The Tiny house Blog

13 Essential Questions for Your Tiny Home Builder

Updated on:
June 9, 2023
man cutting some lumber with a chop saw

Tiny home sales currently make up about 1% of the sales in the United States, but that number is steadily growing.

Taking the leap into tiny home living can feel overwhelming, especially when it comes time to decide who will build you the home of your dreams.

Instead of stressing out over what questions to ask, continue reading to learn the 13 essential questions you need to ask your tiny home builder before committing to the project.

1. How Long Has Your Company Been Making Tiny Homes?

This is one of the first questions that you'll likely want to ask anyone that you're considering as a builder for your tiny home.

Tiny home construction requires different certifications and methods than typical house building in many cases, and the builder that you choose should be up to speed on all of this.

Although giving a new mini house builder a chance isn't wrong, particularly if they have great reviews or specialize in features you want in your home, it's usually best to stick with builders with vast experience.

2. Do You Have Any Tiny House Models I Can Tour?

Seeing pictures is one thing, but seeing a model in person will give you a much better idea of what's suitable for your lifestyle and also the quality of work that you can expect to see if you choose them as your tiny home builder.

If they don't have any models available, it's likely not a dealbreaker, but you will probably want to consider your options very carefully in this case.

3. If I Work with You, Where Will My Tiny Home Be Made?

When getting a modern small house built, it could happen in a variety of places.

There's a chance it will happen right on site where the house will sit, but more than likely, it will be built in their workshop and transported to your home afterward.

Either way, knowing what to expect is important, especially if you plan on checking out the progress throughout the build.

4. What Are Your Standard Floor Plans Like?

The floor plan options for tiny homes are virtually endless! The floor plan that you choose will drastically impact your day-to-day life, storage space, where you sleep, etc.

Asking about the standard floor plans that they have available before committing is important so that you don't set your sights on a contractor that can't provide you with what you're looking for.

5. Will I Be Able to Customize Anything in the Home?

If you have the ability to customize things, their standard layout options might not matter as much.

Going completely custom can be pricier, but if there are specific materials, a detailed floor plan, luxury elements, or special storage options that you have in mind, it might be the best choice for you.

Knowing what you can and can't customize might change your mind about who you choose to work with, or at the very least, it will point you in the right direction and narrow down your choices for you if you're undecided.

6. Do You Offer Any In-House Design Services?

If you don't have a specific design in mind or don't feel confident enough to make all of the design choices on your own, then working with a designer will be vital.

Check with them beforehand to see if they have an in-house designer or if you might need to look into hiring one yourself.

Designing your tiny home is one of the most exciting parts of the entire process! This is where you get to completely make it your own and add unique features that will fit your lifestyle.

Knowing how to go about designing, whether doing it on your own, with one of their workers or a freelance designer, is the key to truly loving your home.

7. How Long Will It Take To Start Construction?

This question might be the make it or break it moment for you. Depending on the company, construction can be delayed for long periods of time because they have so many clients to work with.

If you're working on a tight schedule or just want to get started right away because you're so excited, it's wise to check and see how long you can expect to wait before construction begins.

8. What's an Estimate for How Long the Entire Process Takes?

Again, this is a question that you should ask if you have a timeline in mind. Will your home be built from start to finish quickly, or will it be done bit by bit over time?

The answer to this question might depend on how much customization you're doing and the materials that they need to order as a result.

It's still good to ask so that you know what you're signing up for and if it will truly work for you.

9. What Price Do Your Standard Models Start At?

Asking about pricing is always essential. Even if you don't have a budget that you need to stick to, you should still ask because you want to get the most for your money regardless of how much you're able to spend.

On the other hand, if you do have a strict budget in mind, it's even more important to ask. While one tiny home builder can offer you a completely standard model for one price, another might be able to provide you with several customization options for that same price.

Shop around and see what feels right for you and your wallet.

10. Do You Offer Any Finance Options?

Securing financing for a tiny home is different than when you buy a standard single-family home.

Because of this, many tiny house constructors offer finance plans that allow you to pay off your home in increments. Be sure to find out how you're expected to pay, what the timeline is, and any fees or interest associated with signing up through them versus a different lender.

One of the big perks of tiny home living is the potential to drastically reduce your cost of living, so making smart decisions in this area is important if that's one of your motivations for going tiny.

11. How Will the House Get To My Site?

As mentioned earlier, in most cases, tiny homes are built off-site and transported once they're finished or close to being finished.

Knowing how your home will make it to you will give you peace of mind throughout the experience and help you to prepare when the time comes.

12. What Kind of Warranties Do You Have?

Unexpected things can happen, and when they do, it's helpful to know what's covered by warranty and what you need to pay for out of pocket.

You'll also want to find out what the process is like to file a claim if something goes wrong, how long coverage lasts, if there are any stipulations as to when things won't be covered, and other nitty-gritty questions like those.

Again, knowing the answers to these questions will provide you with peace of mind now and prevent you from panicking when small things break down.

While you ask this question, it's also a good time to bring up insurance and if they provide you with it or if you need to look into it on your own at some point.

13. Do You Have Any References You Can Give Me?

A mini-house builder might have gorgeous photos, nice-looking models, and glowing online reviews, but it's still beneficial to ask for references that you might be able to get in contact with.

Things aren't always what they appear to be, and being 100% certain about your choice is important.

Being able to talk to people who are currently living in homes built by someone you're considering building for you will help you better understand what their experience was like throughout the building process and what they think now that they're living in the home.

Find Your Perfect Tiny Home Builder

If you're making the transition to tiny home living, finding the perfect tiny home builder is vital in order to enjoy your experience.

Asking the 13 questions found here will help you to cover all of your bases, know exactly what to expect throughout the building process and after, and ensure that the end result is a mini home that you will enjoy every second of living in!

If you want more tips and advice from people that are interested in tiny home living, check out our community that allows you to connect with like-minded people and discuss simple living.

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