The real estate sector is booming, and innovative housing solutions have not been long in coming; in this sector, prefabricated houses occupy a large share of the real estate market so that large builders can launch themselves into this adventure. Ikea is not ignoring this potential, where is taking a step forward and presents a 183 sq ft (17 m²) prefabricated home. Due to its construction and technology when assembled, the project, called “Tiny Home”, is affordable, and able to be sustainable, without quitting to be welcoming and beautiful. It’s also towable by car and thus expand the mobility options: you can go to sleep in California one night and have lunch in Colorado the next one.
While this is not the Swedish giant’s first incursion into the prefabricated houses business: in 2012, Ikea made a partnership with the US-based company Ideabox houses to create the iconic tiny house called AKTIV. An experience that was truly interesting, but the company was not totally satisfied with the results. That would serve ten years later as a base for the next plan, accomplished along with Escape Homes. The Tiny Home project brings to life a special project that is fully sustainable and with the full backing of this Swedish firm capable of offering you safety, security, warranty, and reliability in a home, thanks to its vast experience in the marketing of commercially successful products.
Ikea and its brilliant architecture for a 183-square-feet tiny house
Prefabricated construction is reaching market shares never seen before, and the real estate sector is looking forward to getting their slice. Sweden has always stood out as one of the countries where prefabricated alternatives have been at the forefront of possibilities. It is possible to state that prefabricated wooden elements are present in at least 80% of Swedish homes. And now the impact will be greater thanks to the entry of the leading Swedish company into the prefabricated home scene by deciding to build this house.
A tiny house with bedroom, living room, and kitchen!
Ikea has based its project on a customizable modification of the Vista Boho XL version manufactured by its partner Escape Homes and decorated in a minimalist Scandinavian style. Neutral tones with an induction hob for the kitchen and Kungsbacka furnitures line marketed by Ikea, wood in industrial quantities with a sober Japanese style and a room with a living room that includes hot water supply on demand.
Stands out its ability to be marketed as a green and environmentally friendly residence because it’s a zero emissions building. The isolation makes the interior actually stable, needing low or none cooling or heating: that makes its operation really cheap and, due to the solar panels in the roof, it is totally off-grid.
And how much is it worth? $47,550 (about 40,300 euros) without furniture. If you want the version with Ikea furniture, you can get it for $63,350 (about 54,000 euros).
Meet Ikea’s self-sufficient home
A prefabricated house with a combination of distinctive features that makes it worthy of being a though competitor in the mini mobile homes market, and I guess Ikea is really satisfied with the results so far:
In summary, Ikea’s tiny house is:
- Designed with minimalist, good taste.
- Modular, since it can be adapted to different needs.
- Perfectly sustainable because its totally off-grid.
- Fully capable of been towed by a car, practically, anywhere there’s a road.
- The prices are actually competitive.
A sucessful project with a great house as a result
The founder of Escape Homes, Dan Dobrowolski, said in an interview that the alliance and partnership with the giant Ikea came about in a predictable way and full of naturalness due to the fact that the firm already uses many of the products offered by Ikea in a wide range of models of its apartments and prefabricated houses. Regarding sustainability, the company assures that the home’s wood paneling is made from sustainably grown pine and that the kitchen cabinets are manufactured using recycled bottle caps.
The entire design and construction process of this project, called “Tiny House” took about four months to complete and saw completion in April 2020 to show this iconic house on a full U.S. tour that was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, a solution has been found by achieving virtual visits through a solution developed by the company Vox Creative, which has given virtual and remote life to this mini house. So you can live the experience of visiting and knowing in first person (virtually) the correct use of renewable and reusable materials used in its construction, achieving as a final goal a home that can afford to be functional, mobile, minimalist, beautiful, sustainable, cheap and comfortable.
Is Ikea’s tiny house actually a good idea?
The advantages of having and living in a tiny house are multiple. Firstly, tiny houses are very economical, both in terms of construction and maintenance. This is because they are very small and use more efficient materials and technologies. In addition, tiny houses are very efficient in terms of space use, which means that you can have everything you need in a much smaller space, compared to a traditional, larger house.
In order for a tiny house to be fully functional and can be lived in, it must have some basic things. First of all, you must have a water and electricity system. It is also important that it has good thermal insulation to reduce the use of air conditioning or heating, since the house must maintain a comfortable temperature at all times. In addition, the tiny house must have at least one bathroom and a basic kitchen. It is also obligatory that it has enough storage to store all the things you require. Last but not least, the tiny house must be safe and built with good quality materials. Well, Ikea’s one has all mentioned above, making it one of the most competitive in current American market.
Other options in the market you can buy right now
When taking a quick look at the panorama, you will see a couple of great tiny house you can check on now, for the sake of comparison or to have more options. Or couse, the first that will appear in the lists are the houses made by Escape (Ikea’s partner); the Traveler XL is a great alternative but it’s more expensive: for $88,940 you get 344 sq ft of space with 2 beds, 1 bath and one small kitchen. The bathroom includes a vanity with a surprisingly roomy single bowl sink, faucet, tub/shower, toilet, exhaust fan, large mirror, LED lighting, and hardware. This one is on wheels so you can travel with it anywhere.
Now, if you are looking for a smaller, affordable house, take a look at the Incred-I-Box, which is 16 feet long, and 128 sq ft of surface, kinda the half that other average house. Now, it’s a studio-style with one bathroom and no specific space for a bed, so you gotta be creative to make the only room mutate to fid your needs.
Even though, the kitchen looks spacious for such a small space and includes a butcher block countertop, cabinets, and a 30-inch sink. The highlight is the prices: $20,000 right now.
Which is better? A modular or a prefabricated house?
The main difference with modular homes is the materials, assembly, and modularity. In a prefabricated house, everything is put together, and the materials are much lighter than in a modular house (concrete, stone, or ceramic), but they are also smaller.
If the house has been installed correctly and is of high quality, a prefabricated or modular house can last as long as a conventional one built directly on the ground. There is some consensus on the average lifespan of this type of housing: between 50 and 70 years.