Before you build a tiny home

Building a tiny home is as much an exercise in construction and physics, as it is in planning and philosophy. There are many things to consider before starting - one of the most important is where will the materials come from, or how much will be upcycled or reused?

By picking up what large companies like Bunnings, Harvey Norman and Windscreens O’Brien throw out in terms of insulation, panels and structural wood, as well as plastic coverings from berry farms and orchards, the reduction in the amount of waste that ends up in landfill is a definite win-win for all.

One of the main obstacles to building a tiny home is not necessarily skill level or expertise available, but rather the local council. Find out which council is more tiny home friendly and easier to work with. This can save a lot of heartache and money in the future.

Generally speaking most structures under nine square metres and which are considered low risk may not require a lot of paperwork (permit). A tiny home on wheels is probably the best solution of all, as a mobile home isn’t considered a permanent dwelling.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • What kind of home do you want?
  • What should the home offer? Privacy, safety, shelter, etc.
  • What kind of shape is best? Octagon, hexagon, rectangle, circle, square?
  • What kind of tools are needed? Pallet prising tool, which can be custom made, a work bench or access to flat ground, a hammer, cordless rechargeable drill, saw, recycled nails, etc.
  • How will the house be heated? For this, the minimum amount of energy needs to be used. Think in terms of solar, diesel, biofuel, wind turbine, hydro, etc.
  • How much space do you need and what you will do in it? Thinking this way will help earmark areas for multiple use.

Homework: Start sketching some ideas. :)

Quiz: how would you measure the slope of the land without using a string or a level?

Find out next time ;)