Jono grew up in New Zealand and I (Eva) grew up in Sweden.
When Jono traveled over to Sweden for his o.e, we met through mutual friends. I really wanted to travel so I left everything I knew behind and moved to New Zealand with Jono. We have now been married for eight and a half years. During our years together, we traveled and moved around a lot. After living the last time in Sweden for three years, we finally decided to move back to New Zealand to build our own Tiny House. Jono had come across the idea through YouTube about 6 years earlier and he fell in love with it straight away. I was a little bit more hesitant but came around eventually. We made the move to New Zealand in December of 2018 and the planning of our house started. We finalized our design and spend over six months going through finances and ordering all the materials.
Finally, in June of 2019, we started our build.
I remember sitting some evenings with Jono and sketching up our layout ideas on paper. Our inspiration was other Tiny Houses we had seen online. Finally, we came up with the design we have today and that we felt worked best for us.
As Jono is a builder he decided to take a few months off work to focus only on building our house. The build went smoothly, with a few bumps here and there. It was mostly hard because the build went through the winter months and this winter, in particular, was a very wet one.
It took us about three and a half months to complete it. With another few months to actually make it livable. For example, we had to find a location to park our house before we could install the kitchen, etc.
We mostly used new materials for our house as we wanted a modern look.
The main idea behind our house design was that we wanted a large spacious kitchen, lots of windows to make it feel open and bright, a social center feel, and to be able to stand full height in the bedroom loft.
We found the staircase ended up being a beautiful feature in our house. It also saves space by turning 90 degrees.
Our favorite part of the house is the kitchen. It’s a full-sized kitchen as we didn’t want to compromise there. Our skylight/hatch above the bedroom is pretty cool too.
The only door in our house is the one to the bathroom. Other than that, it is an open floor plan. At the moment we don’t have blinds or curtains. But we live in a very quiet road out the country with lots of privacy so there are no issues there.
We can accommodate guests in our tv loft. This was very important to us as we love having our friends and family over.
The cost of our build ended up being around 95000 NZD (63000 USD). This cost would have been much higher if we hadn’t done most of the labor ourselves.
Our house is currently located on a rural property. It’s about 20 minutes outside of a beautiful town called Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty region of New Zealand.
We live on a very quiet road with nature all around with kiwi fruit orchards and sheep surrounding us (very kiwi of us we know).
We came across the location through a local by and sell page on Facebook.
We pay roughly 20% of the average rental cost for this area for our spot.
The downsizing process was not hard for us. As we always traveled and moved so much, we never accumulated a lot of stuff. With the move to New Zealand the year before, we had already downsized a lot.
We love living in our Tiny House. And so far we have found nothing negative with it.
We also feel like there is nothing that we would change at this stage as we’ve only lived in it for a bit over a week.
This Tiny House has improved our lives in that it has given us the stability we really needed after so many years of traveling and moving around. It also got us out of the rent trap.
We are so thankful for the opportunity we got to actually enter into this project. It’s been a long hard road to get to where we are today but it was so worth it. We are also very thankful for the people that helped us along the way and a special thanks to Jono’s parents that put us up for a whole year.
A piece of advice to others that want to build a Tiny House is to count the costs thoroughly before starting. Expect to spend a lot of time researching and organizing materials. As we designed and build our own place, there was a lot of behind the scenes work that took a lot more time than we expected.
Our tiny house is:
3.1 Meters wide, 8.5 Meters long + drawbar, 4.2 Meters high from the ground.
Weight: 3,5 Ton
Inside floor space: Approx. 35 Square meter counting lofts.
Please come hang out with us on our Instagram page @thebradburyproject for more pictures and videos.