Snug living space part of global trend

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 07:00 10/06/2014
Bevan Thomas has joined Christchurch's growing tiny house movement by building his own haven on wheels.
John-Kirk Anderson

AN INSIDE PEEK: Bevan Thomas inside his 2.5 metres wide, 4.2 metres high and 7 metres long house.

Bevan Thomas
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/FAIRFAX NZ
SMALL SPACES: Bevan Thomas hopes to inspire people to consider alternative housing. 

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Bevan Thomas has joined Christchurch's growing tiny house movement by building his own haven on wheels.

It was the first time the former commercial helicopter pilot had undertaken such a project, but he had been at a "loose end" after moving back to Christchurch recently to look after family.

He and his wife had raised their three children on a yacht in Australia, and Thomas decided to use his knowledge of living comfortably in a small space to build his own "tiny house".

"It's my own little art project. It's quite a lifesaver for me, I was running out of ideas."

Thomas said there was a trend towards smaller housing around the world, especially in places like the United States, and he hoped to give people in Christchurch "some inspiration" about different housing options.

"We wanted to try and make something that would change peoples' perspective of small spaces being third world."

A trailer was custom-built for the project, allowing the finished house to be moved and put on any section without a building permit.

The small dimensions - 2.5 metres wide, 4.2 metres high and 7 metres long - would also ensure it was small enough to move without the need for a special driving permit.

Thomas' tiny house would include space for a living area, dining and cooking, a washing machine, two bedrooms, and a bathroom.

Gas would be used for heating water and cooking, while electricity would be provided to the rest of the house in the same way as a caravan.

"All we're doing is using 90 per cent of the space, instead of wasting 90 per cent of the space," Thomas said.

"It's not lacking anything. It will be very very liveable."

He hoped to finish the house by the end of the month and planned to sell it at auction for "market value' - probably about $50,000.

"It needs to be affordable as well, that's extremely important."

He did not mind what the potential buyer used the house for, but suggested it could be suitable as worker's accommodation or as a first home for a young couple.

"It's certainly cheaper than a house deposit. The idea really is to try to open up possibilities for people."

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