Young Woman Builds Beautiful Recycled Tiny House For US$19,000

For many, the idea of building a Tiny House on wheels is a wonderful pipe dream, however young kiwi furniture maker Annelies Zwaan has turned that dream into reality by building her very own cottage-in-the-woods style Tiny Home.


Despite having gained many skills working with timber as a furniture maker, the learning curve when it came to building her own home was still steep. With the help of YouTube and some instruction videos, she was able to follow each step to completion.


The house was constructed on a custom-built, flat-deck trailer which measures roughly 7 x 2.5 meters (23 x 8ft) which gives the home an approximate footprint of 17.5m² (188ft2).  Now situated in the old parking lot of a deconsecrated church, the trailer has truly been transformed into a wonderful home.


Inside, the home is filled with beautiful timbers which give the Tiny House a truly warm and welcoming feel. Annelies ventured to ensure that her house was packed full of character and would celebrate the fact that so many of the materials used in the home had a life before this house.


To the far end of the house is a cosy and very functional lounge area. Warmed by a 60’s wood stove (rescued from an old house truck) the living space has a comfortable L shaped couch, which transforms into a double bed for guests, and a table in the corner which functions as a work-desk, but which can also fold out and expand to become a dining table.


The stairs which lead to the loft space are as functional as they are beautiful. Again, the theme of character-rich timbers is continued and a simple stair-case is transformed into a wonderful feature of the home. The stars are packed with draws and cupboards which provide a good deal of the homes storage space. There is even a space under the stairs for hanging clothes.


Upstairs, the sleeping loft provides a small private sanctuary within the home. A place to read and unwind from the day. The gable roof is broken by a dormer window which adds a feeling of space to the sleeping loft, as well as additional light and ventilation.


The devastating earthquakes of 2011 in Christchurch (New Zealand) lead to many homes being damaged beyond repair. This created a huge surge in available reclaimed building materials which some of the cities Tiny House builders have taken advantage of. Many of the materials used to construct Annelies’ Tiny House were reclaimed, including those used to build the kitchen, which was featured in Canterbury Museum as an example of creative re-use of materials from quake damaged homes through the organisation ReKindle.


Amazingly, this home was built for an incredibly modest budget of only NZ$26,000 (US$19,000), largely thanks to both Annelies’  dedication to building her own home herself and also her resourcefulness in sourcing second-hand materials. For more information on this spectacular home, be sure to watch the video above.

Posted on by Bryce Posted in Tiny House Tours

About Bryce

Bryce Langston is a New Zealand based actor, musician, filmmaker and environmentalist who has spent the past five years travelling the globe exploring the Tiny House movement as the creator and host of the popular online web series Living Big in a Tiny House

16 Responses to Young Woman Builds Beautiful Recycled Tiny House For US$19,000

  1. John R George

    Without a doubt a beautiful house and a very successful project. I’m interested in the style of framing. It looks a bit like pole barn but more intricate. It’s there a name that I can learn more? Thanks!

  2. Martin

    Hi, I love this tiny house! What kind of wood has she used -for the stairs and the living-room?
    Thanks a lot!

  3. Ally

    Hi again, Bryce!

    Is there away to get in touch with Annalise about the design of the sofa convertible to a bed? I

    Loving all your videos, I seen them pretty much all! So great!

    Thanks Bryce!

    Kind Regards, Ally

  4. leah wald

    what is the name of her grey water system? so I can google it

  5. Zoe


    • Bryce

      About 7m x 2.5m x 4.2m.

  6. Sherry

    How about plumbing connections, electricity, gas, and water?

    I always wonder how you get those Utility connections for a tiny house since it is not a set locations where you can have those permanent utilities connected?

  7. Alison

    I love the bedroom! Looks so cozy!

  8. Amelia Zandbergen

    Hi what a great house you have built. Well done! What is the size of your trailer?

  9. Dianne

    didn’t see a bathroom..

    • Bryce

      It’s there! Watch the video above. 🙂

  10. James

    Beautiful house, pretty much perfect. Could you post any further details about the trailer design used if possible? noticed the truss reinforcing below and the flashings on the hubs, very clever. Would love to know more about this important ‘foundation’ if you can, Cheers, J

  11. Sista K8

    Annalies you should be very proud- your house is beautiful and cosy and a testament to your skills and creativity. It was a bit hard to get a sense of the light in the video. Do you find the space at ground level light enough? It seems that you are in a cold climate, so was your rationale to keep warmth in.Did you say a hot day was 20 degrees? I am in Australia where temperatures in our area can get to 36 degrees. I was thinking that I would put a windows on all 4 sides for cross breeze. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

  12. JANE

    Hi I would like to know more about this. Thinking of getting one.

  13. Proinnseas

    Absolutely gorgeous & inspiring!

  14. Claudine van Wieren

    I would love to see a house like this built for a family, these places are popping up everywhere, would be nice to see one built for more than 2 people

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