The COVID-19 pandemic has permanently shifted working culture around the world and as a result, our home environments have shifted along with it. Working from home is now considered common practice, and whatever extra space you had in the house or apartment may be filled with a "temporary" mini-office. But, if WFH for you is a viable option for the foreseeable future, it may be time to invest in something a little more serious.
This is where the prefab homes from Vancouver Island-based Aux Box are proving useful. Launched in 2018, the British Columbia company was created to deliver beautiful, well-crafted extra room right to your backyard (or spare plot of land) while avoiding the horrors associated with construction or home-renovation.
Each Aux Box model is named by its square footage and designed with planning policy in mind—while dependent on where you live in North America, the original 106 and 146 models are small enough to avoid permitting altogether. Similar to prefab company Drop Structures, think of their first two models as temperature controlled extra-space for you to fill with whatever you may need-extra living space, perhaps a mini yoga studio, 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.
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 company's recent model, the 240, is an ADU that builds upon the 106 and 146 models by adding a full interior bathroom and kitchenette, making it the perfect size for a guest house or rental unit. But beware, at more than double the square footage of the company's original 106 model, the 240 will require a permit for most customers. Lastly, the new auxoffice is a dedicated backyard office with a compact footprint of 97 square feet-a space just just big enough for storage, a desk, chair, and your trusted office plant.
[ Try before you buy with this Aux Box turned Airbnb ]
The original 106 model starts at about $35,000 USD, while the 146 includes an adjoining 40 square foot deck and will cost you $40,300 USD. The recent 240 and auxoffice start at $108,800 USD and $28,500 respectively.
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. Additional information and FAQ can be found on the company's website.
Up next, the company plans to release Model 588 in early 2023, their largest unit for small modular living. Starting at $284,000 USD, the 588 will feature a bedroom, bathroom, full kitchen, and generous living area, and may just be your next tiny home.