ESCAPE Park Models

For people who love park model homes, but want a little more space and amenities, the ESCAPE Park Model & Modular Homes have been making waves with articles in the Wall Street Journal and favorable comments from HGTV, the Huffington Post and Bob Vila. A small size, beautiful wood details and mobile abilities are included in these tidy, little packages.

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Each ESCAPE is built on a wheeled chassis in the USA, and comes in various sizes and configurations including the Tiny Home, the King, Classic, Family and Studio. The basic ESCAPE Tiny Home is 288 square feet and features a tiny bedroom, a living and kitchen area and a full bath. This model starts at $57,400. There is also a two-bedroom version in 396 square feet. Amenities include bevel cedar siding, 30 year composite shingles, pine walls, ceilings and trim, 30 gallon water heaters, Energy Star appliances, vaulted ceilings and the ability to be off-grid. Each of the Escape models are on wheels, but can be placed on various foundations including gravel, concrete pads and concrete blocks.

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All the ESCAPE versions include built-in storage, options for fireplaces and washers and dryers and the larger Tiny Home Deluxe, King, Classic, Family Standard, Family King and Studio all have versatile screened and roofed porches that can also be used for sleeping, dining or a greenhouse. The Studio can be adapted to be ADA accessible and the ESCAPE company even offers furniture, appliance and financing packages.

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Two unique options that separate the ESCAPE from other park models are the panoramic windows that can be integrated into the rooms—making them seem larger than they are. Smaller, privacy windows are also available for use in bedrooms and bathrooms.

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Photos shown are the ESCAPE Classic “Limited” model and are courtesy of ESCAPE Park Models

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Tengbom Micro Dorms

College and high school students are embracing the tiny house concept with gusto. One of the leading architecture firms in Sweden is right behind them with a series of affordable, portable micro dorms that are also environmentally friendly. The “10 smart square” dorms are only 107 square feet, but feature lofts, kitchen, living and dining areas and an interesting use of cross laminated wood.

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Tengbom Architects is working in collaboration with wood manufacturer Martinsons, real estate company AF Bostäder and Lund University in Sweden to develop sustainable and smart housing for students. The first unit was on display in the Virserum Art Museum in 2013 and this year there will be 22 units available for students to move in.

Cross laminated timber is an engineered wood building system designed to complement light- and heavy-timber framing options. Because of its high strength and dimensional stability, it can be used as alternative to concrete, masonry and steel in many building types. The process is popular in Europe and is growing in availability in the U.S. The benefits are fast installation, reduced waste and improved thermal performance.

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The units are made from cross laminated wood and are assembled on site. Each contain a sleeping loft accessed by wall-mounted stairs, laminated furniture, shelving and even a laminated kitchen counter. Each unit has a tiny bathroom/shower combo and strategically placed windows for light and privacy. The rent for these units will be about 50 percent less than larger dorm rooms on campus.

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Tengbom is one of the leading architectural firms in Sweden and the Nordic region, with around 500 employees at twelve offices in Sweden and Finland.  Since 1906, Tengbom has combined innovative and holistic design for present and future generations. Their additional designs include architecture, landscaping, lighting and historic building conservation.

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Photos courtesy of Tengbom Architects

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Wishbone Tiny Homes

The Asheville, NC based Wishbone Tiny Homes has not only been making waves with their exquisite craftsmanship and interesting architectural details, but the Wishbone team have a three step process set up to walk new owners through and into their ideal home. It all starts with a dream and defining exactly what the tiny house will be: a primary residence, an office, a rental or a transition space.

“The dream phase is the most important,” said Teal Brown, the son in the father and son building team. “It’s where the inspiration for the ultimate design comes from. Nothing is off the table. We collect links, videos, images, screen shots, poems, emails—anything—and create our own version of a Pinterest board for each client. We also use a questionnaire. All of this information gives us a sense of the client’s unique aesthetics and design preferences.”

Next comes the design phase and the final building phase which is where the precision craftsmanship and locally sourced materials come into play.

“The design phase brings a healthy dose of reality to the situation,” Teal continued. “After an in depth interview about lifestyle and possessions, we draft a floor plan and exterior elevation. We then create at least two more iterations of the design before arriving at an agreed upon final design. Once a final design is in place, we get to work building the client’s dream tiny home! The entire process can take anywhere from 12 weeks to a year, depending on the client’s timeline and our production schedule.”

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Their current model home showcases the team’s woodworking skills (they love cedar) and their unique doors.

“Everyone notices our doors,” Teal said. “Since my dad has been honing his door-making craft the last 17 years, he knows a thing or two about them.

Along with attention to detail, Wishbone has listened to customers’ requests and realize that they want a place that feels like a home.

“We seek to incorporate as much of the client’s furniture and keepsakes as possible to provide familiarity and charm,” Teal said. “Most people like this design approach. Aside from that, people want stairs, downstairs bedrooms, off-grid capabilities, solutions for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), and Universal Design concepts for ADA compliance.

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Wishbone is just finishing up a 24 foot modern shed-style home for a couple in Philadelphia. The house has a cozy den, two lofts and a large galley kitchen as well as a large shower and a climbing wall. A dog crate was built under the stairs and the house is powered with a 1 KW roof-mounted PV system with 4 6V 420 AH batteries.

Teal said the best part of building tiny homes is the people they encounter and work with.

“Almost everyone who wants a tiny home is at an interesting point of their lives and has a great story to tell. Getting to work with my dad is great too.”

The challenges the team has run into are the financing of tiny homes, legal gray areas and plumbing. Wishbone currently does not sell plans, but does create custom plans.

“We firmly believe that if you are going to live in a tiny home, it should fit you like a tailored suit,” Teal added.

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Photos courtesy of Chris Tack and Wishbone Tiny Homes

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]