Cabin Fever

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.

The Eichler

The Zip

By Christina Nellemann for the (Tiny House Blog)

24 Comments Cabin Fever

  1. Davidrc

    This is the 2nd time today I’ve seen this as a new thing. Does no one pay attention to the other Tiny House sites? Micheal Janzen has had this in his “Design” site under Tiny House Builders, then click on “Metro Cabins”. I did this a couple of months ago and have it bookmarked as a place to go back to and re-examine. Nice layouts and I like their minimal but highly functional kitchens. Look at all of these sites and follow up on the links, you’ll like what you find fairly often. I also use search engines, looking for “tiny houses”, ‘little houses”, and every other variation I can think of, including “floor plans”. that’s how I’ve managed to find all the ones, including the various tiny house blogs that I check into on a regular basis. Come on guys, I came into this stuff pretty late, I’ve only had limited (and sadly, dialup) web access again for about 3 months now.

    Reply
    1. Christina

      Davidrc, I had seen these prefab cabins in the past under the MetroCabin name as well, but their website had been updated with new images and names that I thought fans of the Tiny House Blog would appreciate. Actually, the search for this company and its products was pretty deep down in Google-land, I felt they should be brought to the surface. I spoke to Christopher Thompson, the owner of Cabin Fever and he really appreciates the exposure and his company’s work with the people of Haiti.

      Reply
      1. Davidrc

        I never use google myself, they put out way too many bizarre associations. I’m just saying, I explore the links, It’s why they’re there. I’ve found many pleasant surprises that way. Though I’m sure that they do appreciate the extra exposure.

        Reply
  2. Slim

    Davidrc,

    Just because you know the location of the links on another site, doesn’t mean the rest of the world does, lol…

    Thanks, for this post, I like that roof line! ;)

    Reply
  3. Lantanalane

    Fairly new to blog hopping and the little house movement and just want to say I certainly don’t mind seeing the same little house “again”. I just revisit the site, refresh what I liked or didn’t like about the design and move on.

    And yes Davidrc, I do pay attention to other site(and like you have bunches bookmarked), not sure what your beef is( except to complain), but if you’ve seen it before, it shouldn’t have taken you too long to put your cursor on the top right “x” and close it out. Certainly took you longer to write about your dissatisfaction than it would have done just that.

    Reply
  4. jon wesson

    Must be the full moon making everyone so cranky. Beautiful little cabin – I want it for my lake lot.

    Reply
  5. Russ

    These are without a doubt, my favorite of all the pre-builts. Whille the 100 dollar (everage) per square foot price is less than some, I would like to find out if they can be purchased without the kitchen/bath units as I can not imagine not being able to purchase them better. Has anyone asked for a breakdown of prices? Or would that be considered rude? PLus, this place looks like a mansion next to what I am living in now!

    Reply
  6. Christina

    Russ, I gave Christopher, the owner of Cabin Fever, your question about purchasing one of their units without the kitchen and bath unit. This was his answer:

    “Absolutely, many of our clients elect to finish kitchens and bathrooms themselves.We can work with clients to allow for specified fixtures – we
    provide the building with the clients kitchen/bathroom specs designed in. Or we can provide a spec sheet for pre-selected IKEA items for them to source and purchase themselves.”

    Reply
    1. Russ

      Hi Christina,

      Thanks for that. I phoned myself and although I did not yet speak with anyone, I was impressed by the fact that they were very diligent in trying to call me back. I’m sure we will touch bases soon. starting out with good customer service is a great thing.

      Thanks again
      Russ

      Reply
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  8. Kyle

    All of these cabins have a really interesting modern look to them. Perosnally I’m more inclined to rustic feel of prefab log cabins expessally when it comes to building a small cabin for the lake. I got one from Zook Cabins because it offer at rustic look.

    Reply
  9. Shawn Labbee

    These are very nice little cabins and I do love the design, but at $100/square foot they’re obviously designed only for wealthy people lacking motivation. Any person with basic carpentry skills should be able to build a comparable structure for a fraction of the price.

    Reply
  10. di

    Extended rooflines, porches and decking waste our resources. Rather than rely on lighting, use surrounding windows. Use skylights over a bathroom, kitchen counter, couch or bed. The tiny upper windows seem extraneous.

    Kitchens use a lot of our resources. Stack a set of pans in the oven drawer. Stack dry goods beneath a single-bowl kitchen sink. Store a set of dishes and glasses vertically – on narrow wall shelving. Store utensils in a jar on the counter. For additional counter space, place a large cutting board over the sink or stove.

    Seems like a lot of wasted upper wall space – it could easily be decreased in height by placing the toilet along the back wall.

    To save space in a bathroom, try a small corner sink. Rather than a vanity, try shelving over a toilet. Try a full-length mirror on the back of the bathroom door.

    Reply
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  13. dahlila

    I LOVE these open airy styles, SO much better than the rustic–rather claustrophobic–cabins. Yet, I wonder how good the insulation is. Also, the price is crazy steep, but a girl can dream.

    Reply
  14. Carolyn B

    I’m liking the sliding doors. Does anyone know if a Southern shotgun-style (3 rooms: living, bedroom, and kitchen/bath/laundry combo) tiny home would look good with a sliding glass door entry-way? I’m trying to conserve as much space as possible in designing in my head my own small home.

    Thanks for any input.

    Reply
  15. Steve

    I’d like to see one of these designs use a solar heating method that includes a solarium that channels the hot air all around the house in the Winter, and then vents it out in the Summer. This method is already being uses in much larger houses than these, and this design would be PERFECT for this solar technology. I’m designing a small house this way.

    Reply

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