Small Spaces

Elon Musk's Tiny House Is Surprisingly Affordable

The tech billionaire’s box house is small on floor space but big on innovation.

by Sal Vaglica
Originally Published: 
The inside of the living room inside of the Tesla Tiny House

Elon Musk can live anywhere in the world, but the tech billionaire doesn’t spend his days in a coastal villa - he reportedly shacks up in a small house near SpaceX in Boca Chica, TX. For guests, he also has a box house, but it’s no ordinary box house. The Casita by Boxabl is an energy-efficient, low-maintenance 375-square-foot prefab that’s delivered on the back of a semi-truck and craned in place. But perhaps what’s most exciting about the tiny home is that it’s surprisingly affordable: You can snag your own Casita starting at $49,500.

The compact studio-like floor plan includes a full-size kitchen with standard-sized appliances and a full bathroom on one side, and a living room and bedroom on the other. The waitlist for this tidy, energy-efficient box house is roughly 50,000 orders strong.

Why the interest? Boxable builds Casitas to be pretty bombproof: The walls are made from steel, concrete, and insulating foam, so rot resistance and energy efficiency are built-in. The walls, floors, and roof are strong enough to resist hurricane-force winds and snow loads. Because there isn’t any wood lumber or drywall, you won’t have to worry about mold if it floods—the house drains itself like a water shoe. And the interior and exterior are clad with non-combustible material, designed to make it resistant to ignition from flying embers from forest fires.

Order one and a semi hauling the house along with a crane will drop it off and unfold the house in about a day with all of the components inside—from windows to kitchen cabinets. You’ll need to prep the foundation first and plan to have utilities hook it up (unless you’re living off the grid), but once it gets there, it’ll be move-in ready in hours.

Looking for more space? Boxabl has several more boxes in the works, including a dedicated kitchen, master, bedroom, and a living room box with a staircase so you can stack boxes on top of each other for additional stories.

The Tesla Tiny House

There’s no evidence that he was so inspired by this home to create his own, but the self-sustaining, towable Tesla Tiny House did just make a tour across Australia. But it’s not actually a house, but a slick-looking trailer designed to showcase Telsa’s home energy products.

Completely powered by solar energy through a 2 kW solar panel system and a Tesla Powerwall energy bank, the Tesla Tiny House shows is a mobile design studio that shows how homes can generate clean energy.

Maybe someday Tesla will take the next step and start building box houses of their own. For now, your best bet is to get on the waitlist for a Casita.

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