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You may think that small manufactured homes are dull or boring, but that’s because you haven’t looked hard enough. Forget your pre-conceived notions of small houses influenced by grandma’s dilapidated airstream or your uncle’s ancient camper trailers. While they may have been a solution for low-income problems in the past, they are no longer a last resort. Instead, tiny mobile houses are the key to freedom from the monotony of day-to-day city life.
But just because you want to own one doesn’t mean you have to build them from scratch. Thankfully, there are plenty of turnkey homes available in today’s market ready to for buying. Nowadays, small manufactured homes are modern, sophisticated, and (best of all) affordable!
What Is a Prefab or Manufactured House?
Building a home from scratch is extremely stressful. From devising blueprints, searching for municipal permits, and hiring the right builders, the entire process is a giant headache. If given a chance, many homeowners would instead choose from a list of home options and decide what works best for them.
Building your own tiny home is a surprisingly difficult task for such a small house. But some companies specialize in producing small manufactured homes, so you don’t have to. Buyers can choose what structure they prefer, the square footage, and sometimes even the amenities inside the house. You can select the kind of flooring you want to be laid, what material the countertops will be, and sometimes even small things such as hardware in the kitchen and bathroom. Delivery occurs after a few weeks or months of production (depending on the complexity of the home). Then, choose your decor, move your personal belongings in, and call this “home sweet home.”
Benefits of Manufactured Homes vs. Building Your Own
There are plenty of advantages to owning small manufactured homes. Firstly, you will save weeks if not months of time by investing in pre-made houses. With small manufactured homes, there will be no need to spend time researching, measuring, ordering supplies, and finally building. All of these steps are time-consuming, stressful, and you may even lose days or weeks of work to complete the project.
Secondly, the cost to build your own tiny house is never set in stone. Even if you plan your days religiously, and rigorously account for every nut and bolt, an unexpected turn of events can ruin your budget if you’re building a traditional house. On the other hand, small manufactured houses have set costs which are entirely up to your choices. The price is usually a sliding scale depending mostly on materials chosen and furnishings. But once you decide what you want, the final cost is all you’re going to pay. You won’t have to worry about unforeseen plumbing logistics or accidental en-route tile damage.
How Much Do Small Manufactured Homes Cost?
As aforementioned, the cost for small manufactured homes varies depending on which options you’ve chosen. Some companies sell tiny homes starting as low as $13,000 while others have high-end mini houses for approximately $130,000. There are quite a few factors which determine the price of small manufactured homes.
The size of the home will be the most important feature to consider. You’ll have to ask yourself a few questions: who is going to live in your new home? Are you planning on living in your mini home for several years? If so, do you plan on starting a family within the confines of your tiny home? Do you need a full tub or will a stand-up shower suffice?
Mobility is another huge aspect to consider. When your small home is immobile in one place, your sizing options are different than if you want your home to sit atop a trailer. Additionally, weight plays a significant role in tiny mobile homes. Choosing lightweight options is a must to make moving easier; however, it may cost the buyer significantly more. These considerations will all fluctuate the price for small manufactured homes.
What Is Usually Not Included in Pre-Fabricated Homes?
While convenient, there are a few factors not included in the price for small manufactured homes. Taxes and delivery, for example, are not often included in their advertised price. Do your research and find out if the companies charges a flat delivery fee or by the mile. The delivery charge could be quite costly, especially if you live on the other side of the country.
Should your home be stationary, the foundation is also not included. You will have to get a quote from local builders as to how much laying a solid foundation would cost. You will also need to do your research regarding zoning by-laws for your tiny house. Homes on wheels are legally considered recreational vehicles (RVs) and may need an inspection before getting a license plate. Stationary small manufactured houses are a little bit different, as may they require building permits for small dwellings. Make sure to look over the American Tiny House Association’s list of state regulations on small homes and what is necessary to build them lawfully.
How We Reviewed
Unlike products, we cannot rate small manufactured houses on a scale of one to five. They are each unique in building materials, style, and price range. What works for one person may not exactly work for another. Therefore, we have selected a range of tiny homes and outlined their best features.
The Countryside by 84 Lumber
Whether you’re looking to purchase small manufactured homes or just their blueprints, 84 Lumber has you covered. They offer four small mobile home models: the Roving, the Degsy, the Sonsie, and the Countryside. We’ll hone in on their largest model: the Countryside. This 203-square-foot home holds one bedroom, a unique cathedral ceiling, and beautiful bamboo flooring.
The kitchen is to your left as soon as you step in through the side door. It features a butcher block countertop, induction cooktop, and a designer faucet. To prevent breakables from shifting on route, the the cabinets are wrapped in mesh. Beside the small refrigerator is a two-seater hightop table. Behind the chairs is a hidden storage area which doubles as a bench to sit and read or work. The bathroom boasts a full-sized shower, composting toilet, and a unique sink resembling a stainless steel pail. A wooden ladder leads to the queen-sized loft bedroom surrounded by three operable windows and plenty of wiggle room.
This company has three buying options for the countryside. For $6,884, buyers receive the architectural blueprints, list of materials, and a trailer. Spending $31,884 will get you the blueprints, trailer, as well as a shelled-in home with windows, doors, and the shower. This particular model as outfitted in their website costs $79,884. These prices do not include taxes or delivery fees.
Capri Tiny Home by Green Magic Homes
Some small manufactured homes are all about being off-grid. This means implementing solar energy systems, using gas stoves and ranges rather than electrical, and investing in a composting toilet. But being off-grid does not necessarily mean being energy efficient. This is where Green Magic Homes come in: their homes are not only high energy efficient, but they are water-resistant, corrosion-efficient, and lush greenery covers the roof and sides. For the purpose of this list, we will be looking at one of their small manufactured homes: the Capri Tiny Home, a two-bedroom over-sized mini home.
This magical little house’s exterior is unlike any other on the market. This two bedroom home’s roof and sides are covered in greenery which reduces heating and cooling bills. This also reduces the carbon footprint, consequently making the structure eco-friendly. This home’s interior is open-concept and features minimalist decor. The short half of the L-shaped households the first bathroom, living room and light-filled kitchen with a bar for dining. Behind the living room wall is the second bedroom. Adjacent from this bedroom is a four-piece bathroom followed by the master bedroom with built-in cabinetry. Prices for this 611-square-foot model and all of their small manufactured homes are available upon request.
Alpha Tiny House by New Frontier Tiny Homes
New Frontier Tiny Homes makes mobile small manufactured homes. They have three models: the Alpha, the Escher, and the Cornelia. Their Alpha model is smaller than the Escher but larger than the cornelia. The Alpha’s trailer size is 24 feet by 8.6 feet and 13.6 feet tall and starts at $124,900. The price can change depending on whether or not you choose the solar package ($5,000 to $20,000 more) and the supplementary solar option ($5,000 to $10,000 more).
Charred Sho Sugi Ban and red western cedar siding line the Alpha’s exterior while a mechanical seam metal roof covers the top. The builder opted for an extra-wide, garage-like entrance with an awning and a deck instead of a traditional door. This main entrance doubles as a living and dining room, as the steps to the kitchen slide out to reveal a hidden table and seats. Up a couple of steps is the kitchen with granite countertops, farmhouse apron sink, secret dishwasher drawer, 4-burner induction cooktop, and a whirlpool stainless steel fridge.
Across the kitchen and dining/living room is the fully-equipped bathroom. It holds a composting toilet, two vertical windows, a washer/dryer combo, and a full-size jacuzzi tub. The master loft is up the ladder steps, where two travelers can comfortably rest. Included in the Alpha is a 50-amp electrical system, a mini-split HVAC system, and a tankless water heater
The wedge by Wheelhaus
Wheelhaus makes seven different small manufactured homes, one of which is dubbed “The Wedge.” Like its namesake, the Wedge has a sloped roofline and reclaimed Wyoming snow fencing line its exterior walls. The front of this tiny home can either come with or without a front deck, but they all feature a large sliding front door. The interior boasts high ceilings, plenty of natural light, and exposed wooden beams on the ceiling.
The bathroom features a European-style glass shower, tiles, and a large closet. The kitchen includes a 2-burner stovetop, a 24-inch wide refrigerator/freezer, microwave, and dishwasher. Wheelhaus includes all the necessary hardware, appliances, and fixtures to make their homes move-in ready. You will need to add the furnishings and your personal touch to make these tiny houses feel like homes. Besides that, you will also need to purchase a 3/4-inch water line, 3-inch sewer line, and hook up a 100 amp power service.
The wedge has 400 square feet and is not equipped to be off-grid. They are stationary micro houses that are not meant to travel from place to place. Depending on a few options (such as deck vs. no deck), the wedge costs approximately $93,500. Of course, this does not include several other costs including foundation, delivery, and zoning permits.
Mint Loft #1 by Mint Tiny House Company
A couple in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada created Mint Tiny House Company. The couple wanted to feel more connected with the great outdoors they so loved. So they built their own tiny home and formed a company dedicated to producing small manufactured homes. They sell these little houses all over Canada and the United States, and they cost approximately $50,000 for their 20-foot model. Any of their models are customized according to buyer specifications and take 8-10 weeks to complete.
Mint Loft #1 is an option available for purchase on their website. Guests enter via a pair of double doors with full-length glass into the kitchen/dining area. Natural light floods this area which features a veneer butcher block countertop, stainless steel kitchen sink, faucet, exposed wooden beam ceilings and two sets of track lights. Past the kitchen is the full-size bathroom with his-and-hers sinks, washer/dryer combo, composting toilet, and a full-size shower. The steps to the master loft doubles as storage space and a divider between the kitchen and living area. The sleeping area extends over the wall of the home by 2 feet, is 3.5 feet high in the center, and has multiple windows.
Should You Make the Move?
Living in small manufactured homes is no small “feet.” Squeezing your entire life into such a small space is difficult and takes years of practice. Putting less emphasis on material items and more on memories and adventures is something that takes patience and a lot of effort. But the benefits of having your small home are great. Small houses mean smaller bills to worry about and fewer items to buy to fill your home. Plus, if your home is mobile, you can take your home with you while you travel from coast to coast. But before you make your decision, remember to take your time, do your research, and determine what is best for your lifestyle.