Welcome to our Tiny Home FAQ! As a Canadian tiny home builder, we get a lot of questions about the process of building a tiny home. To help answer some of the most frequently asked questions, we've compiled a list of our top 10 most commonly asked questions.
1) What IS a tiny home anyway?
A tiny home, also known as a tiny house or THOW (tiny house on wheels), is a self-contained dwelling unit that (in Ontario) cannot be small than188 square feet (or 17.5 meters squared) in size and is intended for year round use. These small homes come in all shapes and sizes and offer plenty of options to fit your lifestyle. In Ontario, they must comply with the health & safety requirements of Ontario's building code as well as municipal zoning and other local by-laws. Tiny homes are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative housing option due to their affordability and sustainability.
2) What is the price range for a tiny home?
Every home we build is custom. Your house is designed around your needs and lifestyle so the cost of the home varies based off of what you want to get out of your home. Think the difference between a bungalow and a mansion. That said, we are able to build an on-grid 16′ home for as little as $90 000 and a 40′ off-grid home for upwards of $250 000. We build the home you want and dream about!
Looking for a quote that reflects your personal style? Click here to get a custom tiny house quote made just for you!
3) How long does it take to build a tiny home?
The timeframe for building a tiny house on wheels varies depending on the complexity of the design and the availability of materials. Generally, it takes up to 90 days from the time the trailer arrives and the design is finalized until completion. (Trailers typically take between 6 and 8 weeks to arrive as they are custom built to the needs of your home.) During this time, our experienced builders carefully construct the THOW basics of your tiny home, such as the walls, flooring, plumbing, electrical, insulation, and interior finishes.
4) Are tiny homes environmentally friendly?
Tiny homes are a great option if you're looking to reduce your carbon footprint. Tiny homes can be designed with energy-efficient appliances, allowing them to run off-grid and make use of natural resources like solar and wind power. Our tiny houses on wheels are built for year round Canadian living and use passive house design to help reduce energy loss. An exterior insulation wrap is used to seal the tiny home, eliminating thermal bridging, while an ERV, bathroom fan, and kitchen hood fan are installed for proper ventilation. Investing in a tiny home is a great way to make your life more sustainable and reduce your environmental impact.
5) Do I need a permit to build a tiny home?
Building a tiny home on wheels (THOW) is an exciting project, but it does come with some restrictions. It's important to research your local building and zoning laws before beginning construction. Depending on where you live, you may need a permit for your THOW, which can vary from municipality to municipality.
In Ontario, tiny homes must comply with the Ontario Building Code as well as municipal zoning and local by-laws. In some cases, such as in Toronto, a building permit may be required if you plan to occupy the tiny house as your primary residence. Be sure to check with your municipality to find out what permits are needed and any specific requirements.
If you’re just looking to build the basics of a THOW, such as the frame and exterior walls, then you may not need a permit. However, you will likely need a permit if you plan to do any additional work such as electrical wiring or plumbing.
By doing your due diligence and researching the local regulations, you can ensure that your tiny home is built safely and legally.
6) Are your homes certified to CSA Standards?
We're excited to say that Acorn Tiny Homes homes are able to be certified! Our facility and your home is inspected and certified by Intertek and to be compliant with CSA Z240 MH (Modular Home) standards. That means that your design has been inspected and stamped by an engineer, that your home has been inspected in our facility throughout its construction, and it is certified to be compliant with local and national building codes, as well as CSA standards!
7) Can I live in a tiny home year round in Canada?
Absolutely! At our Toronto based workshop, we have been perfecting our building techniques over the years to ensure that our tiny homes are 4-season, Canadian-weather ready. With the use of passive and smart house design you can feel confident that your tiny home is equipped to handle the extreme temperatures of a Canadian winter. We also make sure to include features like extra insulation and high-quality windows and doors to keep your tiny home warm and cozy during those cold winter months. Whether you’re looking for a comfortable weekend getaway or a full-time living solution, our tiny homes are built to withstand the harsh Canadian climate.
8) Am I really saving money in the long run?
The answer to this question is a resounding "Yes!" When it comes to tiny homes, you are definitely saving money in the long run. Everything from taxes to utilities to maintenance costs are lower in a tiny home. These days, more and more people are looking to downsize and save money, and tiny houses on wheels (THOWs) provide the perfect solution.
In addition to an overall smaller price tag than traditional housing, THOWs offer various cost-saving advantages. For instance, they require less energy to heat and cool, since their small size translates into less space to be heated or cooled. Maintenance costs are also kept to a minimum, since there are fewer materials and surfaces to keep up with. Property taxes are also generally much lower with a tiny home than with a larger, traditional home, which means even more money in your pocket.
It is easy to see why so many people are choosing tiny homes as an affordable and sustainable way of living. So if you're wondering if a tiny house can save you money in the long run, the answer is a resounding "yes!" With all the cost savings associated with a tiny home, you'll be glad you made the switch!
9) Can I finance a tiny home?
Yes, you can finance a tiny home! We understand that one of the biggest hurdles to overcome to tiny home ownership today can be securing financing. That's why we work with financiers who specifically deal with tiny home building loans. This makes it easier for our clients to secure the funding they need to purchase their tiny house on wheels (THOW). Our team is happy to help you explore your options and determine the best path forward. Click the link to learn more or start an application today. With the right loan, you can be living in your dream THOW before you know it!
10) Where can I put my tiny home!?
The laws and regulations surrounding tiny homes in Canada are actively changing to accommodate more and more alternative living situations. This means the answer to where you can put your tiny home is not a straightforward one. This is a province-by-province and municipality-by-municipality specific question, so it is important to check with your local government on the regulations regarding tiny houses and tiny homes in your area.
Fortunately, there are some great resources out there to help guide you in your search for land for your tiny home. Tiny Homes in Canada has compiled a list of places across Canada that allow for tiny house living and even offer land for sale. The Giving Tree Consulting is also an excellent source of information when researching the laws and regulations surrounding tiny houses and tiny homes. They off workshops and seminars offering resources to help you understand the zoning laws in each municipality, and personal consultation services.