A Vancouver Produced ‘Nomad’ Micro Home For $25,000


We’re digging the Tiny House concept of NOMAD, a 10’ x 10’ micro house with a 60’ loft space developed right here in Vancouver. It’s easy to assemble and flat packed so it can be shipped worldwide. They cost between $25,000 and $28,000, depending on how well you want it to be kitted out. You can also get “green” off-grid models (ie. solar-equipped), but those are custom-priced.

The impetus: “The Tiny House Movement is currently driven by individuals at a grass-roots level who, for the most part, have built their own homes and are living sustainable, mortgage-free lives. Recognizing the importance of these progressive dwellings and the philosophy adopted by their occupants, NOMAD has taken on the challenge of making this affordable housing option accessible worldwide.” Where do we sign up?

They recently started the funding process via Indiegogo. At the time of writing, they’ve raised over $15,000 of their $120,000 target, and have 40 days left.


There are 62 comments

  1. I would LOVE to own this home. How do I plan for owning this miracle home?


  2. Wow… what an amazing response! We’ve had an incredible amount of interest since this article was posted… a huge heartfelt thank you goes out from our NOMAD team to everyone who’s mentioned us on both Twitter and Facebook.

    It’s taken boatloads of creative energy to design and engineer NOMAD to the point of launching our crowd funding campaign. We’re hoping to raise funds that’ll enable us to test our prototype and build this tiny house in volume.

    Please check us out on Indiegogo at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nomad-micro-home-easily-assembled-under-30k/x/4056605, on Facebook (facebook.com/NOMADMicroHome), and Twitter (@NomadMicro). We’d be truly grateful for any support you can offer, whether it’s in the form of a donation (no amount is too small!) or helping us to spread the word. Come on, Vancouver… let’s make affordable, sustainable housing happen!

  3. I am interested in purchasing one and having it moved and assembled in Central or South America. Have you any plans for such? I would want it to be fully off the grid.

    Thank you,


  4. This kind of design embodies concepts that I read about in “Future Shock” I think it is design in the right direction. However increasing nomadism may have an iatrogenic effect on energy consumption.

  5. more affordable for younger generation. I think the design of the house is perfect. I love it. If this type of house is on the market. I definitely will save up and purchase one

  6. It needs better hand rails for the steps to the loft above. Imagine a couple with a baby in arms going up and down, needing more in the way of guardrails on the stairs.

    I see places where more shelving can be put – so are the walls easy to attach screws and extra shelving to?

  7. It’s an awesome concept. Sustainable, affordable housing and a minimal footprint. Makes perfect sense to me. The key to its success is probably the need for reorientation to our idea of shelter and home. Could this be a solution to the housing crisis for the less well off as well? Reminds me of the small homes in New Orleans before Katrina When I look at the fortune poured unsuccessfully into social housing over the years in order to warehouse people I have to compare the experience to my own growing up. Very quickly I realised that what I liked least about living cheek by jowl with others in an apartment was the lack of solitude and real privacy. What will be the reaction of city planners and licensing bodies. Is that the next roadblock?

  8. Curious as to the ground preparation required for this as well as how well it holds up to cold climates.

  9. Hi Carol,

    Our NOMAD Zero model is ideal for your needs as we designed it to be completely off-grid. Like all NOMADs, it’s flat packed for easy shipping worldwide—people as far away as Hawaii, Cuba, Costa Rica, and Tasmania have expressed interest in purchasing one. Check out the customization options we have available at http://www.nomadmicrohomes.com/specifications.html and please don’t hesitate to connect with us directly for answers to more specific questions.

    Look forward to chatting with you further!

  10. I love these homes and greatly appreciate what you are doing. Have you considered showcasing them by going on TV’s Dragon Den and possibly getting some investors?

  11. beautiful looking but at 25 grand its 250 a sq ft which is more than most homes cost,the other problem here in canada is that in most areas inside city limits they wont allow you to put a house that small on a lot and live in it,i know i have one.
    beautiful layout and design but to expensive to put on your 100 thousand dollar lot

  12. I am soooo in love with this idea for housing !!!! A few years ago I was forced to give up my job and live on a disability pension,because of this I had to sell my small home because I could no longer afford the morgage. I’m thinking that people who are interested in micro housing would most likely be interested in micro lot size also…….so I’m curious that with the city’s zoneing laws and the average lot size if anyone has thought of Nomad or some Developer with a conscience has thought of creating Micro Housing developments similar to Mobile home parks where the purchaser can also purchase the small lot for a reasonable price ? This type of home would be perfect for me but I do know a person can not purchase and build and have sevices brought into such a small lot and if I would have to purchase the land and bring sevices in it would no longer be an affordable housing choice.

  13. Hi Margaret. Thanks for your insightful comments. Artistic license ran amuck when it came to the handrail. There will certainly be a secure handrail mounted to the wall running the full length of the stair.

    Shelving can certainly be connected to the walls using brackets and self-tapping screws.

  14. Hi Glenn. I completely agree with your comment about warehousing people in large buildings. Even though NOMAD is small, there’s still a sense of land and privacy, similar to a conventional house.

    NOMAD intended use is world wide and each municipality has it’s own set of bylaws. Some have antiquated laws that need changing, some don’t have laws, others may embrace.

  15. Thanks for your calculation Simon.

    It’s a well known fact in the building industry that the cost/square foot increases as the home size decreases. However, thousands of houses and apartments are still being build smaller to provide an “affordability factor”. People have limits to their purchasing ability and are pleased when they can finally find a home that’s within it.

    NOMAD would be better suited a an value-added feature, opposed to a principal residence on a $100k lot.

  16. Hey Anita! The bathroom’s just around the corner off the kitchen. You can get a good look at it on the floor plan featured on the “Gallery” page of our website.

  17. I really like this concept for the wife and I to retire in. One thing that concerns me is there is no laundry room.
    Where is the furnace and hot water tank located?

  18. Great thoughts, Charlene. I know of a couple Tiny Home developments established in Washington State, but haven’t collected any detail on them yet. I suggest a search on line to find them. We’ll certainly be going down that path once we have NOMAD more firmly established as a stand alone.

  19. Can a wheelchair accessible model be designed? By that I mean an ADA approved model. Thanks.

  20. Hey there, Rich.

    Instead of a conventional concrete foundation, we designed NOMAD to use a specialized series of piles that screws into the ground and leaves a very minimal footprint. This enables our homeowners to install one in a wide variety of terrain.

    As far as cold weather, the standard NOMAD Live model is built to withstand a moderate coastal winter. Harsher climate conditions would require an insulation upgrade to a more superior rigid insulation that provides higher R values.

  21. Funny, all that I could think of when I saw this was to purchase two of them and put them in my back yard, and move my kids into them!!

    As I type this, I am thinking what a less expensive way to increase your house without adding a floor on, which is an idea that we are knocking around.


    Could someone put one of these in their backyard in Vancouver and call it a guest house?? What a perfect idea for the occasional visitor or long term guest.

  22. Hi Mike,

    Life in a 10×10 home requires going back to basics for some aspects of life. A limited amount of hand washing can obviously be done in the NOMAD, but a laundromat, or sharing laundry with an adjacent home would make it a little easier.

    The RV propane furnace and hot-water-on-demand system are tucked neatly under the kitchen counter.

  23. Wow! What a beautiful tiny home. I have been searching for the 10 x 10 livable garden shed or tiny home for a few years. I’m living on a lake in a small home and looking for a place to put that extra bed. This is so brightly designed. Congratulations to Ian and Nomad. Well done neighbour:)

  24. Hello Ian Kent,

    I’ve posted this on my facebook page with thousands of followers and friends and it’s done very well. I’ve received an amazing feedback.

    I’m interested in discussing further with you regarding marketing your concept on a larger scale.


    Melody Dean

  25. I apologize if I’ve just missed it somewhere, but where are you supposed to shower in this otherwise very attractive concept? Without a shower, isn’t it just a really nice tree/clubhouse with a toilet? Going to the laundromat is one thing, and all well and fine, but is the occupant supposed to travel to a truck stop to shower before work or have a lake handy?

  26. This would be an excellent idea for baby boomers to look at when downsizing and looking at retireing. Also gives those who are financially unable to purchase a cottage the opportunity. I want one!

  27. Seems like it would be difficult to keep it warm with all those windows. Looks like it would benefit from fitments for a wood cook stove, but it would spread the kitchen out a little. Could also use a trap door to access a well and pump. Put it in a blocked in pit under the house…

  28. This is a really cool concept but even Ian Kent agrees it makes a better dollhouse than home. I am out!

  29. Wow – ONLY $28,000 for a fancy shed!
    OK, I love grassroots stuff, but I draw the line here. Where is someone gonna put this shed in Vancouver? Maybe they can score some raw land (yeah, right), for, hmmm, $600,000? Not such a bargain now.
    But maybe you want to put it somewhere cheaper, like Prince George or Saskatchewan. Well, why don’t you just buy a house there for the SAME PRICE as this shed? Remember, it’s greener to buy an old house!
    And do people really ant to shit in portable RV toilets? I doubt even the $28,000 sticker price includes a top-of-the-line Sun Mr composting toilet (and even these take a lot of maintenance shoveling your poop).
    Sorry to be a party-pooper by pissing on your parade. But much better to take a $500 building course, and design and build your own micro home from salvaged parts (probably would come in under $20,000, even for a real house – i.e., over 700 sq. ft.Or better yet, build a straw bale or cordwood house.

  30. I think its not a dollhouse, its a home, but if you feel you “need” more space because material things and a big house is more important to you, then that’s fine, and it is your opinion. I believe it is a very neat concept, and a great way to live more closer to nature, and one without debt, but instead have that freedom for spending the money on your children, or instead of working to pay off a mortgage your speding time with your children and family or husband and wife. That’s why I would be interested in it. Do they come in a 2 or 3 bedroom?

  31. The concept is very, very interesting. I am a bit concerned on something, though. I am in a relationship, and eventually we might adopt children. Altough we try to adopt a way of living that is eco-friendly and we try to consume less, I don’t see such a house fit for a family. How do you intend to reach this kind of client, the ones with a family? Do you intend of developping bigger houses, have a selection of different models the client can choose from?

    These are minor issues of course, as this project is very interesting nonetheless.

  32. A bit more stylish than my wee batch in Aotearoa New Zealand but love that you are putting it into the mainstream which will hopefully bend the building regulations… Have a look at the Happy, simply home and model I constructed this Feb in New Zealand where I did it with 10 volunteers in 14 days and for about $4000 (not to take away from the NOMAD – love it!)

  33. I would like to know the possibility for student housing for graduate students. Also each would have to have full sewer and water recovery. what about solar, how much would these items add to the overall cost of setting it up.

    What are the investment factors ?

  34. Hi Wilson, Heather, and Gabriel… we’re grateful for your feedback!

    One of the great things about NOMAD is its flexibility. It’s designed to be modular—you can fit a couple of them together to create a larger unit, perhaps even a duplex or a triplex. We’ve got loads of ideas for future iterations of NOMAD but, for the moment, we’re pretty keenly focused on bringing this one to fruition.

  35. I would be interested in purchasing a Nomad house, my location would be the arctic circle of Canada. I understand you are the company and project is at a beginning point but I think a larger range of product would be even better. If you could have alternative floor plans or slightly larger models, that would be excellent. Trapped inside such a small house in the arctic circle during cold times might be troublesome. I look forward to your reply,


  36. I would have to find someone’s back yard to put this in as lots in Vancouver are unaffordable!!

  37. Hi, Fantastic concept and execution. I tried to donate to your fundraising effort on Indiegogo, but system said invalid. Are you still fundraising?

  38. Cool idea but one needs to own land. It’s the land that’s costly. Even Micro land in the Vancouver lower mainland would be 4x the cost of this house. Ho hum. I will just continue to rent for exorbitant prices in Vancouver, BC.

  39. I love this idea but I wonder how these would hold up in a natural disaster like a earthquake or a hurricane?

  40. They cost 25k AND their asking for 120k to be given to them for free?
    That make no sense at all.

  41. Trudi, the two are certainly very different disasters, but usually “manufactured homes” as I guess this would qualify as (though of super nice seeming quality) seem to sustain way less damage in earthquakes and yet more damage from wind (Katrina hurricanes cum flood aside). (I live in Texas, do work for NOAA, but…) if you live in Vancouver, the earthquake risk is way more a concern. and in that environment (Pacific Rim in general) its actually better to own some home without a slab that gets wrecked with ground tremors. If you were to take this home idea to say, Miami, pr the tornadic midwest, I would think youd be proprotionately in trouble from the winds that manufactured homes tend to deal poorly with. Again, flood and storm surge aside…. thats no homes friend, ever.

  42. Actually, with mobile homes as well as this home they do and could be anchored to the ground in order for them to not be blown away from strong winds. Mobile homes use tie-downs which usually anchor to the concrete slab under them, these would need to be anchored to maybe a ground auger type of anchor point, but still not an impossibility. The worst case scenario with these homes is that you really only loose $25k to disaster verses hundreds of thousands with a current home from the housing market. I really like these homes and your philosophy behind building them. SWEET! I want one.

  43. I think its a great idea,
    The only thing I have to say is that you still have to find land…….which will be wort 10 to 20 times the cost of the house……… Perhaps your pilot project shgould include a special area that will accept 6 homes built on a house lot. I’m not sure the neighbours would accept in in a major city…This is my only concern.

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