Tiny homes have been taking the spotlight over the last several years as housing prices continue to soar. And one company that aims to provide more affordable lodging is Boxabl, which introduced the “Casita” as its first model.
The Las Vegas-based Boxabl decided to create tiny homes after seeing a “huge opportunity to transition building construction worldwide into the factory assembly line,” according to founder Galiano Tiramani.
“There’s a number of reasons why housing hasn’t really worked in the factory yet, so we’ve gone through it and solved all those problems,” he said.
The 375-square-foot dwelling is like a studio apartment in a box, which could fit a living room, kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom.
The kitchen has a refrigerator, an oven, a dishwasher, dual sinks, a microwave, cabinets, and a dining table that connects with the countertops.
The bathroom features a shower and tub, a countertop, a back-lit mirror, a sink, and a sliding glass door.
There’s also a washer and dryer, temperature control, and a designated ironing area within the space.
The Casitas are built with steel, concrete, laminated paneling, and foam insulation, making them strong enough to withstand hurricane winds. They are also mold-resistant and snow and flood tolerant.
In June 2021, billionaire tech mogul Elon Musk tweeted about his modest living situation, sharing that he lived in a $50,000 tiny home he rented from SpaceX in Boca Chica, Texas.
Although many speculate that he was referring to the Casita, Boxabl could neither confirm nor deny this rumor.
However, in November 2021, the company said it installed a Casita in Boca Chica for a “top secret customer,” seemingly alluding to supplying Musk’s tiny home.
“Pretty exciting to have these guys as our initial customer,” said Tiramani in a YouTube video.” think it indicates that people agree that we’re on to something big here.”
Logistics is a glaring issue that other prefab-home makers struggle with, but Boxabl doesn’t have that problem.
The Casitas can be folded down from 20 feet to about 8 1/2 feet while being towed by a pickup truck or transported on a truck.
However, shipping could still cost $2 to $10 per mile from Boxabl’s Las Vegas headquarters. But customers who are willing to shell out more for shipping can have the homes sent overseas or by rail.
Before being shipped out, the Casita’s kitchen, bathroom, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC are completed in the factory.
When the home arrives at its final destination, it just needs to be unfolded—a process that takes a few hours—before being attached to its foundation and utilities. After that, it’s move-in ready.
The Casitas can also be stacked and connected to form larger structures.
Boxabl’s popularity couldn’t just be attributed to the Musk rumors, as the company also used influencer and social media marketing to boost its sales.
At one point in 2021, Boxabl’s already long waitlist for the Casita jumped to 47,000 customers when the SpaceX rumors broke, which translates to over $1 billion worth of reserved Casitas. Many of these clients, including bigger companies, want more than one unit.
“The target audience heard about this beforehand, and then the Musk press brought in general audience interest, maybe someone who didn’t care about housing,” Tiramani explained.
In June 2021, Boxabl moved into a 170,000-square-foot factory, hoping to assemble a Casita every 90 minutes—or around 3,600 units a year—by the end of 2022.
“The demand for housing is so incredibly massive, there’s shortages everywhere and no one can build fast enough,” Tiramani said. “It’s great for us to know that so many people are interested in this product.
Take a tour of the Casita in the video below from Boxabl.