Utah Tiny Homes
Utah—an American mecca for all things outdoors. Bryce Canyon, Arches, and Zion National Parks—grand testaments to the power of persistence. Both of these ideals live at the core of the tiny home movement, and it’s no surprise that we get more and more inquiries about shipping our tiny homes to one of the most beautiful states in our country. So how do we engineer Utah tiny homes to perform in the diverse weather conditions common in the state?
Temperatures vary widely in Utah throughout the year—or even throughout the day if you live at higher elevations. Investing in high quality insulation will go a long way. The better insulated your tiny home, the less the competition between inside and outside temperatures. This means you can keep your Utah tiny home at a comfortable temperature year-round with maximum energy efficiency. All of our homes at Wind River are constructed with 2×4 framing and spray foam insulation. Spray foam has by far the highest R-value available for the tiny home application, and wooden construction allows less air infiltration than steel framing. Additionally, we use LP SmartSide for a low-maintenance and durable siding that won’t warp or change with fluctuating temperatures (and which we can do in any custom color(s) you like). Speaking of your exterior color palette, for hotter climates, we recommend keeping it light and choosing a galvalume metal roof that reflects the heat from the sun.
Investing in solar power for your Utah tiny home is also a great idea. 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 while living an off-grid, eco-friendly lifestyle if you choose.
Another key design element for your Utah tiny home is the deck. 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. We recommend a combination of sunning space as well as a covered area for hotter Utah days. The covered portion of your deck can also be screened if you’d like.
We recommend giving thought to the placement of your tiny home on your site. Set yourself up for energy efficiency by facing the long walls of your trailer to the north and south. This will mean less surface area penetration from the hot rising and setting summer sun. It also helps maximize your heat from the sun in the winter, which stays low in the southern sky. Consider landscaping that will increase the comfort of your home as well as its curb appeal. For example, planting trees and shrubbery to the east and west of the home will give you free added heat protection and shade in the summer months.