If you have ever tuned in to HGTV, you may have seen a show about “Tiny Houses”. Other channels have also aired shows about unusual house. They have been deemed ‘unusual’ due to the fact that they were created from beginning that most people don’t consider win they talk about building a home. Examples of this are shipping crates, train cars, and buses. Now, however, there is one more to add to the list–semi-trailers. It may seem unlikely but, as with the other unconventional beginnings, they end up working out beautifully.
One Couples ‘Dream Home’
One couple in particular decided that, as the foundation for their home, they would use a 53-foot dry van semi-trailer. As a small home, or tiny house, it would be perfect. They would design it with all of the things they wanted in a home – i.e., wardrobe closet, Internet connection, sliding glass doors, and even a garage. You can see their efforts, and those of others building like houses, on YouTube.
Still other homes built from semi-trailers have taken the idea even further including portable deck with a hammock, rear storage, tankless hot water heater, 6-foot low-energy windows, (electrical, plumbing), closed cell insulation underneath and open cell spray foam insulation in the walls, full-size appliances, one full bathroom, one bedroom or office, and a master bedroom.
Windows, Doors, and Floor
For your dream home to come to its fruition, you’ll need a plan. Measure and draw out exactly how you want the finished layout to look.
Doors and windows can go anywhere you want them and can be of any size. Stick with standard sizes or have custom built doors and window frames made to specifically fit your needs.
Plywood will be laid as a sub-floor, and your favorite flooring can be laid over that (when the time comes). Change up the look for each room, or leave it uniform throughout the home. To save on indoor space, apply insulation for the floor on the outside of the trailer’s bottom.
Walls and Ceiling
Framing will need to be done inside your soon-to-be home. Studs should be placed at 16” intervals on walls and ceilings. Before the walls go up, get a qualified electrician and plumber to lay all the necessary wiring and piping that will be needed. These will both hide out of sight behind the drywall. You can then put up drywall (or something else). Insulation can be sprayed in after dry walling, or in sheets, placed before the drywall goes up.
When framing is being done, this is also the time to construct room dividers (walls) for bedroom, bathroom, closet, etc.
Cabinets, Sinks, Shelving, Etc.
You will likely need custom cabinetry, counters, vanity, etc. In many tiny houses, beds are less often free-standing frames and box springs and more often built right into the framework. This could be done now as well. When this has been completed, sinks can be dropped into place and the plumbing finished off.
Appliances, Sinks, Tub (Shower), Toilet
Depending on your space requirements, you may or may not go with custom or undersized appliances and sinks. A tub may be replaced by a shower stall to save space. Toilets are pretty much standard.
A deck, patio, and or stoop will give you not only a step up for entry into your dream home, but an additional area for enjoyment when the weather permits.
At Mickey Genuine Parts, we have a number of used semi-trailers available. Check us out to see if one of them could be the home of your future dream house.