You can build your own Tiny House. Even if you have no construction experience. There are already many Tiny House residents, including those who live in the Netherlands, who have proven that it is possible. For every part of the construction process there are resources that guide you step by step through the job. From YouTube videos to complete books on how to build your own Tiny House. For some aspects of construction, you still need some help, if only because you need an extra pair of hands. And it is better to leave some jobs to a professional. Safety first, right?
You can learn how to build. You can learn how to use tools. If you enjoy doing it, of course. If you are not a handyman or handywoman by nature, you may wonder if a large project such as building your own Tiny House is really something you want to start with. You can do most of it yourself, but there are parts in the construction of your house that require craftsmanship. Self-reliance is fantastic, but you want to avoid potentially dangerous situations so that you can live in your self-built palace with some peace of mind.
Costs are often a determining factor when considering hiring an expert. Hourly rates from experts are sometimes hefty. Fortunately, the required hours are limited in a Tiny House. If you can avoid problems that would otherwise entail much higher costs such as leakage or short circuiting by hiring a professional, then it is worth the investment. Which experts are worthy of the space in your budget?
Could there be anything more depressing than a leak in your brand new Tiny House? Water in a wooden house is a big problem and you really want to prevent leakage through, for example, a broken or incorrectly laid pipe or drain. It seeps into places that you cannot easily reach and causes major problems such as mold and rot. You don’t want to think about that, right? The pipework in a Tiny House is not very bulky, but you better have it laid carefully. Plumbing also requires specialist tools to purchase if you want to do it yourself.
In addition to water pipes, the plumber is also the man or woman you need for laying gas pipes. I probably don’t have to explain to you that it is advisable to leave all the gas pipework in your Tiny House to an expert. Whether you have a grid connection or work with bottled gas. Have it properly installed and en checked annually.
Another important part is the installation of all electricity in your Tiny House. For safety’s sake, I would strongly advise you to contact an expert. Errors in the electrics can lead to a short circuit and fire — another thing you absolutely want to avoid in a wooden house. There are undoubtedly various parts in the construction of your house that you can save on, but electricity is not one of them. Take responsibility for yourself and future guests and make sure your electrics are properly arranged by a qualified electrician.
Building on the topic of electrics, you might want a solar panel installation in your Tiny House. I urgently advise you to hire an expert for this job. I once saw a building go up in flames because the PV installation was a mess of parts. When working with batteries and inverters, you have to be careful. It is a specialty so do not do it yourself, or at least be very well instructed by an expert.
Fhoto: Marianka Pranger
Stove and flue
It may be obvious, but a faulty chimney is also something you want to avoid. In addition to the risk of fire, there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if your wood or pellet stove or your flue are not properly installed. Do not mess around yourself, ask the supplier to take care of the installation or to recommend an expert.
Fhoto: Marianka Pranger
In all these matters, think about the safety of you and your fellow residents: how much is it worth to you? It is also important to demonstrate that you have thought carefully about safety and that you have not cut back costs to ensure safety, for the application for the Environmental Permit for your Tiny House. In pilot projects, there is sometimes a light assessment against the Building Decree, but if you can demonstrate that you have thought carefully about the safety of your home, about fire safety, escape routes, ventilation and light, then the assessment will run more smoothly. Show that you have engaged craftsmen or craftswomen for the above jobs. So that the municipality does not have to be afraid of unsafe situations and the potential disasters that can result when they license your Tiny House.
Done all that? Then you can do all other construction work yourself, save money and be proud of yourself because you will soon have built your very own Tiny House. Have fun and good luck!