As part of Eco Week 2016, we toured tiny houses built by UC alumni.
One of these tiny homes was built by Kyle Sutherland, who graduated from UC in 2011 with a Bachelor of Commerce. He lives in his tiny house with his girlfriend Hazel. We spoke to him about his experience of building and living in a tiny house.
What made you decide to build your own Tiny Home?
I’ve always thought that working thirty years to pay an enormous amount of interest to the bank just to have a roof over my head was a crazy idea. When my good friend Bryce told me about the tiny house he was building and what they can enable, I was sold. From the lower carbon footprint of the build to the ability to generate and store all of my electricity completely off grid through solar panels, tiny houses give a whole lot more than just financial freedom.
What have you enjoyed the most during your Tiny House build?
My brother is a qualified builder currently living in Australia and was an absolute legend giving up three months of work to come help me build it. I enjoyed learning a new set of skills which I previously didn’t have and now have awesome memories working on it with my friends and family.
What advice would you give to somebody who wants to give it a go?
It’s a big commitment for those who aren’t as lucky to have family and friends who specialise in the necessary trades, but it is more than achievable with the amount of self-help information out on the Internet. My key piece of advice would be to do lots of research and ask lots of questions. The design of the house is one of the most crucial steps to successfully building a tiny home.
How do Tiny Houses contribute to a sustainable world?
Living in around 23m2 of space has a much smaller footprint than the average New Zealand home of 209m2. For example fewer resources are required to build a tiny house, and there is a much smaller area to heat in winter. Combine this with off-grid solar, thermally broken windows built with a north facing aspect, a composting toilet and rain collection, tiny houses are part of the housing solution to a more sustainable world.
To learn more about tiny houses, check out Living Big in a Tiny House.