Tiny House Nightmare
Kate Benediktsson

Abe and Kate bought their tiny home using the “Cost Plus” option in our contract, whereby they agreed to pay $117,000 for a 33ft tiny home, extensive solar package, composting toilet and new Tesla battery, then pay separately for specialty upgrades, add-ons and custom features. As expected, Abe and Kate requested many upgrades and custom features. These upgrades and custom features, such as a gourmet Wolf Cooktop, a retro BigChill fridge, a $6000 accordion style LaCatina window door (for which we charged them only $3000 in order to stay within their budget), extra skylights, custom moving wall and bunkbed system, custom off-grid A/C system, and more, totaled $23,000 which they were aware of and approved, in writing, along the way. The clients were invoiced for this amount in September 2015 after their tiny home was completed and delivered but they made no formal complaint until February 2016, when they were asked a third time, more pressingly, to pay the bill as it was far past due.

Upon delivery and set up of the tiny home, the tongue jack handle broke. This item is covered by our warranty. We told Abe and Kate that we would pay for a new tongue jack and all installation costs — and we still stand by this. However, they rejected our help and the replacement tongue jack. They then shut off all communication with us after we asked them to pay the remaining balance for the upgrades they ordered.

We do not understand Abe and Kate’s statement that they have never spent a night in the tiny home. We are not aware of any issues whatsoever that would have prevented them from living in the tiny house. In fact, they told us that they had a professional contractor come inspect the tiny house shortly after we delivered it to their property. The contractor reported that it was build extremely well and is structurally sound. If they truly have not lived in the tiny house, that is a matter of their personal choice, not anything to do with the tiny home.

Lastly, we only give rough estimates of the finished weight due to the nature of customizing a tiny home. This particular tiny house ended up at 19,000 pounds, which, due to all the special features and upgrades, was 2000 pounds over what we originally estimated. The truck we recommended, and that the clients told us they had ordered, a Dodge Ram 3500 Diesel Dually fully equipped with towing packages, is what we often use to tow our bigger tiny houses. According to Dodge, this vehicle, properly equipped, can pull up to 30,660 pounds with its most basic “trim” package. Clearly the truck they “ordered” is more than capable to pull this tiny house. We used a substantially less powerful truck to pull this tiny house from our facility to Abe and Kate’s property without incident.

In short, we stand behind our finished product and we have gone above and beyond all of our obligations and promises to these clients. We also stand by our warranty and the simple repairs we have told them we would do, and still will do, without cost to them. Their “review” appears to be a pre-emptive strike by clients who are trying to avoid paying what they owe.

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