If you are a Floridian, you may know the feeling of worrying about your home as a storm approaches. Repairs can be costly or time-consuming, so having your home damaged can feel like a hassle.
An Idea That Came Out of Tragedy: One woman in Lakeland found herself in the above-mentioned situation when her home was damaged during a storm in 2019 and eventually developed mold as the result.
She called her son, Dan Louche, to share her troubles, but unfortunately, neither could afford to replace the home. Still, Dan knew that he had to do something to help his mother.
So he started researching inexpensive alternatives, and he saw a television program on PBS about a woman who'd done a DIY construction of a tiny home.
The End Result: Dan, an engineer, had no construction experience, but he was willing to learn, so after conducting extensive research, he purchased a trailer and began to build.
Sure, he made some mistakes, but ultimately he was able to make his mother a tiny home for much less than he could have purchased a traditional home.
After Dan saw how functional the home turned out to be for his mother, he decided that perhaps he could help others in the same situation. He began to maintain a blog where he published tips for others building tiny homes.
Dan told Business Insider in April of 2023:
"I thought maybe there's someone else who might have the same experience or a need to build their own."
The Business To Help Others Build Inexpensive Tiny Homes: The blog became so popular that it eventually became a business. Today, Dan's business, Tiny Home Builders, offers five plans for tiny homes along with estimates for completion, which range in price from $10,000-$20,000.
For people who need more hands-on instruction, Dan's company offers 2-day workshops where you can learn how to build first-hand, with someone showing you all of the steps.
Dan advises people that it is best to have a home at least 16 feet long because that length allows you to have a larger living area with a bathroom, a full bedroom, and a kitchen.
Dan's mother maintains a blog about her tiny home and said that her neighbors were very supportive, and she often had a little girl come and ask if she could play in the "little house" with her dolls.
Interestingly enough, the demographic most likely to purchase Dan's plans the most are young couples without children, who are attracted to the price and the fact that one can generally build a tiny home in a couple of months.
The Cost of Tiny Homes Already Constructed in Florida and Options for Bringing Your Own Tiny Home: Florida does offer some options for people wanting to live in tiny homes. According to Way.com, there are no regulations for tiny homes in Florida, but it is a good idea to check with the county where you'd like to place your tiny home, as some counties have square footage requirements.
Florida has tiny home communities, such as Escape Tampa Bay Village, where prices range from $47K to just over $160K, not including lot rent and fees. One can bring their own tiny home to communities such as Braveheart Properties in Cocoa, Florida, where you can buy a lot for $55,000-$80,000.
Of course, tiny home living isn't for everyone. Some try it and end up selling the home because it just did not fit their needs.