I am a Freelance Writer-Photographer and Novelist. I travel to find inspiration, wherever the distant horizons lead.
Published February 27th 2016
Portable, low cost, eco-friendly life and leisure
Fred's Tiny Houses
When it comes to sustainability and freedom, there is 'Much Ado' when it comes to the Tiny House movement. Here in Australia we have an advocate and 'Guru' on the subject-Fred Schultz. Fred and Shannon are a husband and wife team with a baby daughter, and they live the Tiny House lifestyle and reap the rewards. The business has been running for about a year, and Fred's Tiny Houses are the spear head of the industry in Australia. The houses offered are complete-or partial builds to support the DIY freaks. There are a range of options when it comes to heating, cooling, off grid-power, size and sleeping combinations. The houses are fully insulated using advanced heat and sound insulating products, and the building methods include a cyclone rating too. Looking at the Tiny House may go against 'more is better' thinking, so I will say right now, you will have to have a wonderful cathartic session and downsize. There is much to discover when it comes to alternate housing and there is a great deal of freedom that can be achieved. See why Fred and Shannon love their tiny house here.
Fred & Shannon Shultz's Tiny House
You can attend Fred's workshops and learn all about the construction, which is especially useful if you wish to build your own house, in part or full. The amount of construction 'smarts' will impress and open up your mind to wonderful possibilities. Fred is available for consultation, and his depth of knowledge and experience means you have all required information available. It takes the guess work out of the process for a self-built Tiny House.
An alcohol oven and stove
There are a range of options to customize your Tiny House and the list is comprehensive. You have the flexibility to run on or off the electricity grid, and rely on tank or mains water. Note; devices such as a battery operated fridges running from solar powered batteries, and an alcohol stove, solar lighting and water heated from the wood heater, all negate the need for being on the grid or connected to gas. The complete list of potential options include; electric or gas hot water, a 75 litre fridge, or bar fridge, electric stove, oven and cook top with 2 elements, or an alcohol stove-oven, gravity fed-hot water system, wood heater, composting toilet, Japanese style bath tub, wrap around couch with storage, kitchen sink with 1 1/2 bowls, verandah awnings, solar panels and batteries, and overhead lofts. Delivery can be arranged and for all costs refer to the website and consult with Fred and Shannon to quote based on your requirements. Follow the link for options and prices on their website, which includes information about seminars and contact with like minded people and organisations. I found Fred's knowledge very enlightening, and feel confident to build one myself, and have had a trailer built for me. Try the workshops and seminars to gain knowledge for a brighter future.
Photo courtesy of Fred's Tiny Houses
Some of the smart ideas include, the house is shaded on the north side by its own structures, and that means the solar panels and the swing out patio. The effect is greatly reduced radiant heat before it strikes the house. Imagine that, a house that is mostly in the shade most of the day in summer. The insulation can be made multi layed with air gaps to reduce heat transmission even more. Advances in solar panel and inverter technology means better and longer electricity supply from the batteries. A back-up generator maybe required in cooler months, but you are going to save a lot on electricity. A well insulated Tiny House does not require much heating and a modest wood heater will make the place toasty warm so easily. Low cost 1000 litre water tanks seem to be flooding the market and can save on water costs too. The houses come on a fully weight-rated and well built, road-worthy trailer. The trailer includes all lighting and electric brakes for safety and incorporates an easy hitch and go system. For more photos click here.
A loft bedroom
Tiny Houses can be used as a Teenagers Retreat, Granny Flat or Getaway Dwelling on your country property. If you feel like changing the view or moving into an area that catches late afternoon shade in summer, then hook up your vehicle and simply move it. Please be aware of towing laws in all states and they vary, and depending on the state. The towing vehicle will have to be a small or medium truck, and for all Victorian towing rules and regulations, click here.
A Tiny House opens new doors for many people. If your work involves travel, or you want to travel Australia, and a 'real' home that is portable will suit your needs, these might be right for your circumstance. If your mind set for sustainability incorporates a Tiny House, consider yourself part of a movement conserving the limited resources of our wonderful planet. The cost of a Tiny House is far below that of a well built fixed house, and the incorporated money saving ideas such as off-grid solar power, composting toilet systems. The need for foundations are negated too. Underground septic systems or connections can be expensive, and a water tank means no water rates. Now just take a moment to add that up, especially if you build in country areas where land is inexpensive-power, water, gas, and electricity may not available on the land you want to buy. Forget the tens of thousands you can spend on the installations under such circumstance and the running costs for each service. You can have that beautiful tranquil land, and a low cost living style that can separate you from the forever-mortgage train. Think of how portability may give you more freedom. Does that make you stop and wonder? A whole new life of leisure without a mortgage or rent is waiting for you...
Low cost living in peaceful surrounds-build a Tiny House
Where:The business is based in Doncaster and will move to Castlemaine soon.
Cost:The price can vary greatly depending on options chosen. For a fully built house the price range is $41,400 to $101,500, or the base model including internal and external walls, radiant heat barrier, and grid connection is $24,600 to $43,700.
Tiny houses just make sense. we have become a vry material world and more so when we have large houses to store things in. I'm not sure I'd like to live in one all the time but wouldn't they make the best holiday homes.