Clean, green and eye-catching. For fans of prefab tiny houses, these three words describe the beautiful designs of Cabin Fever, based in Irvine, California and Miami, Florida. Their prefab designs encompass everything that you need in a tiny house including green design, customization, various size options and simple but elegant details. The prices are not bad either.
The Cabin Fever cabins are built in the factory, then disassembled, packed and shipped to the customer, to be reassembled on-site. This process (along with the permit process) can take about five months. Their cabin packages contain pre-built wall sections, an engineered roof and precision cut components. All hardware, nuts and bolts, screws and nails, and a full set of engineered architectural drawings are included. Depending on local soil conditions, codes and site grade, cabins can be built on a concrete slab or a wood timber foundation system.
Their most popular design is the Maxwell Cabin with its signature curving roofline. It’s 16 x 20 feet and 320 square feet and priced from $32,500 for the basic model. Each of the Maxwell Cabins, or its lower priced sister, the Morris, can be expanded into several different sizes including the 12 x 16 MINI up to a 1000 square foot 2-bedroom cabin and many sizes in between. I think the best tiny house option is the MM Efficiency or the MM Weekender. Each are under 500 square feet and allow for passive solar heat through their large windows.
The Maxwell/Morris Cabins include:
- 4 foot wide prefabricated wall sections insulated to R-11
- Meta™ floor/foundation system
- Exterior spruce trim
- Standard insulated windows
- Standard insulated 6’ sliding door
- Extra strong tongue and groove roof deck
- Duro-Last roof
- 1-1/2” rigid roof insulation
- Natural wood tongue and groove ceiling
- Maple paneled interior
- Unpainted exterior
- Laminate flooring
Packages with bathrooms and kitchens include all the fixtures needed, but Cabin Fever recommends that a licensed plumber install the plumbing on-site. The interior paneling comes pre-cut to accept electrical boxes. Electricity will also be installed on-site.
Cabin Fever does work with customers to make their cabins off-grid and as green as possible. They work with various companies and help the customer specify and choose suitable products and then make sure that cabin can easily accommodate the equipment by reinforcing certain areas, building access doors and cabinets to house battery banks, etc. The customer purchases the equipment directly and those can include:
- Solar electricity
- Solar water heater
- Windmill for power generation
- Composting toilet
- Water catchment roof
- Water tank and low pressure water system (for no-water locations)
- Gas refrigerator (for no-electricity locations)
- Gas water heater (for no-electricity locations)
Along with the Maxwell/Morris cabins, Cabin Fever also offers the modern Mariposa which is 448 square feet and starts at $52,800, the flat-roofed Eichler which is 192 square feet and starts at $17,900 and the Zip, which at 120 square feet does not need a permit and starts at $12,500.
Cabin Fever is also responding to the need for affordable, sustainable, and safe housing in Haiti by partnering with several business enterprises and agencies on major prefab design projects for relief and transitional shelter. Their Miami branch is based in the Little Haiti neighborhood and they feel a special obligation to help with the Haiti rebuild effort. They hope to bring smart solutions to Haiti housing by leveraging their domestic U.S. design experience and expertise.