A Rough Layout of My Tiny Home

Marc Bilodeau/ Planning, Tiny House

I’ve been thinking about the layout of my tiny home. As you think about it, you mentally keep adding more stuff to the list. You start to wonder how you will fit everything into your tiny home. So I decided to start by creating a rough layout. Although I call this rough, it still required a lot of thought and plenty of YouTube videos and blogs to see what’s possible, what I like, and what I don’t like.

I’ve decided to build a 8’x20′ (2.44m x 6.1m for our metric friends) tiny home. Although the law varies state by state in the United States, I’ll be fine if I stay within 8′ (2.44m) wide and a maximum height of 13’6″ (4.11m) to drive it on the road.

Taking a Step Back

With all the possibilities and videos I’ve seen, I decided to start by creating a high level list covering each functional areas within the tiny home.

Bathroom

 

  • Shower (32×32)
  • Composting Toilet
  • Moisture Fan
  • Sink
Kitchen

 

  • Propane Range and Oven
  • Propane Fridge
  • Sink
Great Room

 

  • Built in seating
  • Table and work areas
  • Stairs to loft
  • Heating
Sleeping Loft

 

  • Bed
  • Closet/Shelving for Clothes
  • Egress Skylight Window
Utility

 

  • Propane Hot Water Heater
  • Water Tank
  • Solar Panels
  • Fresh Air exchange
Miscellaneous

 

  • Storage
  • Outlets (USB, AFCI, GFCI)
  • Temperature/CO/Smoke
  • Sensors (the .io stuff)

First, I created a floor plan on graph paper to get an idea of how everything would fit together. This article was very helpful to get me started. After a lot of erasing and rethinking, I came up with a design that I like.

the ground floor layout
The ground floor of my tiny home
The loft layout
The loft of my tiny home

Next, I created another floor plan (literally on the floor) using a roll of paper and duct tape to represent appliances and furniture. I searched the web for typical appliances used in RVs and Tiny Homes for dimensions to be as close as possible to reality. This allowed me to move around appliances, counters, and furniture to play with different layouts.

the layout outlined on the floor
Using paper cutouts and duct tape really helped visualize the layout

By no means is this the final version as there will likely be many tweaks along the way. However, it does hash out a lot of questions and lay the foundation to the project.

What did I Learn from my Layout?

I’m glad I did this because it made me think about day to day living in a tiny home, and some conclusions I’ve made seemed logical to me.

  • Items that use water should be close together. If I keep the sink, shower, and bathroom sink together, I can minimize the amount of PEX piping to install.
  • Under the sink is a good place for a utility closet. By installing the water heater under the kitchen sink, all plumbing maintenance will be centralized. I would put the electrical panel there too, but water and electricity don’t mix to well. I’m still undecided on where that will be. It will be either outside in the utility closet or in the bathroom near the toilet.
  • Appliances take more space then you think. Although there are smaller appliance for tiny homes, RVs, and apartments, they still take up space. I took some rough dimensions of some common items for the layout above.
  • A layout helps visualize your tiny home. Creating a scaled layout where the great room, kitchen, bathroom, appliances, counters, storage, and furniture will go helps with perspective. I was able to walk around and visualize being there. It helped me make some important decisions.

Still a lot more to do before cutting the first board

Although I’m happy with what I have so far, I’m far from a final decision on my layout. Now with this new found information, I will create a 3D layout of my tiny home and see how everything will begin to come together.