Expansive decking invites tiny house dwellers outside
Australiancouple Shona Macpherson and Barlo Smith have recently completed theirvery first Tiny House, featuring all the comforts of a regular sizehome with the added benefit of a large outdoor deck. After dedicating20 years of their carpentry and joinery business to building largedecks and renovations, they have turned their hand to the tinyhouse movement.Dubbed Sowelo, this 19 sq m (208 sq ft) tiny house comfortablysleeps uptosix guests and boasts two loft bedrooms with sky lights, a lowerlevellounge with sofa bed and 8 meters (26ft)of outdoor decking.
"Wehave been following the tiny house movement over the past 3 to 4years or more in Canada, Europe and the US," Shona Macpherson and Barlo Smith tell New Atlas. "We loved the idea ofoffering an affordable option for a large range of people. Theland and property prices in Australia have sky rocketed over the last5 years and this makes it very hard, particularly for young people,to get a property or home of their own. We have two teenage daughtersand thought there would be many others that could look to owning a tiny house, that does not need council approval or development application costs and would allow for a better and more sustainableway of living. The ability to move the tiny house if situationschanged and have an asset that could be rented out or sold etc."
TheSowelo tiny house is built by Macpherson and Smith from theirsolar-powered property, with certified FSC rough sawn ply wood, whichhas been tried and tested in various Australian climates, includingthe Snowy Mountains region with yearly temperatures ranging between-10 degrees Celsius (14°F)in the winter to above 40 degrees C(104° F)during the summer.
"Barloand I love working together and have done so for most of our lives," says Macpherson. "Building tiny houses from our property has allowed us to build with avery light environmental footprint. Powered by solar energy we use a lot of cordless tools as batterytech is very economical and efficient. Using new lightweight,sustainable building materials that are plantation-certified and assustainableas possible has allowed us to incorporate all our designideas into functional, contemporary design with a minimal focus."
Thehome is built ona 4.5 tonne engineered trailer tomeet Australian legal standards andmeasures8 m (26ft) long,4.3 m (14ft) highand 2.5 m (8ft) wide.Europeanbirch FSC-certified film-faced ply was used to build the kitchencupboards, bathroom vanities and under stair storage. In addition,80 percent recycled polyester was used for the home's insulation, no volatile organic compound (VOC) emission glues and low or no VOC paints and coatings were usedthroughout the home.
"There are weight, length and height restrictions on legal tiny houses in Australia," say the builders. "We have spent a great deal of time and effort to ensure we stay within the legal requirements and inspection compliance. This allows the buyer the advantage of knowing their tiny house is built professionally and to all the legal classifications. For a tiny house to be legal in Australia it must be built on a compliant trailer. This allows for the advantage of not needing to have a development application and the cost saving associated with this."
The Sowelo tiny house boasts a modern living room with a large sofa bed, two elevated loft bedrooms, a full size kitchen with stainless steel all gas stove and oven, full size energy efficient fridge, large stainless steel sink with pull out hose tap and push-to-open drawers (no handles required). The home also includes a foldaway dining table with two bar stools, push-to-open under stair cupboards with clothes rack, bathroom with rain shower, bath and toilet (composting toilet is also an option), hand basin, vanity with large mirror and washing machine.
Thetiny house also featuresa cozy nook area ideal as a quiet reading area or study, abundantexternal decking, a grow-wall with integrated watering system, largewindows, doors and skylights with good airflow throughout the entirehome and an energyefficient convection panel heater.TheSowelo home is designed to be north facing for passive solarefficiency in Australia and can be installed with solar roof panels.
"Wehave incorporated a grow-wall system option for our tiny houses,"says Macpherson."This system has removable, individual pots and an integratedwatering system, allowing people whether in the city or country tohave access to growing vegetables and plants easily. Withthe option for solar off grid power and composting toilet, we feelour design is not only stylish and practical, but offers all theluxuries of modern life in a beautiful and affordable package."
ASowelo tiny house complete with the outdoor decking will set you backaround AUD 120,000 (about US$87,670). Macpherson and Smith also build arange of other custom tiny options, with single room modulesstarting from AUD 30,000 (around US$22,000).
Source: Sowelo Tiny Houses