Is it Smart to Buy a Tiny House Shell?

Is it Smart to Buy a Tiny House Shell?

Taking the leap to build or buy a tiny house takes a great deal of research to begin with. It’s often a fun process with a steep learning curve and lots of optimism. DIY (do-it-yourself) tiny house builders will tell you what they would have done differently, and for some that’s hiring out parts of the build that were especially challenging, stressful, or should be left to the professionals. 

Depending on past experience, some DIY builders are the most concerned about framing their tiny house correctly and with structural integrity, or installing windows properly. Sometimes the electric and plumbing is a step where safety is of the utmost importance. This is also why having a company like NOAH inspecting each step of the build and ultimately certifying it means that the build was done correctly and up to safe building standards.


Many builders either sell tiny house shells or are open to building to a specific point in the build that their customers would like. Having a tiny house shell professionally built means that the structure, windows, roofing, flashing, house wrap etc. are complete, which can jumpstart the entire build process. If the builder is a member of NOAH then the inspection and certification can be transferred and continued with the DIY builder. 

Often a tiny house shell includes the structure, windows and doors, roofing, siding, and can also come with the electric, plumbing, and insulation done. This means that the DIY builder can completely customize the interior while integrating personal and sentimental items or reclaimed materials to have the exact desired aesthetic. 

Purchasing a tiny house shell is a great way to compromise with a tight budget by saving on labor and material costs for the second half of the build. Starting with a shell can shorten the building timeline, add peace of mind knowing that the structural aspects of the house were done correctly, and also gain some experience and satisfaction of building parts yourself. 


Building any size home from scratch is a huge undertaking. It’s like a million small projects in one. For some the entire process is very exciting and the motivation to get through the project is there, and for others it’s not. It’s difficult to keep up the stamina throughout the build of a tiny home when working full time or building on your own. Many people have done it successfully, but if you think you might want a leg up, then starting out with a tiny house shell may be a perfect option. 

Written by Isabelle Nagel-Brice of A Tiny Good Thing