Canadian Company Aux Box Creates Prefab Studio Escapes

Plug and play modular bonus rooms provide extra space for an art studio, working from home, overnight guests—with no permit needed

Canadian Company Aux Box Creates Prefab Studio Escapes


Ellen Eberhardt

Pennsylvania raised and Brooklyn-based, Ellen is a designer, outdoorist, and sometimes dancer.

With many companies considering permanent or modified WFH policies, workers around the country have been forced to scramble together at-home work environments. While there are plenty of pros to WFH (savings on transportation and food, a cat on your lap, no pants) the line between work and homelife is often blurred, especially if you don’t have a designated space away from it all.

This is where the prefab studios from Vancouver Island-based Aux Box are proving useful. Launched just three years ago, the Canadian company was created to deliver a beautiful, well-crafted extra room right to your backyard (or spare plot of land) while avoiding the horrors associated with construction or home-renovation.

Aux Box Model 146

Each Aux Box model is named for its square footage and designed with planning policy in mind—while dependent on where you live, the 106 and 146 models are small often enough to avoid permitting altogether.

While for now an Aux Box is technically not a living space, nor a tiny home, the company may soon shift its sights beyond simply making detached bonus rooms—a shift seen in their openess to customized orders built to contain a bathroom or a kitchenette. (Though such an ask may take longer to get to you as the design and build team is still ironing out the kinks on these features, we've been told.)

Similar to prefab company Drop Structures, think of their first two models, the 106 and 146, as temperature controlled extra-space for you to fill with whatever you may need-an extra guest room, perhaps a mini backyard bar, a playroom for the kids or one of their more popular uses, an at-home office with a 10-yard commute delivered (or craned in) where you desire. Both models can be hooked up to an electricity source for light, heat, and AC if needed.

Aux Box Model 146
Aux Box Downspout Detail

Although customizable, the Aux Box is designed to eliminate almost all distractions from it’s simple-looking structure. A typical model features metal siding, an interior made of interlocking prefinished pine planks and at least one wall made up of almost floor to ceiling glass. Details have been carefully considered too-little things like well concealed downspouts, durable metal flashing, and an exterior electrical panel make for big differences when it comes to life-span and functionality.

The original 106 model, at 106 sq ft, comes in at $24,500 CAD / $18,000 USD while the 146, at 146 sq ft, includes an adjoining 40 sq ft deck and will cost you $28,400 CAD / $20,900 USD. The most recent project in the works, the 220, at, you guessed it, 220 sq ft, builds upon both models by adding a full interior bathroom. Pricing is not yet finalized for this new model, but Aux Box is aiming to keep the 220 below $80,000 CAD / $58,000 USD.

[ Try before you buy with this Aux Box turned Airbnb ]

At more than double the square footage of the company's original 106 model, the new 220 will require a permit for most customers. To address this, Aux Box is hoping to have the model CSA standardized for easier installment on your property. Pre-sales for the 220 will officially begin this October, with product delivery set for Spring 2021.

Aux Box Model 146

Of course, additional costs to consider include site prep, HVAC prep, and shipping, which good news, can be arranged to the US by approved transport companies.

For now, the growing company plans to focus on ramping up production of their current models to fulfill the influx of orders received during the ongoing pandemic, all while working on additional features like custom cabinetry, murphy beds, and a modular exterior kitchen. Relatively affordably priced and almost magically dropped at your door, this box may just offer the solace you need to get distracted in peace.

Published 07-21-2020