Posts Tagged Tiny Apartment

How Much Should Tiny House Plans Cost?

So over at Treehugger they posed a good question: How much should at Tiny House cost?

My first gut reaction is that if a normal house plans cost $2500-$5000 for your 3000 square foot home that it essentially costs $1-$3 per square foot at retail.  With that logic we could pay $150 to $450 for a Tiny House.  Now we should recognize that the cost of developing a set of plans can be costly.  I know from talking to Jay Shafer of Tumbleweed has about a 6 month development process.   Once they do develop these plans they can sell them over and over, since they are digital, there is no reproduction cost and next to no distribution cost as its via email.

I guess I look at it this way.  There are two factors: what the market will bear and what is the ethical price.  Now some would argue that these two things aren’t mutually exclusive, while others wouldn’t give a single thought to ethics.  I won’t go into what the market will bear, because that’s pretty straight forward.

Why Ethics?  In my thought process I have come to focus on some things.  Primarily that everyone has the right to clean water to drink, good food to eat, and a safe place sleep.  In the United States I generally think people have access to free clean water, but will integrate water into my other efforts.  So I focus my efforts on food and housing.

For food I work to develop community gardens and consult to get new ones started. Local food that is highly diversified, decentralized, and sustainable is key to a healthy planet, a healthy community and essential for food security.  For housing I think Tiny Houses are the key to connecting those without a safe place to sleep with a place to call home.  I have looked at the solutions around and feel it is the most viable.

Now certainly as a business it is smart to have different price points for certain segments of consumers, which will be higher.  Tiny Houses are very affordable to their McMansion counterparts, but is being less than a large house enough?  Wouldn’t it be neat if Tumbleweed were to develop a free house plan that was ultra low cost?  From another view point, that housing is a right, what should the cost be?  Free?  $10? $100?

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Tokyo Apartment Video Tour

I was sent this neat video from a reader (Thanks Maria!) of a Tokyo Apartment.  I often look to what Asia and Europe are doing in terms of living space because they have been living in such small spaces for a very long time.  Americans are pretty new to the game, or at least we have moved away from it.

Casa FOA

This house is a great example of what you can do with 300 square feet, divided into two regions: active/work and rest/lounge.  The bed is lofted above all the functional spaces (bathroom, kitchen, closet).  The design also incorporates a table that can seat 6 and a changing room.  The changing room is pretty neat idea, with a lofted bed, we don’t have any room to really change, but a changing room meets this need, hides your clothes and provides privacy.


Sustainia Pod

This tiny space started out as a unique work space, but evolved to include a fold out bed, solar panels etc.  Wrapped in R30 insulation and a price tag of $10,000 it is a surprising low cost for some of the custom woodworking that is included.



This video while I feel like it lacks some substance, it brings up a good point about building something with your hands.  I think that an appeal of Tiny Houses is that they are approachable for people with little to know building experience.  It reminds us of something that is lost in our culture, where lack of this skill, charm and hard work sometimes are cut out of the equation when it comes to a home. Anyway, for your consideration:

16mm color film. 6:43 min.

Lloyd Kahn claims that shelter is more than a roof over your head. As the author and publisher of over a dozen books on home construction, Lloyd has been grappling with the concept of home, physically and psychically, for over five decades. Situated in the financial and housing crisis, this film profiles Lloyd’s ideas on do-it-yourself construction and sustainability.

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