Wooded field with double rainbow
CategoriesLifestyle,  Tiny Homes

Home Isn’t Just a Place

Most of our conversations these days are with people getting into tiny homes. Recently, however, we were contacted by Mike and Maia, a couple moving on from their lovingly self-built Tiny House on Wheels after living in it for four years. They wanted to let us know that they were looking for a passionate couple or individual to take on this beautiful house that they created and lived in.

Tiny House on Wheels

Not only were we impressed with the house itself, but Maia’s poetic description of it as a home really captured a wonderful essence that so many of us are seeking. With their permission, we’re glad to share it here…

Home isn’t just a place. It is an overwhelming feeling. It embraces you at the end of every day. Holds you. Comforts you. Protects you. Loves you. Warms you. Heals you.


Tiny home interior 1

This tiny house is all that and more. It was built with incredible intention. The joy and love that went into dreaming, planning, building, and creating this home makes it a very special place. If home is a feeling, when you walk through the doors and breathe it in you instantly feel peace. Whatever the day brought or whatever the world threw, you can leave it outside the door because home is there to take care of you.


We built this tiny home so we could have a place that we could call our own. We desire a simple life, because the world can be so complicated. We desire less, because the universe tries to drown you in more. We desire peace, because there is often so much chaos. We desire quiet, because we need to rest. We desire home, because there is no greater place on earth.


Tiny home interior 2

This home saved us. We found all these things and more in this beautiful house in the forest.


Life always brings change, and even though it is so hard to leave this home we know it will bless someone else and give them safety and comfort. Hold them in peace and protect them.


It is a home unlike any other and it is blessed.

Wonderful reflections. If you might be interested in buying this house, email us and we’ll gladly connect you with Mike for info, specs, and pricing.

A blue tiny house sits in a peaceful verdant meadow
CategoriesDevelopment,  Lifestyle,  Tiny Homes

The Bigger Picture on Tiny Homesteads

When we first contemplated building a tiny home community in the Slocan Valley, we thought a lot about how it would impact, and ideally, benefit both the land and the larger community.

Environmental Impact

Earlier this year, I was working on a project to support the region’s licensed cannabis producers, and had the honour and privilege to participate in cultural sensitivity training by members of the Sinixt First Nation, on whose land we work and reside. I learned of Whuplak’n, a Sinixt law that guides us to take care of the land, water, air and all living things. If we take care of the land, it takes care of us: all decisions should be informed through this process of what is in the best interest of all living things. 

Big Calm is aligned with this law. We want to take care of the land so it takes care of us.

Minimal Development, Modest Community

We purchased the property we call Big Calm because it was already ideal for a pocket neighbourhood, with no clearing or major earthworks required. The only development work needed involves smoothing the driveway, drilling a groundwater well, servicing each (gravel) tiny home pad, and installing a septic system. Despite the significant cost, we opted for a Type 2 septic system, which has half the footprint of a Type 1 system and generates much cleaner effluent. In this case, as in many others, eco-minded choices come at a higher cost, but to us, it’s worth it. 

The community will be situated on roughly three of our 30+ acres. Guidelines for RV park developments recommend 10 units per acre, which translates to 30 units for our community space. We decided on only 10. Water is our most precious resource, and after consulting with a civil engineer, we determined that 10 tiny homes is both conservative as well as sustainable. Of course, the other benefit of having only 10 pads is that we can truly offer tiny homesteads, with plenty of space and privacy, with the comfort of a community not too far away.

Tiny Home Living

It’s intuitive that tiny homes take up a smaller footprint than conventional homes and generally use less electricity and water, of which the average Canadian uses 330 litres per day. Tiny house dweller and blogger Joshua Engberg determined that his daily water use was just over 66 litres, about 20% of the average Canadian’s use. In terms of electricity, the average Canadian uses 13,891 kWh per year, while a tiny home uses only 1,515 kWh per year, or about 11% the national per capita average. Based on these statistics, 10 tiny homes would use roughly the same amount of water as two conventional homes and about the same amount of electricity as one conventional home.

And, that doesn’t take into account the electricity- and water-saving measures we, and future tiny homesteaders, plan to employ. Not surprisingly, the majority of individuals interested in living at Big Calm also plan to install solar panels on their tiny homes, which will complement the large solar array we plan to install in the mid-term. Even though tiny homes have a small water catchment area, prospective tiny homesteaders still want to harvest as much water as they can. We’ve also heard from folks planning to have compost toilets in their tiny home, which can save more than 25,000 litres of water per person per year!

Maria Saxton, a doctor of environmental design and planning, conducted a study to measure how downsizing to a tiny home influences downstream environmental impacts. She found that the average ecological footprint required to support a tiny home dweller for one year was about 9.5 acres, compared with 17.3 acres for an individual living in a conventional home, a decrease of 45%. She adds that the impacts are even further-reaching:

“On average, every major component of downsizers’ lifestyles, including food, transportation, and consumption of goods and services, was positively influenced.


As a whole, I found that after downsizing, people were more likely to eat less energy-intensive food products and adopt more environmentally conscious eating habits, such as eating more locally and growing more of their own food. Participants traveled less by car, motorcycle, bus, train, and airplane, and drove more fuel-efficient cars than they did before downsizing.


They also purchased substantially fewer items, recycled more plastic and paper, and generated less trash. In sum, I found that downsizing was an important step toward reducing ecological footprints and encouraging pro-environmental behaviors.”


Climate change is an overwhelming issue for everybody. What I love about permaculture is that it is a way for individuals to do their part to care for the earth. Permaculture doesn’t aim to be merely sustainable, it aims to be regenerative. It builds soil, captures carbon, promotes biodiversity and produces food in a way that isn’t destructive. 

We have grand permaculture-related plans for Big Calm. We envision pollinator gardens, a food forest and a greenhouse to extend the growing season. Permaculture is a means by which we can give back to the land, become more self reliant and create community bonds. We are thrilled that everyone we’ve spoken to can’t wait to get their hands dirty!

Community Impact

When we first conceived the concept of Big Calm, we wanted to ensure that it would have a positive impact on the larger community. Affordable housing in this part of BC is a complex issue that will require institutional support and substantial funding to address, and is not an affordable undertaking by us regular folks, unfortunately. 

In an article on the investment needed for dedicated affordable housing Marc Lee, Senior Economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, says:

“A housing commitment to build 11,400 units a year for a decade translates into an annual public investment of about $3 billion ($250,000 per unit construction and related cost), assuming public land owned by local governments or the provincial government is contributed.”

Despite not having the substantial capital required to take on the issue of affordable housing, Big Calm can still have a positive impact. In an article in The Tyee, Guy Dauncey, author of Journey to the Future: A Better World is Possible, posed eight solutions to Canada’s housing crisis. One of them was the development of new villages. He says:

“Many younger people want more than an affordable home. They also want to live sustainably with a strong sense of community. They want to build a sharing economy, with a lighter footprint on the Earth. They want to build their own eco-villages and tiny home villages.


An eco-village places more emphasis on sociable, pedestrian-friendly designs, habitat protection and solar energy and passive homes than a conventional development. We should train people how to become their own developers, forming eco-village development co-operatives, raising the money needed and navigating the complex world of zoning and development approval.”

My only gripe with this is that it’s not just younger people, it’s people of all ages, including families, independents, and a large proportion of individuals who are retired or planning to retire soon and want to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Because Big Calm is attracting remote workers–who will bring their jobs with them–to new residential units, we will not exacerbate the issue of lack of affordable housing. We believe we can have a positive economic impact on the community: we hope our modest project–which is being developed by local contractors; tradespeople; and civil, structural and geotechnical engineers–will potentially relieve some pressure on the middle-market. Not to mention that the Big Calm community will volunteer at local events and support businesses by shopping locally.

“More people are now wanting to relocate to the valley, recognizing it for the gem that it is.” 
– Slocan Valley Economic Development coordinator (Valley Voice, October 8, 2020)

We are thrilled with the calibre and diversity of individuals interested in Big Calm, as well as their desire to contribute not just to the Big Calm community, but to the larger community as well. We’ve heard from individuals who want to share their knowledge of / expertise in laughter yoga, leadership, mindfulness, movement, art, group building, positive therapy, meditation/guided visualization, permaculture, gardening, photography/videography, presentation development, detoxing, raw vegan cuisine, mental wellness, and close community living. We’ve had the pleasure to meet a semi-retired midwife, financial analyst, insurance underwriter, soil scientist, leadership coach and yoga instructor, among others. A desire to live sustainably, care for the land and be part of a supportive community is the common thread that unites them.  

Do you have any other ideas that would help us positively impact the environment, the community and the larger Slocan Valley Community? Please share them with us at hello@bigcalm.ca.

Photo by Arwin Basdew on Unsplash

tiny house bedroom with farm outside window
CategoriesLifestyle,  Tiny Homes

Tiny Houses for Mature Audiences

When we first conceptualized Big Calm, we figured it would appeal to individuals and couples purchasing their first home. We were thrilled to learn that middle-to-retirement age folks are actually the demographic group that find tiny homestead living particularly appealing. Whether downsizing after children have grown up and moved out, or looking for a nice place to retire, tiny homestead living is capturing the interest of Baby Boomers and GenXers!

We’re no spring chickens ourselves, so we can relate to tiny home living hesitancy as it seems the majority of tiny home sleeping arrangements involve lofts. But, many builders are catching on that main floor bedrooms are the way to go for many clients. We’ve compiled a list of builders that offer this feature, or are willing to work on custom builds to ensure their clients’ comfort:

Builders with main floor bedroom models:

Tiny house bedroom interior
Teacup Tiny Homes

The Phoenix – storage staircase to master bedroom with standing room
Summer’s Night Dream – main floor bedroom
The Margo – main floor bedroom

Tiny house interior

Van Gogh – main floor queen bedroom
Aurora – main floor queen bedroom
Maverick – two main floor queen bedrooms

Tiny house bedroom interior
Summit Tiny Homes

Hummingbird – main floor bedroom
Modern Bohemian – main floor bedroom

Tiny house bedroom interior
Tree Hugger Tiny Homes

Cascade – main floor bedroom

Tiny house bedroom interior
Mint Tiny Homes

Canada Goose – storage staircase to master bedroom with standing room

Custom Builds

Canadian Tiny Homes
Fritz Tiny Homes
Nelson Tiny Houses
Rewild Homes
Sunshine Tiny Homes
True North Tiny Homes

interior of ZeroSquared tiny house on wheels with pullout
CategoriesTiny Homes

The Big Directory of Tiny House Builders

Update: For a more current list of Canadian Tiny House on Wheels builders, please visit our Salon page.

Tiny living can be pretty luxurious these days, thanks to a growing field of home-builders dedicated to the lifestyle. Not only do many modern models have all the conveniences we expect in full-size homes, they go over and above in terms of energy efficiency, self-sustainability, space-saving, exterior profiles, and interior finishings.

We’ve started this “big directory” of tiny house builders to showcase the range of quality options  currently in western Canada. If you’re interested, reach out to them directly for additional info. (And if you’re a builder missing from this list, or one on this list with newer specs and pics, reach us at hello@www.bigcalm.ca.)


Canadian Tiny Homes

Nelson, BC

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Canadian Tiny Homes offers base models that are ready to live in, or can be upgraded; or, can build a shell, allowing the customer to finish the interior. Shells include a trailer, exterior finishing, roof, windows, initial interior framing, insulating and roughed-in mechanical.

Size range

  • 26 ft. long (new designs upcoming)

Unique offerings

  • Interior design


Hummingbird Micro Homes

Fernie, BC

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Hummingbird Micro Homes custom designs and builds Tiny Homes on wheels.

Size range

  • 14 – 34 ft long

Unique offerings

  • Off-grid system upgrade available


Mint Tiny House Company

Vancouver, BC

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Mint Tiny House Company has completed more than 100 Tiny House RVs and Park model builds.

Size range

  • 22 – 42 ft. long
  • 237 – 392 sq. ft.

Price range

  • CAD $79,550 – $128,695

Unique offerings

  • Gooseneck design (Canada Goose model)
  • Off-grid ready (Extended Napa and Aero models)
  • RVIA, CSA and Intertek certification
  • One-year warranty on structural, electrical, plumbing defects; one-year trailer manufacturer’s warranty, 40-year roof manufacturer’s warranty
  • Online estimate generator


Nelson Tiny Houses

Nelson, BC

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Nelson Tiny Houses offers two feature models that can be fully customized: The Acorn House, with a gable roof; and the V House, with a single pitched roof. Nelson Tiny Homes is a small, family run company that builds only 4 – 5 homes a year with a team including fine woodworkers, metal workers and artisans.

Size range

  • 16 – 46 ft. long

Price range

  • CAD $55,000 – $182,000

Unique offerings

  • CSA certification
  • Five-year structural warranty


Rewild Homes

Vancouver Island

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Rewild Homes builds custom Tiny Homes ranging from off-grid cabins to luxury Tiny Homes.

Size range

  • 16 – 33 ft. long
  • 100 – 250+ sq. ft.

Price range

  • Shells and Tiny Homes from CAD $25,000 – $150,000+
  • Off-grid packages for CAD $10,000 – $20,000
  • Unique offerings
  • CSA certification
  • Gooseneck design (Starling model)


Summit Tiny Homes

Vernon, BC

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Summit Tiny Homes offers pre-designed Tiny Homes, DIY Tiny Home plans and custom builds.

Size range

  • 22 – 28 ft. long (Heritage and Cabana models); 20 – 34 ft. long custom build
  • 215 – 250 sq. ft. (Heritage and Cabana models)

Price range

  • CAD $74,999 – $109,999

Unique offerings

  • Gooseneck designs (custom builds)
  • CSA certification
  • Detailed Tiny House plans available for purchase
  • Online estimate generator


Teacup Tiny Homes

Lethbridge, AB

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Teacup builds Tiny Homes for cold weather climates, offering customizable Tiny Home design starting with one of 13 floor plans.

Size range

  • 22 – 40 ft. long
  • 227 – 498 sq. ft.

Price range

  • CAD $85,000 – $180,000

Unique offerings

  • Gooseneck designs (Serendipity model)
  • Exterior storage area (Shangri La and Innisfree Anarres models)
  • RVIA, CSA and Intertek certification
  • One-year workmanship warranty, manufacturer’s warranty on materials and appliances
  • Online estimate generator


Zero Squared

Calgary, AB

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Zero Squared designs and builds both Tiny Homes on wheels and accessory dwelling units on foundation (backyard suites, laneway houses, garden flats). Zero Squared has developed modular slides that can be added onto any length of trailer to expand square footage.

Size range

  • 26 – 37 ft. long
  • Main floor from 221 – 434 sq. ft.

Price range

  • CAD $63,000 – $131,000

Unique offerings

  • Optional automated elevator loft (Willow model)
  • Integrated modular expanding spaces (all other models)
  • Offers a mortgage product for Tiny Home financing
  • RVIA and CSA certification
  • One-year material defect warranty on plumbing, electrical, roofing, windows and doors; and on trailer material and workmanship