Category Archives: Video tours

12/19 Boston couple brings the tiny house movement to New Zealand with self built off-grid home

inside the tiny house of Corianne Holmes and Patrick Brunelle

inside the tiny house of Corianne Holmes and Patrick Brunelle

It’s 14 square metres and weighs a mere 3.6 tonne. Welcome to this tiny Waimate home.

Corianne Holmes and her partner Patrick Brunelle spent $15,000 building their dinky house in Rolleston before moving it to Waimate on Sunday. Now, they want to spread the word on how a tiny house can make the biggest problems seem tiny too.

According to Quotable Value, the average Kiwi home built between 1960 and 2010 was between 128sqm and 210sqm, meaning the couple’s tiny house is about one tenth that size.

Size aside, the couple’s house features all of the necessities you would find in a typical New Zealand home.

The house had a tiny log burner to keep the chill off during the winter, the toilet (a compostable one), a shower, tv, gas-powered stove-top, a vinyl player and even a pull-out double bed.

Before moving to New Zealand from Boston, USA, the couple became obsessed with the tiny house movement, researching constantly to see how the micro-space would work for them.

In 2014, the pair found it difficult to find a place to live in Christchurch, inspiring them to go tiny, Holmes said.

Once Holmes had completed her masters degree they started building the home, using a small plot of land at Rolleston.

Once a week, the couple would travel from Christchurch with a picnic basket, tools and materials to slowly build their home. No contractors or builders were used, every nail in the house hammered by Brunelle or Holmes.

“It is nice to wake up knowing where every nail in the house is,” Holmes said.

Read more and watch the video –

12/05 Tiny house interior changes at the flick of a switch

Vintage Glam tiny house

The Vintage Glam tiny house, from Tiny Heirloom, cost US$150,000, reflecting the expensive gadgetry and customization that went into it.

The experimentation that typifies the tiny house movement often encourages people to commission a project that suits their exact needs. This was the case with the recently completed Vintage Glam Tiny House, by luxury tiny house specialist Tiny Heirloom, which features a neat motorized platform that reveals a bed, storage space, and more, at the flick of a switch.

The Vintage Glam is based on a 33 ft (10 m)-long double-axle trailer and comprises 200 sq ft (18 sq m) of floorspace, all on one floor. The customer wanted a bed that could be easily stashed away when not in use, so Tiny Heirloom hit upon a novel idea and installed a motorized platform.

The platform includes bench seats, table, bed, and stairs – the latter leading to a snug living space. The sliding mechanism is hidden inside the platform itself and switch-operated linear actuators push the required piece of furniture out when needed.

The space saved by the motorized platform also meant that there was room left for a relatively spacious bathroom and kitchen elsewhere in the tiny house.

The Vintage Glam’s kitchen includes a washing machine, cabinets on both sides, a refrigerator and freezer, dishwasher, sink, and an oven. The bathroom has a living wall section, a full-height ceiling and a full-size clawfoot bath and shower.

Read more and watch the video –

12/01 Couple wins right to keep tiny house in backyard of larger Brisbane, Australia property

couple with baby inside of their tiny house

Inside the tiny house in the backyard of a larger Brisbane property.

In a landmark decision, the Queensland Building and Development Dispute Resolution Committee ruled tiny homes with wheels should be treated like caravans and thus do not require a building permit.

Lara Nobel and Andrew Carter were facing the prospect of having to move following a complaint from a neighbour and a decision by the Brisbane City Council that their tiny home required a building permit to stay on site.

“It’s not a fixed structure so you can’t get a building approval for it,” Ms Noble said.

The pint-sized house, measuring a compact 18 square metres of floor space, comes with a self-composting toilet and a demountable deck — all of which can be moved within a few hours as it sits on a registered trailer.

The couple built and designed their home, and have been living at their current address for about seven months.

A month ago, they were joined by baby daughter, Charli.

Mr Carter said it was a huge relief to know they could stay.

“This is one of the very few ways we can achieve home ownership anywhere near the city in a way that suits us,” he said.
ESC Consulting environmental planner Rikki Pieters, who helped the couple with their appeal, said the decision was a significant win for this type of housing model.

“If you required the tiny house on wheels to have a building permit, basically you would be attaching that dwelling to the land and you would need to go through the planning process similar to if it was a granny flat or a secondary dwelling,” she said.

Brisbane may soon change the rules

But there is still a legal hitch — in Queensland it is not always legal to live inside a caravan in a backyard.

“On the Gold Coast they prohibit it, in Moreton Bay Regional Council you can do it but there are a lot of rules that you need to follow,” Ms Peters said.

Read more and watch the video –

11/25 High Performance Tiny House Tours in Montgomery Alabama Today

Inside Grace and Corbett Lunsford's high performance tiny house.

Inside Grace and Corbett Lunsford’s high performance tiny house.

Tiny Homes seem to be sweeping the nation from social media posts to even having television shows based around them.

One Montgomery native and her husband decided to get rid of their apartment and build a tiny home, taking it all across the country to hopefully improve other houses along the way.

The Lunsfords are your typical family: husband Corbett, wife Grace, nine-month-old daughter Nanette, two cats. What isn’t exactly typical is their tiny house they built which measures at a mere 210 square feet.

“I don’t feel like I’ve given anything up and I grew up on Felder Avenue in a 26 room home and now I’m in 210 square feet,” claims Grace McPhillips Lunsford.

The home consists of a kitchen, bedroom with a queen bed, closet, and nook for Nanette, a loft for a dining room and living room, work space, and of course a bathroom complete with a shower, compost toilet, litter box, and changing table.

Like most, you probably are wondering not only about the tight quarters, but the smell. While I was there, not once did I get a whiff of anything other than pleasantries. “There’s a trapped door for the solids and then there’s divertors for all the liquids. My toilet smells less than your toilet at home when using it. It is its own poopouri,” laughs Grace.

The Lunsfords say it’s all based on the dynamics of their home and their motto: sealed tight, ventilated right…

The Lunsfords are opening it up for tours on Black Friday from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. It’s parked at the Fitzgerald Museum.

Read more and watch the video –

11/19 She made the change that she says has improved every aspect of her life.

pictures tapes on a wall with the word Adventure in the middle

Rene Ewing says, “Things are nice to have, but you don’t find your happiness and joy in things. You find it in the people you are with, and the memories you make.”

Rene Ewing outside her tiny home

Rene Ewing outside her tiny home

More and more people are living large in tiny homes, and that trend has reached East Texas.

Andrew Harbuck built his tiny house as a newlywed as a way to become a homeowner at an early age, and on a budget.

“I started doing research, because I knew I wanted to build it myself, and that’s what we could afford.” Harbuck said. “When I started building, I had $500 in my bank account and would buy lumber, windows, and doors as I could.”

Harbuck said it took a little over a year to build, but they took their time making things as efficient as possible. Tall ceilings, quality insulation, and as much natural lighting as possible to ensure the energy cost was as low as possible.

He said he enjoyed living in a tiny home more than he originally thought he would. It challenged his family to go outside more, downsize on their clutter, and cut out things that weren’t necessary.

“It really is a different lifestyle, you cannot collect the things we normally collect as a human being I mean throughout your life you buy a shirt, or bring home a souvenir, but that starts to pile up,” Harbuck said. “It forces you to always be clearing out, it forces you to have a simple life, and really bear down to the essentials, it really challenges you to think okay you don’t need all the things you think you want.”

Harbuck said it’s a lifestyle that has continued to stick as his family has grown by two. He said minimizing the clutter is now second nature. It’s something that the newest tiny house tenant took some getting used to.

“I remember sitting on my floor getting ready to move and staring at my closet thinking I was going to have to get rid of at least one third of my clothes,” said Rene Ewing. “Once I started donating it to the Women’s Shelter and Goodwill, I realized that this was why I wanted to do it in the first place.”

She said after returning from a mission trip she wanted to make a lasting impact on her life, and the lives around her.

“I kept looking around and thinking, if these people can live on a lot less than we do, than I can live on half of what I live on now and be perfectly fine,” Ewing said.

So she downsized her wardrobe and made the change that she says has improved every aspect of her life.

Read more and watch the video-

11/16 Off-grid tiny house facing $1500 fine

Gregg  Taylor in front of his tiny house.

A Rocky View County (Alberta, Canada) enforcement order has demanded the removal of Gregg Taylor’s tiny house from a property on Springbank Road.

A Calgary-area contractor’s attempt to reduce his cost of living as demand for his business decreased has encountered a roadblock.

During the summer, Gregg Taylor, the owner of a small contracting company, found himself with ample free time as there were fewer construction jobs available.

“I’ve been a contractor for 18 years and it’s been my slowest year ever,” explained Taylor. “For the first time ever, back in June, I found myself without a job to go to.”

Gregg Taylor tours CTV Calgary’s Rahim Ladhani through the tiny house in Rocky View County
During a motorcycle trip to California and the return voyage along the Pacific coast, Taylor came to a realization. He decided to pursue his lifelong dream of owning a home, free from a mortgage or dependence on utilities, and began constructing a self-sustaining house. “I’d always wanted to build a tiny home but it was just timing.”

The contractor designed the building in his head and enlisted help from a family member to weld the frame.

Taylor posted photos of the construction progress on social media and the response was overwhelming. Motivated by the support and interest, Taylor says he became committed to finishing the project.
When the tiny home was constructed to a livable level, Taylor rented five acres of land on Springbank Road and notified his existing landlord that he would be moving out.

The tiny house, which is on wheels, was set in place in early September and he moved into his home on October 1.

“I would fall asleep each night with a smile on my face knowing that I had built with my bare hands,” recalled Taylor. “I didn’t owe any money on it and I could turn on the lights and use power that I stored from the sun and the wind.”

The tiny house is equipped with solar panels and a wind turbine.

“For the first time in my life, I wasn’t dependent on anyone or anything or any bank,” beemed Taylor. “I have a zero carbon footprint out here.”

In the eyes of Rocky View County officials, Taylor’s dream contrasted their land-use regulations and he received a verbal enforcement notice demanding the tiny home’s removal mere days after he moved in. The house was to be removed by the end of November and Taylor says he was informed that failing to comply with the order would result in a $1,500 fine.

The tradesman says he has researched the county’s bylaws and his tiny house presents no obvious violations. According to Taylor, a county planner indicated a permanent residence must be present on a property before a trailer of shed is erected in order to meet guidelines.

“They have these big properties out here. They want you to build a house on them,” said Taylor.“You can put an RV, you can put a trailer, you can put a shed but you can’t do any of those things until after you build a residence.”

Taylor says he was told his home does not meet the necessary requirements as it is considered to be too small and is without a foundation. The tiny house is on a chassis and can be pulled by a truck.

“I’m torn between packing up and leaving or do I owe it to myself, and what I’ve started to build here, to stick it out and see what happens.” Taylor has received land offers for relocation but says the Springbank location is ideal for commuting between jobs in Calgary, Airdrie and Okotoks.

Read more and watch the video –

Follow up story with allegations of wrongdoing:

11/15 Unique murphy bed-desk combo in tiny house

Gary Martens demonstrates how his computer desk converts to a bed.

Gary Martens demonstrates how his computer desk converts to a bed.

Don’t do anything stupid for the first twelve months after your spouse dies.

That was the advice given to Gary Martens of Kleefeld. And if that also means waiting a year to move from your house of three thousand square feet into one barely the size of a two car garage, then Martens followed that advice to a T.

In January 2015, Martens’ wife passed away. Thirteen months later, he began the adventure of constructing a tiny house. His journal entry for February 11, 2016, reads:

Went to see Kahlia Wiebe @ Grunthal Lumber to begin drawing the house. $250 deposit opened an account.

Martens then spent the next six months constructing a house that stands twenty feet by twenty-four feet. After putting in more than four hundred hours of labour, this tiny house is now his new home.

If you step inside the house, you will walk into an open area with only three real rooms. The largest of the rooms consists of a sitting area in the corner, sleeping quarters, kitchen and library. A hallway underneath a two hundred square foot loft takes you to his bathroom and then a multi-use room used as the mechanical room, laundry room, tool shed and walk-in closet.

“I like the idea of a multi-use house,” explains Martens.

He says a bedroom in a traditional home is largely wasted space during the day, unless you enjoy an afternoon snooze, as Martens does on cold, cloudy days. So, instead of dedicating a room entirely to sleeping quarters, Martens uses a Murphy bed. The bed folds down out of the wall for the night and then during the day is folded back up and becomes a computer desk.

“It’s a very simple operation, it’s just so slick I don’t even have to clean off my desk,” says Martens. “It’s a very good use of space I think.”

According to Martens, the hardest part of purging was getting rid of his many books. An avid reader and writer, Martens says only books that fell into one of three categories were kept. The book had to be something he knew he would read again in the future, or it had to have sentimental value or be something he could use as a reference.

Read more and watch the video –

11/08 Tiny-house living

Alex and Korie Veidel 's tiny home.

Alex and Korie Veidel ‘s tiny home. Photo by Kerri Pang

“We wanted to pay off debt and not accrue more debt,” says Korie, 26, a former high school English teacher and now stay-at-home mom to their one-year-old son Abel. “Tiny-house living seemed like a good way to do that.”

Typically constructed on a trailer with wheels instead of a foundation, tiny houses are part of a growing movement in which people seek to live simply in small quarters (around 500 square feet or less).

Korie and Alex, 23, a metal machinist and aquaponics enthusiast, did their research and came up with a list of specs for their first home together: “We wanted it to be not too big or too small,” Alex says. “But mostly not too big.”

“We also wanted a tall roof,” Korie adds, “not the real steeply pitched roofs [common to tiny homes], but something more flat.”

Other priorities: a king-size loft, a full-size couch for comfortable seating on the main floor, and a house that was built over the wheel wells, affording additional space…

Tucked into a grove of trees at the edge of Alex’s parents’ property in Elgin, the tiny, portable house is parked adjacent to a chicken coop and not far from a small gardening shed. From a distance, it almost looks as if it’s part of some kind of tiny village.

Inside are all the hallmarks of a cozy, well-equipped home: framed art and family photos, brightly colored throw pillows, a wall-mounted TV, Abel’s playpen. In addition to a sleeping loft with windows, there’s a meticulously organized L-shaped kitchen and a bathroom with a composting toilet constructed by Alex.

In fact, the whole of the Veidels’ space is supertidy. From the bench with built-in storage to the magnetic spice rack, everything has a place. “And everything goes back in its place every single time,” Korie says. “A little bit messy quickly becomes dysfunctional in a tiny house!”

They don’t plan to live in such close quarters forever; in fact, the current plan is to transition into a small one-bedroom apartment to allow more space for their growing family. But they’ve enjoyed being de facto ambassadors of the now-trending lifestyle (even, incidentally, appearing on an episode of an episode of HGTV’s Tiny House Hunters).

Read more and watch the video (video is more informative than the article) –

11/04 Life with a baby in a 215 square foot off-grid cabin

Tom, Sarah, and their daughter Neesa Nicholson in their tiny off grid cabin in New Zealand

Tom, Sarah, and their daughter Neesa Nicholson in their tiny off grid cabin in New Zealand

I sometimes wonder if I post too many “life in an XX square foot hut” videos.

And yet people seem to love them. True, there’s only so many tips you can learn about how to store canned vegetables, where to put all your books, or how to hook up a DIY biogas anaerobic digester. But I suspect the main challenge for many people interested in the “back to the land” and/or tiny house lifestyle isn’t necessarily practical. It’s emotional.

So this video from Happen Films explores just that topic. Tom, Sarah, and their daughter Neesa all live in a tiny 20sqm off grid cabin on a property on the Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand. After Tom began feeling dissatisfied with his job as a General Practitioner, the couple decided to radically downsize—moving from their three bedroom house to a sheep shearer’s shack on somebody else land.

Read more and watch the video –

11/02 Tiny house living catches on in Central Florida: Homes on wheels built and inspected by local contractors

Michelle Mann in her tiny house built by Trekker Trailers

Michelle Mann in her tiny house built by Trekker Trailers

Robin Butler’s decades of building experience is going full circle from very large to extreme small or tiny as in tiny house.

Butler is leading a local project based in Apopka inspecting tiny house projects that average about the size of a 8×24 living room but have all the comforts of home.

“Once they’ve scaled their lives down they seem happier,” he told News 6.

Butler, a former building contractor is one of a team of professionals that offer digitized inspections anywhere in the country. (Think “Face time” with the inspector.)

“The inspector is looking at exactly what the builder’s smart device is looking at, he communicates with the builder he can freeze frame put notes and arrows and then pass inspection.

They call themselves the National Organization of Alternative Housing, NOAH.

The group was recently recognized by Foremost Insurance Company as the standard for tiny home inspections. inspects them and about 30 minutes away in Leesburg, Andrew Bennett, of Trekker Trailers, builds custom tiny homes.

“We can do wood grains and metals and things like that …base price about $49,000 with all the appliances included,” Bennet told WKMGH News 6.

Read more and watch the video: