How does your THoW system work?

As a maker, DIY kind of guy, I assumed everyone would want to build their own Tiny House. Of course, that isn’t true, but it is the market niche we serve.
We have been providing Structural Insulated Panel (SIP) packages to owner-builders for over 20 years, so it was natural we would want to help Tiny House builders in the same way.

Since Tiny Houses on Wheels (THoWs) need a properly engineered trailer upon which to attach the house, we were drawn into designing – and having engineered – that component as well.

Today we provide a variety of stock plans for THoW shells in three widths, seven lengths and seven roof styles. Each of these plans can be semi-customized from a 3D model. By sharing our computer screen with you no matter where you are, in real time we can rotate the 3D model, moving windows and doors, and changing the sizes to make it YOUR home.

When you order a shell package from us, we pick up your trailer, load the SIP package and accessories onto it and then we deliver it to you.  If you want us to stay and show you how to assemble the package, we can do that too, for a small additional fee.   Our main market area covers Washington, Oregon and northern California, with occasional trips to Idaho, Montana and Nevada and Utah.

Beyond that geographical region, there are two options: 1) we can have the trailer/SIP package ready for you to pick up here in Vancouver, WA; 2) we can provide you with the plans for both the trailer and the SIP package and you source the products in your area. .

We are also finding qualified builders in some areas that are willing to help you assemble your package and provide some finishing services.

Our goal is to produce the safest, most energy-efficient, and affordable Tiny House shell package on the market.  Yes, you can build your own home! Let us be a part of your team.

Can I use my own contractor?

Yes, we would be happy to work with your contractor. We have trained contractors across the western states to build with SIPs.

Can I use your SIP enclosure-package for a do-it-yourself project?

Absolutely. The DIY market is who we serve. It helps if you have a little construction experience.
Sometimes it makes sense to have a contractor help with the foundation and assembling the panel package. At that point you can take over and act as the general contractor, choosing which parts of the project that you want to do.

How much will a Moveable Tiny House package cost?

It depends. ……. On size and roof complexity and what R-Value you require. The Panel package is only one part of the completed project. The final cost will depend on your skill level and how much of the work that you can do yourself. Your personal taste for the finishes makes a big difference too.

But I do know you will not find a better trailer and envelope package for your home anywhere. Our catalog has a price list for our THoWs.

Do I need a building permit for an Artisan Tiny House on Wheels?

You do not need a building permit for a building on wheels, but we suggest you consider certifying your build to the Park Model RV code. You will find two different companies on or resources page that can help you with that process.
By certifying your build you will find it easier to insure it. sell it someday as the buyer might need financing. Some parks also require a certification in order to use their facilities.

Do I need a building permit for an ADU or accessory building?

In all jurisdictions you will need a permit for any building built on the ground. The International Residential Code (IRC) is the most used code. We suggest you consult your local building codes department to be sure which version they are using.

 

Can I use my own plans?

Yes, but they will have to be converted to a 3D model before we can provide final pricing for your project. Then they will exported to ‘shop drawings’ for the final production process.
In most cases we can use one of our stock plans (model) and simply modify the openings for the windows and doors. This is very quick and inexpensive.

Can I request some changes to your Stock Plans?

Yes, you can make changes to our templates and locate the door(s) and windows for your tiny house wherever you’d like them.

We often suggest that you start the process of building with what is called a schematic drawing. This is a partial set of drawings with enough information to get estimates for sub contractors for the parts that you cant do. You can also do take-offs for materials to add to your project estimate. Its best to know what this project is going to cost before you start.
We charge a flat fee for a Schematic drawing, that is credited, to the fee for the full set of permit drawings.

What is a SIP building enclosure package?

A building enclosure package includes the SIP, floor, the walls and the roof, the window and doors are cut out according to the plan, and routed for all the lumber. All the fasteners, foam, mastic and tape for sealing the envelope are included as part of the accessory package. The result is a building system that is extremely strong, energy efficient and cost effective. Building with SIPs will save you time, money and labor.

What are SIPs?

Structural insulated panels (SIPs) are a high performance building system for residential and light commercial construction. The panels consist of an insulating foam core sandwiched between two structural facings, of oriented strand board (OSB). SIPs are manufactured under factory controlled conditions and can be fabricated to fit nearly any building design.

What are the benefits of building with SIPs?

SIPs can easily provide more insulation than standard building codes require.
SIPs result in a relatively air tight building that is less drafty and more comfort.
SIPs provide a solid wall for minimal thermal bridging.
SIPs allow you to build it tight, but ventilate it efficiently.
SIPs let you hang your pictures wherever you want as there’s no need to find a stud!

Isn’t Styrofoam a bad material?

We believe that Styrofoam should never be used to hold a cup of coffee and then toss it in the landfill. However, saving energy for the life of a building is another subject. While it is mostly trapped air molecules, 97% the foam used in SIPs does contain a small amount of petroleum.  The new graphite foam has a higher R-value and replaces a chemical fire retardant required for building materials . For more information, see http://www.epa.gov/iaq/formaldehyde.htm.

How long does it take to get my SIP package?

It takes anywhere from four to six weeks, depending on the complexity and location of your project, for the manufacture and delivery of your final SIP-enclosure package once you sign-off on the final shop drawings. This is about the same amount of time it will take to finish the foundation and to be ready for the package.

How far can a SIP roof span?

There are at least two variables that control the answer to this question.

1-What is the load imposed on the roof from the roofing material?

2-What is the snow load, if any?

Typically for a starting point that allows for a 50 lb. load:

4” R-16 will span 8ft

6” R-24 will span 10ft

8” R-32 will span 12ft

10” R-40 will span 14ft

12” R-48 will span 16ft

Yes SIPs can span much farther but that is for deeper discussion.

 

What types of building do you design in addition to Tiny Houses on Wheels?

We offer SIP Kits the following types of structures.

1. Accessory Buildings which includes back yard offices or studios, and work shops
2. Artisan Dwelling Units (ADUs) Cabins, Cottages, and small homes up to 1200 SF.
3. Hybrid Frame & Panel structures (1-1/2 or 2 stories) .

If you don’t see what your looking for just call us.  We are happy to help in any way we can.

How energy efficient are SIP-enclosure packages?

All of our designs can be built using one of three levels of energy efficiency:
1. Good meets current energy codes in Oregon, Washington and California.
2. Better exceeds current energy codes in Oregon and Washington by about 30%.
3. Best @ R-48 to R-60 is designed for those who want to build toward passive house or Net Zero standards.