Kit houses and cabin kits are booming. Many are downscaling to the tiny, can I say “cute” compactness of a tiny home. Tiny home and cabin kits take the big home model and shrink it to a much smaller size but with all the basics. These small home are made, like their bigger contemporaries, from logs, metal/steel and have undoubtedly changed the way many people in the States view their housing options. With the increase in wealth and incomes and the rapid move towards consumerism, the sizes of houses owned by new families in the United States has also been increasing-spiking up to 2,500 square feet and more. Amidst this, concept of the return to tiny houses became known after some authors-Lloyd Kahn (1973), Lester Walker (1987), Sarah Susanaka and Henry David-wrote books about the movement for smaller houses which acted as an inspiration for the people out there. The sizes of small and tiny houses range below 1,000 and 400 square feet, with some amazingly tiny ones below a 100 square feet as well.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits offered which attract many.
6 Best Reviewed Cabin Kits and Tiny Homes
1) Lillevilla Escape | 113 SQF Allwood Kit Cabin
With 113 Sqf. of inside area, this cute cabin is large enough to create extra space for your hobby, garden or pool tools and supplies. It can also become your home office, lake house, guest cottage, yoga studio, retail kiosk, or simply a retreat in your back yard. The pictures (showing a real owner’s cabin, by the way) tell the story. Assembly of this solid wood cabin takes one full day for two adults. Do it yourself simple step-by-step directions come with the kit. Only minimal tools are needed. Roof shingles and foundation not included. See more on Amazon.
2) Allwood Eagle Vista | 1336 SQF Cabin Kit
Eagle Point is a truly unique cabin kit model. In addition to recreational use, it can also be a stand-alone retail space or office. Or a hybrid home/business. Eagle Point design looks good in urban areas where most traditional cabins might look out of place. This spacious cabin can be customized to function as a primary residence. Sturdy 2-3/4″ thick walls are milled to dual T&G wind block. Due to the size and height of the structure, we recommend assembly by a professional crew. See more on Amazon.
3) Allwood Eagle Point | 1108 SQF Cabin Kit
Eagle Point is a truly unique cabin kit model sold exclusively by AllwoodOutlet and custom made to order. Beware other storefronts and sellers listing this item at lower prices. In addition to recreational use, it can also be a stand-alone retail space or office, or a hybrid home/business. Eagle Point design looks good in urban areas where most traditional cabins might look out of place. This spacious cabin can be customized to function as a primary residence. Sturdy 2-3/4″ thick wall = planks are milled to dual T&G wind block patter. Extra Roof Insulation Package is included with this model. Due to the size and height of the structure, we recommend assembly by a professional crew. See more on Amazon.
4) Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit | 540 SQF + Loft (Triple Glass Windows and Doors)
If you are searching for a cabin with a functional floor plan, take a look at Allwood Avalon. 540 SQF combined ground floor area with a 218 SQF sleeping loft (whereof 53 SQF with min. 48″ headroom) allows many room allocation options. Like all of our kit cabins, Avalon is made from high quality Nordic wood. This cabin can be a lake house, guest house, beach or garden cottage or even a stand-alone retail building. With thicker than usual (2-3/4″) wall planks, Avalon is very energy efficient and well suited even for colder climates. Assembly of this solid wood cabin takes about a week for two adults. Do it yourself simple step-by-step directions come with the kit. See more on Amazon.
5) Lillevilla Allwood Cabin Kit Getaway (Getaway Cabin kit)
Allwood Cabin Lillevilla Getaway is a high quality multi purpose solid wood cabin. With 292 Sqf inside floor area plus a sleeping Loft (which is not part of the 292 Sqf due to limited height), Getaway is large enough to function as summer house, home office or even a stand-alone retail building. By adding the utility hookups this cabin can be converted to a residence. For colder climates it is recommended to add extra insulation. Assembly of this solid wood cabin takes 2-3 days for two adults. Do it yourself simple step-by-step directions come with the kit. Only minimal tools are needed. See more on Amazon.
6) Timber House Dual
This is made of four 40ft container, total is 50ft long, 16ft wide, 19.2ft high. There are one living room and kitchen, office room, and rest room at ground floor. While one living room and two bedroom with bathroom in first floor. See more on Amazon.
History of Tiny Homes
Jay Shafer, the founder of Tumbleweed Tiny House and Four Lights Tiny House companies (2012), played an important role in popularizing this concept. He built and designed his own 96 square feet house on wheels and lived in it, to later co-founding the ‘Small House Society’ in 2002, along with Shay Soloman, Nigel Valdaz and Greg Johnson. These three people went on to later issue guides as well as memoirs, talking about the small house movement.
With the depression and the financial crisis affecting a large number of people in 2008, many people were left without homes leading to them setting up tents and camps anywhere suitable. Residing in tiny houses became much easier for homeless communities present all around the United States due to their cheapness as compared to the expensive mortgages offered by the U.S Housing. These ecologically friendly and affordable tiny houses are also widely used as ADUs, accessory dwelling units, which serve as an additional housing area on-property for almost any purpose-home office, guest house, accommodation for aged family members, etcetera.
Cabin Kits/Kit Houses
These are also known as pre-fabricated, pre-cut, mill-cut, ready-cut, mail order and catalog homes/houses. This type of housing was first popular and prevalent in the U.S, Canada and other areas during the majority of the earlier years of the twentieth century. Manufacturers who developed these houses sold them in a variety of different styles and plans; from featuring simple yet elegant houses to more complex and somewhat luxurious kit houses. All the materials required to construct the kit house were provided by the company at a pre-set, fixed price while the more solid and somewhat heavier materials that would serve as part of the foundation (masonry, bricks, concrete) were particularly not included in the package.
The concept and the idea behind kit houses was explained to a U.S Senate committee back in the year 1919 by the manager of Sears’ lumber department. He said that the structure of a ready-cut house is no different from that designed and built by traditional carpenters or builders. He also emphasized that these kit houses were built and designed as permanent structures.
The Best States to Build a Tiny Home
The idea of building tiny houses and people trying to downsize can be restricted or made difficult-mot impossible-to an extent because of the locational decisions one must make, keeping the law in mind. The concept of tiny houses being inhabited by families or people ‘full-time’ is still fresh and a little alien in the eyes of the law governing authorities which has confused states in the U.S about the conditions and requirements that need to be met by a ‘tiny house builder/owner’. However, don’t be discouraged as if you follow all the necessary regulations and abide by all the home-building laws, you should be able to reside in your tiny home safely.
It should also be noted that every state in the U.S is yet to allow legal construction of and residence in tiny houses. What this basically means is that not all states are suitable for living in tiny houses.
Below are some of the best states (in no particular order) that will allow you to build your own, customized and comfortable tiny house with varied size requirements.
This state is not really considered by many to work progressively but that’s not the case when it comes to tiny houses. North Carolina allows one of the very lowest size benchmarks for the builder to be issued a permit; 150 square feet! Quite fascinating, isn’t it?
It also requires an addition of 100 square feet for every additional person residing in the house. That’s still acceptable and quite amazing.
This state, known for its scenic beauty and wildlife attractions, also allows some incredibly relaxed laws related to tiny house construction. The minimum size requirement is fixed at a 190 square feet, with an addition of only 50 square feet to be made for every additional individual. Constructing unbelievable tiny houses and following the law and order have been made very easy here.
Note: For all tiny houses, at least an exterior space of 9 feet is required by law.
This state has suffered a lot of damage in the past decade which has led to a rise in the quantity of homeless people here. To make things easier for these people, Michigan has allowed for the tiny house movement to operate and provide for those in need. The law requires tiny houses to be built on a site which covers at least 500 square feet of land. However, not only humanitarians have been benefitting from this law. The future of investments in tiny home communities seems to be bright here.
This state is known to be an aesthetic attraction for tourists from different parts of the world. In addition to its scenic beauty, its progressive nature is also a plus point for those living there. The state supports tiny housing immensely, with some areas even going as far as eliminating clauses that require a minimum size coverage for a tiny house. This progression has led to the development of the state as a ‘home’ to tiny houses.
Looking for the ideal state to build your tiny house with a care-free mindset? Well, Texas has got your back.
This is one of those very uncommon states that have completed and fully embraced the tiny housing culture; doesn’t matter if your tiny house sits on wheels or has a concreted foundation. The general requirement is set at the foundation being a minimum of 320 square feet but is still subject to changes depending on the city or area you choose. Some areas have also set a maximum limit for tiny houses which don’t allow a tiny house to be covering more than 400 sq ft altogether.
Another pro for this state is the encouragement that is extended your way by friendly and accommodating tiny house communities which have developed in the state over time.
Can the Average Person with No Building Experience Build a Tiny House Themselves?
It might seem a bit odd to hear someone say ‘I’m gonna build my own house’. But as unrealistic as it may sound due to the mass traditional construction methods utilized and put into effect for ages now, it can be done and it is being done. You don’t necessarily have to have experience in the construction sector to build your tiny house as these houses are actually quite ‘tiny’ as compared to the standard houses in the U.S.
All you need is commitment, devotion, some basic sensible skills, suitable tools, materials and extensive, detailed planning. Planning is the key to success in every aspect, it’s no different here. Many companies or platforms also offer help with the planning process and assistance in areas you may be stuck. You will have to show consistency and devotion throughout the building period as there exists no room for laziness and unnecessary excuses. If you tend to this task with a healthy mind set and think it as a journey, throughout which you’ll learn new things and skills, building your own tiny, aesthetic house can work out quite well for you.
Cost Savings of a Kit House vs Purchasing a Home?
Buying or mortgaging a house today in the U.S can be unbelievable expensive, unaffordable and worrisome for many people out there. Debt and mortgage payments can mentally exhaust a person and drain their current and future financial sources. The median house listing price has increased substantially from lower than $100,000 before the 1960s to a hefty approximation of $280,000.
An effective and doable alternative to purchasing your own home is building your own tiny house which will cost you WAY lesser. Tiny house construction can cost you as less as $5,000 and can go up to $28,000 or more. It all depends on the materials you use, the type of tools and machinery you hire, the location you’re building your house in, your personal requirements etcetera. It’s in your hands to control your costs and manage things efficiently as you’ll be the boss and the executer as well.
How Much Time Does It Take to Build a Cabin Kit?
Cabin Kits have made life and the building process easier for people in the states since the 1900s. You must have gotten that idea by now. But what you don’t probably know is that you can actually build your very own beautiful cabin house in a single day! All the pieces of your cabin’s jigsaw puzzle just require you to put in honest effort and if you do that, you’ll be good to rest in your cabin in a day. Amazing and tempting at the same time, isn’t it?!