Have you been dreaming of the minimalist lifestyle? Maybe going tiny is an option for you but you want to save funds so you are considering building your own tiny house.
Stop right there!
Just as if you were purchasing a traditional, stationary, stick-built home, there are many things to consider before making the commitment of home buying. You are planning to live in a downsized home, but that doesn’t mean the quality of the build should be minimized. There are ways to save money where it makes sense, complete a fully customized build, and end up with a perfectly safe and reliable house that will last for years by consulting professionally certified and specifically specialized tiny house builders such as Movable Roots.
Here are 4 reasons to consider hiring a contractor instead of attempting to build your own tiny home.
Not Predicting an Accurate Timeline
Regardless of a pre-fab kit, a complete DIY, or hiring a builder, timelines can be tricky on a large project like this, just as they are with traditionally sized houses. The benefit of hiring a professional is that they have been doing this a long time. Their overall timelines may change by a few weeks, but they are unlikely to add months or even years to the total build, throwing off everything from job changes, travel plans, and school enrollment.
When a professional runs into a snag or a delay in shipping materials, they adjust accordingly. When you are unfamiliar, you are more likely to panic and stop progress on the build or end up paying more by hiring out certain parts of your build. This is only after investing time and money that you realize that you didn’t have the appropriate knowledge or skills to complete it safely, so your original build savings ends up costing you more.
This is not to say that people haven’t built their tiny homes or other large scale projects with nothing more than a few basic tools and instructions from YouTube, but when you hire professionals who are familiar with the tiny house industry like Movable Roots, they are more likely to help you troubleshoot logistics that only tiny house dwellers could foresee. These tips can be invaluable at saving you time and money in the end.
The Roots are Key
If you haven’t heard horror stories of people driving their poorly constructed THOWs (Tiny House on Wheels) and ending up with trailer damage, broken windows, foundation damage, or worse, you haven’t seen an unhappy buyer. If you attempt a DIY build, you need to do your research or decide on hiring a professional to ensure that your foundation and your trailer are securely and safely connected and road-worthy.
Many people looking to save on time and cash will look at purchasing used trailers from previously used flatbeds to unknown chassis from eBay or Craigslist. This is a major red flag because this is not just a trailer you are using to carry hay bales from the farm. This is the foundation on which you will carry your home, your family, and all of your belongings.
Most tiny home contractors are well-versed in quality trailers built to pull this kind of weight. Most THOWs run 10,000-20,000 pounds, depending on their length and the materials used to build the frame and siding, and occasionally interior appliances. This is not something to take lightly when starting the foundation of your build. Hiring a professional, such as Movable Roots, will ensure your build starts off right.
The Dangers of Electrical and Plumbing
Although it is possible to build your own house, regardless of its size, people seem more likely to make an attempt at a DIY build with a tiny house over traditional homes. The square footage doesn’t determine the level of danger involved with trying to install your own electrical or plumbing. Without proper skills and training, you can be facing house fire--during installation or later, burst pipes, flooring damage, house flooding, and more.
Aside from the obvious hazards, a DIY attempt at electrical could pose dangers for electrocution, code violations, expensive after-build repairs, or improperly wired breaker boxes. Plumbing concerns can include the use of improper materials for piping, connections remaining without proper sealant, and the ruining of furniture and flooring. Emergency repairs for these mistakes are very costly and can even result in a complete rebuild.
Don’t Save on Windows or Insulation
Unlike a traditional home build, there is much to consider in the way of insulation and window installation when constructing your tiny home. Much like an RV, buyers must consider things like how often their house will be moved, what seasons it will travel through or be parked in, and how severe the temperature changes their home might be exposed to while driving.
It is more costly to install a double paned, tempered window in any home, but if you plan to move your house often, a tempered window can save you thousands in window replacement in the long run when rocks on the highway bounce up and break your glass. These kinds of logistical upgrades are common practice for tiny house professionals like Movable Roots. Consider a consultation to get started and see
where your plans to DIY might fall short before you feel alone and stuck in the process.
Something rarely discussed in a traditional house build is R-value of insulation. However, THOW builders know and use these terms regularly because their clients depend on the warmth and breathability of their tiny homes. The cost varies greatly depending on your choice of material, but these changes are benefits of a fully customized build where everything from environmental impact and R-rating can be considered. Movable Roots relies on closed cell spray foam insulation to keep their tiny homes well insulated.
Like with any large purchase, be sure to do your research before you commit. Check out certified and trusted builders who are professionals within the tiny house industry like Movable Roots. They are your best bet for happy and safe tiny living that will last for generations.