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John & Elsa’s Tiny House Project in New Zealand


John and Elsa decided to build this tiny house “because we wanted to” — which is about the best reason I can think of! They contracted out different aspects of the build, like the steel framing and roofing, and now rent the home to a South African woman who was stuck due to the pandemic. Later, they may sell the tiny house and find a new project to work on.

It sits in a private spot at the end of the couple’s garden, and inside it has all the luxuries you’d want from a tiny house, including a large lounge area, fully-equipped kitchen, and bathroom with shower and flush toilet. There’s heating and air-conditioning inside, and two lofts.

The couple shared all the tiny house specs below, so be sure to read more and watch the video tour as well.

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Stunning New Zealand THOW Built “Just Because”

John & Elsa’s Tiny House Project 4

Images via John & Elsa

The front deck is plenty private.

John & Elsa’s Tiny House Project 3

Images via John & Elsa

As far as a built-in couch goes, this is one of the comfiest I’ve seen.

trJohn & Elsa’s Tiny House Project 5

Images via John & Elsa

The natural light in here is stunning.

John & Elsa’s Tiny House Project 6

Images via John & Elsa

Love the perfect office space for two.

John & Elsa’s Tiny House Project 7

Images via John & Elsa

Ta-Da! Now it’s set for dinner.

John & Elsa’s Tiny House Project 2

Images via John & Elsa

The kitchen feels surprisingly large.

John & Elsa’s Tiny House Project 10

Images via John & Elsa

Love the addition of a laundry unit.

John & Elsa’s Tiny House Project 11

Images via John & Elsa

For a tiny house, that vanity is huge!

John & Elsa’s Tiny House Project 8

Images via John & Elsa

Beautiful glass shower stall.

John & Elsa’s Tiny House Project 9

Images via John & Elsa

Awesome cubbies up in the bedroom loft.

John & Elsa’s Tiny House Project

Images via John & Elsa

I like the bed facing away from the rest of the house.

John & Elsa’s Tiny House Project 4 12

Images via John & Elsa

VIDEO: Trailer House Tour Video

Their Story:

  • Description
    We built this just because we wanted to. We purchased the trailer and commissioned a steel framing company to make the frames, then a roofing company to enclose it with longrun roofing iron for the roof and sides. A window company installed the double glazed tinted windows and then we did the inside. Originally we were going to use aluminium composite panelling but that turned out to be too heavy at 14kg per sheet, so we elected to use caravan ply at just 4kg per sheet.
    Kitchen and stairs were custom built by a kitchen company using very light birch plywood.
    The kitchen has a full size (gas) oven, fridge/freezer, microwave oven, toaster, expresso coffee maker.
    Flooring is hybrid vinyl planks.
    Kitchen has a flush toilet and all the plumbing is connected to a “Blackbox” tank, then pumped 50m uphill into the main house sewerage system.
    Measurements are L8.0m x W3.1m x H4.2m, plus 1.5m for the drawbar.
    Total cost was about NZD$105,000
  • The Space
    It is situated at the bottom of our garden in a pleasant leafy space, with lots of birdlife. The lounge consists of a comfortable sofa and a dining set, a TV (with freeview, YouTube and Netflix). The mezzanine bedroom has a comfortable Queen bed, with quality pillows of different densities. The compact bathroom is fully equipped. Highspeed Wifi is available throughout and aircon/heating system is installed (although all the windows are double glazed to the place is cool in summer and warm in winter. Appropriate windows have insect screens fitted
  • Neighbourhood overview
    Just 5 minutes walking from a lovely beach, and other beautiful beaches not far away, and with several interesting walks around the area. The local village is just 4 minutes drive, with a great selection of cafes and restaurants. And a shopping centre is just 10mins drive away. Not far to ferry terminals, where you can cross directly to world famous Waiheke Island for a day trip to vineyards and beaches
  • Currently it’s rented out to a young lady from South Africa who is stuck in New Zealand due to Covid-19

Learn More:

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Our big thanks to John & Elsa for sharing! 🙏

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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)

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • vee
    April 12, 2021, 6:07 pm

    I love this tiny home. Excellent taste through out and so well thought thru. Of course, the gorgeous views in beautiful New Zealand make it even better!!!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      April 13, 2021, 3:26 pm

      Right? Location, Location, Location, as they say.

  • Eric
    April 13, 2021, 7:32 pm

    Wow, I was wrong, that location looks like a dead ringer for Tairua in the Coromandel Peninsula. Still, very gorgeous building.

  • Victoria Banaszak
    May 10, 2021, 10:45 pm

    This one is very nice. I love that kitchen counter. So spaceous.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      May 12, 2021, 2:28 pm

      Counter space is the best!

  • Marsha Cowan
    May 11, 2021, 10:17 am

    I have seen this one before, and I am still impressed. Beautiful, room, and comfy. Great job!

  • Rosie
    May 11, 2021, 10:52 am

    Now that’s a fantastic bathroom, luv the counter with builtin sink. The shower is just the right size too.
    Great job!

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