The lovely, tiny house that could be built for under $20,000.

American do-it-yourself guru, Ana White, has released free plans online for a tiny house that could cost under $20,000 to build yourself.

White released her house plans with the hope of inspiring copycat homes across the world.

The mother of two’s small house sits amid a forest in Alaska, sleeps six adults and is built on a movable trailer.

It is a clever abode that has a reading nook with a view, storage under the bed and a fold-out dining table.

According to Sydney based construction and refurbishment company, Buildability, the building cost could fluctuate depending on materials but their rough estimate was between $42,800-  $52,800 with a professional build.

The cost is substantially lower to build it yourself, however Buildability Director Darren Ward says the value of your own time and “any potential loss of income that you might have made elsewhere during that time” would need to be considered.

“It feels big inside.”

During her video tourWhite says the house feels spacious inside despite being the size of a large trailer – 24 feet long and eight feet, six inches wide.

The tiny house movement started as an emergency housing solution in the US following Hurricane Katrina and is growing as a real housing choice.

An image from the plans. Available here.

How much does it cost?

Many have accomplished their tiny house dreams under $100,000 and with some Sydney car spaces for sale for up to four times as much it seems like a bargain.

Ward says it is "an interesting concept" but other questions around local government regulations which would need to be addressed such as compliance and where you can keep a mobile home.



  • Trailer – Say $5,000
  • Framing materials $2,000
  • Internal Linings & Flooring - $2,000
  • External Cladding / Insulation - $1,500
  • Materials for Joinery / Cabinetry - $1000
  • Windows / Doors $1,500
  • Roofing - $1,200
  • Sundries, fixings, glue nails etc - $500
  • Paint - $200
  • Soft Furnishing - $1000
    • SUB TOTAL MATERIALS – say $16,000


  • Appliances, sink - $1,500
  • Light Fittings $300
  • Electrician cost for hooking up for power - $1,000
  • Plumbing? (where does kitchen drain to?)

Source: Buildability


"If you were looking to get a professional team or builder in to build, I would anticipate that labour (in Sydney at the moment) to be anywhere around the $25- $35k mark," says Ward.

"I certainly think there is a market for this type of solution into the future. I envisage greater interest in pre-fab homes and/or kit homes also for reasons around speed and economy  - which often go hand in hand."

The lounge area. Image via YouTube.

In an era where young Australians are seeking counselling over the prospect of never being able to afford a home, access to free affordable housing plans can only be a good thing.

The Kitchen. Image via YouTube.

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