Island Tiny Homes: Build Small, Live Large

March 3, 2016, 9:37 AM HST · Updated March 3, 9:44 AM
Debra Lordan · 0 Comments
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Island Tiny Homes Founder Kalani Iselin and Builder Adam Anderson. Photo: Kailea Sonrisa.

Island Tiny Homes, Maui’s first custom-built, small homes on wheels, is a concept that makes a lot of sense for a remote island community. This new business provides some affordable options on an island where rentals are almost non-existent and where even a small plot of unimproved land remains out of reach for a majority of the population.

“Our mission is to live out our passion for building while creating quality and affordable housing for our growing community,” said Maui-born founder Kalani Iselin, who has lived in Kula for the past five-and-a-half years in a home he built for himself.

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    Iselin has been in the construction business since he was 17 years old and considers building as his art form.

    In 2013, Iselin attended a social entrepreneurship program in Sweden—The International Youth Initiative Program—where he had the opportunity to explore how business and social development can coincide.

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    Island Tiny Homes, his first venture since returning to Maui in 2014, has given Iselin the opportunity to blend his passion of building with the island’s need for quality, affordable housing.

    Island Tiny Homes’ builder Adam Anderson is originally from New England. With 18 years of hands-on experience, he takes pride in quality craftsmanship and is excited to be an active member of this project, where he gets to take his interest in alternative building to the next level.

    “We take pride in our ability to design your tiny home to fit your specific needs,” said Iselin.

    All Island Tiny Homes include a custom-built trailer specifically designed to accommodate a mobile dwelling.

    As with all construction, pricing varies greatly, as does building time (one to four months), depending on the model and building material chosen.

    The company also promotes green building and eco-friendly options.

    “Island Tiny Homes always takes great care during the designing and building process to keep building waste to an absolute minimum,” said Iselin. “Each structure is built using all solar power. We have also conducted hours of research seeking out eco-friendly options, which we always prefer building with. However, it is up to you to make the final call on the materials used in building your Tiny Home.”

    The Basic Shell includes bug- and weather-proofing, plywood sub-flooring, windows, roofing, walls, wall sheathing and trim. Pricing starts at $29,400.

    “Our Basic Turn-Key models are ready to go with all electric, plumbing and appliances installed,” said Iselin. “This model includes an exposed stud interior, plywood exterior, appliances, shelving, a bedroom, flooring, lighting and plumbing.”

    Pricing for this model starts at $35,200.

    “Our Deluxe Turn-Key model is also ready to go with all electric, plumbing and appliances installed,” said Iselin. “Just pull it up to its new home site and you’re ready to go!”

    The Deluxe Turn-Key model, which starts at $58,200, includes top-quality tongue-and-groove wall and roof sheathing, a loft, a bedroom, a bathroom, a dining area, kitchen cabinets, appliances, shelving, flooring, lighting and plumbing.

    The two most common options for Tiny Home bathrooms is a self-contained dry composting toilet or a low-flush RV-style toilet with a holding tank stored underneath the structure.

    “Our most common design has 160 square feet of ground floor area and 80 square feet of loft space,” said Iselin. “But depending on the trailer and design you choose, square footage will vary.”

    Island Tiny Homes will deliver the dwelling to its home base for an additional fee (determined by location).

    If you would like to inquire about designing your own mobile paradise, email [email protected] or contact Iselin at (808) 866-4911.

    Island Tiny Homes Founder Kalani Iselin and Builder Adam Anderson. Photo:

    Island Tiny Homes Founder Kalani Iselin and Builder Adam Anderson. Photo:

    Island Tiny Homes, Viva Wittman on the steps Photo credit: Kailea Sonrisa, www.harnessyourbreath.com 

    Island Tiny Homes, Viva Wittman on the steps. Photo credit: Kailea Sonrisa, www.harnessyourbreath.com

    Island Tiny Homes, Viva Wittman reading in the loft bedroom space Photo credit: Kailea Sonrisa, www.harnessyourbreath.com 

    Island Tiny Homes, Viva Wittman reading in the loft bedroom space. Photo credit: Kailea Sonrisa, www.harnessyourbreath.com

    Island Tiny Homes, Viva Wittman in the loft bedroom space. Photo credit: Kailea Sonrisa, www.harnessyourbreath.com

    Island Tiny Homes, Viva Wittman in the loft bedroom space. Photo credit: Kailea Sonrisa, www.harnessyourbreath.com

    A view of an Island Tiny Home parked in a garden. Photo credit: Kailea Sonrisa, www.harnessyourbreath.com 

    A view of an Island Tiny Home parked in a garden. Photo credit: Kailea Sonrisa, www.harnessyourbreath.com

    Island Tiny Homes, Jen Chalupsky in the kitchen. Photo credit: Kailea Sonrisa, www.harnessyourbreath.com 

    Island Tiny Homes, Jen Chalupsky in the kitchen. Photo credit: Kailea Sonrisa, www.harnessyourbreath.com

    Jen Chalupsky in the entrance of an Island Tiny Home. Photo credit: Kailea Sonrisa, www.harnessyourbreath.com 

    Jen Chalupsky in the entrance of an Island Tiny Home. Photo credit: Kailea Sonrisa, www.harnessyourbreath.com

    Debra Lordan
    Debra Lordan has been a writer and website editor for Maui Now since December 2014.

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