My Tiny House [Part 1] – Preliminary Design

Posted on May 7, 2011


inspired by “The Cube” house and other tiny house people around the internet I am going to build a tiny house…

Some Starting Considerations / Guiding Principals:

Very Limited Money – join the club right?  I don’t want to spend heaps!  No further explanation required.

Legal Restrictions by Local Authority – In my area, the following building permit exemptions apply (as I interpret them), i.e. I don’t need to go through an expensive regulatory process if my tiny house complies with the following – I can do whatever I want:

  • 10m2 building max size “floor area” (there is no definition if this is internal floor area or the external area – I will assume the former),
  • building must be further from the property boundary than it’s own height
  • No sanitary fixtures (I will put “temporary” fixtures attached to the outside, we will see what happens)
  • Decking must not be more than 1m from the ground
  • Building must be “single story” where a single story means it may include a “part story” in the roof space.  The maximum height of a “story” does not seem to be defined anywhere that I can find – I am going to assume 3m max story height + 2 m for the part story in the room space.
  • Not allowed to install a sleeping facility unless the building is associated with a “proper house”.  Because a “proper” house will be built a later date, I am going to make allowance for this, also I am going to say the building is just required as a storage facility for when the “proper” house is built (gotta love those loopholes), a construction temp dwelling can be quite large.
  • Veranda of up to 5 m2 is allowed – maybe even bigger.

Cladding – Board and Batten non negotiable, if it ain’t built like this it’s not cute!

Foundations – The land that is available for my project is very soft, one of the benefits of not having to have a building permit, is that some common sense size foundation can be put in (with the ability to jack the tiny house back up if any of the piles settle over time – this approach would not be allowed under a “permit” dwelling)

Construction – My starting assumptions are, that I (the owner) will put in the foundations, the main framing will be prefabricated, with the detailing done on site by a building friend of mine.

Utilities – while I think the the principal of “off the grid” living is commendable, the suburban postion of this house maens that sewer, potable water and power are all availble (and are all alreday being paid for by annual local area tax).  Consdieration will be given to lowering operating costs by using solar hot water.

Materials – The use of second hand / recycles materials will be made where possible.  I had considered using only recycled materials but pragmatisim got the better of me – sorry.  Maybe next time.  Waste will be minimized by giving proper thought to order of materials.

And my preliminary plans will soon by up here….. boom.

Posted in: Simple Living