As the tiny house movement builds steam in Bendigo, a Castlemaine owner says he still reminisces about the year he and his family spent in one.
Fred and Shannon Schultz built an off-the-grid tiny house to live in with their young daughter.
“I finished (building) it in September 2015. We lived in it for about a year. Then our next baby came along and we realised we’d outgrown our tiny house,” he said.
The family first lived in the house outside Mitiamo on a bush-block, then moved to Taradale, before finally settling in Castlemaine.
Mr Schultz said the biggest difference between a tiny and conventional house was the connection with the outdoors.
“You know when it is sunny because you are looking after your batteries … what’s happening on the land: it is more (like it’s) happening for you,” he said.
There were one or two things Mr Schultz missed while living in the house.
“This is an off the grid tiny house which means it’s a gravity-fed hot water system. I did miss the whoosh of a shower,” he said.
The house still sits in the couple’s backyard. It is used as an office, quiet space and, through Airbnb, a way to pay the mortgage.
“I never tired of living in a tiny house … I would come back to live in a tiny house in a heartbeat,” he said.
The house is 10 metres square, with a kitchenette, sitting area, bathroom and two lofts set aside for sleeping.
It sits on a purpose-built trailer and is powered by solar panels as well as a wood-burner to heat water and keep people warm.
A growing tiny industry
In recent years the tiny house movement had been growing in central Victoria.
In Bendigo there is a Tiny Houses Bendigo Facebook group.
A group called Tiny Houses Australia organised its first local meetup in the city just under two weeks ago.
And while Mr Schultz no longer lives in his tiny home, his business, Fred’s Tiny Houses, provides advice and services for builders and buyers, including workshops and design work.
Mr Schultz is also about to start selling custom trailers people can build houses on.