The Tiny house Blog

True North Tiny Homes – Builder Review

Updated on:
June 9, 2023
Inside a true north tiny home

Today we're doing a deep dive builder review on True North Tiny Homes. They're located in the heart of Ontario Canada, BC and have been building tiny homes for the past 3 years.

Daniel Ott founded the company with his wife and has been building unique tiny home on wheels called the Millennial with his wife Joanna and have now expanded into a giant factory where we have at least 5 homes being built at a time, and hundreds more scheduled to start this year.

Daniel has 20 plus years of building experience, specifically in Ontario so he knows the Ontario Building Code and permitting process inside and out, making True North the most efficient and accomplished builder of LEGAL tiny homes as primary and secondary dwellings in Ontario. They now have perfected 5 wonderful legal models that their clients select from and personalize to fit their tastes. This is key to making a tiny home comfortable and livable.

The True North Process

The True North Team has come up with a unique process called the UpSizeDown Method, which is a full circle method aimed at helping you start, navigate and then thrive on your tiny home journey. Through this process, he and his team help people Downsize their home to Upsize their lifestyle, through 5 steps:

  • Simplify: Helping you get into the mindset of “less stuff, more life”
  • Educate: teaching you how to achieve with this mindset and what’s possible when you do
  • Design: Living well is a function of design and they work with you to design your dream
  • Build: they help you expertly build your home or help you do it
  • Impact: You’ll immediately see the positive impact on your life and those around you

To achieve all this, they start the process off they start you on the Tiny House Route Planner which starts with a quiz that lets us know where you’re at in the entire process from a mindset standpoint. Once you’re ready to move forward they invite you to a webinar, where Dan will tell you a bit more about Tiny homes in Ontario, their method and process, give you a tour a few homes and also have a Q&A portion where you can ask project specific questions.

Next, you fill out a Viability Package which helps them get to know you and your project a bit better and figure out how you can work together afterwards you hop on a 121 Meeting with Dan to discuss your project in further detail and get you set up for their workshops.

The workshops are geared to help educate you on everything that’s involved with designing, building and living in a tiny home, and through these they also design your personalized tiny home model with their expert design team! After the workshops are completed you sign an APS and they start ordering your materials!

They give you a site prep checklist for you to complete before we schedule delivery, and once you do we deliver your home and set it up for you. Then you’re all set to enjoy your UpSizeDown lifestyle!

As you can see the process is well thought-out and involves you deeply in all the conversation and design process to ensure a end product that is true to your preferences and lifestyle.

Giving Back

Dan wants to become a key influencer in the Canadian and global tiny home market so that they can help people change their lives for the better. There is so much information about tiny homes and legalizing them that isn’t out there or is hard to find, and True North Tiny Homes wants to change that.

They also give back with every home sold, by donating to Creating Roots for Former Foster Youth, a charity aimed at helping youth aging out of the Ontario Foster System, Removing 12 LBS of plastic waste from the oceans through charity 4Oceans, as well as donating their time/ expertise and resources to Habitat for Humanity, helping high school kinds build a home for a local reserve. These are all to help achieve the UN Global Goals with Business for Good.

They're also trying to help reduce the stigma and difficulty surrounding legal tiny home living in Ontario by working with municipalities to normalize and understand tiny homes, as well as create villages that will make finding property for a legal tiny home that much easier for their clients.

Expert in Ontario Building Codes for Tiny Homes

The Ontario Building Code is notoriously one of the strictest codes to meet in North America. To be able to classify a tiny home as a legal permanent primary residence or secondary dwelling, it has to meet the Ontario Building Code.
Most builders and designers don’t do this, but they certify to either Manufactured home, Park Model home or RV, though neither of these will meet the OBC thus not being legal residences in Ontario.

The OBC dictates room size, ceiling height, window percentages, insulation rating and many other things that significantly impact and restrict the design if a builder/designer isn’t familiar about how to work around.

This is where Dan's 20+ years of experience of building in Ontario really comes in handy. He is an expert on how to design and build to meet the OBC. He knows it front to back to be able to maximize a clients dream tiny home design while still keeping it legal.

On top of the OBC regulations and requirements to legalize, there are by-laws that have to be met and those vary from municipality to municipality. Dan and his team also have combined decades of experience looking into these by-laws, determining what needs to be obtained/accomplished in order to meet them, and how to apply this to a tiny home project on a particular property.

One of the only builders in the industry to offer this assistance, Dan and the True North Tiny Home team will help you figure out what permits are required for your property and how this will affect your tiny home and they will also help you actually apply for them, fitting this process into your tiny home build timeline so you know exactly what’s going on and when.

To learn more about True North Tiny Homes, the UpSizeDown Method, the Tiny Home Route Planner, or to see if you’re ready to start your journey by taking our quiz, head to our website

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