James from Canada wrote me the other day about a tiny house he designed and has been living in the last two months, and that he is going to start producing the tiny home for others to enjoy too. I’ll let James tell you his story.
About a 18 months ago I started noticing articles on the internet about people getting away from massive homes, and similar sized debt loads to support them. People were starting to become aware of what affect their habits were having on the environment. I have lived in Europe for a lot of my life and am quite used to the idea of a compact efficient home.
Thinking about it further I decided to see how small it would be possible to make a home that was still comfortable to live in and at the same time use building materials as efficiently as possible. Hence the choice to pick 12 foot dimensions for our primary unit.
The other major design decision was to have the bedroom and bathroom on the same floor. Most micro designs have the bedroom at the top of a steep flight of stairs or you have to use a ladder. Since I would be living in the unit, I reasoned that if I got up in the middle of the night, it would be much easier to use the bathroom if it was on the same floor.
It took 8 months to get a building permit after that. The local planning office did not understand what we were trying to do, so unfortunately took the official path of “no”. Unofficially they were very helpful and gave me a lot of suggestions – hence our ten foot sized unit that needs no permits to be built. We have units designed that use grey-water systems, a solar version – no outside power required! Our only limitation is the customers imagination.
I have now been living in my place for almost two months, its comfortable, and quiet. Its unobtrusive, people walk right by it without realizing its a home. It needs very little energy to run. An average 1 bedroom apartment produces 5 tons of CO2 per year. A cube will produce 0.8 tons per year. Its somewhere you can be proud to bring guests to. Its got enough space inside the sleep 3 – comfortably!
Its been very interesting living in what is perceived by most people as a “small” space, when all you need to do is change your outlook slightly and think cubic.
Pricing is dependent on options – but starts at CDN $24,500, our dollar is worth less than yours. Thats a completed unit, customer is responsible for permits (if required), and any foundation and deck work is on top. We don’t include it in the price as there are too many variations for us to have to deal with site unseen.
We are currently talking to two big builders, both who want to build the units, and we will have a flat pack version available shortly, it can be shipped to the clients site, and they erect it themselves. The beauty of the unit is that we can pre build them, and then load them on a flat deck, and ship them to a customers site for a very reasonable cost.
To learn more of James cubed micro house visit his cool website twelve3.ca or twelve cubed.