Why design and build a tiny house?

So why I am designing and building a tiny house? I have been interested in building and design from a young age and almost studied architecture at Uni but opted for Product Development instead. After travelling overseas for 6 years I got really interested in alternative ways of living. Travel allowed me to experience people living in the most basic environments and realizing they couldn't be happier triggered something within me. It got me thinking about whether we could live in a more simple way to free up both time and money to do the things we love. At this stage we are going to see where the journey takes us as to what happens with the finished house. I have divided the following aspects of this project up into two sections; the design and build side; and the actual living side.

Purpose of the design and build

  1. To gain skills and learn new things - building a complete house covers many skills. For example - drawing, building, running a website, specifications, material selection, working with nature, problem solving and managing money, the list goes on. I love that fact there are many things to do, consider and understand. I will need to be a jack of all trades.

  2. To explore new technologies and methodologies - I want to utilize as many new materials and processes as possible to push the boundaries of the 'norm'.

  3. To educate others - The reason I have set up a website and supporting social media is so you guys can follow and and learn for yourselves. I intend to document the whole process using video, imagery and text.

  4. To find focus - for about and last ten years I have been looking for and doing all sorts of projects to try and figure out what my passion is, for the first time I think I have found it and who knows what else might develop from it.


We currently live in a 1930's 70sqm 2 bedroom cottage on a fairly small section close to the beach and city center in Napier NZ. On a New Zealand scale this house is considered small, with the average house being around 200 sqm.

Our current house

  1. Try to live with less - We have worked out the two of us only use a third of this area but must admit the other two thirds come in handy when others visit and/or stay. We think we could comfortably live in a tiny house of around 20sqm if it is well designed.

  2. Save time - If we decide to down size there will be less cleaning, tidying and maintaining to do.

  3. Less stuff to worry about - life will be more relaxed because we will have less to worry about.

  4. Environmental aspect - This point actually falls under both design and living categories. By living tiny will reduce the environmental impact from both our home and ourselves.

  5. Financial freedom - If we do decide to live in the house our current living costs will be massively reduced. Our current mortgage will be zero and rates will be much smaller depending on location and setup of the tiny house. Power will also be next to nothing as the house will hopefully be able to produce its own free energy - that's right free!

I will go into more detail on these aspects as time goes on. Would love to hear your feedback.