In this incredibly technological world, you can choose from all sorts of design software to build the stuff of your dreams. From manufacturing facilities to elementary schools to residential homes, the possibilities are endless.
If you’re a tiny house architect, you can benefit from several software programs. As you embark on this exciting journey, there’s a lot you’ll want to know and learn. Keep reading to see how to
build the best tiny houses and turn your vision into reality!
Contrary to popular belief, designing a tiny house can be complicated. Here are some of the most important factors to keep in mind.
Before designing the tiny house, you need to gain a thorough understanding of the site and space. To make the building as comfortable and functional as possible, it’s important to utilize the given space to its full potential.
More specifically, you must consider characteristics like ground material and the local weather. A tiny home built in a desert will likely require different construction than one built near a swampy forest. This site and space will also dictate many other factors discussed below.
Like any other structure, tiny homes come with their own set of local laws and building codes. The regulations and requirements vary by state, so you must carefully study and adhere to them. These regulations may concern door size, structure foundation, free space in certain rooms, and more.
Functionality is one of the top considerations when designing and building a tiny house. Even when architects and engineers create standard-sized homes, small mistakes can result in poor function. So, unsurprisingly, these errors are likelier when you have limited space and so much to include.
Your goal is to fit all the essentials, including the bed, fridge, and toilet. Ideally, the design should maximize every inch of the space’s potential. And remember: even the most minuscule detail can be the difference between a picturesque home and a difficult living situation.
The materials you choose directly impact the home's durability, efficiency, and appearance. For instance, lightweight materials make construction easier but result in a less resilient structure, and energy-efficient materials lower utility bills but increase the initial building costs.
Never underestimate the significance of the weight of your materials. When it comes to tiny houses on wheels, it is imperative that you make the right call. Heavier materials can compromise the mobility of the structure, which is just about the last thing you want as an architect.
Despite their small size, tiny homes often require hefty budgets. The average cost to build a tiny home without a building kit is around $45,000, but the exact price differs from case to case. Thanks to elements like local laws and materials, building a tiny house can cost anywhere between $10,000 to $100,000.
It is incredibly common for a budget to go out of control due to unexpected construction needs or building errors. As mentioned, the limited space makes it easy to overlook small details, resulting in consequences that take time to fix. That’s why it’s crucial to keep this factor in mind at all times.
Lastly, if this house is for a specific client, they may have unique needs. One may request a larger oven for their late-night cooking adventures, whereas the other may want an extra bunk bed for their nieces and nephews.
If your tiny house is part of a general development project, you don’t have to worry about these things. However, there can be many curveballs and special requests with a specific client, so always be prepared.
So, how can you account for these overlapping, complex factors when building a tiny home? The answer is advanced design software! The days of taking pencil to paper and using printed blueprints are over. The best architects and engineers now use design software programs to render building designs, including plans for tiny homes!
At one point in time, AutoCAD was the only option for architects. But, in the current market, the software options are endless, and some of the top products include Autodesk Revit and McNeel Rhinoceros, as well as Enscape. All of these programs make designing a home easier.
These tools integrate with other BIM software like the ones mentioned above and give you the power to both render detailed 3D models and assess them in a virtual setting. Here are the advanced features you should look for when selecting a tool:
Real-Time Walkthroughs: a fully rendered 3D walkthrough, so you and the client can fully explore the tiny home and understand how it looks and feels.
Virtual Reality: Who said virtual reality was only for gaming? VR lets you step into a digital version of the design, so you can assess the design for flaws or oddities before construction starts.
Workflow: improve workflow with tools like site content, BIM information, collaboration avenues, and orthographic views.
Materials: Choosing materials is exponentially easier with modern design software, thanks to robust material libraries, versatile material editor, and convenient material update function.
Assets: As with materials, experimenting with and incorporating assets is super easy. The customizable asset library and asset placement capabilities streamline and simplify tiny house design.
Exporting: When exporting your designs, feel free to choose from a wide range of options: video, batch, panorama, standalone, Alpha channel, or QR code. After all, convenience matters.
With modern software that offers revolutionary technology like VR, builders can experience the structure inside and out before it even exists, automatically reducing the chances of human error. In short, the future is bright.
Find answers — straight from the author — for the most common questions about this article.