Can You Build a Tiny House with Sheet Metal

With thousands of people all over the globe choosing to give up traditional housing to live simply in small spaces, the tiny house movement is anything but small. But do these clever dwellings always need to be made of wood? We explore ways and reasons to use sheet metal to build a stylish, functional, petite place to live.

Image by Nicolás Boullosa. Shared under a Creative Commons 2.0 Licence 

The concept behind the tiny house movement is as simple as the lifestyle it promotes: carefully designed, small-scale homes that allow their occupants to live sustainably, free from the stress of a lengthy mortgage. Sounds blissful, right? Many of the houses in the movement are made of wood, but more and more tiny house designers are reaching for sheet metal. Here’s why:


  • Tiny sheet metal house: Weight

Sheet metal like galvanized steel is much lighter than wood, but why would you want a lightweight house? When bad weather hits, no one wants their home to get whipped into the air like a scene from The Wizard of Oz. One of the benefits of tiny homes is their portability, though: many tiny housers build their homes on the back of trailers so that they can be moved from one location to another. Imagine that: you get bored of the scenery, so you simply move on. Having a house made of galvanized sheet metal, for example, rather than wood, makes the whole business of transportation much easier – and cheaper. And no Wicked Witch of the West or flying monkeys in sight.


  • Durability

When it comes to durability, metals like galvanized steel are hard to beat. They’re tough against wind, rain, fire, pests and rot. Also, metal components tend to be screwed together rather than nailed or stapled, meaning they’re far less likely to work loose when the home is transported. Plus metal is much stronger than wood. If you want your home to be long-lasting (who doesn’t?!), sheet metal is the answer.


  • Sheet Metal Tiny House Style

There’s no denying it: metal looks good. Maybe we’re biased, but some of the planet’s most talented architects use sheet metal in their work. Whether you go for the raw finish of mild steel or the orangey hue of Corten, your tiny home is sure to be as striking as it is functional. Many tiny housers clad their wooden homes in decorative sheet metal panels for an aesthetic effect. See sheet metal as your chance to create a miniature architectural masterpiece.


  • Safety of a small metal house


Decking is slippery and slimy when wet. Lots of tiny houses are raised above the ground and have steps leading up to them, or a veranda, often made of wood. When they get rained on, they can be treacherous. A simple solution is to screw a panel of five bar metal treadplate (also known as durbar plate) to your steps or veranda, adding a shiny new look and helping to prevent any accidental slips. So there are plenty of reasons to choose sheet metal over wood when it comes to designing your tiny house. Ready to join the movement? If you’re worried about how to cut galvanized steel, don’t be: we cut sheet metal to size for free, meaning we can provide precisely the amount of metal you need, with nothing going to waste. All you need to do is get designing…