"Even though you’re building tiny, the job still requires quite an accumulation of tools."

Building Your First Tiny House: The Essential Tools

If you’re new to home construction and wondering where to begin building a tiny house, the best place to start is to find the right tools necessary to get the job done. Even though you’re building tiny, the job still requires quite an accumulation of tools.

Here’s a list of suggestions to help you get started building your tiny home from scratch.

Tape Measure and Pencil

You can’t start building without these two as you will need to be able to measure accurately and mark it out. A good, old, thick carpenter’s pencil for big bold marks and a #2 pencil for finer marks are a must-have.

Tape measures can vary greatly and come in different lengths. Also, as they get longer, they get wider as well. You should get at least a 3/4″ wide tape measure, 16′ length or longer, so you can stretch it out without worrying it might collapse under its own weight.

Utility Knife

Instead of using a pencil for marking, you might do the same with a utility knife. They are handy for sharpening pencils, cutting tar paper, slicing off tube tips, and many other things. It’s best you opt for a retractable from the new generation of OTF automatic knives  – this will keep your fingers safe when rummaging in your toolbox.


If you don’t want your tiny home to be a leaning tower, a good level is an essential tool to have. The longer you go, the better, but a 24″ long level is a minimum requirement on a job site.

Straight Line & Chalk Box

A string pulled taut between two points can help you line up wall posts, or you can put a line level on it to check for level. They fit easily in your tool bag and are the quickest way to measure the shortest distance between two points.

A chalk box is similar to a straight line, plus it has blue or red chalk to mark out lines for cuts – very practical and time-saving.

Speed Square

The square is an essential tool when you’re building in a world abiding by the rules of Euclidean geometry. Speed squares are easy to carry, sturdy and durable, and they’re easy to hook onto a board when you need to make a square or 45-degree angle mark.

Quick-Grip Clamps

Quick-grip or one-handed clamps are a great tool because you only need to use one hand to work them. This leaves your other hand free to move the clamp head along and secure it in place.

Circular Saw

A good circular saw is among the best investments you can make when purchasing your tools as it will save you tons of money and your shoulder from endless treatments at the chiropractor’s office. Choose a saw with a good carbide-tipped blade, and use the cheap blade that usually comes with it for cutting up dirty boards and plywood.

It’s recommended you put your hands on the saw handle to get the feel of it before buying. The size, weight and balance are the things you will grow to appreciate as time goes by and you continue the work with the saw.

Cordless Drill

Due to their portability, cordless drills have completely revolutionized the workspace in terms of practicality and work safety. Thanks to their design, there are fewer cords and less danger you might trip once you’ve put down your circular saw in one spot to attend to the next task. Cordless drills are very easy to use, versatile and powerful, and can be carried clipped to your belt.  If you have to drive a lot of screws, choose the hammer drill to apply more torque. This makes them practically indispensable on the construction site.

Extension Cord

Obviously, you can choose a cordless saw and drill, but you will discover that you will require significant power for a lot of cutting. That’s why it is important to purchase a long, high-quality extension cord. It’ll serve you forever! It’s so convenient that it can easily power your saw, the portable table saw, and even your radio.

Building your first tiny house may sound like very little effort simply because of its small square footage, but in reality, it’s just like building any other normal-size home. And, as in any construction project, the right tools are essential – they could mean the difference between losing your mind with frustration and looking at your day’s work with pride in the evening. Hopefully, getting the tools listed here will help you finish your construction process easily and effortlessly.

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About the Author
Jennifer Hahn Masterson
Jennifer Hahn Masterson
If one thing is true about Jennifer, her mind is utterly curious. That’s why she can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of green living/home improvement projects and spread the word about them. She cherishes the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on.
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