The surge of tiny homes in the past 10 years is undeniable. Popularity has exploded thanks to outlets like reality tv shows, YouTube channels and magazines. The idea of purging and creating a more simple, less materialistic lifestyle is something that can both soothe the soul and save some money. Many of our customers have done just that by purchasing a turn-key tiny home and living the tiny life right away.
We get the question quite often, "can we just build the shell?" In short, absolutely! But what does that mean exactly? We consider a tiny house shell to be a water-tight structure with a completed exterior including:
The interior consists of an insulated subfloor and open stud walls ready for finishing. For transport diagonal bracing is temporarily installed to keep the structure rigid. Tiny homes at this stage are perfect for a do-it-yourselfer who has the knowledge and ability to do plumbing and electrical rough-in and complete the interior exactly to their liking.
Homestead Tiny House Co. can build shells on both a mobile (tiny house trailer) and stationary foundation (pressure-treated timber structure).
Mobile Tiny House Shell
We use specially designed tiny house trailers with 2 or 3 axles (depending on length) that can withstand 14,000-21,000 pounds and can be transported by a 3/4 ton truck such as an F250 or Ram 2500. The weight of one of our mobile tiny house shells ranges between 6,000-8,000 pounds depending on length. Our most popular mobile tiny house is 28’x8’ which comes with 3 axles.
Our trailers are built to our specifications and consists of powder coated steel joists 16” on-center. A metal pan is installed underneath that creates a space to spray 3 inches of closed cell polyurethane foam. Interlocking 3/4” subfloor is then installed, then the bottom plate and walls go up. House wrap is installed then the doors and windows are put in. The next step is cutting and installing the roof joists followed by roof sheathing and roof paper with a water and ice barrier. Exterior trim is installed and then the house gets painted. The final step in building the shell is to install the metal roof and the appropriate metal trim pieces.
Stationary Tiny House Shell
Our stationary units are built on a skid-based foundation consisting of two to four pressure-treated timbers running the long course of the structure. We then notch 2x6 floor joists that fit onto the timbers and secure with hurricane ties. A corrugated plastic moisture barrier is installed and 3 inches of closed cell polyurethane foam in sprayed in between the joists. The subfloor is then installed followed by the same process described above for a mobile tiny house shell.
The weight of one our stationary tiny house shells ranges between 3,000-5,000 pounds depending on length. Our most popular size is a 24’x10’ stationary tiny house.
Transporting is quite interesting. Specialized equipment is used that temporarily adds large casters on one end while an off-road forklift type of vehicle is used to propel the structure onto a flat bed trailer.
Here is a video of a stationary tiny house being moved.