There are a lot of types of tiny home — it might not be what you picture when you just think of the term “tiny home” — because they build them out of all kinds of materials, in a lot of different styles, on land and on water, and that’s just the start of it. Here are some that are built with advanced architectural designs and have all the essential elements of an ideal home. Distinguished builders have incorporated industrial features into up-to-date residential exteriors using wood, metal and cement work to interesting effects.
Tiny homes are loved these days because some people want to downsize and simplify their lifestyle. The structure, design and style are awesome and can mean important cost savings when building … and when moving the units as well. Let’s take a look at these 10 gorgeous micro home designs.
Prefab houses seem to be taking parts of the world by storm — well, maybe not by storm, but they sure are getting a lot of buzz. Besides the benefits associated with the building style, there is also the question of how they are designed. Lucky for prefab home buyers, there is now quite a wealth of professionally designed and built prefab architecture out there. Here we’ll look at 10 prefab home designs, so you can get an idea of the range and maybe it will help you decide on your own plan.
Even better: These prefab homes are built by companies we’ve already indexed in our Prefab Home Designers and Builders Directory. You can go there and search out the name of the company, and also find builders near your area.
Designed and built by KENJO System AB
Designed and built by Rolf Ockert Design
Designed and built by Prebuilt
Lovely Container Home
Designed and built by Container Homes
Designed and built by Pluscreate
Amazing Eco-house or Studio
Designed and built by Stephen Sainsbury and Wonders Building Company Pty Ltd
Incredible Residential House
Designed and built by Beaumont Concepts
Cool Family Home
Designed and built by HUF HAUS
Spectacular Container House
Designed and built by POTEET ARCHITECTS
A unique shipping container castle … with a stair-tower to rooftop patio! It’s unusual in every way, and it was built on a budget. This amazing shipping container home was sent in by one of the members of the Cool Stuff Interesting Stuff News page, Ronda Rowan. Here’s her guest post:
“My husband and myself built this home out of three 40′ shipping containers. We had a 30k cash budget to build with.
“Our county allowed us to build with an owner/builder opt-out no inspections permit. We followed all fire, safety codes and had prior land inspections. We started with a building list for supplies and a tight budget. Welding, cutting, grinding took 6 months, many hours of hard work.
“As my husband welded, I would draw up my ideas of what I wanted constructed. Our home is very unusual in every way. We insulated the containers underneath with 2″ closed cell sprayfoam, ceilings interior 5″ open cell sprayfoam insulation, exterior 5” closed cell sprayfoam insulation, then painted to preserve insulation.
“We live in Arizona desert where temperatures reach 115 summer, 10 at night in winter so we didn’t want the metal containers to transfer the heat or cold. Keeping our cooling/heating costs minimal, it works excellent.
“Our stair-tower was an old water tank we reused and welded stairs inside to access the rooftop patio. To make it look different added top to appear to be a castle.
“We have been given many unique pieces of metal objects to add to our home turning them into pieces of art. They each have a special meaning to us. We owe no debt, no mortgage, and build our home with our own hands. We are very proud to become the first shipping container home allowed to build in our county in southern Arizona. We are the ambassadors of future builders in our area.”
What is this small house prefab on the water? It’s 70 square meters of laminated timber construction, wooden deck and terminal base. Four meters in height where even the skylights can be opened.
“People want to stay rural in the summer – but still want all the facilities like toilets and showers. We have been striving for simplicity and a sense of freedom so that you experience the difference between cabin homes and permanent homes,” said Johnny Andersson and Michaela Tengblad, who created the summer house.
Johnny and Michaela, who work at Earth Architects, have designed this small prefab house for summer fun. Notice the housing structure with large glass windows including the roof. The idea is that you should feel that you have the sky as a roof. The large room should feel like a studio or greenhouse, a place where you can paint, pottery and work. Without a lot of sofas that you do not use. When you socialize as you sit at the dinner table. Living rooms are often the least used – if not the television is there.
A starting point for Michaela’s and Johnny’s prefab house design work has been to find the difference between permanent residence and holiday home at the same time they wanted to meet the requirements of convenience. Therefore, there is a toilet, shower and kitchen, but the shower is outdoors and the simple kitchen counter is more workbench which continues outdoors. The house has no hall with a definite admission, but outside several doors and sliding windows can be used. The bedroom’s surface is minimized but a bench in the main room is both storage and can serve as extra sleeping.
“When we designed the house we started from what we ourselves could afford. Therefore, we have worked with simplicity and rugged materials. But to build simple is usually difficult because you cannot hide the errors,” said the designers.
The basic concept of this prefab home design is a 70-square-meter small house, but it can be made larger and designed by the owner’s wishes. One part is built in wood and the other is the concrete foundation and steel structure. The house is winter insulated and equipped with a stove.
“We think that the house is equally suited to lie on a beach in a forest glade or in a holiday home area.”
Johnny sees no problem with having large skylights in the small house. “On the contrary, it is well amazing to hear the rain and watch the snow fall and experience the weather.”
Earth Architects work broadly with everything from private homes to prefab house designs to sheltered housing, from the landscaping to the design of the door handles. The team is Johnny Andersson, 47, who co-founded the architectural firm in 1999 in which nine people work today. Johnny’s dream home is a town house in New York, a hybrid between villa and apartment with its own entrance and terrace; and Tengblad Michaela, 40, who has been with the company for six years. Her dream home is a custom-designed, climate-villa in rough concrete and plywood.
Are you on a DIY high and ready for your next challenge? Forget the crafts, furniture, or decorative figurines. Its time to challenge yourself with a tiny house project! Pin Up Houses is a company that provides you with step by step directions to build your very own tiny home! So, if you don’t know where to start or what to buy, you’re covered! There are several plans for you to choose from that can reflect your personal style. I have chosen 5 plans to fit five different uses to show you that tiny homes are not just for downsizing.
Plan 1: The Lookout.
For the little minions in your life. Video games, television, and technology seem to be taking over many childhoods these days. Many parents or relatives are finding it difficult to get their kids outside for playtime. The Lookout is a great solution to this problem, and a wonderful fit for a curious child. At $690.00 it’s designed to be a tree-house without the tree. The difficulty of the build is 2 out of 5 which is good news for any beginners out there! Six feet off the ground with a stair case. No need to worry about kids falling from a flimsy ladder. From top to bottom it stands 15 feet tall and has two windows for a nice view. Inside you will find a 48 sqft open area, perfect for a table and a few chairs, or maybe a cool rug and a some bean bags. The house will be supported by four beams and a roof that provides over hang, so there is a good amount of covered space for all the outdoor toys currently taking up your garage. Keep the wood exposed and embrace the tree-house style, or paint and provide a personalized hideaway for your little one! Once you are done it will definitely be a ‘brag-worthy’ piece for your kids!
Plan 2: Irish
Give him the man cave of his dreams and take back your living room! This tiny home is 55 sqft of potential freedom. Let’s be honest, you can’t make his xbox look stylish and one television is not going to play both your shows. So, here is the space he can have to hang all the mismatched decorations and catch his favorite games. The Irish is styled to mimic the design of an Irish pub, hence the name. He can build it himself regardless of his talents because it’s difficulty is only 1 out 5. At $770.00 it’s a good choice for a duel gift (worth two occasions), or you can simply remember that you have probably spent more money on the furniture in your home. The structure stands 11ft tall from top to bottom and has a window on each of the four walls to bring in natural light. Inside you could furnish with a small couch or two recliners. If the man who is getting a cave is not interested in electronics, you could use the space as a mini bar with seating, or a small library with all his favorite books!
Plan 3: Alexis
This tiny home is the perfect getaway spot! It is a great choice for a summer home, lake house, or weekend getaway in mountains. This build is more expensive at $9,500.00 , but it is also larger with 394 sqft and a 54 sqft loft. Its a more difficult build with a 3 out of 5 rating, but with your step by step instructions from Pin Up Houses it can still be done! The A-frame structure creates a unique space with an eye catching exterior. Inside you will find a large open space filled with natural light from the large front window. Towards the back of the home there is a small kitchen, bathroom, and a ladder that accesses the loft upstairs. The low ceiling on the sides due to the A-frame design are a great opportunity for extra storage. This means all your vacation accessories such as kayaks, dirt bikes, or outdoor gear can be safely stored away. The front and back porch both have coverage from the roof which can provide outdoor seating or more storage. The home stands tall at 15 feet and 9 inches with a front window to match. This gives a great view from the loft as well as the downstairs. Place this tiny home a top a mountain or on a waterfront property, and you will have a view that makes it hard to go back home!
Plan 4: Mae
Here’s one for the workaholics out there! A tiny home office to get you a little closer to your own front door. For $1,400.00 you can put this 10 ft tall tiny home in your backyard to avoid your office on the weekends and get home in time for dinner. If the house is noisy and unproductive, and the office is chilly and suffocating, why stay? Make a warm and productive work environment for yourself. This house has plenty of windows so you won’t have to feel like an office shut in. There is 102 sq ft of space for you to spread out with a large desk and organize all of your important paperwork. A one room house to keep you focused on your work. If you are not an office body and more on the creative side consider this as studio space. The difficulty level on this project is only a 1 out of 5 so anyone regardless of occupation can get this job done! Get creative and get work done in your own private backyard office!
Plan 5: Joi
Get that extra storage space without paying monthly for it. Storage units these days can costs upwards of $100.00 a month, but building a Joi in your backyard will be one payment of $280.00. This unique shaped shed will give you the storage you need without a high demand of backyard space. It is very small at only 20 sq ft. You can lock up your bike, garden tools, plastic bins filled with items that no longer fit in your house, or anything else in this tiny shed! Standing over six feet tall and a little more than 3 feet wide, you will have just enough space to put things away. Shelving on the exterior can provide more space or an opportunity to create a decorative element to the shed. It is an easy build at 1 out 5 rating for difficulty. Just paint this project to match your home and you’re done! Say goodbye to clutter and hello to your new tiny shed!
Barns are becoming increasingly popular. They are no longer just used for housing farm animals. It is not uncommon to see renovated barns used as event venues or gallery space. What is it about barns that has everyone raving? The rustic charm of a country barn is undeniable. To many it may feel a lot like home. Others may see it as a unique space that provides a warm atmosphere, perfect for nights spent at home or family gatherings. Either way, the country barn has been so popular that Sand Creek Post & Beam has manufactured a home kit with this style in mind.
The Ponderosa Country Barn Home has the style and warmth of a traditional barn structure without the smell or mess! It is a total of 2,376 sq.ft. with three bedrooms and two and half bathrooms. This home’s open floor plan allows you to host your family and friends without being divided up into separate rooms. The interior beams, columns, and exposed wood provide an authenticity to structure. If you would like to create a more stylish space you could accent your home with white wash or a dark stain.
Paint is always an option as well, but it will cover the grain of the wood which would result in a less rustic look. The front of the home is complimented by a 600 sq.ft. porch complete with wooden columns. This is a great opportunity for some rocking chairs or outdoor seating.
This home kit could be used as a primary residence or a vacation home. Upon purchase, Sand Creek Post & Beam will ship a per-manufactured home kit to the customer. For those of us who feel building your own home sounds like a tedious process just remember that this home will be unlike any other in sentimental value. Plus, the home kit will provide you with the materials you need and a nice base line to start off on the right foot! This project is not impossible and when it is finished it will be well worth the work!
Stats: 24×50, 2,376 sq. ft. total living space, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, living room, dinning room, open porch (600 sq.ft.)
A small semi-modular prefab house for 1 or 2 people in the dunes for people on a limited budget, and it’s architecturally interesting: a compact house with an open floor plan.
Facades and roofs
The prefab house has standard corner pieces and wind springs, thereby making house details simple and affordable. Zinc, wood shingles, slate or ceramic would also not be out of place in this house.
High-Tech and Low-Tech division
Complex parts of the building are clustered together in one or two units. These are usually the usage areas including toilets, kitchen facilities and meter. This high-tech element is done by a specialized company in a factory, completely assembled and transported to the building and there connected to electricity, water and electricity. The rest of the building (low-tech) is built around here and contains the living quarters and and is completely operated from these units, so there is no special engineering needed in the rest of the building.
This has a few advantages:
– Very fast implementation and commissioning possible.
– High quality and robustness, for a layman, it is indistinguishable traditional building after completion.
– Few disciplines on site (no tiler, plasterer, electrician, plumber etc. need to construction),so little chance of failure and delay.
– Responsibilities are clear. One contractor builds a shell without technique, one unit builder provides all facilities and use areas.
– This method of construction is IFD (Industrial, flexible and durable)
– Proven, many bathrooms are in hotels mounted this way ready.
Structural = Trim
The prefab house designers, Dingemansa Architectuur, have conceived this buildings to materialize in a way that masonry materials remain in the completed house in sight. In a normal home this means spending about 1/3 of the construction costs to finish the building. An added bonus is that the interior will get a loft-like, airy appearance by using laminated wood structure in this case and keep it in sight.
Another good feature is using power floated concrete, this material is only a fraction more expensive than ordinary concrete what is already needed for the construction and further finishing is not necessary anymore.
Who needs a waterfront property when you can have a house on the water! Bluefield Houseboats has created the perfect abode for those of us who don’t always want to be anchored down. Updated technology and a chic design have resulted in a houseboat free of interior columns and tight spaces. This space is open, filled with natural light, and not to mention complimented by the views surrounding it!
Bluefield offers houseboats ranging in sizes from 500 sqft to 2,000 sqft, so you don’t have to go tiny if you don’t want to. You can even get a second story out of your houseboat! Apart from the style and luxury of living on the water these houseboats also are built specifically to accommodate the few who may change their mind. If the day comes that a houseboat no longer suits your situation or desires, you can place it on land! This is because the company builds to a classification that meets land or water.
Whether you choose land or water, your Bluefield home will be equipped with SMART technology. This controls the amount of energy you use, and you can monitor it yourself with your smartphone!
This home is perfect for individuals or couples with the “travel bug” or “sea legs”. Depending on the area you live in, this housing option may even be more affordable than a traditional home. When you are done exploring, or if you find yourself in need of a yard without a current, you have the option of placing this home on land. The Bluefield houseboat combines style, comfort, affordability, and practicality in one living space. That makes this not only a great home but also a great investment!
A prefab house already being sold for little more than $1000? Yes, it’s possible, as Swedish ready-to-assemble company IKEA has now proven, after years of research and design, as well as extensive field testing, even if these prefabs aren’t ones you’ll find at your local IKEA store. There are already tens of thousands of people living in these $1100, 3-hour set-up, easily ship-able IKEA prefab homes around the world, but the first inhabitants are those most in need of affordable, secure housing of this type.
3.5 million refugees living in tents and temporary shelters around the world. 3.5 million. So far what the UN compounds and other temporary housing situations have to offer for these people are canvas tents — the regular tents you’re familiar with that use ropes and poles to stand up. And guess how long the average family spends in these tents? 12 years. However, is a tent a stable environment for a family? Is it a safe structure where men, women and children can be secure from crime? It turns out that there has been a lot of crime in these types of refugee compounds in all areas, and part of that has to do with the fact that tents are not safe from intruders. So IKEA Foundation partnered with the UN refugee agency and Swedish designers to come up with a new flatpack prefab which is very affordable, very transportable and re-useable, and sufficiently stable and safe.
The prototype IKEA prefab home shelters (click photo to make it bigger) were developed with the goal of revolutionizing or at least improving the camp living situation. Also, to increase usage life. The tents last around 6 months because of the harsh conditions of the areas where they are set up. So IKEA’s prefabs are intended to be stable relative to these. The panels of the prefab, perhaps the part quickest to wear, last up to 3 years by design.
The boxes the IKEA prefab house come in are “like the IKEA bookshelves,” according to Johan Karlsson, who works on the project. They’re designed to be easy to transport and set up in the field.
They want their prefab house to be easier to ship, assemble and live in.
It starts with a frame, which comes in a bag (like a regular tent pole bag but bigger) which is shipped in one of the flatpack boxes. It’s got pipes, connectors and wires in it, and these are assembled to compose the frame of the prefab house. Then there’s the panels, which are thin and very light, but are durable and have a thin layer of insulation. These panels fit right onto the frame of the prefab house and you have walls.
How many of you have looked into these Quonset building kit homes? First thing you might notice is that there are a couple of standard types, based mostly on the roof. These are P and S styles. According to SteelMaster, “Quonset homes are becoming more and more popular with the DIY crowd; they can be […]
This is quite the building and quite the setting, too. In a wide open piece of green farmland sits this newly built traditional style metal barn house. Metal homes as an alternative building method that allows for inexpensive, strong and durable buildings that can also be reused, recycled or modified later on, and barn homes […]
So you may be familiar with prefabs made of wood, stone, metal, bricks — we have a number of those covered on this websites — and even foam prefab and modular houses, but now in the everexpanding market of home building materials: cardboard. The idea here is that a Dutch house designer thought up cardboard […]
Here’s a DIY tiny house unlike any you might have seen before. These fellows did it with just a bit of lumber and that piece of corrugated metal. Interested in trying something like this yourself? They’re a couple of Californians, named Matt & Margo, and they built this one over a dry creek bed (usually dry, anyway). […]
We’ve talked a lot about prefab homes, and they have their strengths to be sure, but now people are also talking about another building style called “flatpack homes.” They’re kit homes — actually they’re considered a type of modular home — that come flat in a box (or without a box), and then they’re set […]