Build a tiny house yourself: living in the smallest of spaces

The trend of the mini house, also called tiny house, has been around for about a decade. The mini houses look like e.g. sweet garden houses, inside they often surprise with bright, spacious and comfortable space. We reveal all important information about planning a mini house, building permit and the costs involved: So you can build your own tiny house yourself.

What is a mini house?

A tiny house is a small, often, but not always, house built on wheels.

There is no fixed size: there are mini houses with 8 to a maximum of 30 square meters. But even in the smallest of spaces, a tiny house offers (almost) everything that a large house can offer.

The people in mini-houses opt for a simplified life, only living with the most necessary things and use the available space as efficiently as possible.

A tiny house is, for example, a construction trailer or a small wooden hut.

Basic furnishing elements for a mini house are:

  • Living room,
  • separate wall unit,
  • small galley,
  • shower
  • a compost toilet.
  • Depending on personal taste and requirements, these elements can be replaced or supplemented.

Tiny House mobile

Many mini houses are characterized by special mobility. Because mini houses on wheels can be attached like a caravan behind a car and can be easily moved and parked in any position.

Provided, of course, that parking is allowed there.

Who is the founder of the tiny house?

The American Jay Shafer is considered the founder of the Tiny House. The latter wanted to build a tiny house, but was not given permission to do so by the office. Then he built his house on a double axle trailer.

Friends and family were so enthusiastic that Shafer subsequently developed blueprints for replicas. In Germany, Hanspeter Brunner is one of the pioneers for mini houses.

Further development of the tiny house

In the meantime, the initial trend of the tiny house as a residential house has developed further.

The small houses are now increasingly used as a guest house, workplace and children’s play house in the garden.

Other possible uses are conceivable.


Even if the tiny houses are smaller than ordinary houses, they should still be planned just as thoroughly. Because early and detailed mini house planning is essential.

Build a mini house yourself: assess your skills

Before you take the hammer in your hand, you should objectively assess whether your craftsmanship is sufficient for an individual self-construction with possible special requests. Because if you only notice that you are not up to the task when the house is half finished, you have already lost a lot of time and, above all, costs.

There are two tree models for building the mini house yourself:

Mini houses that are built on a modular basis,

Mini houses that are built according to the blueprint.

Our tip: With less know-how, the modular principle is more appropriate. If you already have more experience, you can use the blueprint.

If you don’t want to build your tiny house yourself, you can get help in the form of professional mini house providers or trained carpenters.

If you want to buy a blueprint for your tiny house, you should consider these 3 things:

Check whether the explanations are limited to the shell or are also dealt with in detail on the interior.

In addition, the procedure in the blueprint should be described in detail.

Avoid building plans that do not list materials or tools.

Our tip: Often American instructions cannot simply be used for Europe because the road regulations do not match and the vehicle trailers may also be constructed differently.

Building permit

The construction of a house is generally subject to approval. Whether it is anchored in the ground or built on the flat roof of the neighbor, the building law applies in both cases.

You should therefore obtain a building permit from your responsible building authority before the start of construction.

Exception: Mini houses built on a trailer do not fall under building law, but under road traffic law. Because as soon as it stands on a wagon, it is no longer a construction.

Development plan – what does that mean?

Apart from a building permit, it must be clarified whether there is a development plan for your area. This specifies requirements that must be met during construction. If there is no such plan, you are forced to follow the surrounding buildings during construction. This means: If, for example, the surrounding houses have a gable roof, you cannot provide your mini house with a flat roof.

If you do not yet own the plot of land on which you want to build the Tiny House, it is worthwhile to make a preliminary building request. This will clarify whether you can build your dream home there and the preliminary request only costs a fraction of what a building application process costs.

If the preliminary inquiry is positive, you must submit a building application in the next step. As a private person, however, you must not do this, but must be done by an authorized engineer.

This also clarifies which other documents, e.g.

Site plan,
Drawing of the planned mini house etc.
are needed.

Our tip: You can live in your mobile mini house without a building permit on a campsite that offers permanent parking spaces.

Tiny house in the allotment garden?

Mini houses in allotment settlements are not subject to state building law, but to the respective association statutes. If the community approves the construction, no additional building application has to be submitted.

Tiny house costs

The expected costs for a mini house are usually made up of:

Land costs (purchase price, broker, notary, land register entry, measurement, real estate transfer tax)
Real estate development (connection to the road network, construction of the buildable land, connection to the sewage system, water and electricity supply, telephone connection)
Building construction (manufacture of the building)
Supply technology (sanitary facilities, electrical installation, heating / ventilation systems)
Outdoor facilities (creation of access roads, parking spaces, fencing, planting of areas)
Interior (depending on personal taste)
Ancillary construction costs (building permit, real estate transfer tax, property survey, architect’s fee, project management, provision and construction interest, building electricity / water, building insurance, building owner liability insurance)
Depending on the individual mini house (type, material and size), the costs for the listed factors can vary.

The manufacturing costs can be significantly reduced by clever planning.

Decide in advance how many square meters of usable space you need. Make a sketch for better visualization in order to identify and reschedule any excess space at an early stage. After all, a mini house is about living as efficiently as possible in the smallest of spaces.
Avoid areas such as hallways or vestibules that serve no purpose.

You should use simple shapes for the roof, e.g. Flat, saddle and pent roof without additional window.

A cube-shaped mini house is the most energy-efficient. You can increase this if necessary, because building it is cheaper in height than in width.

Avoid complex components such as bay windows, wall projections and balconies and limit your Tiny House to a simple shape. This simplifies assembly and shortens the construction time.

Always use windows of the same size.

Mini houses without partitions not only cost less, they also have a more open, friendly atmosphere. If you still want to separate the dining room from the bedroom, you should rather use shelves (more storage space!) Or other separation objects.

Build the bathroom or toilet adjacent to the kitchen. How to lay all important sanitary lines with short distances. Better to use straight than angled pipes. If possible, water pipes should not be planned in the outer wall; This saves you retrospective insulation costs, but is not always feasible.

Plan for additional storage space from the start for a better overview. See the stair drawers in the picture below.

Tiny house interior

Due to the spatial confinement inside the mini house, you should largely do without pure decorative items and prefer to use practical pieces of furniture.

Creative ideas to save space in the mini house:

A table that is attached to the wall when not in use and thus creates additional space for movement.

Narrow drawers under built-in closets or shelves that don’t end flush.

Improvised steps on the wall without railings

The roof gable is often used as a “bedroom” – inflatable beds can make room for a workplace during the day.

Have we awakened your interest in tiny homes and would you like to build your own tiny house?

That sounds good! Still not sure how and where to start?
No problem, we offer you complete instructions on how to build various tiny homes.
With these instructions EVERYONE is able to build their own tiny house!
Visit our shop and order our extensive instructions with detailed plans.
So you are able to build your own perfect tiny house as a beginner!

Click here

Recent Posts