Monday, September 12, 2016

Tiny House Factory Shows Off Its Sliding Home

Just when you think you’ve seen everything there is to see about Tiny Houses, someone surprises you with something new.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the concept of a tiny house, especially if it could be manufactured to the IRC building code, accepted by municipalities and neighbors everywhere, hooked up to public utilities and affordable.

However when you start seeing storage sheds from 84 Lumber being touted as living space, it’s time to ask yourself if even Abraham Lincoln would approve?

Now a factory built tiny house has hit the market with a product that rivals the slide out sections of an RV and they are telling you that it can be put anywhere. Yes it can but it may not be legal to live in.

Eco-Built Homes manufactures a tiny house that has some unique features but probably wouldn’t even pass the RV building codes let alone being approved by either HUD or the IRC.

These tiny houses are like a freestanding studio apartments, with a living space and kitchen. There's an electric range built into the counter and a full bathroom to the side.

The company started eight years ago and has three employees. They have sold 10 with plans to build a lot more.

The homes can be trailered to a location in a compact configuration. They're 8 feet wide before, at the press of a button, the kitchen slides out to reveal its living space.

Eco-Built Homes lists several “one of a kind” 240-square-foot homes on its website for between $29,000 and $39,000. A larger, “custom built,” 307-square-foot home is advertised at $69,000.

They say that depending on the code qualification, they could fall under modular or manufactured home categories.

Modular homes typically meet the code requirements of houses built from the ground up, he said. They usually have a permanent foundation and can be built in nearly any residential zone.

Manufactured homes are assembled in factories and are typically restricted to certain zoning districts.

It all depends on the measurements and features of the units, they say. Other living situations could be attained through a planned unit development, where a developer can plan the layout of the space.

So let’s think about this for a minute. All you have to do is take the center part out of a cheap Class A motorhome, the one housing the living and kitchen areas, put it on a flatbed trailer, deliver it to a jobsite and magically it becomes an accepted modular home.

Our entire industry must be asking ourselves why we didn’t think of this in 2008. We could have been building these $29,000 sliding units by the thousands. Instead we chose to build real houses.

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