Student Tiny home

University engineering student Joseph has recently finished his very own tiny home on wheels with an impressive budget of just $22,000 Canadian dollars. With an custom ceiling heating system and a unique elevator bed, the house’s innovative design is a great example of design that has essential functions, plus comfort and sustainability.


Tiny homes in Toronto real estate market?

The home design project received financial support from various companies and supplies from large home improvement chains. Some real estate companies were involved in the project since cities like Toronto have seen a boom in the desire to see innovative home design in smaller sized homes. While they might not work in all location the new rules regarding laneway housing has created more demand for new design ideas that can be used in large urban cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. Vancouver and Toronto have recently seen laneway homes being built on vacant land that existed behind home owner’s primary residences.

His main inspiration was to learn about building properties and homes, and to experience the challenges that would be involved in the process. He tried to find innovative solutions to many challenges involving residential properties and tiny homes. There are many systems he put in place that are not common in most residential homes but he used them to reduce the cost, increase the comfort plus many of these features are environmentally friendly. He challenged himself to look for solutions that would also provide low operating and capital costs.

The 142 square foot tiny house uses lightweight sheet metal on the outside and is built on a 20 foot flatbed trailer, measuring 8.6 feet wide on the outside and 7 feet wide on the inside. The tallest point of the home is 12.9 feet  high on the outside and 10 feet high on the inside. The measurements of the tiny home means it can be towed along roads and highways without getting a special permit.

tiny home trailer

An important part of the design and construction was keeping the overall weight of the home as low as possible much helps keep towing costs lower. The trailer used to build the home is rated for 9,950 pounds in total. So the project needed to keep the weight below the 9,500 limit and sought to reduce it as much as possible to make a smooth moving process. Once the whole unit was assembled total weight was well within the limit with it being built at 8,200 pounds which allows for more things to be added including solar panels and everything need to create and store energy generated by the panels which can be used to power some of the homes features (lights, power outlets).

During the entire building process Joseph maintained a strong desire to make the tiny house as sustainability as possible and has incorporated several such features throughout the house. Some of items include an excellent sealed structure; highly rated insulation which can be purchased at most large home improvement stores. Using a special unique heated roof system which heats the tiny house by hot water through pipes placed in the ceiling instead of the floor like most hot water heating systems. Like many tiny homes the house has a compost toilet and many of the interior features including counters use upcycled and reclaimed materials. While not installed yet the home includes plans for the installation rooftop solar panels.

Heated ceiling are one of  the most unique features of this tiny house,” says Joseph. Some people wondered how this system would work and people would ask alot of questions on various social media accounts wondering if it would really work in this tiny home. There are various reasons why  we opted for a heated ceiling as my main source of heat in the tiny house. Using the heated ceiling was a logical solution to many issues faced when building this home and since we did not have any area within the design for an electric furnace or space heater. So the design team decided to use my hot water heater to service two systems, the heating of the home along with the regular uses in home design of hot water for showers and use in sinks.

Another design feature that Joseph used was the installation of a heat recovery system which is designed to draw moisture from the inside air plus the system  circulates fresh air from the exterior throughout the home. This type of system uses an heat exchanger to heat the incoming air from outside. So during the cold winter months the air entering the home is warmer than the outside air which cold very cold in Canada. This type system is designed to improve the comfort level inside and keep the air fresh but at the same time it helps reduce the moisture level inside the home which helps prevent mildew or even once mold from developing inside the home. Many well insulated homes will out proper air flow develop mold problems due to moisture being captured within the building.

Some of the companies that were used to help make this project happen in Toronto were and the fine folks from