What do Elon Musk and tiny homes have in common? For now at least, a tiny house called Boxabl is Musk’s abode, which, rumor has it, he lives in near SpaceX ground zero in Boca Chica, Texas after selling off nearly all of his real estate holdings.
The 20×20 model might be commonly known as an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) or perhaps a guest house, but in the Boxabl world, it’s referred to as Casita. Unlike other tiny houses, Boxabls have a unique, flat-pack design that allows them to break down to 8.5 feet in width and be delivered onsite via truck, train, air or ship.
The main materials in the casita are steel, concrete and EPS foam, specifically chosen for their durability. They don’t degrade like other building materials, so the structures are built to last a lifetime. Not only are Boxabls rated for hurricane-strength winds, but because there isn’t any wood or sheetrock that could be damaged by water, the homes won’t grow mold or deteriorate due to moisture from floods.
In addition, the company said, “Nothing is fireproof. But Boxabl was engineered with fire resistance in mind. The interior and exterior of the structure is clad with non-combustible materials. We think this means flying embers that spread forest fires won’t ignite your Boxabl.”
There are several costs involved in getting a Boxabl set up, including the Casita itself, starting around $50,000. From there, you’ll need land, a foundation and utilities to plug into. You’ll also pay a delivery fee, but the company can hook you up with certified builders to unfold the Boxable for you in your desired location, which takes less than a day. However, the building will save you money in the long run, because it is extremely energy-efficient. Each tiny home relies on a small air conditioning system as needed and has high R value insulation, a tight building envelope and limited thermal bridging to keep the space fairly temperature controlled.
The unit comes wired and plumbed, so it’s ready to accept solar power or any other energy source the buyer chooses. The prefabricated design, complete with nearly everything you need to open the door and move in (including a full-size refrigerator, stove, dishwasher and washer/dryer) is also seen as an option for temporary shelters that can be preloaded with supplies and delivered quickly for emergency response. Currently, there are no customization options, and the company is only taking orders while it completes a manufacturing plant.
Images via Boxabl