Many people think that constructing a tiny home is way easier compared to building a normal house. But the construction of small houses presents an entirely new set of challenges for home builders. Even professionals who have spent decades in the construction industry can’t simply take on a tiny home building project.
The last thing you want is to spend all your savings for your dream tiny house only to get pestered by structural failures, faulty electrical systems and leaky pipes. To avoid these problems, we will discuss the 5 must-ask questions to help you choose the best tiny home builders.
1. How can the tiny house handle the highway?
Your little house must be durable enough to withstand strong winds and earthquakes. The trailer upon which your house is built must also have a specific system in place to prevent or at least minimize bumps while relocating. Ask the contractor about how he plans to engineer the walls, floor, roof and trailer to make them structurally sound. Also, let him explain the mechanisms behind the materials and systems he used including hurricane clips, tension bolts and shear panels.
2. How light will the house be?
Since you’ll probably move around a lot, it’s best to keep your house as light as possible. This can get tricky, as the builder must find the right balance of using sturdy materials while ensuring that the house doesn’t get overloaded. The trailer might get damaged if the house is too heavy. Not to mention, dragging a heavy house can be quite expensive. The contractor must be knowledgeable about wall framing techniques, which involves minimizing the use of lumber during the construction of walls and roof. The interior and exterior finishes can also be made with lightweight materials.
3. What can be done about moisture problems?
A tiny, mobile home can be prone to moisture problems. The soil on which your trailer is parked may get wet and road splash are just two of the most common culprits. A durable undercarriage is a must. Rain screen walls can also help minimize the amount of moisture that enters the home. Be sure that the contractor knows about the proper way of sealing your house according to the local building code.
4. How can the house be insulated?
You should also discuss the insulation options that are best suited for your home and the climate in your area. This can make your tiny home more energy efficient, as a properly insulated house stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It’s essential to understand that the roof and walls aren’t the only places that must be insulated. The wheel wells and the area between the floor joists and the trailer must be sealed as well.
5. How will plumbing, electrical and other energy systems be installed?
The energy systems used in a normal house may be vastly different from those installed in a tiny home. The contractor must know what appliances can go into your home and ensure that all systems are properly installed. Faulty plumbing and electrical systems are common complaints among homeowners. These issues are usually caused by the vibration or movement of the walls.
If the contractor fails to answer any of these questions, it’s best to move down your list and speak to tiny home builders. Find someone who has sufficient experience in building small houses. Don’t hesitate to ask for samples of past projects and references from satisfied clients. By following these tips, you should be able to find the right contractor to build your beautiful, durable and safe tiny home.