Affordable housing is a growing concern across the world. Unfortunately, saving enough money for a home’s down payment seems like a pipe dream for many. But Boxabl is hoping to change that.
The company, one of the most well-known folding house manufacturers, aims to provide genuinely affordable housing with their house-in-a-box prefab products.
What Are Box Houses?
A Boxabl house is a fold-out house. The company markets its home as an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) with an ultra-affordable price tag.
Their home comes complete right out of the box. Just as the name suggests, their homes literally unfold for quick and easy installation in just a day. In fact, a Boxabl home can be unfolded in less than two hours.
Unlike modular homes, Boxabl foldable homes can quickly be shipped without the need for large trucks and escorts. Their homes fold down to just 8.5-feet wide and 20-feet long. They can even be shipped across the world via train, sea, air or truck. The company itself is based in Las Vegas, and they charge about $3-$5 per mile for shipping from their facility.
Shipping is free for buyers living in Arizona, California, Utah or Nevada.
All of Boxabl’s homes are created in a 170,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility that can produce thousands of homes.
Boxabl’s first customer was the U.S. Department of Defense, and they have more than 20,000 reservations for their home-in-a-box product.
Boxabl homes are also fully ADA compliant, so they’re accessible to all.
One important thing to note – Boxabl homes are not trailers / manufactured / HUD homes. They are built to modular standards and generally more durable than site-built homes.
Currently, Boxabl has one floor plan – the Casita. However, the company hopes to release new products soon.
New box home sizes will likely be:
- 20 x 60
- 20 x 40
- 20 x 20
- 20 x 30
The Casita is a tiny home that’s energy-efficient and smartly designed. The studio-sized dwelling gives you just about everything you need. Out of the box, the house comes with a full kitchen, appliances, cabinetry and more.
Here’s what you can expect to receive when you buy a Casita:
- Kitchen with a refrigerator, sink, microwave, dishwasher, oven and cabinets
- Bathroom with a deep shower/tub, large counter, backlit mirror, vessel sink and sliding glass barn door
- 375 square foot living space
- 19.5ft x 19.5ft size
- 8’ doors and windows
- Composite flooring
- Heating and cooling system
- LED lighting
- Advanced insulation technology
The Casita is designed to withstand hurricane wind speeds and built with durable materials:
The roof, walls and panels are structurally laminated panels, making them much stronger than a conventionally built home. Made from environmentally friendly magnesium oxide wallboard, these panels offer excellent mold and mildew control as well as fire resistance.
One great thing about the laminated walls in these dwellings is that they won’t crack or bend during shipping. They also offer excellent noise control.
Although not fireproof, the Casita is made with fire resistance in mind. The exterior features non-combustible materials that are less likely to catch fire from embers in wildfires.
Their homes are snow load rated and have R-value insulation for improved energy efficiency. Plus, all electricity, plumbing and HVAC come pre-installed. Just plug in on-site to the exterior of the unit, and you’re ready to go.
The Casita comes shipped with a flat roof system, but if your local area requires a pitched roof, Boxabl can provide your contractor with the roof plans needed to add the roof on-site.
The Boxabl home system is designed in module form, which means that, theoretically, you can connect multiple boxes together to create a custom home.
In the near future, the company plans to add the following boxes:
- Kitchen: Large kitchen with appliances, island counter and room for a sit-down table.
- 2-bedroom: Adds two bedrooms with walk-in closets, Jack and Jill bathroom, twin sinks and oversized shower/tub.
- Imagine: An empty room that you can turn into whatever you want.
- Stair: Adds an extra story with a living room, stairs, fireplace and powder room.
- Master bedroos
How much does a Boxabl home cost? The company aims to offer genuinely affordable housing, so their Casita is available for just $50,000.
For $50,000, you get a fully furnished, complete home that’s ready to live in.
The company will even connect buyers with their financing partners, which offer many loan options. In most cases, these dwellings can be financed through a traditional 30-year mortgage. This means that your final payment can be as little as $250-$500 per month.
Does Boxabl Set Up the Home?
No. Boxabl only offers modules. However, the company will connect buyers with installers who are licensed and Boxabl certified.
What About Permits and Site Work?
The Boxabl Casita is sold as an ADU (accessory dwelling unit). Knowing whether or not you can build one on your property can be confusing. If you can build it, you may feel overwhelmed by trying to figure out what permits you need and securing them.
Not every state or county allows ADUs on a property, and getting a hold of someone who can answer your question can be frustrating.
Fortunately, Boxabl also offers additional services (for an added fee) to streamline and simplify this process for their buyers.
- Basic: Their basic service helps you determine whether or not you can build a Casita on your property and tell you other things of importance.
- Turnkey: They will coordinate with engineers, architects, contractors and surveyors to get the building permits on your behalf.
As far as site work is concerned, that will be the responsibility of the buyer. Site work is not included in the cost of the home, and can add anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000+ to the overall cost of the structure.
The cost of the turnkey solution is less than $1,000 and is worth every penny. However, unless you’re familiar with permitting and how the process works, you can easily find yourself wasting time and getting frustrated.
What About the Foundation?
Boxabl homes are compatible with any foundation. In addition, their homes have strong floors that can be bolted onto any type of foundation with their connector plates.
Other Uses for Boxabl Dwellings
Along with offering conventional living spaces, Boxabl dwellings can be used for other purposes. The company envisions their foldable structures being useful as:
- Medical units
- Spaces for quarantine
Boxabl structures can be rapidly deployed and erected in just a few hours, so they’re ideal for use during disasters. Then, after the disaster has passed, Boxabl dwellings can be used as permanent housing and to help rebuild communities.
The company’s homes can be shipped loaded with clothing, food, equipment, medical supplies and more. In addition, their easy deployment makes it a practical option for emergency situations.
Boxabl’s house-in-a-box concept is one that can disrupt the home-building market. The folding technology shrinks down the home’s footprint to the point where shipping is quick, easy and relatively inexpensive. This allows the home itself to be more affordable and accessible to the everyday person. With such a shortage of affordable housing in the U.S. and abroad, the folding house concept could be the solution would-be homeowners are looking for.
For more information please visit their official site.