(featured image – tiny house by James the Upcyclist – image Alicia Fox Photography
John Baxter is building a tiny house in Adelaide. Currently located in the Adelaide hills, he says that the portability of a tiny house is one of its attractions, but also one of the issues, as you have to find a permanent or semi permanent, location. There are also different rules and regulations when it comes to owner builders – there is no registration for this in South Australia, but is in other states. John’s house is classified as a granny flat, and so land can be rented to place the house on. There is no point spending $300,000 on a piece of land, for a tiny house – so this remains one of the considerations when building – where will the home live. You can build it and live in it, without needing to purchase the land.
The home really is tiny, and one of the challenges is the living spaces, but John says a different way of thinking is needed when it comes to what you hold onto in terms of stuff – and there will be more outdoor living space, with a big deck and productive gardens in the final resting place.
John is building the house full time and has skills in building which are helping him in the project, but says that if you want to build a tiny house yourself, there are lots of resources out there to assist.
Materials & Details of the Tiny House
- The home is just under 15 Square metres in size – but there are a range of sizes for a tiny house
- They are planning for it to be classified as a granny flat and will not move it for at least 10 years
- You can however have a house classified as a caravan and move it around more often
- John has used structural bracing board on the interior walls, to add additional support for bracing the walls due to the fact the house will be transported on a number of occasions. Usually this is used on the exterior. It is made overseas and not available locally
- It is a typical timber frame home
- He has used structural ply on the floors which he will sand
- The ceiling is also a plywood
- They made the walls 70 mm thick which is not standard, to try and squeeze a little bit more room inside
- He has recycled windows and doors – mostly found on Gumtree or salvaged from builders, and has used windows in clever ways for breezes, including that upside down window in the bathroom so you can stick your head out and wash your hair in the rain!
- The insulation contains a large amount of recycled content
- They will use passive design, orienting the home on its more permanent home once they are living there, to try and capture breezes and correct sun angles. He says he feels the heating will not be an issue but in Adelaide heatwaves they may need to evacuate for a few days!
- They are aiming to finish by October and we will revisit to see the final home!
- John suggests attending a tiny house workshop if you want to build one – check the Tiny House Australia Facebook page for details of upcoming workshops, or seek your local state group
You can find out more about tiny houses through a google search but here are some links
Are you interested in building a tiny house? And do you have any questions or experiences to share? Please let us know!