Student's "biggish" tiny home is built with salvaged earthquake materials (Video)

Living Big In A Tiny House
© Living Big In A Tiny House

From modernist off-grid offerings of the smaller variety to newer, modular versions, we're seeing more and more tiny homes ditching the "cutesy, ugly and derivative" stereotype and coming up with a diversity of expressions. Faced with the devastation of the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, local resident Stefan Cook of A Biggish Tiny House saw the disasters as an opportunity to start anew and build a tiny home of his own -- but built with salvaged materials from around the city to keep costs down. He gives a tour of his 215-square-foot home over at Living Big in a Tiny House:

A Biggish Tiny House© A Biggish Tiny House

Stefan, who is a University of Canterbury geology student, decided to build a house of his own due to a number of economic and social factors. He says he's no "greenie or tree hugger":

...but having a simplistic lower carbon footprint in a liveable space that I can call home (that is also resilient to future natural hazards) appeals to me. I also enjoy outdoor active sports, and this project will allow me to have a lifestyle where I can play more and work less.

With all the demolition of houses in Christchurch, post 2010 & 2011 earthquakes, has resulted in a) increased rental property and b) a huge range of recyclable housing materials becoming available at reasonable prices. I wanted to build something, something transportable, something to live in whilst being at University. My flatmate at the time came across a tiny-house photo, and that was it for me.

As a trade-off for more space, Stefan designed this generously sized tiny home to move not too far and not too often, yet the home is still under local tow weight restrictions. There is certainly a lot of resourcefulness in Stefan's set up, as you can see in the inexpensive materials he uses.

A Biggish Tiny House© A Biggish Tiny House

According to LBTH host Bryce, there is tons of tiny home building going on in Christchurch due to the massive rebuilding that's still going on, and Stefan's home is but one of the many small households that are now popping up. Though it's not finished yet, some of the notable features of Stefan's spacious abode is the open plan design, which makes the space feel enormous rather than claustrophobic.

A large series of aluminum, double-glazed folding windows opens at a breakfast/workspace perch, giving a lovely view outside.

Living Big In A Tiny House© Living Big In A Tiny House

There is actually a laundry chute (!) in his large 4-meter (13-foot) long sleeping loft.

Living Big In A Tiny House© Living Big In A Tiny House

Stefan is currently in the process of making his home off-grid, installing solar panels and other energy-efficient additions. Check out more over at Living Big in a Tiny House and Stefan Cook's Facebook page on his progress, A Biggish Tiny House (he has some useful tutorials on calculating tow weights up and more upcoming). You can also see construction process photos of Stefan's home over at

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