Frequently Asked Questions
What is the legal status of an Eco Cottage Tiny House on wheels?
All of our registered caravan units are mobilized on wheels with a tow-bar capability, albeit that they require wide load permits and provisions on a public road whether travelling under their own rated weight loading [dual or triple axle & wheels], or by hiab truck. As per the District Court decision [Alan Dall/Amberley Beach], mobile Tiny Houses are classified as “vehicles” in law and do not come under the Building Act as some councils might suggest.
Do I need permission to connect to council water, sewerage and storm-water?
If you have your own services, or go off–grid [we can advise you on options], then obviously not. If using Council services you may require a plumbing consent that might apply to any standard caravan.
Do I require an expensive sewerage/septic system?
Not necessarily. Septic retainment is cost effective, composting or incinerator toilets an alternative sanitary option.
How strong are these mobile Tiny Houses?
The Eco Cottage is probably the strongest in New Zealand. Double strength SIPS panel fabrication combined with an integrated steel frame, together with a 19 degree pitch gable roof makes these suitable for extreme weather conditions, wind & snow, hot & cold. Heavy aluminum framed windows & doors. The UV strength of aluminium guttering & downpipes for long life. Most important is the heavily engineered steel trailer chassis, the foundation of these Tiny Houses. All fully galvanized.
How can I best manage air quality in a Tiny House?
If well insulated, it is important to have venting in both the kitchen and ensuite to eliminate moist air, both provided in an Eco Cottage. Soft furnishings, carpet, drapes & blinds also assist in temperature extreme control. Heat pumps are superior to standard heater appliances. Heat exchangers [ie. Mitsubishi Lossnay] are recommended in extreme weather environments where natural airing of the living unit is not practical in colder months.
Are Eco Cottages all the same size?
Yes and no. The modular nature of the Eco Cottage range allows single, dual or triple combinations of 10m2, 16m2, 26m2, 39m2, 43m2, 56m2 and 70m2 with other possibilities in-between.
Can I change the interior layout?
Yes you can. Or better still, you can buy a lock-up-shell and fit it out exactly as you want it.
How many bedrooms can you achieve in the larger units?
In the triple unit H-shape [70m2] we can provide for 2,3 or 4 bedrooms. The standard Eco Cottage [26.4m2] can be designed as 2 self contained bedrooms, each with an ensuite, or a shared ensuite.
Can I use an Eco Cottage for business or professional rooms?
Absolutely. We can create any number of rooms, facilities [wet or dry] and configurations as required. We can change windows, doors & walls to meet those work space outcomes.
Can I use Kiwi Saver?
At this time, Kiwi Saver [as we understand it] is only available on the purchase of a section and/or of a land & house package. The Tiny House community is asking Government to review this by including the purchase of Tiny Houses.
When can you supply?
Our factory produces more than one Tiny House per week. Our normal production period for each unit is 6 weeks. For dual units, these are fabricated simultaneously. Summer time is extremely busy for us so please order well in advance for this period. But we can do “urgents” in special circumstances.
The 3 standards we adhere to strongly are: quality, great value and making our deliveries on time.
Where can I site a Tiny House on wheels?
All councils have different rules, some contrary to law. Eco Cottages, as part of the Tiny house community, is lobbying Government to introduce a completely new set of clear & distinct rules that directs councils more specifically on siting and service provisions that may capture modified fees for these moveable, mobile living units that are not “fixed to land”.
Can I go off-grid with these mobile Tiny Houses?
Absolutely you can. The Eco Cottage is perfectly appointed to go off-grid with rain saved water [aluminium guttering & downpipes] and water pump; the combination of gas stove/oven & hot water califont supported by solar for the balance of electrical requirements, plus, septic retainment or incinerator toilet.
What is the standard power connection?
A 16amp caravan plug, all that is required, even if installing a 2.5kw heat pump. The majority of the power loading is taken up by gas stove/oven and HW califont. Fitted with low energy LED lighting throughout.
How well insulated are these Tiny Houses?
Probably better than a fixed foundation house with 75mm in-wall EPS insulation, generous glass windows and doors for natural solar heating, double glazing option, underfloor polywool/foil [moisture barrier] insulation, carpet option and of course the various heating options of 0.5kw eco panels, or, the preferred 2.5kw heat pump for hot & cold air conditioning capability.
What height above the ground is the Eco Cottage?
On level ground surfaces, a deck of 520mm high is the perfect entry height. This is based on the 6 small radial tyres being a whisker off the ground when supported by above ground stabilizer blocks when leveled off. We recommend that the decks [we can supply] are made in portable sections on H4 treated footings for ease of future transportability, same as the Tiny House.
Can I tow these Tiny Houses to my property?
Only if short distance under permit or farm moving laws with wide load pilot provisions. More ideally suited to on-property towing with telescopic tow-bar both ends. For longer distance it is more practical to transport by hiab truck & trailer with the ease of lifting bars provided in transit.
Can I view these mobilized Tiny Houses?
Indeed you can. We have a life sized display village of 5 Tiny Houses for viewing in Sefton, North Canterbury with a factory planned in the middle of the North Island, the middle of next year. By appointment, please contact Colin on 0276636401.
Can I have a mezzanine floor for extra bedding?
It’s possible for a purpose built, freestanding unit. Alternatively, bunk beds or pull out divan beds depending on lifestyle use.
How is an Eco Cottage priced up?
Like building blocks, the Eco Cottage and Eco Pod has a base price from which then customers have the flexibility of choice to fixtures & fittings, appliances, upgrades and various design or fit-out variations.
Where do I go for finance?
If requiring finance, Stadium Finance and Squirrel Finance are 2 reputable financiers familiar with Tiny Houses as security and often their interest rates reflect this. Otherwise, your local trading bank may lend at lower rates against other securities.
What are the terms of payment?
There is only a $2,000 deposit per unit required at time of signing the agreement. A 30% progress payment is then required at start of production, around 6 weeks prior to delivery. Balance on pre-delivery inspection.