The tiny home movement spawned from a common desire to simplify life. Minimalists and avid travelers alike see the benefit in downsizing belongings—and floor plan size. One of the most appealing aspects of tiny living is the reduction of required maintenance. After all, a tiny home must require less maintenance than a suburban house and lawn, right? Well, yes...mostly. But those thinking of making the move to tiny should be aware of regular and infrequent maintenance requirements meant to keep your tiny home functioning as it should.
1. Initial Quirks
Like any new home or car, tiny homes are notorious for having some kinks to work out. From realizing there are no coat hooks or place for your spices to discovering the need for additional shelving, there are many updates you will want to make to your tiny home. Whether it’s fresh off the building site or has been pre-loved, making a tiny home your own will require some weekend warrior mindset. In addition to changes aimed at personal preference, you might also find you need to tend to broken cabinet doors, issues with the ladder to the loft, or other parts that either move too much or not enough.
2. Water Leaks
Tiny homes have plumbing just like any other home or RV, so it’s likely that you’ll need to tend to issues from time to time. Faucets, shower heads, toilets, water heaters, and roofs should be on your maintenance radar.
3. Winter Skirt
Depending on the climate where you live, you may want to consider adding a winter skirt to the bottom of your tiny home. Effective in keeping out rodents looking for a warm spot, a skirt also repels the snow, and insulates the air beneath your home for better efficiency. If your home already has a skirt you’ll want to check it frequently for loose nails and rotting boards.
4. Trailer Maintenance
Part of the appeal of tiny homes is the fact that they are mobile so you can move from one place to another at will. That means that your home sits on a trailer. The trailer is exposed to the elements and has an important job to do. Here’s a trailer maintenance checklist that will set you up for a safe ride.
- Tire pressure - always maintain the proper tire pressure
- Tire Tread - tires take a beating from the weight, sun, weather, and road wear. Make sure to rotate and replace them as needed.
- Lug Nuts - lug nuts tend to loosen during the first 1,000 or so miles so check them frequently at first and then every 5,000 miles after that.
- Bearings - grease and repack your bearings on a regular schedule.
- Hitch - Inspect and grease your hitch to keep it functioning properly.
- Trailer Lighting - all trailers have tail and brake lights so be sure to check them frequently to ensure safety before you haul.
5. Nuts and Bolts
In a regular home, nails and screws hold the place together. In a tiny home, nuts and bolts on your trailer and inside the home both play an important part. Especially if your tiny home sees much travel time, you’ll want to tighten nuts and bolts regularly.
6. Fire Safety
Just like in a traditional home, tiny homes contain safety features that you’ll need to inspect. Make sure the fire alarm has functioning batteries by replacing them twice each year. Also check the charge on your fire extinguisher to make sure it hasn’t expired. Replace or recharge it as needed. If you have a carbon monoxide detector, verify it works as well.
7. Standard Repairs
There is no escaping home maintenance, even with less space to maintain. Expect to fix doors, repair appliances, winterize, clean, adjust, tighten, rearrange, check propane levels, deal with the composting toilet, and make improvements on a continual basis.