Americans and greater numbers of people around the world are increasingly choosing to downsize their homes and move into smaller accommodations for many reasons. Cost savings, environmental concerns, and the desire for more freedom and autonomy are among the most popular of these.
A tiny home is described as an abode that measures 200-400 square feet which is significantly smaller than the average American home sized at 2,600 square feet. The fact that the average home takes up 33-50% of a person’s income has led to 76% of people living above their means just to be able to keep up with the mortgage and other bill payments.
As a result, over 70% of Americans are in debt, with a large percentage of these at risk of losing their homes due to their inability to meet their mortgage payments on a timely basis. One way to mitigate these challenges is by downsizing and moving into a smaller home or hiring a tiny house builder.
While tiny homes might not be for everyone, they do provide an alternative to large homes and expensive mortgages until you are in a position to purchase a larger property. More often than not, however, many people find that they enjoy the myriad benefits of living in a tiny home so much that they choose to continue doing so well into the long term.
If you are considering making the switch from your average-sized house to a tiny home, you can choose to construct the structure yourself or enlist the services of a qualified and experienced builder.
Building Your Own Tiny House
Whether you are building a large house or a tiny one, constructing a home is no small undertaking. In spite of the fact that your expenditure on both material and labor costs will be considerably less than if you were building a large or medium-sized home, you still need to follow the right steps to ensure that both your budget and house plan are on point. Doing this will help you save on unnecessary expenses associated with repeating botched jobs or leaving out crucial steps during the process.
It will also ensure that you complete your house within the timeline you have set for yourself and free you up to perform other productive activities. The following are the crucial steps you need to take before, during, and after the construction of your tiny house to ensure you construct a strong and sturdy structure that will serve you well for many years.
Steps To Construct Your Own Tiny House
This involves such activities as determining what the size of your tiny home will be, selecting the right site, consulting with current tiny home owners for tips and tricks, thinking about the features you want in your home, drawing up a floor plan, purchasing house plans, drawing up a budget and determining how you will deal with the challenges that come up. Planning is important to ensure that you know the resources you will require to build your tiny home and putting these resources together in readiness for the commencement of your project.
Different states and local governments have different regulations with regard to home size, noise, and visual ordinances, and mobile homes. As many tiny homes are built on wheels or at least with the ability to be carted from one place to another, it is important to find out the regulations concerning these in the particular area you intend to reside or build in. You will also need to get the necessary licenses and permits before you can begin to construct your house.
Putting your resources together
Once your planning is complete and you have an idea of material and labor requirements, it is time to start putting all these together in preparation for construction. At this point, you will be shopping around for the best deals and consulting with other tiny home owners for referrals on a good contractor to help you with your building project.
The materials you purchase will differ depending on the site, your budget, the climate of the area you are building in as well as the features you have decided to have in your home.
One advantage of building a tiny home is the fact that you will not have to spend too much on many materials due to the small size of your house. As a result, you can invest in higher quality and more sustainable materials that will make your home stronger and longer-lasting, and require less maintenance in the long run.
As soon as your building resources are lined up, it is time to begin constructing. This will involve such activities as clearing your building site, putting down the foundation, raising the wall frame, sheathing, putting in doors and windows, and roofing your house. In addition, you will need to put in the plumbing, electrical and gas lines, flooring, and major appliances in your kitchen and bathroom. Once all this is complete, you can paint your house in the desired colors and sit back and enjoy your newly completed, comfortable, and state of the art home.
Constructing With a Tiny Home Builder
Building a tiny home all by yourself may not always be feasible due to work and time constraints. In addition, even if you could make time to do the construction, you may not have the necessary expertise to build your house to the required state and municipal standards. Further, special projects like building a tiny house on wheels require advanced skills that you may not possess. This is where enlisting the help of a tiny house builder comes in.
A tiny house builder will be able to navigate through the nuances of constructing your tiny home to exacting standards and deliver a completed and fully functional unit that will be a joy to live in. A professional builder will also help you to avoid the mishaps associated with purchasing the wrong materials for a project and make sure you do not have to spend extra funds fixing botched jobs or even still having to start your house over from scratch which has been known to happen.
To get the best out of a tiny house building contractor, it is important to ensure that you select the right one. Below are a few tips to ensure that you pick the right man/woman for the job:
Go for the specialist
Tiny houses are not miniature versions of their 2600 foot cousins. They have specialized requirements to ensure that you can live comfortably in them without having to battle the elements or deal with a thousand other serious problems. For these reasons, it is important to ensure that the tiny house builder you select has specialized knowledge in building this type of home to prevent your encountering problems later on.
A good tiny house contract will possess extensive knowledge on ideal tiny house weight, weatherproofing of homes, water tables, site orientation, water, gas, and electrical systems. If your tiny house builder does not have any of these competencies, it is better to continue looking for the right one and avoid much heartache in the future from hiring the wrong one.
In addition to possessing specialized knowledge, your tiny house builder must be well versed in basic construction, electrical, and plumbing, or at least have people on his team who possess this type of expertise. Look for certifications and licensing from reputable organizations. Check to see that they are conversant with local safety laws and ordinances and have received a clean bill of health from the local authorities showing that they adhere to these regulations.
A good builder’s reputation will precede him, meaning that you should hear his/her name mentioned as the go-to person when you consult other tiny home owners. You should also ensure that they have their financial affairs in order by checking on financial statements and other records.
This will show you that they are good with money and therefore you can easily entrust the project’s monies into their hands without fear of loss or theft. Many local building and contractor societies also have a published list of members and this should enable you to find out how good your builder is and whether there is any disciplinary action pending against them which should raise a red flag.
The best fit
In spite of their specialized knowledge, technical know-how, and good reputation, if a tiny house builder does not listen to you and determine your needs, they are probably not the right one for you. A good builder will ensure that they hear what you are saying with regard to your particular project and be able to work within given timelines and budgets to deliver a house that is to your particular standards.
Anyone who consistently contradicts or belittles your instructions will not be a good fit, and neither will anyone who disregards your specifications and does what seems right in their own eyes. This is why it is important to sit down with a builder that you are considering hiring, and find out how good they are at following instructions and how well they can translate your vision into a tangible structure that delivers all your requirements.
Advantages of Hiring a Small Home Builder
While self-building your tiny home gives you the freedom to choose exactly what is done and work at your own pace, enlisting the help of a tiny home builder has several advantages to offer:
An experienced and qualified builder will often have the technical expertise to build a sound and sturdy home that meets zonal and local government requirements. In addition, years of experience will have allowed them to pick up the skills necessary to put a tiny home together seamlessly and ensure that you have a strong and aesthetically pleasing building that you will enjoy living in.
Constructing a tiny house or any other type of a structure requires that you be familiar with the right materials as well as the right techniques to put up a strong structure that will withstand tough weather and other conditions. If you do not know the right materials to purchase, you may end up buying items that are completely unsuited to your particular project and have to pay additional money to contractors to return and fix a botched job.
In the worst-case scenario, you may have to dismantle the whole structure and start afresh at an additional cost to you. A tiny house contractor will help you avoid these eventualities and ultimately save you a lot of money in the long term.
A tiny house builder, just like other building professionals, is subject to the laws of whatever locality they are operating in. This means that any structure they put up has to comply with local regulations or they risk losing their license or being penalized. This has the effect of ensuring that you get a tiny home that is up to standard and strong and safe to live in.
Quicker building time
Constructing a tiny home will take considerable time if you are doing it on your own, especially if you have work and other constraints. Conversely, a tiny home builder is able to dedicate time to finishing your house and completing it within the given timelines, ensuring that you get to move into your new home in the shortest time possible.
Insurance and guarantees
Tiny homes and other types of builders are covered under civil liability insurance which means that they are liable to pay you for any damages incurred during construction. In addition, most builders are required to provide clients with a ten-year guarantee and you are thus assured that they will be on hand to deal with any problems that may arise with your new tiny house.
The tiny home movement will continue to grow by leaps and bounds as more and more people discover the financial, emotional, and myriad other benefits that come with living in a tiny home. The key to ensuring you build a strong and sturdy structure that also meets local government standards is to enlist the help of a qualified and experienced builder. With the right tiny house builder by your side, you should be able to complete your house in good time, save on time and costs and have a safe and sound structure that will pass inspection when the local building inspector comes around.