Starter tiny homes

There is no denying that tiny houses are getting more and more expensive. The increasing cost of materials, labour and transport, combined with the popularity of larger models means bigger price tags.

However, depending on your circumstances, there are some creative ways to still be able to attain the tiny dream on a budget.

Go smaller

This will save you a lot of money in materials. A smaller build is also lighter which, depending on how light it is, means you may be able to move it without a truck, saving you money in relocation costs.

Invest in the foundation

Whether you are on skids or a trailer, ensuring that you have a good quality foundation is essential for the longevity of your home. Getting a foundation that is solid, meets specifications (VSB V6 for trailers), using Australian made steel, that is strong enough for your intended weight is worth investing in.

Consider buying a partially built tiny home

Because a large portion of the cost of a tiny home is in the labour, you can save quite a lot if you put in the labour. Partially built options are appealing if you are keen to put your creative stamp on the home, as you can control a lot of the furniture and finishes of the home. This way is also useful if you don’t have complete finances upfront, allowing to progress the build as you have the funds.

Some manufacturers offer frame options which usually includes the foundation – a trailer or skid; subfloor; and a frame, usually steel. This is a great option if you have carpentry skills and can source the other trades, plumber, gas fitter and electrician.

“Lock-up” is a term that builders use that means “External wall cladding and roof covering are fixed, the flooring is laid and external doors and windows are installed” – Consumer Affairs Victoria. This can also save you substantial time, whilst knowing that a professional has built the trickier bits.


Another option if you have the time, space and skills is going fully DIY. The tiny house movement came out DIY pioneers such as Jay Schafer and Dee Williams amongst others. This gives you complete creative freedom which is exciting. Be warned that many insurers need to see trades certificates, local councils may request BCA compliance and therefore resale value may be affected if you go this route. To educate yourself look for tiny house workshops. Fred’s Tiny Houses also has a thorough course called the Tiny House University which covers all the steps of building a tiny on wheels. Even if you aren’t building your own it is a great resource to show what elements are important for a quality build.

Builders that offer tiny options under 60K

We have reached out to our ATHA builder members to find those that offer more affordable options. It may be worth asking your favourite builder if they offer cheaper options i.e. to lock up, smaller, without all the bells and whistles etc. If you are a builder that has Australian made options under 60K please contact us.