Why We’re Going Tiny!
Our biggest realisation over the last couple of years of travel is that anything is possible. We don’t mean in a ‘the world is weird and wonderful’ kind of way, although that too. But more in a lifestyle sense. In that any way we want to live, job we want to have or lifestyle we choose is possible if we plan, save and work hard. We are unbelievably privileged.
Our second biggest realisation was about how little we need or want. Don’t get me wrong, we love owning nice things but for almost 2 years now we’ve only owned the backpacks on our backs and never needed anything more. We like the idea of fancy hotels but we’re just as happy wild camping on beaches or couchsurfing. We don’t need a lot of money, possessions or space to have a happy life.
BUT we are craving a home. A place a call our own. To decorate and invite people over to. To have a base we know we’re coming back to. We also need a new project to keep us busy but grounded in one place for a while. So…
We’re building a tiny house!
What is a tiny house you ask? It’s basically exactly what it says, a really small house that fits on a trailer. Ours will be about 7.5m by 2.5m. They’re bigger than a caravan and usually have a loft bedroom to create maximum living space.
Why a tiny house? There are so many reasons we love the idea of a tiny house. Here are the main reasons we’re convinced it’s the right move for us.
It’s not a house
Well for us it will be but in the eyes of the law it’s a caravan which means things like building consent and all those annoying requirements and permissions don’t count. It also means we can share land without having to officially subdivide and don’t need permission to park it anywhere.
A tiny house costs considerably less than a full-sized house to build. We still have some savings left over (not quite sure how!), we make some income from our travel blog and will do some work over the next few months (promise we will) to have the funds for the build. At the end we’ll own our own home but with none of the debt! This also gives us the flexibility to continue traveling and work less knowing we don’t have to pay a mortgage.
We can design it ourselves
Financially, we would never be able to design and build our own normal sized home, a tiny house gives us the chance to choose exactly what we want our home to look like. It’s a bit daunting but will be incredibly satisfying knowing we designed and built our home ourselves. We’re also hoping to salvage some materials from my parents’ house as they renovate so part of my childhood home will make my new home which I think is awesome.
We’re taking steps to become as sustainable as possible in our day to day life and a tiny house means a tiny carbon footprint. By using recycled materials as much as possible and only supplying power to a small living space we’re reducing our impact on the world as opposed to living in a ‘normal’ house. It also gives us the option to eventually go off the grid, meaning switching to solar power, wood-fire heating and rainwater tanks. We also have all kinds of optimistic plans for what we’re going to grow and make so watch this space!
It’s location flexible
Our tiny house will be built on a trailer and therefore can be towed on the road and effectively moved anywhere we choose. It’s not quite as easy as towing a caravan and we don’t plan on moving often but it means we aren’t fixed to living in any one location and should we decide to move, we bring our house along with us. Since we won’t have the money to buy land when we’ve built the house we’ll hopefully find some land to long-term lease. If/when we do get around to buying land we can just move our house there.
It’s less commitment
In case you hadn’t already noticed from our lifestyles, we’re interested in committing to one place for too long. We like to leave our options open and always have some plans in the pipeline. A tiny house seemed like the most logical way to lay down roots but still be able to head off at the drop of a hat or change our minds and start again. We can rent it, store it or lend it to someone without the stress of having to make the mortgage repayments while we go off travelling or working overseas. And if we don’t like it we can sell and we’ll be right back where we started! We love the idea of having a home but also being able to opt-out at any given time… is that the definition of a commitment-phobe?
They’re really cool
Go check out some tiny house designs or have a watch of some episodes of ‘Living Big in a Tiny House’. The things that can be done in such a small space are incredible. There are so many functional and ingenious ways to use the space and tiny houses can look really aesthetically pleasing too.
We like smaller spaces
Ever since I was a kid I’ve loved organising things into small spaces like tents and huts (weird kid, I know). As an adult, this translated into fitting my life into an increasingly smaller backpack and spending time in tents, vans, hotel rooms and overnight transport. I like having all my things within reach and each thing with a designated spot. I’m so used to it now I just don’t know what I’d do with all the spare space of a whole house and frankly, I can’t be bothered with the cleaning.
We need to be minimal
It’s also a great way to ensure we don’t acquire unnecessary stuff and makes us selective about the things we own. So no, we won’t have a microwave or a dryer. But you bet I’ll find several storage solutions for books. Max won’t be able to leave his clothes lying around but there’ll be a damn comfy couch and plenty of space for cooking. We’ve had to really discuss the things that are important to us (being able to have people over, having lots of light in the house) and what we can live without (walls and doors between rooms, a TV etc)
It’s going to be a steep learning curve as neither of us has much experience (read: none) with building or design. But we’ve already met so many helpful people and we’ll tackle things one step at a time, learning as we go. We’ll be sharing all our successes, failures and helpful information through this blog and our social media. So follow along! Ask us questions! Or come grab a hammer and help us create our dream home on wheels!
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Information about the different tiny house framing options including timber frame tiny houses, metal frame tiny houses, hybrid framing and SIPs.
Practical Tiny House ideas and drool-worthy Tiny House inspiration!
Everyone is constantly asking about how it’s all going and what our plans are so I thought I’d write a quick update of where we’re at, where we’re heading and some of the challenges and decisions we’ve faced so far.