Thursday, February 9, 2012


In the words of P T Barnum, "There's a sucker born every minute."  And after reading a press release from Best Tiny House, a company in Oregon, I have to agree with old P T.  Why would anyone in their right mind buy the plans to build one of their homes when they are already available at your local Lowe's and Home Depot.

I'm embarrassed to have them call themselves "prefab"  but I guess it's what passes for prefabricated homes in the Michelle Kaufman world of house design.

Bob Johnson, General Manager of Tiny House Builders says: "It is our goal to bring maximum 'customization' potential to our customers while allowing modularity of design to provide high-value at an attractive price point. We accomplish this by providing a Prefab Tiny House, delivered to the builder/owner on its own mobile chassis with the floor pre-attached." The walls and roof panels are generally four foot by eight foot panels that can be easily assembled and fastened in a few hours to provide a completed building shell.

Johnson goes on to say, "The Tiny House, is a relatively new phenomenon, but it's not surprising that these efficient homes are starting to catch on. As people look to decrease their footprint, their expenses, and live smarter, the size of one's home is one obvious place to make an improvement."
Here are a couple of pictures from their website showing their homes:

And here are a couple of wooden storage sheds from a home center.  Now all they need is one of the metal trailers they sell.



john Haddad said...

I am sold on the concept and so are the Amish in PA and Indiana. How much can a storage shed be customized? The key to a small carbon foot print is the location of the home. Building in existing neighborhoods where shopping, work, school and fun is within walking distance is the key.

Anonymous said...

Coach, What was the purpose of ripping into this guy? He's an American with a good (to some) idea. Are we all supposed to be from PA and build what you say is right?

Why not use the space to right another article about how awesome Nationwide is doing.

The modular industry is full of whores and used car salesman who stab each other in the back, buy business and then go bankrupt as often as possible. I thought I was getting an industry blog, not a bunch of old ladies at the hair dresser.

Coach said...

I might be from PA. I might be opinionated. I might favor Nationwide Homes because they produce a ton of good things for me to write about. I might not like the MK Designs of this world or the little houses that are built on cargo trailers.

But I love modular homes, even the ones built in the Western states. I try to bring readers all the news that they probably couldn't find elsewhere and articles about all phases of system built housing.

I'm very sorry that sometimes my views are not appreciated by some readers but I'm still going to write about all the good, the bad and the laughable things in our industry.

I do want to thank you for taking the time to write about your concerns and hope that you will continue to read Modular Home Builder and help keep me focused on the world outside of the PA factories!

Micheal Simmons said...

Clearly you know very little about the Tiny House movement. These are very poor examples of TH's you have pictured here. Maybe you should read up more about why people are going tiny or the companies that build them such as Four Lights, Tumbleweeds etc. These companies make remarkably affordable homes made from real wood and the like, most are not prefab crap. To attack others for what they believe is rather childish. Mobile homes are ok but frankly I have seen many look like crap after only a couple years of use bc their material is cheap stapled and glued pre fab. not to mention how dangerous they are esp (chemicals from the prefab material) when they catch on fire. Point being maybe you shouldn't attack the tiny house industry esp if your only defending mobile homes...know that's laughable

Chris Vores said...

These are sheds with windows not tiny homes. I guess just as there is an upper limit to what a tiny home is as would be a cottage. There is a lower limit. Sure you could toss a cot in these but how about a sink stove bathroom shower etc? I am sure most people would look at these as sad examples of tiny homes. Not to bad mouth the company but come on, really?

Rudd Rowan said...

My brother (lives in Cleveland, OH) needs to replace his existing aging home with a compact ("tiny"..?) house of approx 400 sq-ft.
We hope/plan to relocate the new house on the property (approx 40'-W x 120'-L) and to remove the existing structure.
I'm interested in a modular solution.
Beyond the governing zoning laws, are there other considerations we should allow for in our planning..?

Anonymous said...

Coach you bring out the best and worst in commentators.

Michael clearly does not understand what is a modular home nor the quality and standards provided by the top tier manufactured home factories.

Like any movement or concept individuals will test the limits of what the community will stand for in allowing tiny homes which will lead to overzealous zoning misguided governmental codes and standards. Pity.

As to you be opinionated - well you've earned the right based on your years of experience in the industry. Your blog is not only informative it evokes some thoughtful (most times) insight from commentators and building professionals.

Diana Black said...

Well I am homeless and living off my sister.Any little home is a blessing and I think its cute.