Business North August 2022

| 89 BUILDING Absolute Tiny Houses Tiny homes custom-built by perfectionists Sue Russell Absolute Tiny Houses focusses on clever design to make essential rooms look and feel spacious. Coming from the boat building industry and seeking a more ‘intentional’ life around the values espoused by the Tiny House movement, Absolute Tiny Houses founder Michael Hale was already familiar with beautiful design and functionality in small spaces. His background and passion for unique design led him to focus on constructing one-level small footprint moveable dwellings. “I started Absolute Tiny Houses in 2016 and soon discovered there was huge interest from a growing community to live more simply and purposefully, to not carry the burden of longterm large debt and to have the flexibility to relocate. A tiny house on wheels fits all these aspirations,” Michael says. The business is based in Wellsford, north of Auckland and Michael freely admits that being a perfectionist has very much guided how he has gone about structuring the business and engagement with clients. “We focus solely on custom builds. These are not mass-produced houses. “We want the client to feel engaged in decisions about fittings and materials used, so they get exactly what they want to live in.” Two areas where clients appreciate plenty of room and functionality are the bathroom and the kitchen. This is where Absolute Tiny Houses focusses on clever design to make these essential rooms look and feel spacious, like in any standard home. And when it comes to power supply and utilities such as waste-water Michael says there are a range of options to offer customers. “Our houses are pretty much like plug in caravans for power, though we also offer solar off-grid options and infinity hot-water. Waste is managed either through a pump system or natural composting while rain-water is collected.” Asked whether COVID-19 and subsequent pressures on building materials has had any impact Michael says it called for a good measure of forward planning. Prices have been affected and in order to sustain a business and help it grow, costs have crept up. “I think especially with all that the pandemic has brought, it has given people achance to reflect on what is important, what they want from their lives and this has caused many to consider their housing.” Over the years the demand for Tiny Houses has been increasing, so Michael and the team have been really busy as build slots have been filling up fast. “Even though every home is fully customized we build several houses at a time. This is the most efficient way to build. If we’re waiting for a particular material, we have another build to carry on. Due to the pandemic we need to plan ahead.” Having come from building luxury boats, where attention is to giving a crisp clean appearance, Michael has transferred the same approach to design and use of space into the tiny houses. Living in a tiny house appeals to people of all walks and stages of life. Michael says the more elderly customers may have a piece of land already secured, while the younger cohort wants their own space they can put on the back of a friend of family’s section. “For many of our clients this is their first step into home ownership and it feels really good to be in a position to help them.” Absolute Tiny Houses will build a dwelling to whatever size clients want, though generally Michael says what is often sought is the biggest tiny house possible. Many opt for the 10.8m x 3m wide floor size and currently markets for $189,990. Being much more cost efficient than a normal house is just one of the reasons people love Tiny Homes. Some of Michaels clients use the movable dwellings as AirBnBs or as their first little home which gives them a mortgage free life. Downsizing and living a more simplified life has many benefits. The custom-built trailers are made by Bay Engineering and are detachable. “Some use the trailer as the base for a deck outside the house which gives a real feel of more space. Indoor/outdoor connection is an important part of living in a tiny house.” Your Business, Your Industry, Your News. Each edition priority delivered to your door. i i i i li . . t f . . / i ti 03 983 5525 Stay informed; we work with business owners and decision-makers across all economic sectors, profiling their success. t i f r ; r it i r i i - r r ll i t r , r fili t ir . businessnorth “Our houses are pretty much like plug in caravans for power, though we also offer solar off-grid options and infinity hot-water.”