Tiny home at a tiny price

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 05:00 30/08/2014

Student Stefan Cook has largely finished his tiny house and is living in it - his answer to Christchurch's accommodation problems.

Stefan Cook's tiny home
RICHARD COSGROVE/ Fairfax NZ
AT HOME: Stefan Cook says living in a ‘‘tiny house’’ gives him financial freedom.

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Stefan Cook is revelling in the fact his new home cost $438,000 less than the average Christchurch house price.

The Press reported in January that the University of Canterbury geology student planned to build his own ''tiny house'' from scratch to beat the rising cost of housing in Christchurch.

Cook has now finished building his 3.4-tonne home, complete with a mezzanine bedroom, living area, kitchen and bathroom. The house measures 8 metres by 2.45m and is 4.1m high.

It was built on top of a custom-built trailer so it could be moved and did not require a building consent.

Cook did not have experience in building but it took him only 12 weeks to get it to a ''liveable'' standard.

The building cost $22,000 - an amount he would save within two-and-a-half years by not having to pay rent - and most of the materials were salvaged from demolition sites, which helped keep costs down.

The average value of a house in Christchurch is now more than $460,000.

Cook still has a few finishing touches to make, including adding a dining table and shelving, but was enjoying being in his own space. 

''It is satisfying waking up in something that you've built.''

He moved into the house about eight weeks ago and spent an average of $8.75 on gas each week to power his fridge, heat water, cook and heat the house.

A car battery powers the lights, but Cook planned to switch to a solar panel.

''It's not for everybody, but I think there's a lot of potential for more people moving into this style of living,'' he said.

''You're not tied to high bank fees and 30-year mortgages.''

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