Tiny House Framing: Everything You Need To Know

Tiny house framing is one exciting part of tiny house building. Your walls, roof, windows, and even doors get framed. One after the other and your tiny house start taking form. Keep reading to know more about tiny house framing.

Your tiny house frame is like the skeleton of the tiny house. It gives shape to the tiny house building and also supports the building. If tiny house framing is done wrongly, it may change the look and strength of your tiny house.

Two parts of tiny house framing should not be regarded anyhow- the construction materials and the Framing method. You have to be careful when choosing the materials for your tiny home framing because you’d want it to be durable.

Tiny House Framing

Factors To Consider When Choosing Tiny House Framing

It may not be easy to choose the right framing materials or method. Check out five factors to consider before taking your decisions

1. Cost:

Check your budget first and see how much you can make use of for your tiny house framing. Some people will go for the conventional framing method and the lumber material to cut costs. You may also do the construction by yourself if you have the knowledge and skills.

2. Weight:

Are you building a tiny house on wheels or a tiny house on foundation? If it is one on wheels, you definitely need to consider the weight to avoid disobeying road limits and zoning permits. Choose lightweight materials.

3. Time:

How fast do you want your tiny house to be built? SIPs are the best choice if you want them built quickly. They are easy to install.

4. Sustainability:

Do you want a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle? Go for materials that are eco-friendly and durable.

5. Labor:

Here, you have to consider if you want to do the construction yourself or hire a professional. If you are doing it yourself, go for the easiest built material and method to prevent many difficulties.

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Tiny House Framing Materials

The building materials for framing traditional houses are also used for tiny houses. There are several options to choose from and you can also decide to combine the materials. Just ensure that you make use of durable materials and frame your tiny house well.


Some tiny house builders make use of lumber for tiny house framing. This material is very strong, long-lasting, and easy to work with but it is heavy.

So, if you are building a tiny house on wheels, you may not be able to use this material because your tiny house on wheels is supposed to be mobile and lightweight. We can say it will work better for a tiny house on foundation as long as it meets the local building codes in your area.

Using this material may be stressful since you have to measure and cut a lot but it is worth the work. One good thing about making use of lumber for tiny house framing is that it is simple to adjust or change if there is any mistake.


Steel is a common material used for tiny house framing. A lot of builders go for this material because it is lighter than wood and also the strongest material to use for framing. Steel is recyclable. This material is also fire-resistant and durable, unlike wood which can warp.

However, it has its pros and cons. Steel can be hard to drill through and change its layout once the steel frames are in place.

So, if you made a mistake while framing with steel, it is hard to correct it. Steel framing can be expensive because it also includes installing thermal breaks and insulation.


Here, hybrid means framing a tiny house using a combination of materials. You can combine wood and steel. The warmth of wood and the light weight of steel will result in a good tiny house framing. Don’t you think so too?

It involved building the tiny house framing in steel with columns to support the roof, then adding lumber in between them. This method is cost-effective and helps to reduce the weight of using only lumber.

Structural insulated panels (SIPs)

These are sheets of polystyrene combined between two layers of cladding, often made from sheet metal or plywood. This type of material is effective and efficient as it combines framing and insulation at the same time, which saves weight and space.

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Basic Methods To Frame A Tiny House

Conventional Tiny house Framing

It is also known as traditional framing. It is a fast and cheap method of framing walls and houses. This method is based on a standard set of dimensions that suits most buildings. Conventional framing is flexible and can be used and adjusted for different buildings including tiny houses.

Though this method has been used to construct houses for a very long time, it has some disadvantages. When you use this method, you may find it hard to insulate and seal the structure, making it energy inefficient.

Advanced Tiny House Framing

Advanced framing is also known as Optimum Value Engineering (OVE) due to its smart way of arranging the way the walls are framed. Using this method of framing involves the use of fewer materials.

However, in this method, instead of putting your studs at the traditional 16 inches on the center of the wall, you place them at 24 inches in the center. Though it consumes 5-10% less lumber, the building will still be as strong as the conventional framed building. It even gives more space for insulation. It’s faster and more cost-effective.

Factory-built Tiny House Framing

This is another framing method. Here, the tiny houses are framed in a factory. The factory will create a plan by typing the necessary details into their software, which will design the wall panels according to what they want. Using this design, the manufacturers will cut, screw, and nail each unit together using high-quality lumber.

After building, it will be sent to the job site. The tiny house builders will follow accordingly the installation instructions given by the factory. This will result in the walls being accurate and stronger. However, this method costs higher.

Tiny House Framing: Conclusion

Building your tiny house starts with framing. So, I’d advise that the tiny house framing is done carefully and with durable materials. You wouldn’t want the skeleton of your tiny house to be weak or a waste of money and time.

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