IKEA Off-Grid Tiny House for $1100

One of the biggest questions we get is how to get affordable housing on raw property. So you want to live off grid and build your own homestead? But you want to build your house yourself and do it right. What about living in a temporary shelter in the mean time?

How about an affordable temporary housing option that will allow you to get on the land right away? Introducing the IKEA $1100 “Better Shelter” pop up house that is designed to last for at least 3 years without issues. These “Better Shelters” were originally designed for the UN and refugees in large camps. Until just recently, these refugee camps were stocked with canvas tents for families but they only lasted at best 6 months before they needed replacing or serious repair. Not only that but these flimsy canvas tents would not provide any security among these large groups and violent crime was at many times an issue.

These prefab tiny houses are hard walled and provided the added security that people were wanting.

Better yet, each tiny home comes with 4 solar panels that provides the home with enough power for 4 hours of lighting at night and use of small appliances and USB power options during the day. That is a huge benefit that nobody on the market has offered until now.

This IKEA prefab home will allow you to set up in 3 hours with simple tools that are included with the packaging. You can place doors and windows where you want them in the construction because everything about the house is modular. You can even connect more than one to another to make an even larger living space.


Each one of these Better Shelters are built with a rigid steel frame with fire retardant walls and ceiling pieces that match up to US and European guidelines.

This housing option has been very popular for emergency agencies and is developed by IKEA who already for years has been producing affordable prefab modular houses for the retail market. There are already thousands of people living in these $1100 housing units purchased by government agencies around the world.

The structure starts with a steel frame that comes in a big bag. The pipe, connectors and wires all come together to give the home a sturdy frame and solid skeleton to build on. The panels are thin but firm and have a small layer of insulation. The panels fit into the steel frame easily with no special tools other than what comes with the home. Additionally the prefab home comes with a shade cloth that helps cool the home during the day by keep the sun off of the roof. It reflects the suns rays and helps to retain the heat coming from the home at night.

These are really affordable tiny home options for homesteaders getting started. Many homesteaders really want to buy raw land and build at their own pace and have a reliable and affordable living option during this moving and building process. This is exactly how we got started at An American Homestead. We chose to purhcase a couple of pull behind trailers to live in during our first year of living off grid. However, had we had this option, this would have been something much more affordable and attractive to us while we carved out new land.
Likewise, this small housing option from IKEA is bound to hit their local retail stores at some point in the future. Up until now, they have only been available for large quanitity purchases from government agencies. But it’s only a matter of time before these are available at IKEA locations nationwide for interested customers in the public. After all, the are built easily with no special skills required and is perfect for the US retail market.

Plus with the price tag of $1100, they blow away the storage buildings of similar size offered by Home Depot and Lowes. These prefab tiny homes come in a set of boxes that can easily fit in the back of an American pickup.

This could soon be our number 1 recommended option for those wanting to move off grid and begin their homesteading adventure!


MORE INFO on these IKEA prefab shelters: http://www.bettershelter.org/

About Zachary Bauer

Zachary lives with his wife, two sons and his wife's parents on An American Homestead deep in the mountains of the American Ozarks. They all moved there together in July of 2013 where they began to build the homestead. They are off-grid with the exception of a phone line.

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  1. Looks like a great option- I wonder how well something like this would suit a colder climate?

    • you can only get these dwellings if you are a registered multinational charity that is partnered with the UNHCR. I have already enquired with IKEA by email. The reason if everybody started BY THESE CHEAP HOUSES IT WOULD SOON PUT THE BANKS OUT OF BUSINESS.

  2. Doesn’t look like it’s available to the general public, looks like it’s only for the refugees.
    If anyone else knows where you can buy this (without being an organization helping the refugees) I would love to know!

  3. If you can afford $1100×96 for a minimum order.

    • I bet it wouldn’t be difficult to get 96+ people together to make a bulk order. But sounds like you have to have special licenses as well 🙁

  4. I lived in a tent for a year in Iraq, and I could absolutely see this as a good option for sustainable living! If we would have had the tools and materials we could have made our own “Rooms” in those tents for some privacy… Someone could easily build a kitchen and bathroom in one of those buildings.

    • All 3 of my Iraq deployments we had tents. And they weren’t new when we got there each time.
      By the ’09 deployment, they had gotten a hardening foam coating that also insulated.
      I bet they would have been standing still to this day.

  5. Wish they were available in the USA.

  6. can i get them in Canada

  7. When will these tiny homes be available to the public? It would be ideal for me for my beading.

  8. I doubt USA will allow them in. The building contractors, developers and realestate and most counties will not allow those because of building codes . They are already resisting people living off grid . Conn

  9. Does anyone know of anything out there that is remotely comparible to this in price, materials and assembly? Ikea really needs to have these available for the public here in USA…I need this because of wanting to live in country and it would be an awesome temporary, portable solution. And affordable compared to prefab cabins($5-20 thousand dollars). And RV/Trailers are expensive also…..IKEA—-Please make these available SOON!!

    • Christopher D Damron

      look how a yurt is framed then google surplus army tent thats what me and the wife are doing with our four kids. standard 2 x 4 construction 2 oc for walls covered in lattice with your standard floor as for roofing were still debating wrapped in a layer of reflectix then drop tent over it theres no weather it cant handle

  10. Wish they would sell it to us n Donate one for us buying here I would love one of these or maybe more than one either way Wii’s IKEA would sell them to us

  11. Check your RV dealers for wrecked or damaged RVs. You can find some cheap ones. You may not be able to tow them cross country, but lowboy it to your site and it may be living better than a canvas tent. Even a metal conex can be delivered and converted into a living quarter. Solar and wind DIY plans can be used too.

  12. Easy enough, start pooling customers x 96 and order away

  13. hello all! check out wayfair 14 ft. 8 in. W x 7 ft. 8 in. D Plastic Storage Shed . approx. $1,600 . They have metal ones as well. It looks like a little house!! would love to go glamping in one of these!! yes, it is not as portable or quick to put up like the ikea. maybe if you own your property, put it up and use it as storage later. they have them much cheaper available as well or at least a good place to start doing a search!

  14. Is this available to the public? Does it come in colors?

  15. i am interested in at least finding out more about these structures. i wonder about their heat retention capacity for winter. might make a good deer camp.

  16. Why can’t we find 96 who want it & get the required amount of tiny homes & get some deal on shipping or get delivered to a mid area & pick up says fits in pickup we are in any others want to group up & order would love put in my backyard

  17. Would love to try this. Would do well for my needs.

  18. These were designed for refugees in camps. These are a huge upgrade from tents and tarps. I doubt they will ever make it to the store. Ikea does a lot of work with UNICEF

  19. I didn’t see you need to keishin, reading the article, that they actually had a floor
    If you have one of those places that sells buildings and metal carports in your town, you could probably get about the same results with one of those

    Probably for not a whole lot more money
    Although you’d have to set up your own solar

  20. I lost my home and entire town along with the neighboring towns in the November 2018 Camp fire. Rentals soured to over 500 more than usual. There was already a shortage of homes in the County. Most of the people who lost homes lost their jobs and/or businesses too. There are families still in tents and cars. I can’t afford a house. I rented. So I face possible homelessness now. Searching for anything and anywhere to live I got to the metal structures. Sure, you need to do things…insulate, put up drywall if you want, heating, air, etc. But that you can initially buy a structure that withstands winds to 120 mph and snow loads, and as low as 1500 to 3000 for at least 10 x 12…and at least get into something letting you do these things as you can is great. I have been checking out metal structures to use as a residential dwelling. I found a ton of new buildings, that are delivered for free and set up on a concrete slab that you get ready. These buildings range from sizes like 12 x 20 for 3500 to 20 x 41 for 14 grand with an overhang and porch, 24 x 50 for 14 grand with overhang and porch, 20 x 60 with double french doors overhang and porch for 16 grand,
    36 x 71 18 grand, 50 x 51 and 14 ft tall for 27 grand….amazing. Seeing what people have done with the interiors is amazing. It REALLY makes me mad that something like the Ikea house for just 1100, something that can be dispensed immediately for people after declared disasters cannot be made available. There are still some 10 thousand people with no idea what to do or where to go. The cost difference between setting up temp communities with these as opposed to the FEMA homes and their prep and 6 months later we still don’t have them…..Grrrrrrrrrrr. let me know if you need more to make the number 96. There are people all over here who would give everything they have, no wait, we don’t have anything anymore…but like families with kids who have lived in cars, at someones house, the fairgrounds, parking lot at Walmart, in tents, moving 4 t0 5 times in 6 months…I’m lucky enough to have a temp trailer until a FEMA trailer but I never stop thinking about what a lot of others are going through.

  21. i wish i could move away from this very sick world and live off grid.i wish i had the know how to live in the real world.i dont know what plants to eat or how to live out there.but thats the would i want and dream about.not money and fame and stuff like big homes and cars!

  22. Over 2 years later. I am SO damn furious about all of this. I have seen over this time SO many people displaced. Without decent shelter. Packed into homes where people have been kind enough to let people stay on sofas. People living in donated rvs and campers that don’t have functional water or electricity. How can people still have trouble with housing over two years after the Camp Fire? Easy. You have people in a rural area, low income, many on disability, many elderly, families with young kids, too many living like a lot of places elsewhere- one check or less away from homelessness as it is. A disaster happens. Or, here, a fire of total destruction, devastation and death caused by the conscience negligence of a corporation of pure greed where everyone involved has been paid and made millions except those who were victims who to date have not received a dime. Add the dominos of businesses burned down and so jobs lost, schools lost, 28,000 people all of the sudden needing to be housed…add a pandemic on top creating more unemployment, etc. The only housing allowed to be brought in were the FEMA trailers and mobile homes. People had to “apply and qualify” for those. Many were turned down. Just being on the street from a disaster did not get you into these “shelters”. You were nagged from the time you entered one constantly to leave and reminded that these were not your home. No other sheltering was allowed. Just the government FEMA dwellings. Per trailer or mobile, very expensive. Not allowed for all victims. It took over a year for any to even arrive. What kind of place is this country that has no problem with an ideal shelter like this Ikea dwelling to go to any other country but this one? Leaving people in desperate refugee situations out on the street? 1,000 per shelter as opposed to the cost of each FEMA dwelling. I am a lucky one. Living in a 25 foot trailer…..STILL. That is a blessing. But it doesn’t make me feel like it when there are still too many without anything. Everyone, just wants to go home. I feel bad for anyone in this country next in line for a disaster and needing a shelter right after for a while. None of this is right. By the way, if ANYONE out there wants to pool together to purchase the minimum number of shelters is interested, I am interested in accruing financing to kick in for these shelters for people here. You can write to me at VictoriaVictorialand@Yahoo.Com. I had to post this with a different email address listed below because I already did a post using my normal email and it wouldn’t let me post again with it. But the Yahoo address is the email I read.

  23. Desperately seeking alternative options for a temporary hide away space. Easy to assemble and take down and possibly reuse at a later date. Inexpensive and not too big and not too small. Hopefully I found a solution.

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