Small homes can have a bit more widespread appeal relative to tiny homes. Compared to tiny houses that top out at only around a couple hundred square feet or so, small homes -- which typically measure 400 square feet and up -- won't be as cramped for families, yet would still present significant savings in maintenance, not to mention making home ownership much more in affordable reach compared to a much larger-sized home.
It's this idea of the small and affordable "starter home" that led Paul Hennessy of Park Homes in Christchurch, New Zealand to build this ultra-modern 43 x 10 feet small home on wheels according to Passive House principles -- super-insulating it as well as ensuring excellent heat recovery ventilation. Bryce of Living Big in A Tiny House gets a tour of this attractive small home:
First off, the exterior of this small home is quite striking: its shiny black skin is actually aluminum composite panel (ACP), a material that is often used for billboards (according to some YouTube commenters, there are some potential fire safety and durability concerns with this material). The walls are made with structural insulated panels (SIPs). The wheels of the trailer base have been cleverly hidden from view using a 'skirt' made from the same material. The dog's shelter has been conveniently incorporated under the entry deck.
Stepping inside, a much larger, open living room and kitchen greets visitors -- it's amazing what a few extra square feet can do to open up a space. The interior was designed by Paul's wife, Pascale, who came up with a sleek, modern look. In the kitchen, they've replaced the standard, unsightly bulk of the kitchen hood with a minimalist slit built into the wall that sucks cooking odours outside.
A small hallway leads to the office/second bedroom, bathroom and master bedroom. Though a hallway might seem like wasted space here, Hennessey says that the idea is to make it feel like any regular home with corridors.
The bathroom is decently appointed in size, and visually enlarged with an extra-big mirror.
The master bedroom is relatively big, allowing enough space for the inhabitants to walk around the bed, and enough storage space for clothing. Another nice touch is the storage hidden under the bed itself.
Hennessey explains that the idea here was to create an affordable "starter home" that would feel like a real, regular house, or perhaps a stepping stone before building or moving onto a larger home. He estimates that a basic version would cost about USD $55,000 to make, which is pretty decent for 430 square feet that's also earthquake-resistant.
It's admittedly not as mobile as a tiny home on wheels -- this portable small home is only meant to be moved around on the same piece of property and going on the road would require it to be lifted onto a flatbed truck. So for people leery of the teeny size of tiny homes and their transient status on wheels, this is one small home that addresses these issues, using a few clever design ideas to make it feel more permanent and less trailer-like, and more modern. More over at Living Big in A Tiny House and Park Homes NZ.