Tiny House – Toronto

I’ve got a small bone to pick here for a second.  Over at Jetson Green there is never a shortage of good news on the tiny home/modern/green design front and I religiously check this blog every morning to see “what’s new”.  But this morning, the latest article is another in a long list of something that seriously troubles me and has held back the mainstream from getting on board with smaller living, in my opinion.

Now, first let me say that the home is beautiful.  From the photos it seems well designed and functional, which are the two most important qualities in a home that any architect should strive for.  And according to an interview at dwell magazine with Andrew Reeves, Principle at LineBox Studio, Inc., the house is “totally green by scale”.

So, here’s my gripe.  The home, coming it at an amazing 566 square feet and featuring an upstairs loft space was built, not including soft costs like land and parasite..uh I mean lawyer fees, came in at an astonishing $210k….this factors out to about $371 per square foot of living space.  This, to me, is insane.  Living where I live in Florida, for $371/sf I could buy/build A LOT.  There really isn’t much that would be out of my price range at that level.  And this, to me, is where the small living movement has fallen short and not attracted the kind of main stream attention that it deserves.  I mean, seriously $210k is a lot of money even for a house designed to “modern” standards (i.e. the typical 2500 sf monstrosities you see littering our sub urban landscapes) let alone a home of modest and modern materials at 566 sf!

Ok, I’m done with my little rant.  So you too can gaze on the wonderfulness of this design, here are some photos.  At the bottom are links to the Jetson Green and dwell articles as well as a link to the LineBox Studio website.  They have dedicated a blog to this project where you can see more photos and cost breakdowns.  Again let me say that I think this home is well designed and I’m sure more than meets the needs and expectations of the client.  But, I think also that we need to begin thinking about how to design homes like this at a more modest price point – between $150 and $200 per sf (getting us near a cost of $85k – $115k).  This to me is more to the heart of living a smaller lifestyle.


Jetson Green
Dwell Magazine
LineBox Studio, Inc.

4 thoughts on “Tiny House – Toronto

  1. Thanks for the mention, I’m an RSS subscriber of your site and reader as well.

    You’re making a good point about cost. I will say, from my reading of the construction blog and some other quotes, the owner tried to keep costs down. But the cost still seems high. I’m religiously trying to find modern, green homes at an approachable price, but they’re hard to find.

    • Preston,
      Thanks for the comment and you’re welcome for the mentions. I really do read your blog everyday – awesome content. I’m on the same search for “affordable” green homes and unfortunately you’re right, they are very few and far between. But, hey, we’ll get there.

  2. I couldn’t agree more! Thanks for being willing to mention this. We all agree the design is nice. Fine. But I was just reading another article in another eco magazine and the same issue came up. Wake up people building green or building small will never catch on at these prices. We can never dismiss economics from the equation.

  3. You can definitely see your skills within the article you write.
    The sector hopes for even more passionate writers
    like you who are not afraid to mention how they believe.
    At all times go after your heart.

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