I Designed Custom Tiny Houses for 3 Years. This is What Surprised Me.

Chris Eubanks
10 min readJun 3, 2022

I was the lead designer for a luxury custom tiny home builder for 2 years, and have since moved to contract work.

Only Clients With an Obsessive Personality Were Successful

With a regular size house build, an architect or design builder can hold your hand through the process. But with a tiny house, regulations are the wild west. There is no legal definition of a tiny house, and every municipality has different rules on where you can legally park them. Typically they are not allowed in urban areas. One property may be tiny house legal, but its neighbor may not be. This requires the owner to do a lot of research and due diligence before engaging with the tiny house builder.

Owners will also have to organize their own on-site contractor, since the tiny home may be shipped from a different state.

If you are not a hyper obsessed person and need your hand held by the experts, planning for a tiny house will likely be too complicated of an endeavor. Tiny houses are for the go-getters of life.

Tiny House Builders do not Have Enough Employees to Research if you Can Park Your Tiny House on Your Land.

We received an average of seven phone calls per hour, most people asking if they can legally park a tiny house on their land. The answer is that it can take several days to weeks of research to get clear information. Building departments are understaffed, and it may take a few days for the city to call you back. Then you might have to call a different department, and they could take a few days to get back to you.

City / town planners are very hesitant to give clear information, and will typically want to see plans before they give you the all clear. Mention the word “tiny house” or “tiny house on wheels” and you can get a “no” on the phone, even if it is still legally possible. I would recommend that you specifically ask what the minimum square footage requirements are.

The Market Wants Luxury, Not Rustic

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Chris Eubanks

Language learner. Rapidly learning the Finnish language. Follow me for specific knowledge that can't be found anywhere else on the Internet.