Why My Builder of Choice Is Tiny Diamond Homes?
Rose, Tiny Diamond Homes's most recent build, is my family's shelter. We are set to take delivery of her later this week. Today I am sharing with you why I chose Tiny Diamond Homes as my builder and why I think you should, too.
For well over a decade, one man and his company dominated the modern tiny house scene in United States. We old-timers know his name and the name of the company he started. His homes were initially all of 99-120 square feet. The early models did not even have running water in the kitchen. Clearly, an electric clothes washer was out of the question. His brand was not the only game in town, but it was definitely the most well-known brand around. Sleek marketing triumphs again. Decision made. I WOULD own one.
Fast forward to 2015. My long term plan meant bupkis to life and the series of curveballs it threw me. Suddenly, my timeline for downsizing my dwelling was moved up 5 years. The aforementioned man and company now had numerous competitors. On top of that, he no longer ran the company he had founded. I hadn't had cable tv since back when it was actually called cable tv so I was completely taken aback by the number of tiny home builders that had sprung up since 2013 alone. I waded through research on 50 companies just to narrow my search down to 10 builders that I wanted to seriously investigate. (Tiny Diamond Homes did not initially make the cut, BTW.) And the tv shows! Who has time to keep up with the Kardashians when there is so much reality tv (an oxymoron if ever there was one) about owners and builders of tiny dwellings. It seemed my path towards self-sufficiency was beset with more hangers-on and freeloaders than the parking lot scene at a late '80s Dead show. I was back to square one on research about builders and myriad other topics like RVIA certified builds, insurance coverage, city codes, permits and parking. Thank God and Al Gore for the World Wide Web.
I began to have misgivings about buying an RVIA certified home around April 2016. A certified RVIA means that the tech uses straps to attach the structure to the trailer. The good news is that I could buy RV insurance. The bad news is...well, straps? Really? The insurance and RV industries define an RV as short term, temporary shelter. Uh oh. Rose is not short term or temporary. She is the last house I intend to buy in my life so no RVIA abodes for me. Even though small home insurance is available in Texas, I did my homework and planned a presentation to pitch the idea to my longtime traditional insurance company. My agent may have required copious photos of the build and they certainly would have wanted the cold, hard facts about building materials and the structural integrity of my house. So remember when I said Tiny Diamond Homes did not make my top 10 list? I had not liked the siding on their previous builds and their website was not as user friendly as it is now. I remembered their words about structural integrity and superior craftsmanship though. So I gave Cheryl a call and quizzed her about specifics. In other words, I was gonna pick her brain, tell my insurance company what they wanted to hear and then find another builder because I still did not like the aesthetics of Tiny Diamond Homes's builds. She spent a good 20 minutes on the phone teaching me about the finer points that set Tiny Diamond Homes apart from other builders. Here they are...
- Egress from all sleeping areas and lofts in case of fire
- Their houses contain a sub floor--they don't build right on top of a trailer like a lot of the tv shows do.
- No straps here-- Tiny Diamond Homes attaches the structure to their patent-pending trailer with 10 inch bolts every 16 inches.
- They prefer to put the exterior door on the long side of the house instead of the short end. It is not logical to put the biggest opening on the smallest wall. I believe she called it sheer.
- They use only quality trailers that are built to carry the weight and provide road clearance. My trailer carries 18,000 pounds and is weighted for 12,000 on the tongue. The trailer alone weighs about 4600 pounds.
- They install a forced air return in each home plus a heavy duty exhaust fan in the bath.
- They only use vented appliances.
- Steve Coates is a licensed general contractor with over 30 years’ experience. To me, one guy with 30 years under his belt is better than 3-4 guys with a combined total of 30 years of experience no matter how old the guys are.
- They admire the concept of up cycling furniture, but will not do it unless the buyer proves there is no lead paint, black mold or asbestos. In other words, Tiny Diamond Homes builds structurally sound houses, not toxic boxes on wheels.
I mulled things over for a couple of days while I perused their website some more. This time I ignored the absence of bling on their site and read with an open heart, instead of just my eyes. I encourage you to do the same even if you don't like their past builds. Here's why...Steve and Cheryl have a social conscience that matches mine. How do I know? Steve believes in mentoring and uses every build as an opportunity to train others. He especially likes teaching and working with returning vets. He and Cheryl are actively working towards development and construction of a tiny home community for our vets. It is one thing to say you support vets with a bumper sticker made in China. It is on a whole other realm to put blood, sweat and tears into supporting our returning vets. Steve and Cheryl walk the walk instead of talking the talk. In fact, they don't talk much at all because they are busy working. Did you know that they hire employees, not independent contractors? They sacrifice $3000 per month so that their full-time employees are covered by unemployment insurance and workman's comp. A host of other CEOs don't give a flying red rat's behind about people and choose to pocket the 3 grand for themselves. I was hooked and I feel grateful I found Tiny Diamond Homes.
I carried the vision for my home in my heart and Tiny Diamond Homes made it a reality. Thank you, Steve and Cheryl!
Susan, thank you for being the first to share your experience with us in writing! Thank you for being you and may you enjoy your home as long as you live and may it continue to sparkle for the generations beyond!!!! Hugs, Cheryl Coates