How to Build a Tiny House: The Cheapest Ways

Tips on how to build a tiny house by applying the cheapest ways: a combination of different factors, all of them important. If your budget is limited, you should know how to build a tiny house in the cheapest way.

A small house can be as comfortable as any other. This will depend on the design of its facades and the quality of the interior spaces.

Focus on a house with a simple and well-proportioned facade design, and on the quality of the interior spaces.

What Area should have a Small and Cheap House

Of course, the more square meters you build, the higher the investment cost of your new house will be and vice versa.

You can consider the information in the following table, where I recommend the minimum square meters of useful area that a small and economical house can have, depending on the number of people who live in it.

It is not strict, as each country sets its own regulations.

Number of peopleMinimum Useful Area
1 to 220m²/person
2 to 318m²/person
More than 612m²/person
Tips for Building a Small and Inexpensive House

With this useful area information, depending on the number of tenants in a house, you won’t need to build the house with more area than the minimum necessary to live. 

It is a guide, and therefore, it does not mean that you cannot choose to make the house a little larger, if you wish.

It is also very important to point out that a house with a larger construction area does not necessarily entail a higher cost of the total investment.

Reducing the size of each space in the house can have an impact on reducing construction costs, but you will also limit the quality of life, one of the main investments in life. 

There are many other details to take into account, to build a small and economical house.

Planning the Construction of a Small and Affordable Home

Design the House in 2D and 3D, from the very Beginning

It is highly recommended. Thus, you will be able to plan the design of the materials, even use raw materials, which combine with the carpentry, ceilings, among others, and reduce finishing materials.

Good planning will require that you have all the PLANS OF A SMALL HOUSE with the necessary technical information for construction. 

With these, you will save time, reduce the chances of making construction mistakes, and therefore, the construction will be cheapest, according to the planned project.

Building using floor plans WITH DIMENSIONS, reduces improvisation, work execution times, material costs, and in short, the dissatisfaction of an expensive and poorly implemented investment.

How to Build a Tiny House with Simple floor plan with dimensions in feet.
Simple floor plan with dimensions in feet.

Now let’s take a look at some key things to consider when buying or making affordable housing designs.

Apply House Design Regulations, which allow Savings

Since you have little budget to build the tiny house and even little land area to build, you should find out about house design regulations, which you can apply to save, materials, labor, construction area and execution time of the house. 

This way you will also avoid improvisation. Building is a complex process, where the smallest details cost money.

“Progressive Housing” Plannning and Design

If you have little money to build, consider designing the small house to be built in two stages. In a first stage, you can build the one-story house with a bedroom on the ground floor. 

Later, once you have more budget, you can build the second floor, with more rooms and bathrooms.

Orient the House in the Best Way

Depending on the geographical area, climate and the place where you live, you should give one orientation or another to the small house model you chose.

How to Build a House with little Money

An optimal orientation helps to capture the best breezes and avoid, if necessary, a greater incidence of the Sun, reducing energy waste.

In this same sense, you could consider a house design WITH INTERIOR PATIO. Surely you know that houses with courtyard offer many advantages.

Reduce Hallway Areas

One of the strategies to save, even from the design stage of a small house plans, is to reduce unnecessary corridor and hall areas. It should not be more than 5-7% of the usable area of ​​the house.

Continuous or Open Spaces

For example, living rooms and dining rooms, as a single continuous open space. 

Thus we save building square meters of dividing walls and partitions, foundations and others. These MINIMALIST 2 FLOORS house designs are examples in this regard.

How to Build a tiny House with no Money
Interior design of a minimalist home design with open space.

Multifunctional Spaces

If we want to have space to study, we should consider expanding a bedroom by 1 m2, instead of making a specific room for studing, which would entail at least 6 or 7 m2 more. 

Recently, I published a post where I explain in detail, what are the MINIMUM BEDROOM DIMENSIONS.

How to Build a Tiny House on a Budget: Build Just one Bath

A small home does not require more than a SIMPLE AND BEAUTIFUL BATHROOM DESIGN. You can choose a small toilet space (with sink and toilet), close to the social area, and place the full bathroom around the bedrooms.

Likewise, you must keep in mind SMALL BATHROOM LAYOUTS, so that you only use the necessary space that is required for this function.

If you wish to have another bathroom or half bathroom for the social spaces, you can consider reserving the necessary space and its location, to build it in the future, when you have more budget.

You must choose cheap SANITARY FURNITURE, which does not mean that they are cheap or of poor quality. There are many BATHROOM FURNITURE offers, of high quality, in one piece, with a built-in tank, a saving tank, among others.

Bathroom furniture brands can greatly influence the price to be higher. The designated days, Black Friday, New Year’s Eve, Summer Sales, among others, are the most appropriate to make these investments in construction.

Hire Experienced Construction Operators

Cheap is sometimes expensive. Hire experienced operators, and thus you will avoid improvisation, execution errors, unnecessary waste of resources and poor quality.

In TWO-STOREY house designs it is necessary to build stairs. These are architectural and structural elements that must be carefully analyzed and designed. The best thing is that they are custom built. Hire good construction operators for this task.

The Cheapest Way on How to Build a Tiny House: Materials

Have a List of Materials of the entire Work

A good execution and construction of the house involves planning the purchase of materials and controlling their use. You will buy at the beginning the materials of the structure and the civil works. Later you will buy the finishing materials. 

This way you will avoid delays due to lack of materials and theft, due to having them stored unnecessarily. It may be very interesting that you have a good CONSTRUCTION CALCULATOR.

How to Build a House with Little Money
Simple materials to use in a 12×32 FEET house plan with minimalist design.

Use Materials that abound in the Area where you will Build your House.

It is another factor to know how to build a house with little money. In this way, you will use the materials that are less in demand and therefore cheaper.

Use Materials that are Accessible

To have an affordable house you should use materials that are available and close to the area where you will build your house. 

One of the largest expenses in construction is due to the transportation of materials and equipment from distant places.

How to Build a Tiny House with Concrete Structure

Concrete (reinforced or reinforced) is a very good option for the structure of the house, specifically for houses with 2 or more levels. It is advisable to combine a reinforced concrete skeleton structure with BRICK or block walls. 

concrete structure design
Small house with concrete.

Although concrete is a bit expensive, it is cheaper than building with metal structures and hot rolled. In addition, concrete is very economical in terms of long-term maintenance.

Walls and Materials

In a small and cheap house we should use, if feasible, minimum wall thicknesses (both exterior and load-bearing walls and interior dividing walls), since this way we will be making better use of the land area, converting it into a larger useful area.

For exterior walls, wall thicknesses of 150 to 200mm thick are recommended, depending on the size of the house, exterior design, and its construction system.

In partitions and interior walls, the thicknesses should be around 100 to 150mm thick. In general, exterior walls with a minimum of 8 inches (200mm) wide and interior partitions with a minimum of 4 to 6 feet (100 to 150mm) wide.

One way to reduce costs in a small house is to choose the appropriate TYPES OF BRICKS or CINDER BLOCKS, depending on the function they are going to play in the house structure.

They can be exterior walls or LOADING WALLS that represent a greater thickness of the masonry piece. Interior partitions walls can be thinner, thus reducing material costs. BRICK HOUSES are usually cheaper and very durable, although they require specialized labor.

small house plan of 36 m2
LOW COST 2 BEDROOMS house plan.

Light Structures

The light roofs with metal sheets allow to reduce construction times, materials and labor force. A concrete deck creates more cost, complexity, and materials for the foundation and structure. 

Light covers (metallic and/or wood) can be hidden, if you don’t like their aesthetics.

Pay for Work Completed

Pay the operators after the work has been executed and finished, in small stages. You must also, before starting each activity, establish requirements for the completed work. This should be done by the site manager.

I hope it has been useful to you, review these tips on how to build a HOUSES with little money.

Key Aspects to Take into Account when Planning a Housing

Front Facade

A simple facade design may be all you need. A beautiful house elevation design in a small house is more difficult to achieve but it is possible. 

It is necessary to take care of the proportions in the design of the façade, to include forms of ventilation and lighting naturally integrated into the design.

How to Build a Tiny House with Outdoor Areas


Surely your land will be small, so you have to be very careful. For example, you must know the local regulations, so you don’t make a mistake and do something wrong and then have to fix or redesign. 

The established façade line must be respected, leaving a garden if so established, leaving boundaries, among other key aspects.

Flat Land

Selecting a flat terrain, without notable slopes, will save you resources, labor and equipment. Sloping terrain requires earthworks or, failing that, higher material costs in the retaining structure to overcome the unevenness of the terrain.


If a garage is desired, it must be conceived and designed from the beginning of the construction and not be a later addition. 

Make a calculation of the STANDARD GARAGE SIZE, according to the size of car you expect to have. Consider direct access from the garage to the interior of the house, whether it be the living room, a hallway, or another desired space.


It is very functional to have an interior patio, especially in small lots or in lots between party walls. 

In this way you ensure privacy and environmental quality inside your small home. The ADVANTAGES OF A COURTYARD house are undeniable. The courtyards provide ventilation and natural light, and the possibility of a small garden.

How to Build a Tiny House with no Experience

Roofs and Ceilings

There are different TYPES OF COVERS that you can choose for your small home.

There are light decks and heavy decks, each with their advantages and disadvantages. Heavy decks carry higher construction costs, but are stronger and more durable.

In terms of appearance, concrete roofs can generally be more beautiful and elegant. However, to achieve the best visual expression, an attractive house design is necessary, either with a light or concrete roof. The QUALITY OF CONSTRUCTION also has a great influence .

Another way to choose the type of roof is if we want it to be sloped or flat. Roofs with a steeper slope require a greater waste of material.

The context must also be taken into account, where the house is built, if it is a city or country, what type of house we have around, if rainy weather predominates, among others.

The TYPES OF SLOPED ROOFS require a greater quantity of square meters of material (greater surface). Meanwhile, flat roofs need greater thickness, although they require less area or m2 of construction material. 

At the same time, a completely flat roof requires a higher level of quality in its WATERPROOFING .


If you think or want to expand your house in the future, you have to leave space designed for a STAIRCASE

You must keep in mind a suitable location, so that it does not take up too much space or that it will create obstacles to horizontal circulation. Look for stair designs for small spaces.

At the same time, while you are not building on the second level, it is useful to have the present or future possibility of accessing the ROOF, to carry out some type of activity or to put a terrace with PERGOLAS.

Likewise, the roof must be designed and built to support use loads (people moving, furniture), and dead loads (weight of the structure and walls of the future expansion for a second floor).

Keep in mind, the STANDARD STAIRS DIMENSIONSYou should know that SPIRAL stairs are the most advisable for a small home, as they take up less space. On the other hand, CONCRETE stairs are the most economical and durable.

Tips to Get the Cheapest Ways on How to Build a Tiny House: Interior Spaces


When building a small house, the interior spaces could be very small. One way to counteract this is to place preferably large windows. In this way, more natural light can enter, and the feeling of spaciousness will increase.

In the same way, you will increase the views to the outside, with a garden, a patio, thus reducing the feeling of being in reduced spaces. Floor-to-ceiling windows are very functional and create very pleasant effects.


It is recommended that the ceiling height (under the roof slab) be at least 2.40m. A height of 2.60m to 2.70m would be ideal to build a small house, making the different rooms appear spacious. 

A very high ceiling is also not recommended, as this can increase the cost of construction. In houses with a sloping roof, the lowest part of the roof should be 2.10m.

Inside, the ceilings should be painted with light-colored paint, which decreases thermal absorption.

Wall Color

Light wall colors should be chosen, so that the reflection of light in the interiors is maximum, increasing the spatiality. This also applies to ceilings. In the case of the floors, the color can be slightly dark, but maintaining the same criteria of allowing greater light reflection.

Open Spaces

A tiny house should not have so many divisions or dividing walls, since this obstructs the views, and leads to a greater number of square meters of construction, increases the specific circulation area, and makes the house feel smaller.

It is also good to remember that open and fluid spaces are characteristic of modern architecture and MINIMALIST HOMES.

How to Build a Tiny House with no Money

Custom Furniture

It is important not to place more furniture than necessary, so that the spaces do not look smaller than they really are. Furniture must be custom designed, built (or purchased). This means that having small spaces, it is necessary to take advantage of every inch of area.

So we must choose the furniture, according to the area we have. Take a good canvas, and measure the area for each piece of furniture. 

Later, go to see the carpenter (or the furniture store), knowing in advance, the amount of area or space that each piece of furniture in the small future house should occupy.

how to make the distribution of aa cheap tiny house
Interior of a 12×32 FEET WIDE house on 1 floor.
Tips for Decorating a Small, Cheap and Simple House

What if you have vases, vases, tables… Too many decorative details, they saturate the environments and make them smaller. 

It is advisable to choose HOUSE STYLES that recreate greater spatiality, facilitate the entry of natural light, and use light colors. One of these is, without a doubt, the MEDITERRANEAN houses.

Organize each Stage of the Construction Process, from the Plans to the Execution.

This should be the first action to consider. Reading this at the end, I hope you won’t forget it.

In order to carry out a work satisfactorily and saving resources, you must plan. The ideal is to hire a professional, experienced architect and build with plans. 

You must inform him of your specific wishes, for example, that you want a nice house, but you have a low budget. Ask him what strategies he proposes to save, both in the design stage and in the construction.


Designing and building houses (even small ones) should not be underestimated or left to improvisation.

There are many tricks and proven strategies that you can put into practice and thus save resources when building your long-awaited house. Besides, you can choose a MODULAR HOME

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