Preparing Budget

This blog is 50% for myself, to keep track of the build and to be able to look back on, and also to keep friends and family updated ❀ The other 50% is for other tiny house hopefuls, looking for resources. There aren’t a lot of Canadian tiny house blogs that I’ve found, so I want to share the unique struggles and solutions that go with our climate. I have found so many tiny house blogs that share their build stories, but they don’t always share a lot about before and after the build. They also don’t tend to share difficulties they had or give any breakdowns for what they spent. I’ve found a lot of pretty pictures and grand totals, but with my blog, I want to share as much as I can. I want other people to be able to get the best idea they can of what building is really like, how much everything’s really going to cost, and what life living in a tiny house is like.

I started planning this build thinking I could do most of it by myself and for less than $20 000. That’s just not true anymore. Trailer companies are realizing that tiny houses are popular so they’ve raised their prices, and people are building bigger with new materials. Some people say that the heart of the movement is getting lost in all these “big” tiny houses with brand new materials and luxury items, but I disagree. The “founders” of this movement might have built micro houses with salvaged materials on used trailers, but that doesn’t mean that every tiny house has to be like that. I believe that tiny houses are about flexibility and freedom. If people want to build a bit bigger with new materials, that’s up to them. Still, I hope tiny houses continue to be unique. Every tiny house is a reflection of what the owner wants, but TH companies have already started building cookie-cutter tiny homes – that’s what worries me.

Back to being a resource… the first part of my budget – Preparing – is complete. In an Excel document, I estimated how much everything would cost and then filled in how much I ended up spending.

My first category is Preparation:

For Books, I was within budget at $179.21.

For Tiny House Magazines, I am over budget at $118.13. I continue to buy them, and the price has been going up.

For Videos, I was slightly over budget at $124.88, due to renting some tiny house documentaries that came out.

For Plans, I was a little bit over budget at $224.03. I originally estimated about $200 to buy the plans I wanted, but I didn’t take into account tax or currency exchange. I also ended up buying a $10 set of plans to get an example of corner porch framing. In the end, I drew up my own plans and consulted an engineer to make sure everything was structurally sound.

For Small Tools, I was under budget at $44.41. My parents gifted me almost everything I needed for Christmas πŸ™‚

For Power Tools, I was very under budget at $294.84. I estimated a lot higher for this category because I wasn’t sure what tools Dad had or what he would let me use. He has more than I thought and gave me permission to use everything except his drill, so that saved me a lot of money. I did buy a table saw, which is the one tool my dad doesn’t have, but I ended up returning it. I didn’t expect to have to buy two impact drivers and a circular saw, but I had room in the budget. This category is going to get added to a little bit as I buy things like blades and drill bits. If I end up needing a nail gun, there’s a local place I can rent one from, so that cost will be added here. Any tools I’ll need for special tasks like plumbing will go into those categories instead of this one.

For Gear, I was within budget at $109.77. This category includes things like work boots, safety glasses, and ear protection.

For Wood Hobby Club, I was over budget at $195.30. That’s because I didn’t factor in the coming year’s membership, but I did save some money because Mum and I signed up together.

So, for the Preparation category of my budget, I estimated I’d spend $2345. I spent $1290.57. Overall, I was $1054.43 under budget. Yay for sales and gifts!

The second and last category in the preparing part of my budget is Tumbleweed Workshop Trip:

The closest Tumbleweed workshop to me was in Ontario, so I bought tickets when they were on sale for myself and my dad, and we did a road trip to Toronto πŸ™‚

I estimated that my ticket, the hotel, gas, and food would cost me $1090. I spent $1060.42, which is under budget by $29.58 πŸ™‚

One thing I didn’t include in my budget was staying in a tiny house. For me, I didn’t want to spend the money to take a trip to the States to stay in a house that isn’t designed like mine. I was going to build a tiny house anyway because it’s bigger than a dorm. But if you live in a normal sized house, I recommend checking out a tiny house in real life to get a feel for the size. Some tiny house workshops have tiny houses you can visit, and there are several for rent across the U.S., but make sure to factor it into your budget.

I spent $2350.99 on tiny-house-related things before I was even close to building, and I think that’s something a lot of people leave out. Maybe the house you saw online cost $20 000, but that total doesn’t include any prep before the build, and that doesn’t usually include things like solar panels and appliances that are bought after the house is finished. Expect that things are going to cost more, but look for sales and other ways to save. Believe in your dreams, and take steps to make them happen πŸ™‚

In my next post, I’ll share what I spent for the Trailer/Floor.

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Quotes

"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It is because we do not dare that they are difficult." - Seneca

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." - William Morris
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