Modern Shed Launches a Go-Anywhere, Do-Anything Tiny House That Starts at $129K

Modern Shed Launches a Go-Anywhere, Do-Anything Tiny House That Starts at $129K

By Lucy Wang
The 220-square-foot DW can not only go off-grid— it’s eminently customizable for every live/work arrangement.

After nearly two decades of building custom studios, Seattle-based Modern Shed founder Ryan Smith finally embarked on an idea he’d been tinkering with for years—a beautiful, off-grid dwelling that packs a surprising amount of functionality in a small and portable package.

Dubbed The Dwelling on Wheels—or The DW for short—the 220-square-foot tiny house features a classic gable form that makes the structure look at home almost anywhere it's placed. 

The portable DW unit, which measures 8.5 feet by 26 feet, and sits on a custom trailer by Tumbleweed.

The DW can be towed on a trailer or installed on-site. The structure also comes in widths of 10, 12, or 16 feet.

"The DW doesn’t attempt to fit an entire house into a small footprint," says Smith. "Instead, the project works with the unique opportunities that building small affords, conquering the challenge to create a space that feels right-sized. 

"As a result, the DW can do a lot—it’s great for enjoying nature short-term, for off-grid living, or as a second, remote home. Adjusting the floor plan even a little makes it a great home office that can move with people as their priorities move. I also think it’s a great ADU for someone looking to move closer to home, providing a way to have family close by."

The DW is built with steel-tube, welded-rib-frame construction sandwiched between timber with R-24 spray foam insulation in the walls and ceilings. ZIP System sheathing weatherproofs the unit and bumps up the insulation to R-27.

The low-maintenance exterior is wrapped in Nu-Ray standing-seam metal with a Western red cedar accent wall.

The off grid–capable DW comes equipped with solar panels and can also be outfitted with water tanks or a composting toilet.

Each DW is custom-built to order with a customizable interior configuration that can feature a traditional living and bedroom space, a home office layout with two open workspaces, or a live/work combination.

The standard layout comes with a wood-burning stove to keep the well-insulated home warm and toasty in winter. Two slim electric wall heaters have also been added for backup.

Solar energy powers all of the home’s appliances, including the kitchen’s electric fridge and induction single-burner cooktop.

In the standard home layout, the DW sleeps up to three with a built-in bunk bed setup. Custom built-ins offer plenty of storage and are constructed with the same pre-finished, birch-faced plywood that lines the walls and ceilings for a cohesive look.

A twin bed is elevated above a large bed—a few inches short of queen—below in the sleeping area. Built-in storage is integrated beneath the built-in bunk bed.

Non-toxic materials and natural finishes were used throughout the home, such as the matte-black linoleum flooring made from renewable materials.

Ply Gem painted skywall windows also help draw the eye upward and outward to highlight the tall ceilings and give the home a sense of spaciousness.

The dining table can be removed for added flexibility while the built-in bench seating comes with integrated storage.

"We wanted to erode the feeling of the walls as much as possible," says Smith. "This prompted the window at the end of the hallway that helps the line of sight continue outside, eroding the corner and opening up the structure front to back. Pulling the windows all the way up to the ceiling helps lift and lighten the structure as well."

An ironwood deck extends the living space to the outdoors while the double-pane glazed gable wall blurs the boundary between indoors and out. A deck extension can also be added to expand the outdoor living area.

A custom ironwood staircase also extends the deck to the ground when parked.

A DW show model is currently located on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington and is viewable by appointment until it is sold.

The DW is now available for order with a starting price of $129,000. Modern Shed’s lead time is generally 4 to 10 months. 

The DW standard floor plan

The DW standard living layout

The DW home office layout

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