The tiny home industry has seen a surge in the past decade. However, the tiny homes of today are not the first small-scale living options to exist. Mobile homes are actually one of the first “tiny houses” coming onto the scene in the 1950s.

The quality of mobile homes has greatly improved, making them a viable competitor against the permanent tiny home options on the market.

According to the National Home Builders Association, more than half of Americans would consider living in a house of less than 600 square feet. This statistic is no surprise as both mobile homes and tiny homes have many financial, practical, ethical and environmental benefits. It is important to note that there are distinctive differences between the two.

Mobility

The most obvious difference between permanent tiny homes and mobile homes is the mobility factor. Though all mobile homes are designed for transportation, they are not meant to transported as frequently as one might think as they are large and could violate specific restrictions in various regions. You will likely need a moving permit to relocate your mobile home as well.

The permanent tiny home, however, is set in one location like any other home so you do not have the freedom to move your entire home to a new location.

Quality

Tiny homes should be designed with the same standards as traditional houses with the only difference being the size. However, tiny homes often fall below the building size requirements in most states which means they are not subject to the same building regulations as traditional homes. This also means that a customer must find a reputable tiny home manufacturer or contractor that will ensure the homes are built with the same security and safety of a traditional home.

Traditionally, mobile homes were not built to as high of a standard. Many mobile homeowners attest to experiencing frequent problems such as leaks, bad weather hazards and high utility bills. However, the mobile home industry has recently been working to improve structure quality and efficiency also making them more expensive than they have been in the past.

If you are looking for a happy medium between a tiny home’s stability and a mobile home’s mobility, consider a mobile tiny home as it offers the best of both worlds.

Cost

The average cost for a tiny home lies somewhere around $60,000. This price may vary depending on whether it is built from scratch or a kit, as well as featured materials, appliances and land costs. The general range for a tiny home can be as cheap at $10,000 and as expensive as $200,000.

As stated before, mobile homes are becoming more and more expensive due to the industry’s effort to improve quality and efficiency. Newer mobile homes range from about $50,000 to $250,000 if purchased brand new. There are also second-hand options that average about $25,000.

Size

Mobile homes are pretty much always larger than tiny homes unless the home is hybrid between the two. The smallest tiny homes can be 8 feet wide and 26 feet long while the smallest mobile homes usually size in at about 14 feet wide and 40 feet long. Both mobile homes and tiny homes require smart storage solutions in order to maximize the space provided.

Appearance

Aside from the various size options, mobile homes tend to all look very similar with a box shape and one story. Though more companies are beginning to offer unique designs, they cost a lot more money. The majority of affordable mobile homes tend to have a generic mass-market design.

On the other hand, tiny homes can be created to customer’s personal design preferences. You have numerous options such as size, shape, furnishings fittings, timber cladding and even the toilet model. A tiny homeowner has immense flexibility with their home’s aesthetic and can ensure that no other tiny home looks like theirs.

Build Speed

As mobile homes are built in a factory on an assembly line, you can simply go online and order one and have it within weeks. Not to mention, a mobile home requires virtually no set-up time. As soon as your home is delivered, it will be ready to move in.

Permanent tiny homes, especially if built on-site can take much longer to build. An expert may be able to have your home built in five days while it may take the average person over a month to complete should they decide to DIY it.



Mobile homes offer the flexibility of being able to travel wherever you want, whenever you want without leaving anything behind. Permanent tiny homes, on the other hand, allow you to significantly decrease your ecological footprint without sacrificing comfort or luxury. It is all a matter of your desires and personal preference. Both tiny homes and mobile homes are great ways to save money, live a simpler life and bring families together.

In many areas of the county, legislation is changing or updating to encourage homeowners to think differently about their living space. Tiny homes offer the opportunity to own a home at a fraction of the typical price and the freedom to spend time and money living a life of adventure and ease instead of upkeep and maintenance. It’s a great opportunity for trade professionals to widen the scope of their offerings to include the specific needs of tiny home owners.

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