One criticism levied against tiny homes is that they are too small. Why get a tiny house when you could get a lighter RV for much cheaper? There are some distinct advantages to tiny homes, though: besides the allure of DIY customization and having a space that can be made to really feel like ‘home sweet home’, tiny homes can also be winterproofed for year-round living.
Now, Canadian builder Zero Squared is proposing a compromise: a tiny house with two RV-inspired bump-outs on either side that can expand or retract at the push of a button, allowing it to enlarge from a road-worthy 8.5 feet to a more roomy 15 feet in width, coming in at a total of 337 square feet in area.
The extensions operate with electric motors and have been waterproofed. After expansion, a Murphy bed can flip down for sleeping.
Dubbed The Aurora, this winterized tiny home has been built with structural insulated panels (SIPs) — the walls are rated R-26 and the roof is rated at R-46. A mini-split system provides heating and cooling, in addition to a tankless hot water system. While you can hook this home up like a regular camper trailer, solar power generation is an extra option, as is adding in composting toilet. The 14,000-pound home is built to be CSA (Canadian Standards Association) and RVIA (Recreation Vehicle Industry Association) compliant.
Surprisingly, the company estimates that "well-equipped" model will cost less than USD $75,000 — around the same as some other luxury tinys we’ve seen that don’t have this convenient slide-out feature. Of course, there’s always the possibility of malfunctions, but the home does come with a warranty. The Aurora prototype is targeting those undecided people who want comfort and convenience, yet are interested with living with a smaller footprint, or perhaps have a small family, says the company:
Our designs invite a large spectrum of people to the idea of tiny living by allowing them to downsize without downgrading. Most tiny homes are ecologically thoughtful, but the size, design and features may be hard to adapt to for those who are not used to rustic living.
On the other hand, all this major gadgetry may be a bit too much. But as designs for mechatronic systems and other heavy-lifting electronics get better and more affordable, we may see more of these systems being integrated into transforming furniture for micro-apartments, as well as shapeshifting tiny homes, magically maximizing space and function with the push of a button. Zero Squared is now taking pre-orders for The Aurora; to find out more information, check out Zero Squared.