Wednesday, 3 August 2016


Top tiny homes on the market today
By Adam Williams,
New Atlas, 27 July 2016.

The tiny house scene has come a long way in recent years and we continue to be impressed at how firms manage to shoehorn more and more house into what's really a very small space. Below, we've selected some of the best tiny houses currently available for purchase in Europe and North America.

While the following shouldn't be considered an exhaustive list of what's on the market at the time of writing, it'll be adequate to give you an idea of some of the more interesting models available. There's something to suit everyone's tastes, from high-end luxury models to relatively budget-friendly options, but we'd always recommend viewing a potential purchase in person if at all possible and doing your own research on the firm's past work.

Read on below for our picks, or head to the gallery to see more photos of each.

1. Moon Dragon - Zyl Vardos


Olympia, Washington's Zyl Vardos recently completed a remarkable tiny house called Moon Dragon that looks like it belongs in a fairytale, or perhaps a Studio Ghibli movie. With a whimsical design defined by its impressively curved roof, this tiny home had a lot of time and effort put into it - and it shows.

Moon Dragon measures 13.1 x 9 x 24 ft (4 x 2.7 x 7.3 m) and has fairly typical tiny house layout inside, with a large living room, kitchen, bathroom, and storage-staircase that leads to a loft bedroom. It also includes a full solar panel setup, allowing it to operate off-the-grid.

While Moon Dragon is already sold, Zyl Vardos told us it would be willing to build another just like it for US$94,000.

2. Basecamp - Tina and Luke Orlando


Engineers Tina and Luke Orlando decided to design their own tiny house, and their unusual but very thorough approach resulted in a model that's quite different from the norm. Basecamp has a lot of storage space and is focused on pet-friendly design and off-grid technology.

Based on a three-axle trailer, the tiny house has a total floor space of 204 sq ft (19 sq m), and is clad in attractive tongue-and-groove cedar. Notable pet-friendly design includes kennel space, hideaway dens, built-in collapsible food and water bowls, and even a rainwater-harvesting dog waterer. The home runs off-grid with a rainwater collection system, a roof-based solar array, and a battery backup.

The Basecamp itself isn't for sale, but those interested in building their own version can buy the plans, starting at US$300.

3. Alpha Tiny House - Frontier Tiny Homes


Tiny houses don't usually even come with a bath, let alone a jacuzzi, but that's just one feature that makes Frontier Tiny Homes' Alpha Tiny House a standout example of small luxury living.

The miniature dwelling gets power from a standard RV hookup and sits atop a custom double-axle trailer, with a total floor space of 240 sq ft (22 sq m). Its exterior is clad in fancy Shou Sugi Ban-treated cedar siding, and the interior is similarly high-spec.

Other notable features include two large doors that open it up to the outside, a generous drop-down porch, and a huge eight-person dining table stowed away beneath the stairs.

The Alpha Tiny House is currently for sale at US$95,000.

4. Curved 260 Micro Home - Structural Spaces


Canada's Structural Spaces is pretty new to the tiny house scene, but its inaugural project, the Curved 260 Micro Home, shoehorns a lot of house into its 260 sq ft (24 sq m) of floor space.

Boasting a high-end finish including cedar shingle siding and trim, the tiny house sports a large curved roof, like the Moon Dragon, which adds headroom. In a nice touch, the curve was created by following the natural curve of salvaged cedar log used in construction.

The interior includes a large living space, kitchenette, bathroom, and a sleeping loft, while its insulation is also relatively efficient and should be cheap to heat and cool.

The Curved 260 Micro Home is up for sale at CAD 90,000 (approximately US$71,200).

5. Steel-framed tiny house - Mint Tiny Homes


Mint Tiny Homes' impressive unnamed steel-framed tiny house is not really all that tiny, measuring a whopping 32 ft (9.7 m), including its two sleeping loft overhangs.

This leaves room for 326 sq ft (30 sq m) of floor space, while weight comes in at a relatively reasonable 13,000 lb (5,896 kg), thanks to the unusual choice of using a lightweight steel frame, instead of the more typical wood.

Inside, the finish is excellent and the layout makes full use of the space available, with all areas of the home seeming relatively roomy.

The model pictured has been sold but Mint Tiny Hoses can build you something similar, starting from CAD 77,000 (around US$59,400).

6. Vista - Escape


Escape is well-regarded in the tiny house community, having released a slew of high-quality models, including the Park Model RV and Traveler. The firm's latest offering, the Vista, focuses on providing its occupants an excellent view.

The Vista is pretty small, with a total floor space of 160 sq ft (14.8 sq m), all on one floor. It's also on the lighter side too, at 6,000 lb (2,720 kg) - or less than half the weight of the aforementioned steel-framed tiny house.

It's a nice looking home and hopefully the Vista's very large windows should help the space feel less claustrophobic. It runs from a hookup or can also be outfitted with off-grid technology, including a roof-based PV array, battery storage, and inverter.

The Vista will set you back US$46,600.

7. Tiny Stream - La Tiny House


The tiny house movement is definitely more mature in North America than Europe, but France's La Tiny House is one old-world firm that's turning out high-quality tiny homes in line with European regulations.

Its recent model, dubbed Tiny Stream, pays homage to the classic Airstream trailer. While it doesn't seem to very closely resemble models sporting that iconic name, the tiny house is appealing in its own right, with its wood and aluminum cladding and generous porch area.

Inside, the downstairs floor space measures 10-15 sq m (107-161 sq ft), while the sleeping loft measures just 5-7 sq m (53-75 sq ft). The base model Tiny Stream starts at €23,500 (roughly US$26,600), with extras including awning and fitted bathroom available at cost.

Top image: The Vista. Credit: ESCAPE Vista.

[Source: New Atlas (formerly Gizmag). Edited. Top image added.]

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