Whether you’ve decided to build one to reduce your environmental impact, to embrace the serenity of a simpler lifestyle, or to finally own a home in a skyrocketing real estate market, there’s a tiny home kit for you. They come in a range of styles and prices to fit any budget and skill level.
Prefabricated kits will likely be more expensive than building from scratch, but may be easier for those with time and skill level constraints. Keep in mind that the price you pay for the kit does not include additional costs for the project. Budget in mind extra expenses like electric and water connections, tools to rent or buy, and professionals you might need to assist you. Prices reflect company postings on their websites as of February 2020.
Constructing one of these outbuildings on your property may require consulting with your local building authority. Do your research before diving into one of these investments.
Just the Basics
A shipping container is one of the easiest methods of creating a tiny home. Mods International based in Wisconsin is one company among many that can help you design, customize, and transport this type of home to your property. Homes are typically between 100-500 square feet and can be designed with unique space saving features to suit your lifestyle. The company inspects each unit to ensure it's free from toxins or hazardous contaminants. Cost per square foot is dependent on the customization, but the company website claims each one is built to specifications of the International Building Code, and are fully insulated against heat and cold.
Your DIY skills will come into play when building the concrete foundation which can be either full concrete or raised on concrete pier supports. And depending on the customization, can also allow you to incorporate your skills via space saving cabinets, installing solar panels, furniture, or smart home hookups. You might want to add some special features to this tiny home to really turn it into something to sing about.
The Hobbit Hole
Green Magic Homes offers prefabricated modules that are efficient, eco-friendly, quick to assemble, and cute as hell. This tiny one bedroom/one bath home is a hair over 400 square feet, with a lush green roof designed to integrate with the surroundings and bring you closer to the natural world which keeps this small space insulated and comfortable. The weight of the roof will require the skills of an engineering professional and isn’t a job you want to do wrong.
Prior to installation determine whether or not your location can support the weight of the home, if excavation is needed, and how you'll access water and electricity. Costs add up quickly when going deep with excavation, with some estimates coming in at over $100 per square foot, but despite this being on of the pricier options, it may be worth it to be able to live in a cool hole in the ground unlike the rest of your neighbors.
The Vermont Cottage
Jamaica Cottages offers builds at different stages to suit your DIY skill. You can takeover construction from just the frame, or request a fully assembled house. The basic Vermont A design without all the bells and whistles can run from $10,000 to $15,000.
The Tiny Heirloom
At the Tiny Heirloom company, models can be built on trailers so you can take your home with you wherever you go. You can purchase a shell package which comes with everything you need to complete the project. They also offer a selection of used tiny homes if you’d rather go that route. The company delivers, sets up and levels the area for installation. They will also set up power and check that all systems are up and running properly. A basic frame kit are on the higher end, priced from $15,000 for an 18 foot trailer, to $23,000 for a 30 foot trailer.
These cabins remind us of modified Quonset huts or airplane hangars. Arched Cabins don't vary much in style offerings, but we love the simple curves of these multi-purpose units which can be used as your tiny home, or turned into a potting shed, a steam room, or guest house. They come in a variety of sizes and start at $2,880 for a 144 square feet of space. These units cannot be built on wheels nor do they come with electric or plumbing hardware, so if you don’t have these skills, add professional installation to the cost of the final project—or recruit some handy friends with the proper know-how.
The Shelter Kit company has been around for 49 years and offers several popular designs under 600 square feet priced between $14,000 to over $30,000. Windows and doors are not included in the base price, and they do not cut siding to size. You’ll have to do that yourself when it's time to build.
These multi-purpose structures aren't strictly for tiny living. Design one for a tiny getaway when you need a little you time, where you can get your meditation on.