The Tiny house Blog

Boxabl Homes History: How They're Changing the Housing Market

Updated on:
September 8, 2023

The housing affordability crisis in the United States has created many market opportunities, particularly in the tiny and modular homes segment. Companies like Boxabl are filling an obvious need. 

Many people, especially young people, looking to own a house don't want to be bogged down by long-term mortgage payments. 

That, alongside multiple factors like inflation, a lack of many jobs with high wages, and more favorable tiny homes and accessory dwelling units (ADU) regulations, have made manufacturers like Boxable increasingly popular to prospective homeowners seeking low-cost housing options. 

For Boxabl, growth hasn't exactly been linear. The journey to "automotive-style mass production of houses" has been challenging but not without its rewards. Boxabl wants to revolutionize the housing industry and make affordable housing something homeowners can pick off a shelf. 

In this article, we examine Boxabl's history and its significant milestones along the way. We also discuss the company's impact on the United States housing market as well as answer questions you may have on the budding foldable homes manufacturer. 

History of Boxabl homes

View the Casita prefab small home by Boxabl

Paolo and Galiano Tiramani founded Boxabl in 2017. The former, an industrial designer and mechanical engineer, had over 150 patent filings. 

However, it wasn't until 2019 that the company started building Boxabl prototypes and presented them at the International Builders' Show in Las Vegas. 

The father-son co-founders continued with research and development. They earned a federal contract to supply 156 Casitas for a military base in 2021.

In the same year, the Las Vegas-based startup broke ground on a 170,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. The facility is known as Factory 1. This factory represented proof of Boxabl's ability to produce dwelling units via an assembly line. 

Boxabl moved to Factory 2 in 2022 as a precursor to launching a new iteration of the Casita model. The business invested over $15 million to upgrade some of its manufacturing equipment.

Most pivotal year in Boxabl history

The year 2022 was a pivotal year for the startup. In October 2022, the company announced a partnership agreement with D.R. Horton, the largest homebuilder in the United States. 

The partnership is in two folds: an investment and resource sharing, which kickstarted with an order of 100 Boxabl units. With many pending pre-orders, getting D.R. Horton to help sell and install Boxabl homes will accelerate the company’s ability to meet demand. 

The prefab home manufacturer wants to build the Boxzilla Factory, “a multi-million-square-foot factory that will produce massive volumes of housing using advances in automation and taking advantage of economies of scale.”

What is the mission of Boxabl?

Per the Boxabl website, the startup’s mission is to be able to mass-produce homes that are affordable yet made with standard and high-quality materials. 

Think of how cereals and cars are produced off the assembly line. That’s how Boxabl wants to be able to make homes you can literally get off the shelf. 

The goal is to leverage automated technology to disrupt the housing construction industry, says Galiano Tiramani, the firm’s Director. 

You may also like: 5 Things Everybody Should Know About Boxabl Homes (and Some Extras)

How do Boxabl homes work?

The Boxabl Casita prefab home floor plan

You must preorder to get a Boxabl house. You can do this on the website either for free to join a regular waitlist or pay $200 for a priority waitlist. 

There are also news reports that developers looking to build tiny home communities with Boxable units can skip the waitlist. 

The 362 square feet homes are delivered as an 8-foot wide closed package before it’s unfolded on the site and tethered to the foundation and other utilities.

Unfolding the prefab unit takes less than two hours. There’s also room to connect or stack multiple units together, either on top or side by side, to create homes with more rooms. 

Stacking helps create customized rooms like a kid’s bedroom or dining space. 

One of the founders said stacking won’t be necessary in the future, as plans are in place to create larger units.

Features of a Boxabl unit

Each Boxabl housing unit is an all-inclusive package. You don’t need to pay for any additional setup. 

The company fabricates everything you need, including HVAC, plumbing, bathroom and toilet, kitchen, and electrical needs. 

Other appliances or features you can expect include composite flooring in the living area, a washer and dryer, a dishwasher, a fridge, a sink with a view, and much more. 

You may also like: Does Boxabl Need a Foundation? (Explained!)

What is the construction technique of Boxabl?

Most tiny homes are constructed with wood, which makes them susceptible to many issues. The Casitas are built using a combination of steel, concrete, and expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam. This combination of materials means the units will not degrade easily, even in harsh conditions. 

Additionally, the walls, floor, and roof are made up of laminated panels for much more added structural strength. Due to these reasons, the Casita is fire, water, and wind resistant. 

Lastly, the homes are energy-efficient and consume less energy thanks to a “high R-value insulation, tight building envelope, and limited thermal bridging.”

You may also like: What Are Boxabl Homes Made Of? 

How many houses has Boxabl manufactured?

Boxabl has only produced 400 homes in its Las Vegas, NV factory, according to a report by Business Insider, despite receiving down payments from about 8,000 customers. 

Galiano Tiramani has stated that the company has refunded over $1 million of the $5.4 million earned from those down payments. The company blamed government permit issues on its inability to deliver to a customer from Arizona. 

What is the Boxabl market valuation?

Galiano and Paolo Tiramani, the cofounders of Boxabl, told Business Insider that the company is now valued at $3 billion. Per a news article on the Boxabl website, “the startup went into its nine-figure fundraising efforts with a roughly $3 billion valuation and very little revenue on the books.”

It is still unclear if the $3 billion valuation was before or after its Equity Crowdfunding round. 

In other financial news, the company earned $7 million in revenues in 2022 and suffered a loss of $31 million. Boxabl linked the relatively high net loss on building its factories and upgrading its equipment. 

The company has received over $150 million from investors, with the last round closing in the first half of 2022. 

You may also like: Tiny Home Real Estate Value – What You Need to Know

What is the cost of the Boxabl?

Each Boxabl Casita costs approximately $50,000. This price does not include installation costs, as the company notes that they’ll connect homeowners with a certified and state-licensed installer close to them. Customers must also pay shipping fees of about $3-$10 per mile from Las Vegas.

Boxabl has also added that it will provide the price of each Casita on a case-by-case basis. The company cited inflation and a long waitlist as the reasons for this. 

Does Boxabl have any competitors?

Competitors to Boxabl include Factory_OS, Blu Homes, Abodu, Indiedwell, Blokable, Plant Prefab, and Method Homes. All these companies operate in the prefab housing niche and have operations in the United States.  

Factory_OS has received more than $77 million from investors such as Meta, Google, and Citibank. Google has also ordered 500 housing units from the company. 

Does Elon Musk have any involvement with Boxabl?

Elon Musk has no official involvement with Boxabl, at least from all available public records. That said, one of his public statements about the Casita catapulted Boxabl into the mind of a more mainstream audience. 

According to the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX during a podcast, he noted that he had purchased a tiny home from Boxabl. He said the home now functions as a guest house for visitors. 

For eagle-eyed Boxabl followers, this was not surprising as the company published in 2021 that it had installed a Casita for a "top secret customer" in Boca Chica, Texas. SpaceX has a launch site in that area. 

Per Business Insider, Elon also threw a party there in 2022.

Takeaway: Boxbl has affordable and innovative tiny homes made to last

Boxabl has built a strong brand on an innovative approach towards creating affordable and long-lasting prefab homes. 

The Las Vegas-based manufacturer’s homes are made with steel, concrete, and EPS foam and are wind, water, and fire resistant. 

Elon Musk stating that he uses a Casita as a guest house sent Boxabl’s pre-order list into a frenzy. However, the firm continues to struggle to meet this demand and has had to refund some customers’ down payment. 

Overall, the startup seems to be on the right track but will need to ramp up production to avoid losing the goodwill it has earned. 

Are you looking to move into a tiny home and unsure where to start?

Check out our article on: Building vs Buying a Tiny House: Which is Better?

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