Falling in Love With the Real Deal - Signs of a High-Quality Tiny House/Cottage Builder

Jul 20, 2022
Woman in the kitchen of a tiny house

Signs of a High-Quality Tiny House/Cottage Builder


They may be *tiny* cottages/homes, but the movement behind them is huge- and growing every day! Since we opened our doors at Teacup in 2016,  we have seen a ton of builders flock to the scene, but while we’re excited to have a little healthy competition, we’ve noticed that not all builders are created equal!  


Here at Teacup, we are committed to educating the consumer. We’re not interested in making a quick buck or handing you the keys to your tiny cottage and disappearing from the scene. Instead, we want to give you the tools to make your own best choices. That’s why we are dedicating today’s blog to reviewing some signs of a high-quality tiny cottage builder. The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be to keep yourself out of trouble!


So without further ado, here are some promising signs that your tiny cottage builder knows what they’re doing!

Tiny home under construction

Your tiny home/ cottage comes with a certification.


Once upon a time, tiny-world was the Wild West! Most builds did not come with certifications, and no one was asking to see them. But that was once upon a time. As tiny dwellings become increasingly legalized, government agencies, insurance companies, and the like will need standards by which to judge the soundness of such structures. This is why certifications will likely become evermore critical as time goes on.


Certifications speak to the fact that your tiny cottage was well-built. 

They prove that you’ve had a high-quality second-set-of-eyes look things over. This practice not only ensures your safety in the structure, but as we said before, the resulting cert will likely give you more leg to stand on as the movement progresses. So please don’t buy a tiny cottage without one! You can learn more about Teacup’s certifications here.

Your tiny cottage has appropriate moisture-proofing.


The tiny cottage industry is still largely unregulated, and unfortunately, that means there are builders out there who are not following through on best building practices.


You don’t need to become a building expert to buy a tiny cottage, but it’s a good idea to have a few questions on hand to help you evaluate the person who will be building yours! One place to start is to ask a builder how they handle moisture.


If moisture isn’t kept in check, you could have a mold problem before you know it! Here at Teacup, we take multiple precautions against moisture issues, but we’ll start by telling you about our building envelope.


The building envelope is the separation between the inside and the outside of your tiny cottage. It’s super important that this space be made of breathable wall assemblies so that moisture doesn’t gather. Remember, you don’t need to become a building expert yourself; we’re only telling you about this so that you know how to ask good questions. If you ask about building envelopes or breathable wall assemblies and a builder is like, uhhhh, then that’s your queue to leave!


The use of window flashing is another good sign that your builder is on top of things! Window flashing is added around window frames to direct water down and away from structures. It’s required by residential code, but that doesn’t mean all tiny cottage builders use it! Teacup tiny cottages are built to meet (and sometimes exceed!) residential building code, so you will never see a Teacup without window flashing.

portico over the door of a Tiny home

Your tiny cottage was built to make parking easier.


Want to know how to spot a quality tiny cottage builder quickly? Ask how they’ve built their dwellings to make parking them easier! Finding parking for your tiny cottage can sometimes be a bit tricky, and that’s why a quality tiny cottage builder will do everything they can to mitigate this problem for you from the get-go! 


We build Teacups with 50 amp panels. Why? Because it’s the most power we could include while also giving you a great shot at finding parking! Inexperienced builders will sometimes use 100 amp panels and then go on about all the cool appliances their tiny cottage can power, but here’s the problem: 100 amp power sources are hard to come by, not to mention, do not comply with safety standards.  So that’s why we give you a 50 amp panel. And yes, you can still have a washing machine!


Speaking of parking, here’s another thing you’ll want to ask tiny home builders about: toilets. Many builders will install a regular toilet without a second thought, but this is not (necessarily!) a great idea. Here’s why.  

toilet in the bathroom of a Tiny home

Traditional toilets produce blackwater (in layman’s terms, that is poo-water), and blackwater has to go into a sewer or septic system. Unfortunately, not many properties have extra septic systems or sewer taps lying around, and both options can be expensive to install. This is why a composting toilet could be the best option for you.  


Composting toilets take blackwater out of the equation, which means you will have many more parking options. You could also have increased resale value, but that’s another blog post! If you want to learn more about your toilet and appliance options (and how they will affect the cost of your build), you can check out our Teacup estimate builder here!

Your builder wants to support your entire tiny journey.

woman in kitchen of a Tiny home

A tiny cottage is a big investment, so it’s imperative that your tiny cottage builder be as invested in you as you are in their product! 


Remember when we said we weren’t here to just hand you the keys and disappear from the scene? Yeah, we meant that. Our team at Teacup wants to ensure you have support from the beginning of your tiny journey to, well, the end of time! When you choose Teacup, you are with us for life! And that’s not just something we say! In fact, here’s how we back it up. 


First, we write this blog because we want you to go tiny with confidence. Second, we have an online project management app to better communicate with you throughout the build. We want to hold ourselves accountable and keep everyone’s brain straight! Third, we just launched The Teacup Academy, an online portal where you can learn about your tiny cottage, get support during the setup process, and learn how to maintain your Teacup over time. See? We told you we wouldn’t just hand you the keys!




Our team at Teacup knows you have a lot of choices when it comes to selecting a tiny home/ cottage builder, and we are honored that you are taking the time to get to know us!


If you’re just starting your tiny journey, you can follow us on Instagram or subscribe to this blog to learn more! Or, if you’re ready to get going on the Teacup of your dreams, you can book a Discovery Call here.  


Thanks for joining us, and we’ll see you soon!


Until then,