The Big Apple is filled with huge homes and apartment buildings, but many people find the cost of living to be limiting. They can easily find themselves in debt, chasing the American dream to own their home.
The tiny house movement promises a different solution that can help you to shake off the shackles of debt and live a simpler lifestyle.
It can be beneficial to know which builders can offer you the tiny home that you have been dreaming of. Each company has its unique style, pricing, and financing options that you have to consider.
If you are thinking of building your own tiny home, here are the top builders in New York that you need to know about.
(Note: See references below for links to all websites)
Hudson River Tiny Homes
Hudson River Tiny Homes is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the big city in upstate New York’s Capital Region. This small business is both family-owned and operated with more than 75 years of combined experience in construction. Each of their designs promises to be efficiently manufactured to be as environmentally responsible as possible. However, this does not mean that they scrimp on materials.
Unlike some companies that are not as forthcoming about the materials used in their builds, Hudson River Tiny Homes list their features right off the bat. Expect to find high-quality materials like:
- Knotty pain wainscoting for floors and interior trim
- Cedar siding
- Pella low E, aluminum-clad wood windows with tempered glass
- Insulated steel or fiberglass entry doors
- Apartment-sized electric refrigerators
- 10-gallon electric water heater
The process starts with an initial interview where staff can get a better sense of what you want out of your new tiny home. Depending on the features and customization that you are searching for, they will give you an estimate based on their model home costs. At this time, you might be asked for a non-refundable deposit to finalize the plans for your home.
The entire process usually takes somewhere between six and nine weeks, as long as there are no other builds ahead of yours.
All homes are built to NFPA 1192 RV standards, but third-party inspection and certification labels are available upon request.
Like many other tiny house builders, Hudson River Tiny Homes partners with Lightstream to offer financing to their customers.
Tiny Hamptons LLC
Run by husband and wife duo Mark and Jessica Dunkirk, Tiny Hamptons LLC is based out of the popular Long Island area. The two of them have worked with many clients since their company’s inception in 2016, creating unique areas for tiny homes, pool houses, sheds, and even mobile business offices. Building spaces that are both beautiful and functional is their primary driving factor for their business.
One of the great things about Tiny Hamptons is their ability to work with customers who would prefer to do most of the work themselves.
They have recently started to offer their own tiny house shells in two separate packages.
The first package includes a custom-built trailer with floor insulation, subflooring, and 2×4 framing that is already wrapped. Pricing for this type of shell ranges from $13,000 for a 16-foot trailer to $19,000 for a 28-foot trailer. Additional trailer sizes are available upon request.
The second type of package adds a few more features than their first offering by including windows and metal roofing. Pricing is a little more expensive to add these features with a 16-foot trailer costing roughly $19,000 and a 28-foot trailer coming in around $31,000. They can do other trailer sizes on this type of shell as well.
Their primary specialty is in custom tiny homes that are catered toward each client’s individual needs.
They do offer a rental program where potential partners can install a tiny home on their land for use as a rental property through Airbnb. The property is supplied by Tiny Hamptons free of charge, and they will decide which unit is the right fit for your property.
Partners earn 35 percent of the revenue from rentals minus any booking or credit card fees.
Bear Creek Tiny Houses
Bear Creek Tiny Houses have been offering quality carpentry services to the Adirondack areas since 1991.
While their jump to tiny houses has been a bit newer, they have plenty of years of experience working with homeowners on custom projects.
They have a large list of services that position them as one of the leading carpentry companies in the New York area, including:
- Cabin building
- Complete homes
- Rustic furnishings
- Custom log work
- Site development
- Alternative fuel sources
Their alternative fuel sourcing is of particular interest to tiny home enthusiasts because it can allow them to take their house off-grid.
Bear Creek is extremely experienced with working in remote locations where the standard hookups are not an option. Instead, they rely on wind, solar, or hydro systems.
Their latest addition, the Windspire Vertical Wind Turbine, has a very small footprint and stands less than forty feet tall. This allows it to be acceptable to the Adirondack Park Agency. Of course, they can also customize a package that allows you to remain comfortably off-grid. Other features that they can add to your home include composting toilets, gravity-fed water systems, propane lighting and refrigeration, and more.
They offer five different model homes for you to choose from.
Of course, DIY builders should also research Bear Creek Tiny Houses for their educational program. They teach a variety of skills, including plumbing, using the CAD program, and shingling to further their students’ knowledge of the construction process. Many students feel equipped to build their own tiny homes after attending this course.
Willowbee Tiny Homes
Like many tiny house companies, Willowbee is family-owned and operated by a husband and wife team. Their family truly embodies the tiny home lifestyle, effortlessly fitting themselves and their four children into a 700 square foot home. They believe in the movement to live within their means and to be responsible for their impact on the earth. This is what led them to found Willowbee in 2017.
Willowbee has a combined experience of more than fifteen years in the construction industry.
When building your new tiny home, they do their best to source all materials locally.
Reclaimed materials are incorporated into the design of the home whenever it is feasible. While you can opt for a custom design, they do have five flexible models to choose from as a baseline.
You can choose from several different types of builds, depending on what you hope to accomplish with your tiny home:
- Tiny house on wheels
- Permanent structure builds
- Movable on skids
- Finishing an existing structure
- Small space renovations
Of course, you can also purchase just the shell for your new tiny home. They encourage DIY homeowners to do as much of the work as possible. Whether you want to run your electric or simply paint the walls on your own, they can create a custom shell that matches up with your skillset.
Financing is offered through Lightstream for projects up to $100,000 and terms up to 84 months.
Based in the busy heart of New York City, SAAT Homes is another family-owned and operated business that aims to give financial freedom back to its customers. They believe that there needs to be a revolution with alternative housing to help fight against the rising cost of homes and the flood of debt that most people find themselves trapped in. In other words, there needs to be some major revisions to the standard American dream.
Their building process is a little different than some of the other popular builders.
SAAT Homes focus on building tiny homes that take up little space on the ground floor but extend upwards like the skyscrapers of the Big Apple.
Their current house is one of the tallest two-story tiny homes on wheels. It comes in at 17 feet tall when elevated and 12.5 feet tall when lowered.
Pricing for this current house is a little more expensive than some other tiny home builders. It comes in at $125,000. The patent for the model they are selling is also pending so that they can continue to create more models like this one.
If you think that you might be interested in learning more about the tiny house movement and what it takes to build your own, then you should plan on attending their Tiny Talks session. They offer meeting times, six days a week for $15 per person. Groups receive a $5 per person discount. If you come in with just one other person, the price drops to $10 each.
Building your own tiny home can be an exciting process, but you want to make sure that your builder is a good fit for your vision.
Look for a builder whose vision and budget aligns with your own.
There are many excellent tiny house construction companies in New York, but these top builders are a great starting point!
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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.