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Considering investing in a tiny home, but overwhelmed by the whole process? Design companies like Seattle Tiny Homes help make this process an enjoyable experience rather than a stressful one. And with the support and oversight of professional tiny home designers, you can unleash your creativity without the fear of making a mistake along the way. But with so many designers, construction companies, and architects dipping their toes into the world of tiny homes, the choices are seemingly endless.
Choosing the right designer or contractor for your new tiny home could make or break your project. And since you’ll, hopefully, be living in this home for years to come, your satisfaction is beyond important. Seattle Tiny Homes is one of the leading manufacturers of tiny home plans, frames, and trailers. But how does Seattle Tiny Homes compare to other tiny home designers and builders currently on the market?
What Is a Tiny Home?
Tiny homes continue to gain in popularity across the United States and abroad, but their rise truly began following the 2008 financial crisis. Today, home buyers turn to tiny homes as a low-cost, minimalist alternative to expensive mortgages and a consumerist lifestyle. Tiny homes come in a wide range of styles and sizes. While most enthusiasts qualify anything under 400 square feet as a tiny home, there is no hard set of rules. Some tiny homes, colloquially called “small homes” instead, can get up to 1,000 square feet. And some tiny homes are as small as 50 square feet.
These unique houses also utilize different foundations. Some tiny homes utilize permanent foundations, just like traditional home. But many builders choose to build their tiny home on a trailer base, making it extremely portable. That allows adventurous homeowners to travel the country, all without leaving their home behind. These trailer-based tiny homes often count as RVs. That is especially important when applying for financing for a new home. Since mortgages only work for residential buildings with a permanent foundation, many tiny homes don’t qualify. But because they’re mounted on trailers, they instead qualify for RV loans.
All About Seattle Tiny Homes
Seattle Tiny Homes is a tiny home design company based in Duvall, Washington. Seattle Tiny Homes qualify as RVs under Washington state law, which can help ensure buyers get an RV loan to finance their new tiny home. They offer starter homes, trailers, and D.I.Y. plans for a variety of customizable models. A key feature of all Seattle Tiny Homes designs is that they can be handicap accessible, something that isn’t true for many tiny home manufacturers.
Seattle Tiny Homes’ starter homes are an excellent option for anyone looking to test out building and designing their own tiny home, but not confident enough to do it from the ground-up. Seattle Tiny Homes’ team of builders will build the home to your desired point, and from there you can take over. This allows you to order a tiny house that is only framed, leaving you to do all the finishing touches. Or one that is almost complete, with only a few design choices left to finish.
Seattle Tiny Homes also offers custom trailer consultation and building. Since all of their homes feature trailer foundations, this is an essential step in the building process. You can customize size, lighting, towing hitches, and galvanizing options, though many of these options do cost extra. These trailers can hold a Seattle Tiny Homes model or an entirely different home design altogether.
In addition to their starter homes and trailers, Seattle Tiny Homes also sells D.I.Y. plans for their home models. You can build any of these tiny homes from scratch with your own supplies, which also opens the door for practically endless customization options. Unfortunately, your dream home is limited by your own construction skills unless you hire outside contractors. But this is an excellent project for the skilled handyman or woman.
How Much Do Seattle Tiny Homes Cost?
Seattle Tiny Homes’ designs vary in price depending on size and model type. Base models range in price from around $45,000 to around $120,000. But exact pricing will depend on additional features, customization, and how finished of a starter home you desire.
Seattle Tiny Homes’ trailers vary in price depending on upgraded features, length, and materials. But their website does offer a range of base prices. These trailers cost around $4,000 to $5,000 for the base model of a 12-foot trailer. The 24-foot trailer costs around $7,000 to $8,000 for the base model. And the 34-foot trailer costs about $10,000 to $12,000 for the base model.
The Seattle Tiny Homes building plans are much less expensive, but your materials and labor could easily add up to or exceed the price of their premade base models. While there are plans to expand this line of blueprints, right now you can only purchase the Alki building plans. The full building plans cost about $800 to $1,000, with cheaper options available that just outline the HVAC, electrical, and framing plans.
Our Favorite Seattle Tiny Homes
While tiny homes offer tons of opportunities for personalization, creativity, and breaking the mold, starting with a basic model is always a good idea. That helps ensure that your home is structurally sound and makes sense as a living space. Otherwise, depending on your design and building skills, you could end up with something resembling the Winchester House.
Seattle Tiny Homes currently offers six exterior design options. But you only need to look at models built from these designs to see how many customization opportunities there truly are. No matter what direction you choose to take your home’s design in, the original base will play a role in how your space functions. Here are a few of our favorite designs by Seattle Tiny Homes.
The Fremont design model draws on the imagery of a summer camp cabin. While this is likely a bit too kitschy for some home shoppers, others will be charmed by the quaint exterior. This tiny home is available in 12-foot to 28-foot trailer models. And the square footage ranges from a minimal 96 feet to a comparatively roomy 288 feet. Depending on the size of your Fremont home, one to three lofts can be installed. That can add up to an additional 260 square feet to your tiny house.
The Fremont base model ranges from about $56,000 to $79,000 depending on the size of the trailer base. A small front porch is available as an additional design option. The open interior is also customizable to your needs and will affect the final cost of this housing plan.
The Alki design model looks like a modern, eccentric take on the classic RV. The exterior offers plenty of space to install windows for a sunlight-soaked interior, which also helps the home’s interior feel more spacious. This model is available in 12-foot to 32-foot base models. The interior square footage ranges from 96 to 352 feet. And, like the Fremont, one to three lofts are available for an additional 24 to 356 square feet of floor space.
The Alki base model ranges in price from about $43,000 to $90,000 depending on the size of the base trailer. This home is very self-contained, so there are no porch or deck options for an outdoor space. While the Alki design’s more spacious interior might make this a non-issue, many homeowners value outdoor living spaces.
The Rainier design model is another modern example of a sleek, RV-inspired tiny home. This model is long and thin, but with a unique roof shape that helps break up the otherwise monotonous design. An option for large windows helps to open up the narrow space inside and bring in more natural light. This model comes in lengths ranging from 32 feet to 44 feet. The interior features 224 to 352 square feet of floor space. And optional lofts add 24 to 150 square feet extra.
The Rainier base model costs around $90,000 to $120,000 depending on the size you choose. Like the Alki model, this tiny home is very self-contained and offers no outdoor living spaces.
Other Tiny Home Companies
There is an abundance of tiny home designers and manufacturers in the housing market. While many of these companies overlap in design principles and product offerings, many tiny homebuyers find themselves drawn to a designer’s aesthetic or certain price range.
To get a better idea of how Seattle Tiny Homes’ offerings compare to its competitors, we chose two of the most popular tiny home manufacturers in the United States. This cursory information allowed us to compare price points, design choices, and more.
New Frontier Tiny Homes
New Frontier Tiny Homes is a trendy company made popular by the HGTV television network. While most of their homes look pretty basic from the exterior, the interiors use luxury materials and design concepts. Right now, they offer three tiny home models: the Alpha, the Escher, and the Cornelia. These homes feature options for permanent or trailer foundations.
The Alpha tiny home model features 204 square feet, and base pricing starts at around $120,000 to $130,000. The Escher tiny home features 240 square feet and pricing starts at about $100,000 to $200,000. And the Cornelia model has 240 square feet and starts at approximately $110,000 to $120,000. While New Frontier Tiny Homes uses luxury design in their tiny homes, some of the cost of these homes might be wrapped up in the brand’s popularity and name recognition. New Frontier Tiny Homes does not sell their homes unfinished or any of their building plans.
Tumbleweed Tiny Houses
Tumbleweed Tiny Houses also manufactures tiny homes with RV bases. They currently make four models: the Cypress, the Elm, the Farallon, and the Roanoke. The Cypress model resembles a modern suburban home. The Elm and Farallon take inspiration from wood cabins. And the Roanoke model is a sleek RV-trailer tiny home. Tumbleweed Tiny Houses also offers interior customization for any of these exterior designs.
The Cypress model features 232 to 311 square feet and starts at about $60,000 to $65,000. With only one size option, the Elm model features 268 square feet and starts at around $70,000 to $75,000. The Farallon model features 284 to 319 square feet and starts at about $70,000 to $75,000. And the Roanoke model features 190 to 315 square feet and starts at approximately $60,000 to $65,000. Like Seattle Tiny Homes, Tumbleweed Tiny Houses offers trailers ranging from around $5,500 to $6,500.
The Pros and Cons of Seattle Tiny Homes
Seattle Tiny Homes offers a wide range of products, from starter kits, to trailers, to D.I.Y. plans. This gives you plenty of options when planning out your new tiny home. While Tumbleweed Tiny Houses also offers some trailer options, their customization options are severely lacking when you compare them to those of Seattle Tiny Homes. And neither Tumbleweed Tiny Houses or New Frontier Tiny Homes offer any of their models as building plans. While Seattle Tiny Homes only currently offers building plans for one of their models, this is more than either of the other companies we looked at.
While Seattle Tiny Homes does offer six different model designs, there isn’t a lot of variety in these designs. If you’re looking for a more unique and eccentric design, especially for your home’s exterior, then New Frontier Tiny Homes or Tumbleweed Tiny Houses might be a better designer for you. Seattle Tiny Homes and Tumbleweed Tiny Houses both beat out New Frontier Tiny Homes on pricing. If you’re genuinely looking for a luxury tiny home experience, then the higher price tag of a New Frontier home might be worth it. But for most, this is not a priority.
The Future of the Tiny Home Movement
While the housing market has rebounded from the 2008 financial crisis, tiny homes continue to be a popular choice for homebuyers. Some choose these homes because of their proximity to minimalist or off-the-grid lifestyles. Some prefer tiny homes because of their easy mobility. And others choose them to avoid being in debt for decades. But there’s no indication that this home design trend is going anywhere fast.
Whatever reason you have for wanting your very own tiny home, working with a design and manufacturing company will inevitably make this process easier and less stressful. Their team will ensure that your tiny home will meet all of your and your family’s needs. That will give you more time to focus on creating your dream home, down to every last detail.