Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

Tiny Coroplast House

For those of you who aren’t familiar with coroplast, it is the stuff that they make all those campaign signs out of, it basically looks like corrugated cardboard, but made out of plastic.  I have always like this stuff because of it’s properties.  First off, it is cheap, it is really durable, you can buy it in many sizes including 4′ x8′ sheets.  It is flexible but really strong, since it is made out of plastic it is water proof and cleans really easy, it’s also pretty light and the air gap gives some insulation properties.

So when I saw this sub $100 22lb house for homeless or emergency recovery shelter I was pretty excited.  In 50″ stack of coroplast sheets you can build 50 houses, assemble them quickly with zip strips, it is pretty amazing.  The other thing I realized is that these things can be easy to clean.  In the event of disasters or homeless use these things will get pretty dirty over time, but you would be able to take a standard garden sprayer with a bleach water mix and sanitize the thing in 2-3 minutes.

41 Comments
  1. I really like this! Inexpensive; looks good; low tech; Paul is such a creative guy!

  2. I wonder how he made the seams waterproof.

  3. I like it. I think this would beat sleeping out in the open. This is of course a temporary fix to a permanent problem, but it’s a good one. I know homeless people who would jump all over this one. Now, how to get it to them. Communities raising money? Non-profit budgets? Wealthy benefactors? All kinds of ways I would think!

    • Yes I agree however I’m in a community setting called loaves and fishes and we try doing every thing by donation only. We have a high number of homeless in our town and people keep thinking that homelessness is illegal its immoral for people to be homeless but not by them. By the world its immoral.

  4. It is an interesting concept. Might need to try it out sometime in the near future.

    What is the music in the background? I like it.

  5. I want one! Where can I get one?

  6. Looks like a pretty cool tent!

  7. he should make some plans of this. great temp shelter…

  8. A) That’s a FINE idea, and a well-done video. I think you should sell plans for, oh, say $25.00 …trickle-in income.
    B) Wishing this came in a kit, including a man as attractive as you! ;)

  9. Here on the Oregon Coast this little shelter could be a great system for those of us preparing for tsunami or earthquakes! Head up above the tsunami zone and park your little home on safer ground.

  10. I think families with kids sharing bedrooms might even find this a well liked solution for the kid(S) who want their own space!

  11. This is something that was done locally where I live for the homeless:

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Gorilla-Love-Project/167894549937051

  12. Love this idea (and the music). Can we get plans?

  13. It’s actually spelled “Coroplast”.

  14. I would love to see Harvard University create a Tiny House neighborhood on some of their Alston properties…they could lead the way in making Tiny Communities and then so many of these wonderful houses could be displayed all in one wonderful place …

  15. Nice, but the material is still plastic, which equals oil. If we can legalize hemp in the US we can make these types of products with little impact on the environment. Contact your Representatives and make sure they are supporting the Industrial Hemp Act HR 1831!

    • you can make a plastic product from Hemp????

      • Oh yes. Hemp USED to be cultivated widely and the oil used for plastic making. It wasn’t until Dupont discovered how to make plastic from Petroleum and a certain politician had shares in Dupont, that Hemp was demonized. Of course, hard to tell people hemp was bad when they’d been growing it without issue for ages. So the name used to demonize it was Marijuana. And initially the marketing said it made people violent. The media helped stir the pot on this new drug called Marijuana. And it’s been outlawed ever since.

        • Hemp is actually a miracle product. Fabrics, plastics, cosmetics, the whole gamut. But you get a newspaper tycoon with an agenda and you wind up with stupid laws that protect no one and turn good people into criminals.

  16. is there plans for this like if anyone wanted to make it he said it only costed him 100 dollars

  17. Great idea for the homeless or for emergencies but I’m afraid it would be too claustrophobic for me. A window would be a good addition to overcome that and for ventilation.

  18. That is sooo cool, I’d love one or 2 for camping on the mountain. A wider one for 2 people with the shelf would be prefect !!!!

  19. Wonderful Idea. Great material and perfect design. I particularly enjoy the door overhang detail, really good for rain drips. The one thing I can’t figure out is the door. I don’t see hinges….? Hoping for a little help on that one.

  20. Nice idea! In many areas, it would be much more comfortable with more ventilation and some screening. Deep South, Southeast, etc. How did you attach the wall shelf?

  21. If a guy was to purchase ( or build or modify ) a small trailer something like this http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200356493_200356493 and add a plywood floor to it, then he could strap or better yet, bolt this structure on to that trailer and tow it behind his motorcycle. It would be prefect for motorcycle camping trips !!! Just throw your sleeping bag , pillow , cook , store , food and gear into it and off you go. I see so much potential for this little structure in the motorcycle community. Best of all it’s afordable !! Motorcycle campers are grossly expensive and over priced, this would be prefect !!!

  22. You could put one of these on a heavy duty bike cargo trailer like the Surly (surlybikes.com) and you’d have a cycling RV! Sweet!

  23. Wow finally a real help to people!! No more cardboard with toxic chemicals on it!

  24. Can we buy it in South africa?

  25. It would be great to have some basic open-source plans for this shelter. Paul’s projects are so cool.

  26. This is a great post, Ryan, I’m glad you spotted it and shared. I love Paul’s creations!

  27. I have met many homeless people who refuse to go to shelters for various reasons and here in the far north they are truly at risk. This would help in that instance, but certainly it is not the answer to homelessness.

  28. Yeah to creativity! Q: since it’s plastic, is there a danger of a cooking stove? Also is there a danger of enough ventilation with cooking? Last question: Can you put a heat source in here, again, without danger?

    • I wouldn’t cook in there. Carbon monoxide, flammable. One could line the thing with Mylar (think emergency blanket) as a radiant barrier, and that could help retain body heat.

  29. Recently I spent 5 weeks in a tent in an inner city park with an Occupy group. I had my tent surrounded by pallets and though I was slightly cold during the nights that dropped below freezing (I am in upstate NY) I was basically okay. I used the handwarmers that are heat activated that kept me warm inside my sleeping bag. I left the park when I developed bronchitis but I want to return with some better preparationb. I want to build this. There was also the issue of being a woman alone( I am I am close to 60 years old) in a tent. There were several negative things that happened while in the encampment that made me very leery. I want to go back though so if anyone can give me a good idea how to construct this I would be appreciative.

  30. What is the floor made of? It is a different color…Is it the same material? How formed?

  31. how much would it be if you made another on and have the cabinets like the one in the youtube vid and a lil trailer for it for the car

  32. how much would it be if you made another on and have the cabinets like the one in the youtube vid and a lil trailer for it for the car lke on bike wheels and the lil hitch multi hitch to hook it up to a bike ar a car

  33. The padlock is a little ridiculous when a pocket knife or wire cutter would gain you access to the whole thing! Nice emergency shelter but definitely not as secure as the padlock makes it seem.

  34. A few proffered answers:

    The music was Outback – Animal Life as listed on the end credits.

    The zip ties were used as the door hinges. And, I believe, attachments for the wall shelves.

    As for availability in Africa, check for the availability of Coroplast (corrugated plastic) in large sheets.

    He didn’t say whether he had plans available. Alex, do you have a way to ask Paul about plans?

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