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How to build a tiny house - building course in Sydney

This course has no current classes. Please join our waitlist and we will notify you when we have places available. Join Waitlist

Course description

Learn how to build a tiny house in Sydney – a building course

The ‘Tiny House’ movement advocates living a simple lifestyle in a small home. The idea is to reduce expenses and ecological impacts. Given the current state of the real estate market in Sydney, building a tiny house is becoming an in demand option.

The course will run over 6 consecutive weekends in conjuction with our partners at The Bower in Marrickville. Participants will collectively build a ‘Tiny House on Wheels’ using recycled materials. Once complete, the tiny house will be available for purchase at The Bower’s annual fundraising auction.

Throughout the course, it is intended that each participant will learn the necessary skills in carpentry and sustainability that are required for building a tiny house. In addition to the hands-on learning, each participant will receive informative and detailed handouts.

This course will be conducted over six consecutive weekends. Please see the timetable in the class below. There is also an information evening.

The course has 2 phases – Phase 1: Carpentry and Phase 2: Sustainability. In addition to the topics in each phase, the course will cover the following general topics:

  • Basic tools needed to build a tiny house
  • Laws and regulations that may apply;
  • Building within trailer weight restrictions – Towing considerations;
  • Sourcing and using recycled materials;
  • Hands-on experience, using tools and equipment and all that fun stuff, to actually build a tiny house!

Please see full outline below.

Important: There will be an information evening prior to the start of this course. Enrolments may be made before the information evening, however it is advised that prospective students attend the evening whereby a complete presentation of the course will be made.

Full course outline

Phase 1: Carpentry

Phase 1 will be all about learning the carpentry skills necessary in building a tiny house. James will introduce you to the different materials and techniques you can use to build a tiny house. There will be a focus on the use of second-hand and recycled materials.

Weekend 1

  • Flooring: Building and installing on car trailers or other bases;
  • Trailers for a tiny house, ordering new or second hand options;
  • Alternate foundation options;
  • Attaching a tiny house to the trailer;
  • Building the subfloor on the trailer.

This weekend will commence with learning about the different trailer options available to use as the foundation of a tiny house. You will learn about ordering and choosing from both second hand and new options. Next, you will learn techniques to attach a tiny house to a trailer. This will be followed by collectively building the subfloor on the trailer. We will also discuss options for building on stationary foundations.

Weekend 2

  • Walls and roof installation;
  • Sourcing second-hand and salvaged building materials;
  • Wall framing with recycled timber;
  • Pitching a gable roof;
  • Roofing and guttering;
  • Wall cladding with corrugated iron and timber weather boards;
  • Insulation and waterproofing.

This weekend will be very hands-on. You will learn about using recycled timber for wall framing on the tiny house. This will be followed by pitching a gable roof, as well as learning about roofing and guttering. Next, you will learn about the purpose of wall cladding for both decoration and for control of weather elements, such as waterproofing and insulation. This will be followed by the hands-on wall cladding of the tiny house with corrugated iron and timber weather boards.

Weekend 3

  • Building the internal structure for the loft, bathroom, kitchenette benches and more
  • Adding a loft
  • Internal wall linings with salvaged materials
  • Installing windows
  • Hanging a door

This weekend focuses on the internal structure of the tiny house. You will begin by learning how to add a loft to the tiny house. Next, using salvaged materials the group will line the internal walls. This will be followed by the installation of recycled windows and attaching a door to the home.

2Phase 2: Sustainability
This phase is focused on sustainability, and the sustainable options available to you when building a tiny house. You will learn to incorporate electricity and plumbing into the tiny house.

Weekend 4

  • Solar installations & wiring;
  • Solar system and electrical considerations.

This weekend will be focusing on electrical options available for use in a tiny house. You will learn the fundamentals of how solar electricity works, how to calculate/estimate your electricity needs and how to install it into the tiny house. Additionally, James will take you through other tiny house specific considerations, such as lifestyle changes, energy efficiency and downsizing your electrical needs.

Weekend 5

  • The Kitchen: installing the bench, plumbing for gas, composting systems;
  • DIY Plumbing for a tiny house;
  • Kitchen options for a compact space.

This session focuses on the different kitchen options you have in the compact space of a tiny house. The group will be installing the kitchen bench in the tiny home. Youll learn about DIY plumbing for water. Additionally, youll learn about kitchen composting in the tiny house.

Weekend 6

  • Water: Storage & collection for the bathroom, grey & hot water;
  • Dealing with waste in a tiny house;
  • Bathroom and toilet design options;
  • Water service, storage and disposal options.

The final weekend of the workshop is focused on the bathroom and composting toilet system for the tiny house. James will run you through different bathroom and toilet design options, including composting systems. You will learn different water storage options and how to deal with waste in a tiny house.
Additional documentation, drawings and material lists will be provided throughout the course.