Man, I had a whole slew of things prepared to write for this week’s post to make up for skipping out on you last week, but I only have one thing on my mind. TINY HOMES!
Some of you may or may not know, my husband and I have started a tiny home manufacturing business. Can you believe it!? We have worked for months to get design and costs nailed down, and we are finally doing it! I’m so excited I could jump out of my skin!!!
I want to tell you guys about everything we have been through to get to this point. Strap in, because it is going to be a crazy ride!
A few months ago, my hubby told me he was in the works of creating a new business. I just rolled my eyes because he is a bit of a serial entrepreneur. I told him I didn’t want to hear his pitch until he had everything lined up and was ready to get going.
Once he had all his “ducks in a row”, he asked me to sit down so we could go over the details. Boy am I glad I was in a comfy chair! He told me he wanted to start building tiny homes on wheels (abbrev. THOW)… WHAT?! I had no idea that was a real thing! I thought THOW were something you saw on HGTV, not something any “Joe” could build. I was terrified, but it also seemed right. It felt this was the path we needed to take. I don’t know how to explain that feeling or why I felt it, but everything just felt right.
The first steps to building our THOW, was to determine the length of the home, the design of the home, and later the cost of the home. While we began this process, my husband put out a Craigslist add in all the big cities within a 12 hours’ drive. His phone rang nonstop for a month! Most people asked to see his previous work, but this would be our first home, so we didn’t have anything to show.
We decided to go with a 20 foot trailer design. I grabbed my little sketch book, and started playing with layouts. It took me around a week of nonstop designing (okay, I stopped to feed Amelia) to nail the layout just right. Who knew something so small would take so much time to design?
I had to consider weight ratios; front to back and side to side. I had to consider size; is there going to be enough room to sit on the toilet, how much head space will be in the loft, should there be one loft or two? I also had to consider things like door and window locations in comparison to RV hookups. There is just so much to it, it’s crazy!
Man oh, man was our trailer situation a debacle! We knew we would need a custom-built trailer and that these take time. By the time we were ready to take the plunge (sometimes you need a moment to catch your breath before you make the leap), we were told by everyone that it was the busy season and it would take 6 weeks to get a trailer. Just a month earlier, we had been told three, now the time had doubled. This was going to put us so far behind schedule!
Then we saw a shining light. Thanks to the glory that is Facebook Ads, we were introduced to a builder just a couple hours away that was willing to build our custom trailer in 2 weeks. We were so excited to be back on track. After talking to the owner, we made our deposit for our custom twenty foot trailer. Unfortunately, we had to dip into cash, instead of credit, because the owner needed to purchase the supplies ASAP. The hubby was able to negotiate with the builder to get a discount if we paid for the whole thing up front. Since we didn’t have a tiny home buyer, we needed to get the lowest prices on EVERYTHING.
Once the trailer build began, we got a few messages as to the status. We were given a timeline of 14 days until completion. At around 12 days, we got a message saying the build was pushed back another week. We could handle that. Four days after that, we lost communication with our builder. He wasn’t responding to messages, we didn’t have a good number for him, and we had to resort to messaging his wife to get in contact. The builder finally responded to our messages two days later and ensured us the trailer would be ready that next Thursday.
We packed everything up (that Wednesday) and travelled the two and a half hours to stay with my In-Laws, which was closer to the builder. We still hadn’t heard from him since that previous Sunday, but we still had hope that we would be going home with a trailer the next day. Just in case, we began contacting other trailer dealers in the area to see if they had a trailer available with specifications that were close to what we needed.
Come Thursday, we still hadn’t heard from the builder, even though we spent the morning trying to contact him to get an address. By the end of the day, we realized we were scammed out of nearly $4000. This was a huge blow below the belt, if you catch my drift.
At this point, we had already contacted an authorized Trailer Made dealer about an hour away from where we were staying. We told them our story and what was happening and asked if they had any trailers in our specifications. Luckily, they did! Not only did they have the trailer we needed, but they were also a tiny house building company.
The owner of this company took my husband under his wing. He answered any questions we had and even gave us some tips and tricks. We will definitely be using this dealer for all of our trailers in the future!
And so our adventure continues…
Please check out our company and the building progress! If you are interested in joining the tiny home movement, send us a message at www.facebook.com/americanmadetinyhomes or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org