Building your own tiny home from scratch can be an intimidating process. That is why many prospective homeowners search out experienced builders who charge a fair rate for their high-quality labor.
The question is, who can you turn to in California to build a custom tiny house?
If you are ready to take the next steps for finding your tiny home, here are some of the top builders that you need to know in California:
Note: See Reference links below for all sites and models!
Pacifica Tiny Homes
Are you looking for a company that goes out of its way to find unconventional solutions to common problems? Owners Crystal and Josue moved to Mexico as adults and were astounded to see the poor conditions of the people living there.
One of the main issues they saw that people faced was a lack of hot water. Josue, confident in his newly developing construction skills, developed a system that provided hot water that lasted for hours for families without the high cost of a gas tank. He continued to build bigger and bigger models while keeping costs low for his clients.
They brought this same ingenuity into the tiny house movement. When the trend was just beginning, Crystal and Josue jumped on board, building a tiny house on wheels of their own. They have since built several to rent out on the properties they have across the country.
Pacifica Homes offers two main floor plans for your tiny home, but they also have other offerings. They feature an off-grid model for those who want to be more environmentally friendly.
There is also an accessory dwelling unit in case you would prefer your tiny home to be built on a permanent foundation.
Businesses will love their own model that easily converts into extra office space.
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Pricing for Pacifica Homes
Prices start around $37,000 for their 18-foot Bay Cottage and increase depending on size and add-ons. Off-grid models come in closer to $60,000.
They do offer several financing options, including being certified with Pacific West Tiny Homes, Inc. that allows them to offer RV loans. Rock Solid Funding can help you to finance the trailer. However, you also have the option of financing through a personal loan or a credit union.
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California Tiny House
Many people love the feel of working with a local family-owned and operated business. California Tiny House does not disappoint!
They are run by a team of eight family members where each person is responsible for bringing a different and unique skill to the table.
With so many different talents, it is no surprise that California Tiny House is one of the leading custom home builders in the Fresno area.
Since their inception in 2014, they have created more than 100 tiny houses for their clients from design through to completion.
One of the best things about California Tiny House is its amazing turnaround time. Most homes can be completed within twenty workdays, particularly if you choose one of their inventory items. Custom builds can take a little bit longer but still have a fast turnaround time at 36 workdays.
Pricing for California Tiny Homes
Another good thing to note about this company is that they are RVIA certified, meaning that they are federally accredited to uphold certain safety standards.
This certification is a requirement for legally placing the home. Prices start around $38,000, with an average price coming in around $75,000 for their stock options.
Custom builds vary in price depending on the materials, labor, and specific ideas that you want to bring to life.
Homes come with a one-year factory warranty and can be upgraded to a ten-year structural warranty for an additional fee.
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KJE Tiny Homes
Do you want to work with a small family-owned business? KJE Tiny Homes is spearheaded by a husband-wife duo who built their very first tiny home in 2016. Since their inaugural tiny home, they have completed dozens of builds with custom layouts. Their goal is to get to know their clients and anticipate their needs to build a more intuitive tiny home.
You can easily browse through ten different floor plans, but they specialize in offering custom solutions. Their homes can be up to forty feet long and ten feet wide so that you can maximize the space you have.
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All homes are NOAH (National Organization of Alternative Housing) certified to give you some peace of mind about the construction and inspection process.
In addition to their tiny homes, they also offer mobile luxury restrooms, food and cantina trailers, mobile bars, and salons.
Pricing & Financing
One of the best things about KJE Tiny Homes is their financing option. They partner with Even Financial to offer loans up to 84 months and $100,000, even if you have poor credit.
You can get pre-approved through their website to see whether you can afford your tiny home before you begin the drafting process.
Sierra Tiny Houses
Located in Northern California and Nevada, Sierra Tiny Homes is another big name that you might want to investigate before purchasing a tiny home of your own. They are a member of the American Tiny House Association, and they offer flexible terms to help you get the home of your dreams.
When shopping with Sierra Tiny Homes, you can choose from four basic floor plans:
- Beach Bungalow
- Craftsman Cottage
- Roomy Retreat (28-foot)
- Roomy Retreat (24-foot)
Prices will start around $67,900 and increase based on the floor plan that you select. If you prefer to go with the vision in your mind, then you might want to consider their custom home design option. You may face higher prices when going with a more custom design.
In addition to fully-furnished tiny homes, do-it-yourselfers will love that they can purchase just the trailer.
They can provide you with the trailer, a steel frame, or a complete kit to help you build your own tiny house on wheels with your own two hands.
Financing is an option with this tiny home builder. Because the homes they sell are RV-certified, you should be able to get an RV loan from a local credit lender. You can also choose from their prime or sub-prime lenders, their exclusive tiny house financing, or Lightstream financing.
Sunwest Tiny Homes
Another tiny home manufacturer located in the northern part of the state, Sunwest Tiny Homes, was started as a solution to the California housing crisis.
They claim that purchasing a tiny home through their program will pay for itself in just eighteen short months. This might be especially true if you purchase one of their inexpensive shells and take a DIY approach.
They do specialize in offering custom builds, but it can definitely be a bit expensive. It is estimated that a custom build usually costs $275 per square foot. For a small unit, that would price your tiny home at roughly $50,000.
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One of the highlights of Sunwest Tiny Homes is their off-grid capabilities. If you want to live unencumbered by electric hookups, you will want to research this company. They now sell off-grid solar packages to complement their tiny houses.
Unfortunately, they do not offer either RVIA certification or NOAH certification as the standard. However, homeowners can request NOAH certification as long as they do so before the building process begins. Unless it is specifically written into the contract, no tiny homes through Sunwest will have this certification.
Pricing & Financing
They do not offer any financing solutions, so you will have to come up with the cash somewhere else.
Payment is made in three draws, with forty percent requested upfront.
You are offered a two percent or $500 discount (whichever is greater) for paying in full at the very beginning of the process.
Tiny House Basics
Some homeowners prefer to do the majority of the work themselves.
If you happen to be a handy homeowner with a DIY attitude, then Tiny House Basics will probably be the best fit for you.
They specialize in selling the materials for tiny homes without the fancy frills offered by some luxury home builders.
Tiny House Basics claims to be the top source for tiny home trailers in the United States and Canada. They specialize in carrying just the trailers and shells of tiny homes instead of the fully completed package.
You can choose from:
- Gooseneck tiny house trailers
- 10-foot wide tiny house trailers
- 20-foot tiny house trailers
- 24-foot tiny house trailers
- 28-foot tiny house trailers
- 30-foot tiny house trailers
- 18-foot tiny house trailers
- 10 to 16-foot tiny house trailer
In addition to their extensive collection of trailers, you can also purchase the shell of your new tiny home. They have a few standard models you can choose from, or you can go for a custom-sized tiny house shell. This is the best route for those who want to do the work themselves.
While you can purchase just the shell, you can also tell them the level of customization that you want. For example, if you want a shell with the electrical done but want to handle the plumbing on your own, they can accommodate your request.
All of the work that you request will be handled by licensed, bonded, and insured contractors.
They do not offer any financing options at this time.
Whether you want to go with a major company or a family-owned business, California has a lot of potential builders who would love to earn your business.
All you have to do is decide which one is the right fit for you and your family!
Maria is the founder of GoDownsize. While studying architecture in Denmark she became fascinated with designing living spaces for boats, tiny houses, RVs, and other small spaces.
She mainly writes about space optimization, interior design, and downsizing. She’s also in charge of our YouTube channel. Read more about Maria here.