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For anyone with vision, a few building skills and a great set of tools, several of these portable buildings by Dix Enterprises in Wichita, Kansas can become a personalized tiny house. The Lofted Porch comes in 11 sizes from 8X16 to 14X40 and starts at $2,625 up to almost $10,000. Each Better Built building will be custom built to your specifications, allowing you to specify such things as overall building size, door and window sizes and locations, and shingle colors that blend with existing structures.
I suppose the thing you can do is, if you have a place to live and the time to do it already, is to take the plywood splice plates out and put in better quality ones before you finish out the houses. I’ve seen this type of construction for gambrel roofs in a lot of shed and cabins, basically they will not pass code in most areas for a dwelling. We have a builder in our area who builds a portable cabin, or even a utility building as though he was building a home, and at prices that compare favorably with his lower quality competition.
On the roof rafters, a few well placed Simpson connectors would go a long way to make them more structurally sound. Here in AZ I have heard that WeatherKing.US has similar buildings that may have been approved by local communities (Navajo, Hopi Reservations) for habitation as a home.
Better Built Portable Storage Buildings by Dix are outdoor storage sheds, barns, garages, cabins and offices that are built onsite in Kansas and then delivered by truck.
I took your link and looked at the barn cabin which is the lofted style and it has the same 2×4 roof joists and particle board braces. These are a great step in the right direction, a much more affordable idea and they can be customized. 32 X 12 lofted cabin with give room for bed above door, 12 x 14 living area, 12 x 12 kitchen and small dining area, a 6 by 6 bathroom, and 6 x 6 storage closet. Bald Eagle uses all 2x4s instead of 2x6s in the loft and floor, they use OSB for the floor, and OSB on the outside, instead of T-111. When I first saw his work I was a little surprised that he could afford to stay in business. Windows provide natural lighting, and a traditional style metal door provides security and convenience. The end of the cottage features a larger door for adult access making it a very versatile storage shed. I doubt that it would take much of a wind load to turn it into an expensive pile of kindling. My experience with this kind of building allows customers to ask for special features, like windows that match their home, to have the interior left unfinished on the inside so elctrical outlets and switches, etc, can be placed where needed, and I’m sure other features could be requested. As far as customizing is concerned,it is often hard to correct the basic structural flaws this building would pose to be used as a dwelling.
They need reenforcing to walls and roof structure to handle the high winds of Northern AZ, and the snow load has to be improved. Dix claims all of their portable barns, sheds, cabins and garages are built to hold up under heavy use and provide a lifetime of service. I think there is a place for several different levels when it comes to value, but it is rare to run across something that good.
Ive also hear that the windows need to be sealed better, may leak around openings – damaging interior finishes.
Most of the buildings are for storage, livestock and gardening, but three of their designs may make a great tiny house: the Lofted Porch, the Portable Casita and the Mini Cottage. Not everyone has the time or skills to build something like this but they can tackle simple jobs like extra strapping on the trusses, etc, if they felt they were necessary. All of our buildings are built within 1 to 3 weeks, come with a 10 year warranty on the building and a lifetime warranty against rust and corrosion. The inside of the building is still open with exterior stud walls that can be left unfinished, or you can finish the interior any way you want.
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