Brilliant Off-Grid 161 Sq. Ft. Debt-Free Tiny Home Built for Less Than $18K (Video)

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Video screen capture. Living Big In A Tiny House/Brett Sutherland

From the positively miniscule to the monster home, tiny houses come in all shapes and sizes, and it's always interesting to see how different tiny home designs come about. Self-taught bone-carver, tattoo artist and sailor Brett Sutherland of New Zealand recently built this contemporary, space-efficient yet spacious off-grid tiny home, that boasts a number of ingenious features.

Seen over at Living Big In A Tiny House, video host Bryce Langston and homeowner Brett take us inside this amazing little 15 square metre (161 square feet) jewel, which Brett designed and built himself, both as a home and as an artist's studio.

Brett recounts how he was inspired to build his own mortgage-free home by his years working and travelling as a sailor in the Caribbean, living on catamarans that he built himself. Upon his return to New Zealand in 2013 and wanting to invest his savings wisely, and to also avoid the burden of house payments or weekly rents, he decided to build a tiny home costing approximately USD $18,000, instead of enriching a bank or a landlord. He explains that since he was already used to a down-sized lifestyle, the transition wasn't that difficult, but ultimately, this is what true freedom means to him.

Brett's tiny home uses salvaged materials, a flexible water tank ("flexi-tank") that is hidden under a living room daybed that also serves as a guest space. The bathroom also uses a number of items that Brett found for extremely cheap, as they were broken inventory at his local hardware store, but which he re-fashioned into a beautiful and functional shower-tub.

Usual design problems like the wheel arch are solved by placing a desk over it, so that the protrusion becomes a foot rest.

The highlight is Brett's lofted sleeping area, accessible by a curved flight of relatively large stairs, which is cleverly designed so that there is cross-ventilation for fresh air to come in while he sleeps. These windows also allow him to check on his solar panels, which generate all the power that he needs. He comments that the roof's profile came about as a response to the less space-efficient gabled roofs that are commonly seen in tiny homes, where it translates to less headroom.

Thanks to its efficient and intelligent design, Brett's tiny house is a real inspiration, and if you want to build your own version, Brett has plans of his house available for sale. More videos over at Living Big In A Tiny House (YouTube and Facebook) and see more of Brett Sutherland's website.