With the popularity of tiny homes growing quickly so are the number of builders in our country.  Like a conventional home, you need to carefully evaluate your options.

As we’ve heard time and time again, going with the cheapest builder isn’t always the best – nor is the most expensive quote – so what can you do to make an informed decision when selecting a builder for your tiny home?

  1. Go with your gut!  Since beginning LiveTiny.ca I’ve had the opportunity to connect with several builders in different capacities and your gut instinct is your best friend!  Don’t be afraid to listen to yourself, this is a big financial commitment and like anyone’s dream home, it should be just perfect for many years to come.
  2. Meet the builder(s) in person. If you really want a good gut reaction to a builder don’t rely on email, phone, text and Facebook to communicate!  Take the time to visit your builder and get to know them personally.  You should be able to tell if you’re dealing with a snake oil salesman pretty quickly.
  3. Ask for references.  A good builder will be more than willing to give you references.
  4. Visit the references.  Make sure the references are legit.  If possible, arrange a visit with the references in their home.
  5. Don’t always go with the mainstream builder.  Builders in the media/mainstream may be inundated with build projects already.  Looking to other credible builders to complete your build may be your best bet.  With volume comes the opportunity for accidents and mistakes, especially for smaller companies.
  6. Shop around.  Don’t be afraid to tell builders that you’re considering others for your build as well.  If you’ve already received quotes from one builder use those as ways to inform yourself and ask questions that may come up with other builders.
  7. Do your research.  Look for stories online about other homes your preferred builder may have completed in the past and look for any red flags.  If you see issues or concerns from a past build that apply to you ask the builder about the situation or simply move on to the next qualified candidate.
  8. If it sounds too good to be true…it likely is!  Flashy websites and low cost per square foot to build a tiny is likely a sign of something, well, too good to be true.  Don’t fall for the smoke and mirrors you might find out there.
  9. Set a budget and stick to it.  Simple.  If you find that builders cannot accomplish what you want with the budget you have, it may be best to set aside your build for a bit until you can increase your budget.
  10. Don’t cut corners to save money or to just to ‘get’ a tiny home.  Remember, this is your home, would you do the same with a conventional home?  Tiny homes require a specific attention to detail – every piece of the build acts to stabilize and strengthen the tiny home.  A strong and stable tiny home means many years of enjoyment and not just months of it.

Be informed when purchasing your tiny home no matter what status of completion you take possession of it in.  Be active in your build.  Visit your builder often and foremost ask questions.

You personally are the best judge of character for yourself like I said above — If it’s too good to be true…it likely is.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Matt Standen – LiveTiny Canada
Image: tinyhousepins.com