Frequently Asked Questions FAQs

Can I use my own contractor

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

Can I use your plans and package as a DIY

Absolutely. The DIY market is who we mostly 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.

Will I need a Building Permit for an ADU or Backyard Structure

In almost all jurisdictions you will need a permit for any building built on the ground. The International Residential Code (IRC) is the most often used code. We suggest you consult your local building codes department to be sure which version they are using. Some jurisdictions allow a building less than 200 Sq. Ft. Like our Clark model without a permit.

Can you customize your plans for my Site?

Yes, you can make some changes to our templates and locate the door(s) and windows for your tiny house where 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 can’t 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 an hourly fee to make those changes. We invite you to our computer screen and do them with you in real time as you watch the changes on the screen. This makes the process very quick.

What is the advantage 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 and minimal thermal bridging.
SIPs allow you to build it tight, but ventilate it efficiently.
With SIPs you don’t need to learn to be a framer.
How Does Your System Work for THoWs

As a maker, DIY kind of guy, I assumed everyone would want to build their own Tiny House on Wheels. 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, Colorado, 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.

How much does a THoWs 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 THoW kits and trailers.

Do I need a building permit for a THoWs
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 our resources page that can help you with that process.
By certifying your build you will find it easier to insure it, park it, and sell it someday as the buyer might need financing. Some parks also require a certification in order to use their facilities.
How far can a SIP roof panel 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 farther with different spline connectors but that is for deeper discussion.

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How energy efficient are SIPs
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.

4″ = R-20 | 6″ = R30 | 8″ = R-40 | 10″ = R-50 | 12″ = R-60 using Platinum Foam

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