At some point in life, a lot of people start thinking about how there must be an alternative to the expensive, mundane life that most of us live. And of course – there are alternatives. For adventurous spirits, the idea of traveling and taking your home with you seems like a perfect combo. And you can indeed achieve that! But, how do you even start? Should you opt for a camper, reconstruct a van, or build a tiny home on wheels? Well, we have prepared this article to help you understand your options better. Here, you will find the basics of what does it take to make a perfect house on wheels with two different approaches.
Planning is the first step, no matter the type of mobile home. This is, in fact, the most important step as everything that you do afterward reflect how you have planned and designed your home. If you are building your own van, the probability is high that you will have less construction planning to worry about. But, as space utilization is the most important aspect of living in a small space – you need to have that in mind while thinking about how do you want it to look.
It’s also important that you figure out the plumbing at this stage. Take this assessment seriously, as showers and toilets are something that you want to do right. Ultimately, assessing every detail is the best way to go. Only after you have done that can you start doing anything that requires manual work. Don’t plan on the go! That’s exactly how you run into problems.
Start with flooring
If you’re working with a van, you might want to remodel the carpet, or even opt for insulation. All in all – you already have a good starting point and hence less work than with a tiny home on wheels.
Now, what about tiny homes? It would be best if you used standard lumber which you will sheath afterward. Ultimately, your foundation must be secured. You don’t want any weak points! If you fail to do this properly, you’re only looking into possible problems in the future.
Continue with walls
Let’s start with van builds. Since the walls are already there, the only recommendation that we have is that you insulate them. This will ensure that you can sleep well even on colder days.
As far as tiny homes go, this step is the one in which you define the structure of your home. Consider using metal bracing as this is a great way to ensure that the walls are kept together. Don’t forget to sheath the walls!
Installing the roof
After you have set the walls up, it’s time to install the roof. Naturally, this step isn’t associated with van builds. If you are new to construction, it would be best that you stick with a simple roof design. This step can be tricky for the inexperienced, so, you might want to look for help.
After you have set the frame and done with sheeting, all that’s left is to put the roofing material. The coating is also a good option for rough weather conditions!
This is another step that doesn’t involve vans. Basically, it involves wrapping the house with an additional layer used for protection. Its main role is to prevent moisture retention. This way, your tiny home stays dry and you don’t have to worry about mold growth.
Doors and windows
When it comes to vans, you want your doors and windows safe. If the van that your starting from has some window or door problems – replace them. It might seem like a big investment in the beginning, but safety is a priority here.
When installing doors and windows in a tiny home, you want your measurements done correctly. If you make sure that you got your measures straight, everything will go smoothly. You don’t want to end up having to look at your crooked windows every day!
Plumbing is the trickiest, slowest, most meticulous part. This goes both for vans and for tiny homes. Make sure not to leave any rooms for mistakes, as problems that come from leaks are incredibly problematic down the road.
Since this part is so tricky, if you don’t have adequate experience – it would be best to ask the professionals for help. Most often, people choose to go with plastic plumbing. The reason for it is that it lasts longer. That being said, even though it is a bit pricier than the copper alternative, but it is a worthy investment.
If you are building a home out of a van, you should know that a car battery isn’t enough. This is especially true if you want to have a refrigerator and power for charging a laptop and similar. The cheapest way to do so is to build your own system. Now, whether you’re going to opt for wiring, solar panels, batteries or something else is your choice. In any case, it would be best to consult with the professionals. The same goes for a tiny home. Risking fire and electrocution isn’t worth it.
It would be best if you choose to use foam board insulation. For better interior air quality, use low-VOC.
After you’re done with all of the steps above, all that’s left is the most fun part. At this point, you get to decorate! Personalize your house, make it the reflection of what you love and want. Have fun!