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Common Questions

I'd like to see a tiny house in person, do you have any you can show me?


Yes, if you are planning on building with us we usually have around 5 houses on the go in our Auckland workshop, so there are usually a few different designs that we can take you through. We can also show you all our different plans. Due to health and safety reasons, we only show clients around the factory when the builders are not working. Please email us if you would like to book an appointment to discuss your build.




Will I need to obtain council consent?


Building Consent There is ongoing debate among councils as to whether or not a tiny house is a caravan (being exempt from the Building Act) or a permanent structure, which means the Building Act would apply. Auckland council have notified tiny house owners in their region that they consider a THOW as a vehicle and have stated that they are training their officers to this effect. Resource Consent The purpose of your tiny house will determine whether or not you need to obtain resource consent. There are a number of questions that the councils will want answered, so we recommend you get in touch with your local council directly to find out exactly what you can and cannot do. Generally speaking, each council has a differing opinion on tiny houses, so we recommend that you check directly with your local council for questions relating to building or resource consents.




How much does a tiny house weigh?


Tiny houses can weigh anywhere from around 3.5 tonnes up to about 5 tonnes. The weight depends on the size of the house, materials used for construction and the amount of built-in cabinetry.




Can I tow the house with my own vehicle?


If the house is under 3.5 tonnes as this is the maximum allowed weight to be able to tow on New Zealand roads. Anything above this will need to be hauled by the professionals.




How do I connect to water and electricity?


We use a 16Amp or 32Amp caravan connections for electricity. We believe it is best to connect to mains power within 100m of the house. Our tiny houses come with water inlet pipes that can be connected to mains water supply or tank supply by your plumber once onsite.




Do you use sustainable products?


Where possible, we use sustainably-sourced materials native to New Zealand.




I'm not familiar with composting toilets, how do they work?


There are a number of different options – here is a blog post by Shaye outlining common questions and how they work. Generally we suggest clients to do their own research as it really is a personal preference. We mostly use the Bambooloo in our tiny house builds.




Can I have a plumbed-in toilet instead?


If you have resource consent you can plumb into existing grey water systems.​




Can I customise my plan?


All plans are customisable as long as the changes are not structural. We have so many different plans available that there is a very good chance that you will be able to find something similar to what you are after for your dream home. If you prefer to use your own design ideas or make structural changes to our plans, there is a charge as we need to draft the plans to ensure they are doable! The fee of $3,000 plus GST will need to be paid in advance before we proceed to quote your custom build.




What if I wanted to add-on to my house in the future?


A number of our designs are specially designed so that modules can be added over time. This will need to be discussed when designing your home with Shaye.




The location I want to put my tiny house has limited/difficult access. What options do I have?


It is best to discuss access with a us or a towing company. Steep hills, sharp corners, narrow access, low power lines, trees etc can all cause problems geetting your house into position. It is possible to crane your house into position where access is limited.​




Do I need to place the house on foundations?


No, you just need a flat, level surface​. A professionally compacted space the size of your house is the best option if possible but we have had many houses simply park in a nice flat area. Beware of wet areas! Not a good idea!




The houses seem to be quite high off the ground, how do I get into it?


Due to the fact that ground levels may vary from site to site, we do not provide stairs. However, if you know your site is level, you can request some to be made for your house. Most people have decks made and steps up onto the deck. Temporary steps can be supplied as well upon request.




Will my house have a warranty?


Yes. All warranties for the products in your tiny house will be passed onto the new owner. We also provide a Build Warranty of 5 years whereby any issues will be corrected if they arise and are a result of incorrect workmanship. It will not cover any damage that may result during transportation of the tiny house (as we cannot control the quality of the towing job done/accidents etc). Electrical and gas work is carried out by our licenced professionals and compliance certificates will be issued upon completion.




Do you ship worldwide?


We do not ship our builds overseas from New Zealand. However, we are working with international building partners and continue to bring on new partners as the demand for our builds continues to grow at record pace! Check out our International Builders page for further information.




How long does a build take?


Our team typically take between 12-14 weeks to complete your tiny house build. We do usually get booked 6 months in advance, but it is best to check with us on current wait times and the possibility of being added to our waiting list if a spot opens up any earlier.




Can I add in a fireplace to my tiny house?


If you let us know you are planning on installing a fireplace, we will make allowances in your design frames for a flue to be installed. However, we do not install fireplaces. This will need to be arranged yourself after the tiny house has been delivered to you.




Can I have a solar system in my tiny house?


All our designs are prewired for solar and ready for your solar supplier to connect your system. The needs of solar requirements can vary greatly depending on numerous factors such as the number of people living in the home, appliances being used, site location and site position. We recommend you work with a local solar supplier in your area when the tiny house is delivered to your site.




How do you find land?


Many of our clients have found land to lease for their tiny houses (even in Auckland!).

Below are our top recommendations on ways you can find land to lease for your tiny house.

Friends & Family: Give a shout out to friends and family, you just never know who might be interested in leasing out a spot on their back yard to you.

Landshare: This is a free website connecting land owners and tiny house owners www.landshare.nz.

Facebook: Join your local facebook community groups to advertise that you are looking for land to lease. Make sure you include as much information in your post to help land owners know exactly what you are looking for.

Flyer Drop: Put together a detailed flyer and drop them off in the areas you are interested in moving to.




Rent to Buy


Unfortunately we don’t offer rent to buy options. Fear not, there are several lenders out there offering financing for tiny houses. We have put together a list of lenders that are offering financing. See Financing for THOW below.




Financing for tiny homes


Tiny Houses on Wheels are considered vehicles and not buildings therefore they do not qualify for mortgages. There are several lenders out there however, who do offer finance for tiny houses. We have put together a list of lenders that are offering financing for THOW.

Vegalend

Alexander McAlpine

Phone: 021 0622 987

alexander@vegalend.co.nz

https://vegalend.co.nz/

Credit One

https://www.creditone.co.nz/caravan-loans-finance

Squirrel

https://www.squirrel.co.nz/squirrel-loans

TMFNZ

https://www.tmfnz.co.nz/




Do you build tiny houses without trailers?


In short no. The team is focused on building the best tiny homes on wheels in New Zealand. We recommend you try looking for a builder that specialising in transportable homes or a cabin builder.




What is the earliest I could start building with you?


Please contact us to check for the next available spot




Could I get a shell build, and do the internal fit-out myself?


Yes we do offer this service, for more information please contact us.