Tiny Home Builders: 5 Questions to Ask Them

Tiny home builders are a relatively new phenomenon in the building industry, and they have very specific concerns to which they should pay very close attention.

Whether you build your tiny home yourself, or have your tiny home builder do it for you, you should ask – and get answered – these 5 important questions.

1. Was My Trailer Built Especially for My Specific Tiny Home on Wheels?

The most important part of any house is its foundation. The foundation for a tiny house on wheels is its trailer, and that trailer must be built specifically for the tiny house designed to be built on top of it.

Your axles must be adequate to support the tiny house you want to build. Also make sure that the main structural members of your trailer do not get in the way of your plumbing drops, or HVAC system.

The proper sequence is to design the tiny home and then design the specific trailer that will act as its foundation. Make sure your trailer was designed specifically for your tiny home, and no one else’s!

2. Who Will My Tiny Home Builders Use to Install My Electrical System?

Electricity can be very dangerous – especially in a home where walls and lights and appliances are so close to you. Improper electrical wiring can start fires, can shock you, and can also create smoke and gases that can overcome you.

Also, you need to make sure that you can use your toaster while your air conditioning is running, and watch TV while doing your laundry. These are important things to be aware of prior to starting on your build.

This one is vitally important: Your tiny home builders should always use a licensed electrician to install the electrical system in your tiny home.

3. What Insulation Will My Tiny Home Builders Use in My Walls, Ceiling, and Floors?

Because tiny homes are so tiny, insulation and ventilation are 2 of the most important problems to confront in building a tiny home. If your builder is not an expert in these areas, you can burn up in the summer, and freeze in the winter. These problems can waste energy – which is not good for your environment OR your pocketbook!

But another little known concern is ventilation: Cooking, cleaning, using the restroom, and even breathing all have specific ventilation concerns in the small space of your tiny home. Making sure these concerns are met takes a very high level of expertise. Make sure you, and your builder, know what you are doing.

Insulation is as strong as its weakest link. Make sure your tiny home is well insulated, and well ventilated, per all relevant building codes and manufacturer’s instructions.

4. Will My Plumbing Meet Important Code Requirements?

Plumbing should never be an afterthought in any structure, but especially not in a tiny home. Where you plan to park your tiny home, and how you plan to live in it, all determine drastic differences in your tiny home plumbing that can not be changed without huge and expensive consequences.

While electrical problems show up immediately, plumbing problems can take weeks, months, or even years to wreak havoc. Bad plumbing can slowly erode your structural members without your knowledge. If not identified in a timely manner, poor plumbing can cause gas leaks and mold issues that can make you sick and destroy your tiny home.

Make sure you or your builder has a licensed plumber to do the work necessary to make your tiny home safe and efficient.

5. Am I Able to Make My Own Personal Choices for My Tiny Home?

Tiny homes should be built to last at least 30 to 40 years. Could you live with a structure that you had no choice in designing or building for that long?

Tiny home living is supposed to be an intentional lifestyle. That’s why you need to be a part of your build from conception to completion. Your tiny home builders should be able to create the exact tiny home you intend it to be.

For more information on areas to consider for your tiny home builders, see our Tiny Home Planning Document.

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