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How to build a house for under $US500

The tiny house trend is fast gaining momentum overseas and in New Zealand. The lure of a low price tag, and the sustainability of small homes makes them increasingly attractive.

Now two environmental studies students at Central College in Iowa have shown it’s possible to create your own small-but-perfectly-formed-home for less than $US500, designing and building a tiny house out of a derelict 52-year-old storehouse, Trendhunter reports.

And that’s despite having no previous design or construction experience.  

The students, Amy Andrews and Ethan Van Kooten, completed the house in just 10 weeks, scavenging parts (including lumber, insulation, cabinets, and counter tops) from nearby houses which were set to be demolished.

They also converted an old hog feeder they found into a loft, and turned a deer stand into a ladder.

Closer to home, Auckland designer Brenda Kelly of IQ Container Homes has also converted an unused space into a tiny house, creating her home out of a 19ft (6 metres) shipping container. Hers was a bit more expensive however, costing about $30,000 to build.

Still, considering the average property values of homes in Auckland North Shore and central city areas is around $750,000, according to ENZ, it’s not sounding too bad.

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