Clayton Homes, which makes modular, manufactured and site-built houses, introduced a 464-square-foot model tiny home for permanent living during a meeting of shareholders for its parent company Berkshire Hathaway last week.
Designed by architect Jeffrey Dungan, the house’s design is inspired by the coastal regions of Savannah, GA, and Charleston, SC, with large windows and wood siding. The company describes the home as modern minimalism, with features including oak hardwood flooring, quartz countertops and vaulted ceilings.
Clayton will launch the home, which sells for $109,000, in Alabama, Louisiana, Nebraska, Kansas, Mississippi and Tennessee in May, with availability expanding to other states across the Southeast as well as Texas and Iowa later this year.
Clayton Homes has been developing the tiny-house line for more than two years, according to the Omaha World-Herald, including navigating zoning and other regulations that can vary from state to state.
What the company can provide, perhaps more so than other tiny house makers, is scale. The country's largest modular and manufactured home builder, it launched a transportation division earlier this year that will allow the company to deliver homes from its manufacturing facilities to retail home centers.
Tiny houses are increasingly under consideration as a solution to affordability and inventory woes, as well as an option for buyers seeking a simpler lifestyle. But, certainly, one of the challenges impeding their widespread introduction is a lack of consistency of zoning and regulations. In many cases, what’s allowable varies greatly among jurisdictions.
Traditional building codes also don’t address the unique elements of a tiny house, such as loft-style bedrooms. (The 2018 International Residential Code is expected to address tiny homes.)
Zoning for tiny houses is making headway in some parts of the country, however. Along with special approvals by cities to address homelessness or low-income housing, several regions — including Atlanta and Oregon, are moving legislation forward that would loosen restrictions.
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