There's more than one way to build a tiny house, and while some may have the cash to spring for spanking new materials, or to buy a pre-made one outright, some tiny house builders prefer to make use of the tons of discarded but still usable building materials available out there. One saves money and diverts perfectly good building materials from landfill. That's what American transplants Patrick and Cori did in their new tiny house, built with about 80 percent recycled materials and is now parked near Christchurch, New Zealand. Living Big In A Tiny House host Bryce Langston gets a tour of the couple's self-built dwelling:
The couple met each other a few years ago, and decided to travel the world together, eventually settling in New Zealand. Since they were travelling, they arrived with only a minimum of possessions, and decided to build a tiny home as both were interested in living a simpler lifestyle and didn't want to keep renting an apartment. Patrick, who works in construction, salvaged a lot of the home's materials from dumpsters on job sites he was working on.
The home is packed with clever details that use recycled items: a repainted locker for storage, crates remade into an entertainment center, a cable spool turned into a shelf, a folding dining table that tucks underneath the counter, and even a suitcase turned into a cabinet in the bathroom. There's plenty of loft space for storage too.
Unlike a lot of tiny homes, their bed is not in a loft, but can be pulled out or tucked under a raised platform.
Though they are currently parked on a friend's land, their future intention is to be fully off-grid. They already have a solar panel set-up, and have a DIY greywater system put in, though they are hooked up to the main water system for now. The couple is still in the process of finishing the home up, but have been living in their house on the weekends in the meantime.
In total, they were able to keep costs down to USD $10,000, which in the context of New Zealand, is incredibly cheap for a DIY tiny home. Due to its geographical location as an island, building materials are expensive and much is imported. As Cori notes, many other New Zealander tiny housers she's met say that they can spend more than USD $10,000 on the trailer alone. So it goes to show, that a bit of patience and resourcefulness can go far when building your own place to call home, whatever size it may be. More over at Patrick and Cori's blog and Living Big In A Tiny House.