Hi I am Robin Butler, President and CEO of NOAH. I come from a family of 9 children and therefore have always hated waste. I find furniture that has been thrown out to repurpose in rentals, I eat food past the sell by date if it looks and smells good, I drive a 2004 pickup truck, and live in a modest home I built myself.
I bought my first home at 22 years old and had it paid off in 5 years with a wife and two small children in tow. I have been a millionaire twice and broke three times. I have also lived in my truck (while assisting hurricane victims in rebuilding their homes); in fixer uppers, a warehouse twice, and a 155 sq.ft. Tiny House with my wife and two dogs while we built our current home.
I have been in business building and developing houses for 40+ years. I have designed and built new homes, added to existing homes and rehabbed homes from the ground up. With my background, I felt I could best serve the Tiny House movement by filling a void and providing an inspection service that holds safety as its highest priority.
Here is how NOAH became The Original National Inspection Company for Tiny Houses on Wheels!
So, in the summer 2015, I towed my first Tiny House on Wheels to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get a title. It was such a novelty; the employees came out to see the ‘phenomenon’, the downsizing uprising had begun. After much deliberation, they gave me a title for an ‘Assembled from Parts’ Travel Trailer. However, I was told by the DMV employee “This is the last one we can do like this, you will need to become a licensed manufacturer.”
As I began an investigation into my options I found RVIA however, the company was beginning to push back on certifying any Tiny Houses as an RV. RVs are intended for temporary use only, like weekend camping. That was not what most Tiny House owners needed, as they live in their Tiny Homes full-time.
I felt there might be other builders looking for direction. What I found was that many builders were just building Tiny Homes as they saw fit. Some were longtime home builders and general contractors, yet many were first time home builders with little or no construction experience. I was concerned that the builds might not be ‘done right’ and something could blow off going down the highway on one of these homes! This was a safety issue that needed addressed immediately before anyone got hurt. An unfortunate byproduct of such an issue would be the government stepping in and regulating Tiny House builds. The movement needed to self-regulate before something like this happened. I saw a void in the Tiny House movement and I could not find anyone else stepping up to the plate to help the Tiny House Community ensure safer builds.
So, I decided to move NOAH in the direction of this void. First step was to assemble an efficient team. In doing so I was fortunate enough to find talent in my own family, of which three generations currently work here at NOAH. Second step was meeting weekly to address the issue. The next thing needed was building standards. We selected nationally recognized Life Safety and Fire Safety Standards from the RV industry as well as Energy and Construction Standards from the home building industry, to build and inspect to.
Then we needed a way to inspect the home that would serve our builders. The home might be located in a factory or a backyard anywhere in the US or Canada. What we ended up with is an inspection system where our builder/members pledge to build to the NOAH Standard. They download an app to a smart device and our inspectors from behind a computer screen perform a live stream inspection with video, photos and notes. Once the Tiny House has passed all five inspections (which are voluntary for any Builder, Manufacturer, School or DIYer), the builder receives a certificate and a seal that is affixed to the home. The digitized inspection is stored securely. The address is copied to the builders file under the VIN and the seal number is for use by the authorities having jurisdiction (insurers, lenders, future owners or municipalities). Some are already choosing the NOAH inspection method! (Paradise by the Sea)
Our goal is to be as prepared as possible by inspecting to multiple codes in the NOAH Standard. Therefore, when a county or city municipality says they will allow Tiny Homes in; NOAH Certified Tiny Homes anticipate being grandfathered in because the building department can verify the digitized inspection and see how the home was built.
Here at NOAH we ‘Promote Freedom to Live’, we ensure a quality-built home while embracing the creativeness and financial freedom that Tiny Living provides.
My sincerest wish is that NOAH continues to utilize our current platform in the Tiny House Industry to set the standard and assist in that process. As standards change, we will inspect to any new criteria because our business is ever-evolving to ensure compliance with all relevant building codes. Until then, we will continue to perfect our inspection process and serve the Tiny House movement. I hope you enjoyed learning about the origins of our company, I delight in sharing our story, it gives Tiny House enthusiasts the reason behind the conception of NOAH.
From the desk of,