We have featured builds by Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses here before, mainly because their creations are always spot-on when it comes to small and sustainable homes. Their newest project, the recently completed 16 Foot Curved Roof Tiny House is no exception, and actually raises the bar when it comes to off-grid tiny homes. It’s spacious and light filled, yet still completely mobile.
The 16 Foot Curved Roof Tiny House was built on a 16 ft (5 m) long trailer and has reclaimed cedar and tin siding. As the name suggests, it features a curved roof that results in a generous amount of headroom, which is always a plus when it comes to tiny homes. The main floor of the interior is the primary living and sleeping area, with a kitchenette off to the side. The latter is quite well equipped and features a two-burner cooktop, a chest fridge, a pantry and a fold-down dining table. The living area also features a sofa, which transforms into a bed and thus also serves as a sleeping area.
To the side of the kitchen is the bathroom, which is separated off from the rest of the tiny home by a reclaimed, sliding barn door, and is fitted with a shower and a composting toilet. The tiny home also features a loft, which can be used as a guest bedroom and storage area. It is accessible via a collapsible aluminum ladder.
The home is powered by a roof-mounted 1,400 W solar array that plugs into a battery array. This system can also be plugged into the grid to be recharged if necessary. The home also features an on-demand water heater, which is fed by two propane gas bottles, as is the cooktop. There is also an air-conditioning/heat pump split system, which helps keep the interior at a comfortable temperature year-round.
A large part of the appeal of tiny homes lies in the unique design that these bite-sized dwellings offer. And the so-called Moon Dragon, recently created by the tiny home designer Zyl Vardos of Olympia, Washington is certainly one of the more imaginative and unique small homes we’ve seen in a long time. It looks like something from a fairytale, and can function completely independently of the grid.
The Moon Dragon is comprised of a 9 x 24 ft (2.7 x 7.31 m) main floor and a 9 x 13 ft (2.7 x 4 m) sleeping loft, and has a total footprint of 13.1 x 9 x 24 ft (4 x 2.7 x 7.3 m). Almost the entire exterior of the home is clad in Onduvilla shingles. The Dutch-style front door was hand built, and opens into a cozy and spacious living area. A wood-burning stove is to be installed here to provide heat for the entire home.
The kitchen features plenty of counter space (made of laminated oak) for such a tiny dwelling. It is also equipped with a five-burner range cooker, an energy-efficient fridge, two ovens, and a pantry. There is also an energy-efficient washing machine installed in this area of the home.
The bathroom is located at the rear of the home and features a composting toilet, as well as a concrete panel-lined shower and a hand-made sink. The bedroom is located in the loft, which is accessible via a storage stair. The loft is large enough to fit a double bed with room to spare, two closets, and its 5.5 ft (1.67 m) headspace is also quite impressive.
All the cabinetry and walls of the Moon Dragon were built using mahogany ply, while cedar tongue and groove composite was used to create the arched ceiling. Cork was used for the flooring. The home gets its power from harvesting solar energy, though it can also be hooked up to the grid.
Given the amount of work and materials that have gone into creating this home, it is quite pricy (as you would expect) and sells for about $96,000.
The firm Big World Homes from Australia have designed a tiny modular home that is shipped flat-packed, and can be assembled by two people in just a couple of days using only a drill and a hammer. It will also be a lot cheaper than the alternatives. The project is still in the design stage, but if it ever sees the light of day, it would certainly be very well-received by those looking to buy their own home.
These flat-pack homes will also be pretty much self-sufficient, which will be achieved via solar panels for energy production, and a rain catchment system. This means that these homes will not need to be connected to existing infrastructure, so they can be built practically anywhere. The homes will be made out of structural-thermal-waterproof integrated panels, which will be easy to assemble together.
Unfortunately the full details of what the home will look like, or exactly what kind of sustainable features it will offer, have not yet been disclosed. Since they are marketing it as an off-grid home, then they will presumably have an efficient solar panel array and battery system, as well as some type of greywater recycling system in place. Most likely the homes will also have a composting toilet. These are, however, just my own speculations at this point.
The home is aimed at the target market of young people wishing to own their first home, and I agree with the designers that there is quite a gap in this segment of the market. They hope to bridge this gap with this home, and make it easier for young people to move out on their own.
The home will cost around $50,000 (65,000 AUD) to build, which is quite cheap compared to most other options on the market. They are currently raising funds to build the first prototype home through a crowdfunding campaign on Chuffed. They’ve not yet reached their goal, but do still have a few days left.