“There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature.” - Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

MINIMALISM is characterized by simplifying one’s lifestyle. If you want to live connected with nature, keep your environmental footprint to a minimum and not overburden your lifestyle with debt, how do you simplify? The Tiny House movement gives occupants the means to escape from consumer-driven mindsets. Besides, I hear from clients one resounding repetitive sentiment, the affordability for many people just isn’t there anymore.

As a project consultant, the goals were simple,

(1) build a 400 SF home,

(2) use the highest quality materials,

(3) make the order-to-occupancy process as fast as possible.

The concept is not only simple but also expandable. The main module is expandable via stacking or placed in proximity to an adjacent unit for a connecting breezeway. Whether you are a young professional or a retiree looking for a passive way to earn money on Airbnb, the possibilities vary based on your particular living circumstance, access to wealth and relative stage of your life.

Here’s a bonus… Your tiny home is instantly a vacation rental and revenue generator. Airbnb profiles are created and managed for you with revenue potentials coming back to you monthly. This is a plus for so many people looking for alternative ways to earn income and property value.

The Young Professionals (18-38 years)

I frequently meet young professionals looking for a genuine way to connect their lifestyles to nature. For an overwhelming majority of young professionals looking for a new home, the ever-increasing condo market feels burdensome and dramatically overpriced. Lacking in overall perceived value, and certainly quality, developers are not the bad guys; property is expensive and it’s not cheap to develop on the mountainous terrain and many rivers and other such obstacles nature seems to throw our way. The average condo price is continuing to fall from its 2018 high of over $700,000 but with average salaries not keeping pace, smarts are pushing the future leaders of tomorrow to a downsized simplicity offered by minimalism without compromise. Here the slogan is the brand, and according to its founder, “The most sensible solution on the market today!”

The manufacturer of these Tiny Homes offers its owners, “minimal living without compromise” and with an average budget price of $200k you are well ahead of the equity curve, especially if you can find a nice piece of property to put it on.

I have spoken with savvy young investors who also what to use these as vacation rental homes, especially if they travel frequently for work or leisure. It’s nice to know that the company that sells you the tiny home is integral in the long term maintenance and management of the unit if needed. I am not sure if they use multiple listing agencies for vacation rentals but I know they will be offering a managed listing through on Airbnb with the proceeds going back to the owners.

Move-in ready in as little as eight weeks of production, I urge anyone interested in one of these hot items to get your deposits in early, engage with their inhouse designers and have the Tiny Home of your dreams delivered to a property uniquely yours. Is that nature I hear?

Already Living on the Land

Walter and Nadine live in their 3,000 SF home year round with their children, and now grandchildren, visit often. Both are semi-retired and moderately busy. Expenses, like taxes, always seem to go up and you’ve been thinking about building and increasing the value of your property for quite some time. Hiring a local contractor and developing the property is always an option but the cost and time involvement is considerable. As parents, they understand that conventional ownership is challenging for our upcoming generation but by simply adding a module or two to their existing property the grandparents, children and grandchildren can spend more time together. Plus there is no need for these units to sit empty when guests are elsewhere. Renting it out give the couple a subtle socialness and a routine that just makes sense.

Land Owner with Nothing on it

Developments come in all shapes and sizes, the good thing with these Tiny Homes is the mobility and quick production time. Consider the following double stacked unit. Each suite is self contained with separate entrances and personal facilities. Alternatively, a heated stair module can expand the base unit giving one family or small group of occupants a square footage closer to 1,000 square feet. Conceptually living environments exist as more than just space, the lifestyle is connected with nature and defined by how we interact with our surroundings. I think these modular and expandable units are a compliment to any property.

Recreational Development

Consider the possibilities for recreational development, these units can be barged into location from a shoreline making the placement possibilities in remote locations endless (almost).

Recreation development as a profession relies on planning, implementing, and evaluating recreation properties. Considerations for staff, volunteers or visitors must function within a well run structure of administration. The alternative isn’t the collapse of the economy or the end of the world but simplicity is often complicated. Developing with the mindset of minimalism is a good place to start.

Visitor Center / Parks & Municipalities

I’d be lying if I didn’t say that these structures weren’t built strong enough for a commercial, civic or institutional application. Quality is immediately apparent with these structures, and would nicely span across industries. Shown below in this civic or community setting, a visitor center, kiosk or retrofitted for a food shack -  the alternatives are mobilizing.

Public land trusts are mandated to protect lands for people, ensuring healthy livable communities for generations to come. This structure is built to sustain!

There was a time when urban parks were considered the pride and joy and responsibility of taxpayers. Once a park is in the public domain, all agree that it’s weight is to be carried on the shoulders of the city government. I for one would like to make sure the life cycle of the building doesn’t stop at the next election cycle. The madness of disposable buildings using poor materials and charging horrendous prices for something of mediocre quality is a perversion and a failure of our resources. - That’s my opinion, what’s yours?

Need a Second Dwelling on Property

Imagine this home as a roadside attraction? Certainly tiny houses turn heads but does it make sense? How will the quality hold up over time? At first you may be thinking revenue property and this was part of the design intent for these minimal homes. The materials used are industry leading technology. For example, the forward facing glass facade is a curtain wall, an Architect’s secret weapon when it comes to maximizing fixed glass size versus non transparent surfaces. Placing this next to you a body of water or an idyllic setting has never been easier with this integrated chassis and a company that supports your purchase with on demand transportation and placement services. The experience of purchasing and locating your new home is all handled by their in-house design team. I believe they focus more on rural properties and destination properties yet I also see possibilities for coach houses and metro solutions to the housing crisis experienced by many municipalities. They produce a consistency that gives me confidence that no matter where I stay, if it’s in a tiny house like this I might never want to leave. This is why I investigated further into the quality and what I found was shocking. The staircase and frame-less railing is a high end feature reserved only for the wealthy property owners that want completely unobstructed views and have the cash to pay for it. One thing about quality is if you pay for it you get longevity and frame-less railings are no exception. The glass has to be thicker because it has to act as a guard in lieu of a conventional framed railing. This means more view and less obstruction. If you have the ideal location, this integrated deck / frame-less upgrade is worth every virtual penny. Speaking of copper, do you notice the checker board pattern on the back of the home? The entrance to the home seamlessly blends into the placement of copper panels and a copper clad door. The focus is on raw materials and gives the units a splendor of simplicity that is hard not to inhabit. The entire structure for the stair, and it’s attachment to the structure is of utmost structural integrity assures my structural engineer, “the structural design is well thought out”.

Exterior stairs to access an additional floor or  rental unit, or heated interior stair well to expand a single family dwelling means that the decision is up to you. I, for one, imagine a retreat with twelve of these double stacked units facing each other and offering visitors a genuine integrated experience and exodus from the chaos that contaminates much of our day-to-day. Consumption can certainly be consuming to the purchaser so keeping the process simple starts with a phone call. If all this sounds like a passionate plea for you to reach out to another human being and discuss your future then it is. I am involved with this great company and I am proud to offer my twenty-plus years of Architectural experience and help you or someone you know with the purchase of their new Tiny Home. Production capacity is scalable but orders are taken in a production que, so if this interests you please reach out today and let’s discuss how to make this dream a reality worth living.

Upgrades: Roof, Deck and a Dual Heating System

“The beauty of the structure is a site of your choosing.”

These units offer deck upgrades of , a tiny-house is a residential structure under 400 square feet. Corner to corner, post to post, this tiny-structure is has an extremely high retained value. If you own a car you know what it’s resale value is but it depreciates rapidly. Houses have more equity and are based on the differential between the depreciation of the building and the increasing property value. From what I can determine these homes are designed for quality and therefore give their owners substantial relocatable equity on the property of their choosing. At the point when clients need to finalize their order and have the factory produce their dream home, certain considerations must be discussed and agreed upon. First is the roof, this home comes with a back-up redundancy detection system. If the roof’s moisture protection becomes compromised, the occupant will be alerted. This upgrade is idea if you are in a remote location without access to trusted local contractors. Besides, I like the idea of prevention and early detection. How about you?

Next comes the deck, or decks if you order multiple units, and quality should be your first consideration. There is nothing about this deck, from a construction or quality standpoint that needs review, the materials and engineering are approved by the CSA and the home is registered (and inspected) by a third party entity. Regulating quality and ensuring standards is a  byproduct of our professional engineers and regulating authorities. In this case it delivers an additional peace of mind. The attachment methodology is seamless, and although I don’t recommend ordering your decks after the fact, I have been reassured that the decks are always upgradable and one or two years post purchase. It gives buyers a flexibility for upgrade, repair or expansion when the budgets and access to capital changes. Regulated by circumstance I know the feeling and advocate for any company that offers this type of ownership flexibility.

Heating and cooling is the next big obstacle to consider. Do you want geothermal or baseboard heating? Electric baseboard heating is less expensive but isn’t necessarily the way to go. Sensible budgeting is only a partial strategy, sitting down with your designer and discussing air flow, quality and access to power are all considerations for an educated decision.

Historically fuel type and energy source and the prevailing determinants for heating a space. In most parts of the country, natural gas is the most popular space heating fuel but electrical is also worth considering. Efficiency, overall cost and consideration of more expensive systems involving geothermal technology are also available. Personally, I would like to live as inexpensive with the smallest carbon footprint but others may opt for more traditional means. The choice is yours.

Arctic Upgrade - Brrr! Cold!!

The Arctic Upgrade package is exactly that, and upgrade for cold climate. Well, perhaps not arctic worthy but I do know that you get triple glazed windows and increased insulation to make it ski-able and definitely picture worthy. Whistler anyone?

We can’t all own a ski hill but we can imagine what it would be like to stay in a location like this on your favorite hill. A destination in a destination, this micro home is worth the climb, waiting for me, in my imagined snow capped day is a latte to sip and a partner to share it with.

Don’t take my word for it. Imagine for your self…

“A work of art."

Share this post