THE ZINN: 98+ SQ FT
THE GIFFORD: 112+ SQ FT
THE BEAVAN: 112+ SQ FT
THE WELLER: 115+ SQ FT
THE MARMARA: 284+ SQ FT
THE MARIE COLVIN: 288+ SQ FT
The Best Tiny House Designs Yet...
During the past eighteen years, I’ve refined my designs to create some of the best small homes available. All of our front-gable houses* of 120 square feet or smaller have been configured to fit between the wheel wells of a standard car hauler, which means that:
- Their construction is much easier and more affordable.
- It’s possible to build the homes on wheels or on a foundation, and move from one surface to the other.
- Each home now has 8 times as much insulation and an unbroken waterproof membrane where the wells once were.
I’ve also managed to get rid of all the collar beams that obstructed the cathedral ceilings of my dwellings. The simplified interior has allowed for 6’ 6” ceilings under all lofts and (for the first time in any of my finished layouts) a full-length bed downstairs.
I’ve also designed some slightly larger houses that range from about 280 (plus another 250 for prospective loft space) to 380 square feet (plus 350 for loft space). With these wider houses, the wheel well issue has been resolved by building above the wheels entirely and classifying the houses as wide-loads. ** Any of these bigger homes can be mounted on a foundation as well, but you should run the idea by your local building and zoning departments before doing so.
RV or Not RV?
These new houses meet all ANSI requirements for RVs when they’re mounted on wheels by a licensed RV manufacturer. They can then be registered as such, thereby, qualifying for RV loans and RV insurance. If you put a house on wheels yourself without buying a manufacturer’s license, it becomes a load on a flatbed (which is harder to finance and insure, but more affordable in terms of taxation).
Your House, Your Way
The shells of these houses have wide-open, unobstructed interiors, and their overall interior dimensions, window placements and primary components (like bathrooms, stairways and kitchens) have been meticulously correlated. As such, Four Lights homes are far more versatile and offer owners the added option of designing their own interior.
This new a-la-carte option resolves what I’ve always found to be the biggest challenge when designing efficient living spaces for other people. In order for any dwelling to function well, it has to meet the specific needs of its occupant(s), without the inclusion of any unwanted extras. It’s challenging enough to decide what I really need in my house in order to be happy; designing for others is all the more difficult.
With this new a-la-carte option, it’s easy to design the small house that suits your specific needs. For example, if you’d prefer a privy or bathhouse to an integral bathroom, you could simply leave the bathroom outside and put a roof on it. Or, if you love cooking, you might decide to turn your entire structure into a kitchen by adding more counter space and a bigger oven. You could even keep the whole building bare and call it a yoga studio. This tiny world is your oyster.
Check out the a-la-carte page of this website to see bathrooms, kitchens, furnishings and other components that I’ve designed to make Four Lights houses fit your life.
Founder, Four Lights Tiny House Company
* The end-gabled Zinn house is designed to sit on a 7' x 14' deck-over trailer (i.e. the deck is over the wheels rather than between them).
** Many municipalities allow you to put a structure of 120 square feet or smaller on your property without permitting or inspections. See your local building codes and zoning restrictions for any use or setback restrictions.
** At 12’ these wide-loads (defined as park-model RVs when mounted on wheels by a licensed RV manufacture) require a professional driver and wide-load permitting for transport, so you might consider getting something skinnier if you plan on moving your house every weekend.