Design Discussion

Wilderness-ready Design

Situating a tiny house in a wilderness setting has several implications for the design such as protecting the glass surfaces against falling debris and enabling the unit to be closed up for extended periods. Which is why we are starting with designs that have insulated shutters to cover the glass walls and the avoidance of such things as in-floor radiant heating which would require draining for the colder months.

Floating trailer bed

Instead of the dropped trailer design where space is lost by intrusion of the wheel wells into the wall cavity, a floating design allows for a completely intact floor bed and allows for the positioning of doors anywhere along the wall. With a dropped floor design, you couldn’t have sliding glass doors in the centre of the unit because of the wheel wells for example but a floating trailer bed would allow for this. This does make the unit higher off the ground and reduces the overall height of the unit so that it stays within the 13.5 ft height restriction. This is the main reason why the dropped trailer design is so popular – to provide enough space for a loft bedroom.

The trailer axles can be removed when not needed by raising the unit, unbolting the leaf springs and removing the axles and then lowering the unit back down to the ground and positioning on piers.

We have been investigating a design where the tiny house can be pulled on and off a separate trailer so that the unit can be lower to the ground when it is in use but quickly placed on a trailer for moving.

Traditional stick framing, Steel Studding or SIP

It is interesting that there are so many choices for construction. Traditional 2×4 wood studding seems popular but there are some interesting computer-aided equipment that uses steel studding or SIP construction.

Large retractable Glass doors

A personal favourite, is large areas of retractable glass doors to allow for living spaces that are outdoors.

Folding shutters to cover glass doors


Vaulted ceiling for wiring chase

Allows for running ventilation and wiring down the centre of the unit back to the utilities panel.


Flat or combination of Flat and Peak design for variety. Possibility of section of roof that can be slide sideways exposing a skylight.

Low energy devices and wiring


Multiple points of egress