May 31, 2016

Tiny House Shells

How we build our Tiny House Shells
FAQs about how we build our Tiny House Shells
Tiny House Shell Pricing


Building a tiny house on wheels is no small task.  A bit of research will show you that nearly all people who build their own tiny home say that it takes much longer, is much more difficult, and costs more than they ever expected. In a lot of cases, these are first-time DIY builders, and the end result isn’t up to the expectation they had hoped for.

You are the customer that we love to build for.  You want a tiny house on wheels, but you want to be sure that your home is built correctly and will stand the rigors of the road!  You want a straight, strong, square home that you can TRUST.

Without a quality foundation and shell, mistakes during your build only become bigger and more compounded as you get closer to finishing the inside of your home!

Buying a Tiny House Shell from us will potentially save you hundreds of hours, and months of time, all while ensuring a proper build.  Let us do the hard part for you!

From our experience, here is what everyone wants and needs in their Tiny House Shell builds:

  1. You want a home built on a proper trailer that will stand up to the road, and be a proper, long-lasting foundation for your home.
  2. You want straight, strong and square walls and roof framing.
  3. You want energy efficient, or airtight construction (or both!).
  4. You want a builder who knows what they’re doing, and will stand behind their work!

How we build our Tiny House Shells:

This is where we get to “geek out” on construction methods and theories.  We could talk ALL DAY about how to build things – and you’re welcome to contact us just to do that!

To see our Tiny House Shell pricing – head over to our pricing page!

Foundation

A lot of people think about the Tiny House on Wheels as just being on a trailer. But the truth is, this is without a doubt the most critical and important aspect of the ENTIRE build! This is not just a trailer, it is your home’s foundation.   We only build on Trailermade Trailers.  These trailers are designed from the ground up by the company’s owner (Who’s also a structural engineer!) specifically for building a tiny home.  They maximize your headroom and also ensure an energy efficient foundation.  We’ve had the experience of building on other Tiny House trailers, and after these experiences we have only come to appreciate Trailermade Trailers more.

Because we trust Trailermade Trailers and stand behind their product, we can offer you a comprehensive warranty on your Tiny House Shell!

Check out Trailermade Trailers here!

Framing

We build our Tiny House Shells with Wood Frame construction. Also known as “stick built” or “stud” construction.

BUT…. You’ll find that our construction methods with wood frame is different and more modern than most other Tiny Home Builders.

How is that so?

We use engineered wood combined with quality Southern Pine studs to ensure the straightest, strongest framed wall you can tow down the road.  We use Laminated Strand Lumber (LSL) for bottom & top plates, king and jack studs on every wall.  LSL framing studs are twice the strength and of equal weight to regular studs, and are perfectly straight every time. We also use regular wood studs, but we’re extremely picky with the studs we use to frame your walls and roof. If they aren’t straight and clean, we don’t use them!

We use advanced framing techniques.  A lot of builders build with studs 16″ on center, however we find that this causes your home to be hundreds of pounds heavier than using 24″ on center. There are numerous benefits to advanced framing. You can read about advanced framing here!

We use current residential building code, where applicable.  Homes today aren’t built on trailers, so this is where the variance can be found to typical residential code!

We frame your home to withstand a CONSTANT hurricane and earthquake!  When towing your Tiny House down the road at 60 MPH, you want to be sure that whoever built your home took these stresses into consideration when building.  We frame all walls and roof to handle the stress of being towed down the road.  We use the appropriate anchors, strapping and hurricane ties throughout the entire build for maximum strength.   The last thing we do to ensure great strength with our build, is that we glue and either nail or staple everything together. Some construction adhesives are stronger than screws, nails and staples!

Airtight and Energy Efficient Construction

The process of completing your subfloor, framing your walls and roof, as well as sheathing your Tiny House Shell is the critical time to go the extra mile to ensure that your Tiny Home will be as airtight and energy efficient as possible!

We ensure airtight, energy efficient construction at EVERY STEP either through the choice of materials, the method of construction, or both!

We use Advantech tongue & groove subfloor sheathing.  Not only is this product water resistant, it’s also significantly stronger than regular OSB subfloor sheathing.  We glue & screw this directly to the trailer with a special adhesive.

We gap seal any opening in the trailer/foundation. If we’re using rigid foam insulation as opposed to spray foam insulation under your subfloor in the trailer, we ensure to seal any gap with expanding gap-seal Loctite foam.

We use Titebond GREENchoice Acoustic sealant all over the place! Acoustic sealant is essentially caulk that never cures, and creates an ultra-airtight seal. We use this under our bottom plates, and in-between the sheathing and wood frame where there are any potential gaps. This includes any blocking, the outside of the top & bottom plates, etc. You can read about Titebond GREENchoice acoustic sealant here.

We use caulk at any gap or opening that is exposed to the elements. We go through a lot of caulk during a build! Where the anchor bolts are drilled through the trailer, and at any wheel well transition, we use a very liberal amount of quality caulk to ensure no water penetration, and continues to maintain the structure’s airtight foundation!

We use Zip System sheathing and tape for our walls and roof construction.  Using the Zip wall sheathing and tape ensures that your walls and roof are airtight (and with its built-in vapor barrier, it’s also water tight and resistant!).  We also now install our wall sheathing in a vertical installation, as opposed to horizontal. This ensures that the only sheathing seams fall on a stud, as opposed to in between each stud during the build process. This maximizes airtight and energy efficient construction! You can read about the Zip System here.

We build our roof overhangs and extensions as separate “components”. When we frame and build a Tiny House Shell, we end the roof rafters at the location of the wall, so we are able to sheath the wall to the very top. We then build our roof overhangs and extensions as separate components that we bolt to the top of the wall with structural screws. This allows us to ensure a continuous barrier all the way to the roof sheathing, without sacrificing any strength in the roof overhangs or extensions. This gives you a great energy efficient and airtight roof, but it also gives you the flexibility of finishing your roof in the way you choose!  Do you want or need a hot roof? Cold roof? Do you want it vented, or not?  Some of the answers to these questions are determined by where you plan on living, or traveling to or the type of insulation you’ll be using in your roof.


Want a tiny house shell already? We hope so!

Contact Us Today to get started!!!

FAQs – How we build our Tiny House Shells

Absolutely!  There are many benefits to these other framing options and we’ve worked with them all in the past.  Check out our blog post here, about the advantages and disadvantages of different Tiny House framing methods.
Depending on size of your Shell, material, and the level of completion you are looking for  – completion time typically ranges from 2-5 weeks
Yes! Our delivery fee varies from $2.00-$2.50 per mile “loaded” and we will deliver to any of the 48 lower states (and some parts of Canada!).