Some of the factors that drive up the price of a mini home include increased square footage, high-end interior and exterior finishes and quality of materials. Custom-built furniture and expensive appliances also increase costs. Professional labor is a significant expense; owners who contract out the building and finishing see higher costs than owners who build their own mini homes.
Many mini homes use trailers as bases; the quality of the trailer has a significant impact on costs. A new or custom-made trailer, as opposed to a used model, drives up the final price.
Mini homes that use foundations must comply with local building codes. Most building codes specify a minimum size that is considerably larger than a trailer-mounted unit; the larger size leads to increased material costs. The code may also require architect or engineer-approved plans, which also drive up the price of the home.
Individual owners have control over many of the factors that increase costs. New siding boosts the final price, while reclaimed siding or siding remnants keep costs down. Expensive interior appliances, such as full-size stoves and flat-screen televisions, boost the price tag. Some mini homes use high-cost items that enable off-grid living, such as composting toilets, solar power systems and specialized water filtration systems.