How to build a tiny house - building course in Sydney

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Course description

How to Build a Tiny House in Sydney Course

The tiny house movement has made its way to Australia. Sydney Community College has partnered with The Bower Marrickville to offer the only comprehensive tiny house building course in the country.

This intensive course is hands-on and practical running over 6 consecutive days where you and a team will build a tiny house on wheels out of recycled materials. Once complete, the tiny house will be available for purchase at The Bower’s annual fundraising auction.

If you are looking to live off the grid, escape the pressures of modern home ownership or simply looking for an exciting personal project then this course is for you.

What is a tiny house? A tiny house is a living space designed to be as compact as possible while remaining liveable and practical. The challenge is to maximise utility through a clever use of interior space, minimising scale and environmental impact.

Information Evening

An information session will be held 6 weeks before the course starts, students will meet the others in the group as well as the course faciliators and be given a detailed rundown of the project. All course deposits must be received prior to the information session. Any injuries or physical limitations need to be communicated to the course facilitators at this point.

Course Structure

Day 1:Introduction, foundations and sub floor

Following a detailed introduction and OH&S overview, our instructors will lead you through the design for the Tiny House being built during the six-day course. You’ll be taught about the considerations when selecting a trailer on which to build a moveable Tiny House, including size, weight and towing restrictions. You’ll then prepare the trailer for building upon and begin attaching the sub floor framing and laying the floor of the Tiny House.

Day 2: Walls

You’ll learn how to build light timber frame walls and the theory necessary to convert your ideas into construction plans including stud spacing, calculating window and door openings, lintels, corner framing.

Together as a group, you’ll cut all the timbers for the wall frames, join each wall frame together, standing the walls on the trailer. Then square the house, add cross bracing and secure the walls to the trailer.

Day 3 & 4: Roofing and loft framing

These are 2 big days! You will learn how to marking out and cut rafters then you’ll construct the roof of the Tiny House, sheet metal roofing, ridge capping, guttering and ceiling considerations.
James will explain the importance of water proofing and selecting the right roof insulation. By the end of these two days, the Tiny House will be an open frame with a waterproof and insulated roof.

Day 5: Exterior wall cladding

It’s important that your Tiny House be weather proof and this is a key focus of Day 5 & 6. You’ll be working with salvaged corrugated iron and recycled weatherboards to attach the exterior cladding of the Tiny House. As well as learning how to install windows into the house frame and finish off window and door openings.

Day 6: Exterior trims and finishing off

By today, the Tiny House shell is complete. Today the door to the Tiny House will be hung and our instructors will show you how to install external trims around windows, door and roof. In the afternoon James will provide you with further learning resources for carpentry.

Learning Outcomes

It is intended that by the end of this course, participants will have gained a basic understanding of:

  • the tools needed to build a tiny house;
  • the laws and regulations that may apply;
  • the trailer weight restrictions and any towing considerations;
  • sourcing and using recycled materials;
  • how to use tools and equipment to actually build a tiny house!
Important Information
  • This course is both theoretical and practical and will involve the use of power tools and some lifting and moving. Although course does not preclude those unable to lift and/or operate machinery, you should discuss any injuries or physical limitations with course facilitators at the information evening.

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As this course requires significant investment in equipment, hire space, materials and personnel, it is priced accordingly. The purchase of materials and equipment requires a minmum number of enrolments. If the minimum numbers are not met four weeks prior to course commencement, the class may be postponed or cancelled. If the course is cancelled, the deposit of $500 will be refunded. The deposit is not a guarantee that course will proceed. If course goes ahead deposit is non-refundable after the cut off date unless in special circumstances as per Sydney Community College cancellation policy on the website.

Should you have any questions about this course or what is involved in enrolment, please give Sydney Community College a call on 02 8752-7555

Photographer: Alicia Fox

Course testimonials:

  • Mischa said: Excellent teachers, a wonderful group of students and life-changing skills.

  • Nick said: Great course with excellent teachers, generous with their time and information The external stuff (plumbing/electrical) was perhaps a bit long, could reference external resources eg youtube/internet for this - main thing is just to identify the various options there and some idea of benefits or disadvantages, so people can follow up themselves Would be really good to run a second course with internals, if you can make it work that participants don't have to pay and just exchange their time and labour to help out that would be nice Overall very good and well done for running something that was no doubt slightly speculative at first!

  • Elise said: It was a very unique bit of learning with a great bunch of people. The hands on learning was fantastic and we all got a great buzz out of the power tools!