How to Choose the Right Tiny House for You

Summarizing your Tiny options. A Guide on how to pick what is right for you.

Tiny houses are becoming more popular as people seek to simplify their lives, save money, and reduce their environmental impact. But not all tiny houses are the same. There are different types of tiny houses that suit different needs, preferences, and budgets. In this blog, I will explain the main types of tiny houses and their pros and cons, so you can make an informed decision on which one is right for you.

What is a Tiny House?

A tiny house is a dwelling that is typically less than 400 square feet in size. Some tiny houses are even smaller, as little as 100 square feet. Tiny houses can be built on foundations or on wheels, and they can be stationary or mobile. Tiny houses can be designed and customized to fit the owner’s lifestyle and personality. Some tiny houses have lofts, porches, skylights, solar panels, composting toilets, and other features that make them comfortable and functional.

Types of Tiny Houses

There are three main types of tiny houses: THOWs, converted vehicles, and ADUs. Let’s look at each one in more detail.


THOW stands for Tiny House on Wheels. This is a tiny house that is built on a trailer and can be towed by a truck or a car. THOWs are popular because they offer flexibility and mobility. You can move your THOW to different locations, travel with it, or park it on a piece of land. THOWs are also easier to build and cheaper than traditional houses, since they don’t require a building permit or a foundation.

However, THOWs also have some drawbacks. First, you need to find a place to park your THOW legally and safely. Not all cities and counties allow THOWs on their land, and some have strict zoning and building codes that limit their size, design, and utilities. You may also need to pay fees or rent for parking your THOW on someone else’s property. Second, you need to have a vehicle that can tow your THOW and handle the weight and size of it. This can be expensive and challenging, especially if you are not used to driving with a trailer. Third, you need to consider the maintenance and durability of your THOW. Since your THOW is exposed to the elements and the road, you need to make sure it is well-built and well-insulated, and that you can repair any damages or malfunctions that may occur.

Watch a Stunning DIY Guide for a THOW here.

Converted Vehicles

Another type of tiny house is a converted vehicle. This is a vehicle that has been modified to function as a living space. Some common examples of converted vehicles are vans, buses, RVs, and trailers. Converted vehicles are appealing because they are already mobile and road-ready, and they can be cheaper and easier to convert than building a new tiny house from scratch. You can also find a variety of models and sizes of vehicles that suit your needs and preferences.

However, converted vehicles also have some disadvantages. First, you need to make sure that your vehicle is in good condition and meets the legal and safety standards for driving. You may need to register, insure, and inspect your vehicle regularly, and pay for gas, repairs, and maintenance. Second, you need to be creative and resourceful in making the most of the limited space and amenities in your vehicle. You may need to compromise on comfort, privacy, and functionality, and find ways to deal with issues such as ventilation, heating, cooling, plumbing, and electricity. Third, you need to be prepared for the challenges and risks of living in a vehicle. You may face discrimination, harassment, or theft from other people, or have difficulty finding a place to park or sleep.

Watch How this Youtuber changed his Van into A Sleek Modern Camper. DIY Steps included.


Accessory Dwelling Units, commonly known as ADUs, represent a secondary form of housing situated on the same property as a primary residence. These units can either be connected to the main home, like a converted garage or basement, or be standalone structures, such as a backyard granny flat or a laneway home. ADUs are an attractive option due to their affordability and the convenience of being located in established neighborhoods, offering easy access to local services, amenities, and a sense of community. Additionally, they are often more budget-friendly than standard houses, whether for purchase or rent.

However, choosing an ADU comes with its own set of challenges. Firstly, it's important to locate an ADU that meets your specific needs and preferences, keeping in mind that not every area offers ADUs, and their legality, safety, and comfort can vary. Thorough research and inspection are key steps in this process. Secondly, understanding and navigating the legal and financial implications is crucial. This involves acquainting oneself with local building and operation regulations, including permits, fees, taxes, and ongoing utilities and maintenance costs. Financially, securing a mortgage or lease agreement for an ADU can present its own hurdles. Thirdly, the social and environmental impacts of ADU living should be considered. This includes effective communication and negotiation with others on the property, like landlords or fellow tenants, respecting their rights and needs, and addressing any potential conflicts amicably.

In some regions, such as California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and Vermont, laws allow the purchase of ADUs independently from the main house, under a condominium-like arrangement. This setup legally subdivides the ADU and the main house, sharing certain elements like land and utilities, offering more autonomy over the ADU but also bringing additional costs and responsibilities. As regulations for ADUs vary across states and localities, it's essential to consult with relevant authorities to understand the specific rules and requirements in your area before proceeding with an ADU.

How to Choose the Right Tiny House for You

As you can see, each type of tiny house has its own advantages and disadvantages. The best type of tiny house for you depends on your personal goals, preferences, and circumstances. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help you choose the right tiny house for you:

  • What is your main purpose for living in a tiny house? Do you want to save money, travel, simplify your life, or something else?

  • How much space do you need and want? How many people and pets will live with you? What are your essential and desired features and amenities?

  • How much money do you have and want to spend? How much can you afford for the initial cost, ongoing expenses, and potential income of your tiny house?

  • How much time and effort do you have and want to invest? How much do you enjoy and know about designing, building, and maintaining your tiny house?

  • How much flexibility and mobility do you need and want? How often and where do you want to move your tiny house? How comfortable and confident are you with driving and towing your tiny house?

  • How much stability and security do you need and want? How easy and legal is it to find a place to park and live in your tiny house? How safe and protected are you and your tiny house from the weather, the road, and other people?

  • How much convenience and comfort do you need and want? How accessible and reliable are the utilities and services you need for your tiny house? How cozy and functional is the space and layout of your tiny house?

  • How much social and environmental impact do you need and want? How well do you get along with your neighbors, landlords, or tenants? How eco-friendly and sustainable is your tiny house?

By answering these questions, you can narrow down your options and find the type of tiny house that matches your vision and values. Remember, there is no one right answer or perfect solution. The best tiny house for you is the one that makes you happy and fulfilled. I hope this blog has been helpful and informative for you. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share them below. Thank you for reading and happy tiny living!