Everything you need to know about buying a tiny home

If you’re a fan of minimalist living, here’s how you can live big in a tiny home.

Tiny homes have quickly made their way into Australia’s building landscape with the less is more lifestyle becoming a popular choice for those looking for a new way of living.

Grant Emans, the owner of Designer Eco Tiny Homes, is convinced that tiny homes are the future of Australia living.

“The reality for us and a lot of western society is that a tiny home is going to be the home of the future - people just don’t know it yet,” he says.

“For those that want one, great. For those that don’t realise it yet, they are going to be living in a tiny home at some point because it is the only solution that I can see where we can house the population that we have in a sustainable way.”

With a long-spanning history in the building industry, Grant set out to make an Australianised version of a tiny home after the American TV show Tiny House Hunting caught his attention.

After building his first design in his backyard, he has had enormous success selling 30 custom designed tiny homes in just 6 months, taking his business from a two person company, himself included, to eight full time carpenters.

While Grant had an inkling early on that the tiny house movement would take off in Australia, he was surprised at how quickly demand grew.

“I didn’t expect it to all happen this fast. I started in my backyard, I then moved to a facility that could fit one build and we’ve recently moved to a shed that houses 10 tiny homes,” he says.

“We hope to take production next year up to around 50 tiny homes.”

And while a minimalist lifestyle is appealing to his customers, Grant’s passion for sustainability is the driving force behind his business.

“My building experience showed me that there was this incredible amount of resources, both human resources and the natural resources of producing that product, that was totally unsustainable,” he explains.

“For me a tiny house is the solution I’ve been looking for for a long time as far as being the ultimate all-round sustainable option in terms of cost, sustainability and wellbeing.”

Based on Grant's growing business, it’s safe to say that Australians are getting behind the tiny house movement.

If you are planning on building a tiny home, here's what you need to know.

How much will it cost?

Generally, a tiny home will cost you between $48,000 and $85,000. On average, Grant’s customers invest around $65,000 into their build.

What building requirements do you need to consider?

In Australia a tiny home is legally considered to be a caravan. This means, it cannot be wider than 2.5metres, taller than 4.3 metres and longer than 12.5 metres. The biggest tiny home that Grant makes, called the lifestyle series, is just 7.2 metres long. But it's full of big features, including a ground floor bedroom, two double bed lofts, a fireplace and air-con. It weighs 4.475 kilograms empty, leaving you enough weight to add everything that you need.

Is there a difference between Australian and American designs?

The main consideration when building a tiny home is weight. Your design isn't going to be as big as an American one, Australian regulations won't allow it. In Australia the maximum towing weight for a regular domestic trailer is 4.5 tonne, while in America it is 7 tonne, so the build will need to suit this towing capacity.

Where can you permanently keep a tiny home?

The same government regulations that apply to a caravan, apply to Grant’s tiny home designs. Hooking up to sewer and power services are also done in the same way as you would a caravan and each design comes with solar.

Grant’s homes are designed to go from his workshop into your permanent location. Although, they can be relocated, this isn't something he recommends you do everyday. Check your local state government's caravan regulations for more information.

What are they made from?

Grant’s tiny homes are built with the same materials as a normal house – giving home owners the same comfort and warmth that creates the sense of home. So while legally, the home is classified as a caravan, weight considerations need to be made as the materials used to build caravans are light-weight. Grant's team can help you with a custimised build that meet these requirements.

For more information see the Designer Eco Tiny Homes website, designerecohomes.com.au.



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