Tiny Houses On A Budget: Is Under $10k (Or $5k) Possible?

Various converted sheds in a row.

The tiny house movement is on the rise in America. Small houses are popping up right, left, and center so people can save themselves from the massive costs associated with building a home. And even though you can buy a customized small house or a prefabricated dwelling – doing it yourself can save you a bundle!

If you’re in the process of building a tiny house yourself, check out these tips that can help you bring down the price of your tiny home.

When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tips for Cutting Costs on a Tiny Home

A stack of British coins alongside a calculator in the background. From Breakingpic at

  • Since we are considering doing everything ourselves – try to do everything with your own hands unless there’s something you can’t do. A tiny home is a goal you’re passionate about. Because of this reason, no one is going to take the task as seriously as you. Labour isn’t cheap either! YouTube is the name of the game, and you can learn anything if you’re determined enough. However, you might need a professional’s help with your home’s electrical wiring and plumbing set up.
  • Second-hand material is your best friend! With some care and a little elbow grease – everything can look good as new.
  • can be immensely helpful if you’re building a tiny house yourself. When a contractor starts building for a project, they usually over order on the materials they need. Luckily for them, America is now on a shopping spree for tiny houses. In the free section of Craigslist, you can find several items that are perfectly usable in your tiny house. These items can be:
    • Hardwood flooring
    • Washing Sinks
    • Pallets
  • Make sure you check out the second-hand supply stores in your vicinity. You can get several tiny house essentials in these stores for a fraction of their original price. For example, you might be able to get:
    • A washroom sink for $2.50
    • 5 gallons of house paint worth $20
    • Insulation foam for $70 (click here to know which insulation is the best for your tiny home)
    • Windows between the $10 and $25 range
    • A ceiling fan for only $20
    • Ceiling covering just for $72
  • One common mistake people make while building a tiny house is that they buy new windows according to the frame they have. Don’t do that! Frame your walls to fit the windows you’ve been able to pick up at a second-hand price. Buying new windows won’t let you stay under the $10,000 mark!

Even though building a tiny house yourself from scratch is possible, we wouldn’t recommend that you do everything yourself. Some procedures like the electrical wiring, plumbing services, and lumber framing are activities you should leave to the professionals (unless you’re an expert yourself). Even if you choose to learn these skills from YouTube – you’ll take up a lot of your precious time, and mistakes from inexperience can be expected.

So even though building a tiny house under $10,000 is possible – going through the process without the help of a professional can be risky.

These professionals can charge you different rates like:

  • $45/hour for a carpenter
  • $60/hour for a plumber or an electrician

Is It Possible to Build a Home With a Tiny House Kit?

Cabin in the Woods/Forest

Building a tiny house yourself takes patience and a lot of time. Unless you’re a contractor who has been doing it for a long time, the planning alone can be a tad bit overwhelming. Due to this stressful ordeal, several people choose to start living big in a tiny home by buying a tiny house kit.

The best part is – these kits make it possible to reach the $10,000 or $5,000 easily! Here are some of the best tiny house kits in the market today.

1. Arched Cabins

If you’re looking to build a tiny house under $5,000 – Arched Cabins has the answer. Apart from being offered at such an affordable price, the kits from Arched Cabins are incredibly easy to set up. There are different sizes available, and every kit comes equipped with a bathroom and a kitchen.


  • $2,650 for 12’ x 10’
  • $6,360 for 12’ x 24’

Items Included

  • A ridge beam
  • Roof paneling
  • Hardware
  • R-13 insulation

2. Allwood Mayflower

The Allwood Mayflower is the garden house of your dreams. It has a rustic design and a typical wagon shape to embody the American frontier spirit. With some small DIY, this kit can easily be your new home, yoga studio, office, guest house, or, most importantly – a beautiful garden house.

The small house is set up on iron wheels that make it mobile. At 116 square feet, it can be cozy inside if you go about the situation a bit creatively.


  • $6,890

Items Included

  • Roof paneling
  • Wall sliding
  • Double door
  • Floorboards
  • Windows

3. Allwood Claudia

The Allwood Claudia is a cottage styled cabin that comes with a 5-year warranty. It has a 209 sqft floor space and is bigger than most Allwood kits. Setting up this kit can take 3 days if someone is helping you set up this kit. Claudia can be the ideal choice if you’re looking for a tiny house under the $10,000 budget. The kit also comes with WindBlock wall planks that can do a great job of insulating your tiny house.


  • $8,850

Items Included

  • Screws, nails, fixings, and door locks
  • Glazed door and window
  • WindBlock wall planks
  • Instructions for the setup
  • Roof and floor construction materials

Converting a Shed Into a Tiny House?

Various converted sheds in a row.

Apart from buying kits or building a tiny house yourself, some people also choose to convert their sheds into compact living spaces. For people like such, the diversity that comes with the idea of living in a tiny house is what’s fascinating. Because of such ideals, people find ways to build creative homes in all kinds of places.

Using a shed as a home can be a great way to start!


Meeting a building code or making a shed legal can difficult if you want to say you’re going to live in it. One big advantage of a shed is that these mobile homes are so prevalent that you can park them anywhere. Some spots might require a permit, but that’s nothing more than a formality. That’s just city hall trying to get a slice from your cake any way they can.

If you’re trying to use these sheds for storage, they won’t cause you any problem.

Getting a Water Supply

Managing to get water in most homes isn’t much of a problem. Water is the easiest to get amongst the three main utilities because it doesn’t pose many risks. Ensure you have the cash required for the permits and the installation process and remember to get some inspections done.

Why Should You Live in a Shed?

  • Because You Can!: Getting a shed legitimized easily is what’s appealing to most people who are looking for a tiny house. In many cases, you can drop them off on a location and be done.
  • Affordability: Several people have exciting stories of how they were able to build living spaces inside sheds that cost them less than $5,000. Since sheds can be so easy to set up financially, several people find this option enticing.

Tiny House Essentials: You Moved In – Now What?

Congratulations! You’ve moved into your tiny house – but what’s next? Apart from the small living space, it’s the items you place inside the tiny house that make the experience all the more enjoyable. Here are some items that must be inside your tiny house.

Composting Toilet

Speak about catering to your needs!

A toilet is a must inside any home, let alone a tiny one. Since many homeowners are unable to park their houses in a location that gives them a sewage connection, flushing is a luxury they can’t afford. The solution can be a composting toilet that is usually waterless and easy-to-use.

Oven and Stovetops

You’re going to have several options to choose from when you’re designing a kitchen for your tiny house. If you like to cook, you can easily fit a stovetop that has an attached oven. However, you might have to find the right size according to your home’s needs.

Small Fridge

Deciding which fridge suits your home will depend on the number of people living inside it and the space you have. We would recommend that you select the fridge before you build your tiny house. That way, you can plan your kitchen space with the thought that you have to accommodate a fridge in it. A full-size fridge can also be built under the staircase if your tiny home has one.


Transitioning to a minimalist lifestyle is getting increasingly popular since prices for full-fledged homes are going through the roof. Even people entering retirement are getting interested in the idea because as people age, their incomes surely change, but their desires do not. Apart from financial reasons, people also take tiny homes as a challenge for their creativity. That is why every year, we see new trends in the tiny house building community.