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Pip’s Progress – we’re halfway!

Pip’s Progress – we’re halfway!

Sorry, we’ve been so slack in posting here! We know many of you are interested in what we’re doing so we thought it was about time for an update. We actually posted this update on our travel blog The Global Couple a month ago – such a fail on it taking so long to post it here too!

We’ve been spending most of our weekends since June working on Little Miss Pip – and we think we’re about halfway! So here are some photos from our @pipthetinyhouse Instagram account to fill you all in on what we’ve been up to recently. If you want more regular updates, follow that Instagram!

Building a tiny house

First, we sanded down the trailer we purchased of Trade Me (New Zealand’s eBay) and painted it with sticky black galvanised paint to stop Pip from rusting.


Then we mounted our grey water tank under the trailer frame.


Under floor insulation came next – we don’t want to get cold when living in Pip during the winter!


And we made a cool timelapse video of us building the wall framing.


It has been a fun experience learning about building and using the tools – Shaun’s an excellent teacher!


Standing the walls was one of the most satisfying parts of the project so far – we could actually get a feel for Pip’s size! (It’s another timelapse video so click to play).


When we stood the walls, we could get an idea of the view we would have – we’re lucky to have a bush view in central Auckland.


Cladding the walls with weatherboards came next, we used spruce timber because it’s nice and light, and it’s a lovely colour too.


Roof shout! What a great feeling it was to get Pip’s roof on. We’ve got a skylight too to let more light in – it’s a small space so it needs to feel bigger by using light.


Another exciting step was installing our windows and door, and getting a front door key to our very own house.



Even the neighbour’s cat, Gus, likes to say hi when we are working on Pip.


Now we’re up to the wiring stage – we’re putting in the wires for all the lights and powerpoints. It’s a tricky job for a short person!


So what comes next?

We’re pretty much finished on the outside, minus a few weatherboards (we ran out!) and another coat of stain.

The inside is where it’s at for now – next up is lining the walls with insulation, getting the plumbing and wiring finished, and then starting to line the interior walls. At the same time, we’re building a little boardwalk outside which will make it much easier to get in and out of Pip – because she’s on a trailer the door is quite far above the ground!

Our major goal is to be living in Pip by Christmas. There – we’ve put it out into the wide world of cyberspace. We’ve still got heaps to do but hopefully the project will start to move quicker once we get over the tricky things like electrical work! It’s so much fun building a tiny house – we’ve both learnt so much and we’re really looking forward to living in Pip and downsizing our material possessions soon.

Here are some interesting links if you want to learn more about the Tiny House movement and drool over some of the beautiful Tiny Houses out there:

building a tiny house

Introducing… Pip the Tiny House!

Introducing… Pip the Tiny House!


We’re Petra and Shaun – a married couple from New Zealand who have decided to build a tiny house. We have a travel blog called The Global Couple where we document our travels, and we thought we’d document the process of building our very own tiny house too. So here we are –!

We’ll be updating this site with more information as the build progresses, but for now here are some details about why we want to build a tiny house.

For a long time now I (Shaun) have wanted to build our very own tiny house. It all started with our first campervan we built but it quickly grew into a obsession when I learnt about the tiny house movement.

As a builder I’ve always built or renovated other people’s homes, most of which are the complete opposite of tiny. And most have rooms that never even get used.

This is how the idea of Pip (Perfect in Proportion), our tiny house, was born. We decided to think differently.

Lately the only thing that seems to be talked about between our friends, not to mention in just about every form of media is Auckland’s unaffordable house prices – at the moment the median house price is about nine times the average income. And there is no denying it sure is unaffordable – I’m a builder who can’t afford to build his own house!

We too got swept up in the craziness of not wanting to be left behind, with countless people telling us that if you don’t get into a house now, you will never get in. And before long we too were going to auctions and walking away from yet another house that sold for twice what it was worth.

We soon began to realise that we really didn’t want the big house with the gigantic mortgage to match it. All we needed was something to call our own and size was not important.

The average house built in New Zealand these days is over 200 square metres and consists of 4 to 5 bedrooms and two to three bathrooms with an average mortgage length of 30 years.

Pip the tiny house comes in at a whopping 8.6 square meters – to put it into scale, about the size of a new house bathroom. While it might be small it won’t lack anything we need to live a comfortable life – everything will just be smaller. It will still have a kitchen, lounge/dining room, a bedroom, and a bathroom.

How? You might be thinking… So are we! Keep an eye out for our updates as our project progresses, and follow our new Instagram account where we will be sharing Pip’s progress. And we’d love to know of any tiny projects that you are undertaking!