How It Works

An Outline of the Typical Design and Purchase Process

  1. Free consultation — Call (415) 233-0423 to arrange a complimentary one hour design session to get the answers to your all your questions. We can arrange an online conference.
  2. Visit — Stop by our display yard at 1840 Petaluma Boulevard North, Petaluma, CA 94975 or visit us online.
  3. Site Review — We visit your property to review project feasibility. With your permission, we can also do preliminary site reviews online.
  4. Blueprints — One on one client interaction is the backbone of our design process. Together we’ll create your vision from the floor plan down to the finishes.
  5. Construction — We send the final plans to our factory where your little house is built to your exact specifications.
  6. Delivery — We roll your new home on to your property. The house can stay on wheels or be installed on a foundation.


Architectural Design and Planning Services — Hourly Rate


Preliminary Research Package — $400

We offer permit and installation cost research for $400 which is refundable with your order of a house.

    We determine the zoning for:

  • Your property
  • The setbacks from your property lines
  • The cost of a building permit
  • Cost of building transportation
  • The requirements and costs for hookup to septic or sewer
  • Water district hookup fee
  • Fire department requirements
  • Fees and installation estimates

This report will give you information you can use to determine the feasibility of your project.

Pricing Your Little House on the Trailer: A Guide

One of our most frequently asked questions is “What are the associated costs we can expect in addition to the cost of the house?” Although permitting, utilities and transportation fees vary by location, we’ve put together a guide of itemized fees to help you estimate the total cost of a new unit:

Base price: Base prices shown on our website do not include tax, transportation or set up costs. We can quote those costs once we have made a site visit. Base price info can be found on the Plans page.

Upgrades: Base prices shown reflect the most economical option in every area of the house. While clients can choose to pay the base price, they typically elect upgrades totaling $4,000 to $8,000.

Transportation: The cost to transport a Little House from our site in Petaluma to your property costs approximately $5 per mile, with a minimum charge of $1,000. This fee includes the truck, truck driver and wide load permits. For long-distance clients we typically utilize factories nearest to you – contact Stephen for an estimate.

Assembly: Although all floor plans shown on our website and showroom are single-wide units that are delivered in one piece and do not require assembly, many clients inquire about double-wide units. The cost to assemble a double-wide unit is approximately $10,000.

Site Work: Site work costs approximately $5,000, and includes sewer, water and electrical hookups. Administrative utilities fees are determined by local agencies.

Building Permits: Building permit costs vary depending on county and city, and are generally in the range of $3,000 to $5,000.

Stephen Marshall, owner and designer, can provide a more accurate estimate based on your location. During the building process, he can also fill out the required forms and contact the appropriate city officials to obtain building permits. For any questions regarding permitting or pricing, we recommend you take advantage of Little House on the Trailer’s free one-hour design consultation with Stephen. Call (415) 233-0423 or email to schedule an appointment today.



We can generally design, develop and deliver your project in as little as six weeks from the time of contract signing. Contrast this with a conventional remodeling project – which typically involves building permits, shopping for contractors, and or architects and engineers, compounded by the delays associated with the bureaucratic process.


Visiting the Display Yard

Guided tours of our display models are available every Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and our open house host, Katy Remley, is available to answer questions. Our showroom is also open for self-guided tours on weekdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm – call in advance to arrange a tour.  Visit our showroom.


Design: In Collaboration with Our Clients

Little House on the Trailer offers a free first hour of design consultation with owner and designer Stephen Marshall. Call (415) 233-0423 to arrange an appointment today! Note that each hour after the first is $50, which is refunded in full when an order is placed.

One-on-one  design with clients is the backbone of our custom design process here at Little House on the Trailer. Everything from roof pitch to floor plans and window and door selection is subject to the client’s needs and inclinations. Stephen responds to client input directly, without imposing a singular aesthetic, so the results become more and more varied as the portfolio of Little Houses on the Trailer grows. The product’s development is always being forwarded by the buyers: Their strong presence in the design and development process is perpetually refueling Little House on the Trailer with new ideas and inspiration. 



Financing for our HUD approved manufactured homes is available from US Financial Network.


Site feasibility and Location on Your Site

Steve visits your site in order to review the feasibility of delivery and installation, and to assist in specifying the exact site location on your property. We have installed our Little Houses in very challenging settings: Hills, fences, gates, and existing trees etc. should not be assumed to be an impediment to delivery and location without a site visit. The Little House on the Trailer works closely with highly qualified and licensed movers and installers with years of experience moving and locating homes and trailers. Clients may also be asked to assist in the location of their existing septic, water, electrical service etc.

The charge for a site visit is $50/hr plus travel time, which is refunded in full when you place an order.