One of the major challenges is where to even start in order to find a reputable builder. There are more and more horror stories out there of people taking advantage of others, the following is a list of questions you can use to help you vet out a good builder:
- Ask for references (and call them!) see pictures of previous houses/projects ad get the testimonials if possible.
- What kind of insulation do you use (consider your climate on if this it important to you)
- Ask what kind of warranty they offer on work?
- Check for complaints via the Better Business Bureau.
- How many years have they been building?
- Is he/she a licensed & insured manufacturer?
- Are the finished models titled? What is that process?
- How long have they been building? How many tiny houses have they completed?
- Do they deliver? Where? Shipping charges?
- Are they RVIA certified? (I think this one will become more and more important as time goes on, just a guess though…)
- What is the timeline to completion?
- When can they start? (a good portion of builders are booked WAY out!)
- What their communication level is during the process? Do they have a blog where they post constant updates and photos? YouTube videos? Is visiting the site okay?
- Ask a lot of questions about material type and quality. This is where you can bring up your requests too which will greatly help inform a quote.
- Ask about the trailer, what is the max weight and what will the house weigh completed?
- Is the trailer new or used?
- How the structure is attached to the trailer? (you don’t have to know the right answers but they had better have AN answer )
- How do they handle moisture protection on the exterior
- How do they plumb the house?
- Do you build to electrical/mechanical codes?
These questions should get you started so you can get a feeling for various builders. You don’t have to know all of the answers but they should be able to tell you their thoughts on them. Not all builders will agree and there is more than one right answer in a lot of cases, these will help you get a feel for a trust level though hopefully.
Find my builder profiles here.