The framing for a tiny house is an aspect of the build that boils down to experience and choosing which building materials make the most sense. Many professional tiny house builders have experience framing with wood in houses on foundations and choose to continue when building Tiny. In recent years steel framing has become popular for DIY and professional tiny house builds, and SIPs (structurally insulated panels) are the third most common way to frame in a tiny house.
DIY builders with little or no experience building a house often research each option in depth and decide which way makes the most sense for them and their particular build. Initial questions are important to contemplate when choosing the structure of the home and how the wall system will function.
What climate will the home most likely be in?
Or, will it move often and need to accommodate a variety of climates?
How confident are you as a builder to frame correctly so that the house is strong and can handle extreme movement when it’s towed?
What type of insulation will you pair with the studs?
Professional builders typically stick to their one tried and true method. Overall, wood is the most common material to frame in a tiny house, but there are very successful tiny house builders that use SIPs and steel studs.
Regardless of what kind of framing material is used, it’s equally important to focus on how the framing is tied together and secured to the trailer. Tiny House frames go through an immense amount of movement during transport and the framing itself must be tied and secured to minimize movement and maximize the structural integrity of the home. All of the above methods of framing function well when fully secured through the flange of the trailer and where the walls and roof meet.
Written by Isabelle Nagel-Brice of A Tiny Good Thing