Tiny Homes. Three reasons why.

1. Affordable

Tiny homes are affordable. Every tiny home is a custom build to incorporate everything the client wants and nothing of what they don’t. Tiny homes on trailers such as our model, The Millennial, cost under $100,000.

2. Versatile

Tiny homes accommodate the people who struggle most to own, first time buyers and seniors. A tiny home allows first-time buyers to live in the cities of their choice without an onerous mortgage. Seniors can reach their financial goals and stay close to their families.

3. Sustainable

Tiny homes make the world a better place. In addition to easing the housing crunch, True North Tiny homes can exist off the grid. Tiny homes that tap into existing infrastructure add density and diversity to a neighbourhood.

Daniel and JoAnna Ott are pioneering an affordable housing revolution.

TRUE NORTH PODCAST: Episode 1

Daniel and JoAnna Ott are pioneering an affordable housing revolution.

TRUE NORTH PODCAST: Episode 1

Daniel and JoAnna Ott are pioneering an affordable housing revolution.

TRUE NORTH PODCAST: Episode 1

Daniel and JoAnna’s story

Daniel and JoAnna's company, White Willow Design, is a turnkey solution for people looking for sterling home design in Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe. White Willow Designers help clients arrive at the perfect design and then oversee every element of the construction to make sure the project comes in on time and on budget.

Daniel and JoAnna created True North Tiny Homes, a company that designs and manufacturers tiny homes to the specifications of delighted clients. Many tiny homes cost less than $100,000 and more and more municipalities are changing their bylaws to permit people who want to live year-round in their tiny homes.

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About Tiny Homes

The tiny home movement began in the 1990s when Portland, Oregon, became the first community to change its bylaws to accommodate tiny homes but its roots go back decades.

Some enthusiasts point to Henry David Thoreau's 150-square foot cabin in Walden Pond, Massachusetts, as the movement’s spiritual touchstone. Tiny homes are generally described as a self-contained home that are no larger than 400 square feet. They offer profound environmental and planning benefits. Those include preservation of farmland, decreasing the number of subsidized retirement home spaces and giving people off the grid housing options. As the move toward sustainable living generates more converts each day, the tiny home revolution promises to change the way we live in North America and Europe.

Hamilton Tiny Homes Are Coming
True North Tiny Homes | About Tiny Homes

About Tiny Homes

The tiny home movement began in the 1990s when Portland, Oregon, became the first community to change its bylaws to accommodate tiny homes but its roots go back decades.

Some enthusiasts point to Henry David Thoreau's 150-square foot cabin in Walden Pond, Massachusetts, as the movement’s spiritual touchstone. Tiny homes are generally described as a self-contained home that are no larger than 400 square feet. They offer profound environmental and planning benefits. Those include preservation of farmland, decreasing the number of subsidized retirement home spaces and giving people off the grid housing options. As the move toward sustainable living generates more converts each day, the tiny home revolution promises to change the way we live in North America and Europe.

Hamilton Tiny Homes Are Coming

FAQs

Frequently  Asked Questions

How much do True North Tiny Homes cost?

A home ready for a Canadian winter with proper amenities can be around $125,000. The price will depend on size and options chosen. For example, making  it off-grid capable adds about  $15,00 to the price of the home. Building the tiny house out out of steel studding (to make it lighter and able  to be pulled by smaller vehicle) adds about $10,000.

What are the different ways to construct a tiny house to incorporate
the buyers needs? How about if a buyer is a tall man?

The model home we are building, The Millenial, has been designed to feel as big as possible. The living room has 11’ ceilings, the kitchen 8’, and the bathroom 6’-4”. The loft is four-feet, five inches high which feels spacious. At True North Tiny Homes, every trailer will be unique, and built to the needs and wants of the individual buyer - from specific layout to the number of beds to the types of finishes.

What materials do you use to make the tiny house lighter?

The fastest way to cut down on weight is to build out of steel studding instead of wood. However, this vastly limits the structural capabilities, and also conduct cold. There are many other ways to be weight conscious throughout the build. Putting studs on 24” centres to minimize the amount of wood framing is one idea. We had the shiplap for the walls planed down 1/8”  thinner, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but saved 700 lbs on the entire weight.

On our model, we also used a Shou Sugi Ban siding, which is the ancient Japanese art of preserving wood by burning it. Another upside to this is that burning removes all the moisture in the wood, thereby making it weigh half as much. Of course, if the weight of the siding were the biggest concern, a commercial steel siding is your best bet.

How would you downsize your things enough to fit into a tiny
house?

This is about living with what you need, and not with a lot of extra things. We have partners that will help you organize and get rid of the things that you don’t need.

How can you make the tiny house off grid?

Our model home has solar panels, a bank of batteries, water tanks, and a composting toilet.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of foundation vs.  
trailer tiny homes and how do the costs differ?

Actually, the cost will be very similar. The advantage to a foundation, however, is that you can build it square instead of long and skinny. Of course, the advantage of a trailer is that if you don’t like the neighbours, you can move!

Can you have a woodstove or fireplace?

Yes. Anything that you can have in a large home, you can also have in a tiny home. It comes down what you want included.

Could we have a home built with glass walls to see everything around us?

While we don’t have all glass homes (think of the curtains!), the average width of the windows  in our model home is 60”, We have more glass area in our tiny home than most 1960’s bungalows have in a footprint that’s five times the size.

Where is the bathroom? What are the bathroom options? Can I have a bathtub?

The bathroom can be wherever you want. For a trailer unit, having a bathtub would simply mean the unit would be two feet longer. However, since it takes a lot of water to fill a tub, you would not be able to make this home completely off grid.

How do you  keep the tiny house warm/cold?

We have a wall-mounted ductless mini-split that does our heating, and our cooling with the help of an air conditioning condenser unit mounted to the front  of the home.

How do you maintain the tiny house, especially the roof?

We have opted for a galvanized steel roof for The Millenial. Our roof top patio is covered with Duradek. Both surfaces will last 30-50 years. Other than that, maintaining or renovating is very similar to a regular  house.

What are the cooking options? Fire? Gas? Electric?

If you are building a permanent tiny home on a foundation, then the options are whatever the main house of the property has, since zoning by-laws will require you to connect to city services through the main house. On a trailer, you can’t hook up to natural gas, but you can convert everything to propane. What isn’t propane, you make electric, which can be run from renewable sources such as wind and solar.

What about solar? How would you have solar connected through the house?

There are different ways to do it. We have opted to have the solar charge the 12V batteries, which then run through a converter to 115V, and can then run everything that you can plug into a regular house  outlet.

What kind of truck do you need to tow the tiny house?

This will depend on the final  weight of your specific trailer, but you can assume you will need at least a 3/4 ton truck. For best performance, we are choosing to pull this one with a one ton dual wheel diesel pickup truck. The extra width on the wheels will give us better stability on the road.

How heavy is a tiny house?

For a typical  24’ long trailered tiny home, you are looking at an average of 12,000 lbs. Again, this depends on many things including overall length, how much tile was used, what other sorts of finishes were used, etc.

Is it legal to live in a tiny home year round?

It is legal to live in a tiny house year round in many states, BC and Alberta, and even some Atlantic provinces. Currently, it is not legal in Ontario but individual municipalities are stepping up to change their bylaws to allow year-round use.

The city of Hamilton, for example, is investigating changing its legislation to permit trailered tiny homes in sections of the city to ease the city’s shortage of affordable housing.

Municipal governments in places such as Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Stony Plain Alberta , Keewatin, Ontario, Whitehorse, Yukon and Nanaimo, British Columbia have modified their bylaws to allow tiny homes and more communities are coming on line all the time.


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