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Tiny Home Build with Winston Brinsley

Earlier in the week we sat down with friend of Goodlids, Winston Brinsley, to chat about his Tiny Home build earlier in the year. Enjoy!


Give us a bit of a background as to how the idea came to be!

Pub chat haha. Sometimes great ideas come about when you least expect them. Myself and my mate Willy Hishon were keen to work on a project together and tiny homes really interested us. At the time that idea seemed pretty ambitious and even did till the day we started. That conversation lasted about a year until we decided to put our money where our mouths were. 


Once you decided to go ahead, what did the first few steps look like?

I guess first things first we had to establish what the thing would look like. We had a pretty rough idea and a hand-drawn floor plan on a piece of wood that changed almost every week. We weren’t building this for anyone which gave us the freedom to explore what would work the best. Willy study’s quantity surveying so he did a really great job of planning and ordering all the materials we would need for the build. We only had 7 weeks which meant the organisation had to be on par. The first few days were pretty exciting and it was cool to see how fast something of this size was coming along.




Did you or Willy have any prior experience with projects of this scale?

Prior to this my building skills never went beyond building a table or cabinet haha. Fortunately, Willy has nearly completed his building apprenticeship so he really lead the build. Full credit to him, he’s the man. He took me through every stage of the build with a lot of detail so I certainly learned a lot under his wing.


What were some of the biggest challenges you faced throughout the build?

I guess there were quite a few challenges, we both knew it wouldn’t always be smooth sailing. The whole project was just a bit daunting. We put a lot of effort, time, and money into it so we felt the pressure to do something we were proud of. We also had a lot of delays which were expected with the current supply problems. This meant we both had to go back to university while it was still incomplete which was tough.


Is there anything that was quite unique about your particular build?

We put a lot of thought into what we wanted to achieve through this project. We wanted to build a comfortable living environment under 30sqm which can be really challenging. Early on we decided not to build it on a trailer like most other tiny homes. This meant we weren’t restricted to 2.55m wide (ours is 4m) which meant we could create a more liveable area. We kept things pretty simple and didn’t try over use the space.  

Pretty early on we knew we wanted to use plywood for the interior because it's just a beautiful material and adds warmth and texture. We used a unique red oak ply that we hadn’t seen used that often which has a really detailed grain. That combined with the black negative details just looks a lot smarter compared to a regular ply. Those smaller details were hugely important for us to get right in a small space like this.




What were the high-point and low-point's of the process?

Ironically the first day was probably the lowest point. A 3 hour round trip south to pick up materials ended up being a full-day excursion. A blown tire and reloading the same trailer twice left our materials sitting on the side of the road for the afternoon, it was a bit of shambles. I think we both looked at each other that day and wondered what we had got ourselves into.

The day we furnished it for photographs was pretty up there I’d say. We sat in the ‘lounge’ and had a few beers, it was a good moment, it was done haha.


Would you have done anything differently next time?

I think not to get too ahead of ourselves when things are going really well, setbacks can happen pretty quickly. In terms of the building honestly probably not, we spent a to time figuring out how we could create a comfortable environment in such a small place and I personally think we nailed that aspect. I would say next time it would be nice if we had a bit more time. We only had a 7-week window so we just planned out what needed to be done weekly and worked some pretty long days to meet those goals. With that, we did get pretty physically and mentally drained.


What advice would you give to someone without much DIY experience, wanting to take on a bigger project like this?

Make mistakes and learn as much you can from them, the good thing about building is most things can be fixed haha. I think when you have an idea you just need to back yourself and never be too shy for help. Also, trade discounts come in pretty handy haha!

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