A builder/renovator friend reminded me the other day that the minimum size home we can build is 40sq/m. It got me thinking. How would I feel living in a home that size....? Here's what an hour or so very pleasurable research threw up - no preferences, no promotion here, just simple information.
Small homes range widely in overall look and feel. The functional and pragmatic Sunshine Homes - which describe themselves as "affordable, transportable, factory built....made of natural timber, with colour steel roof"; distinct from the increasing use of engineered timber like our own MDF factory here produces, and steel probably produced at Glenbrook, where I grew up from iron sands on the west coast. Start price $65K.
I could live in one of those, as long as I had access to a little studio/workshop nearby.
Then their is Versatile - no prices listed, but similar pre-fab styles, with a huge range of affordable options. Also came across a new process "concision"- "proven approach that has been used in Europe, Japan and North America for decades. Combining digital technology with manufacturing precision....unique software takes house designs and working drawings and translates them into production stages within the factory. " Being used now only in Canterbury to build quicker and cheaper.
Some very presentable options in there.
Then there is Homes to Love - A promo of homes which have been winners of all sorts of awards with relevant architects named within the article - all small.
Heartland Homes - another version of kitset style homes, with well yes, lot's of style. Any home on their books is no more than $250K.
Latitude Homes - yet another pre-fab option. That's the key to true long term affordability. Enough of the bespoke designs unless you are in the upper echelons of $$$.
And this does not include the myriad of architectural designers, architects, builder/designers who live and work IN NELSON - who are available to create a bespoke design for your needs AND some of them are genuinely interested in making them more affordable and can - they've told me so.
MY POINT - well there are 2 key ones here for me right now.
1. Expectations could change about what we need, versus what we want. That would influence affordability alot.
2. Pre-fab homes are actually a high spec, affordable, transportable and contain some excellent use of space and new technology.
What would it look like if we could take away some of the very old single homes on a standrad section (and there's plenty of these) and put in 3 or 4 of these as a small comprehensive development? What difference would that make to those 3 or 4 people, couples, or small families - 1 parent and child for instance? Would it affect affordability? I believe so.
Nelsonian of the Year 2009
Queen’s Service Medal 2010
Founding Chair of the
Nelson Tasman Housing Trust
Founding & Current Director of Victory Community Centre
(NZ Community of the Year 2010)