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Meet the Tiny House Builders: Seattle Tiny Homes

Tiny homes are a big trend, as Micro Week shows. They are an idea that is more popular with minimalists than with neighborhood associations and zoning boards. Many people are building their own; but, some astute companies are stepping in and building them for people who don't have the time or desire to pull together the tools, materials, and work space.

In 2010, Sharon Read founded Seattle Tiny Homes to build what many consider the typical tiny home, the style popularized by Jay Shafer (founder of Tumbleweed Tiny Homes and now Four Lights Houses): a house built on a trailer. Build it on a trailer and it gets around lots of regulations by being classified as an RV. Keep it small enough and it stays below permit limits. Use wood siding, conventional roofing, and conventional doors and windows, and it looks more like a house than a Winnebago. Design and equip it with some style and instead of being a shack it becomes a tiny bit of luxury.

↑ The Ballard model's cost starts at $64,000, gets you 160-220 square feet, a couple of dormers, the requisite loft, and a door on the long side.

↑ The Fremont has to be different from Ballard, so it gets rid of the two dormers giving a cleaner roof line, shrinks a bit to 128-200 square feet, puts the door on the end, but has a porch (a tiny one, course.) Fremont is cheaper than Ballard, by about $10,000 in this case.

Magnolia is more like Ballard, but don't tell them that. The door is back along the long side, and the price is back up to a start at $60,000. The idea is to play some design games to make the first floor more useful, still at 160-220 square feet.

↑ Is Alki really cheaper than the rest? It is here. It starts at $42,000, can be as small as 96 square feet, but as large as 256 square feet. Instead of peaked roof, there's a shed roof, which evidently gives more headroom in the loft.

↑ Evidently, Wallingford (156-220 square feet) likes dormers and lofts because the upper windows and altered roof extend almost the entire length. Is that why it costs more, starting at $64,000?

↑ At a glance, Leschi doesn't look much different, except for the hip roof. Hip, in this case, is for function not form. Chamfering the ends of the roof makes it more aerodynamic, almost as if you planned to tow it at highway speeds. It is also the most expensive and largest: starting at $67,000 for 188-220 square feet.
· Seattle Tiny Homes [STH]
· Tumbleweed Tiny Homes [TTH]
· Four Lights Houses [FLH]
· All Tiny Homes coverage [CS]
Written by Tom Trimbath (whose house is an enormous 864 sq ft)