The Wrap House

The toughest part of my tiny home was the design of the exterior. How do you make a box, not look like a box? It was difficult to be original and unique after seeing so many tiny homes on pinterest, television, and in person. A lot of these homes had a “look” they were going for (rustic, modern, etc.). I didn’t want my home to follow a chosen aesthetic, but rather an idea that develops into an aesthetic.

I’m intrigued when an architectural form expresses what different programs are inside. This was the route I took when developing the exterior of my house. Siding highlights the “public” spaces while steel maps where specific “private” programs are. The two materials I’m using are horizontal OSB siding and standing seam steel. OSB is engineered wood that is highly durable and long lasting with little maintenance. The standing seam steel is the same material used on Morton Buildings, but I’m choosing one with a more minimal ribbed profile to give a cleaner look. Just a warning, this blog gets a bit “design talk-esque” and is hard to explain in this context, so if you have additional questions, please reach out!floor diagram

Public was determined by spaces that would be occupied by visitors in my home (Living space, Dining, Kitchen, Bathroom, etc.). Private are the spaces that in theory, should be only used by me. These private spaces are the stairs and lofted bed. There shouldn’t be any reason for anyone to ever walk up those stairs to use the loft other than myself.


The steel on the exterior starts at the same point the stairs start on the interior. The interior lofted space is then wrapped in the steel on the exterior, leaving the wall space below to have horizontal siding since that is where the bathroom is on the interior. The exterior steel then reflects the interior finish of the kitchen subway tile by ending at the same point the backsplash goes all the way up to the ceiling. Refer to my kitchen blog post to see what that interior kitchen finish is like. To make this exterior form more prevalent, I designed the walls to be framed twice so the steel becomes an extrusion from the box shape of the house. The extrusion is visible in plan with thicker walls where the extrusion is applied.


This shape created a wrapping movement on the house, which easily became the name of my tiny house. “The Wrap House” has started construction and the walls are up. This means my future blog posts are going to be about the construction progress. I suggest liking the NIACC Building Trades Facebook page if you want updates on my house in real time. If you’d like a more in depth description on the exterior expression of my house, feel free to reach out!

Small disclosure:  These images are quick renderings.  These aren’t accurate visuals of how my tiny house will be set on site, BUT it is accurate of where my house will be set.

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