This page exists to let you know exactly how we bill for each build and what you can expect when signing a contract.
The contract will either be 1. Time and Material Basis 2. Fixed price
90% of the time customers can expect to sign on a Time and Material Basis. The 10% exceptions are for customers wishing to purchase a spec model build that we have previously built, hence the costs are well known and even if you want small modifications to the spec design we can factor this into a set price. Otherwise, I absolutely will not do a Fixed Price contract. I’ve done it before and usually end up losing money due to unforeseen circumstances that are likely to happen when you are trying out new designs. So, since a fixed price contract is probably not something you will signing, lets look at the T&M.
Time and Materials
This is not only most fair to both parties, but I’ve come up with a system that makes the process very clear and easy to understand. There are costs, some fixed, some variable, associated with building your tiny house. They are defined as clearly as possible up front:
Material costs are passed down to you with zero markup. Sometimes there are freight charges and other times there is small interest added if the materials were purchased through a local supplier using a line of credit.
I have been in business long enough now to figure out what it actually cost to keep the business running. These costs do fluctuate from time to time, so I don’t have them listed here, but they will be clearly defined on your contract.
They include shop rent, utilities, office supplies, shop supplies, worker’s comp, insurance, fuel, and accounting. These add up to a monthly total. Your project will be billed in weekly increments, i.e. 5 weeks equals 1.25 months.
There are usually three workers per house crew: lead carpenter, secondary carpenter, and helper. They each have different rates based on skill level that are spelled out in the contract. Sometimes we subcontract portions of the work we cannot do ourselves, or that is required for certifications. These costs are passed through with zero markup.
This is a set fee I charge you that covers all of my time related to building your tiny house whether that is design, ordering/purchasing materials, managing the crew, answering questions, documenting the build, and keeping the business running. If I actually kept track of all my hours (which I don’t, because I hate doing this and at an given time I could be working on 3 different projects over a 1 hour period and it just gets too messy) and I was particularly efficient on the project, I might actually make $20/hr. Not bad, but for everything that I am doing, probably not enough. I love what I do though, and I aim to stay competitive, so trust me when I say you are getting the better end of the deal. From this fee I also set aside funds for capital improvements such as vehicles, tools, shelter, material storage, etc. The fee is based on the size and complexity of your tiny house. It could range anywhere from $2-10k.