Costco’s Tiny House

Ambershawn recently brought something interesting to my attention.

Costco, the big box store, sells a tiny house.

It is called the “HomePlace” guesthouse and is one of their many small structures. Costco builds tiny houses, play houses and garden sheds. Personally, I think the Bungalow Garden building would make a perfect tiny house, it ranges in size from 12ft X 16ft to 12ft X 24ft and the costs for what appears to be a shell range from $4,995 to $7,244.

You can select a paint color, asphalt shingle color or even have wood shingles. According to Costco, the Bungalow provides a great mix of pleasing functionality and aesthetics.

Engineered drawings are available upon request to help you get many of our Garden Buildings/Garages approved for your site. These drawings detail standard features of the unit, and provide information about snow and wind loads.

Some locations/municipalities require that a stamped engineered drawing be prepared in order to obtain a permit; contact one of our Design Consultants for further details if you will need drawings. Be sure to obtain any required permits before placing your order.

Standard features include:

  1. 2×4 Rafters 24″ on center
  2. Doub le plywood gussets
  3. Screened wood vents
  4. 2×4 Double wall plate
  5. Factory primed trim
  6. Boxed in 12″ gables
  7. 2 Wrought iron flower hooks
  8. Factory primed siding
  9. Sidewalls 2×4 16″ on center
  10. Insulated raid panel double house doors
  11. Real lock set
  12. Black antique hinges
  13. Three vinyl flower boxes
  14. 24×30″ Aluminum sider windows
  15. 18″ wide front overhang
  16. Shingles
  17. Off-set A-frame roof

So, if you are looking for an economical starting place for your tiny house, this is for sure an option. Check it out online here and or visit your local Costco and ask for more information.

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37 thoughts on “Costco’s Tiny House”

  1. That is a nice looking little house . If we all started that way we could save $250k-$300k not paying a 30 yr mortgage. What would you do with all that money ?

    • I strongly agree. Buy a piece of land, pay for it. Start site inprovements, pay for it. Start building your own small or tiny house, try to pay as you go along. Living mortage is fantastic.

      Borrow as little as possible and do as much of the work as you can.

      A quick way to build a nice little nest egg.

  2. Looks like any other Amish Woodworks shed. Perfect for the intended purpose, garden shed, pool house or outdoor storage. Suggesting that one of these be used for the start of a small house would be asking for trouble from Code Inspections.

    • That depends on where you live . We need to work with local building dept to revise and or relax there min sq ft requirements. Some areas are as small as 400-600 sq ft which is a good start.

      • Hi Kevin, I agree with you about changing size requirements. These sizes are fine. However these sheds are built like sheds. If you want a small or tiny house, build it to comply. I recently built a small house, 20×22, complied with all building codes & code inspections. Rec’d a CO. I was surprised at how easy this was. Total material costs was about what these sheds cost.

        • What was the round about cost on something like that? I was thinking 20x16x6 but I’d really like 20×22! I was injured in a Motorcycle accident & it was the other guys fault & he was on the phone & I been in the Oilfield for 8years & ever sence I was 18 years old & was doing good until this & I couldn’t sue, cause he had no $ & now I’m 32 & living & a very unlivable 70’s model trailer that was given to me & it’s made me so depress & I jus want a nice small place of my own that I can take care of & be proud of! I can’t spend a lot of cash but I think I can get the Bank to help me get one of these! My names Robbie & any info I’d appreciate it! U can call or text with prices or jus info! Thanks a lot ! (337)718-8721!

  3. I’ve been hearing bad things about OSB. I had a very bad experience with furniture made of that stuff. I would eagerly hear from you about different types of OSB, how they perform and how are they protected to last. Does it need extra protection from water/humidity compared to milled wood?

    • The osb used in construction today is a very good product and works well as subfloor and wall sheathing. I’m couirous if you had partical board or osb in your furniture ? It is not made for exposure to the weather but I have a building with that as a finnish and painted it over 20 years ago and it is still standing .

    • OSB is compressed shreds of wood, bark & exterior grade resin; specially designed for cladding homes. The only mistake a builder/homeowner can make is leaving it exposed to the elements for more than four months during construction. It must be covered with house wrap, vinyl or cedar siding, etc, or yes, it will deteriorate. The resins used to make construction wood panels (like OSB) can give off minute amounts of formaldehyde – however most US & Canadian panel manufacturers have eliminated this compound from production. (Import panels, possibly not.) Ask anyway. Material Safety Data Sheets s/b available thru the panel’s manufacturer or the APA. (American Plywood Association.) Cheap, inexpensive furniture today is more commonly particleboard or MDF, vs solid wood. (And I do believe some unethical upholstered furniture mfgrs may be using OSB to cut costs.) Often labeled as a recycled “green” wood product, particle board/MDF furniture & cabinetry can be deliberately overpriced to take advantage of environment-friendly consumer requests. So do shop panel prices at your local lumberyard/home box store before allowing contractor installations. Particleboard & MDF is compressed sawdust and resin – it does not hold up to daily use, esp in kitchens & baths. Within five years your cabinets will be worn, chipped & delaminating. Also, many mobile/manufactured home mfgrs use particleboard underlayment – avoid this concept. One bad leak & it swells & disintegrates. You and/or your kitchen appliances will be falling thru the floor! Opt for fir plywood underlayment panels instead, & always exterior grade, in case of leaks/or slab construction. Costs a little more but worth it. Lighter in weight too; better when hauling little homes about.

  4. Wow, Costco does everything. This looks like a nice small house but a lot of work/material would have to go into it to make it livable/up to code.

  5. Please, support your local builders and local jobs and skills, instead of big box stores.

    Unless all you want in your neighborhood is big box stores…

    • I *STRONGLY* support et on this. Tiny house living is NOT about supporting big box stores like Costco that destroy local economies, local businesses, and local business owners for the sake of selling CHEAP, disposable goods. Support local craftsmen. Buy local. Buy USED. Raid the trash. Your dreams shouldn’t be for sale to the *lowest* bidder built on the backs of the worlds poorest people. I for one and terribly saddened that would post this.

      • et/Michael,

        Big box stores are providing jobs for my family and pay a lot of taxes. If they were to go out of business, where would all of these employees end up?

        As for local craftsmen/businesses, I recently got taken advantage of by two of them. One suffered equipment failure after half a day and still owed me for another half day, but he never returned as he found a longer term job than paid much more than the half day that I needed. To this day, he keeps blowing me off whenever I try to call and schedule a return date. Now, I’m stuck trying to find a replacement as winter sets in. Oh, yeah, he had great references and did a wonderful half-day’s work, but he if his lack of integrity didn’t turn me off of hiring “local,” then my cabinet maker sure did. Instead of making my cabinets, he ended up fooling around with my next-door neighbor’s wife and breaking up their marriage while leaving me with a very pissed-off neighbor and no cabinets.

        Maybe where you two live, you have absolutely perfect local contractors, businesses, and craftsmen. However, this is far from the reality in my neck of the deep Texas Piney Woods where those who actually do work, do so on a totally different schedule that must take into account hunting, fishing, bar-b-cueing, hangovers, and just not caring to work every other day as the mood strikes.

        I can unapologetically say that I wish I would have seen this posting here at pointing me in the direction of Costco earlier.

        Kudos to Kent for not riding into town on a HIGH HORSE like so many and giving people numerous options to further their tiny house dreams no matter their lot in life.

        Thanks, Kent. You are really making a difference. While some may not like all of your postings, everyone should realize that no matter how we arrive at a smaller housing footprint–it’s better for all of us and the planet.

          • Not really. I say this as someone who has been taken advantage of by local small business. Well, I’ve also been taken advantage of by large businesses. Shoddy business is shoddy business and large or small, both have their experts at ripping people off. These are hard times and I’m glad that you have a job. Whatever you have to do to survive you do it. I know it is not fashionable right now to care about other people, but that doesn’t mean it’s not right to do so. Where do Walmart and other large box stores get their customers? They don’t wave a wand and create them out of thin air. Why, they get them from the thousands of small business that can’t compete with volume discounted, made in Asia goods. And yes, they do provide hundreds and hundreds of local jobs…at the cost of thousands and thousands of local and national US jobs. I’m not saying this to make anyone feel bad. Again, we do what have to to survive. Millions would love to be in your place. Millions more have no alternative, at least now, to huge box stores. But that doesn’t mean that we should fool ourselves that that screaming good deal on bath towels only cost what you dig out of your pocket. We all pay for it in other ways down the road.

      • Tiny house living is about what the people choosing to do so value. You are ONE of such people if in fact you are in one.

        If you think you have any excuse to gainsay people choosing such an inexpensive option as this, you don’t.

  6. With the material they are using looks like it would off gas like crazy. Something to be mindful of for people with chemical sensitivities.

    • I noticed this too. If you’re going to be environmentally friendly, why not be friendly to the inhabitants of the house too, and not use materials that may make them sick?

    • Give consideration also to whether a pregnant woman and/or young children will be living in buildings like this or any other that uses highly processed materials. Off gassing compounds can be transferred from the mother to the fetus and can be present in breast milk, too. Young children who crawl around on the floor where dust tends to settle can take in levels of toxins that can reach high concentrations in their little bodies. Builders can help by always offering more ecologically and healthy building materials options. Customers need to think more long term and consider how their families may change and how the resale value can be enhanced by using the cleaner materials. Finally, no one will want to save money on housing just to see medical costs increase many times over the costs of the better options. Build wisely, live safely!

      • Hopefully you don’t believe that all stick built homes are entirely safe, do you? If so, come give me a down payment on a bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you. Carpet fibers, animals (even your pets), GMO foods. Come ON! I grew up in Chicago, on the west side with no screens in the windows (It was SO city even flies didn’t hang around), lead-based paint, no seat belts on anything, a junk yard for cars next door, 4 floor walk-up, and factories around us belching up whatever they belched up. I will tell you that more kids get sick from too much “protection” and not enough exposure to the kinds of things in the world that build up their immune systems.

        Think of the Ganges River. People wash their clothes, burn dead bodies in their ritual, pee/poop there…and yet they live on and on. I think the INSIDE of any dwelling should be made with YOUR views, beliefs in mind. Maybe a barley bale or straw bale home would work. THOSE ARE AWESOME and you can shape it, paint it with natural earth ingredients, and it is naturally much cooler in the summer and practically totally fire retardant (The bales are packed so closely air doesn’t move freely). They are designed to last for more years than you care to consider. You would need help I’m sure, but many folks do it on their own.

        The level of cancer-causing things is super high in GMO processed foods; way too much soy in diets (causing overload of artificial estrogen, breast buds in boys, increase in breast cancer, etc. SO, I think it would be unwise for you to raise children as you would need to keep them in non-plastic (of course) bubble wrap.

        For Heaven’s sake, people eat food made on dung patty fires….

  7. I applaud costco. With them in HI I would not have had a business. The tiny house? Cute as anything I’ve seen. Would work great here as far as I’m concerned…(I don’t believe in asking for permission(permits). We need to get real. I know there is a state that does not require permits, the responsibility falls on the owners head (no pun intended). I wouldn’t live in a state that I couldn’t do what I wanted to do. Hawaii bldg dept would be all over me if they knew but, hell, they don’t and I’m not telling.

  8. Great idea and take the money you would have spent every month on a mortgage and invest it into an IRA or another financial instrument. Remember, equity, though it may gain value over time, does not gain interest. In this day and age if you think your home is going to be your cash out nest egg when your old… think again.

  9. “…it ranges in size from 12ft X 16ft to 12ft X 24ft and the costs for what appears to be a shell range from $4,995 to $7,244.”
    I have one of these (shed) on our 4 acres, it only cost us $800, and it was built by a local carpenter here in Arkansas. We purchased it 4 years ago.

  10. I’m not a fan of the big box stores either. Alternatively, I’ve also had bad experiences with contrators who fail to show up, fail to complete work and charge an arm and a leg.

    At $26/sq ft, this is a great price for a shed. I agree that the cost of modifications to transform it into a winterable living space (I’m in Minnesota where -20 is just a way of life) makes it not such a great bargain.

    Still, it’s an option for some folks – particularly those in a warmer climate. It is cute!

  11. Just an FYI, for those who might stumble onto this later, only to find the link within goes to a ‘no longer available’ page at Costco… The structure is still available from its manufacturer, as of May 12, 2012, and can be found via:

    (or just go to homeplacestructures and look for ‘bungalow garden building’ at their site…!)

    This little gem is just too nice to have let disappear into oblivion… 😉

  12. Before you get to excited about this idea, please keep in mind that Costco is simply selling you a storage shed unfinished on the inside. To say that this is a tiny house is an exaggeration! You can buy a storage shed from any local manufacturer in your local area and have it finished on the inside to make it livable and up to code. I would recommend buying local and direct from manufacturers themselves. I live in Lancaster County, PA where Homeplace Structures in located and I don’t think they actually manufacture their own buildings. They are resellers of local Amish craftsmen. Again, you can do better by simply going direct to a builder such as Sheds Unlimited of Lancaster, PA or any other builder. Check out what has been happening with buildings bought direct from this family owned and operated company in PA. They have some creative customers!

  13. I love this and will definitely stop and ask about this on Monday when I go to Costco. This may be exactly what I need/want. I have visited some manufactured housing places and the BASIC with very little going for it, starts (STARTS) at $55000. By the time one is finished the cost (and I am NOT talking about extravagance) is projected at $156000. I KNOW already that I will need an additional well and septic at around $25K, and a fire alarm wired system ($5K) and foundation work ($6000), So adding the interior if even $25K would bring the project in at under $100K. I am amazed at how beautiful and unique these tiny homes are and continue to improve.


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