Business North December 2023

104 | T T Sue Russell Tiny with heart, soul Rua’s design brings the main bedroom to the ground floor, and the home features a mezzanine second space that can be used as a separate bedroom or office. Heart and Soul Tiny Homes As a qualified builder, one of the most enjoyable aspects of building tiny homes for sale, for Waikato-based Dean Selwyn, is that he gets to build most parts of the home himself. This is very different from how new homes these days are built, with multiple sub-contractors coming in and out of the process. “I basically design and build the whole house, with valuable input from my wife Rhonda. The only parts I don’t do are the plumbing and electrical, so its really satisfying to step away from a completed tiny home knowing I’ve pretty-much built it single handedly,” says Dean. The couple live on a lifestyle block at Tamahere, just south of Hamilton and began building exquisite tiny homes three years ago. It’s a journey that has enamoured them both as they relish the creativeness of the process. So far, they have built two homes Tahi and Rua, each very different in look and feel from the other. Tahi was made from recycled materials found at arm’s length. It was completed during the 2020 Covid lockdown and is very special to the couple, who have retained it on their property as an Air BnB rental. The beauty of this is that it allows the curious, who wonder what it would be like to live in a tiny home, the opportunity to try it on for size. “It’s been extremely popular. We’ve been surprised just how much interest there has been and we think its a wonderful way for people to experience tiny living.” Tahi is self-contained, with two lofts, able to accommodate up to three people, a queen bed in one loft and a double bed in the other. A large deck accessed from french doors, connects inside with out. It’s kitchen has a gas strutted window creating a fabulous link between that space and the deck. Pouring all their design imagination into the space was a labour of love and Dean says the feedback from guests is very positive. The kitchen lacks for nothing and the bathroom BUILDING has plenty of room with a shower, vanity and self-composting toilet. The Tahi design can be built for purchase, along with Rua, their second tiny home build, which has recently been sold and calls the Kapiti Coast home. Rua’s design brings the main bedroom to the ground floor, and the home features a mezzanine second space that can be used as a separate bedroom or office space and open plan lounge and kitchen. “We wanted Rua to showcase what can be achieved with great design and modern stylish materials and fixtures. The couple who have bought Rua have two children and it was the flexibility of the design that really captured their interest.” Asked what their plans are ahead, a third tiny home – named Toru - is in the planning phase. Dean says he and Rhonda are keen to mark their own design theme into their builds, to create their own style and design in the market. “I’m really keen to use SIP panels and to work with solar. The intent is to expand the business and we’re keen to do custom builds as well. By being flexible in this way, we can respond well to what customers want and fill out our range.” To help inform their design inspiration, Dean and Rhonda regularly stay in Airbnb tiny homes around New Zealand because it’s a great way to see what works well and what doesn’t and to really get a feel for spaces, design and materials. Plus it’s really satisfying to know that their tiny homes are enabling people to step on to the property ladder, or as can also happen, allow those with existing property to consciously down-size. Dean says he welcomes the day when there’s some consistency from one Council to the next as to how they relate tiny. Another appealing aspect is that the tiny home ‘movement’ is driven, in part, by people who want to create, or be part of communities of like-minded people. “They are small homes, so its possible to have a number of them on a much smaller piece of land than would normally be the case. So the whole thing goes beyond just the physical build and owning a home, into a lifestyle philosophy.” For Dean and Rhonda, the decision to create a change in their life-style through the challenges brought on by Covid, has paid off. “We just love the whole concept of down-scaling and plan to eventually live in a tiny home ourselves. “Hopefully we come full circle and end up living in Tahi!” Proudly supporting Compass Homes... CONSULT | DESIGN | COMPLETE GLELECTRICALLTD LIGHTING SOCKETS VENTILATION ALARMS DESIGN DATA (07) 849 4831 (07) 8494831 In support of Heart and Soul Tiny Homes • Flat Pack Component Manufacturers • Solid Timber Components • Edgebanding including Laser Edge • Cutting • CNC Contract Machining • Door Manufacturers 67 Ingram Road, R D 2, Rukuhia, Hamilton | Phone Hamish 021-251-6446 JAY’S TOWING TINY HOUSE & BOAT HAULAGE Proudly Supporting Heart and Soul Tiny Homes +64 27 211 8331 • New Homes • Alterations • Maintenance • Light Commercial • All Work Guaranteed! 07 847 9699 | 027 448 9511 | ETER OWEN & GASFITTERS PLUMBING