another DIYer.