In today’s housing climate, skyrocketing prices and intense competition have an increasing number of homeowners turning to more simplified options when on the hunt for a new home. And by simplified, we do mean smaller. In a 2018 National Association of Home Builders survey, researchers discovered that 63% of millennials would consider buying a tiny home in today's housing market.
With the interest in tiny homes currently on the rise, now is the time to venture into the pool of professionals dubbed tiny house contractors. Masters of various trade fields — including carpenters, plumbers, and electricians — should be paying attention to the potential opportunities for business growth that lie outside of traditional real estate, in the tiny home market.
To learn exactly what a tiny home is, and how various trades can benefit from the booming tiny housing market, just keep reading.
Although there are no set standards for what exactly defines a tiny home, the name pretty much says it all. A tiny home can be considered a small structure with significantly less square footage than a traditional home. For perspective, an average home in the United States is 2,000 to 2,500 square feet. According to the International Residential Code, a tiny house is a dwelling that is 400 square feet or less.
Tiny house contractors typically construct these homes on trailers to allow for mobility. However, tiny homes can also be constructed on a fixed foundation similar to that of a traditional home. Outside of the typical wood frame-style homes, there are additional unique frame options that customers are choosing to build their ultimate small-scale homes.
From shipping containers to retired school buses, tiny home connoisseurs are adopting various innovative and budget-friendly options to make their new home. With such unique options hitting the housing market, it’s time that trade professionals take advantage of this lucrative market to become full-fledged tiny house contractors.
Though typical home construction requires a team of tradesmen with a wide range of skills, building and maintaining a tiny home requires even more specialized expertise. It’s this need for specialized workers, also known as boutique contractors, that make the tiny house market a lucrative opportunity for many tradesmen.
Whether a tiny home requires unique plumbing work or complex cabinets to accommodate specific storage needs, common trade workers have the ability to specialize their services to also attract the attention of the tiny home community. Not to mention, the booming tiny house market is also fueled by a growing number of digital nomads and those seeking the “tiny home experience.”
Many tiny home owners are now choosing to expand their tiny home fleet to accommodate travelers and also offer short term rental options. Many outdoor living-focused areas, such as Colorado and California, are experiencing a significant demand in tiny home living and vacation options — which opens up numerous opportunities for tradesmen residing in these booming locations.
Likewise, tiny home experience and expertise allows for easy and budget-friendly marketing opportunities. This niche is ultra-specific and word of mouth travels fast in the close-knit tiny home community. In other words, your customers can do your marketing for you, for free.
As with traditional homes, tiny home construction and maintenance requires similar trade work but on a more specialized level. Outside of their general skill set, tradesmen may want to assess the strength of the tiny housing market in their specific area to better understand if they can benefit from specializing their skills, and joining the ranks of tiny house contractors.
Here are a few trades that can benefit from the booming tiny home market.
Housing contractors and carpentry professionals are some of the first to benefit from the growing tiny housing market, as they can help build the foundation of a customer’s property. Specialized work, including tiny home frame work and roofing, offers a specialized service not too far outside the common skills of a contractor. Likewise, custom built tiny home furniture and cabinetry offer carpentry professionals an opportunity to “condense” their skills and offer a new specialized service.
Tiny home plumbing needs can vary significantly depending on the structure of the house, creating multiple opportunities for those in the plumbing industry. Because many tiny homes are mobile, they commonly require the use of a tank storage plumbing system to efficiently manage and store freshwater and wastewater supplies. A tiny home grey water system can also help homeowners better conserve water by recycling non-sewage wastewater that comes from sinks, showers, and washing machines.
Many members of the tiny home community adore energy saving options when it comes to simplified living. With many tiny homes being mobile or stationed in remote areas far from any access to power, many tiny home electrical systems operate mainly on solar power. For electricians looking to step into the tiny home market, tiny home solar work may be an excellent way to advance your skills into both the worlds of energy efficiency and tiny living.
Because of their condensed square footage, tiny homes typically won't require full-size HVAC systems with expansive ductwork. Instead, they’re better suited for simplified tiny house heating and cooling options, like mini split systems and through-the-wall units (TTW) — both which offer an expertise HVAC professionals should consider adopting. Likewise, with many tiny homes located in areas of harsh winters, winterization and preventive maintenance services should also be offered to better accommodate the tiny home consumer.
With tiny homes comes tiny home appliances. To fit the condensed kitchens of these homes, specialized tiny appliances, including refrigerators and stoves, will be required to accommodate the homeowners needs. For appliance repair companies, these tiny appliance solutions additionally offer a specialized focus that professionals in this space should consider adopting. Many of these appliances are also a bit more expensive, so be sure to offer preventive maintenance services to help homeowners get the most out of their investment.
Before you jump into any new market, it's important that you take the time to research the customer base first. Check out our article on customer research for more information to help you get started.
As you've probably heard before, location is everything. So if you do choose to enter the tiny home market, make sure that you're doing so in a location that is conducive! We've compiled a list of cities in the US that are most friendly towards tiny homes, as well as cities that currently have a high concentration of tiny homes. For a more in-depth breakdown on which states are the most tiny house friendly, take a look at this resource.
When you step into the tiny home sector, you may be surprised by the amount of work waiting for you in this growing market. Despite their small size, tiny homes are bursting with opportunity… and can create just as much paperwork as a full-size home. From plumbing to HVAC, tradesmen of all sorts require a business management software to help ensure streamlined operations and happy tiny home customers.
With FieldPulse, day-to-day operational needs including scheduling, dispatching, and customer management can all be completed from one, easy-to-use platform. To better understand exactly what FieldPulse can do for your trade business, no matter what skilled trade you specialize in, schedule a personalized demo today.