Heating Options

Living in Canada, I’m definitely going to need a serious heater for the winter.

Here are the options I’ve thought about:

Wood stove: There are some adorable mini ones out there that are designed for boats. I’ve seen quite a few tiny houses with wood stoves, but the stove itself can be pricey ($500-$1000), and setting it up can be complicated what with having to deal with venting and clearances. Personally, I’ve never had a wood stove and I’m afraid of the house catching on fire, so this is not the option for me. I also don’t like the idea of having to keep an eye on the fire, or having to come home to a cold house.

Propane: Another boating appliance, the Dickinson Marine stove is very popular in tiny houses. It’s gorgeous and you can see the little flame in it, but it’s over $1000. I was leaning towards this idea for a while, but the cost is high, I’d need a vent, and I really don’t want to deal with adjusting the heat all the time and coming home to a cold house. Which leads me to…

Electric: The simplest option, in my opinion, as long as you’re connected to the grid. The initial purchase isn’t very expensive ($30-$200), though I expect the power bill will be a lot higher than paying for wood or propane. Still, tiny houses are small so the bill won’t be astronomical. To me, having the thermostat is 100% worth it. I’m planning on getting a skinny stand-up heater because I haven’t left a lot of space for a heater, and maybe having a small space heater in the loft if I need one. There is a little heater on Amazon that fits in the same space as a kick plate, which I like, but I’m concerned that it wouldn’t circulate the heat well enough in the house. What I think I’ll do is buy a heater this winter and test it out in the big house to get an idea of how much space it can heat and how much energy it will use. One issue with electric is what to do in the winter if the power goes out. I’m not worried though.

And that’s that. Think about what’s right for you, and definitely do your own research because there are a couple other options out there.



Elevation Drawing #7

So if you were facing the dining room and turned around, this is what you’d see:


This is my drop zone! It’s on the left when you walk in the front door.

There’s a nice window, hooks for sweaters and jackets, and a little table on wheels that has shelves in it for shoes (that are adjustable so I can fit tall boots and flip-flops). I’ll build the table myself so I can have exactly what I want and so that it will be the right size for the space.

The line from floor to ceiling on the right is the side of the ladder in its stored position.

There’s a outlet to plug in my phone if I want and also for the electric heater I’ll have there. It is a really tight space (1’6″ with no wiggle room on the sides) to stick an important component of my house – the heat source – but since I haven’t fully decided on what kind of heater I want, that spot suffered as the floor plan evolved. In the very first design, the heater had extra space beside it so I could wheel over the comfy chair and read by the warmth. The small space makes me rethink having the mini front porch. I could give up that and have plenty of room for any heater…

I was at a yard sale a couple of weeks ago and someone was selling a small electric fireplace. It was cute and not too big and not expensive. I really considered buying it for the tiny house, but it had no thermostat (now that I think about it, you can probably add one) and I couldn’t be sure if it would be strong enough to heat my little house, so I passed. What I think I’ll do is get an electric heater (I’m picturing one of those skinny standing ones) and try it out this winter in part of the house that’s around the same size as my house will be. That way I’ll know if it’ll give off enough heat and I’ll get to see ahead of time how much it will cost. I’m going to do a post about tiny house heating options soon, so check back for that.

I’ve used up almost all the graph paper in the house 😛 There are still a few more drawings to come though; I’ll keep you posted 🙂


"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