This post has changed a lot over the past few days, from discussing multiple options for “tiny” living such as park model RVs, converted sheds, etc., to just covering Arched Cabins. I’ll discuss park model RVs in an upcoming post! And just so you know, I’m not being compensated to talk about arched cabins – with my tiny blog, I would be surprised if they ever even find this post. 🙂
I prefer a studio type of layout to anywhere that I live, rather than a bedroom type situation. When you have a bedroom, inevitably one part of the house is going to get used a ton more than the other — at least that has been my experience. For example, before my roommate moved in, I hardly ever used the living room. I have some shy cats who tend to stay in their “safe” part of the house and not venture beyond the bedroom, so if I want to spend time with them, I go in there and sit with them, giving and receiving cuddles. 🙂
So, thinking along the studio-layout, I’ve come across an option which is a prefab home, but not the one you might traditionally think of. A coworker of mine had a house fire a few years ago and on their property, they are now putting the finishing touches on something called an Arched Cabin. It’s delivered and put together for you on your property but then you have to finish the interior on your own (or hire someone to help you with that.) The company is based in Texas, and they ship to 48 US states. (Their patent is only in the US so far.) Transportation fees are $2/mile for the smaller models, $2.50/mile for the larger models.
With the arched cabins, there are many sizes to choose from, with the smallest kit costing about $1,000. (I think my coworker is getting one of the biggest ones.) If you’re wondering what comes with an Arched Cabin kit, they have a lot of answers on their FAQ page, including this important one:
“Our Arched Cabin kits include a build manual, floor plates, ribs, ridge beam, standard R13 insulation, Super Span Roof Paneling, trim and fasteners needed to assemble the cabin. The kit price does not include the foundation, installation, interior, end caps, delivery, or anything that is not included in the list added above. Our upgrade options include a color upgrade on the roofing panels (choose from 26 colors including Energy Star rated colors), a fireplace thimble, insulation upgrade to R25, a custom loft, foundation (choice of pier and steel Ibeam or block and beam), stairs leading to the loft, and a quote for rough-in labor and delivery.”
Now, if I were to go with one of these cabins, I would definitely go for the upgrade on insulation! I would also likely go with a blue color (or the one that is Energy Star efficient). And I have a feeling I would be happy with one of their 12′ foot cabins – the 12 x 12 would be awesome! You would have a 12 foot ceiling at the apex, more than enough room to build a loft, especially for a little short person like me who is just five feet tall!
If you live in an area prone to high winds, they are able to withstand 150 mph winds. (I’m looking at you, Floridians!) And if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, they can withstand 30 psf (pounds per square foot). (Again, see their FAQ page for more info.)
I also know if I were to have an arched cabin, I would like a lot of sunlight. You can build them with big windows on the “end caps” and if you want skylights or windows in the walls/roof, you can build them but they can’t be more than 2 feet wide due to the ribbing that you see in the roofs. I would also want a second door on the other end as a means of egress in case of a fire or some other problem.
I’ve talked with my coworker. Her arched cabin will be 24 X 40 and they will have a loft. They have lots of windows on the front side of the house and a sliding door in the back. They will have a patio on the backside of the building. She told me that working with the Arched Cabins folks was very pleasant, and the actual erecting of the cabin on their property went really quick! It was the permitting and planning stages with Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties that created the most headaches.
My coworker mentioned that the company can now help you with having an arched cabin built on top of a trailer! So you could have an Arched Cabin on Wheels or ACOW (I just made up that acronym, lol.) But they can also be erected on top of a concrete slab if that’s what you want to use as a foundation. The photo above is of their 12 X 8 size trailer.
When it comes to financing, the Arched Cabins website says that most people use a construction loan or a home equity line of credit to finance their project. Getting a traditional mortgage might be a bit difficult due to most lenders wanting to find comparable properties, and well, you don’t see arched cabins every day.
So yes, there is a lot of things to think about when you’re considering building a tiny home. Budget can be a main part of it, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from imagining what could be. Do your research, spend hours on Pinterest (here’s my page), read through blog posts, look at design books. And write down a list of what you really value, what you like to spend your time doing, etc. Do you want to live off-grid? Use a composting toilet? Or be connected to all public utilities or have a well? That can really help you properly plan out your indoor (and even some of your outdoor) spaces.
What do you think of the Arched Cabins? Could you live in something like that? Please add a comment below and let me know your thoughts! And as always, thanks for reading!