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Tiny Home Design

What is a Tiny Home?

Tiny homes are the residential movement taking the country by storm. As more and more people move away from cavernous houses and too many things, they find that tiny homes offer an answer. Sustainable and energy-efficient, tiny homes cost less, use less energy, and require less maintenance than conventional residences. They can be customized to fit families of all shapes and sizes, and are perfect for life on the go. However, while many people are interested in owning a tiny home, few know where to start! That’s where we come in. At PSE Consulting Engineers, Inc., our structural engineers, and experts work with you throughout the entire process of designing and building your tiny home, so nothing is overlooked. From the initial planning stages to a neat package of custom-designed pieces, we can help you build your (tiny) dream home.

Pros and Cons of Tiny Homes

There are a variety of benefits and drawbacks to any residence, and tiny homes are no different. What they lack in space, resale value, and cost per square foot, they make up for in maintenance, efficiency, and mobility


  • Great cost of living
  • Ability to travel with your home (modular tiny home)
  • Less space = Less cleaning
  • Eco-Friendly
  • Cost efficient way to have a new modern home
  • Easily customizable


  • Can be difficult to get permitting in certain jurisdictions
  • Resale value diminishes quickly
  • RV/Trailer like cooking equipment (Small)
  • Will need a truck for towing
  • Not much storage or room for additional assets
  • Cost per square foot can be expensive

Rendering by 121 Tiny Homes

We’re the Experts

Our President, Nabil Taha, is a member of the ASTM International Tiny Home Subcommittee which aims to establish industry standards for several subject areas regarding tiny homes, including:

  • Best building practices
  • Test methods
  • Certification
  • A global quality assurance program
  • Requirements and auditing of third parties that provide plan review and inspect tiny houses
  • Tiny house community developments
  • Micro-grid utilities
  • Minimum construction requirements.

As a member of this subcommittee, Nabil has a direct hand in educating the public about how important tiny homes are as a solution to the housing crisis. His knowledge recently gave him the opportunity to be a guest on the Tiny Home Lifestyle Podcast. In this episode, he was able to share expert insights and tips from a structural engineer’s perspective. Nabil discusses topics such as permanent foundations; framing, material and design options; how to anchor your home and preventing sinkage. Watch the episode here.

Questions to Consider

If you’re thinking about designing or building a tiny home, there are several questions that you need to consider. A tiny home is a dramatic life change, and it isn’t for everyone. At PSE, we can help walk you through the first steps towards tiny home ownership, to see if it’s right for you.

  • Are you going to build it yourself, or go through a manufacturer?
    The first and biggest decision you need to make is whether or not you intend on building your tiny home yourself, or if you plan on outsourcing. Building it yourself is a lot of work, but can help cut down on costs. 
  • Do you want a permanent foundation or a modular tiny home on wheels?
    This is also a big decision. If you have a permanent foundation, your home will not be mobile, and you’ll need a legal location for it. However, a foundation means your tiny home can be bigger than its wheeled counterparts. 
  • Do you have architectural plans?
    Architectural plans are absolutely necessary to indicate the layout of the home, and the key components such as bathrooms, bedrooms, and the kitchen. These plans will also show the colors and overarching design of your tiny home. 
  • Do you have a structural analysis and design?
    While the architectural plans dictate the overall design of your home, the structural plans and analysis ensure that your tiny home is structurally sound and safe. PSE’s structural engineers go over the design of the home to determine member and connection sizes, and ensure that your home will meet local building load criteria.

How to Get Started

Once you’ve decided on the size, location, and construction type of your tiny home, it’s time to start on the architectural design! At PSE, our dedicated team can provide both the architectural and structural design of your tiny home, so you get exactly what you want. Our experts work closely with you to develop the architectural plans into the tiny home of your dreams. 

Once we’ve finished the architectural plans, we pass them to our expert structural engineers to model and analyze the plans from a structural perspective. This ensures that they are safe, secure, and completely up to code.

Finally, once the plans are completed, we will send you a full construction set of stamped plans for you to submit for your construction permit. Our experienced team will ensure that you have a smooth design process, and be sure that all your questions are answered.

Contact the professionals at PSE to get started on your Tiny Home adventure today!