Zero Hedge had an article yesterday about Home Depot's $44,000 tiny house design.
Called the "Getaway Pad," the 540-square-foot kit home has enough space for a living room, kitchen, one full bathroom, a bedroom, and a rooftop deck accessible by a spiral staircase. The "framing kit" costs $43,832.
The tiny home is a framing kit made by PLUS 1. Home Depot said, "Most finishings you'll need to complete your personal space such as doors, windows, electrical, plumbing, and finishes" are available on its website or at stores. This means the home could cost thousands of dollars more, depending on how one furnishes the inside.
There's more at the link.
So... you have to cast a cement/concrete pad for the house, pay someone to erect it, pay more for all the internal bits and pieces, insulate it, lay power, water and sewage lines, and all the rest. $44K is only the start; I reckon by the time you add all of the other elements, you'll be paying at least 50% more than that, if not higher.
In contrast, I put up a metal building in my back yard last year (details at the link). It measures 16'x25', for a total area of 400 square feet (albeit without internal partitions to divide it into rooms). The total cost - including concrete slab, building kit, erection, insulation, paying extra for a regular and a garage door, electricity and a mini-split HVAC system - came to almost exactly $25,000. If I wanted to, I could move in and live in it. The only drawback would be that it's rather noisy inside during a rain- or hailstorm. Earplugs would be essential!
So, tell me - why would a bare-bones kit for a slightly larger building, but without any of the extra elements I would need, cost so much more than my complete shed? I could put up another shed, add partitions, bathroom, kitchen, etc., and still pay less than the base kit price; and if I put up a shed of the same size as the kit, I daresay I could finish it, with all added bells and whistles, for not very much more than the base kit price.
Someone's making a killer profit on this kit. It's anything but a bargain.
I wonder... should I buy a plot somewhere, put up three or four sheds like that with basic internal partitioning, fittings and fixtures, and rent them out as tiny houses? I reckon I could build each one for less than $50K, and if I charged the going rate for tiny houses, I could get a return on my investment of at least 15% per year. That's a whole lot better than any bank or stock investment would guarantee!