Tiny homes are a movement that lasted a lot longer than most of us expected. It seems the crash of the housing market combined with the desire to live more simply has given people an opportunity to question what they really need. Tiny homes have gone through a myriad of changes and improvements, pushing the definition of a tiny home in both directions. Some of them are made from stone, but a large number of them are built out of wood. However, the best material to build tiny homes out of by far is metal. Our metal is 26 gauge steel that can be insulated easily, and configured in any number of custom methods to allow for whatever additions you want to include in the prefab metal building. The building pictured on the left has custom frame-outs for the door and windows, and a custom porch built by the customer. The porch roof is also after market, but we can work with you to give you dimensions in preparation for purchasing materials.
Installation and Initial Cost
One of the best parts about buying a structure from Elephant Structures is the free installation and delivery. We want to make the process as easy on you as we can, and installation of a tiny home is one of the most difficult parts. Picking in an installation site is up to you, but we can’t install on un-level ground and it may benefit you greatly to install a concrete pad for a foundation. We also have no problem installing on wood, and will bring the corresponding anchors at no extra charge as long as you let us know in advance. If we install on wood, you’re wood floors will be ready day one. We don’t include any sort of extra cost estimate, but you can get quotes after you have the dimensions of your custom metal building from each respective utility and custom component company to factor the total cost before you purchase. If you have some questions about the best way to get utilities and some budgetary analysis for the services we don’t offer than check here for plumbing, and here for electricity.
If some of the tiny homes you’ve seen feel cramped, we have highly scalable sizes. Some of the buildings in the movement seem to be tailored towards being as small as possible, as if somehow the smaller they are the more respected they are in the philosophy of tiny homes. With the best laid out floor plans, sometimes you need more than 200 sq ft. Efficacy is key here, but if you need space for two people or perhaps more you may want to go with a slightly bigger house. Our buildings are very scalable, with the smallest building being a 10′ Wide x 10′ Long x 5′ High, and the highest being commercial framed 100′ long buildings at 14′ tall. We also have lean-to options in case you want to install a separate room or two for compartmentalization, like a bathroom or storage closet. Storage is the most important thing to consider when building a tiny house. You have to be very conscious of what will be in your house at any given time, and take into consideration that you may acquire some extra items over time. Multi-purpose furniture is something that has been sweeping through Europe in recent years with places like IKEA bringing it to the United States. Having multi-purpose furniture is the second best method to saving space for storage, the best method is to have more space. Obviously.
Thinking about storage space and floor plans leads to a necessary question, how customizable are our buildings? The answer is highly. We mentioned sizes above, but we also have custom frame-out options and three different style of roofs. The regular style roof is the most basic, and the boxed eave is the next, the vertical style roof is our premium option which we highly recommend for these buildings. The vertical roof comes with a hat channel which greatly improves the strength of the roof. It also is best for drainage, which is more important if you plan on living in the structure than it would be if you were only using for storage. We can install walls inside with frame-outs as well which is a great way to have more compartmentalized space and perhaps keep your floor plan open and flowing with foot traffic.
Information and Insulation
The best method for insulating your tiny house is to use our vapor seal insulation along with a local contractor who has the spray foam insulation. It’s relatively inexpensive and can be done in an afternoon on a regular sized house, so a tiny house insulation install will be very quick. If you have questions about what you should install call in for a free consultation. Our building experts can explain the rating system we use for our insulation and how the foam insulation (most of it used by contractors) rates against that. You need more than the vapor seal but it helps your building from sweating in the summer.
Do it yourself
Building your own tiny house can add a lot of options for customization and oversight that you may desire to have. We understand the reasoning in doing this and we also offer DIY kits. You can customize your kit as much as you want, and can also purchase extra sheeting if you wish to install your porch like the building pictured at the top. We also offer a discount for kit prices. The buildings are not extremely difficult to build, but we do suggest calling in a few favors to have some friends come over and help you erect your structure.
Building Codes And Permits
The strangeness about tiny houses if you choose to use them as your primary house, then you have to put it on a trailer in order to classify it as a mobile home. We will do custom installations on trailers if the dimensions are correct, and you can discuss that with your building advisor when you call in to purchase your DIY kit or building. The best thing to do when getting a tiny house is to call your county and find what your building codes and loadings are. They very, and are location specific due to zoning. If your county has an ADU (accessory dwelling unit) zone than you’ll have no problem putting your tiny house on a trailer there.