#14 How Much Does it Cost To Build A Tiny House?

I spent a total of $38,458 on renovating this tiny barn. The total cost since I decided to convert the barn into a dwelling is $31,070. By adding A/C to this barn, the square footage can officially count towards part of the house for resale value (conservatively about $60,000; $150 / sqft). Here are the details of the expenses:

  • Demo & framing $9,471: garage door, 2nd floor, adding frame support, including $4,700 materials
  • Plumbing $9,950: adding a separate sewer line, concrete work, bathroom, toilet, kitchen sink, hot water heater
  • New roof: $4,000
  • Siding: $3,388
  • Furnishing $3,023: Kitchen cabinets, countertop, microwave, fridge, couch, table, chairs, backsplash, internet extender, smart lock, electric stove, bowls & silverware, coffee mugs, water boiler, shower curtain, curtains.
  • Electricity $1,800: digging an electricity line, wiring the entire barn, installing a fan, various can lights, outside light.
  • Miscellaneous construction $1,853: trim, railing, ladder, concrete leveler, insulation batting, windows
  • Insulation $1,497: wall insulation batting (R-13), roof insulation open cell foam (R-39)
  • Flooring $1,230: Luxury Vinyl Plank for about 400 square feet (about $3 a sqft after taxes)
  • Mini Split $1,198: Pioneer + smart device + installation fee (we hired a professional AC guy to vacuum-seal it $270)
  • Renting a dumpster $445
  • Paint $528: Benjamin Moore, totally worth it.
  • Permit $275 ($200 refundable)

Things I could have saved:

  1. I probably could have saved more on furnishing the place if I was patient enough to wait through Facebook Marketplace and am willing to pick up bulky items. Even though most of the items around my area seem very mid-west and outdated on Facebook, once in a while, someone who has similar minimalist taste posts a piece of furniture on Facebook. I got my mirror through Facebook for $25 which was well worth it. 
  2. Paint: I went with Benjamin Moore paint and it costed a lot more than if I had gone with Behr. I was priming and painting white onto drywall (as opposed to painting over a previous, darker color), so in retrospect, a cheaper paint probably would have been the same. But I absolutely loved the experience painting in Ben Moore. The paint doesn’t smell horrible, and two coats are more than enough. The paint cured wonderfully against the primer. It is hard to go back to Behr products again… I thought maybe it was just because I paid more money and felt the satisfaction but I found on reddit others have had similar experiences with a mid-range-priced paint. So I could have saved some money for it, but if I were to do it all over again, I’d probably still go with the more expensive paint.

Things I may have to pay for in order to build another tiny house:

  1. concrete slab – this was existing so I didn’t have to pay for it.
  2. barn structure – even though I practically redid the structure, it may have cost me a couple thousand more if I have to build the structure from scratch.

Overall, my budget was about at the start of the project $25,000 and I spent $31,000. I have underestimated how much furnishing would cost. All those $100 trips to Home Depot and Walmart adds up!

I am planning on duplicating this process sometime in the near future (after the price of lumber & other construction materials come down a bit). 


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