EUCLID, Ohio — A Euclid-based fiberglass company hopes to enter the tiny home market by bringing back to life a memorable UFO home design.
As US Lighting Group CEO Anthony Corpora explains, Futuro houses, known as UFO homes, were originally designed by a Finnish engineer and built in the 1960s and 70s.
“[They were] initially designed as ski chalets, prefab houses, off-grid — and they had a huge craze,” he said.
Corpora explained how the homes faced heavy criticism, including how the windows didn’t open and plastic perceptions at the time helped led to only about 100 being made.
But he hopes decades of improved technology and a marketplace seeking out more alternatives to traditional homes will bring better success.
“People continuously call us that want to use this as airbnbs and rentals, so we feel globally, and with people who want to live in tiny homes, there's just a huge market,” he said. “You can put these anywhere. You don't have to have a construction company survey the land.”
Earlier this month, US Lighting Group announced the formation of a subsidiary Futuro Houses LLC to address this need for more affordable housing.
Data from MLS Now, the realty listing service throughout Northeast Ohio, shows 2021 ended with 4% more homes sold than in 2020, and an average sale price up 11% compared to the previous year.
Corpora told News 5 the transition to tiny homes isn’t difficult for US Lighting Group, which already has subsidiaries that specialize in manufacturing campers and boats, and said the designs involve plenty of overlap.
“It just looks different because it's a different shape,” he said.
When completed, Corpora’s Futuro home is expected to measure about 30ft in diameter and 13ft high, which is slightly larger than the original models from the 1960s and 1970s. It is also expected to weigh significantly less than the original models.
The home is also expected to be solar-powered with a propane backup, have windows that open, a water collecting mechanism, and the ability to be customized.
While the interior is still being designed, Corpora told News 5 the goal is for these homes to start hitting the market in six months at a cost of under $100,000. To learn more about these fiberglass houses, click here.