« Most people could build a tiny house, they’re just too scared to start, » said 21-year-old Emily Lohm.
Lohm and her Swedish husband Elias were fed up with renting a converted, leaky bach in Whangaparoa. « It cost us $440 per week, and we weren’t even getting the city lifestyle, » she said.
« We wanted to do something other than sit around, paying rent for the next five years. »
That something came in the form of a $55,000 personal bank loan, with a whopping 13.5 per cent interest rate.
Emily was working full-time as a healthcare assistant, and Elias was working for a boat building company when the project began.
« We believed if we didn’t want to live in it afterwards, we’d still be making money, » said Emily.
The novice builders drew up a plan to put a steel frame up on a standard trailer, « like a jigsaw puzzle ». Three months later, they moved in.
« There wasn’t a kitchen to start with, and we used ladders to get up to the lofts, » Emily said. The full build took a further five months of weekend work to complete.
« It’s exhausting living in a building site. You want to try to have a life, or to have one sleep-in, but also to just get it done, » she said.
Emily left an architecture diploma after six months, but had a clear vision for the 27.5sqm tiny house.
« We lived in a 30sqm studio in Sweden and had often talked about how we’d enjoy the space if it were designed better, » she said. Lire la suite