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Budget Tiny House by New Frontier Tiny Homes


This is a budget tiny house by New Frontier Tiny Homes, who is not really well-known for affordable tiny homes. Instead, they are known for some of the most luxurious tiny homes ever built. Like The CorneliaThe Escher, and The Alpha Tiny House, just to name a few.

It’s not the most affordable tiny house you can find, but it is a high-quality home. Please take a look and let me know what you think? This tiny house is called The Luna.

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The Luna Tiny House by New Frontier Tiny Homes… Their Budget-Conscious Luxury Tiny House on Wheels

This Tiny House Features a Full Glass Window Wall…

Storage is built right into the staircase to the sleeping loft.

You can configure it a few different ways.

Full kitchen and an open-concept design

The siding is matt black corrugated steel rated for 100 years of life. What do you think of the signature shape of the house? It looks really modern!

The loft fits a king-size bed if you want.

There’s also a full-size shower (we’ll have to wait and see it another time) but it features a 30″x30″ free-standing shower, vanity with wall mount sink, standard flush toilet, and barn door entry.

The outside has a functional awning and the house sits on a 25-foot double axle trailer. The unit comes with a Mini-Split HVAC unit.

Ribbed standing steam metal roof and siding (black)

Typar® Rainscreen and Housewrap

Dark Grey LVL Flooring

Tankless Hot Water Heater

Starts at $75,000. See about ordering yours here.

Learn more

The Luna | New Frontier Tiny Homes | Instagram | Facebook

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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!
{ 23 comments… add one }
  • Avatar boomerbabysage
    July 29, 2019, 5:10 pm

    Alex, “budget” at $75,000? I know they build quality and use premium materials…but I only know a limited number of folks looking to go tiny that would consider $75K to fall into the “budgeted” tiny build realm and the SF on the Luna appears to be at the smaller end of the tiny sector

    • Avatar James D.
      July 30, 2019, 1:27 am

      Something to understand about the state of the housing market is people interested in alternatives covers all walks of life and income ranges. For reasons that extend beyond simply financial reasons… So not everyone is going to fit the stereotype…

      One aspect is options like ADU’s, in states like California, will start at over $200K and government funded affordable housing units can cost upwards to over $309K each,which is often what these tiny homes are competing against…Another is reduced and restricted home owners rights and oppressive regulations that limit people’s options for how they can choose to live. So options like being able to live off-grid typically come with a much higher up front cost but allow for freedoms and benefits people may not otherwise be able to get… Yet another aspect is how some modern homes can be considered toxic, not good for the environment, sustainability, and the health of those who live in them.So often people want more control over how their home is built…

      But anything custom built is invariably going to be higher priced as that will typically involve more costly materials and a much higher amount of labor that’ll usually involve attention to details, artisan craftsmanship, and special optimizing for the home owner’s needs. So should be compared to the equivalent of a going to a custom furniture maker instead of buying from Ikea, which can sell furniture for less than what just the materials will cost a custom furniture maker…

      For comparison, in the RV market custom built typically starts over $300K and goes on up to over $3 million… So what’s considered budget in the custom built range is very different from the more generic and mass produced products…

      Yet another factor is long term costs, which for a typical home owner can run multiple thousands every year and over the life of the home multiply the cost of the original purchase of the home… So initial costs aren’t the only ones to consider

      Needless to say, the market is very wide and more complex than many people are aware and things like budget pricing are relative… Many of this builder’s homes would be priced much higher. So it’s a budget option compared to what they normally offer but still uses premium materials like their other builds and their standard high build quality…

      Mind, features like that glass wall typically are architectural details that add significantly to the price, such features can run into the tens of thousands, but can be the look and feel that their clients are looking for that justifies the price to them. Along with other details that indicate this will be a low maintenance home that should last a really long time…

      Other builders like Core Housing Solutions, Incredible Tiny Homes, Mini Mansions, Build It Tiny, and a couple others can offer budget options at a far lower cost but there’s a noticeable difference from the types of homes they offer versus this one… So depends what people are expecting for the price and whether or not it’s something they value or not… Versus their other options…

      • Avatar Eric
        July 30, 2019, 9:47 am

        James: I fully understand there are many price points in the tiny home market these days and I have no problem with that but I doubt virtually anyone going online searching for a “budget” tiny home is expecting to find them at $75K+. Every inquiry I have seen about budget tiny homes has been $15K or lower…and those do exist. If anything I think a better title for this piece would have referred to something like Lower Cost Luxury models.

        • Avatar James D.
          July 31, 2019, 1:50 am

          No, $15K and less is when it’s either DIY or starts crossing into the more temporary use structures. Really, just the trailer they’re built on can run $8K to over $12K…

          Size also matters, sub $15K will usually be less than 100 Sq Ft vs something that can offer over 200 or even over 300 sq ft is naturally going to cost more but still be considered budget for what it’s offering…

          You can look at budget builder like Incredible Tiny Homes… Their RJO model starts at $15K and is pretty basic, has no plywood sheathing, basic flatbed trailer, etc.to keep costs and total weight as low as possible (1/2 ton tow-able) … Vs their Craftsman model that starts at $36K that offers much more volume and layout options (3/4 ton or greater required to tow)…. For the lower threshold for budget that can still be used for long term use and start seeing what gets cut out to get the price lower…

          Again, it actually depends what you expect to get for the money and understand what you’re actually getting… A lot more goes into price differences than just the level of build quality and features…

  • Avatar Eric
    July 29, 2019, 7:13 pm

    Alex… this is actuall NOT a tiny home. These are concept drawings only.

    Putting that aside, I’m not impressed at all.

    Their other homes, albeit much more expensive @ $130k and up, are much more value for money, IMHO. And yes, many people looking at going tiny will not be able to afford that sort of money, I understand that. But many other tiny homes showcased on tinyhousetalk.com over the years offer far better value for money simply by better design in a whole range of different ways.

    Whether they are of equal or better quality construction/materials one cannot tell until seeing and comparing different models and manufacturers in the flesh, so to speak.

    The other homes on Frontier’s site are of infinitely better design, and maybe they are looking at the cheaper end of the range from a production line point of view. Due of course, to the cost of their other designs. My experience in business is, compromise on quality and you compromise your business. ‘Nuff said.

    Sometimes staying small pays off better than trying to upscale. A lot less headaches as well.

  • Avatar Alison
    July 29, 2019, 9:07 pm

    The loft looks tight and needs a railing. The dark exterior will draw in the heat, so not a good idea if the house will be in any warm climates.

    • Avatar James D.
      July 30, 2019, 2:01 am

      Home performance isn’t as simple as just the color. Different materials can absorb or reflect heat differently. Like metal is a good heat conductor but is generally more reflective of radiant heat. Aluminum sheets are even used in reflective radiant insulation and most of the heat from the sun is radiant..

      While how much it effects the home depends on how much insulation and how much the interior is effected.

      Mind, the opposite is true for colder climates, so lighter color exteriors aren’t always a good idea either…

      It can also be part of the designed function of the home. For example, solar thermal can use the absorbed heat to heat water and provide the home with hot water. Directed heat can also be used to generate air circulation and draw in cooler air from below the home or help heat the home during the winter.

      This is one of the advantages of the more advance homes versus the more basic ones as they can be engineered to turn normal disadvantages into advantages and can be one of the reasons for a cost difference…

  • Avatar Nick
    July 30, 2019, 12:17 pm

    ahahahah ah! 75 GRANDS (startingaat!) and you call that “budget”?

    Tiny homes were born to save money. Now tiny housers have become the cash cow of tiny homes builders.

    • Avatar James D.
      July 31, 2019, 3:31 am

      Actually, tiny homes were always there and have been for most of human history in one form or another. People just woke up one day and thought that could be a way to save money, but that was never their sole reason for existing.

      While most builders aren’t getting rich building tiny houses and a number of them have gone out of business because of this… Monarch Tiny Homes, Mouse House Tiny Homes, Tiny Green Cabins LLC, Upper Valley Tiny homes are just some examples that are gone!

      It actually cost more to build higher end homes and thus harder to earn a living building them, but that’s what many people are demanding and builders, especially custom builders, cater to what their clients wants or they simply won’t have a business anymore….

      Besides, there’s lots more to saving money than just initial costs. Long term costs can actually add up to multiple times the cost of the home. So can matter more on reducing those long term costs. Thus investment in better home performance, reduced maintenance, better durability, lower to no utility costs, etc.can have a bigger effect than the one time cost of purchasing the home.

      Really, look at Zillow and other sites that report on the hidden costs of home ownership and see the multiple thousands, averaging over $9K annually, people are spending every year on their home and that’s not even counting all their costs…

      While costs can also effect quality of life and whether or not the home will meet all of its owner’s needs, which makes it a more complicated issue for most people…

      There’s actually quite a few builders that offer options at much lower cost than this but they’re not what you usually see because what you usually see is what most people are buying… Ultimately, it’s people’s choices that are driving the market…

      • Avatar Nick
        August 1, 2019, 9:30 am

        Thanks James.
        I see your point. If what you say is happening, than tiny housers are calling for it.

        Besides that, I also believe that somehow somewhere builders are inflating prices, especially here in Canada. Where I found builders claiming their products as budget tiny homes for “just” $120,000 CAD !!! (I know the Canadian dollar is worth less in USD, but, in proportion, based on the cost of life, locally it’s like equivalent).

        And every time you ask how can it cost that much, the main excuse is always the same: “Canada is cold, it’s not like US tiny homes. We insulate them much better”.

        Really? Insulating a tuna can would cost 60,000 dollars?

        Here’s more food for thought I prepared over time from past exchanges on the topic:

        Please, forgive me, don’t take it personally, I noticed it’s a general pattern, and I need to vent: it seems to me that you guys (tiny house builders) are kind of riding the wave of a trend when setting up the prices of your products. Forgive me its length, but I need to prove a point.

        I remember when I started seeing things on TV and reading articles on the news every now and then of people solving their financial issues when they started living (in the USA) in a tiny house purchased for only 10k/20k, things like that. And the article on HuffPost also mention that! It says literally:

        “ ‘People see tiny homes being built for $10,000 on some of these U.S. shows’, Edmonton tiny home owner Steve Buijs told HuffPost Canada”.

        Then the quoted guy adds that those stories do not refer to tiny houses that are Canadian-winter proofed:

        “But that’s not realistic, because to build them for -40 C costs a lot more money and it takes a lot more planning. There’s tons more that goes into it to make it liveable for our climate ”

        (source: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/09/27/tiny-home-canada-winter_a_23544361/ )

        That’s fair. We need more insulation and a better heating system.
        So, I thought: okay. Instead of 10,000 dollars, how much is gonna add some more foam and a coil under the floor? +20%? +50%? Hell, +100%? Okay, let’s expect a doubled cost, to 20,000 dollars. Also, because the model I inquired about is relatively large, let’s say 300%, so 30,000 dollars. Okay, I might have overlooked something, let’s say 400%, that is 40,000 dollars. Boy, I didn’t expect 120 grands! That’s 1200% the price of those tiny houses from those stories we all heard about!

        Another fact that makes me thing price is a little inflated (please, prove me wrong, I’d be happy to know why I’m wrong!): the finishing! Studying the subject, I noticed that there are 2 types of tiny houses:

        • Those with fantastic finishing: they seem and look like a normal house! Both outside and inside. They’re incredible. You can’t notice a piece of wood/board anywhere. Materials, plating, everything looks like an almost luxurious house. They tend to cost between 60,000 and 80,000 Canadian dollars.

        • The “rustic” / bare wood tiny houses: in this case, there is no finishing. The walls consist in plain wood boards. You can see the wood! They are the cheap tiny houses that cost between 20,000 and 30,000 dollars. Example:
        https://www.theglobeandmail.com/real-estate/calgary-and-edmonton/lack-of-tiny-home-legislation-prompts-big-fights/article33183956/
        See both the outside and inside? You can see the wood, and it costed $15,000 dollars to build.
        So, as soon as I saw that, I thought: who cares about finishing or tiles!!! That’s what I want: plain rustic wood and save money!

        Okay, the guy built it himself, let’s add labor. Let’s double it, man that should be enough, 15 grands of labor. At a whopping 30 bucks/hour wage, it’s 500 hours of labor. But, still, we’re talking about 30’000 dollars. If we want to double the labor and push it to 30’000 dollars, the total would be 45’000. That’s one third of 120 grands!

        Another proof is in the following products:
        https://www.amazon.com/Allwood-Eagle-Point-1108-Cabin/dp/B00LYGIEU2
        This is an actual HOUSE!! Not a tiny one. It’s a 1108 square foot house! Yes, price is before labor, but a 25×8 feet tiny house is a 200 square foot dwelling. The kit here is almost 6 times as large! And it’s a kit for a house, not for a shed. Would the 6 times large thing be enough to compensate for labor and a little more foam insulation in the walls because of the Canadian winter?

        Another proof:
        https://mymodernmet.com/prefabricated-tiny-homes-amazon/
        Those beautiful houses, even larger than a tiny, go from $ 5,000 to $ 50,000+ But the latter are much larger than a tiny house!

        Another proof:
        https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/tiny-house-kits-263869
        Beautiful cabin kits, they go from $4,690 to $19,990, and I don’t even want to consider the $30,000 one as that’s way bigger than a tiny house.
        So, let’s convert $19,990 in Canadian dollars: $ 27,000 CAD (rounded up).
        Let’s add more foam and insulation/heating: heck, $10,000 CAD should be enough. And we’re at $37,000 CAD. From here to $120,000, can labor cost $ 83,000 dollars?

        Indeed (other proof):
        https://www.homedepot.ca/product/handy-home-products-sequoia-12-ft-x-24-ft-storage-building-kit-with-floor/1000693400
        I know, it’s not a dwelling, it’s a storage shed. But, still, it’s HUGE! It’s a 12×24 feet, versus a 25×8 feet Tiny House. And it only costs $ 7,337 CAD.
        Let’s TRIPLICATE that price to turn it from a storage shed to a livable house (and I’m not considering the extra materials due to the fact that it’s larger!): we’re up to $22,000 dollars. Okay, let’s QUADRUPLICATE it because it’s only a shed and we need stronger pillars and lots of insulation for an actual house, we’re at $29,000. Again, before labor, all proofs of a “rustic/wood” product point towards a fair price of $30,000.

        Ultimate BULLET-PROOF proof:
        https://www.century21global.com/property/650-grandin-drive—8-morinville-alberta-t8r-1k4-canada-C21114948468-USD
        This is an actual house for sale in Morinville, Alberta. It’s a two-bathrooms three-bedrooms 1169 sqft actual house. It costs $159,000 CAD. That’s 136 dollars/square foot. An 8×25 feet tiny house is a 200 sqft product, which, at $120,000 means a whopping $600 dollars/square foot! That’s 440% more expensive! Not talking about the “quality” of life and of each square foot itself (let’s not compare a bare wood rustic tiny house with an actual house!).
        Should the cost per square foot of a large normal house be naturally lower than that of a tiny house? Yes, I heard that excuse, but it shouldn’t. Indeed:
        “The second big advantage of manufactured housing . . . is that the physical structure can be efficiently built in a factory and moved to the site, thus considerably reducing construction costs” (Michael Shapcott, director of housing and innovation at the Wellesley Institute). Source:
        https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/04/12/is_this_the_end_of_the_urban_trailer_park_in_ontario.html
        Okay, let’s completely IGNORE the statement above and pretend the cost is the same. Still, a 440% higher cost per square meter seems (but maybe I’m wrong for other reasons, that’s what I’m trying to understand and I’d love you to prove me wrong) unfair to me.

        Let’s make an analogy with the car market. A Jeep Grand Cherokee 2019 6.2 liters V8 has 707 hp and costs $86,000 CAD. That’s $121 CAD per horse power.
        A 2017 Nissan Micra S has 109 hp and costs $ 9,990 CAD. That’s $91 CAD per horse power. It’s even LESS than the above. And it’s right! Because it’s not only matter of horse power. Every horse power of the Grand Cherokee is way more luxurious than a horse power from a Micra S!
        The Grand Cherokee seems like a palace, while the Micra S doesn’t even have electric windows and automatic doors, not even AC!!! The example seems perfect to me in comparing the finishing of a rustic/wood tiny house with a normal actual house.
        In our case, it’s as though the cost per horse power of the Micra was 440% that of the Grand Cherokee, that is $ 532,4 CAD per horse power, which, for 109 HP gives a total for the Nissan Micra S of $ 58,227 CAD. Still, less than the Grand Cherokee. Exactly like the tiny house costs less than that normal house I linked above. But, still, that “less” is deceptively less, because, given the nature of the product, it should be MUCH less, not that less.

        Okay, I think I vented enough, and I am very sorry for the long email, but I really needed to make my point.

        Now, the conclusion is this. I’m not “judging” tiny house builders like “morally”. You make a product and you guys set its price. It’s not right or wrong morally. It’s a choice, based on how the market responds. If the market of students was willing to buy simple BIC ink pens for 35 dollars/pen, manufacturers could have taken advantage of that and sold those simple plastic pens for 35 bucks. If we, the market, aren’t okay with that, it’s up to us to stop buying. So, if you guys are setting that price because now the Tiny House thing is becoming a fancy trend and people spend that money no matter what, it’s a choice, it’s marketing. I understand that. The problem would be only mine. Good for the rest of the people who can afford tiny houses that cost almost as a normal house (and, actually, almost 5 times a normal house if we rapport the 2 products in relative terms).

        But, guys, if, on the contrary, you’re not setting the price arbitrarily, but, for some magical reason, when a house being built is “tiny” the nude costs magically spike way beyond any reasonable criteria, and you’re really making just enough profits to carry on with your business, then really there is no point at all for tiny houses to even exist. It’s a market that deserves to die right now. Think about it: 400-500 dollars/month just to rent a piece of land (sometimes even before utilities, so, in those cases, let’s add another 100-200 dollars/month), plus an actual mortgage to pay for a $120,000 tiny house, what’s the point? What’s the point of living like a sardine in a can to pay a monthly cost that is probably more than what it would cost to rent a beautiful and spacious apartment, or for a mortgage to buy a real and comfortable large house?

        Finally, let’s take, for example, a much cheaper real-house of Canadian winter quality. Something like this:
        http://trafalgarhomes.ca/portfolio/hemlock/

        Well, do you see the hemlock model house for 117k dollars? Well, I want one that is 1/3 its size and has the same quality. Since 117k is the retail price, can a builder/contractor have a 1/3 sized one for about 35k dollars?

        • August 1, 2019, 5:56 pm

          Nick, there are price point builds out there for virtually everyone it comes down to what you, as the consumer. are really looking for. Builds can be customized in all sorts of ways and the more customization, the greater the cost. I have seen everything from (1) a very simple tiny built by Jay Shafer just a couple of years back for less than $5,000 with “everything” (everything being a relative term as it was a very stripped down tiny but Jay…who some have labeled the father of the TH movement…seemed to be right at home in it https://youtu.be/kokfI0vn9ZM to (2) builds for more than $200,000 (yes, frankly, insane). But, you have to do the research to find the builder doing the work in the range you want and take it from there. My issue though with the blog article here is the reference to it focusing on a “budget” tiny house. I get what James is saying but I doubt most people doing an online search for “budget” tiny homes are looking for ones for $75,000 or more. In fact. in the 3+ years I have been dropping tiny home (etc.) stories into my Twitter feed @TinyHomesRule I have never once found one where the consumer has said “where can I find a budget TH for $75,000 or more.” Most, take the position you do and are looking for something significantly less in cost. Of course, there are a number of folks out there willing to spend $75K or more because they can afford it and want greater customization. Nothing wrong with that if they can afford it. But, again, I suspect even they don’t expect their $75K+ TH to be referred to as a Budget build.

      • Avatar Nick
        August 1, 2019, 9:32 am

        Finally, let’s take, for example, a much cheaper real-house of Canadian winter quality. Something like this:
        http://trafalgarhomes.ca/portfolio/hemlock/

        Well, do you see the hemlock model house for 117k dollars? Well, I want one that is 1/3 its size and has the same quality. Since 117k is the retail price, can a builder/contractor have a 1/3 sized one for about 35k dollars?

        • Avatar James D.
          August 3, 2019, 2:02 am

          Problem is not all costs are linear… Like the main thing eliminated in a tiny house is the extra spaces like hallways, extra bedrooms, etc. that cost significantly less than say a kitchen or bathroom that will cost multiple times more for the space they take up…

          So you’re not going to get a linear reduction of cost when you still have to have a kitchen and bathroom in a tiny house and they can only be reduced so much in size and no more before they stop being functional.

          People also underestimate the amount of labor, it generally takes over 800 to over 1000 work hours to build a tiny house. It’ll be something like an Airstream to get it to around 400 hours and most RV’s would be under 200 work hours…

          While certain material costs are going to be significantly more than others. Since, the trailers have to be specifically designed to handle the weight and design of a tiny house to both provide proper support and help maximize the layout options, costs for just the trailer can range from over $8K to over $12K unless it’s very small and basic THOW…

          Other costs variables are windows… People tend to want a lot of windows to help make the space feel bigger and get plenty of natural light. So a THOW can have between 9 to over 22 windows… Now consider the cost difference between you basic of the shelf low-e single pane window that you can probably get for less than $500 each to custom triple pane windows with R-Values of 7 or higher that will cost thousands each and multiply that by the number of windows…

          Then there’s the propensity to want a home that can work off-grid… If they want all modern conveniences then that can easily cost over $20K…

          Add a more insulated house is also generally going to be more air tight but that means you then need systems to provide ventilation and to avoid losing conditioned air then you need advance systems like HRV/ERV, etc. and if you need to handle humidity and moisture levels then that’s even more cost….

          Winterizing also means making sure the water pipes don’t freeze and that will usually involve more work to build them into the interior of the home to keep them within the insulated envelope but may still need its own heating system.

          Then interior things like custom furniture, cabinetry, etc. can easily add over $20K to the price.. Mind that anything custom is going to cost more. Since custom means using more high cost materials and often doing substantially more work.

          There isn’t the cost savings of mass production… To put that into perspective, a company like Ikea that mass produces furniture can sell them for less than just the materials will cost a custom furniture maker…

          So there are reasons why costs can rise pretty quickly… but that said, you do have a raw deal in Canada. Many goods and materials will cost more to acquire than they do in the states. Along with restrictions and requirements that any business in Canada have to follow, and of course limited options and things like raw land can cost more than buying a house that makes working out cheaper solutions often more of a full blown obstacle course…

  • Avatar Nick
    August 3, 2019, 7:50 am

    Thank you boomerbabysage and James D. You both make very good points, and they’re interesting.

    TRAILERS

    What shocks me is the cost of trailers. I know, they’re “custom”. But, still, 8k or even 12k for a frame with wheels, when you can buy a sedan or city car for 10k, to me it’s absurd.
    I see your points about the non-linearity of tiny homes’ costs, James, especially the triple pane windows and super AC and humidity controls… But 10k for a trailer is insane. To me, trailer builders are eating too much.

    I know they’d try to sell me the excuse of cars being mass produced, like your Ikea example for furniture, while a custom trailer is an artisan product. But I won’t buy it from them. One thing is an Ikea table, another thing is a blessed car, man!

    Do we want to compare how many hours, months, heck YEARS of R&D, engineers, PhDs, and the number of patents behind a single car? How many parts, from the frame that the car also has to the engine to every single little tiny part… electronics, and everything else?

    CARS:
    https://vicrecyclers-pcl8qk5wo.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/car_parts.jpg

    https://kz.all.biz/img/kz/service_catalog/112064.jpeg

    TRAILER:
    https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/5535501de4b0b3c77cb11d63/1444752737895-FMMX928DBDUYZFC346GS/?content-type=image%2Fpng

    Oh come on! That’s absurd!

    LAND VALUE:

    Finally, another category that are surely eating fat, besides trailer makers/sellers, are land owners!

    Okay, let’s exclude the chunk of tiny market of wealthy people that can easily buy a 100k super-luxury tiny house just for the sake of tiny living, not out of down-scaling for financial necessities.
    Why would everybody else like to live in an (almost crappy) sardines can? TO SAVE MONEY!

    So, instead of paying 700-1200/month (I’m talking a single person) to rent a home or for a mortgage, if you can get a tiny house for 30k or even 45-50k, you could be able to finance it for $250-350/month, and you’re saving a lot of money. Worth it living in a tuna can. Okay.

    But then? To just PARK your wheeled tuna can on a piece of land, heck I won’t even call it “land”, cause “land”, psychologically, sounds like “a land”… something large and spacious…. I’d say, to rent a PIECE OF SOIL (like, literally, a napkin of ground), they dare asking you 400 or even 500 dollars/month to host your tuna can in their yard!

    Value! What are you renting us? A piece of soil. Nothing else. 200 square feet.

    Example of LAND cost per square foot:
    $ 0.45 dollars per square foot!!!
    ( https://apps.carolinarealtors.com/files/Area-Acreage-Square%20Footage-Value%20of%20Land%20Math.pdf )

    200 square feet x $0.45 = 90 BUCKS!!!

    Heck, if one could buy just that tiny land, it would cost 90 BUCKS to BUY it!!!

    And they’re asking 400 – 500 dollars/month? In 10 years it’s 60,000 dollars! That’s an increase of 66,667%. Maybe, not even a piece of jewellery made out of asteroid-mined platinum would have such an increase in cost. Maybe, if you manage to resurrect some prophets from the Old Testament and a couple of Apostles and have them hand-made a jewel, that kind of labor might justify it.

    Let’s look at it from another perspective.

    You can rent a 2-cars garage for 250 – 350 dollars/month.
    What’s in a garage? What value, investments, services, goods, and labor? Foundations, base, project, walls, painting, pipes, wiring, windows, ceiling, roof, tiles, whatever, heating system, doors, everything. So, the garage, besides the SAME PIECE OF GROUND underneath (as the tiny house), actually LARGER, also adds all that above mentioned stuff plus the labor. And you can rent it for 250/month.
    Just the piece of ground, WITHOUT the garage!!! (and everything that comes with it), you spike to 400-500/month.

    How the heck can they justify this?

    Let’s look it from a further perspective.

    You can rent a bedroom for $400/month (remember, we’re not going to park our tiny house in a garden in Downtown New York, so, let’s consider a bedroom in a lost country town, where we would also park our tiny home).

    Well, besides THE GROUND UNDERNEATH such a bedroom (probably larger than the ground underneath our tiny home as net sqf, given that the tiny home is developed with the loft), what else does the bedroom have to offer, both as pre-investments and as services?
    Foundations, base, projects, walls, painting, pipes, wiring, windows, ceiling, roof, tiles, heating system, lighting, furniture. What about the access to the other services in the house? Internet, laundry room, bathroom, kitchen, etc. At $400/month.

    While, just a piece of ground, without everything else, and smaller, to park a tiny house on it: $400/month (even $500 sometimes).

    Now, how are they going to justify that?

    So add those $500/month for the piece of soil/ground to the $300-400/month to finance a tiny house, and you’re back to $900/month, and living in a tuna can and in a remote country area. What’s the point? They defeat the purpose. They DESTROY the purpose. One might as well spend $900-1000/month and rent a beautiful and spacious apartment in a midtown condo in a decent city.

    I hope you’ll see my need to vent out.

    • Avatar James D.
      August 6, 2019, 2:38 am

      Yes, the cost of a trailers are very high for tiny houses but the reason is because they are not just simple trailers but are engineered to serve as the foundation for the house.

      Mind, tiny houses can weigh multiple tons with the larger ones approaching and even exceeding 10-13 tons and the trailer has to support that, any additional weight of all the owners stuff, and still handle all the stresses of travel. But most of that weight is at the perimeter of the trailer where the walls meet the trailer and not spread along the whole surface of the trailer bed. So there’s generally going to be more steel in a tiny house trailer…

      On top of that the trailer has to be incredibly rigid otherwise the whole house would flex and bounce while traveling and that would limit what materials could be used. Like most earlier tiny houses could never have real tile or sheetrock, etc. but those are now options with the enhancements they’ve made to the tiny house trailers.

      Then there’s the maximizing of available space, since tiny houses are limited by the road legal size limits. Trailers are adjusted to sit as low as possible with drop axles, etc. and the trailer bed is designed to integrate with the floor of the tiny house, including things like the plumbing and insulation, to provide around a foot of extra interior height…

      Many of the tiny houses that used the cheaper trailers were limited to having an interior height of less than 10 feet but the more expensive ones can max out around 11 feet and that directly benefits spaces like the loft and allow for more layout options.

      Customization also extends to width and allows builders to choose any width the design requires, even if it exceeds the road legal size limits and allows builders more freedom to design different layouts that they wouldn’t get with cheaper standard trailers… Even when keeping it within the road legal size limits, adjusting the width allows builders to opt for things like how much overhand the roof can have or whether to make room for exterior features like fold down decks, etc.

      That said there is at least one builder who has managed to use both the cheaper and more expensive types of trailers… Check out Incredible Tiny Homes… Their RJO series makes use of the cheaper flat bed trailers and they start at $15K and is half ton tow-able… Versus their Craftsman series that makes use of the high cost trailers and starts at $36K and requires a 3/4 ton or better truck to tow…There’s more differences between them than just the trailers but they make a good comparison for how much the trailer can effect the design limits of the house…

      Along with showing some of the trade offs, like the flat bed trailers may have less interior height but the layout doesn’t need to deal with the wheel wells like the more expensive trailers does. But there are always trade offs, especially when pushing the limits of what designs are possible…

      Add, more complex options like 5th wheel/gooseneck trailers, optional features like trailers designed to be removable from the house. So the house can be placed on a traditional foundation when delivered… Or other options like slides, can also effect the costs…

      But rest of what you stated was a very justified vent ;-p

      • Avatar Nick
        August 6, 2019, 9:26 am

        Thanks again for your feedback, James.

        I concur about the engineering costs. That’s why when John Doe went to a trailer builder to buy a tiny house-engineered specific trailer, he paid more than a car for a trailer (by the way, do we want to talk about the level of engineering of all the parts – electronic and not – of a car and of a car as a whole?), let’s say 18,000 dollars. He paid for the engineering too.

        Okay, now, let’s say James or Nick go to the SAME trailer maker and purchases exactly the SAME trailer. No need to re-engineer something that has already been engineered and for which they already have all the specs. Then James or Nick will pay it 8k (which is still like a small car!!! like a Micra manual or a Chevy Bolt basic – let’s say for the extra steel, but I’m being generous) instead of 18k, correct?

        Thanks also for your explanations, info, and examples, and for reading the rest of my rant too (and for agreeing with it!).

        • Avatar James D.
          August 6, 2019, 1:36 pm

          Well, now that you mention it, a 20′ trailer does weigh a little over 2,000 lbs, which is about the same as a small car…

          But keep in mind that production cars get mass produced by the thousands to hundreds of thousands, make heavy use of automation, don’t have to be engineered to handle multiple tons of payload or need to be entirely made out of just steel, and the car companies will typically place the factories in countries with lower operating costs and lower cost of labor…

          Mass production allows products to be made at up to a fraction of the cost per unit, which can even overcome other cost factors that would otherwise make them more expensive, but it takes a certain number to achieve that benefit…

          While custom goes the opposite route and will generally maximize the cost to the point even just the materials can cost more than the mass produced product… So how things are made plays a big factor…

          If tiny houses were to be mass produced by the thousands then the costs will go way down but legalizing and settling on a universal or modular design that will work for most, so they could be made for thousands of people at a time, are the main barriers to that for now…

  • August 4, 2019, 12:51 am

    Plenty to think about Nick in your posts…and feel free to vent away. But, I’m most perplexed by your final point in this post…”one might as well spend $900-1000/mo. and rent a beautiful and spacious apartment in a midtown condo in a decent city.” I’m trying to figure out what decent sized city these days has a “beautiful and spacious” apt. for $900-1000/mo that exists in either the U.S. or Canada?? It seems that just about in every city in the U.S. these days people are universally complaining about the cost of rentals…esp. any that exist anywhere near “midtown” and in most such locations people are hardpressed to afford the rents unless they are earning a decent six-figure sized salary.

    • Avatar Nick
      August 4, 2019, 6:11 pm

      You’re right, boomerbabysage. I was wrong, I don’t know how I could write that. For a beautiful and spacious apartment in a midtown city in Canada it would be $1500 at least.

      So, let me correct the mistake: “one might as well spend $900-1000/month and rent a nice, small (still way larger than the tiny house) studio apartment in a small town, instead of paying the same but living in a tiny tuna can lost in a rural land while paying those 200 square feet of land as if the tiny house was parked on a plate of refined gold”.

      What are your thoughts about my other points?

      Thanks and have a great weekend!

  • Avatar Nick
    August 6, 2019, 4:25 pm

    Thanks for your points, James!
    And, as always, who’s fault is it? Governments and their jurassic regulations.

    • Avatar James D.
      August 7, 2019, 3:53 am

      Well, I think we can widen that to include home owners who are the reasons for things like HOA’s, why many of those regulation were put in place in the first place so they can have the right type of neighbors and protection of their property values, champion NiMBY’ism, etc. and the oh so helpful neighbors who choose to report you or outright sue you if they don’t like what you’re doing on your own property… among other problems with our society… There’s a plethora of things to blame, really… .

      So, so, so, so, so, so much needs to change… We really need to red pill the entire population to make that happen…

      • Avatar Nick
        August 8, 2019, 4:49 pm

        You’re so right, James! Thanks!
        Indeed, I talked with the manager in charge of updating the zoning bylaws in the city here, and he would be okay with tiny houses, it’s just a political disaster he said: the population don’t want them and believes that it would increase crime. Yes, because criminals are going to behave nicely if they’re drowning in debts due to nonexistent tiny-house-like alternatives. People’s idiocy

  • Avatar Kim
    October 17, 2019, 3:04 pm

    Thank you all for these posts. I learned a lot – enjoyed the banting back and forth and believe no one got offended but rather got knowledge. When I first started looking at tiny homes about 7 years ago (for retirement) before they became so popular or the “fad”, they were much less expensive. Also back then I was going to hit the road with it. However, as I’ve “matured”, I don’t want to tow something that big (I don’t want a tiny tiny house). I have a camper I can zoom around the country in. I just wish more communities were available (that do not look like concrete parking/mobile home lots with one on top of another) or that I could buy a piece of land and put a tiny house on. I just want a home base. In the 7+ years I’ve been planning for a tiny house for retirement, I have found 1 community that actually has 3/4 acre wooded lots and even has a river….alas it’s in a place with outrageous humidity most of the time and I just can’t do that.
    Thanks again for all the information. Hope to be ordering a home within next 4-6 months…I have 3 builders I like and the choice will be made it once I determine where I find a place to park it.

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