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Woman’s 400 Sq. Ft. Park Model Tiny House Journey

This 400 sq. ft. Park Model Tiny House Journey is a guest post by Kat Valade – share yours!  

I’ve been following tiny houses for a few years now. I just knew this was the best choice for me and I started saving money for it. I had planned on moving in with my brother last year so I could save the rest of what I needed.

A combination of unexpected circumstances came my way and before I knew it, I had my tiny house being built! I chose a company in Alabama to build my 400 sq.ft. house. It arrived in Colorado the 2nd of January 2015. I had not seen it except in pictures as they were building it. Oh my!

The house plan had a full bath, kitchen (including dishwasher), two bedroom with downstairs and a loft with stairs instead of a ladder. I’m 57 and have a dog so climbing a ladder up to sleep every night wasn’t an option.

Please enjoy, learn more and re-share below. Thank you!

Woman’s 400 Sq. Ft. Park Model Tiny House Journey


Images © Kat Valade


The day the house arrived a couple of my new neighbors came out and wanted to see it right then! My new neighbor went and got a step ladder so we could get up into the house. It just took my breath away.


My house has become the talk of the park and so many people have stopped by and asked to see the inside. It’s been a great opportunity to meet my new neighbors. I even had a man I had spoken to while trying to set up utilities in January call me last week to see if he and his wife could come over and see it! How thrilling.


My brother and son have been building the landscape (including a beautiful planter out front and a back deck that’s 320 sq.ft.) The deck should be finished by the end of August. It is going to be awesome. The deck is made from a material called “trex” and I will never need to maintain it. The post sleeves and hand and foot rails are going to be put on this coming weekend and then we are going to finish it out using horizontal stainless steel cables between the posts, 9 cables per section.


The front of the house has an 8’x12′ screened in porch with a ceiling fan and is a wonderful place to sit and read, listen to my fountain and have family game night every Saturday.


I did have them modify the house to accommodate a stackable washer and dryer and a space under the stairs for additional storage. Bumping the bedroom out 3′ to be able to put the washer/dryer in created a small porch off the back of the house.


My city is growing so fast and it costs so much to buy a house anymore. I think the average house to buy runs between $250k and $300k. Mine was $43.6k to build and sent to me and another 4k to have it setup and connected to the utilities. It is such a wonderful sense of freedom. My house is totally electric and ran $63 for the past several months and $45 this month.


Images © Kat Valade

It was more than what I even imagined! I live in the city and had permission to rent a lot in a mobile home park for people 55+. The house came with a VIN number as it was called an “RV park model“.

When I went to register it the guy helping me had no idea what to register it as. It certainly couldn’t be a vehicle because I would have needed to take it to a VIN inspection station. He dug in and eventually talked to his supervisor and their supervisor and decided to classify it as a “modular home”.

Our big thanks to Kat for sharing!

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Andrea is a contributor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the Tiny House Newsletter! She has a passion for sharing tiny and small house stories and introducing you to new people, ideas, and homes.
{ 28 comments… add one }
  • Teresa Turner
    July 28, 2015, 5:54 pm

    What company did you use in Alabama to buid your house.


  • Taz
    July 28, 2015, 5:56 pm

    Love the house! I’m looking at building similar for retirement. I live in Alabama and would like to know what company you used in Alabama?

  • Lake Lili
    July 28, 2015, 5:59 pm

    Big WIN! on this one Kat. Really beautifully done. Much happiness.

  • Sharon
    July 28, 2015, 6:05 pm

    Same question, as well as the model/floor plan. I’m getting more excited to plan my own tiny house soon..

  • Sharon
    July 28, 2015, 6:24 pm

    Did the mobile home park have a size limitation? I’ve heard that some limit square footage to 1100. Love the look of the house, by the way. I’d love one this size.

  • Morganna
    July 28, 2015, 6:33 pm

    Wow!! Looks Great!! I too would love to know more about your builder and so on….I too will need a downstairs bed I’ve been researching several and I have found one I just love love love, but where to park the dang thing is the problem….I plan on moving somewhere WARM…and get out of this Miserable Missouri winter weather we have…my body can’t take the cold anymore…but Congrats to you!! Live the Dream!!

  • Jolene
    July 28, 2015, 6:34 pm

    I am in CO also, same age, and have been trying to convince my husband to buy a park model. Would love to know where you parked your home and company who built it. Also, was it built for 4 season living? I’m assuming since your living in CO! ?

    • mountaingypsy
      July 29, 2015, 12:21 am

      Jolene, HI! Also in CO! Just wanted to let you know there are several ‘park models’ for sale in Woodland Park! I do not know anything about them, but I drive by on Hwy 24 and saw them. They are parked at a nice RV park. Perhaps you may want to check on them, as in our state. I don’t remember the park name, but you should be able to find out. Hope this may help! I don’t know where they may be parked or set up in the state. I heard perhaps Walsenburg is allowing them now. Good luck! I think park models are a perfect size, but need to be winterized for CO.

  • Nancy
    July 28, 2015, 7:50 pm

    How can I contact the Alab

  • tp
    July 28, 2015, 7:56 pm

    wow! love it

  • Gil
    July 28, 2015, 7:58 pm

    It’s beautiful!

  • Jamie
    July 28, 2015, 8:18 pm

    Look at stonecanyoncabins.com in Brilliant, AL. They have some nice floor plans and options.

  • Peg Pickering
    July 28, 2015, 8:24 pm

    The company in AL is L’il Lodges…. http://www.lillodges.com/

  • Helen
    July 28, 2015, 8:26 pm

    I think you just go to “Park Model”. They seem to be all over the country,
    or at least can distribute all over. Try ‘www.parkmodelsdirect.com’.

  • Peg Pickering
    July 28, 2015, 8:37 pm

    The house we bought from the company in AL was built by L’il Lodges

    Here’s their website http://www.lillodges.com/

  • Celeste
    July 28, 2015, 10:20 pm

    I love it! We looked at similar park models in Northern AZ built by Cavco. I absolutely loved them. The base model was only $35,000 with the loft delivered. I think this house is something I could definitely live in and love it. The screened porch is a nice touch. I would love to see more pictures of your finished porch, planters, etc. I think pictures of the bathroom would be nice too. Thanks for sharing!

  • Gail
    July 28, 2015, 10:34 pm

    I live in Colorado Springs…what city are you in?

  • Lynnette
    July 28, 2015, 10:39 pm

    Very beautiful home indeed. Great story too!

  • Patty
    July 29, 2015, 12:49 am

    Very beautiful, and with your landscaping, it looks very nice. It’s a beautiful job. Hope you enjoy it.

  • August 4, 2015, 7:26 pm

    I have lived in a 1971 Park Model for almost 14 years. They are like small trailers. Love the fireplace and deck. I would also like to see more photos.

  • Kathy Rousseau
    August 8, 2015, 4:37 pm

    Love the screened in front porch.

  • Deb Herr
    September 17, 2015, 1:20 pm

    Thanks for so much info! I didn’t know you could find over 55+ locations. Do you mind if I ask you what your rent is for the space?
    I would have to add that into my budget, not assume I was just living mortgage free….there are expenses.
    Did you have trouble insuring your home?

  • karen
    September 25, 2015, 11:07 pm

    Hi !!!

    Your home is beautiful !!! I absolutely love the fireplace…it’s what I would love. I am 61 years old and live in Florida. I know some of you are saying that is great etc. However, I had to move here from New Jersey because I was ill.
    Things were better for a couple of years here in Florida then WHAM !!! I became very ill and ended up loosing my condo, savings and everything plus my health…I just couldn’t believe it. I worked 40 + years and now, everything is gone. Well, not everything…I have an autistic great nephew and he has been the light of my life for the past 12 years. I am sure that is why god sent me here and the hot weather is better for my bones anyway, just really miss my friends. Anyway, I am sorry for the long email.
    I have been looking at the tiny homes and definately know I could live in one easily. I would have to take out a mortgage and find out where I could keep it first so please say a prayer for me. Thanks for all of the information on the issues you had. You are wonderful for sharing your experience. I am so glad that you are happy and have great neighbors. Thanks again and enjoy !!!!!! Karen

  • Pam brimhall
    October 22, 2015, 7:02 pm

    There are thousands of park models in Arizona and have been for 25 years. They aren’t a new idea but these are vastly improved from the old ones.

  • Mike
    October 22, 2015, 7:06 pm

    Wow, I must be looking at something completely different than the other posters. It’s wood over-dose on the inside, wood walls, wood ceiling, wood floors, wood cabinets and doors!!

    Nothing against trailer homes, I think they’re a great option, and I especially like the little park models. But you can buy Park Models anywhere for alot less than what was spent without all the gaudy wood paneling.

  • Valerie
    October 22, 2015, 9:01 pm

    Where are you park in Colorado? I live in Colorado, Denver. But unfortunately we will have to move back to Pueblo, CO. Due to the high cost of rental here. My dream is in the future for my own tiny house.

  • Brian
    October 23, 2015, 10:50 am

    I believe that this is a small house and fits in the category MIN House not a tiny house , which mine tiny house is at 227 sq ft and this is 400 sq ft, big difference

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