The main difference between tiny houses from regular houses is the available space. Even though many people are moving into tiny houses with downsizing purposes, still, a little more space won’t harm.
Having an engineering background thought me to analyze everything in detail as much as I can. And when I saw the tiny house definition (tiny house is a “dwelling unit with a maximum of 37 square meters (400 sq ft) of floor area, excluding lofts.), I started analyzing all the aspects of tiny house lofts. What are exactly tiny house lofts, what is the weight limit for lofts, and how tall are they?
“Tiny house loft” means a space directly under the roof of a tiny house. On average, a tiny house loft’s height is 3 to 4 feet.
I have talked to salespeople from 5 different tiny house building companies to get some detailed information regarding their tiny house designs, and these are their loft height characteristics:
|Company Name||Comments About Tiny House Loft Height|
|Tiny Heirloom||Lofts heights are between 38 – 48″|
|Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses||Between 41 – 51″|
|Tumbleweed Tiny House||42,5″|
|Tiny Mountain Houses||48″ (This is an example, there are different models as well)|
|KJE Tiny Homes||About 42″|
Tiny house lofts are being used mainly for 2 purposes; sleeping space and storage space. There are really creative ideas out there and I will go through them in this article.
How Much Height Do You Need For A Loft?
if you are keeping the house highway-legal (13′-6″ max), then the loft head clearance varies between 41″ and 51″ to the HIGH POINT depending on how high you set the loft above the main floor (6′-2″ min and 7′-0″ maximum).
In this calculation, you will need to take into consideration the material that you will use for the loft structure. If you use steel, you will lose less to the loft floor, however, it will be heavier. On the other hand, if you use a wood frame, it will be lighter but it will be thicker as well.
Tiny House Loft Dimensions? (How Big Is A Loft In A Tiny Home?)
Is it worth having a loft in a tiny house? In general, many people agree that it is worth having a loft in a tiny house; either as sleeping space, storage, or some other creative usage.
I have collected various loft areas from some tiny house building companies as examples:
|Company Name||Tiny House Loft Area|
|Tiny Heirloom||48 – 64 sq ft in average|
|Cheeky Monkey||48 to over 90 sq ft|
|Tumbleweed Tiny House||Can be designed based on the needs, 1 or 2 lofts possible|
|Tiny Mountain Houses||An example design: 96 sq ft (primary loft) + 49 sq ft (secondary loft)|
How Much Weight Can A Tiny House Loft Hold?
In general, the tiny houses’ loft weight capacity is defined by the structural design of the tiny house and loft. Nowadays, the weight limit is enough (or more than enough) to comfortable carry 4-6 people, 2 mattresses, and additional personal belongings.
Some real life examples from various tiny house building companies:
- Tiny Heirloom: “The weight capacity would be anywhere from 3,000-5,000 pounds, as we build at 16″ on center and use the 4 x 4 joisting, as mentioned above.”
- Cheeky Monkey: “The lofts can support beds furniture and four people easily.”
- Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses: “The lofts are super sturdy and can be designed to hold as much weight as needed, but by default you could put a heavy mattress and 4 adults and belongings and it would hold no problem.”
So; when you are designing your tiny house loft area, the weight is not a limiting factor. You can be as creative as you want (or can).
What Are Lofts Used For In Tiny Houses? Some Great and Creative Loft Ideas
Tiny House Loft As Bedroom
Using lofts as bedrooms are the most common usage in tiny houses. In this way, you are keeping the bedroom “mess” out of the sight easily.
The downside is the access problems to the loft. It is not super easy to come down in the middle of the night if you need to… This approach is not ideal for elder people with some movement restrictions.
The other disadvantage is the heat, especially in the summertime. The warm air rises and it becomes a problem if you don’t have an air conditioner in your tiny house.
Maybe the most important aspect is safety. If you will be using your loft as a bedroom, you have to install the necessary railings to your loft area to prevent accidents and falls.
Tiny House Loft As Storage
If you are not ok going up to your loft for sleeping, the other option is to use that area as storage.
Having an extra 50 – 100 sq ft of storage space may not seem a lot in a regular 1500+ sq ft house. But if you are living in a 400 sq ft tiny house, it is huge. So, why not utilize it?
If you are using loft as storage, you won’t need to go up and down daily. It is an advantage for many people.
Also, since you won’t be using the loft area daily, you won’t need stairs. A simple (and maybe mobile) ladder would be enough for your needs (means, you will not lose any space for stairs).
Tiny House Loft As Activity Room (Movie Theater, Reading Room, Home Office)
How about creating a movie room for yourself in your tiny house? Or, a quiet space for yourself to dive into your books.
Another option is to create a home office space in your tiny house loft. When you work from home, the line between work life and home life will get blurred and in some cases, it gets lost. The research shows that dedicating a specific area for study purposes increases productivity by up to 40%.
Tiny House Loft As Kids Activity Room
If you have kids living with you in your tiny house, definitely they are lacking some activity areas – especially in wintertime. In summer, kids can go outside and be in nature. In winter, with cold weather their opportunities are limited.
Why not create a kids activity room in your tiny house loft, and support your kids’ creative side? On many occasions, I have seen the kids create their own ‘world’ in lofts and be more creative. Believe me, this increases family happiness.
Are Tiny House Lofts Safe?
The main concern related to the tiny house lofts is safety. People are having second thoughts because of the risk of falling.
According to the statistics; the loft areas are as safe as any other area in your tiny house as long as you take the necessary steps:
- Install proper railing to your loft area.
- Install proper ladder or stairs with rails for your loft area
One you have these 2 items completed properly, you wouldn’t have anything to worry.
This doesn’t mean that there wouldn’t be any accidents in tiny house loft areas. of course, loft accidents happen, as accidents happen in any place. But with proper prevention steps, you can minimize the accident possibility.
Are Lofts Warmer or Colder?
Hot (warm) air rises. As a result, the tiny house loft areas are warmer than the main level.
While this is an advantage in winter times (if you are using the loft area like bedroom, or activity room), it becomes a problem in summer times. To be able to sleep or spend time comfortably, you may need A/C for your loft area.
Can I Build A Loft In My Shed?
It is possible to build lofts in sheds. There are a couple options that you can pick from:
- Partial lofts; will take only a portion of the roof space. The access is easier to partial lofts, comparing to full lofts. Partial lofts are ideal for smaller and shorter sheds.
- Full lofts cover the entire roof area in your shed. These kinds of lofts are similar to attic spaces in regular houses. Usually, they are used as storage areas.
If your target is to use the loft as an additional living area, I would definitely suggest you go with partial lofts. Depending on your shed length, you can have 1 or 2 lofts in your shed conversion.
Another Option For Tiny Houses: Elevator Bed?
If the only reason that you want to have a loft in your tiny house is a sleeping space, there may be another solution for you: Elevator beds.
Elevator beds are a creative solution for tiny houses and their space problems. They allow you to increase space and have a living room and bedroom in the same area.
Unlike a loft bed, you can change the position of the elevator bed as you need it. You’re not committed to one layout since you can lift your bed out of the way when it’s not needed. Moreover, you can use the elevator beds at different heights – if you wish. While someone from your family is sleeping (up), you can focus on your work just underneath the elevator bed.
Having an elevator bed means having more room for storage and more flexibility. Plus, you don’t have to worry about making up the bed every day. If you’ve ever lived tiny, you know that this is a major advantage!
Some people (for example my wife) are not comfortable when there’s a ceiling right above them. For such personalities, loft beds are not really ideal. If you have limited space and trying to find a solution; maybe an elevator bed is just right for you. Being able to use the elevator bed at different heights is their main advantage.