"Tiny houses require maintenance and construction just like regular homes. Building a tiny house requires a roof as any property would, but are the choices different from traditional homes? And how expensive are roofing options for tiny houses? "

Cheap Roofing Options For A Tiny House

Back in 2019, it was said that there were over 10,000 tiny homes in the US. That figure has since grown by thousands, as tiny houses become ever more popular.

The pandemic saw an increased interest in tiny houses. So much so that 86% of people who have yet to buy a home, said they would definitely consider a tiny house for their first purchase.

When you consider that tiny houses are available for as little as less than $5,000, it is perhaps not surprising that they are growing in popularity. Especially after the pandemic which brought financial hardship for businesses, and individuals.

More and more areas of North America are opening up to tiny house enthusiasts. According to Business Insider, the most popular states for tiny house owners are Colorado, Florida, and California.

However, Tiny houses require maintenance and construction just like regular homes. Building a tiny house requires a roof as any property would, but are the choices different from traditional homes? And how expensive are roofing options for tiny houses? 

What are the different types of roofing available?

Just like full-sized homes, there are a number of options for tiny houses when it comes to roofing. Flat roofs are available if a builder should wish, and so are green roofs.

Green roofs are also a possibility. Although the square footage of a tiny house won’t be massive, there is no reason why some vegetation cannot be grown on top of one.

There are many different types of tiny house roofing, and you can see some of the styles below:

  • Lean-to roof
  • Barn style roof
  • Flat roof
  • Green roof
  • Saltbox roof
  • Arched roof
  • Gable roof

Each of these styles has advantages and disadvantages to them. Some such as the arched, or rounded roof, can be difficult for a DIY builder to construct. Others such as the saltbox will need a reinforced structure. Some, such as the flat roof have the benefit of being able to be extended to cover a porch-style area around the home.

Of course, whatever roof style you choose, you will need to cover it. 

What materials can you use for a tiny house roof?

There are many different options for tiny house roofing materials. They are all effective in their own ways, but they have pros and cons and fit different budgets and needs.

Below is a list of the different materials that you could use to roof your tiny house:

  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Steel
  • Wood
  • Asphalt
  • Composite slate
  • PVC, rubber, etc
  • Aluminum
  • Slate
  • Tile

These are most of the materials that would be ordinarily considered for roofing materials. They are all very useful for roofing, but when it comes to their cost, they differ greatly. How you fit your roof will also affect your budget. 

Constructing your tiny house

Many tiny house owners build their own homes. This is one of the causes of the rise in popularity of tiny houses.

The cost of tiny house kits allows individuals to own their homes outright. This might be the only option for many people trying to purchase their own home. But not only this, there is the connection made when they actually construct the home themselves.

This means that the overall cost of owning a tiny house is brought down by not having to use contractors or employ anyone to help. The tiny house community can be very tightly-knit too, which means there is always support available to newcomers.

However, not everyone is adept at building their own tiny house. If so, then when it comes to the roof, some people may need a little outside help. 

Fitting a new roof to your tiny house

If there is no immediate help from a tiny house community, or you aren’t particularly DIY-minded, then you may need a roofing contractor.

This may apply even more so if you are looking for a replacement roof. In this instance, look for a company with experience over a period of time, with all manner of different roofs.

Look for recommendations, and check out their website for testimonials. Lastly, look local. If you are in Minnesota for instance, then choose a local firm such as Peak Roofing for advice and consultation. Google will help you to search for local roofing firms in your area. 

What is the least expensive roofing option for a tiny house?

The question that really needs answering is what is the cheapest, least costly, way to roof your tiny house?

If you are replacing shingles or carrying out some form of roofing repairs, then your cheapest option will be to stick with the same materials rather than make a wholesale change.

If though, you are replacing the whole roof, or constructing a new one for the first time, you have a few options. 

Membrane

Membrane roofing, which covers EPDM rubber, PVC, and TVO, comes in around $5 per square foot. This could offer an affordable option for a tiny house owner. This material is recyclable, long-lasting, and very simple to install.

Then there are the steel options. With this option, you can choose from steel shingles, panels, or steel standing seams. The latter is a popular choice with tiny homeowners due to it being good at collecting rainwater. 

Steel

Steel panels are the cheapest option of the three listed above. These are a long-lasting option for roofing, although they can corrode. Anyone situated near the coast should avoid steel. This material is the cheapest metal option and comes in around $1.20 to $5 per square foot. 

Asphalt

Finally, for the cheapest roofing options available, there is asphalt. According to Forbes Advisor, to replace shingles on a standard house roof could be as low as $5,500.

Asphalt shingles can be used on a tiny house too, and they would cost $1 and up per square foot. This makes them the cheapest roofing option available.  

Looking after your tiny house roof

Once you have chosen the best, and most affordable, roofing material for your home, and you have fitted it, you will need to get the most out of it.

Performing simple maintenance means that you can ensure your tiny house roof lasts longer. For one of these buildings, this can mean extending the life of the whole home.

The normal rules of looking after a roof also apply to a tiny house. Fortunately though, due to the height of a tiny house, maintenance can be a lot simpler as the roof is more accessible.

  • Keep gutters clear to avoid water pooling
  • Keep the home ventilated
  • Add insulation
  • Remove moss from tiles
  • Replace damaged shingles
  • Don’t let ice build up

Although your tiny house probably doesn’t have an attic in the typical sense, it is still important to have good ventilation in this area. This helps to avoid moisture and mold. 

Summary

Tiny houses may be the way forward for many Americans. As the pandemic cost many people their livelihoods, affordability has become a major factor for many people. Tiny houses are not only more affordable than regular properties, but they are also more eco-friendly, and efficient.

They attract a wide range of individuals, some of whom wish to downsize and do away with unnecessary clutter in their lives. Whatever the reasons are for choosing a tiny house, the owners all have one thing in common; they want a roof over their head.

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About the Author
Stephanie McQueen
Stephanie McQueen
Stephanie is the content curator and resource hoarder of all things tiny houses. She believes everyone can live a sustainable lifestyle, no matter the size of your house. Connect with Stephanie through LinkedIn or her done-for-you marketing agency, Employed By Life Online.
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