Dare to be different: ZeroSquared tiny homes lets people downside without downgrading
Priding itself in creating homes that are tailored to its homeowners, ZeroSquared is a designer and manufacturer of high-end homes based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. For example, their top-selling model, the Aurora is an expandable home design that allows for more comfort and accessibility to those who are unable to use a ladder or narrow steps to get up to the second floor.
In fact, all the company’s designs are created on the premise of allowing people to downsize without downgrading. Their overall goal is to create a luxurious tiny living space that combines modern architecture with concepts that allow people to better adjust to and feel comfortable with small space and rustic living.
In this post, we’ll walk you through two of ZeroSquared’s tiny homes: The “Scando” 25-foot Jaunt tiny home, and “Silver Falls” 34-foot Willow tiny home. Both are a combination of maintenance-free engineered wood and commercial steel siding. However, while they are similar, there are notable differences to consider.
A guide to the “Scando” 25-foot Jaunt tiny home
The Jaunt is a Nordic-inspired cozy tiny house on wheels that sleeps up to four people and is equipped with a full-sized kitchen, bathroom, and appliances. Its floor plan includes a main floor ceiling that measures 10 feet above ground, nicely accommodating taller dwellers, and provides an open, spacey atmosphere. With the bedroom loft included, the Jaunt measures a comfortable 267 square feet (sqft), with an optional deck that adds an extra 25 sqft of space.
There’s a total of 10 residential windows throughout the home allowing for plenty of natural light and fresh air to circulate.
ZeroSquared’s the “Scando” 25-foot Jaunt tiny home
The home does not have a detachable trailer system. However, the wheels can be removed by unbolting them from the axle. The chassis can also be attached to a permanent foundation.
The entryway and optional deck
If you purchase the Scando super tiny home, you have the option of adding a three-foot deck and/or patio door entry with a key lock. The deck is large enough to fit a small coffee table and two chairs. The sliding patio door sets a nice stage for a sophisticated interior of the entire home.
Optional open deck with optional sliding patio door entry
A front-view of the living room, kitchen, and stairs leading up to the bedroom loft
The ground floor
The main living room of the Jaunt tiny home is fused with a modern kitchen with a stove, low-profile microwave, storage cabinets that span across the length of one wall, deep sink, refrigerator, and a dishwasher. The dark appliances and sharp, clean backsplash beautifully compliment the oak wood finish throughout the entire home.
Deep kitchen sink
Modern kitchen with oak wood finish
However, the kitchen cabinets that extend all the way out to the front of the home and are built to ceiling height may be difficult to access, especially those items that are needed on a regular basis.
Installed on the divider of the main bedroom loft is a closed cell spray foam and mini split heat/air conditioning for heater for tiny home and cooling for warmer states.
The bi-step stairs leading up to the bedroom loft are a traditional rise and run, but also cleverly built in the shape of open blocks, leaving room for storing oversize items like pots and cutting boards. How’s that for storage ideas for tiny homes!
However, these bi-step stairs are also not practical. Because they are narrow and tall, they will be a challenge to those with knee and leg issues, small children, are injured, or are elderly. This is particularly true if you need to use the stairs when it’s dark. Also, when compared to other tiny homes like the Fritz’s Macdonald build, these stairs don’t have any lights installed in them. All this doesn’t really fall in line with the company’s philosophy of creating more accessible homes.
Stairs in the form of open “blocks” for storage that are very tall and narrow and not very accessible
The bathroom is located at the back of the home. It’s small but compact, with a walk-in shower, vanity with a built-in washer and dryer combo, and a medicine cabinet overlooking the sink. Future tiny homebuyers have the option of adding an on-site tub as well for an added cost.
The toilet is residential, but a compost toilet can be added to the house plan at the buyer’s request. The closeness of the kitchen and the washroom (while sensible and similar to some tiny homes) can make this feel cramped and a little gross. There’s a stove and sink for cooking four feet away from the toilet!
Washroom with walk-in shower
Vanity with built-in washer and dryer combo, and medicine cabinet overlooking the sink
Main bedroom loft
Finally, the Scando’s master bedroom is an 80-square foot queen bed loft, measuring four feet from floor to ceiling, with two large windows on either side and a large dresser with drawers near the stairs.
On one side of the bed is space for a small nightstand that can hold a lamp and more for your reading needs.
A dresser near the stairs that still leaves room to comfortably move around the bedroom
The Scando Jaunt tiny home sells at a starting price of $82,500 (USD) and $104,500 (CAD).
A guide to the “Silver Falls” 34-foot Willow tiny home
ZeroSquared’s first shed roof tiny home on wheels is a 34-foot space with a Western red on black exterior finish. It features two bedrooms, a sliding entry door, and 14 residential windows. It’s a larger space than the Jaunt, measuring up to 463 sqft with the bedroom loft included. The roof and higher ceilings give the Willow more of an airy, spacious feel like that of a regular-sized home and in contrast to the Jaunt (which felt confining and stuffy).
Shed roof above the entryway
The main floor
On the main, ground floor of Silver Falls is a full size kitchen equipped with all appliances (including stove, low-profile microwave, dishwasher, and refrigerator) with a Nordic-inspired wood finish. Directly overlooking the kitchen and living room space is a modern light fixture that adds to the rustic look of this tiny home.
When compared to the Jaunt, there is less cabinetry and storage space in Willow’s kitchen. However, it’s more accessible and unlikely to require a ladder to reach.
Willow’s fill size kitchen
Modern light fixture overlooking the living room and kitchen
The bathroom is a replica of the one in the Jaunt tiny house, except for the darker wood finish for the vanity and a brighter wall color.
Silver Fall’s bathroom
As with the Jaunt, the walk-in shower can be turned into a tub at the homeowners’ request and for an extra cost. The toilet is residential, but a compost toilet can be subbed in instead.
The main floor is also home to the Willow’s second bedroom (surprise!), tucked at the very back and adjacent to the bathroom. It’s spacey and homey, and large enough to fit a queen bed. This type of design and structure makes sense, with the bedroom and bathroom being so close (unlike the Jaunt, where its the kitchen and bathroom side-by-side).
Queen bed on ground floor
Second floor loft
The main bedroom is a 114-square foot queen bed loft. This space is wide and long, with room for a nightstand on either side of the bed and plenty of space to move around. As with all tiny homes, there are two large windows on either side. From the floor up, the loft measures four feet, which is a bit small for taller folks.
While this loft is roomy, some may find storage a bit lacking, with not enough tiny house bed ideas. In fact, the room looks almost empty from the top of the stairs, aside from the bed. It can definitely use a few more upgrades to save you from kicking in your own DIY ideas for this space.
Like the Jaunt, there are tall and narrow bi-step stairs leading up to the bedroom loft that are traditional rise and run and built in the form of blocks for extra storage ideas for tiny homes. However, as mentioned earlier, they create many accessibility challenges.
The Silver Falls Willow tiny home sells starting at $109,500 (USD) and $137,500 (CAD).
All ZeroSquared models are built for all kinds of climates, from frigid Canadian winters to desert-like conditions. This is thanks to the company’s high quality building materials, construction, and closed cell spray foam insulation for tiny house insulation that far exceed those of building codes in residential homes.
In addition, the standard model for both tiny homes are offgrid. However, ZeroSquared recommends working with an external specialist solar company to take their homes offgrid, which can cost an additional $15,000 to $20,000 (CAD).
Finally, both homes offer wireless and satellite options at the homebuyers’ preference.
Currently, ZeroSquared homes can only be delivered across Canada and the United States.
What we thought overall
Overall, both of ZeroSquared’s tiny Jaunt and Willow homes are beautifully designed with a modern flair and warm, inviting interior. The bi-step stairs stand out from any others that we’ve seen in a tiny home. However, both models face several challenges that potential buyers should consider:
- The significantly smaller Jaunt feels more confined and crammed as opposed to the larger, spacier, and more airy feel of the Willow.
- Lack of storage space in the kitchen – not enough cabinetry in the Willow and cabinets that may be too high up for regular use in the Jaunt.
- Tall and narrow staircase that are difficult to access for people with injuries, leg or knee issues, children, and the elderly.
- Lack of tiny house bed ideas when it comes to storage in the Willow.
- Wood countertop finish in the kitchen, which means that extra care will need to be taken so as to not cause permanent damage (i.e., by directly cutting or prepping food on the countertop).
- Additional liaison with an external specialist solar company to take the home offgrid.
- High cost of both homes (e.g., over $150,000 for an offgrid Willow model).
The storage challenges do raise the question of whether clients can truly go down the downsizing route without downgrading with ZeroSquared’s homes.
However, both of these tiny homes are customizable and ZeroSquared does offer options like adding a tub to the bathroom and wireless and satellite options at the homebuyers’ request.
To get started with ZeroSquared tiny home builder, or other tiny homes like Acorntinyhomes, visit their website or reach out to Super Tiny Homes at [email protected].