If you talk about the tiny house movement down under, it is difficult to ignore Aussie Tiny Houses that is passionately developing fantastic micro home alternatives to the current, mortgage-stricken housing market in Australia. The builder specializes in optimizing tiny houses and designs them practically to exceed Australian standards of comfort, style, and convenience. The company works closely with clients to customize and offer complete off-grid alternatives to help bring their tiny house dream to life.
The houses are built with sustainability in mind and provide for optional features like solar power, rainwater harvesting, greywater recycling, and composting toilet so habitants can enjoy living in the great outdoors even when not connected to the grid. Fascinated by the work these guys are doing, we got in touch with Fabio Paulucci, founder of Aussie Tiny Houses, to understand the idea behind the company and its mission going forward. And this is what he had to tell us:
Homecrux (HC): What brought you into the business of building tiny houses? How was the idea born?
Fabio Paulucci (FP): The idea started around 10 years ago after I finished my Permaculture PDC course. Through this course I have done, I have learned a lot about sustainability, regenerative processes and have noticed a shortage of solutions for the housing and construction market for sustainable and affordable homes. Also, I could tell that there was a shift about to happen in regard to what society wants as a livable dwelling and where this home could be.
People are slowly waking up to the world we live in and choosing to live differently. Living Tiny is not only about housing, it’s also about lifestyle. A lifestyle where spending time outdoors is more important than time indoors. Nature is more appealing than large residential homes and time and freedom are more valuable than objects and possessions.
HC: You believe tiny living is an “idea of a simpler life.” How do you perceive the tiny house movement in Australia?
FP: Correct. We believe that living tiny is also living simpler. The movement in Australia is definitely getting more traction but is still in its learning stages. The concept definitely suits perfectly the Australian market. The movement is getting stronger not only through the change in the mindset and what people want for themselves but also due to the housing market we are currently living on.
HC: What are the challenges of living tiny; how is Aussie Tiny Houses making a difference?
FP: The biggest challenge is to adapt our lives to a simpler smaller standard. We are accustomed to have a lot of space and a lot of things and material possessions and this shift can be hard for some. To tell you the truth most customers are enjoying and finding it quite easy to detach from material things and live simpler and with a minimalist approach to it all. Also, the tiny house living will present a very small challenge of adapting to live with renewable and sustainable systems as most are not used or have never had any experience with solar power, composting toilets, storing water, and reusing greywater.
So, this learning curve can be sometimes a small challenge, but most are finding it very easy and fulfilling to know they are doing the right thing for the environment and themselves.
HC: With the ongoing pandemic, work from home has become a new normal. Has this translated into sales for you? Do you notice a switch in investment in favor of a relatively safer way of traveling and working?
FP: We have definitely noticed a spike in sales during the COVID period. But I believe COVID just added to a situation that was already brewing. Before COVID, we were already feeling an increase in interest in Tiny Houses not only due to the work from home situation but others such as house market pressure, change of lifestyle, and others.
HC: Aussie Tiny Houses is passionate about sustainability. You offer complete off-grid alternatives to greatly reduce living costs for customers. How do you ensure this?
FP: Aussie Tiny Houses is very passionate about sustainability but also freedom. Financial freedom, lifestyle freedom is what we truly want for our customers. By living tiny and building with Aussie Tiny Houses, our customers will have apart from an affordable home, the chance of living sustainably and completely reduce their life ongoing expenses, giving the customers more time or more money to do what they really love and are passionate about.
By building an off-grid Tiny House with Aussie Tiny Houses, our customers will no longer be paying for electricity bills, water bills, council rates, home and land taxes, strata fees, plumbing, sewage services, and others. And even bigger than this, our customers by using a Tiny House, will not require to purchase land as they can park their tiny in family, friends, or other land options.
HC: It’s believed tiny house on wheels is not for the faint-hearted. The restriction and legalities pull back many people. Has this been a challenge for your sales?
FP: Not really. Councils are getting more proactive towards Tiny Houses and the shortage of housing is becoming a big problem for governments to deal with. We could definitely do with more regulations coming from the government towards Tiny Houses, so then there is a clear way and path to all customers independent of their location or situation, but for the moment each council and local government are dealing with this as they believe it should.
Most local councils and private certifiers are working alongside customers to work out a way of getting their tiny houses approved and we can only see this getting better and better. Over the years we have noticed a much better approach from local councils and governments, and we believe this will only keep going this way.
HC: What is a greater advantage of Aussie Tiny Houses – affordability or sustainability?
FP: Aussie Tiny Houses are pioneering the Tiny House movement in Australia. We are leading the way of the market and also developing solutions for a brand-new market and solution. We are constantly developing our products and looking for alternatives to support our products and options. We have recently developed our own Solar Power Trailer, which is a transportable trailer setup with a full solar system built into it, that allows our customers to have clean electricity anywhere they like as long as the sun can reach the panels.
We have assisted local companies to develop better solutions for tiny houses regards alternative toilet solutions such as composting toilets and incinerator toilets.
HC: Currently, you deliver tiny houses in Australia, any plans of going global?
FP: For the moment we want to keep focusing on the internal market and keep improving our product for the Australian market. Only after consolidating in Australia, we will start looking at expanding to overseas markets.
We want to develop and produce the best Tiny Houses for Australian customers before thinking of any other overseas market.
HC: What is the best experience you’ve had with client(s)? Which one is your favorite tiny house you have customized?
FP: It’s hard to translate into only one option. We have already built many tiny houses and have had the pleasure of seeing many beautiful inspiring and life-changing stories.
We had customers improving their financial life, improving their lifestyle, finding time for their true passions, living closer to family and nature, getting out of big debt problems, living a more sustainable and connected life, and much more. We have also customers using Tiny Houses as an alternative income method. During COVID many people lost their jobs and ability to generate income. A lot of our customers have purchased Tiny Houses from Aussie Tiny Houses in order to have a leasable dwelling in their backyard or property, giving them an income to keep moving with their lives.
HC: Is there anything you would like to tell the Homecrux audience so the ones planning to downsize can take the leap of faith?
FP: What I would suggest to all customers thinking of going tiny is to educate yourself by speaking with Us at Aussie Tiny Houses and even speaking to customers that have done the move and are happy to share their experience. Most of our customers are happy to share their experience with others and we are always recommending our customers to chat to people that have gone through the entire process regards going tiny but also their feedback about their experience working with Aussie Tiny Houses. They can also search for communities on social media of people living in Tiny Houses and approach them for a chat.
It is a new concept and it may not suit all, just like all concepts, but we can tell that pretty much almost all customers are not looking back.
We would like to thank Fabio Paulucci for taking out time to chat with us and giving us a true and inciting account of how Aussie Tiny Houses is helping shape the Australian Housing Market. Leave your questions/suggestions in the comments section below.