Puerto Rican Company Begins Manufacturing “Tiny Homes”

In search of affordable housing options, safe and sustainable Puerto Rican design firm Zero Damage has started manufacturing hurricane- and earthquake-resistant steel-frame homes that ship ready-to-install in lots or patios starting at $32,200 In addition to taxes, co-founder Wilfredo Mendes reported.

Architect Mendes, who co-founded the company with his partner and wife of manufacturing engineer Esmeralda Niño, co-founded the company.

The first model is Casa Boio, a type design usable tiny house 340 square feet, Which includes a kitchen, bathroom, space for a queen bed, storage and a rooftop terrace. To this basic layout, you can add a living room, dining room, and up to two additional rooms.

Mendes announced that the first unit has been installed at his company’s headquarters in Isabella and will be seen by the public at an open event on July 10.

At the same time, the architect stressed that this compact model is being treated as a prototype in continuous improvement “because we monitor its costs and where it can be saved”, even in the scenario of increases in building materials and transportations.

“We understand that units with two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom and a balcony will be close to $75,000 and our idea is to lower it.”, is ahead of expansion plans to achieve greater savings for customers. “Anything I can offer at no additional cost, I do.”

Bathroom equipment is included, which can be accessed through a sliding door. (supplied)

What does it include?

For the base price of $32,200, Mendes noted that it includes duly approved design and plan, steel structure, walls, plumbing, electrical infrastructure (including connectors for installing air conditioners or the photovoltaic system, if requested), bathroom equipment, floor finishes, lighting, and stairs to a balcony. The surface is delivered with a synthetic turf carpet.

The exterior walls are finished with treated wood or fiber cement (plycem), while the interior is finished with gypsum board or treated wood, but it can be done in PVC if the customer pays for it. And if an additional room is requested, he estimated it would be added at around $10,000.

“Kitchen equipment and on-site installation are not included,” he said.

In terms of transportation, he noted that it is moved with logistics providers “best quotes” and, in his experience, costs about $500 when it’s not for Vieques or Culebra.

To receive the units, which are manufactured at the company’s premises in a period of six to seven weeks, the customer must be ready and have built the required four small bases. For this purpose, Zero Damage provides the client with specifications and plans so that he manages this step with the contractor.

The impact on the land is lower and the cost is thousands of dollars lower.”Mendez said. As an example, he noted that a concrete base for a “small house” can fetch more than $9,000, while the four trusses they designed require a “maximum cost of $1,200.”

In addition, he added, the cost of the use permit and the installation of a septic tank in cases that require it.

In addition to the zero damage estimate in They cost about $90 per square foot, compared to $200 for conventional construction, Mendez noted that the model of manufacturing in a controlled environment allows for accuracy, speed, no exposure to weather conditions as with concrete and a higher level of safety, as designs are fully compliant with current building codes.

“We already have the qualified and contracted workforce. Everything is done to strict quality levels,” he emphasized his team of seven, which is supplemented with additional contractors as needed.

Three weeks after they started taking orders from Casa Boio, Mendez indicated that they are already making units for customers. In parallel, they are exploring the design of new models and “projects at various levels are already consulting with us.”

Before beginning this stage of housing construction, Zero Damage invented some structural steel conductors that they were able to patent, as well as use them as the basis for marketing products that allow people with no construction experience to create their own pergolas, porches, or nurseries.

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