What you need to know before you buy a tiny house

Downsizing seems to be the craze these days, with more and more people finding the idea of living in a tiny house appealing regardless of their financial capabilities and political affiliations. A tiny house can work for preppers, too, albeit with a few considerations that need to be taken into account.

If you are looking to downsize, you probably have two options in mind: a camp trailer and a tiny home. Camp trailers have the advantage in terms of customizability in the sense that you can always convert them into something akin to a tiny house or leave them as they are.

They are also made to be mobile which, for a prepper looking for a home they can take on the go, is highly advantageous. Not to mention that camp trailers have a huge potential to be cheap, with old, second-hand ones being very low-priced – even free if you’re lucky enough to find ones the old owners absolutely no longer want.

Tiny homes can be a little pricier, but they are still less expensive than a full-sized house. They are also less mobile, but they have the advantage of being easier to defend. Camp trailers tend to have thin walls – tiny homes are built to be durable. The latter can also be modified to meet your various needs. You can make them more suitable for specific elements or you can add or remove modules if you need more or less space.

If you have decided on getting a tiny home, you need to have a clear picture of what you want to do with it. The design you follow will ultimately depend on whether you want the house to become a living space optimized for comfort or your prepping needs.

Before you begin, consider the following:

  • What kind of disasters do you expect to get through while you live in your tiny house? This will affect the kind of materials you use to build your house.
  • What kind of laws or regulations will you be dealing with in your area or in the place you will arrive at or will be staying in? Some areas are lenient about having a trailer in your backyard, but the same rules may not apply to a tiny house.

Factors to take into account about your tiny home

Once you have put a lot of thought into the aforementioned matters, it’s time to think about the house itself. As a prepper, here are important things to consider:


There are times when you will have no choice but to leave your area. In such instances, a non-mobile tiny home will be a problem. Using an undercarriage, a frame, and materials that are suitable for transport will make your situation a lot less problematic.

For these instances, a design that allows you to change the upper portion of your home while keeping the undercarriage intact will be the most advantageous. You will be able to change the walls to address specific needs or completely remove them as required.


Square or rectangular houses seem like the basic choice, but for preppers, geodesic or curved structures may be more practical. These designs are built to withstand a greater variety of weather conditions and come in a greater variety of options.


If you are buying a pre-made home, this shouldn’t be a problem. But if you prefer a more hands-on approach in which you build the house yourself, then you need to invest in the proper tools. The tools you need include:

  • Circular saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Rotary tool
  • Power stapler and nail gun
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Air hammer/air powered tools
  • Power drill
  • Assorted hand tools


Which materials you use for your home will depend on your budget and creativity. Some people will find an old bus chassis adequate, but keep in mind even such an option will take a lot of effort to prepare. For the other parts of your home, you can choose from a wide variety of available materials – some actually use shipping palettes and old furniture for wood. Food cans are a popular choice as a source of usable metal.

Building site

A garage is an excellent place to build your home, especially if you will be spending weeks or months on your work. Alternatively, you can rent a storage shed, especially if you want to keep the existence of your tiny home a secret from your neighbors.


As a prepper, you need to take mobility into account when choosing your furnishing. Light-weight furniture that you can take apart and reassemble quickly is the best. You can also opt for inflatable ones, especially for your bed and couches.


Never underestimate the value of electricity, especially if you need to store food. You will also need it to maintain a livable air quality in your home, especially if you risk running into volcanic eruptions or other tragedies that compromise the air you breathe. You can opt for either DIY or pre-fabricated power generators for these concerns.


Your guns may not always be enough to defend your home – flammables like gas will be a big help, although you’ll need to store them properly. Never underestimate the value of simpler weapons, such as crossbows in defending your home and your other property.

Learn more about homesteading at Homesteading.news.

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