Zero Energy Modular Concept Small Home

Don Harmon contacted me after our last small home post. He said that he worked with a company that is specializing in small home designs. Though these are still concepts he plans to follow up shortly with updates on houses with photos that will be built using these plans.

Again this is not a “tiny house” but a small home that fits the needs of those who are unable to live in the extreme tiny home.

After two years of working on Small House Designs, we are now offering our basic Plans as Zero Energy Modular Building Envelopes.

If you live in West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Tennessee you can purchase one of three Models now with a 4 – 6 week delivery to your site from the Cardinal Homes factory in Wylliesburgh, Virginia. These Homes are custom built to our strict specifications under an exclusive partnership between our two companies.

floor plan

These Ranch Homes are our homage to the “Tiny House” movement. However, they are designed to accommodate standard size furniture, instead of custom “Dollhouse” sized items which are expensive and hard to find.

Our Homes will accommodate King Size beds, standard closets, kitchen cabinets and premium brand label Energy Star appliance packages.

One bedroom/One bath en-suite model with one unfinished upper loft (144 sq. ft.) open plan kitchen/dining and living room with pantry storage.

Plans are also available. Click Here for a PDF file on how to get your own set.

For more information call or visit their website or contact Don.

Don Harmon
Telephone: (434) 489-8509

model 845more detailscontact info

16 thoughts on “Zero Energy Modular Concept Small Home”

  1. I love the way houses this size keep getting called “small houses”. In the UK, the average size 3 bedroom house is around 975 sq ft. So everything really IS bigger in the USA! (Just kidding. Its true, but no ill will is intended. LOL)

  2. This is nice compact idea. Can’t wait to see photos when one is completed. One problem I have, however, is it looks backwards: in my opinion the 2 sliders and large deck goes in the back and the single door – in the front. Maybe it’s just me. I wonder if one could “customize” this change.

  3. 2 sliders and large deck in front? single door and 2 smallish windows in back??
    Seems backwards to me. Guess maybe it was designed to have a view out of the front of the house. Can it be customized to be flipped?

    • Of course this Plan can be “flipped”. It is intended that the orientation is such that the South facing facade is the one with most glass area and the location for PV panels to best utilize both the Active and Passive Solar Principles of the Design.

  4. I would love this as a “quad”. I could use the other units for apartments for “out of the nest” kids. (And one for my husbands workshop).

  5. If you want true efficiency it needs to be made with thermal materials like adobe and include a trombe wall. Those double sliders are a big heat loss. Take out one set and put in a trombe wall. My house is made that way and I live in snow country above 7000 feet. My heating costs less than $60 a month in winter. Also, having fixed, south facing solar is not so practical since you will lose a lot of daylight with that configuration. Put the panels on a tracking mount if you want to keep the batteries full.

    • We are not using double sliders. There is one set of French Doors and one set of Casement Windows with a transom on the South Facing facade. All windows & doors are triple – pane, gas filled with Low E coatings. The building envelope is very tight with closed cell spray foam insulation and 6 inch walls.

      We have looked at a track mount option for the Solar Panel. It just adds more cost and we feel that with 10.2 kW of Lithium Battery Storage we won’t worry about a costly tracking mechanism.

      • Your walls don’t sound extraordinarily efficient. Pretty standard construction for stick build wood. And the glass is glass whether you call it a window or door, it’s still glass without gain.
        Characterizing the tracker as expensive, while selling 10kw of Li batteries is just disingenuous. Trackers are not that expensive.

        • Our Solar Package is different from standard Solar Panels in that it is one or two large Modules that are mounted to the roof plane without the need for brackets or standard assembly. We have an answer for those concerned with the “tracking” issue but it is a little more expensive.

          Not sure what is disingenuous about offering a 10 kW Battery Storage component?

          The Solar Package is an Optional item and is priced separately anyway in case you wish to use an alternate system.

          Last, but not least, we offer 5.5 inches of closed cell spray foam insulation in the walls, 7 inches in the ceilings, and 3.5 inches in the floors – is this standard construction in your world?

    • Most of those reviews and comments are over ten years old. Cardinal was purchased a few years ago by a new owner and I think Mystery Shopper needs to update their old information!

  6. I am really excited about this house. As a retiree this seems really perfect for the spouse and I, with enough space for some creature comforts while still keeping with the tiny home idea. And I love the solar panels!! Do you have any photos of the interior? And how much – if any – customization would be possible?

    • DEE, if you are interested further in this Model, please contact me: and I will share with you some additional CAD drawings. This Model can be further customized, and is available from our factory or as a Plan Set that you can use to build your own, if you live to far away to order it pre-manufactured.

  7. What would the total cost of this house be? I understand we have options that change things but say from this amount to that amount. I’m really interested and would love to see some finished photos, that is of course, based on the price. Thanks!


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