Our Custom Build Process

Here at Build Tiny we offer potential clients a very personalized design and build process. We love to make sure the homes we build meet our client's needs. Designing something unique is what we're all about. We pride ourselves on our reputation for building high quality and unique homes. Looking over our previous work is a great place to start. Below we have detailed the typical process you would go through with us from the initial meeting through to handing over the keys to your tiny piece of paradise.

1. Research

If you're new to the tiny house concept, take some time to do your research, check out our FAQ page, its a good place to start! It's important you know the regulations of your local council and how they might apply to tiny homes. Also have a look at our past work, we've done many unique custom builds for you to get some inspiration. If you like what you see and want to test out tiny house living, consider booking an overnight stay in one of our Airbnb tiny homes to really get a feel for it. 

2. Workshop Visit

It’s now time to get in touch with us. Most people kick things off with a workshop visit. You'll get to spend 30 minutes one-on-one with us, we'll show you any completed builds we have available, and also all our work in progress in the workshop. This is a great time to ask questions. You can book this online or simply send us an email. If you're too far away to come and see us, you can give us a call on 07 5492864, and we can answer your questions over the phone.

3. Book a build slot

Build spots are in high demand! We can only do a limited number of custom builds per year, so we suggest if you don’t want to be disappointed that you consider booking in our next available build start date. These can book-out up to 8+ months in advance. Secure your spot by requesting a booking form and pay a non-refundable $1,000 booking fee. This cost is deducted from your first build payment.

4. Keeping informed

As soon as you begin to form a partnership with Build Tiny, we'll introduce you to 'BuilderTrend'. It's project management software with some really great advantages for clients. Further down the track, you'll be able to see build progress updates, photos, plans, and the build schedule, but for now, we'll use it as a messaging tool to keep all our conversations and documents in the one place.

5. Agree on the brief

This is where it starts to get fun! You get to put together a design brief with all your ideas for your custom tiny house build. It could be based off one of our existing builds, a combination of a few of them, or something completely different. Once we have a rough idea of what you're wanting to achieve, our designer will estimate the hours needed to produce a set of custom plans. Those hours are charged at $50 +gst per hour. The first 20 hours are deductible from the cost of your build - most designs do not exceed this, so for most, the design cost will end up being free for you if you go ahead with the build. By signing the design brief you are committing to pay this fee. Note that this is an estimate, and if the scope of the brief changes at any point the price is subject to increase.

6. Custom design work

In due course, the design work will begin. Clients are first presented with a preliminary layout design. And based on your feedback, this goes through a period of 1 or 2 revisions. Clients are invoiced for the preliminary design at this stage.

Once you're happy with the overall layout, we then work on finalising all the nitty-gritty details, such as lighting and electrical plans, colour and material choices, and construction detailing. Throughout this stage, there will be lots of communication back and forth, and once complete you will be invoiced for the final design. 

7. 'The price is right' - FREE Quote

You will no doubt love your design! When it's perfect it will move to the quoting stage. It can take us up to 3 weeks to source pricing for all the various elements that will go into making your house completely unique, so you won't hear from us much during this time. Once it's ready we'll provide you with a detailed quote for you to look over. There may be a section for variations included in the quote. This section separates big ticket items e.g. solar, appliances or anything you aren’t 100% sure on including due to price. You can then decide if you are happy to go ahead and sign and accept the quote.

8. Time to sign 

If you accept the quote, we'll issue you with a build contract 2 months prior to the start date. You'll also be given copies of our terms of trade, your plans, and other reference documents. Once you've read it over and possibly sought legal advice, you'll return your signed documents. These will be signed by us and scanned back to you for your records. We work on a progress payment schedule and request a 30% deposit 4 weeks prior to start date. We then have 2 further progress payments of 30% to be paid at set milestones based on the progress of your build. There is then a final 10% payment to be paid upon completion of your build before pickup/delivery. A client can request a change to their plans however this will be treated as a variation and incurs a variation fee.

9. Construction begins!

Leading up to your build start date some of the big-ticket items are ordered. e.g. the trailer, framing, and cladding. This allows us to be ready to go on ‘D’ day. The build process is broken into three stages. As tasks are completed the build moves through the schedule, this can be viewed on BuilderTrend. You're invited to inspect the build at the completion of each stage, or visit any time by appointment. A progress invoice of 30% is then requested. There is more information about the building part of the process over in Our Materials page.

10. Add to our portfolio 

Once each home is finished we love to document all the hard work that was poured into it. We have it cleaned inside and out. We then stage it with beautiful furnishings to show its potential. Our skilled photographer comes out get the most amazing shots. Gina will then do a video walk through of the home to demonstrate its features. 

10. It's all yours

As the build is due to finish, we'll discuss delivery options. Can you do this yourself or do you need help arranging delivery? Is your site prepared and access to it unobstructed? Insurance is also important to have arranged before pickup/delivery.

We'll have a handover meeting with you to show you how everything works. You then sign off that you're happy with everything, and make your final 10% payment. A 'handover pack' will be given with all product warranties and details of the homes final weight and a list of removable items that need to be removed to be legally towed New Zealand roads. We then had over the keys and wave goodbye. We love to keep in touch with our past clients and are always here if you need anything. See Our Work to see what previous clients have to say about us. 

Contact us

07 549 2864 | Katikati 3129

Have you seen our FAQ page? Why not check there first and get the answer to your question right away!

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