The company builds tiny houses in Las Vegas
Tiny living has given Sally Lushin a broader perspective on life.
Courageously referring to herself as a rape survivor, Lushin recalls living as a prisoner in her own home after a violent home invasion 33 years ago. Struggling to rebuild her life, the speaker, writer, and lawyer moved from Indiana to Nevada last year to start over.
“I finally feel like I’m in a place where I don’t need to talk about it anymore,” Lushin said. “My little house brought me to this place. It is priceless to me because I don’t live in fear that I was.
She now advocates a smaller life so that, in her opinion, the world can get bigger.
“I’m excited about tiny life,” said Lushin, who named his tiny home SS Freedom. “I plan to tell everyone about the benefits of a tiny life, especially if you are a trauma survivor.”
Lushin bought a tiny 20-foot house last November from Alternative Living Spaces, a Las Vegas-based company that specializes in converting shipping containers into usable spaces.
Finding the company through an online search, she was able to purchase a unit already in production.
Tiny houses with containers have grown in popularity since the mid-2000s, when designers began to reuse the units. The trend towards containerized living has shown benefits for homeowners including lower monthly bills and freedom from clutter while living in an environmentally responsible way.
The small footprint doesn’t mean compromising on style.
Small container homes offer smart design, standout amenities, and luxurious finish choices, including hardwood floors, custom woodwork, beamed ceilings, granite countertops, and custom-designed furnishings.
“We saw a lot of interest in it,” said Tony Lopez, CEO and founder of Alternative Living Spaces. “It was cool to see people open up to a smaller life.”
Lushin’s 160-square-foot tiny container house features 9-foot ceilings, wood laminate flooring, butcher’s counters, custom cabinets, and a sofa that converts into a full-size Murphy bed with drawers underneath. As part of the space customization, she had a large cabinet built to her specifications to provide additional storage space.
“I actually designed the wardrobe,” Lushin said. “I had the washer / dryer combo built into the closet, so it takes up half the space.”
The kitchen includes a full-size refrigerator, deep sink, convection microwave and two-burner stove. Its full bathroom has a walk-in shower, sink, toilet and storage space. The expansive glass sliding door entrance and multiple windows provide enough natural light to circulate throughout its space.
As part of the house’s exterior, she chose a full-size roof terrace and raised porch.
“You step up to the top deck and see the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets you’ve ever seen,” Lushin said. “I can’t wait to sleep up there under the stars.”
Lushin’s house is certified for recreational vehicles, which means it is housed on a flatbed trailer. The trailer is edged to improve curb appeal.
Another option for container homes is an unauthorized model placed directly on the ground.
The versatility of the containers gives the freedom to create other unique spaces such as container offices, gymnasiums, casitas and swimming pools. It also offers different layout options by combining, stacking and configuring the containers in different ways.
Last year, the shutdown inspired Las Vegas residents Laura and Chris Claire to find an alternative to their gym membership. Laura Claire discovered shipping container gyms on Pinterest.
“I was looking online for ‘workout casitas’ and saw a lot of them that were made from shipping containers,” said Laura Claire. “It got me thinking because I liked the way they looked. I also liked any options that could be added. “
The couple decided to combine two 20-foot units from Alternative Living to create the 320 square feet of space required for their equipment needs. The couple have set up the container gym in the yard of their northwest Vegas home, which is located on more than two-thirds of an acre.
“We wanted something that looked more like a box than a narrow length and width,” said Laura Claire. “And this design fits perfectly.”
Training for the triathlons, the couple set up a NordicTrack treadmill, Kinetic training bike, NordicTrack rower and Body-Solid weight machine.
“We use the gym at least six days a week,” said Laura Claire. “Since he’s in our backyard, there’s really no excuse not to.”
Large sliding glass doors on three sides of the container provide sufficient airflow. Waterproof vinyl plank flooring and painted drywall walls give the space a polished look. Multiple outlets, recessed lighting and a mini-split HVAC unit provide ease and comfort. The container unit has an outer platform on one side.
In addition to residential options, commercial applications include coffee shops, sales centers, pop-up retail centers, boutique hotels, information kiosks and additional storage.
Lopez said the cost of his tiny homes ranged from $ 39,995 to $ 54,995. Those turned into gyms cost around $ 17,995.
The recent shortage of shipping containers has affected his business, he said.
“We have seen the price of our containers increase by 50 to 60% from the port of Long Beach, California. Not only have the prices gone up, but the supply of containers can be very difficult. Especially when you are looking for new containers, which we use exclusively. “
“The majority of people buy containers to use as Airbnb rentals,” Lopez said. “Investors want the unit to stand out and be different. We had a lot of fun personalizing these little houses. “
Lopez recounted designing a tiny container house for an investor that was originally located in a downtown community called Private Residential, developed by the late Tony Hsieh. Private Residential is a collection of mini-houses, Airstreams and micro-apartments.
“It was then moved to Joshua Tree National Park as an Airbnb rental,” Lopez said. “We used a shiny bronze car paint and some really fun interior fittings.”
The modern design of the 20ft container features a striking black tile ceiling, white slatted interior walls, a tile backsplash in the living room, and exposed copper plumbing lines for the shower, vanity and kitchen sink. . The tub has a hidden entrance with the appearance of shelves and an octagonal-shaped tile shower surround.
Lopez started Alternative Living Spaces in 2017 after spending nine months renovating a 20ft shipping container bought on a Craigslist ad.
Showcasing a modern and industrial feel, its first unit featured 8½-foot-wide double glass entrance doors that could open 180 degrees. At just 165 square feet, the house provided plenty of exterior light through its 11 windows. Lopez completed the unit with sophisticated rustic finishes such as a beamed ceiling, barn door, raised wood bar top with seating, and a repurposed 1930s dresser.
Lopez created a YouTube video to sell the refurbished container cottage, which has gone viral, garnering over 2 million views. The attention gave Lopez the traction he needed to start his business.
“We started to get leads,” Lopez said. “I started the business from there.”
Lopez believes tiny container homes will continue to gain popularity, especially after closing last year. He hopes to develop a small residential container community as an alternative to affordable housing.
“One of the reasons I went into business was to make a difference with affordable housing,” Lopez said. “We want to give people a comfortable and affordable option in Vegas. I think that would be great.