Tiny Homes like Boxabl – which is best?
Consider your options! Sharing tiny homes like Boxabl
When it comes to tiny homes like Boxabl, which is right for you? As you've likely heard, Boxabl exploded onto the housing scene a few years ago. That's understandable because it's no secret traditional housing and land prices have soared over the past five years. Thankfully, alternative dwellings are becoming more mainstream, allowing home and landowners an opportunity to add to their existing properties and offering those who desire to live in alternative dwellings more access to do so.
The types of non-traditional homes available are vast, especially in the prefab sector. From two-story tiny houses on wheels with lifting roofs like Wilderwise to modern modular homes offering footprints beyond "tiny homes" like Southern California-based Connect Homes, there are plenty of options to consider.
Let's look at a few unique prefabricated modular home companies that are stirring up a big buzz, starting with Boxabl.
What is Boxabl?
Boxabl designs and manufactures eco-friendly prefabricated modules from a 170,000 sqft Las Vegas, NV, factory. Public interest in Boxabl has consistently grown in popularity over the past few years. Their debut model, called the “Casita,” has been ordered by over 100,000 people (unknown how many have been delivered).
So, what makes the Boxabl Casita unique?
One of the key components of the Casita is how quickly it can be assembled into a complete building upon delivery. It is estimated to unpack in about 1 hour and only takes a couple of hours to complete the installation of appliances and to connect utilities on a fully prepped building site.
You can connect multiple modules to create various layouts, both single and two-story. Choose from a variety of roof types to change the appearance. Additionally, the exterior can be modified to resemble a classic cottage, rustic cabin, adobe casita, etc.
The Casita is built to be stronger and more efficient than a traditional home and is resistant to mold, fire, water, bugs, and wind - making it an overall climate-friendly home too!
Boxabl seeks to stand out in the world of prefab housing by its unique portability claim. To reduce the size of the shipping capacity needed to transport the Casita, Boxabl modules are made to be folded. Each folds into a compact 8.5-foot wide package that can be towed with a vehicle as small as a pick-up truck. They can also be transported by train, sea, or air (additional shipping costs apply).
This makes them a top contender in terms of adaptability for relocating to a different site.
What are the Advantages of Boxabl?
Traditional home construction can be prohibitively expensive. Boxabl's modular design and efficient building process may help lower building costs significantly in comparison to a traditional home of a similar size. This means their prefab homes have the availability to be more accessible to a wider range of people, including those who may not be able to afford a traditional home. According to Boxabl's website, the starting cost for their Casita is approximately $50,000.
While the initial potential pricing of a Boxabl home is nominal in comparison to its competitors, the final pricing of your Boxabl home will be determined by supply cost and labor at the time of your build. Additional costs to keep in mind are land, site preparation fees, as well, as any finishes and labor needed to accommodate the completion of your Casita.
One main advantage of Boxabl homes is the opportunity to expand your home footprint by combining more than one module by stacking them or placing them side by side. Customers can expand their layout options of their Boxabl home to create a living space that suits their lifestyle and budget with less effort than adding on to a traditional home.
While specific size customizations are not currently offered for the Casita, the Boxabl website states sizes that may be available in the future range from 20x20 modules up to 20x60. Outside of not being able to customize the size of the Casita, it is otherwise packed with several features for a comfortable living experience.
Something worth mentioning is the overall accessibility to move freely around a Boxabl home.
The Casita is fully ADA compliant allowing free range of motion for wheelchairs and walkers and allowing overall open flow for all types of mobility. This is a big deal when it comes to tiny home accessibility.
One of the main flaws in many tiny home designs is the capacity to support families of various physical abilities. Lofts, ladders, and stairs can prevent many people from exploring tiny home living. Boxabl made sure that wasn’t an issue for their customers.
Portability is an important factor to consider for those in search of flexible housing solutions, be it during a state of natural disaster recovery or as full-time housing. As mentioned previously, Boxabl's modular buildings are designed to be portable and can be transported to different locations using a vehicle as simple as a pick-up truck.
However, the true portability of these structures depends upon having access to a crew to assist with disconnecting and deconstructing the Casita if that is outside of your skill set. Boxabl homes aren't as portable as a traditional THOW (tiny home on wheels), van, shuttle, or RV. If moving your modular home often is something you're interested in, you may want to consider other options.
If having a "set-it and quickly enjoy it" type of dwelling is more up your alley, you may love Boxabl!
Another gold star towards Boxabl's building system is that they are designed to be eco-friendly. Their homes feature sustainable building materials, energy-efficient appliances, and low-emitting, high-rated insulation. This makes the Boxabl Casita a sustainable and environmentally-friendly option for those looking for a greener housing solution than traditionally built homes.
6) Worry-Free Utility Set-up
When it comes to alternative dwellings, figuring out utility connections is a top priority. In this area, the Boxabl team includes many welcomed features tiny home dwellers can appreciate. The Casita comes with HVAC, plumbing, and electric pre-installed.
For folks who aren't DIY electric and plumbing savvy, this is huge! When your Casita is delivered to your prepped site, it simply plugs into the site utility connections via exterior access, and you're up and running.
How do you purchase a Boxabl home?
Due to product development and government approvals process, Boxabl is not readily available to ship. However, there are two methods available to reserve a Boxabl Casita:
For a $200 reservation fee, you will be added to the Casita waitlist. Waitlist orders hold priority in the production cue. Upon reserving your Casita, Boxabl will contact you to further confirm your order.
There is no fee to pre-order a Casita. However, you will be added to the end of the production cue, and Boxabl will be in touch as production expands. There is an option to upgrade from pre-order to the waitlist (a $200 fee remains applicable), in which case Boxabl would reach out to you to further confirm your order.
What's missing? Boxabl Disadvantages to consider
While Boxabl’s modules significantly reduce the construction time of building a new home from the ground up, the Casita is not immediately ready to ship and does not arrive completely move-in ready. According to their website, the current waitlist is up to 1 year (or more), and your price quote may alter depending on supply chain prices increasing.
Though Boxabl is actively expanding its building facilities, there are no specifics listed with further updates on the estimated arrival time of Casita orders.
It can’t be ignored; having a mostly complete home delivered on-site calls for a big sigh of relief. However, it’s important to also acknowledge there is a significant cost AND tremendous amount of site preparation, labor, and utility set-up (including water, waste, and sewer) required in order for your Casita to be ready to enjoy.
Also, there are concerns being aired about if and when Boxabl will actually deliver their Casitas to customers on the waiting list.
Take a look at Boxabl in action!
Other Tiny Homes like Boxabl (and not-so-tiny homes!)
Wilderwise's innovative tiny homes solve a key pain point for tiny house on wheels design, crawl-in lofts. Their solution: a roof that lifts to 17 feet when parked for a full second story!
Wilderwise's expandable tiny houses on wheels are currently deliverable to the 48 contiguous US. With a base price of $85k (subject to increase), you receive a fully towable, RV-certified home on wheels. This includes utility hook-ups, custom cabinetry, energy-efficient appliances, and interior module units with second-story functionality.
You can further customize your Wilderwise tiny home with a variety of options. Coming soon, you can choose from modular add-ons like a side deck and even houseboat pontoons!
Check out the Wilderwise tiny home tour below— the second story is exceptional!
Financing options are available, and with a downpayment, you can reserve your Wilderwise tiny home and secure your position in the building cue. Their FAQ is loaded with detailed information on the technology that makes their innovative tiny home with a rising roof possible. Also, check out the fascinating Wilderwise prototype tour below to see more.
2) Connect Homes
Connect Homes offer 15 various types of modern-style tech-laden modular homes. Designs range from a single-level, one-bedroom, 460-square-foot tiny house up to a 3,200-square-foot multi-level, 4-bedroom model. They create all-inclusive, residential code-compliant modular homes that can work as primary or accessory dwelling units.
Their team designs, manufactures, and installs your home on your building site. From design to move-in, there is an estimated 8-20 month turnaround time, depending on your home model. Once your home is complete, permits approved, and the site prepped, it is estimated to take as little as one day to deliver your home. It takes an additional 2-4 months for your home to be fully installed and connected.
Prices range from $250k to $600k (and higher), and importantly, pricing does NOT include land, additional site preparation, or utility connection permit fees.
Ultimately, the cost and sizing of Connect Homes are more aligned with the pricing of traditional homes than minimalist-designed tiny homes on wheels. With that said, they offer an opportunity to bridge the gap a bit for those who are on the fence between determining if a traditional home or a container-style modular dwelling is a good fit for their budget and style preference.
3) PODX Go
With pricing starting at $49,000, PODX Go is worth considering for a budget-conscious modular tiny home. Their flagship Grande S1 transforms a narrow rectangular house on wheels shape into a comfortable square layout. With a push of a button, it expands from 7.5 feet to about 21.5 feet wide to create a 364-square-foot living space. It's also a fully functional smart home with clever transforming features, an off-grid solar system, and security features.
PODX Go focuses on offering maximum portability and has three-floor plans designed to provide the opportunity to live, work, and relax in comfort.
Their expandable NOAH-certified Grande S1 tiny house can be assembled in approximately 15 minutes. You'll be enjoying a fully-loaded plus water, fire, and wind-resistant dwelling in no time. Then, when you're ready to relocate, it tightly folds with just a push of a button! It's towable with an F-250 truck or similar.
In regards to cost and functionality similarities, PODX Go may be a top contender to consider in comparison to Boxabl tiny home, depending on production turnaround and overall availability. Check out their Know How webpage for in-depth FAQs about their models, technology, warranties, and more.
Based out of Pittsburg, PA, Module offers energy-efficient modular homes in a very unique way! With single, two, and three-story home options available, as well as multi-family buildings, it’s likely that they have a dwelling suited for your lot size.
A Module house can work with a small backyard or odd-shaped piece of land. They focus on providing efficient housing for urban infill lots and maximizing their layouts by building up instead of outward.
As a result, their modular homes provide practical solutions for dense urban areas or cities with underutilized narrow vacant lots.
Module home prices range from an $80,000 single-story 265-square-foot ADU (accessory dwelling unit) to a multi-family six-plex, which costs upwards of $1,000,000. While pricing starts higher in comparison to some other modular homes, the overall style of each option by Module is closer in functionality and layout to a traditional home.
Portability isn’t a consideration, as this home is secured on a permanent foundation.
While it is possible to add on to your Module home, that is something worth mentioning in the initial design. Then their team can make sure your home is equipped for future expansion. So you can start tiny then expand as your family grows!
From initial design to move-in, Module states their construction timeframe to be approximately eight months. That's an estimated 20%-40% faster than a traditional home build. According to them, their homes consume up to 50% less energy than conventional new-construction homes as well.
Module homes utilize the same building standards as traditionally built site-built homes, so local zoning and permitting considerations apply.
If you’re planning on being rooted in an eco-conscious unique modular home, Module may be for you!
Simply put, Adobu's small and tiny homes are adorable!
A tiny home on a foundation is a fantastic ADU solution, and Adobu offers just that. With an approximate 6-month turnaround time and inclusive pricing (minus the land), you get a fully functional dwelling. Choose from a studio, one, or two-bedroom floorplan. Each beautifully efficient home is solar-ready and insulated with materials that exceed code standards.
"We teamed up with world-renowned architects to create beautiful, pre–approved spaces with enough custom design elements to make them your own. Every square inch is engineered to maximize the living potential of every yard."
Adobu prefab homes are 98% built in their factory before being installed on your prepped build site. They supply an on-site contractor to support you every step of the way.
Pricing for their Studio starts at $228,000 and up to $428,000 for their Dwell House design. Spicy pricing if you're on a modest budget, but there is a lot of bang for your buck offered within their pricing structure.
The total price, for example, includes their Abodu Concierge Service, which does everything from pulling necessary permits to installing your home. To make the process even easier, their prefab ADUs are preapproved in both California and Washington!
6) Plant Prefab
The Plant Prefab architecture and fabrication team works with customers to design a custom, sustainably built prefabricated home of any type! Whether you have a design in mind, a formal blueprint ready to go, or are starting from scratch, they work with you to make your home dreams come true.
Pricing is completely determined based on the specifications of your build, site preparation, zoning, additional permitting, and local utility set-up.
Most Plant Prefab homes arrive 90% constructed. That means the amount of time for your build in comparison to a traditional home is reduced significantly. While utilizing low VOC millwork, zero VOC paints and finishes, and mold-resistant drywall, Plant Prefab is committed to incorporating environmental and sustainable building standards into their builds.
Blokable's core products are electric-powered modular housing units. They are prefabricated in a factory and then assembled on-site. Importantly, these units can be easily transported and stacked to create multi-story buildings, allowing for greater density and flexibility in the design of communities.
Currently, Blockable has directed their focus toward building systems with up to 5 residential stories. Their units can be produced in a matter of weeks. On-site assembly takes only a fraction of the time required in comparison to traditional housing. This allows for faster and more cost-effective housing development, which is especially important for addressing the affordable housing crisis in many urban areas.
Blokable's uses environmentally friendly materials and technologies (like solar panels) to minimize energy consumption and reduce the environmental impact of its buildings.
In addition to its modular housing units, Blokable also offers several services to support the development of their homes, including financing, design, and project management. Overall, they seem to be a forward-thinking company that is using technology and design to address some of the most pressing challenges facing the housing industry today. Definitely, a worthy option to keep top of mind when considering modular home options.
Tiny Homes like Boxabl - which is the best alternative?
Boxabl provides an exciting modular housing option. While they're getting a tremendous amount of press, that doesn't mean it's the right home option for you. Factors to consider when choosing a tiny or not-so-tiny house include design features, build quality, building code compliance, turn-around time, and overall cost.
Remember, none of the tiny homes like Boxabl include land! Whether portable or permanent, be sure to budget for monthly lot rent or land development expenses to help you create a realistic budget.
As you consider tiny homes like Boxabl, let us know which is best for you in the comments!
Much of the above-shared information was provided by the companies and publicly available information from their websites. Tiny House Expedition makes no warranties that the information is completely accurate, and all parties are urged to do their own research and due diligence on the companies, their products, and their representations.
Elon Musk confirmed that he owns inexpensive tiny homes near SpaceX, and one is rumored to be a Boxabl Casita. He utilizes them as workforce housing, as well as guest and vacation homes near his Texas property.
The current waitlist for Boxabl homes can be upwards of 1 year or more. It is suggested to reserve a Boxabl home through their waitlist for a $200 fee for the fastest turnaround time or by pre-ordering one for free to be added to the end of the production line cue.
It is unclear when any Boxabl Casita will be delivered.
Boxabl homes do need a foundation. They are compatible with any type of foundation system and can be secured by bolts with the included connector plates. However, the necessary foundation needed to secure your Boxabl home is determined based on your geographical area and soil type.
In short, a Boxabl can be placed in your backyard. Legal placement of Boxabl homes, however, varies per your local zoning codes. Boxabl suggests contacting your local government website or visiting their partner, www.permits.com, to learn more.
While Boxabl is not yet aligned with state modular approval (currently in process), their website states the Boxabl Casita tiny home is registered as a park model RV in accordance with ANSI 119.5 in all 50 United States. So it can be placed wherever park models are allowed and in most cases, where tiny houses on wheels are allowed.
Another factor to keep in mind is Boxabl does not set up the home for you. Once you solidify your order with Boxabl, their team connects you with a local Boxabl state-licensed installer.
Boxabl does not come furnished. Their Casita comes as an unfurnished 375-square-foot modular room that can be used as a standalone tiny home or can be expanded by adding additional modules.
Included in the initial build of any Boxabl home, which begins as a Casita module, is a full kitchen complete with appliances, a full bathroom, electricity, HVAC, flooring, and windows (plus a few other basic items like sinks and counters).
Land, permitting, foundation, set-up, roofing, landscaping, and all additional interior furnishings are not included in the cost of the Boxabl Casita. If you are budget conscious, these are big considerations to keep in mind, as pre and post-building costs can add significant changes to your overall budget.
Hello, I’m Siri Lorece! I am a Los Angeles, CA based singer & musician, urban farmer, 200hr registered yoga teacher, sound practitioner, and tiny house dweller. I am grounded by nature, 90s R&B, and a ton of magical vibes!
I have spent my 24-year music career performing and teaching internationally in 7 countries as well as throughout the United States (37 states). I find joy in connecting with others by sharing my family's lived experiences in urban homesteading, music & mindfulness, and sustainability education.