Building your home can be a real journey, but it’s also an opportunity to gain valuable life skills along the way. That’s precisely what a couple named Claire and Tim discovered when they built their very own tiny house on wheels in New Zealand.
There was a time when Claire and Tim constantly moved from one place to another until the former became attracted to the idea of building a home of their own.
The couple had no building experience, so creating their DIY home involved a learning curve. They relied on YouTube videos and got help from friends who were builders. One of Claire’s friends helped them with the foundations for the deck, while another came to help them with the roof.
Claire and Tim’s parking spot provides spectacular views of the ocean and the forest.
Tim’s parents went looking for a property six years ago, and a real estate agent brought them there. Upon walking into the platform, they decided it was the place they wanted.
Now, Claire and Tim get to be its lucky occupants.
The couple, who are both interested in sustainability, reforestation, and permaculture, made the most of the land by planting some beautiful gardens.
“I think it’s just in my blood. My parents were really keen conservationists,” Claire explained. “I think you just can’t really help but love it and just be involved.”
The 23.7×9.6ft home is made of steel frames. They painted the exterior black and green to keep things subtle and seamlessly embed the structure into the landscape.
The house has some outdoor fixtures, including a hot tub, shower, and a composting toilet. They’ve also got a track going down to the sea. On the way up, they’ve installed a shower to rinse off.
Claire and Tim also added plenty of storage space onto the front of the trailer, where they keep their hot water cylinder, washing machine, and tools.
All the wood and greenery will instantly give you a warm feeling upon entering the home.
Their cabinetry is made from recycled timber from tabletops used in Tim’s family’s café.
The lounge area is pretty huge for a tiny house and could sleep three people. The couch converts into a double bed, and they only need to take out the projector and pull down to enjoy a relaxing movie night.
The table in the living area has multiple functions. It can be used as a bed, a dining table, a coffee table, and a desk for when Tim works from home.
Each cushion on the sofa is detachable to reveal storage space underneath.
Upstairs is the guest loft, which means Claire and Tim don’t have to lose their lounge space to accommodate visitors. They also use the area, which has a bookcase, as a private space to read.
The stairs lead to their sleeping loft, which has a full-sized bed and storage to keep their clothes. A rectangular window provides a picturesque view of the ocean.
The kitchen features a counter made from hardwood timber, a full-sized fridge and sink, and an oven. Claire and Tim also left the beams on the end wall exposed to use as storage for their spices and mugs.
The bathroom has a nearly normal-sized shower and a composting toilet.
The house took around two years two build, and Claire and Tim have been living in it for a year and a half. So far, they’re enjoying every moment.
“I love it. It’s so easy. It’s a really easy space to live in,” said Claire.
“Lower electricity bill, less cleaning, less heating. In terms of a footprint for living, it’s small,” Tim added.
Building the home cost them around NZD 65,000 (USD 41,100), and as you’ll see below, every buck was worth it!
Take a tour of Claire and Tim’s tiny house in the video below.
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