• Credit: Sustain Design Studio

Toronto-based Sustain Design Studio first envisioned the miniHome as an off-the-grid house, but building code and zoning constraints ushered the firm in a different direction. Now, it's technically an RV, but principal Andy Thompson says it's intended—and fully equipped—to serve as a second home, cottage, vacation retreat, or guest cabin.

To keep costs down, the home is designed for mass production. Its structural insulated panel construction, panelized rainscreen walls, and rubber flooring make it green, too. Housed within its 8-foot-wide-by-36-foot-long shell are a full kitchen and bath, stainless steel appliances, and a 10,000 BTU forced-air furnace. Available upgrades include solar panels, engineered wood floors, and Baltic birch kitchen cabinets.

“It really isn't practical as a trailer because it's so heavy,” Thompson says. “But the good thing is that you can use it in the wilderness and move it later, if you like.” The house is priced from $103,000 to $160,000.

  • The modest miniHome features a rainscreen cladding of Richlite paper-based siding, Galvalume, or cedar; Ikea cabinets, rubber floors, and low-VOC water-based finishes jazz up the interior.

    Credit: Sustain Design Studio

    The modest miniHome features a rainscreen cladding of Richlite paper-based siding, Galvalume, or cedar; Ikea cabinets, rubber floors, and low-VOC water-based finishes jazz up the interior.