‘We’re Swapping Our Four-Bedroom Property For a Small House’

My household and I emigrated from Zimbabwe to New Zealand in 2001. We might had a constructing business in Zimbabwe so when we arrived to New Zealand we assumed we would get wealthy by making houses. My spouse Noel and I created three and lived in the third one—a 4-bed room, a few bathroom property—but we did not get wealthy.

7 a long time ago, we were building one particular of the a few and dwelling in a rental, when our daughter Shaye constructed her to start with little residence in our driveway and named it “Lucy.” Shaye’s little residence was a single of the very first that people today received to know about in New Zealand, due to the fact it was filmed for the Living Major in a Very small Dwelling YouTube channel. But at the starting, I try to remember indicating to her: “You are crazy! No a single is heading to be capable to reside in a house this dimensions!” I thought she may well be ready to camp out in it for a minor when but she would not be ready to are living in a small dwelling for an extended time. And the composting toilet? I imagined that was terrible.

I failed to feel it would function at all, but it was a pretty cute minor inexperienced property “Lucy” was beautiful. And as soon as Shaye constructed “Lucy”, anyone questioned her to develop a very small residence she termed “Doris Jean” and then there was a further a single identified as “Andrea.”

I consider Shaye received the building bug from me. When she was younger in Zimbabwe, she would appear with me all around all the properties we were making. In Zimbabwe and in this article in New Zealand, I would layout the houses and then we might send out those sketches off to an architect and they would draw it all up effectively. Shaye has always drawn residences but hers acquired lesser and smaller sized while mine stayed the similar dimensions! At first, Shaye was only developing a single home at a time for some others, then two, and then it became a few homes at a time. I’ve served her from the commencing and so much, we have designed and built about 70 small residences and have 3 workshops. All of our tiny properties are on wheels and all the strategies can be customized.

The initially tiny house constructed acquire Shaye Boddington, Sheila Boddington’s daughter.
Shaye’s Little Residences

Shaye and I do a good deal of building with each other and brainstorming about what we can do to make items work superior. I am the useful 1 and she’s the innovative just one. I will structure a walkway and she’ll make it a definitely rather walkway, so we get the job done effectively collectively.

Following Shaye’s marriage finished, she developed herself a further tiny household that I served her layout: the “Hazel” named soon after her daughter. It went absolutely viral in 2020.

Downstairs, “Hazel” has a massive kitchen area and lounge with sliding doorways that open out onto a massive deck. There is a rest room with a shower, toilet and double basin. Then it has a tiny door that opens into a pod that was Hazel’s playroom. Upstairs, there’s a walkway above the lounge location that connects a most important bed room and a 2nd place.

Hazel was truly the very first tiny dwelling we created in which you can walk upright during the dwelling, upstairs and downstairs, so you you should not have to crawl in the loft. I made the decision on that mainly because I am aged and there is no way I’m likely to be crawling all-around! I think we have been the 1st to design walkways upstairs in small properties and all of our designs now have them. Some we promote also have doors you can open out into pod places that you can incorporate to lengthen the residence, for “long term proofing” as Shaye phone calls it.

Sitting in Shaye’s “Hazel” household and shelling out time there with her and her daughter was just so calming. There was no tension about mortgage prices or electrical power expenses. That’s when I became confident Noel and I could live like that.

Little Residence ‘Hazel’ in New Zealand

At the finish of 2019 I resigned from teaching at the exact same school for 19 decades and went to work for Shaye’s company, Shaye’s Little Properties, total time. Noel then resigned from operating for the very same plumbing corporation for almost 20 decades and joined us in mid-2020, just right after COVID hit.

Noel observed how habitable the small residences are and it certain him he could stay in a person. That is when I realized we could do it. Noel is extremely lively and under no circumstances sits down, and I imagined he would battle with a tiny home. But the more that he’s witnessed them and the more he’s worked on them, he’s made a decision they are a seriously superior way to go.

The home we have lived in for seven several years is definitely a major “boomer” residence. It is really in fact an upside down residence our residing region, dining room, kitchen area and master bedroom are upstairs and downstairs has a few bedrooms and a bathroom. But we will not use the downstairs area at all anymore, it truly is lonely and sad. Our grandkids do come and keep but they get fairly afraid sleeping downstairs, so we make them forts beneath the eating place table upstairs.

So, we sold it and the new homeowners are moving in at the conclude of March 2022. And, our very small residence develop has started our trailer arrived lately and the total construction can, in theory, be constructed in two months.

If we go on to some land my daughter Lara is purchasing with her companion Andrew, we have a precise layout with a tiny pod for our downstairs bed room. Our new structure has a greater lounge place with a quite higher ceiling, a significant kitchen area, a laundry place and a massive toilet. There are two bedrooms upstairs that will be for our grandchildren and a visitor area. The visitor place doubles as a living area with a couch bed and it seems out in excess of the lounge. With its large skylight, this very small household will be incredibly beautiful.

But if that land sale falls through then we will have to hire a piece of land, and will only be in a position to have the small residence trailer itself, devoid of the pod. In that situation, we will have to go again to the initial small home that I built with Noel and I in brain all through lockdown in 2021.

That very small house is known as “Sophie” and has a cozy lounge with good home windows that glimpse out on either side. I spelled out to Shaye that previous persons like to observe Television set in the evenings! It also has a large kitchen area because Noel enjoys cooking, and a pleasant huge lavatory with a shower. I was hoping to have a toilet that would have a momentary connection into a septic tank, but if we are unable to get that I can do with no a flushing bathroom! Upstairs is a walkway concerning the entrance room and a primary bedroom at the back again.

I’m not apprehensive about downsizing in the slightest. I have got to get rid of every thing, but I could possibly just give it away. I have given away some beds presently to a young friend of ours, but we also have a dwelling space suite, a dining room suite and some cabinets and wardrobes. There is also a local solitary mothers group I have been supplying factors to I had a cupboard complete of children’s clothes and toys that I have donated to them.

I have just one close friend who is claustrophobic so she suggests there’s no way she could stay in a small household, and I have one more pal who life in a residence with a summer time bed room, a winter season bedroom, a few other bedrooms and three lounges, so I can not see that she would shift into 1 possibly. But I do have a close friend in England who is living in a caravan, so she would really like it.

Our options do all depend on what piece of land we’re going to live on, so it is a bit up in the air. I am 64 this calendar year and Noel is 70. He likes his ft on the floor, so there is a minimal little bit of nervousness there. But as I often stated to my college students when I was a trainer: All those that can have flexible pondering are going to be far better off than those people whose ideas are set in concrete.

We would like to believe we will now stay in small houses without end and if we close up residing on Lara and Andrew’s land that almost certainly will be the circumstance. We have 10 years of fun still left ahead of us prior to we get seriously previous, so we want to see far more of New Zealand since it’s these kinds of a lovely position. It can be time to have fun now, for the reason that we have worked definitely, really tough for a very long time.

Sheila Boddington lives in Auckland, New Zealand with her spouse, Noel. She functions for Shaye’s Tiny Residences. You can discover out a lot more at shayestinyhomes.com or on Instagram @shayes_little_households.

All sights expressed in this write-up are the author’s very own.

As informed to Jenny Haward.