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Prefab tiny house: What is it and where can I buy one?

Prefab Tiny House: What Is It And Where Can I Buy One?

With an ever-growing shortage of affordable homes now an issue in both developed and third-world economies, the concept of a prefab tiny house considers two key metrics. 

That is, the concept of prefabricated homes, and the concept of tiny homes that provide us with all of the day-to-day necessities that we need, but on a much smaller scale.

With that being said, if you are interested to find out more about what a prefab tiny house is, then be sure to read my guide. I am also going to give you some real-world examples of tiny homes that you can buy yourself.

To begin, let’s discuss what a prefab tiny house actually is.

What is a prefab tiny house?

As noted above, the prefab tiny house movement considers two key factors, and essentially blends them together – prefabricated homes and tiny homes. In order to gain a full understanding of how the two concepts are interlinked, I’ve broken them down in more detail below.

Prefabricated homes

In a nutshell, prefabricated, or simply ‘prefab’ homes, are homes that are pre-build within a factory environment. Based on pre-defined specifications, the prefab home will be built in a modular manner. In layman terms, this means that the home will be constructed and transported in multiple segments. These segments are then erected on-site, often in a matter of a couple of days.

While at first glance you might turn your nose up at the thought of buying a pre-built home, think again, as they offer a number of benefits over conventional properties that are constructed on-site.

End-to-end flexibility

If you’re looking for complete control over your dream house, then look no further than a prefab home. By using the right manufacturer, you get to have your say throughout the construction process. Most notably, this includes the specific design and layout of your home. 

In some cases, you will have the opportunity to sit down with the manufacturer to build your design. In others, you can meet with a specialist prefab architect who will build the plans, which will then be forwarded on to the manufacturer in question. 

Moreover, due to the modular nature of prefab homes, it is often a seamless process to make additions or alterations further down the line. For example, if you to increase the size of the prefab home by adding an additional bedroom, this is usually something that can be facilitated with ease.  

Cost

Opting for a prefab home over a conventional on-site property will make you considerable savings. While the savings on a square foot basis will ultimately depend on where you want to build your home and the location of the manufacturer themselves, the general consensus is that prefab homes can generate up to 50% in cost reductions. 

The overarching reason for this is that modern-day manufacturing capabilities are significantly more efficient than utilizing human labour. Machines are not only able to produce more cost-effectively, but their output is substantially faster, too. 

Sustainability and eco-friendliness

If like me you have a strong passion for all-things sustainability and eco-friendliness, then it’s well worth considering the merits of prefab homes. There are now heaps of specialist manufacturers that utilize sustainable construction processes, which not only includes the materials themselves, but the factory conditions in which the homes are produced.

As the prefab building process gives you the opportunity to yield results to your specific liking, you can also ensure that the home has the required framework to host renewable energy sources. This could, for example, include sufficient space on your roof to install solar panels.

So now that I’ve covered the basics of prefab homes, in the next section I am going to briefly explain what we mean by tiny homes.

Tiny homes

Without intending to sound overly obvious here, tiny homes are exactly what they say on the tin – they are homes that are tiny! So how do we define tiny? Well, I’m not talking about a home that was built specifically for extra short people, children or even hobbits. I’m talking about homes that can be inhabited by virtually anyone – even families.

To put things into perspective, the average US home stands at just over 2,400 square feet. And tiny homes? A mere 100 – 400 square feet. The key point is that while the homes are in fact ‘tiny’, they still possess all of the things that we would ordinarily find in a traditional house. 

For example, tiny homes can contain showering facilities, a toilet, bed, sofa, TV, cooker, and anything else that you feel necessary to live a normal existence. However, it’s just that some of these everyday amenities will be adapted and installed specifically with the size of the home in mind. 

This could be a bed that also acts as both a sofa and storage unit, or a cupboard that also acts as a dinner table. You might also find that your shower doubles-up as a kitchen sink! Whatever it might be, the design phase is absolutely crucial, insofar that you need to make full use of each and every inch available in your tiny home.

Prefab Tiny Home

This last point links in directly with prefab homes. You see, a prefab tiny house is simply a tiny house that is also a prefabricated house! As such, you can get the entire house built in cutting-edge factory conditions, all of which comes at a significantly lower price than a traditional on-site build.

So now that you know what both a prefab and tiny house is, and how they are both interlinked with one another, in the next section I am going to show you some real-world example of prefab tiny house projects that you can buy TODAY!

Prefab tiny house examples

  1. Tumbleweed – From $49,500 

Tumbleweed is a prefab tiny house specialist based in Colorado Springs. The company has a range of models within its portfolio of tiny house builds – all of which can be individually customized to your specific requirements. 

Backed by RVIA Certification, Tumbleweed homes are built with the highest standard of craftsmanship. At the time of writing, the company is also offering a number of markdowns on pre-constructed tiny homes. This includes a $49,500 model that is able to sleep 2, at a size of 40′ 7″ long.

  1. Escape Traveler – From $39,000

Headquartered in Wisconsin, Escape Traveler have been designing and building prefab tiny houses for surplus of two decades. One of the overarching concepts of Escape Traveler is that the company is passionate about natural sunlight. 

As such, they want to provide their customers with the sense of being in the open at all times. The designs themselves are super luxurious, with large rooms, panoramic windows, and fully-fledged kitchen units. Prices can vary quite considerably depending on how far you want to go. Nevertheless, expect to pay in the region of $39,000 – $79,000.

  1. Wheelhaus – From $80,000

If you like the sound of the prefab tiny house movement, but you can’t quite see your family of four moving into a 100 square foot property, then I would suggest checking out Wheelhaus. The Wyoming-based manufacturer offers some remarkable prefab homes of all sizes. 

Prefab Wheelhouse

For example, the Flat Roof Caboose stands at a highly respectable 400 square feet, subsequently paving the way for up to 6 people! With all the necessities taken care of, the Flat Roof Caboose has an awesome upper floor decking area – perfect for family gatherings and a BBQ. 

Although the homes sold by Wheelhaus are a lot more expensivve than the other manufacters I have discussed thus far, you do get a hell of a lot more for your money. Plus, in comparison to a traditional on-site build, they are still very cost-effective.

  1. DublDom – Starting from $38,000 

For those of you based in Europe, I would strongly suggest getting in touch with the team at DublDom. The Russian-based prefab tiny house manufaturer services the vast majority of Europe, with its prices starting at just $38,000 plus VAT. 

For this, you will get a 280 square foot, high-end cabin. When you check out some of the designs that the manufacturer has already produced for prior customers, you’ll fall instantly in love. 

Even better, if you’re not too fussy on the actual design of the home and instead want to move into your new tiny house as soon as possible, the company offers a somewhat remarkable turnaround time of just 3 days!

In Conclusion

In summary, if you’re looking to become a homeowner without locking yourself down to a 30-year-long mortgage plan, then it well worth looking at what a prefab tiny house can offer you. Not only are they significantly more cost-effective than a traditional on-site house, but they also fall in-line with sustainable and eco-friendly manufacturing processes. 

Even better, you have the chance of designing the layout of your tiny home exactly how you want it. Don’t forget, these homes are built using state-of-the-art manufacturing processes. As such, while on-site builders will aim to achieve accuracy on a centimetre-by-centimetre basis, prefab tiny houses operate by the millimetre.

David

Frugalic Founder David holds a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting and Finance and a Master's Degree in Finance and Responsible Investment. After working for multiple startups, David started his own online marketplace for durable goods and Frugalic as an outlet for his 'research based ramblings'.

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