Frequently Asked Questions
01. What are tiny houses?
A tiny house is a small home on a trailer that is capable of being towed on the road. They are equivalent to a 1 bedroom apartment on wheels. In Australia, they are restricted by the road legal vehicle width of 2.4m and height of 4.3m, but can up to 8m long. They usually contain a sleeping area, kitchen, bathroom and sitting area but can be made to suit the individual needs of the owner.
02. Why choose a tiny home?
Tiny homes present many positive reasons to live in one and some of the reasons are:
Cost – It's much cheaper to purchase a tiny home than a house in Australia and running costs are lower too
Freedom to move – Tiny homes can be towed allowing you to not be stuck living in the same spot
Downsizing – Downsizing can help you lower your expenses and rid your life of stuff that adds no value
Off-grid – Going off grid allows you to live in remote places using solar power and tank water and reduce your carbon footprint
Enjoyment – a recent study showed tiny house owners enjoy more free time to enjoy life than comparable people locked into mortgages
03. How much do tiny houses cost in Australia?
The cost of tiny homes vary, but they usually sit between $50,000 and $120,000. The bigger they are and the more inclusions you have the more expensive they become. The most expensive part of a tiny home is the trailer. Trailers are usually made with GVM of 4500kg which means they need heavy duty axles and frames.
Then you need to factor in the design, the tradesman, the building materials and the finishes.
Running costs of a tiny home can vary too. You will need to determine whether your keeping your tiny home road registered, if your insuring tiny home, the cost of your parking spot, the cost of maintenance and the cost of electricity and water. It’s usually cheaper than a normal home but you will have similar bills.
04. How big can tiny houses be?
In Australia, we are governed by the road rules which say maximum vehicle width is 2.4m and maximum height of 4.3m. The length of the trailer can vary but the general size range between 4m up to 8m long. The area of a tiny home can range from 10m² for a single level tiny house and up to 30m² for a double mezzanine large tiny house. It’s important to know that the bigger they are, the heavier they become and the harder they become to move. The size must always be factored in when deciding where you park it and how often you will be moving it. We always recommend a professional towing service to help move them.
05. Where can you build tiny houses?
If you have access to land, technically you can build a tiny house on it but we recommend checking with your local councils to ensure your meeting the regulations. When you build a tiny house, you will need about double the size of the floor footprint to construct it. Contrary to the name, a tiny house does take up a lot of room storing all your materials and allowing room for the tradesmen to build it.
06. Who builds tiny houses?
You have two options when building a tiny house. Either get one designed & built professionally, or build one yourself. Getting a tiny house built professionally gives you the chance to work with a designer to get the look you want and have it built by a team of professional tradesman.
Alternatively, you can choose to build one yourself but you must have some knowledge of design & building.
07. How do tiny houses get internet?
Tiny houses get internet either hardwired or wirelessly. If your tiny home is parked on a residential block with a house that has NBN then you can connect wirelessly to that or you can ask NBN about having a connection installed in your tiny home but you will need to allow for this when you designing it. Keep in mind if you want to relocate the tiny home then you will need to disconnect beforehand.
Most people go with the wireless internet as it suit the tiny home movability.
08. Are tiny houses illegal in Australia?
It’s not illegal to have a tiny house in Australia. What is illegal is towing one that does not meet road rules or parking one in a location that does not meet the local council regulations. Ensure you do not get caught out by keeping your tiny house within the rules and regulations.
09. Where to find tiny houses for sale
In Australia, there are some builders that have pre-built tiny houses for sale or you can try gumtree. Alternatively, you can have one built just how you want it by a team of professionals like the Tiny Life Creations Team.
10. Where do tiny houses park in Australia?
In Australia, tiny houses are classified as caravans and most local councils will allow a caravan on residential land. We recommend you do some research before to ensure your allowed a tiny house on your land.
11. Where to buy tiny houses Australia
There are some specialised tiny house builders in Australia such as Tiny Life Creations where you can buy a tiny house for yourself. You can also search the second-hand market, on websites like Gumtree.
12. Are tiny houses good investment?
As an investment, tiny houses don’t tend to go up in value but if you look after them and maintain them similarly to a house they can retain the same value as your purchase price. Alternatively, If you're selling land with a tiny house on it then this can be a very enticing option for some and the values can rise.
13. Do tiny houses stink?
Tiny houses don’t usually smell unless your either cooking a lot without proper ventilation or you leave the tiny house messy. They are small places so it’s important to keep clean but the positives are they don’t take much to tidy up.
14. When are tiny houses a bad idea?
Tiny Houses are a bad idea if you have a lot of stuff and require lots of space. They are not for everyone but if you want to live in cheaper housing with less junk in your life and want more time to enjoy then we think they are a great idea.
15. Why are tiny houses a great idea?
To summaries why tiny houses are a great idea:
- They are a cheaper housing alternative in areas where house prices are outrageous
- They can allow you to live off-grid with no carbon footprint
- They are mobile allowing you to change where you park
16. What trailer should I choose for my tiny house?
Tiny house trailers are very important as they are the base for your home and they need to be strong enough to support your structure. In Australia 4.5 tones (or 4500kg) is the maximum weight a tiny house can legally be. Its important to figure out your tiny house design so you can figure out what type of trailer you need.
Its also important to track building materials' weights so they don’t get too heavy.
17. Can tiny houses be financed?
Yes, tiny Houses can be financed in Australia. Follow the link below to get finance advice:
18. Can tiny houses be insured?
Yes, you can insure tiny Homes in Australia. If you google Tiny House insurance Australia you will find many companies offering insurance services.
19. Are there tiny house communities in Australia?
In Australia, there are many tiny house communities online, but no tiny house neighborhoods as yet. We predict as house prices rise there are sure to be communities appearing soon.