Check Out This Gorgeous Open Concept Tiny Container Home


One shipping container is transformed into a Mobile Dwelling Unit. Cuts in the metal walls of the container generate extruded sub-volumes, each encapsulating one living, working or storage function. When traveling, these sub-volumes are pushed in, filling the entire container. They then interlock with each other, leaving the outer skin of the container flush to allow worldwide standard shipping. When in use, all sub-volumes are pushed out, leaving the interior of the container completely unobstructed with all functions accessible along its sides. The interior of the container and the sub-volumes are fabricated entirely out of plywood and plastic coated plywood, including all fixtures and furnishings. The MDU was originally conceived for individuals constantly moving around the globe. The MDU travels with its dweller to the next long term destination, fitted with all live/work equipment and filled with the dweller’s belongings. However, it is easily configured for permanent residency.

Smaller homes are less expensive than larger ones in terms of taxes and building, heating, maintenance, and repair costs. In addition to costing less, small houses may encourage a less cluttered and simpler lifestyle and reduce ecological impacts for their residents. The typical size of a small home seldom exceeds 500 square feet (46 m2). The typical tiny house on wheels is usually less than 8 ft by 20 ft, with livable space totalling 120 square feet or less, for ease of towing and to exempt it from the need for a building permit.

Small houses may emphasize design over size, utilize dual purpose features and multi-functional furniture, and incorporate technological advances of space saving equipment and appliances. Vertical space optimization is also a common feature of small houses and apartments.

As small houses may be attractive as second homes or retirement houses which 2 out of five people are over 50, their increased utilization may lead to development of more land. People interested in building a small home can encounter institutional “discrimination” when building codes require minimum size well above the size of a small home. Also, neighbors may be hostile because they fear negative impacts on their property values. There has also been opposition based on this fact, due to concerns about increased taxes.

An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is a second small dwelling on the same property as a larger single-family house. An ADU can be a tiny house (on a foundation) in the backyard, an apartment over the garage or a basement apartment. ADUs are allowed in many towns, but the rules vary as to size, permitting, and placement. In addition, some towns restrict who can live there (e.g., only family members of the main house, or only people providing long term care for someone in the main house).

The International Residential Code for One- and Two- Family Dwellings (IRC) is a comprehensive reference for best practices in home construction and the basic standard for all home builders. A completely new version is published every three years. Small revisions are published more frequently. While all states have adopted the IRC, there is great diversity in the specific versions. Additional codes may be written your state, county or city that are stricter than the IRC, particularly in regions vulnerable to earthquakes or hurricanes. Check with your local building inspector or a contractor licensed in your region for guidance.


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