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Couple’s DIY $38K Tiny House in New Zealand

Have you ever heard of anyone taking on a large-scale construction project and coming in under budget? Well, now you have! Kate and Benoît returned to New Zealand after years of international travel and managed to build themselves a tiny house on wheels for only $38,000, which was less than they had planned.

How did they manage it? The couple made clever use of all kinds of reclaimed and thrifted materials, spending money where it mattered most to them, and saving it wherever they could. Right now, it’s parked on her parent’s land, but they’re on the lookout for a spot of their own to create a small homestead.

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Building a Budget THOW From Reclaimed Materials

The kitchen is filled with amazing reclaimed wood and some fun hexagon tiles.

They have a small bench area, but it hides extra ottomans for guests.

The bedroom looks like a magical oasis!

VIDEO: The Dream Simple Life In A Handcrafted Tiny Home


  • Kate and Benoît were world travelers for years, but they’d always wanted to live tiny.
  • Their original plan had been a container house. But after talking to Kate’s brother (who is in construction), they decided to build a timber-built home instead.
  • This allowed them to design a more interesting roofline, which ended up providing them with a great private bedroom loft.
  • They have a large kitchen area with cool reclaimed countertops in a chevron pattern. They also took the risk of adding hexagon tiles as a backsplash, and somehow it all works.
  • The storage stairs to their bedroom all have incredible woodwork designs, which some of their friends and family members chose!

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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)

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Marsha Cowan
    February 6, 2024, 11:12 pm

    This home is truly unique and absolutely lovely! Great job!

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