Several people have asked what our cost is for building the tiny cottage. We just broke the $6,000 mark. It is almost all of our costs before we move in as I have most of the remaining materials in hand. I figure we’ll spend about another $1,500 before we move in this fall. Not bad for building a house.
How does that compare with larger houses? That $6,000 material cost is $23 per sq-ft so far. Using the $7,500 figure it will be $29 per sq-ft for the final anticipated cost. This is based on the tiny cottage’s 252 sq-ft interior downstairs floor area. If you include the loft, attic storage and utility space, which are all half height at the peak, then the floor area increases 384 sq-ft reducing the anticipated final cost of construction to about $19 per sq-ft.
That figure is materials since we did all the labor. Materials costs were further kept down since we used mostly recycled windows and other found materials like the waste granite from the local quarries and stone from our land. Adding labor would probably double or a bit more the final cost of the house. But labor really doesn’t count – I wouldn’t want to hire someone else and let them have all the fun!
I figure that materials plus labor comes out about the same as the town assessors valuation of the tiny cottage at $17,020 in its anticipated final form. Interesting…
The savings are even better than that. The tiny cottage is valued at about 1/5th the value of our old farm house so the taxes are correspondingly lower. More importantly the tiny cottage will require virtually no energy to heat besides the sun, appliances, our bodies and cooking. The electrical usage will also be much smaller so that will save still more. Lastly, the maintenance cost for the stone and concrete house will be trivial compared with traditional wooden houses that constantly need re-roofing, repainting, etc, etc. I estimate that within three years we’ll have saved the entire cost of construction – after that it’s gravy.
Outdoors: 62°F/38°F Partially Sunny
Farm House: 68°F/62°F
Tiny Cottage: 73°F/66°F Kitchen/Bathroom wall work, prep for bathroom door arch