8 reasons you should build instead of buy your Tiny House RV

As many of you know, I built my own Tiny House RV and I wouldn't have it any other way! Below I've listed 8 reasons you should BUILD OVER BUY. But don't worry, if you aren't up for the construction challenge, click here to read 8 reasons you should BUY OVER BUILD.

8 reasons to BUILD INSTEAD OF BUY:

1). You have construction experience

No brainer. If you know your way around the tool shed, building your own Tiny House RV should be relatively easy. For an expert builder, we advise that a build will take 400-600 work hours. 

You can also take a workshop to learn the skills to build your own tiny. I took one prior to building my tiny, and now I teach them! 

2). You have a great build location

The ideal build site is covered, with ample storage for materials and access to electricity for power tools. If you have the perfect build location, give yourself a pat on the back! You will be the envy of many tiny enthusiasts. 

3). You have a budget & savings

One of the biggest hurdles for any tiny house enthusiast is creating a realistic budget. How you will pay for the materials, tools, etc? Financing is not usually an option for DIY Tiny House RV builds, so you may need to get creative. For example, you can save money by gathering reclaimed/free items. For a breakdown of my DIY Tiny House RV costs and materials, click here.

If you already have a budget and enough savings to build, what are you waiting for?? Go for it! 

4). You have a support team

I had a bunch of volunteers help on my Tiny House RV. So if you have a support team, for physical labor and mental inspiration, it might be enough to get you through the challenge.

5). You want the knowledge

I love the fact that I built my own Tiny House RV. I know it isn't perfect, but I've also learned to love my tiny's faults. Has it always been your goal to build something yourself? A Tiny House RV is the perfect project for you!

6). You want to save money on labor

Arguably the most important reason to build your own Tiny House RV - to save money! Labor can cost almost (if not more) than materials. If you do the work yourself, you can save BIG on the overall cost.

7). You don't care about being RVIA certified

It is not possible to be RVIA certified as a DIY builder (only a manufacturer, like Tumbleweed, can get this certification). If this certification doesn't matter to you, then perhaps building your tiny is the better choice.

8). You want to fulfill your dream

If it has been your dream to build a Tiny House RV for many years, and you are determined, don't let anything (including the above) stand in your way!


*For the alternative point of view: 8 reasons to BUY instead of BUILD a Tiny House RV

What do you think: Build or Buy? Comment below


Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently traveling around North America in a DIY Tumbleweed Cypress. She writes about Tiny Homes and travel on her informative blog: "Tiny House Giant Journey."

Written by Jenna Spesard — August 22, 2016

Filed under: 2016   barn raiser   build   carpenter   community   experience   tiny home   tiny house   tumbleweed  

$500 Discount On Tumbleweed Barn Raisers!

What is a Barn Raiser?

If you're interested in building your own Tumbleweed but find yourself restricted due to time, skill level, tools, etc. a Tumbleweed Barn Raiser might be the best choice for you!

When you purchase a Tumbleweed Barn Raiser, we deliver a partially built Tiny House RV that you can finish yourself! Design your Barn Raiser using our interactive builder and sleep easy knowing that the foundation of your Tiny House RV will be built by professionals.

We estimate that our Barn Raisers save 100-200+ hours on your total build time. We offer 10 different designs / lengths for you to choose from, now including our modern design - the Tumbleweed Mica. 


Financing Now Available!

We're excited to announce that financing is now available for Tumbleweed Barn Raisers.

  • No Money Down
  • 100% Financing
  • Get funded in 72 hours
  • Interest rates from 3.99% to 8.99%
  • Payments from $213 to $500 per month
  • Sales Tax, registration and shipping costs can be financed too!

For more information on financing, click here.

$500 Discount - Now Through August 31st!

Get a free quote on your Barn Raiser anytime between now and August 31st, 2015 and receive $500 off* the total price! Our specialists are waiting to assist you and answer any questions. 

*discount valid for 30 days after quote is received

Barn Raiser Customer Stories

We like to check in on our Barn Raiser customers occasionally to see how their builds are coming along. It's amazing how every Tiny House RV is different! After delivering the shell, we find that our excited new barn raiser customers infuse their passions and preferences into finishing the build. This really makes their Tiny House RV come alive! See for yourself in a few featured Barn Raiser stories below. 

"JStalls Tiny House"

Jonathan and his Tumbleweed Barn Raiser, after he installed the windows himself!

Jonathan Stalls customized his 24 foot Elm Barn Raiser to have a side door and no porch. He also choose to have Tumbleweed install the metal standing seam roof. Since receiving his Barn Raiser he has installed the windows, cedar siding and front door himself! 

Look at this beautiful and sophisticated Tiny House RV basking in the Colorado sunshine! Follow Jonathan's Build on Facebook.

"Tiny House For Three"

Maighen, Brandy, and their son R.A.D. with their new Tumbleweed Barn Raiser

Using a mixture of materials, Maighen, Brandy and R.A.D have given their Tumbleweed Cypress Barn Raiser uniqueness and flare! We love seeing how creative they've been with their build. A canvas was delivered, but what they've created is a piece of art!

Check out this Texas family's eclectic and colorful Barn Raiser on their website, Instagram and facebook

"Tiny House in the Country" 

Chris's Tumbleweed Barn Raiser (Upon Pick Up)

Chris Schapdick lives in New York City but wanted his young daughter to have a connection to nature. He purchased property in upstate New York and decided to build a tiny mobile cabin for weekend getaways. A Tumbleweed Linden Barn Raiser was perfect for his situation because Chris was limited on time, but wanted the experience of building his own tiny retreat. 

Chris's  Picturesque "Tiny House in the Country," Winter 2015

Follow "Tiny House in the Country" online here

Want more Barn Raiser stories? Check out these blogs:

"The Tiny House the Grandma Built"

"Unskilled Build"

"Tiny Adventures in a Big World"

Written by Jenna Spesard — July 13, 2015

Filed under: 2015   Barn Raiser   Build   Construction   Cypress   Discount   Elm   Financing   Linden   Tiny House   Tiny House Movement   Tiny House RV   Tumbleweed  

Three Barn Raiser Stories

What is a Tumbleweed barn raiser?

It's a partial tiny house that you finish yourself. With it you get the assurance that your home has a secure infrastructure built by our professionals. It's a great way to expedite your build, while still getting the DIY experience. For more info, click here.

    Today we'd like to share a few stories from some of our recent barn raiser customers. You'll be amazed how these three barn raisers are going to become three completely different homes!

    First up, Dani Moore (The Tiny House that Grandma Built)

    Dani Moore's barn raiser. A Modified Tumbleweed Elm

    Why did you choose a barn raiser?

    Dani Moore: I have some limitations. I have severe osteoporosis, some nerve damage and some loss of function in my legs so I wear a brace and use a mobility scooter. I knew the roof framing and lofts would be too much for me (to build). I know I can do the interior walls, but the rest would just be too much for me.

    Dani in front of her eye-catching fuchsia door

    Can you tell us more about your home, the size and design/layout you chose?
    Dani: I have a 24 foot Elm, but my downstairs is actually only 18 foot because I have a 6 foot porch and a 12 foot wheelchair ramp. The porch was important so that I have somewhere to park my two mobility scooters while they are charging. I have a huge sleeping loft, almost 10' x 6.' My interior design isn't set yet. I have a 30 inch front door so a mobility scooter or electric wheelchair can fit through it, but most of the time inside I can use a three wheeled stool to slide around. I will definitely need stairs so that, when needed, I can go up and down them on my butt. I would ideally find someone who has the engineering know how to set up a pulley system that I could use to manually lift myself up and down from the loft with a sling chair, but so far I haven't found anyone. Perhaps one of the readers will have the knowledge I need!
    Inside of Dani's Barn Raiser
    Any interesting elements that will make your tiny home special. How about that pink door?

    Dani: I love my fuchsia door! I plan to paint the fascia boards and shutters the same color, then the rest of the trim white. The exterior walls will be a soft lavender.  

    Dani's roof, skylight and Christmas tree


    Next up: Jay and Becky Bayne (http://unskilledbuild.wordpress.com/)

    Jay and Becky Bayne's barn raiser in construction at The Shed Yard

    Do you have experience building?

    Jay & Becky: As you may have noticed by our blog name, we have NO construction experience outside of building bird houses and pinewood derby race cars, back when our now about to graduate Eagle Scout was but a Cub. But seriously, we have installed laminate flooring in a previous house, remodeled a bathroom including toilet and tile and done minor electrical repairs.  We are registered for the February Colorado Springs workshop and will be saving a lot of that "technical" stuff for when we get home.  Hope to glean a lot of useful ideas from our workshop peers.

    Jay, Becky and their two sons

    Can you tell us more about your home, the size and design/layout you chose?

    Jay & Becky: We chose the Tumbleweed Cypress 24 with an expanded sleeping loft. The French doors on the side were something we saw on a tiny house post and loved. We enjoy cooking so a near normal size kitchen with full size appliances is a must, as is a tub/shower. There will also be a small staircase to make climbing to our sleeping loft easier for Becky and accessible to our four legged family members.  Jay is looking forward to incorporating his old component tuner and stereo speaker system into the house.  Not exactly space efficient, but the sound is definitely better than ear buds!

    Jay and Becky Bayne's barn raiser in construction at The Shed Yard


    Last but not least: Jonathon Stalls (https://www.facebook.com/jstallstinyhouse

    Jonathon Stalls's barn raiser 

    Why did you choose a barn raiser?
    Jonathon: I run an amazing, but demanding social business called Walk2Connect and am fortunate to have enough savings to invest in something like this. Time and professional experience without compromising my own creative and desired DIY experience was the main fruit for moving forward with a barn raiser. It was a perfect fit.
    Check out Jonathon's inspiring TedTalk here about his walk across America.
    Can you tell us more about your home, the size and design/layout you chose?
    Jonathon: My home is a 24' customized "Elm" overlook (w/keyhole in loft) design. Its just perfect for what I had envisioned. It has a beautiful long pitched roof and an open floor plan. I wanted the door on the side to have a big front window and a nice sized couch/bed seating area. I wanted an exterior opening door that gives as much space as possible for my 6'4 frame, 90 lb dog and various guests. 
    Jonathon's loft
    Anything you'd like to add about the build experience?
    Jonathon:  I'm beyond blessed by this experience. There is so much joy wrapped up in the planning and building. All of that said, I think I'm in my happiest places when I pull away from a work day and look at the collection of friends and family that have come together to help. Bringing together new and old faces through a tiny house project is inspiring, grounding, and healing. 
    Jonathon's tiny house with some siding installed. His adorable dog will also be sharing this space.
    *All photos provided by Dani, Jay, Becky and Jonathon. 


    Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently traveling around North America in a DIY Tumbleweed Cypress with her partner, Guillaume. They are photographing and writing about their adventure and occasionally they will be hosting Tumbleweed workshops and open houses. Be sure to follow their tiny house and giant journey.


    Written by Jenna Spesard — December 23, 2014

    Filed under: 2014   Amish   Barn Raiser   Cypress   Elm   Tiny home   Tiny house  

    Tiny House For Three

    Family posed on the porch of their "big house" (above) and their barn raiser (below).

    Meg, Brandy, and their 2-year-old son nicknamed "R.A.D." are about to dramatically shrink their idea of home. Having just received a Tumbleweed barn raiser, the family of three will be shedding approximately 3,000 square feet!

    “Somewhere between growing to despise our huge mortgage and realizing we would never be able to take my mother on the Alaskan cruise she dreamed of, something just snapped in my mind.” Meg explains why her family has decided to downsize from their 3,193 sq foot home and nearly $2,000 a month mortgage payment.

    “Losing my mom made us realize the ‘American Dream’ of the big house with the white fence was really just a pair of shackles preventing us from doing the things we really wanted to do.” Sadly, Meg’s mother recently lost a 17-month battle with cancer. Before she was diagnosed they had planned on moving the whole family from Texas to Washington. “The more I thought about the plans I was making with my mom, the more resolute I was that I needed this change. I was sick to my stomach with the knowledge that I let the big house weigh us down." It was then that Meg and Brandy finally made the decision to drop the big house, and travel around the country with a tiny home before settling in Washington for R.A.D to start school. 

    With Brandy attending college and Meg working two jobs, the couple quickly realized that finding time to build was going to be a challenge. That’s when they stumbled upon Tumbleweed’s barn raiser - a professionally built skeleton of a Tumbleweed tiny home secured on a Tumbleweed trailer. The family chose the Cypress 24’ Horizon model, which will allow a private bedroom for their son as well as a loft bedroom for themselves.  

    “Having the professional builders do all the heavy lifting and, most importantly, the strapping and securing of the structure to the trailer was the decision maker in the build vs. buy debate for me.” Meg explains. “I’ve had nightmares of the house sliding off the trailer, so the peace of mind that comes with having professionals secure my house is worth it’s weight in gold!" 

    Meg and Brandy ordered their barn raiser in mid-March and received a notification it was ready on April 22nd. The family set off to retrieve their new home - one that is equal in size of their current master bathroom! When they first stepped inside the tiny dwelling that would one day carry them off on an adventure, Meg remembers thinking it felt huge and tiny simultaneously. Check out their height charts: 

    “Our son calls it his ‘Biiiiigg Hooose’, and it (the tiny home) will probably continue to feel big to him while he is little.” - Meg

    How will this family cope with this dramatic downsize? Check back in for updates on Meg, Brandy, and R.A.D. as they finish their house and prepare to travel around the U.S.A. 


    All photos provided by Meg and Brandy. 

    Follow this tiny house family on their blog here. Like them on facebook here.


    Jenna Spesard is currently building a Tumbleweed Cypress with her partner, Guillaume, who is a professional photographer and Tumbleweed Workshop Host. After the build is complete, they plan to travel around North America in their tiny house blogging and photographing their adventure. More on their tiny house and giant journey here




    Tumbleweed Models

    Tumbleweed Galleries

    Recent Posts


    Recent Comments

    Sign Up For Our Newsletter

    Design Yours


    Photo Gallery

    Free Catalog

    SAVE up to $140 on select workshops! Sale ends in 3 days!
    Save Now!