Tiny House Giant Journey passes through Petrified Forest in Arizona. – Photo: Guillaume Dutilh via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)
The problem with mini-houses is definitely the phrase “tiny”. It is instant devaluation. However, a new, more modern take on tiny home design could be about to change all of that. A company called Boxabl sold a small house to Elon Musk.
This news generated a waiting list of nearly 100,000 people, and not just because of the association with Musk.
Boxabl sells a small house called “Casita(Literally “little house”) which is a very interesting design idea as well as a good CAD job. La Casita is relatively inexpensive. The design creates a lot of internal space and offers an extremely flexible range of design options.
Take the time to check out the Casita link, which has a lot of useful background information. (Unsolicited advice for Boxabl from a professional business writer – The main image of the Casita has to be better than this. The current image seriously and seriously underestimates the idea of the Casita.)
La Casita is a real full warning for designers. One of the problems with small homes is sort of a stagnant design approach. They tend to look a lot alike. The industry has also taken on many stereotypical interior designs. Add to this really excellent interior decor but expensive stuck in the same basic design, and you see the problems.
Superficially, the Casita is a pre-made box frame. What’s different is that it’s fully customizable and has a much more modern build dynamic. It is also modular, and can be two houses together.
For the record – No, “prefab” is not a bad word and hasn’t been in decades. Modern versions are excellent, precision made, and very good as design tools. In Queensland, Australia, they are using CAD to help people set up house designs, with visualization for every possible configuration. It is a very practical approach to managing site plans, landscaping, etc.
This is where the revelations begin
La Casita can be adapted to almost any floor plan setup. There is plenty of room inside and the space is very designer. Compare that to the near-trailer level of current market thinking, and Casita has a lot to make.
Modern construction is a real science. High performance specifications, materials and production are integrated. This is where the Casita leads, and where the market will have to go to be viable.
- Low unit cost of the Casita: Approximately $ 50,000 USD plus shipping. It can be done in any possible housing market. (Suggestion for Boxabl – Have these items licensed worldwide. It would work on that cost basis.)
- Reduced material costs: All due respect to some really beautiful cottage designs, but these materials are built into the overhead as well; they can only enter the market so far.
- Low maintenance and management costs: La Casita is the original “plug and play” house. You simply cannot incur the costs associated with conventional maintenance or other mini-homes. Want to replace a wall? Easy. Fancy a second floor? No problem. All of this is also on a fixed cost. Try to do this with anything else on the market.
- Modular options: Towards the bottom of the Casita links page, you will see two Casitas joined together. This is not the LEGO version; it’s a working layout, and a good one. (You can also create two-story Casitas, another useful space management option at any site.)
- Economy of the house / land: These small houses take up much less floor space. You can have a garden, a private space, etc. and not having to spend millions to get them. The Casita’s multiple flexible custom options can set up the home on any type of terrain and varying terrain a little better than single box designs.
- Space management: La Casita reinforces a critical point for modern homes. The interior space must be truly functional and designed for this purpose. You can’t necessarily do this with inflexible designs. Conventional homes can cost a fortune to simply redesign for these purposes.
The next generation of mini-homes has arrived
I could go on for days on this. Small houses are the simplest and most cost effective option compared to conventional houses and apartments. Housing is a huge problem all over the world. The quality of life and the cost of housing vary from appalling to extravagant absurdity.
It’s a no-win situation for a lot of people. Especially the next two generations, who are well and truly at the top of a particular stream unless they can find a way around these issues.
Also note – Small houses quite simply can not be transformed into future slums of hideous mass. They can be upgraded and easily replaced. Easy maintenance of standard connections is no problem. You could have a whole community of designer cottages in a good space that can be really beautiful. You can create separately spaced 3D “apartment blocks” that look nothing like the tired old shoe boxes of the past.
The small houses represented by the Casita are not stingy with space. You can have as much space as you need when you need it. You can have kids and just add whatever you need. You can extend a Casita or just buy a few more when you need them.
Now also consider – This is all 100% separate from the massive and potentially fatal long-term cost commitment for any other type of housing. You could get a mortgage for a Casita type base price even if you are a gig economy freelance writer. (That will be pretty much everyone, in about 20-30 years.)
La Casita is important as a really viable new option, rather than a new approach. People talked about it all through the 20e century. No solution was found. Global urban disorder is the result.
It really is a way out of the repulsive urban jungles. As the idea of Casita evolves, it will improve and add more options.