Off-the-grid tiny homes are truly having their moment. And it's no wonder since the downsized life has a lot going for it, from being super energy efficient and affordable, to the fact that every single inch of your living space is cleverly engineered to be multifunctional.
To put you on your way to tiny house-dom, here are 9 ridiculously cool versions you could easily build yourself for under $30,000 using a special set of blueprints. Just FYI, it's BYO land.
This Chinese Festival Is Like 'Frozen' Come to Life
$1,200 Square footage: 110 Is It Portable? No Best Feature: Expandable outdoor living area Steer clear, claustrophobes. This charming hut packs in a remarkable amount of livable area inside its tiny confines and has an expanding wall that serves as a pseudo sun-porch.
2. Simple Solar Cabin
$2,000+ Square footage: 196 Is It Portable? Potentially Best Feature: Optional wood-heated pallet hot tub The plans for these spots vary widely, but its designer contends you'll be able to build the whole thing for under $2,000 so long as you don't include windows and doors, which no matter how aggressively back-to-nature you may be, are pretty damn important.
3. The Gifford
$18,100 Square footage: 112 Is It Portable? Potentially Best Feature: Stainless steel fireplace and skylights Ironically inspired by a bunch of Great Lodges around the country, this tiny version of one is nonetheless impressive with a vaulted ceiling and knotty pine interior.
4. Portland Alternative Dwellings' Sweet Pea
$25,000 Square footage: 136 Is It Portable? Yes Best Feature: Generously sized kitchen and bathroom Built on a trailer, this spread's unfinished wood interior has a great deal of built-in storage, a comfortable day bed, and a lofted sleeping area with its own sizable skylight.
$25,000 Square footage: 100 Is It Portable? No Best Feature: Assembly requires only a drill This (nearly) turnkey kit arrives flat-packed and assembles—using just a drill—into an airy living room and kitchen with a cozy lofted bedroom up a narrow flight of stairs. The design's also engineered to work in tandem with specialized green energy, rainwater collection, and grey water treatment systems.
6. The Mica
$29,000 Square footage: 172 Is It Portable? Yes Best Feature: Sliding glass doors, and lots of windows If you're lazy you could buy this one pre-assembled for a whopping $66K, but you can score the plans and raw materials to put it together yourself for under $30,000. It's one of the more easily towed on the list, too, since it doesn't require a special permit to take on the road.
7. The hOMe
$30,000 Square footage: 207 Is It Portable? Yes Best Feature: Catwalk and lofted lounge Designed with the novice builder in mind, these narrow ultra-modern digs are our favorite on the list. The space is smartly divided with distinct areas for dining, cooking, lounging, and sleeping. With all that, it still maintains a lofty lodge vibe thanks to a tiny wood stove to keep things cozy.
8. Tiny Texas Ranch
$30,000 Square footage: 120 Is It Portable? No Best Feature: Unique detailing in salvaged windows, doors, and appliances For $30K, the dudes at Tiny Texas Houses will ship you all the (salvaged) materials needed to build one of their bare bones floorplans. Though you'll need $75,000-plus to get something slightly bigger with bells and whistles like a screened-in porch out back.
$30,000 Square footage: 160 Is It Portable? Yes Best Feature: Sizable lofted bedroom with closets This long, light-soaked setup blends modern and rustic, and uniquely features both a separate kitchen and lofted bedroom with several closets, putting it in the category of "mini house mansion."
Joe McGauley is a senior editor at Supercompressor and is on board with off-the-grid living thing up until the whole composting toilet part.