Just when you thought Amazon had run out of things it could sell, the online giant is now offering a build-it-yourself house. According to the seller, you can build this tiny, Scandinavian-style house in just one day. Is this a low-cost solution to your personal housing crisis, or is it just another overpriced shed?
Called the Solvalla, this home building kit from Allwood comes with everything you need to build a small cottage for only $7000. It’s made of solid Nordic wood, comes with all parts and hardware, and requires only minimal tools to build.
Where is the catch? It’s constantly SOLD OUT.
If you’re bored with your other weekend projects, why not try building a house?
Get Instant Guest Space
This sleek number answers the question of where your mother-in-law or other relatives could stay when they visit.
On a more serious note, you could outfit this cottage and turn it into a wonderful guest house. It would be easy enough to add a bathroom with another DIY kit. You could turn it into a home office, a pool house, a workout space or a painting studio. You could even transform it into an AirBnB rental. The possibilities are wide open.
It’s Cute and Compact
Looking at the photos of the finished construction, the house is attractive. It’s a nice-looking alternative to the usual sheds that look like rustic cabins. The interior features tall, clear windows on two sides.
It would be easy to add blinds for privacy. There is a sliding door that opens onto a cute little shaded patio.
Could You Live In It?
You probably don’t want to live in the Solvalla for anything longer than a few days. Among other things, it probably doesn’t meet any local codes. You would have to add a lot of features to make it livable.
It probably couldn’t stand up to snowstorms or torrential rains. If you live in a temperate area without weather extremes, this house might find a spot in your backyard.
Before you go rushing off to order it, keep in mind the following:
- It doesn’t come with electricity or water hookups.
- You’ll have to add roofing and a foundation. The best foundation for this structure is probably cinder blocks or planks on gravel.
- You may need a permit to build it.
What’s With All These Fancy Sheds?
The Solvalla isn’t the only house of its kind on Amazon. Allwood also makes the 123-foot Chloe for $6000 and the 113-square foot Escape for $5400. Other builders offer similarly well-appointed and well-built shed kits.
The Solvalla seems to be part of a “fancy shed” trend. Even Nationwide Insurance has a commercial that features a woman who has insured her fancy “she shed.”
There’s no denying the popularity of tiny house living, at least on television and in people’s fantasy lives. Sheds are starting to look more like houses, and you can even find instructions on how to turn a storage shed into a tiny house.
Is living in a shed really the new American dream?
Tiny house living sounds dreamy when you see people in their beautifully appointed, perfectly neat sheds.
The reality may be a little rougher. Anything that’s under 500 square feet will be a tight squeeze. It also means tiny appliances, narrow walkways and low ceilings.
An article in Insider magazine showed what those showpiece houses were like when the cameras weren’t around. Residents complained about heat and stuffiness in their loft bedrooms, an inability to keep the houses looking neat, cramped bathrooms and having to crawl into closets and bedrooms.
In 2016, Canadian journalist Erin Anderssen discovered that some of the movement’s biggest proponents were giving up on tiny house living. It’s not something they talk about on the TV shows.
Should You Get a Shed?
All this brings us back to the Solvalla. Is it a cottage or a fancy shed? Does it matter? If you need a nice-looking outdoor space that can double as a guest cottage, the Solvalla might be right for you.