I think tiny houses are great, but I have always wanted to know how much they weigh. I did a little research and this is what I found out.
So, how much does a tiny house weigh? Without furniture and other appliances, tiny houses average around 10,000 lbs. A fully furnished home usually rounds out to be around 20,000 lbs.
Tiny homes can vary wildly in weight and size. The design of the home and the materials used in its construction are the biggest factors in determining the weight of your home, thus determining whether or not your home can be easily moved.
How Much Does Your Tiny Home Weigh
The designs you could use to model a tiny house are seeming endless making it difficult to get a good idea on how much your tiny home will weigh. I’ve done some research and put together a table to help you get a rough idea of how heavy your home may be:
|Length of Home (In Feet)||Weight (In Pounds)|
|10 – 12 Feet||3,000 – 4,500 lbs.|
|13 – 16 Feet||5,000 – 6,500.|
|17 – 24 Feet||7,000 – 10,000 lbs.|
A good rule of thumb when it comes to weighing your tiny home is to plan on it being a couple of thousand pounds heavier than your initial estimations. These things always seem to be a bit heavier than you expect and you always end up wanting to put on an extra addition or feature.
It’s never a bad idea to be over prepared. If your home ends up being lighter than expected, then your trailer should have no problem hauling it.
Next, let’s take a look at some of the next biggest factors that contribute to the weight of the vehicle.
Other Weight Factors
A lot of the appeal in tiny homes is the idea of being uncluttered and free. The tiny home lifestyle definitely attracts those that aren’t too attached to their material possessions, but a tiny home can still be heavy.
What are some of the biggest weight factors of a tiny house, and what can I do to get my home a little lighter? Let’s consider some ideas together.
One of the biggest unexpected factors in your minuscule mansion is the interior wall insulation. I have heard tell of folks using real heavy duty fiberglass insulation to shield their home, but that really isn’t necessary.
The best way to go is to use lightweight low-VOC insulation. The low-VOC insulation has a lot of advantages to it other than being light. For instance, it may actually help you breathe easier than fiberglass.
Fiberglass insulation tends to be pretty loose in the sense that it “sheds” pretty easily. One touch and it sends thousands of dust and tiny glass particles into the air. While these particles float around in our breathing space without being seen, if inhaled, they can be harmful to your lungs.
The low-VOC insulation, however, is more solid and won’t be polluting your air with damaging dust. To make your home even more insulated, try spraying everything with plastic sheeting and spray foam. This will seal the floors and walls against any liquid or cool breeze that may otherwise penetrate your cozy home. Making the switch could save you anywhere from 25 to 50 pounds.
I know that doesn’t seem like a lot, but when it comes to tiny homes a little weight, in a lot of places can make a big difference.
Roofing is another area often neglected that could help your home shed some important pounds. A lot of people opt for metal roofing which is cheap and easy to work with, but usually weighs about 2.5 pounds per square foot. A lighter alternative would be TPO roofing. A TPO roof is a single ply membrane that is usually mechanically attached or specially bonded to the top of a structure. It only has a single layer, thus making it lighter.
Some people feel that because TPO roofing is so thin it won’t insulate the home well or be very durable, but these fears are unfounded. TPO roofing generally lasts as long as 50 years and is very capable of insulating just as well as a traditional metal or asphalt roof.
While it may be a bit pricier, TPO roofing can only be applied by a few specialty manufacturers, this could be a great way to shave a few pounds off your tiny house.
A great way to lose a lot of weight on your tiny home is to switch from copper plumbing to plastic PVC plumbing. Copper plumbing is usually easier to work with, more than likely any regular sized home uses copper plumbing, but plastic plumbing is just so much lighter. It has the additional advantage of being quite more durable as well, which is especially helpful if you are planning on moving around a lot.
By far the best thing you can do to make a home lighter is to remove all furnishing before transporting. Any books and brooms, paintings and pictures, couches or car engines. You get the idea. If it isn’t fastened to the ground, take it out. If it is fastened to the ground, but can be easily removed, consider taking that out as well.
It may be a tiny home, but it may surprise you just how much the sum weight of all your personal possessions is. Besides, when you are transporting all of your stuff, its way more likely to break if you keep it in the home. Take out everything you possibly can (windows, doors, whatever!) in order to make it lighter. You will be grateful you did in the end.
Some other things that you may consider changing to make your home lighter are the floor, the materials used in constructing the frame of the home, the various nuts, screws, and bolts used for securing your home, etc. This is in no way a comprehensive list. Just a few ideas to help get you started. Take a look at your own tiny home and see where you could switch to a lighter alternative.
Calculating the Weight of Your Tiny House
The easiest way to calculate your tiny home is to weigh all of your materials individually before you begin construction. While this may not be the most accurate weight, it will give you a rough idea of how much your home weighs.
If you are building using a preconceived design, then there should be a weight listed on the website you got it from.
If your home is already built, then you should be able to go to any weighing station to get it weighed. It costs about $8 to $12 and is a quick process if you don’t have to drive far to get to one.
Have a Good Trailer
Having an adequate trailer is essential if you plan on moving your home around. Remember, not a lot of people move their tiny home more than once a year. If that sounds like your plan, then the best thing to do is to get professional help when you move. If not, it is absolutely essential that you have a trailer that can handle the constant stress of moving.
How easy is it to transport my tiny home? If it is made of lightweight materials and less than 200 square feet, it can likely be towed by a heavy duty pickup truck. However, if it is larger than that or not on wheels, you may have to use a transportation service. This can be a few thousand dollars.
What is the best truck to move my tiny home? With a home that is twenty feet long or less, a Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado, or Toyota Tundra will typically do just fine.