All of the tiny house planning with our builder is moving along quickly, which I am so pleased by! More soon on who we chose as our builder and why. See my previous post if you’re looking for information on how to select a tiny house builder.
In the meantime, I just want to share my excitement and anxiousness to see our tiny house design! I know when I was looking to work with a builder I was really curious about how the process works, and couldn’t find a whole lot of info. So, for those who are curious here is how it has been for us so far.
Once we decided on our builder, we signed a design contract and payed a design fee. One thing we like about our builder is that the design contract is separate from the build contract. That means that if they come up with a design we hate, or the process just isn’t working, we’re not bound to actually have our tiny house built by them. That being said, we’re confident in them and have had a great experience so far, so we don’t anticipate that happening. The peace of mind is nice though.
After signing the design contract and paying the fee (by paypal), we shared a ton of photos of tiny house designs we liked. I had been saving photos for a couple months now, so I shared everything from exterior preferences, to layouts we liked, to styles appealed to us. They were happy to receive a ton of pictures (which I appreciated). Then, we had a very thorough design consultation over skype with the designer and office administrative assistant. We would have met with the owner/builder as well, but he was out sick. We spent well over an hour sharing our ideas and preferences, asking questions, and answering their questions about our priorities for the tiny house. This built our confidence that they really wanted to make a design custom to our needs, and not just tweak something they had already created. I would recommend playing with a few layouts on your own before doing this, so you can really have an idea of what’s realistic to include in a tiny house. We spent many sleepless nights doing that, before we were sure if we’d hire a builder or not. If you have one or two “design challenges,” they can most likely get creative, but if you want everything under the sun and a large kitchen, living, dining, and extra sleeping area on a small trailer, something’s gotta give. Having a strong sense of your priorities will help this conversation be about your dreams as well as realistic ideas of what can fit in your tiny house.
About a week and a half later, they sent us a draft floorplan. This was a simple floorplan, and it is helpful to see the floorplan before they make a 3D design so necessary adjustments can be made first. This is where Alonso and I got into a major discussion (read: argument) about sofas, ottomans, and extra sleeping area. That’s a story for another day though… After a few days of back and forth, we finally came to an agreement and approved the floorplan with some very minor tweaks! The floorplan is a bit different than what we had come up with in our own drafts as far as placement of the kitchen, bathroom, and living area, but it seems like a wiser use of space. Yay for professionals who can be creative to meet all your needs!
Now, we’re waiting to see the 3D sketch, which will really give us a sense of the design aesthetic and how the layout will feel in person. I can’t wait! It’s so freakin’ exciting to be able to see our dream coming to life! We should get it end of this week or early next. Here’s to hoping it’s just what we want! Keep your fingers crossed for us.