Aug 15, 2022

The History of Prefab Tiny Homes and Offices

Tiny homes are finally seeing a major trend in popularity, but they’ve existed for a long time. Let’s look at the history of prefab tiny homes and offices.

Posted by: Amanda Delatorre


As tiny homes grow in popularity, Johnston Contracting is proud to be one of the preeminent prefab tiny home builders in Washington state. As experts in our craft, we enjoy nothing more than extolling the benefits of tiny homes and offices. And we love teaching anyone who’ll listen about the history of prefab tiny homes and offices. If you’d like to know more, then you’ve come to the right place!

Modular Homes

Historical events such as The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and World War II created housing crises and a demand for quick, convenient shelters while cities rebuilt. Modularity was key to quickly mass-producing tiny homes so that those who were displaced weren’t left out on the streets. While modularity would remain a staple of tiny homes and offices, modular homes at the time were extremely practical and provided little in the way of comfort or aesthetics.

Trailer Homes

The next step in the history of prefab tiny homes and offices was trailer homes. While today they’re often viewed as a cheap housing option, trailer homes were originally marketed as mobile vacation homes affordable for the middle class. These trailer homes were created shortly after the birth of the automobile, so with excitement abuzz, it was projected that a trend in travel would grow exponentially. By 1936, the camper and motorhome industries were the fastest growing industries in the country!

After World War II, following the need for quick and affordable housing, mobile home sales skyrocketed once again to fulfill that need. As this trend continued into the 1950s, innovation focused on creating more luxurious mobile homes that would make them much more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing to potential buyers.

Modern Tiny Homes

Today, tiny homes and backyard studio offices have been refined and improved to be just as high quality as traditional homes while maintaining the benefits of modularity. The tiny homes you can buy today provide a range of designs—from modern and sleek to vintage and rustic—to fulfill any housing desire while remaining affordable. As the housing market continues to get more expensive, the tiny house movement has seen another exponential spike in growth. You can even put your tiny home on wheels to give you the freedom and mobility of the trailer home era.

Previous Article Next Article