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100 Sq. Ft. Prefab NOMAD Micro Home: Could You Live this Small?

The NOMAD micro home is a prefabricated 10 x 10 dwelling designed in British Columbia.

It’s made so that you can order and have it shipped anywhere worldwide.

This means it’s great for living but also useful for emergency situations.

And it can also be used as an office, hotel room, guest house, affordable housing, and more.

NOMAD Tiny House

NOMAD Micro House

Images: NOMAD Micro Homes

Ian Kent is the man behind NOMAD and he’s perfected the 100 sq. ft. design with the following innovations which you can see in the photos below:

  • space saving staircase to the loft,
  • varying ceiling heights,
  • and maximizing natural light.

These three factors help the home feel spacious and usable even though it’s incredibly smaller than traditional housing.

Ian has 35 years of design and home-building experience that he used to create a prefabricated tiny home that has minimal impact on earth.

Living Room Area

Living Area of the Nomad Micro Home

I love the floor to ceiling window to the right of the couch. This is excellent in a small space but most people wouldn’t be willing to put in a window this big because of cost and the amount of wall space that it uses up where you would normally be able to add more storage like shelving. If it was up to me, I’d rather take the window! I’d rather get rid of more useless stuff and enjoy the view than have shelves there but that’s just me.

Living, Kitchen and Stairs to the Loft

Living Area and Kitchen

These are one of the most unique staircase to loft designs I’ve ever seen. It’s great because you don’t need a ladder. And it doesn’t feel as flimsy as one either. The only downfall is that you literally have to step on your kitchen countertop (and shelves?) to get up there. So no shoes in the loft!!

Speaking of the loft, let’s get you up there..

Sleeping Loft in the NOMAD Micro Home

Sleeping Loft

I really like this sleeping loft because you’ve got plenty of headroom at the angle it’s set, you have a nearby window to enjoy the view and get some light in, and finally it looks like there’s some built in drawers towards the right where you can keep your minimalist wardrobe. 🙂

You can get a better view of it below.

Bedroom in a Micro Home

This is definitely one of my favorite sleeping lofts I’ve seen yet thanks in part mostly to the stairs, window, and the storage! It feels like a relatively normal bedroom and I think that’s great. Good work Ian Kent!

Finally let me show you the floor plan sketches so you can see where the bathroom is and all of that.

Floor Plan

Floor Plan

The only problem I have with this micro home is that there seems to be no shower. Unless, of course, it’s a wet bath. But I don’t even see a floor drain so I’m not sure what the plan is here for bathing. Let’s go up to the loft…

Loft Floor Plan

Looks like there might even be a little bit of closet space to the right of the dresser drawers up in the loft which is a nice storage bonus that I’m sure we’d all appreciate.

How the Prefab Design Works

Prefab NOMAD Micro Home

Video with Founder/Creator

Musical Video Tour of the NOMAD

Pricing

Starts at just under $30,000 and can be shipped worldwide. More recently update info on pricing is available here.

How to get one

I’m not sure you can order one just yet.. But maybe! Right now Ian and his team are working on building the very first NOMAD Micro Home. I encourage you to visit their official site to check in if you can order one.

How you can get involved

They’re raising money for the project and giving away some pretty cool rewards to those who donate in case you wanted to get involved. They’re even having somebody live in one for 60 days and letting participants snoop in on him. Sounds a little strange, but hey it might be interesting! Just be sure to keep your clothes on, Steve.

Another way to get involved is to visit their site, “Like” their Facebook Page, and follow them on Twitter.

What Would You Change? Think You Can Live This Small?

I actually love this design and wouldn’t change much except for transforming that tiny bathroom into a wet bath so you can shower. Besides that, I’d leave everything as is. What would you change, add or remove to make this yours? And most of all, do you think you could happily live this small? Please let us know in the comments below.

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Alex

Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!

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{ 47 comments… add one }
  • LaMar Alexander LaMar October 29, 2013, 2:11 pm

    Well it is a concept design more than a house plan and I see some problems. You pointed out the lack of a shower.

    I see the headroom in that loft is being exaggerated in the pics and it looks to be under 6 foot making it hard for an adult to stand up comfortably.

    I don’t like climbing into bed at the head of the bed. They show an open space next to the side of the bed that could be better utilized by putting the bed next to the wall so people can access the bed from the side.

    Bottom floor looks OK but not fond of that loft design.

    LaMar

    • Lee-Anne October 29, 2013, 2:54 pm

      I agree with you about the bed. I would shift it over towards the window. Also gives you a little more room up there.

      I just wish there was room for a Japanese soaking tub/shower in the bathroom. That’s all it really needs to be usable for me.

      • Carl W October 29, 2013, 4:51 pm

        I also think that turning the head of the bed toward the window would allow more space for getting out of bed, also extra floor space, or just shifting the bed closer to the window. Of course, I would want the bathroom on the same floor as the bed, so this design would not work for us. For one person or perhaps two it could be workable, and could also be a getaway tiny house.

        • Lee-Anne October 30, 2013, 5:24 am

          I wonder if you could turn the wardrobe space into an ensuite.

  • jerryd October 29, 2013, 3:32 pm

    Not bad design except the interior layout. A 5′ bathroom without a bath/shower? In a 10×10′?

    Put the bath with shower, storage over in the 5′ or even 4′ with the kitchen on the same wall.

    Now you have a 8’x10′ space open for so many far better options vs the limited one shown.

    Still think the material, labor needed to make the loft would be better spent at ground level to increase it 3′ or so. Plus would allow it into a shipping container..

    Not sure how they are going to ship 10′ wide and taller pieces easily.

    Certainly not in a shipping container that needs 7.5′ or less.

    As for the view I see fine with windows starting 30” high with lower cooling, heating costs plus storage above, below the window and bath.

  • Pat Rayta October 29, 2013, 5:58 pm

    In places this small, people have to throw out the idea of NEEDING a bathroom. Build an outhouse, save the space. I have a mini, rough camp this size. No bathroom. No shower. An outdoor shower unit would work just fine for something like this. I didn’t see any heat source, despite being from British Columbia, so that would indicate it is not meant for four season use, so, an outdoor solar shower would be fine, as would the outhouse.

    • Alex Pino October 29, 2013, 10:00 pm

      Although I’d much rather have a bathroom inside, an outhouse/shower shelter is a great idea. And it can be nearby. If it were me, I’d have it so it’s accessible from the deck. Just a few steps away.

      • Andrew Marsteller October 30, 2013, 2:04 am

        If you read the specs on the website, you would see that it has forced air propane heating, and it has a hand shower in the bathroom.

        • Alex Pino October 30, 2013, 11:21 am

          Thanks Andrew

        • Alex Pino October 30, 2013, 11:21 am

          So I guess it *is* a wet bath then.

      • carrie November 3, 2013, 7:53 pm

        I LOVE it …but, something is really out of reason, design wise. We need space for towels,bedding,shoes/boots and clothing. I am willing to downsize my clothes but I am not running around butt-naked just to have a ‘tiny house’
        YES we do need more space for shelving ..

  • Pat October 29, 2013, 6:00 pm

    The other problem I always see with designs like this is in the loft. Higher protection needs to be built in for those who roll around in their sleep!

  • Michelle October 29, 2013, 6:13 pm

    Scary stairs and no shower for $30 grand? Back to the drawing board.

    • Ralph Sly October 29, 2013, 10:31 pm

      Oh am I with you Michelle, people, turning beds, “out houses”, this is 30 grand. Look at it and imagine living in that. I just came home form a dirty project, off with the grubs and into the shower and clean rags. You want to see the mess of this place and its 250′ for just pudgy me. Lamar, your up on top there, drop a hammer and bounce it off some heads to look at this objectively. By the way, no shoes in the loft and using kitchen counter space for a step. Its a good thing I read that and didn’t hear it said, dose anyone here cook or prepare food. I can’t believe I am responding to a concept anyway. This is more of a spoof and poor advertising if they think this is worth a thought of attracting business.

      • Boni October 30, 2013, 10:31 pm

        Only $300 per SQFT! This is the equivalent of a 1200 SQFT home for $360,000 without land!

        • Ralph Sly October 31, 2013, 10:17 pm

          ONLY, sorry for the volume but am I the only one living in the twilight zone here? You can’t compare the amenities, services and quality of this to a stick built home and at $300.00 a foot, I will build houses all day long for you… I simply do not see it Bonni. This is cute, I will give it that. Everything is cute when presented like this in a concept or vacant photos. I had a wife who could’t vision, we lived under construction for years because things kept changing. I sent her to our summer place and brought the entire crew into that house and finished it the way she wanted it but didn’t realize just what she did want (confusing I know but bear with me) I took what she had seen and said was nice in other places and went with it, without her in the house. She was overjoyed and we did that in less than a week. I would have used any excuse under the sun to keep her out until it was finished. When she came home, she looked at me and the first words out of her mouth were You SOB, we could have been living in this all this time. “go figure” (I did get a hug and kiss afterwards and lived a few more very pleasant years in that house”. Utilizing kitchen counters as stairways, am I the only one bothered by this…

    • Alex Pino October 30, 2013, 11:25 am

      Hey Michelle, turns out there *is* a shower. It’s a wet bath. So there’s a hand held shower head you can use just like in many RVs/motorhomes.

  • TomLeeM October 29, 2013, 6:55 pm

    It is really cool. I would not mind living there but I would want some way to keep clean. I think the stairs are very clever.

  • Bill Burgess October 29, 2013, 10:46 pm

    Looks great for young people. And yes the wet bath would be the way to go. I like the plan but don’t quite understand why no dormer but as an older full figured senior I probably would not go this route. Make a great pole cabin in a remote area.

    • Alex Pino October 30, 2013, 11:24 am

      Thanks Bill! And just found out that yes there is a wet bath already designed which Ian explains here in the comments

  • Mary J October 29, 2013, 11:57 pm

    Lovely, nice, clean , modern. Great stairs, with the added bonus of some extending to become shelves for the kitchen area. Little worried that I might be lured into diving into that cocoon of a bed so maybe it should be swung around with the walls creating a side and bedhead for it otherwise need higher bed rails for safety! Love the deck with its own bench seat finish, all it needs for summer is a sunsail shade and a long cool drink.

  • Ian Kent October 30, 2013, 12:27 am

    Hi Alex… thank you so much for your wonderful profile of our NOMAD Micro Home!

    First and foremost, there is definitely a shower. NOMAD incorporates a wet bathroom as commonly seen in many RVs with the shower located on the wall between the bathroom and the toilet. Water exits through a floor drain beneath wooden floor slats and all surfaces in the bathroom are waterproof.

    The NOMAD Live model includes both a forced-air propane heater and propane-fueled hot water on demand. And the rendering isn’t clear but there is a handrail affixed to the wall along the stairs leading up to the sleeping loft.

    Last but not least, each NOMAD is flat-packed and easily shipped worldwide.

    Hope that addresses many of the questions that have been raised!

    • Alex Pino October 30, 2013, 11:22 am

      Hey Ian! Thanks so much for clearing that up for us.

    • Ralph Sly October 31, 2013, 11:02 pm

      Ian, I am being awful hard on your concept and price for this project presented and see where you are coming form with the Lego idea of shipping houses. I must be terribly wrong here because so many others like it and I am inclined to go with the larger vote but I do not think this was well though out. There are so many other portable or easy to ship products out there to even consider this one. I have built and was paid large sums as a purchaser and you could never justify this price to me. If I was in the market this would turn me off of doing business with you. You didn’t present this to a government or unsupervised deep pocket investors of major projects but to people who are interested toward downscale lives but still having one and overall I don’t see it here. I read your profile, very impressive. Just more proof to me that you could have come up with something better.

  • Gill October 30, 2013, 5:44 am

    for the idea and concept. i like it but i dont think i could live in it. Totally could see having this as a hideaway out back or something though. lots of windows and lights. I used to live in Texas. Houston for that matter. It rarely gets cold there so no real heating issues with this. i’d just get a standalone AC and heater but then again i love being cold so no biggie. Ive been looking into the idea of getting a tiny home and i really like the designs of Rich’s Portable Cabins. So i’d probably consider something like that. With this design though the only thing I dont like besides no shower in the design is the loft itself. I really dont feel the need for an upstairs loft but in the designs im considering there are lofts where I could fully stand and walk. That would be a plus for me and any female guest I’d have. Honestly something like this really seems like a sweet little hideaway for out back or something for a teenager in the backyard other than that i’d have to pass

  • Sam W. October 30, 2013, 8:47 am

    I would remove the loft and make the couch into a folding bed. With some rearranging of furniture and such, it should be possible to have enough room for a shower.

    • Wendy P October 31, 2013, 12:15 am

      Why remove the loft? If anything, use it for storage. The whole point of making the unit that tall is to double your square footage… This looks to be perfect for someone who works a lot of hours, is rarely home, and hardly cooks. I agree with someone above who would increase the height of the bed railings. That does look potentially dangerous. If this were possible to combine several kits, one could potentially order 3 kits and link them together for a 10′ by 30′ home. Take off a few dollars for leaving off two end walls – perhaps 25K each, in fact you could take off the bathroom kit for the middle unit and replace it with a closet and you might have a decent sized place/cabin.

  • Patrick October 31, 2013, 5:15 am

    As a concept, I really like the overall design: very attractive and imaginative. Not liking wet-baths, for this structure to work for me as a full-time residence, it’d need to have an actual shower. Getting into bed from the pillow-end is also unacceptable. Here’s how I’d modify the design: Extend the loft all the way to the window wall, the side of the bed also along that wall. In the space presently designated the clothes closet, place the shower (it could then share a “wet wall” with the other bath fixtures below). In the loft, above the start of the stairs below, build the clothes closet. There should be enough headroom, above the first few stairs, to allow for this. In this way, there’d be a walk-in shower and closet in the bedroom, with more loft walking space and conventional side access to the bed. Being 6′-0″ tall, myself, the height of the structure — from ground floor to loft ceiling, at the highest point — would have to be around 16 feet, to allow for adequate loft headroom. I’d also feel a lot less claustrophobic with a 12′ X 12′ footprint. But, overall, the present design is very inspiring, and just needs a little tweaking to be truly functional, from my vantage point. Good job!

    (As an aside, not to knock the originator, an owner-builder with decent carpentry skills, could construct their own version of the design for 25% or less of the manufactured cost.)

  • Lindig H October 31, 2013, 9:49 am

    I do live in 100sf (a small Class C RV) with kitchen, bath, bed, desk, seating, etc. I like the modern design but . . . . I have never quite understood the need for two sinks in a place this small. Swap the range with the kitchen sink, take the sink out of the bath — it’d be about two more steps to wash your hands (or brush teeth). Also, the wall above the couch and the TV wall could have shelving for storage. The TV wall could have a pulldown (or up) desk area, too. And shelving on the end wall by the kitchen. Get rid of the coffee table and put in a swivel tub chair so you could seat more than two people. Love the stairs. Getting into bed at the pillow end is not good. Somebody upthread suggested turning the bed (good); somebody else said to close in the loft floor to afford more room and more storage up there (good). The price is way high. I’ve got more ideas, too, but this is enough. I’ve been living in my little RV for five years so it can definitely be done.

    • Jay Bee October 31, 2013, 10:47 pm

      This was my thought, too.

      I figure one could do a nicely equipped RV for this kind of money (actually, a lot less).

      And I’m the same about the sinks. No need for so many sinks. I lived in 480 sq ft with 3 sinks: toilet, kitchen, and laundry. Two sinks were basically right next to each other. The other sink was about 5 steps away. I was like “what is this all about?”

      Also, showers are nice, but I discovered that sponge bathing and washing my hair in the sink saves time and water. I get just as clean.

      • Lindig H November 1, 2013, 12:58 pm

        Like you, I often wash my hair in the kitchen sink and then use baby wipes for the rest of me. Designs like this need consultants who have lived in small spaces and are practical. And my RV cost way less than $30k.

  • deborah October 31, 2013, 11:21 am

    Pretty but not that practical and dangerous in areas such as the bed and stairs. Not even a handrail?

  • James October 31, 2013, 12:31 pm

    Surprised no one has cleared this up, but in most areas, 10×10′ or less does NOT require a building permit, which makes things much easier. I’d love to build one like this for my oldest daughter so she has her independence without the struggle of affording an apartment.

  • Justin Gilbert October 31, 2013, 2:42 pm

    $30,000 for 100 sqft? The pad looks nice, but not $30,000 nice. for $5,000 you can build a straw bale mini home. For 25-30,000 you can build an 600 sq ft straw bale home with a timber frame with a loft….Or buy a shed from home depot and modify it for less than $5,000. Lots better ideas than this.

    • Alex Pino October 31, 2013, 2:45 pm

      You’re right Justin only- for $30k you’re not doing the labor on nights and weekends for 10 months so it’s kinda different. But I agree you can still do it for cheaper, even hiring a contractor. Will just take more planning/designing/etc on your part, ya know.

      • Ralph Sly October 31, 2013, 10:40 pm

        “Just $30K” for a classy garden shed. I am happy you agreed a contractor could build it cheaper. But I disagree on it would take more planning/designing/etc on your part as an inconvenience or your dealing with a dead head contractor. Any contractor worth his salt could come up with this off the photos. A simple dormer or bubble sky lite over that bed would make it more useful and I sure agree with those concerned about the safety hazards. It is just trying to put too much into so little. The best idea one had about this place is a crash zone to kids in the back yard. Great for that and all their baggage is in the big house. Kids would certainly have a blast with this as we did as kids in the rustic yard wood sheds our parents had in the back yards.

        • 2BarA November 3, 2013, 9:15 pm

          Another tiny house with a most inconvenient loft–how do you make the bed or change the bedding? I don’t care for the stair design, causing one to walk over the food prep area. At least it has a bathroom basin. Why do people think it’s okay to comb hair in the kitchen? Yuukkk! The cost per square foot would not sell anyone on the idea of a tiny house. This needs a lot of tweaking to go from a concept to a design worth building.

  • beth stark December 20, 2013, 6:21 pm

    I would want on ofuro tub that can function as a shower, tub, and sink.
    This would increase the utility of the space dramatically. LOVE the design. LOVE the windows.

  • Michelle December 25, 2013, 3:07 pm

    Wow… for $30K someone could buy a smallish house with property. That’s a lot of money for 200sf. :o(

    • Alex Pino December 27, 2013, 1:10 pm

      Yeah, for $30k always depends on location though.

      • Michelle December 27, 2013, 1:16 pm

        Does permanent property come with each house? I thought part of the beauty was that this was more mobile and people could put it anywhere they want. No?

  • Sandra B May 26, 2014, 12:20 am

    I think that this is a cool design. I agree with some of the other
    posters that you should close the loft space up all the way to
    the window. Then move the bed over about 16 inches. Now you can
    walk around the bed to get in or out and it’s easier to make it.
    A good size rail should run along the opening where the stairs
    come up. Also I would put the headboard on the wall side
    at the other end.

  • Ray July 28, 2014, 9:59 pm
  • LJ December 24, 2015, 12:17 pm

    I will be emailing nomad directly but thought I’d leave my comments too.

    First, I like it. Cube idea is great, especially in energy efficiency (yeah I know, people commented on the Windows, maybe Nomad could offer 2 options). And, it can organize space well (although I’ve tried 20 some odd times to fit my life into a cube and my “best” space use designs always end up an oblong rectangle).

    My biggest concern, and one no one seems to be addressing (did I miss something?), is, DOES IT MEET CODE? BOTH IRC and local restrictions? Current code (2015) DOES allow for smaller footprint (need 70 sq ft room, not including kitchen and bath). When most of your above comments were made (2013), it wouldn’t have since the rule was 120 sq ft and many local jurisdiction STILL operate in the now antiquated pre-2015 IRC regs. If IRC allows the Nomad roughly 2×7 kitchen counter and the roughly 2×6 bath, that DOES leave over 70 sq ft. BUT IRC still requires a usable loft to have the required 7′ average head height (unless that was changed too, but most code still also requires a 3’x11″ stair tread and max 7.75″ rise (I hate the stair requirements, they use up so very much space, around 27-30 sq ft or more). And Nomad would have to add some sort of bed into the main floor to satisfy code if the loft doesn’t meet code (this requirement however is easily met with a sleeper couch or Murphy type bed.

    Stairs: Occasionally, jurisdictions allow “circular” type stairs, who knows, maybe this would conform, I doubt it, especially due to the stair being only about 18″ from a potential open flame on the range. And the bath? I think many local jurisdictions require a 32″ shower minimum (personally think this is STUPID but forgive my insults to those in authority dictating my life).I also never know if IRC requires 3′ in front of kitchen cabinets as part of the kitchen itself. 3′ is a normal width for “passageways”. I think Its ok, but not sure. And finally, does the wetbath ITSELF conform to code? I doubt it but, maybe? There ARE requirements for distances between the toilet, shower and vanity but I don’t know if this applies with the wet bath. It WOULD if the tub mentioned below is installed.

    To the commenter who said: Japanese soaking tub? I LOVE that idea in a space this small. It would, however, or could add cost to the project. And see my code comment above. Tiny Home creator, Jay Shafer, indicated on his Four Lights website it would probably cost roughly 1k to have a metals fabricator make a 24″ square model like those he has in his current models. I actually think, from a practical and cost perspective, that the Nomad “wetbath” design is better for a space this small for cost effectiveness.

    As for lofts in general, of course they don’t work as people age. I myself recently stayed in a normal home with a loft. The stair was very narrow (roughly 2′) and I could tell the rise was a tiny bit higher than 7.75″. It was passable, but even I, a reasonably fit over 50 year old, realized the stair rise wisdom as I went up and down. And it had a very safe solid railing.

    Bed: I’d love to see an engineer design a workable pully system for a manual bed to raise and lower from the ceiling to a height an older person could access realistically and with little arm strength. Not sure how realistic this idea is. MURPHY beds are ok but consider that the space in front of the bed is still unusable or it must be cleared. One solution is the Lollipop bed that is shown in some recent youtube videos but also,unfortunately, adds cost to the whole package. I didn’t check, but they look expensive! Check them out however, great for the tiny home enthusiast and, I bet, could be DIY made by someone who knows what they are doing.

    Loft safety: As for the “safety” issues you bloggers mentioned, I was laughing and agreeing with you BECAUSE, check out the “cube” on YouTube and you’ll find a couple of videos made by a British professor who designed and is having his design currently fabricated in England for a cube that has a cute and very efficient design (i think his efficiency of space use is far better) but the alternating stair design and loft are so unsafe, I was appalled. Nomad’ s safety design is FAR better by comparison and could be made even safer. This British dude didn’t even mention it! Check it out, I would be slipping and falling. Unless they want to install a Jetson’ s type coffee maker that puts caffeine into me before I get out of bed, the hospital ought to be just waiting for me each morning as I slip from loft to living room!

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