Our tiny house friends from New Zealand are at it again with another amazing tiny house tour.

Bryce Langston of Living Big in a Tiny House visits Brett Sutherland who just finished his 161 sq. ft. debt-free tiny home.

He was living in the Caribbean for many years and wanted to return home to New Zealand.

But Brett feared that if he had to rent a place to stay he’d lose all of his savings as soon as he returned home.

So instead of renting or buying a normal home, he looked into mortgage-free options and decided on building his own tiny mobile villa and named it the NV.

Brett’s NV Debt-free Tiny House in New Zealand

I encourage you to enjoy the rest of the tour (and video interview/tour with Brett the builder/dweller/artist) below:

Front and Back of Bryce’s DIY Tiny House

Bretts House Ends 1024x576   Artist Builds Amazing 161 Sq. Ft. Mortgage free Tiny House for $17,514

Side View of the Tiny Villa on Wheels

Bretts Tiny House 1024x5761   Artist Builds Amazing 161 Sq. Ft. Mortgage free Tiny House for $17,514

Kitchen

Bretts Tiny House Kitchen 2 1024x576   Artist Builds Amazing 161 Sq. Ft. Mortgage free Tiny House for $17,514

Bathroom

Bretts Tiny House Bathroom 1024x576   Artist Builds Amazing 161 Sq. Ft. Mortgage free Tiny House for $17,514

Stairs to the Loft

Bretts Tiny House Kitchen 1024x576   Artist Builds Amazing 161 Sq. Ft. Mortgage free Tiny House for $17,514

Couch and Desk to Work

Bretts Tiny Living Room 1024x576   Artist Builds Amazing 161 Sq. Ft. Mortgage free Tiny House for $17,514

Sleeping Loft Bedroom

Bretts Tiny House Loft 1024x576   Artist Builds Amazing 161 Sq. Ft. Mortgage free Tiny House for $17,514

View from the Loft

Brett built it completely mortgage-free for just $17,514 USD and he plans on living and working in it since he is an artist.

Best of all, now he doesn’t have to waste all of his money on rent so he has more options to pursue his artistic career.

The space includes a built in couch, staircase to the loft, work desk, dining area, full kitchen and full bathroom.

Image credits: Living Big in a Tiny House

Video Tour of this 161 Sq. Ft. Off Grid $17k DIY Tiny House

Video: Brett Moves his Tiny House Off Grid at Bethells Beach

Read the original article at Living Big in a Tiny House.

Check out Bryce’s last tiny home tour in New Zealand in this post.

If you enjoyed this you’ll love our free daily tiny house newsletter with much more!

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   Artist Builds Amazing 161 Sq. Ft. Mortgage free Tiny House for $17,514

Alex

Alex has been living in small spaces for more than 7 years, he's the founding editor of TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter, and has passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. Send in your story and tiny home photos so we can share and inspire others towards simplicity too. Thank you!

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{ 39 comments }

  • Sally February 12, 2014, 1:32 pm

    Very nicely done! Steps instead of a ladder, a kitchen with great counterspace for all kinds of activities, a desk, and a loft with some lift. I’m sure someone will find something to fuss about, but this house seems to cover all the issues everyone finds difficult to overcome. Aesthetics, too. Congratulations on getting your priorities straight so that you can devote your time and resources to your art. Best wishes.

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  • Sally February 12, 2014, 1:46 pm

    Another comment, bear with me: I rarely have time to look at the videos on here, and am so glad I did. It was great to see how the unusual roof-style gives the impression of airiness, instead of the usual claustrophobia-inducing pitch of most THs. The builder addressed this, and also showed a lot of other problem-solving, like the wheel wells (never thought of that!) I also learned a lot from watching how two people, one of whom is tall, moved around this TH without having to jump out of the way of the other. And the woodwork! Local New Zealand woods? I love the cozy THs, but this one has definitely given me something to think about. I could breathe in this one. Once again, stunning and wellcrafted. Thanks for sharing.

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    • Alex Pino February 18, 2014, 5:03 pm

      Really glad you enjoyed it Sally, thanks

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  • Doris February 12, 2014, 2:14 pm

    You forgot the camera girl, Sal. So it makes three people in the house. Thanks for the tip on the video. That loft! Didn’t realize it was off-grid til he showed the water storage. Very inventive. Sharing this one with friends who have claustrophobia and bad knees. No more excuses! Thanks to Alex and his friends. True craftsmanship.

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    • 2BarA February 12, 2014, 3:08 pm

      A very clever design with a good loft, appears spacious and airy, nice
      staircase, lots of kitchen space and off-grid technology. Like the use of
      repurposed lumber which adds character. I’d give this TH an A+.

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    • Alex Pino February 18, 2014, 5:04 pm

      Thanks Doris!

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  • Ellen February 12, 2014, 3:49 pm

    I think what we are seeing in both this one and tinyhousebuild’s hOMe is tiny house 2.0. Many everyday living issues are being worked out with this generation of tiny homes. These are really well thought out designs. Clearly the roof line works much better than what we’ve seen a lot of in the past.

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  • Mary February 12, 2014, 5:59 pm

    This tiny house and the video have convinced my husband that this is something we can definitely do. I love, love, love it. All I’d add is a washer/dryer. Otherwise, it’s pretty perfect as is.

    Now, we are starting to make our plans in earnest. So, thanks, Brett and Bryce and all the TH people out there who are such a huge inspiration. Maybe we’ll get our house featured on here someday. :)

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    • Alex Pino February 18, 2014, 5:04 pm

      Thanks Mary glad that it was inspiring for you and your husband.

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  • maureen February 12, 2014, 6:55 pm

    love this, are there plans for it?

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  • Corina February 12, 2014, 7:44 pm

    Love the house!
    My question is twofold.
    It appears that this house is in someone’s driveway. Since the owner doesn’t have a vehicle is this where the house will stay?

    As for a composting toilet, which I use, I know that one needs to have a area to compost the waste. Does the owner of the house have that space?
    I love tiny house living, although I live in a yurt, but regulations allowing for permanent or long term temporary situations are still lagging behind
    Best to the builder and thanks for sharing

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  • ml February 12, 2014, 7:45 pm

    Okay. I’m just going to say it (with respect to everyone). I HATE tiny houses on wheels. I respect that wheels are the optimal option for many of you, but they just aren’t relevant in our world. If we wanted a travel trailer, we’d be interested. But how about living in a static location for the long term? To me, that’s where tiny living makes the most impact. Can you please indicate “on wheels” when you highlight a story to spare us looking at an 8′ wide trailer that equates to “not an option” for at least some of us?

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  • libertymen February 12, 2014, 7:58 pm

    Too tall to be road usable in the US?Other than that,its very nice,Love the stairs. Granite countertop in a very budget house,(Used lbr,) A dish washer,but no bathroom?
    Personal choice I guess.Good luck to him.

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    • Alex Pino February 18, 2014, 5:05 pm

      There’s a bathroom :)

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      • Pete March 20, 2014, 12:35 pm

        Do codes not require a hard separation between kitchen and bathroom ie. door / wall, as well as separate hand washing area?

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        • Brian May 17, 2014, 4:40 pm

          In New Zealand and Australia you need better separation between bathroom and kitchen. Some designs I have seen (these pages) have this separation. You get the separation simply by placing the toilet door at the narrowend of the bathroom. (ie is from the living space)

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          • Brian May 17, 2014, 4:44 pm

            The plan for this home must be using caravan rules which don’t require the separation.

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  • curt February 13, 2014, 1:10 am

    Love the Roof line- one of the better roofs I have seen- The loft looked really comfortable- liked the whole airflow thing. Once again I was reminded about building for your environment is key for a small house. If you needed to heat this space- under floor electrical radiant heat film would work- even a electric blanket or mattress pad. Having the ability to move the toilet bucket outside makes sense-(depending on the climate and neighbors) I would also would look into installing a shower head and valve on the outside of the building- In a tropical climate- keeping the moisture out of the structure wouldn’t hurt. Would add one more window- right by the table- so I could face out and eat dinner looking out the window.
    I do wonder if he has found a spot to park it-Was wondering if it was parked in the parents driveway and is on its way to a more remote location. I also have notice a lacking of blinds- for taking a nap during the hot part of the day- would be needed- and at night – sometimes you just need to shut the world away. This is one house that makes me go yes I might be interested in doing this.

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  • Brett Sutherland February 13, 2014, 2:33 am

    Hi all, I’ll try answer as many q’s I’ve seen posted as I can. For a start its called an MV Inlakesh- which is Mobile Villa. I built it in my parents driveway to tow away to a beach area property(moving it out on feb 20th). Its 4.17m high from the ground and 2.44m wide, 6m long plus a 1m deck. Its got ‘Roman’ blinds, look above the windows. No heating source as yet but am looking into small tea light candle solutions. It doesn’t freeze down here but it still gets cold. A wood stove is still too expensive for me right now but it would go where the bucket chair is by the door if I had one, maybe in the future. The composting toilet will be in use where I am moving it, until then the toilet in my folks house does me well. The bench tops are just formica(plastic laminate), not granite. behind the stairs are good storage for over-sized things, where else do you put musical instruments etc, and it also contains the 2 batteries. If it was turned into drawers then no space to put sax or drum. I am about to start redrawing the plans to make available, contact me via http://www.skinbonestone.com.
    I am really honored by all your comments and didn’t realize so many people felt the same issues I had with other designs. I knew I had a winner. Maybe I should put on offer my other ideas. Thank you everyone and good luck with your own- start now with a ‘wish list’, people have stuff in their garages for projects like ours and they dont want to throw them away, rather give to people like us. Just start it. Peace, Brett

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    • Alex Pino February 18, 2014, 5:06 pm

      Thank you so much Brett!

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    • Dianna A. April 8, 2014, 7:44 pm

      Hi Brett,
      Just wanted to say that your MV is, without a doubt, the best design (in my opinion) for actually living in a tiny house I’ve seen yet. It has the most spacious loft area, and your explanations on air flow made me re-think some misconceptions I had, and also on installing a 12V electrical system. Way to go! All the best.

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    • Jeff May 17, 2014, 2:34 pm

      My comments echo most of those here-incredible design!
      For my American THers, Height: 4.17m=13.68ft, so we’d have to trim it just a tad. W: 2.44m=8.005ft. Very much doable Stateside! I had been thinking 5th wheel to avoid stairs (health), but this is making me rethink. Hmm, maybe both! Roof line, airflow–so many design elements are simply spot on!
      Kudos to you Brett for the fantastic built and to you Alex for bringing this gem to us!

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  • Mary J February 14, 2014, 1:07 am

    this tiny house has so much to offer the rest of us who have still to build our tiny houses. Clever use of the wheelwells – becoming a shelf under the desk or as a footstool – can always use one of those when sitting at the desk. The convertable space in the bathroom – either hang the curtain inside the bathroom to give more kitchen space or hang it out into the kitchen for more space in the bathroom – an option that would save me wondering if there’s enough wriggle room in either space now!! There could be an arrangement set up to draw the curtain along curved tracks rather than having to unhook it.
    The native timber is very beautiful too and adds a luxury touch without great expense….I’m not to keen on manmade options, rather go for the tree grown reuseable option. Love the stairs and the whole upstairs atmosphere, it looks immediately comfortable, doesn’t have the ‘shuffle myself into bed and attempt to get comfortable look’. Crossflow ventilation to keep the air fresh and cool while you’re sleeping. Hopefully, there will be plans available. One last thing – loved the side carved support to the foldaway table.

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  • Tina February 17, 2014, 10:29 am

    I recently moved from New Zealand to the US because I was feeling incredibly stifled, from lack of job opportunities to the ridiculous price of rent, I just couldn’t see my future being anything but limited. SO I moved away from my family to the land of opportunity and have started looking into building my own little place on a patch of land. I’m excited to be able to do what I love to make ends meet because I don’t have to worry about working a job I hate to pay the rent! I wish I had found out about tiny home living while I was still in NZ, although I believe in fate so I guess it was meant to happen this way! Thanks for sharing your home, I love your roof design and also your water storage :)

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  • Jamie February 24, 2014, 12:53 pm

    Hello. I have researched tiny house living for almost ten years now and I’m about to make the leap!! I always find it amazing that you think you know exactly what you want and then you see something like this and suddenly everything you thought you loved is changed!!! This house is brilliant. The space. The shape. the windows. everything. Are the plans for sale? I love the interview at the end especially. after watching it I feel inspired and just so full of happiness and joy that I am not alone in this world of commercialism and McMansions!!

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  • Pang April 8, 2014, 1:50 am

    Hi Brett, you are talented, I like the way you build the house, simple, functioning, it’s tiny but it fit itself, it is the best design among all tiny houses that i saw, friendly color tone of the house that feel wanting to stay inside for the whole day, feel coming back home when out :) I wish I could learn from you, hope to have my own like yours.

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    • Alex April 8, 2014, 7:58 am

      Hey glad you liked it

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  • Debbra W April 9, 2014, 2:22 am

    Where are the rails for the stairs? Make those stairs safe! What if a pregnant wife falls down the stairs because she can’t see over her belly and tends to tip forward. Wouldn’t you like to make the grandmother or grandfather who has a bad moment and falls down four steps and fractures vertebrae more safe? Do you want to get sued because this one practical thing is not in the design? I wouldn’t buy any tiny home that was unsafe in this manner.

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    • Paul May 18, 2014, 1:37 am

      Well Debbra, in New Zealand he couldn’t get sued because he isn’t the one who would build it for you. So, it is up to the builder to make it as safe as they think they need it to be.

      Fortunately, New Zealand is not a litigious nation like the US.

      And even if it didn’t have the stair rail, what is to stop you from having one put in after taking delivery? Also, the conventional tiny homes, i.e. Tumbleweed types have (gasp) dangerous ladders. Without wanting to appear to be snarky, all I can say is sheeeeesh woman!

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      • Brian June 18, 2014, 3:42 pm

        Well said Paul. As a New Australian from NZ (only 45 years here) you are on the button with your remarks. Love the house except for the toilet opening to the area where you prepare food. Could easily be placed with the entry on the narrow side. Cheers from Australia.

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  • Comet May 17, 2014, 6:01 pm

    @DEBBRA W–

    First off as far as I can see NO plans or the actual house is for sale at this moment. And I highly doubt that the male builder is worried about pregnancy for himself.

    AS for others-IF they chose to adapt this clever and very ingenious design–they would be more than free to ADD a handrail to the stairs.

    Taking the devils advocate position here–I am handicapped. Below knee amputee with half a foot left on the other leg. And a severe balance issue. The FIRST thing I saw was the lack of handrail and in my little mind I said–Self, add thee a handrail!

    There. I fixed it.

    Without I might add being snarky snotty and generally annoying.

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  • Comet May 17, 2014, 6:14 pm

    Now that we have cleared THAT up—

    This is by far the BEST use of space I have seen here—other places have had more bling and some have interesting features but THIS one–this is the one I would build.

    When it comes time to build my “Dream RV” (probably using an old RV as a start point) THIS is the guy I want to help design it!!!!

    Hmmmm—does that mean I would have to go to NZ to collaborate? Gee that’s a real shame!!!!!

    The kitchen in this place is not only better laid out than the one in my house with the ZIP code but has tons more counter space and looks easier to work in. And the bathroom does not look like an afterthought—and has something larger than a dishwashing basin to SHOWER in. I have seen “luxury RV’s” that had smaller and more awkward looking bathrooms.

    I would be very flattered if someone thought I had used granite counter tops in this! And altho it might not be that easy for ME to get to the loft–handrail added of course!!!—I am sure many others breathed a sigh of relief when THEY saw the stairs and the amount of head room built in here. Perhaps for an American towing requirement you could do a collapsable portion of the roofing? Where part of it would fold or slide down or???

    PLEASE please tell us WHERE to see your other designs and ideas!!!! You might have a whole new career here!

    Kudos!!!!!!

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  • Paul May 18, 2014, 1:43 am

    Oh come on, if you came to NZ to collaborate you might never ever leave.

    New Zealand ain’t called Godzone for nuffin’

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    • Paul May 18, 2014, 1:49 am

      Oops, forgot to mention, the height of the house is marginally higher than US rules allow. We’re talking about 1-2 inches overheight. Not a big alteration to make to the plan.

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  • Mame June 1, 2014, 10:36 pm

    STAIRS !!! lol… yes, I do look for that sort of thing. What a wonderful design and appears spacious enough to actually live in. I was surprised, just six metres long (about 18 feet). I loved the videos also, packed with great information. Thanks so much for making it available!

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  • Mery Ann August 7, 2014, 10:30 pm

    Is it possible to buy blue prints or some type of plans to build Brett’s “tiny house on wheels”? He’s built a truly amazing home!

    Reply Link

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