The tiny house movement has been gaining traction since the 1980s but has really taken off in the past decade. Tiny homes on average cost one-fifth of what a traditional home costs to build. And if you look at the sky-high cost of building materials and real estate right now, tiny homes are probably more attractive than ever.
If your lifestyle or your target market for real estate investors is well-suited to small-space living, you can build a brand-new tiny home for an average of just $60,000. There are a plethora of options when it comes to tiny homes, with everything from a DIY kit to a fully finished tiny home on a permanent foundation.
Here are our top picks for the best tiny home builders to start you off in your journey to affordable, sustainable living.
Best tiny home builders by building approach
Best truly portable tiny house: Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses
Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses is a builder that specializes in a tiny house trailer that is street legal and easily towable. Many tiny homes, while technically moveable, require special permitting if oversized or are considerably heavier for towing, making it inefficient to do so. They may not be as "big" in square feet as other tiny homes, but if you're looking to regularly travel with your tiny home, this builder is for you.
Best permanent-foundation tiny house: Cornerstone Tiny Homes
Cornerstone Tiny Homes is a builder that basically builds a small house that's placed on a permanent foundation. Most tiny homes are designed to be moveable, whether easy to move or not, because of less restrictive building codes. This builder took the time to get their floor plan approved for building codes in their state, so as long as you are in compliance with your zoning laws, you can truly make your tiny home dreams come true. They have a floor plan for almost every need, and while still small enough to be a tiny house, they are really able to achieve a high quality of living with their floor plans and designs.
Best DIY tiny house: Shelter Wise
A tiny house builder will typically offer custom designs along with their standard designs, but not many specialize in giving you the plans to build it out yourself. Shelter Wise provides floor plans and blueprints for their design, which can be purchased at a flat rate and then built by your builder of choice or by yourself. That way, you can utilize the expertise in layout built up from years of experience without the price tag associated with a move-in-ready tiny home. This is a great option for those who have reasonable construction skills and the time available to devote to the project or for those who are looking to slowly work on the project over time.
Best luxury tiny house: New Frontier Design
New Frontier Design makes tiny living feel glamorous. This high-end builder creates a sophisticated, clean look with extra attention to all the details of the interior design. Think a full-size chef's kitchen and dining room table for a feels-like-normal living area, with a king bed in the master sleeping area and a walk-in closet. Never thought that description would go with a tiny home, right? Their homes cost more than average, but you're getting the high-quality materials and design that go along with it.
Best off-grid tiny house: Tiny Heirloom
Tiny Heirloom is a tiny homebuilder that creates custom tiny homes, all of which can have the capability of being off-grid. Different locations have different living conditions, which is why getting a custom off-grid tiny house design can be so beneficial. If you're in Florida, you'll be dealing with humid heat; in Arizona, with dry heat. Building a home for off-grid living can utilize what is available, whether it's solar panels from sunshine or a turbine for windy areas. You can add solar panels, a composting toilet, or any other feature you need for your off-grid tiny house so that it's well-suited to the environment you will be living in.
Best LEED-certified tiny house: Wheelhaus
Wheelhaus is a tiny homebuilder that offers four LEED-certified tiny homes, which are accredited with having high water and energy conservation, sustainable building materials and construction, and a superior indoor environment. Their homes range from $109,500 up to $174,500 for base models. You can visit their Fireside Resort tiny house community in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to try before you buy. With a warm, modern vibe, they can be a great option for someone who is looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
The Millionacres bottom line
With so many options out there, finding the best tiny home builders can be overwhelming. Though these are small homes, they can still have a ton of personality and functionality. You can create a tiny cabin on your vacation property, build a rental community of industrial container homes, or travel the country full time in a towable tiny home.
Whether you're looking into tiny homes as an investment or looking for more affordable living, this list of the top six tiny homebuilders will help you find the right tiny homebuilder for your needs.