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Completely Off-Grid DIY Tiny Home w/ Rainwater Catchment


Perlin was tired of living with roommates and was passionate about sustainable living, so building an off-grid tiny homemade perfect sense.

He lives in Byron Bay, Australia, where he has a solar-powered tiny house with a rainwater catchment system. The entire home is steel-framed. Enjoy the photo tour and Q&A with Perlin below!

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Three Years Building His Sustainable THOW

He began with a great steel trailer.

Then he used steel framing construction.

What an epic rain barrel!

And loads of solar power.

His kitchen space and stairs to the bedroom.

A super sustainable shower head.

What a perfect way to store toilet paper!

You can see his living area in the background.

Flooding and bad weather has gotten a little too close to home.

Interview w/ Perlin:

What got you into tiny living?

I was tired of living in shared houses, and I loved the idea of building a tiny house and having my own space that was designed specifically for my lifestyle. I also wanted to live as sustainably as possible and reduce my carbon footprint, living in a tiny house was a great way to do that.

Did you build your home or buy it? How long did the process take?

I built my home myself with some help from my dad. I have been working on it for about 3 years, it’s close to being finished, but not quite there yet.

How has tiny living changed your life (for better or worse)?

It’s changed it a lot, I have more space and privacy then old living situations. I am more self-sufficient with solar, rainwater, completely off grid, etc.
I’m learning lots of great skills from building to growing food, to setting up off-grid systems.

What’s the hardest part of tiny living?

The hardest part for me has been surviving the wild weather, I had strong winds, heavy rain, floods, storms. The tiny house has been in different stages of building through all the weather, and it hasn’t felt very steady in lots of them. But as it gets more finished, the weather affects me less.

What’s the most rewarding part?

Seeing the house and all the systems getting built by my own hands and the sense of personal power that brings.

Any advice for people looking to go tiny?

Starting is the hardest part. Once you start, you will get motivated to keep going until it’s built.

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.

Latest posts by Natalie C. McKee (see all)

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Marsha Cowan
    January 17, 2023, 4:32 pm

    Pretty cool! Lovely countertops, and yes, the toilet paper holder is clever. It’s looking good now. I hope we can see some more pics when you’re done. May your skys be blue!

  • Eric
    January 18, 2023, 5:46 am

    The sky only looks blue… in fact (and James can correct if I’m wrong) it is black… and only a reflection of the sea. And the blueness changes in relation to the altitude.

    • James D.
      January 18, 2023, 7:56 am

      Close, it’s just the atmosphere diffusing the spectrum of the white light from the sun, with blue light scattering more than the other colors because it travels as shorter, smaller waves. Thus why we also get red sunsets because the light travels further through the atmosphere to reach our eyes, which further diffuses and weakens the intensity of the blue light and that leaves just the reds and yellows to travel straight to our eyes and overwhelm the blue. Similarly, altitude will effect how much atmosphere the light has to go through and is diffused before reaching our eyes and thus change the “blueness”…

      While most people think it’s the reflection of the sky on the sea that gives the sea its color but, while that has a limited effect, it’s more how about the water and what’s in it diffuse and reflect light, which primarily leaves blue, but depending on the sea, algae, etc. can also be green, etc.

      But, yeah, if we had no atmosphere diffusing the light the sky would look just like it does from the moon. The apparent black of space, only broken up by the sun and the other stars.

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