Montana Tiny Homes
Montana—or “Big Sky” as it’s affectionately nicknamed—has some of the most rugged and beautiful terrain the States have to offer. From the Rocky Mountains to the Great Plains, it’s an ideal destination for those looking for wide open spaces and a closer connection to nature. It’s also a great candidate for anyone interested in off-grid living. Whether your dream of a Montana tiny home is just taking shape or you’ve already purchased land and are ready to start building, the following design points are important to consider as you start to make plans.
Montana has two primary climates depending on whether you’re on the west or east side of the Continental Divide. West of the Rockies will have cool summers and mild winters. East of the Rockies, warm summers and cold winters. It’s important to carefully consider the climate and the best site plan for your home.
So what should you look for in a tiny home bound for Montana winters? First and foremost is roofing material. Snow can weigh quite a bit, you’ll definitely want your Montana tiny home to be designed with this in mind. Wind River homes are built with highly durable Tuff-Rib metal roofing. We’ll also make sure the roof slope of your home suits not only your site plan, but also wind direction and expected snowfall. Adding heating cable on your roof after it’s in place may also be a good idea to help further manage heavy snow loads.
Investing in high quality insulation for your Montana tiny home is one of the best investments you can make. The better insulated your home, the easier it will be to maintain a comfortable temperature year-round with maximum energy efficiency. At Wind River, all our homes are constructed with 2×4 framing and closed cell spray foam insulation, which has by far the highest R-value available for the tiny home application. It also ensures superior structural rigidity—especially important for tiny homes on wheels—and acts as an additional vapor and water barrier. The wooden construction also allows less air infiltration than steel framing.
Wind River uses highly durable Tuff-Rib metal roofing, which has a 40 year warranty for painted finishes (and is likely to last much longer). It’s important to ensure that the slope of your roof suits not only your site plan, but also wind direction and expected snowfall. For heavier snow loads, adding heating cable to your roof after it’s in place may be a good idea. For exterior siding, we recommend LP SmartSide for a low-maintenance and durable siding that won’t warp or change with fluctuating temperatures (and which can be applied in various designs and any custom color(s) you like).
Another thing to think about is the placement of your tiny home on your site. Aside from the obvious consideration of strategically situating your home for the best view, you’ll also want to think about accessibility, hook-ups, the seasonal sun path, and wind direction, etc. Consider landscaping that will increase the comfort of your home as well as its curb appeal—such as a windbreak, shade trees, or perhaps clearing some trees for more sunlight. Consider facing the long walls of your home to the North and South. This will minimize the heat from the rising and setting summer sun, and maximize heat from the winter sun, which stays low in the Southern sky.
Investing in solar power for your Montana tiny home is also a great idea, especially if you’re planning to live off-grid. Ask us about the solar-equipped homes we’ve built in the past. We recommend a ground mounted array for a semi-permanent tiny home setup. Additionally, housing the heavy batteries in a separate outbuilding will allow you to make the most of your tiny home’s precious square footage.
A deck and/or outdoor living area that will help seamlessly connect your home with the beautiful outdoors is another key design element for your home. Wind River can assist with your overall site plan and even create a set of deck construction documents with our architect for your contractor to build on-site. It’s best to create a combination of sunning space and covered area.