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Creating an Original Tiny House Design vs. Purchasing a Pre-Designed Tiny House

Should You Purchase A Pre-Designed Tiny House or Design It Yourself?

At B&B Tiny Houses, we are often asked if a prospective tiny home owner should buy a custom tiny house or choose from our catalog of tiny house designs. Most of our clients will ultimately decide that they want to customize an existing tiny house design for the reasons below.

Pre-Designed Tiny Houses

Because we have 9 models of pre-designed tiny houses, most prospective tiny house owners will find a plan that will work for them. With this option, B&B customers will get to choose the finishes on their tiny house for no additional cost. This means that clients will have the option of picking the finishes for the interior and exterior of their tiny home: including the roofing, ceilings, walls, fixtures, and floors. The customization process of the pre-designed tiny homes allows owners to add their own style to their tiny house. The pre-designed tiny houses also allow clients the option of changing the blueprint–i.e. adding an extra closet or rearranging kitchen appliances. Read more about our blueprint changes fee.

Perfect for weekend vacationers, the Prospect has a beautiful observatory bedroom with large sliding doors on three sides.

The Sentinel is designed for someone who wants to live tiny but won’t compromise on kitchen space. The kitchen has a full size fridge, oven, and sink, and ample cabinets.

 

Original Tiny House Designs

Customers also have the option of working with B&B’s design team to create an entirely original design.  Original tiny house designs allow you to create the exact tiny home that you’re envisioning, but due to economies of scalei.e. custom houses taking longer to build due to the fact that each one is unique and not able to be mass produced— this option can be quite costly. In addition, with a custom house, there is an extra fee to design the sketches of the home and create an estimate. Read more on original tiny house design fees. Custom plans and builds come at a substantial increase in cost and build time, but they also allow those that are willing to pay more to receive a beautiful tiny house designed for their exact needs and lifestyle. 

Clients can give our designers sketches of their dream home and see their ideas come to life.

 

Ready to begin your tiny house buying process? Fill out the form below to get in touch with us.

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Why aren’t lofts included in a tiny home’s square footage?

Determining the Square Footage in Tiny Homes

We are often asked about how we calculate square feet in our tiny homes. This is a great question as there is no regulation regarding calculating square feet–this is true even in traditional homes. Rather, there is an accepted code that the industry follows. Other competitors do not always follow the same code that we at B&B use when calculating square feet, which can make comparing tiny homes confusing.

Pictured: the Hoosic Tiny House

The Technicalities

Let’s dive into some of the different criteria for what spaces must meet.  We use the International Building Code, specifically Building Code Appendix Q, which describes the code for tiny houses on foundations.  Although much of what B&B Tiny Houses builds are tiny houses on wheels, we use the international building code as a guide for calculating square footage.

From IBC Appendix Q:

Minimum ceiling height: habitable space must be over 6 feet and 8 inches with the exception of bathrooms and kitchens which must be over 6 feet and 4 inches

Loft: located at least 30 inches above the main floor, is open to the main floor, and used as a living or sleeping space

Pictured: The Arcadia Tiny House

Calculating Square Feet in Tiny Homes

Tiny houses on wheels, in order to be road-legal, must be 13 1/2′ off the ground in order to fit under bridges.  Therefore, it would be impossible or a tiny house to have a loft one can stand up in.  Because lofts in tiny houses on wheels do not meet the minimum ceiling height to be considered “habitable” space in the building code, they should not be included in a tiny home’s square footage.

To calculate the square footage, multiply the inside width and length of the tiny house. Almost all of B&B’s tiny houses on wheels are the road-legal maximum width of 8 1/2′; their length varies.  The exterior walls of our tiny homes (unless otherwise specified) are 6 inches thick on each side and end. To calculate the square footage of the Stony Ledge which has outside dimensions of 8 1/2′ x 30′, we multiply 7 1/2′ x 29′ to get 217 1/2 square feet.  The Arcadia, which has a loft, has a square footage of 142 1/2 plus a 45 square foot loft.

When shopping for tiny homes, you should always check how the square feet has been calculated. Otherwise, it can be like comparing apples and oranges. If you are interested in learning more about the square feet in tiny homes, read this post about why tiny homes cost more per square feet than traditional homes.

Tiny Houses with First-Floor Bedrooms (No Sleeping In Lofts)!

Many tiny house enthusiasts do not want to or are unable to climb up a ladder or staircase to sleep in a loft.  Is it possible to build a tiny house without a sleeping loft?

Good news- yes, it is!  B&B Tiny Houses makes quite a few tiny house models with first-floor sleeping.  In addition, we make many models that could fit a queen sized bed underneath the loft, and the loft can be used as storage or a guest bed.

Option 1: Our models with first-floor sleeping are:

The Hudson, 20′ long, open floor plan
Hudson Tiny House First Floor Bedroom
The Hudson, 26′ long, open floor plan
The Stony Ledge, 30′ long, bedroom separated by wall
The Silver Lake, 32′ long, bedroom separated by wall
The Ashmere, 30′ long, open floor plan
Ashmere Tiny House
The Brodie Guest House/Studio/Office, 20′ long: open floor plan; this house has a half-bathroom (no shower) and can fit a full-size bed (the desk is pictured because this house was styled as an office, but a full-size bed can fit in that space)
The Stony Ledge, Silver Lake and Hoosic tiny houses have two steps up into the kitchen and/or bathroom because water tanks are hidden beneath.  If you do not plan to move around with your house and will be hooked up to freshwater and wastewater lines permanently, we can eliminate the water tanks and the two steps.

Option 2: Use the loft for storage and the space under the loft as a master bedroom.

In addition, most of our models that do have a loft can fit a bed underneath, so the loft can be used for storage or a guest bed.
The Kinderhook, 30′ long, open floor plan
Kinderhook Tiny House Sleeping Loft with Storage
The Hoosic, a 20′ house with an open floor plan, a Queen sized loft with room for another Queen sized bed underneath.

For more information on single-level tiny houses, please contact us using this form, and specify you are interested in a tiny house with no loft. 

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