When builder Grant Emans travelled to the United States two years ago he was fascinated by the tiny home movement.
The experienced construction worker, who developed residential homes, child care centres and office fit outs for more than 15 years, decided to shift his focus to creating tiny homes.
He said launching his business, Designer Eco Tiny Homes, brought about a new era for him in both design and construction.
‘I ceased building the regular homes with my brother and now focus primarily on the construction of tiny homes,’ he told FEMAIL.
Builder Grant Emans (pictured) started Designer Eco Tiny Homes in 2016 after more than 15 years in the construction industry
‘These are incredible structures and offer the home owner a highly sustainable option for housing.
‘The versatility of a tiny home, along with their affordability allows me to create environmentally sustainable building solutions for a wider range of people.’
According to Mr Emans, there are a range of factors that have led to the popularity of tiny homes – the most obvious being the high price of residential housing across Australia.
‘When you are faced with such high prices people look for alternatives,’ he said.
‘These are incredible structures and offer the home owner a highly sustainable option for housing,’ said Mr Emans
‘Of course the popular TV shows add to it as well – and the idea that you can live a more simple life – and have such increased freedom by living in a tiny home,’ he added.
‘I think it is a great recipe for popularity.’
Mr Emans, who is in the process of designing and constructing more than 40 tiny homes this year, said people from all walks of life were interested in owning a smaller abode – even those who were simply looking for an extra income with the help of holiday rental businesses.
‘Clients looking for extra income through Airbnb are the biggest purchaser, followed by single women over 55, then a mixed bag from all ages both single and couples and small families,’ he explained.
”[It’s a] great stepping stone for young people to gain independence if they can’t afford a regular house, easy extension to existing property to house guest, grandparents and friends.
Despite only being 2500mm wide, tiny home can take seven to nine months to design and build, costing up to $80k
‘Families over four people have not bought one yet, although I have designed and quoted a number for large families looking for affordable housing, but just feel they are too small for that type of use.’
‘People like tiny homes for a whole host of reasons – affordable, appropriate use of natural resources to house an individual or family group – sustainable, transportable so can move with there lifestyle, easy to clean and maintain, no mortgage which frees them up to do other things like travel,’ he added.
So how much do they cost?
Mr Emans said all of the tiny homes are 2500mm wide and the length varies from 4800mm to 7200mm. The Independent Series starts at $57,500, while the Graduate Series begins at $69,400. The Lifestyle Series, which is 7200mm, is upward of $77,650.
‘You can have single storey or have a loft included in all the models,’ he said.
The rooms within the tiny home can be designed and decorated to suit the lifestyle needs of the owner
‘Each tiny home takes approximately three months to build,’ said Mr Emans.
‘Right now due to demand a typical client would receive their tiny home approximately seven to nine months from date of order,’ he added.
‘With modern transportation I can now offer these incredible housing solutions for the whole of Australia, and even beyond.’
Mr Emans said before purchasing a tiny home, people need to ask themselves where they are going to put it.
‘Once you know that, the rest is so much easier,’ he said.
‘Knowing the location lets us determine the availability of services such as power, water and sewer and the appropriate systems can be installed.
‘The versatility of a tiny home, along with their affordability allows me to create environmentally sustainable building solutions for a wider range of people,’ said Mr Emans
Mr Emans said: ‘With modern transportation I can now offer these incredible housing solutions for the whole of Australia, and even beyond
‘For those who know they want to use it and move it on a regular basis it allows us to design it slightly differently to someone who just wants it moved once from our workshop to their site.
‘The second most important factor is to consider the positioning of the bed,’ he said. ‘One of the most popular features of a tiny home is the loft bedroom.
‘It allows for so much more living space to be able to have the bed on the upper level. But for some older people this isn’t a possibility, so to know where you want to sleep is a critical factor in designing a tiny home.’
The builder’s third tip is to consider your personal style and how you want your tiny home to look.
‘A tiny home is a great way to showcase who you are and what you like,’ Mr Emans said.
‘It’s not a regular home as it is, so it gives you a free licence to really step out of the ordinary and create something that just screams your personality.’