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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Adventurous Couple Build Brilliant Tiny House On Wheels

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Bryce: For some, Tiny Homes are a long-term solution.

B: For others, they're just a stepping stone.

B: We're about to meet a young couple who've built their very own Tiny House on wheels...

B:...which has now become a kind of "enabler" for them to now look ...

B:...at purchasing a larger house, where they can start thinking about...

B:...adding a few more members to the family.

B: Hey, how's it going? Holly: Hi there!

H: Good, how are you? B: Nice to meet you, Holly! H: Nice to meet you!

B: G'day Oli, how you doin', mate?

B: This, here, is a VERY impressive looking Tiny House!

H&O: Thanks!

B: She is a big one, as well, so ...

B: ... how big is this one, actually?

H: Ah, 7 metres by 3 metres (23 feet by 10 feet)

B: 7 by 3?

H: Yeah... so we went wider. B: Definitely.

B: Not one that you'll want to be transporting on the road very often?

H: No, for us it was always... the point was to move it just once or twice, and then just leave it...

H: ...onsite, and, yeah, we thought it was worth some extra stress transporting it for the extra space living in it.

O: So, I've always been obsessed with Tiny Apartments and things like that ...

O: ... and, um, I was actually just watching one of YOUR videos

O: ... the one on Brett*, and Holly saw it... (*Amazing DIY Off-Grid Modern Tiny House)

O: ...and was like "man, what's this, this is pretty interesting".

O: And so we watched it together, ay, and... H: And I said we should do it!

O: We should do it!

O: So, yeah, we started, like, taking things out on the floor and...

H: Yeah... O: Every time we were at the beach, drawing things in the sand and...

H: Yeah, we had, like, full-on tape measures and stuff

H: ....and we'd draw up floor plans, and we went through heaps of different designs... lots and lots of different plans.

H: All sorts of stuff ...

H: But basically the main thing that made us do it was just that we wanted the adventure.

O: Yeah, the adventure...

B: Well, the place looks REALLY nice from the outside.

B: Let's have a look on inside, see what you've done. H: Awesome, come on in.

B: What a lovely home!

H: Yeah, she's cool, hey? Thank you!

B: It's all so open and light, isn't it?

H: Yeah, that was a big part for us.

H: We have 9 windows and this tiny little space and it was always about making it light and airy...

H: ... and getting the sunshine in, all the time. O: Yeah

O: So we'd seen, like, a lot of those American-style Tiny Houses...

O: And they didn't really work for how we like to live and, um, you know, they're pretty amazing but...

O: ... we tried to take the "Kiwi approach" to it, you know - open plan...

O: ... big doors looking out onto the view and the deck. H: Yeah

O: It was the main thing we had in mind when we built it actually, was the light, bright open feel.

B: I really love what you've done here with this climbing wall.

B: This is such a clever way of getting into the loft.

H: Yeah, it's cool, ay?

H: So, it mainly...it was just that we didn't really...we didn't really know where a ladder could go ...

H: ... and we didn't really want to cut off any of that opening.

H: So, instead Oli, yeah, Oli decided on a climbing wall. I was pretty against it at the start...

H: But now, I really like it.

H: I think it's cool to have the "pops" of green and everything as well.

H: Lots of people were, um, a little bit "anti" having a climbing wall as the ONLY way to get up there!

H: But, you know, the whole thing about a Tiny House is, you built it for YOU, right ...

H: ... you don't build it for resale value or, for you know, anyone else, you build it for the people who are gonna live in it.

H: When we, um, if we watch movies and we have cups of tea and stuff...

H: ... we do have to pass it up, like, because it's quite hard to climb up with a cup of tea!

H: So yeah.... O: It's good, you get very quick at it too, ay?

B: Can I have a go? H & O: Yeah!

B: All right, everyone in the world can watch me fumble as I get up this thing.

B: Although, maybe I'm almost tall enough just to... I've really got an advantage here, ay?

O: You can just step up!

B: Oh - now that ... is cool! H: Yeah!

B: That is a seriously cool way of getting into a loft!

B: And, and what an amazing space this is ... I mean, comfortable, you've got all these cushions, awesome TV...

H: Yeah, so we wanted the TV to be up, out of the way, you know, we didn't want it to be the feature of the room....

H: ...because it's such a small space, so if there was a TV, say, right here on THIS wall...

H: ... it would be quite overpowering, but we did want to be able to watch movies and, you know...

H: ...TV shows and stuff, so we set it up, UP there.

B: While I'm up here, I really like the use of the LED lights, this is really nice.

O: Yeah, we stole them from Holly's auntie...

H: Yeah, my auntie, she had a fairy light chandelier, and we just thought it was a cool idea.

B: Well, I'm gonna climb on down and we can have a look at the kitchen.

O: Sweet H: Cool

B: This kitchen is really lovely, it's so open, it's so inviting.

B: You just want to get in here and start cooking, don't you?

H: Yeah, it's great, it's awesome.

H: We just, um, so, we wanted it to be a big enough space because we usually cook together...

H: .... so we wanted to have enough room.

H: And, I guess it still is a small kitchen...

H: ....but it just worked.

O: And one thing we wanted to do, that's because there's two of us living here ...

O: ... and we still live, you know, a very normal life.

O: We have "9 to 5" jobs and everything...

O: ... so we didn't want to compromise on too many things.

O: So our fridge is actually bigger than the last fridge we had.

O: We've got a full size oven, full size double sink.

O: You know, so we wanted to make sure that we could actually fit all those things in.

H: We did, um, we were gonna put in a gas hob - we actually bought a gas hob and everything...

H: ... but we just never got around to it.

H: And we used our little camping stove.

H: We cooked Christmas dinner on it actually, and so that's the ultimate test.

H: If you can cook Christmas dinner .... so yeah, yeah, it's been awesome!

B: Now this is something you don't see very often in a Tiny House.

H: A full table! B: A full dining table.

B: And I suppose as well, this is the sort of thing you can do, just by pushing it ...

B: ... that little bit further to that 3m mark, ay? H: Yeah

H: Because if it was 2.4m, you wouldn't really...you know, it's quite a luxury to have that much space ...

H: ... to have that big of a table. But it's such a usable space as well.

H: Like, we do use it for, you know, you sit down and you work here, you're on your laptop....

H: ... and all that sort of stuff? And obviously, you're doing...so I think it's amazing to have a table.

O: And one thing we didn't want to do is have all the "transforming" furniture...

O: Like that's...There's some really cool ideas but because there's two of us living in here...

O: ... you don't want to have to, you know, fold your bed up to make your coffee in the morning...

O: ... and what not, so same thing with the table, wanted to have proper fixed furniture.

O: It makes it feel more like an actual home as well, doesn't it?

H: Yeah O: Rather than a camping trip or something, you know?

H: Yeah, so we still do have a lot of the cool little storage solutions and that kind of thing...

H: ... that you have in Tiny Houses, you know.

H: But, yeah, it's just because there's two of us, we didn't want to have too many transforming things.

O: And we had the space to do it, you know ....that's what we decided from the start, make it a bit bigger.

O: Don't move it often, and we can fit in the things that we want.

B: Very nice, very comfortable looking lounge here as well.

H: Yeah, they're cool, those were old cushions that we actually took off some couches that we have ...

H: ...and up-cycled them and, yeah, there's all storage under there and that's why, obviously, you build a couch.

H: I think with all the upholstering and everything, it probably would have worked out cheaper to just...

H: ...buy a couch and put it in here but like, you know, in a Tiny House, you need to use the space.

H: You know, it needs to be storage. And under there, it swallows up so much stuff.

H: It's got all of our camping stuff, yeah, like backpacks, all that sort of thing.

B: And so your bathroom I'm guessing is through that door...is it?

O: Yep, just under here...

O: So this is the bathroom. H: Yeah

B: This is lovely.

O: So we managed to fit a full 900mm by 900mm shower and that's because...

O: ...we pushed out over the drawbar.

So that's where that sits. B: Right.

O: We've got a smaller bit still pretty big size vanity, standard composting toilet, and, yeah!

B: So what about this space here? What goes in there?

H: So that's the other part that was over the drawbar, obviously. And that's the washing machine.

O: Yeah, so that's our laundry. We've got a normal full-size household washing machine.

O: And just some coat storage, and, yeah. H: Yeah.

O: We didn't want the washing machine to be as noticeable as they are in a lot of other Tiny Houses.

O: So, we put it in there and you can shut your door and never see it again, so, it's good.

B: And, we've still got the sleeping loft to go.

B: Shall we have a look at that? H: Yeah, come on up.

H: So, we built it so that we could stand up....

H: ... beside the bed and get into the bed.

H: But I don't know if you're going to be able to stand up, Bryce!

B: Hey, that's such a neat idea, ay!

B: I can at least stand up here on the step. H: That's all right.

B: This is really good, it's really unusual to have this much space.

B: Where did you actually get this extra height from?

O: So, we hadn't seen this done anywhere, but we were thinking that some of your kitchen things...

O: ... they don't need to be full height, so, pantry, fridge, for example, don't need to be full height.

O: So we thought if you drop the floor above those, and then, you know, come up to the normal loft height...

O: ... then you basically "steal some height" to stand up in your loft.

O: Which I haven't seen in any other Tiny House.

H: So, it works, I think because we're both quite short.

H: So we can stand up here, but I think you're a little bit higher/taller and obviously, you can't.

O: Yeah, it's such a nice comfortable space up here, ay, we love sleeping in this bed.

O: We have the best sleeps.

H: Also obviously because it's at the top, it's the warmest part.

H: So that's amazing and in the winter time, you know, it's nice and warm.

H: ... up here in bed, and in the summer time, that's why we've got the windows.

H: So we can vent it, if you just open both of those, you get a really nice cross breeze.

H: Yeah, it works really well, if you want to air the whole Tiny House out, we just open this window...

H: ... and the one at the other end and the whole thing just gets nice and cool.

H: One of the biggest things about us building a Tiny House was that we built one because we wanted to live ...

H: ... somewhere that was double-glazed, insulated and nice and warm...

H: ... and we couldn't afford that in a normal sized house.

H: So, yeah, we went for a Tiny House.

H: That's why we haven't really cut any costs anywhere.

H: You know, we've got brand new joinery and everything, and it's beautiful and warm in here.

Because it wasn't really about saving money, it was more about living somewhere amazing.

H: So, all together I think it's been about NZD $45,000? O: Yeah

H: But that's including the couch and all the curtains and everything.

H: So much more expensive than a lot of Tiny Houses.

H: But as I say, it was more about... we had more money than time...

H: ...because we were both working full-time jobs and doing everything on the weekends...

H: ...so we didn't have enough time to, sort of, source everything...

O: So it's all brand new stuff, all brand new double-glazing, so it fits exactly how we want it...

O: Brand new trailer - the trailer alone cost NZD $10,000 ....

O: That's just material costs too, so $45k material costs.

O: We've paid a professional plumber and sparkie (electrician) so that's included in that.

O: But everything else is just materials.

O: If we were to look at our hourly rate ....

O: Just the time spent actually doing the work, but the time spent researching and sourcing and learning...you know..

O: So a lot of the time goes into that. But yeah, $45k. H: Fun time though.

O: It is, yeah. H: It is cool.

B: So, you started building this Tiny House two years ago?

B: You've been living in it for almost a year now.

B: And you're about to be selling it...

B: How does that feel now?

O: It's sad, ay... really sad to part with it. H: It is a bit sad.

H: Yeah, it's a lovely place to live, like it is, it's so beautiful.

H: But, it's kinda, it's just the right time for us.

H: And it's been our big stepping stone to let us get into the property market.

H: Because it's... quite a hard move to make. To get enough of a deposit together and everything.

H: And... that's why we decided to do the Tiny House, there was the adventure as well ...

H: ...and also the financial side and so hopefully...

H: ...with selling the Tiny House and selling our land, we'll have a pretty good head-start.

H: You know, to get a normal house, to raise a family, and, yeah.

B: This home is so functional and you have packed in so many really clever little features.

B: I love the climbing wall.

B: I REALLY love what you've done here, with dropping down the loft space as well.

B: That's such a clever way of approaching and really thinking 3-dimensionally with your space.

B: So congratulations to you as on that.

B: Thank you so much for showing me your home. H & O: Thank you

B: It's absolutely beautiful, and all the best for your next adventures.

O: Cheers H: Thanks

B: What I really love about this Tiny House is that Oli and Holly ...

B: ...have managed to build a home which truly encompasses them as individuals.

B: They both have this wonderful adventurous spirit ...

B: ...and that's evident in so many of the decisions that they've made in this house.

B: For one, actually making the decision to build a Tiny House on wheels...

B: ...but also things like this fantastic climbing wall.

B: I think the big challenge for them now is going to be finding a family home...

B:...that they can move into that actually embodies that same spirit.

B: I wish them luck.

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