Emily VanSchmus | 

Are Amazon Tiny Homes Actually Worth the Cost?

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Tiny homes are having a moment right now, and it’s not hard to understand the appeal. For one, they cost less than a traditional house. And two, you can even skip the costly realtor and the loan process altogether. In fact, I found a bunch of Amazon tiny homes that’d cost less than what you’d pay for a new car. From she-sheds to multi-bedroom homes you can actually live in, Amazon sells it all.

But, I want to help you make sure these Amazon tiny homes are actually worth it. After all, it needs to be suitable for full-time living for you and your family. Some tiny homes start at just around $3,000, but you have to consider additional costs for finishing touches (like paint) or essential installations (like a smoke detector).

Let’s take a look at some of the best-selling tiny homes on Amazon and break down the costs. I’ll dig into the price per square foot, compare prices to actual homes, and look into additional costs you might incur if you go through with buying one.

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1. The average price of a tiny home is about $45,000.

The interior of a tiny home being used as an office

I’ll say this: If you’re going to live in a space full-time, don’t cut corners on price. Since these homes are already hundreds of thousands of dollars cheaper than an actual house, it’s okay to splurge. Homes closer to the $30,000 mark tend to come equipped with electricity and insulation.

For something a bit more low-key, like a tiny vacation cabin or miniature guest house, you can find Amazon options for under $10,000. And if you don’t need to add plumbing (like for a backyard man cave or she-shed), you can find basic options for just $2,000 – $3,000.

And remember, with a tiny home, you’re cutting out the option of paying a traditional mortgage. So if you don’t have all the money set to go, you’ll have to consider getting a personal loan or opting for an RV loan.

Related: 31 Home Depot Deal of the Day & Sale Hacks You’ll Regret Not Knowing

2. Calculate cost per square foot to make sure you’re getting the best deal.


The average home price is $224 per square foot, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The average price for a tiny home is $300 per square foot. Yes, cost per square foot for a tiny home is more expensive. But, it’s still cheaper to invest in a tiny home overall.

To be sure you’re getting the best deal, calculate the cost per square footage before you buy. To find that number, divide the cost of the tiny home by the number of square feet. For a decent living space, aim to pay $50 per square foot.

If you’re shopping on Amazon specifically, I find that their tiny homes are typically on the cheaper side compared to retailers like Home Depot or Wayfair. There are smaller, more basic wooden tiny homes that start at roughly $30 per square foot. These usually measure around 100 to 200 square feet. Bigger Amazon tiny homes constructed with steel and fire-resistant materials can cost upwards of $90 per square foot. These homes usually sit around 300 square feet minimum, plus they feature more rooms.

3. Many tiny homes don’t actually come with a bathroom, kitchen, or sometimes even a proper floor. And adding them is costly.

Small bedroom with a bed

If you’re sold on the tiny home lifestyle, don’t overlook the added costs to actually make the space livable. Lots of Amazon tiny homes don’t come with any sort of plumbing, so you’ll have to add the bathroom and kitchen essentials yourself. The cost of materials, new plumbing, and professional services can add up quickly, so budget at least $5,000 for just the basics. Adding a toilet costs around $500, and adding a shower typically costs around $1,000 minimum.

You’ll also need to spend several hundred dollars on safety features like smoke detectors and security systems. And if the inside of your home is unfinished, you should also plan to spend another $1,000 or so on flooring and wall paint.

4. Lots of Amazon tiny homes come with free shipping, but delivery takes a couple of weeks.

Interior tiny home

Like anything else you buy on Amazon, most tiny home kits come with free shipping. But you have got to know that even if you have an Amazon Prime membership, you can’t expect it to show up on your doorstep the next day. While some of the tiny houses I looked at could be delivered the same week, the standard delivery time seems to be two to three weeks.

5. One tiny home takes two to four days to assemble.

Tiny home with solar panels

This is super important: any tiny house in the U.S. needs to be built in accordance with International Residential Codes. To give you an idea, some general requirements include having a ceiling height of no less than 6 feet, 8 inches or having adequate headroom when using stairs to access a loft.

To go the ultimate safe route, it’s always a good idea to consult an insured builder or contractor. This way, if anyone gets hurt, you’ll have the security blanket insurance coverage ready to go. Generally speaking, contractors will typically charge 10% to 20% of your overall construction cost.

Or, you can save on costs by building the home yourself. But, proceed with caution. While many of the Amazon listings say you can do it yourself in just two days, this seems a little too good to be true. I’ve read some reviews where it took two people several days to build a home. And while I’ve never actually built a tiny home myself, I can tell you it sometimes takes me longer to assemble IKEA furniture. If you’re up to the task, I suggest blocking out one to two weeks just for building and having several people come to help.

Related: Lowe’s vs. Home Depot: Who Actually Has Cheaper Prices?

6. Before you buy, double-check the warranty info and beware of third-party resellers.

An Amazon delivery van driver opening the side door of the van to grab a package.

This is a dang big purchase. And since you don’t actually get to see the product in person before buying, be sure to read all the warranty information available. Of the ones I looked at on Amazon, several of them mention a limited warranty included. You can (and should) always contact the manufacturer for a copy of the warranty and address any questions you have directly with them before purchasing.

Also, I found that quite a few tiny homes on Amazon are sold by third-party sellers. Make sure to read real user reviews and check out the seller’s profile before making your purchase. Also, browse through the frequently asked questions section at the bottom of the listing to find even more customer feedback.

7. Is a tiny house kit worth it?

DIY tiny home

If you’re committed to changing your lifestyle and downsizing your space, it could be. You need to be willing to invest tens of thousands of dollars into plumbing, insulation, and electricity before you even think about paint and furniture. But even after all these costs, you’d be saving so much in comparison to a traditional home mortgage, utilities, and maintenance.

And if you’re looking for more of a she-shed situation or want to build a backyard office, these kits become a much better deal. If you’re placing one within walking distance of your actual house, you don’t need to worry about adding plumbing or properly installing a toilet. You’ll still need electricity (and likely some new furniture), but you can get away with only spending a few thousand dollars more than the Amazon listing price.

5 Best Tiny Homes on Amazon

With that, I’d like to share some sheds and tiny homes I found on Amazon to show you what they look like. Whether or not you’re actually interested in buying one, there are some decent and unique options out there. One thing’s for sure, Amazon tiny homes are one of the most interesting things I’ve seen in a while!

1. Wooden Storage Shed: $2,790.99

  • Cost per foot: $29.07 per square foot

  • Dimensions: 12 ft. x 8 ft.

  • Total square feet: 96

This structure ($2,790.99, Amazon) is marketed as a storage shed, but it’s outfitted with proper walls and flooring, so it would make an excellent backyard home office or tiny guest house. A row of windows near the roofline offers plenty of privacy and natural light. You’d need to outfit it with plumbing and electricity, but it’s the perfect size for an office or small studio apartment.

2. Windermere Do-It-Yourself Tiny Home: $3,430.11

  • Cost per foot: $30.78 per square foot

  • Dimensions: 10 ft. x 12 ft.

  • Total square feet: 120

This pre-primed tiny home ($3,430.11, Amazon) is easy to assemble and comes ready to paint, so you can customize it the same way you would a traditional home. It has a raised loft space and a large open area in the middle that’s about the size of a studio apartment. The siding is treated to be weather resistant and prevents decay, so this home works for all climates. At just $28.58 per square foot, you’ll have room left in the budget to invest in upgrades like plumbing or adding a small kitchenette area.

3. Double Galvanized Outdoor Screen House: $5,199.99

  • Cost per foot: $30.95 per square foot

  • Dimensions: 12 ft. x 14 ft.

  • Total square feet: 168

This outdoor screen house ($5,199.99, Amazon) likely won’t make a functional full-time home, but it would work well for a pool house, temporary guest house, or recreation area in your backyard. It’s made from aluminum, wood, and steel to withstand all weather and climates. It’s just under $5,200, which is a good price for 168 square feet.

4. Arlington Wood Shed Kit: $9,101

  • Cost per foot: $37.92 per square foot

  • Dimensions: 12 ft. x 20 ft.

  • Total square feet: 240

This kit ($9,101, Amazon) will help you build the most adorable tiny home. It’s just a basic wood shed on the inside, but the outside is decorated with traditional house details like windows, shutters, and outdoor lighting. The plain interior is ready to be finished however you like; a few sheets of drywall and inexpensive laminate flooring will turn this into a gorgeous home. Plus, it has a full second-floor loft with 6-foot ceilings.

5. Colonial Gable House: $12,129.20

  • Cost per foot: $75.81 per square foot

  • Dimensions: 10 ft. x 16 ft.

  • Total square feet: 160

This tiny home ($12,129.20 Amazon) is marketed as a greenhouse, but you can skip the shelves on the inside for a regular house structure. It’s made with sturdy Amish craftsmanship and comes in six sizes. If you actually want a greenhouse, opt for the 8 ft. x 8 ft option. For a home that’s more versatile, it’s also available in 10 ft. x 16 ft., which is larger than some studio apartments. It is one of the more expensive options, so if you’re wanting something you can truly turn into a livable home, this might not be the best option.

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