Dreaming big about building a tiny house? Join us for a 7-day comprehensive hands-on learning experience, building a tiny house on wheels.
With a focus on sustainability and using reclaimed building materials, The Upcyclist’s Tiny House Building Course covers all aspects of tiny house construction including reading plans, trailers, wall framing, roof construction, installing windows, hanging doors, exterior cladding, laying flooring, building a loft, insulation and waterproofing. We’ll also cover the theory around tiny house living, sustainability considerations, legalities of towing and parking a tiny house, and how to transition to living life in a tiny.
Under the guidance of two experienced carpenters, the Tiny House Building Course team will work together to build an actual tiny house on wheels (to lockup stage). You’ll learn how to select and work with recycled building materials, correct and safe use of carpentry hand and power tools, relevant building terminology and adapting proper building theory to building a tiny house.
Our aim is that after the course, you’ll walk away with enough knowledge, skills and practical experience to embark on your own tiny house building journey. And a full belly - because lunch (and some dinners) is included every day!
Not just theory - it’s hands on. The Tiny House Building Course combines theory and practice, with emphasis placed on cementing new knowledge through practical application on the building site. The complex process of building a tiny house is broken down into a series of manageable steps. Each step is thoroughly explained and demonstrated, before participants work as a team to complete the task alongside the instructors. A collaborative learning environment is fostered where participants are given the opportunity to work things out for themselves, while having constant access to an experienced instructor for guidance and clarification. While this course is very much a hands on building experience, participants are given a detailed course folder coving all the topics learned. You’ll also have ample time to ask specific tiny house and general building questions.
"This course was absolutely excellent!! I learned so much and actually feel confident building my own tiny house now. Loads of hands on experience. Great instruction and emphasis on safety with proper inductions on all power tools and safety practices needed on a building site." (Pierre, 2018)
Day 1: Intro, trailers and floor
- OH&S safe work site overview.
- How to work with salvaged building materials
- Purpose and proper use of power tools
- Trailers, towing and preparatory work
- Attaching sub-floor to trailer and laying the floor
Day 2: Walls
- How to build a stud wall frame
- Use of recycled framing timber
- Calculating window and door allowances
- Cross bracing, lintels and securing the frame to the trailer
Day 3 & 4: Roofing, Windows and Walls
- Marking out and cutting rafters
- Constructing a roof
- Roof Insulation and waterproofing
- Laying sheet metal roofing
- Understanding airflow and condensation in tiny houses
- Wall wrapping (sarking) and preparation for cladding
- Installation of windows
Day 5: Exterior Cladding and Hanging the door
- Aesthetics of using recycled building materials
- How to select and work with salvaged cladding materials
- Attaching corrugated iron and traditional weatherboards
- How to build a door jamb and hang a door
Day 6 & 7: Tiny House Q&A, finishing off
- Laws and regulations around tiny houses and buildings
- Transitioning to living in a tiny house
- Considerations for off-grid living
- Continue to complete as much of the tiny house as we can
Post course building
The Tiny House Building Course is officially over, but there’s the option for participants to stay on and see the build through to completion while continuing to developing their building skills. There’s no more formal teaching, but after a day of rest, the instructors will continue building the tiny house for up to 5 more days. We welcome course participants to join in and take the opportunity to practice, practice, practice.
About your instructors
James Galletly, AKA The Upcyclist has been involved with tiny house building since 2014. On every project he brings a commitment to building tiny house's as sustainably as possible. James wrote and taught the Tiny House Building Course for the Sydney Community College. He has been involved in the alternative building movement for over 10 years, building everything from Earthships to straw bale cottages, as well as working as a carpenter on 'regular' construction projects.
Joe Antonios has been around tools and timber his whole life. He grew up cleaning the workshop for his father's cabinet making business and now runs his own carpentry business. Joe has mentored a number of apprentices and was an instructor for Sydney Community College's Tiny House Building Course. Since meeting James he has found himself using more and more recycled timber.
"I mostly enjoyed the hands on experience and how organised the course was. The tutors were fantastic and I would recommend the course to others" (Joy, 2018)
The venue: Our 2019 Venue was 'Spinifex' farm in Central NSW.
The 2019 Tiny House Building Course was hosted by Annette and held on Spinifex Farm, located in the beautiful Central West region of NSW, just 30 minutes west of Orange. Course participants camped on the farm (BYO camping gear) or stayed in local accommodation options. Lunch and three dinners were included in the course fees and we cater to all requirements (vegan and gluten free are our specialities). On three nights we'll support the rural community by eating at local restaurants. As the course starts on a Sunday, you can set up camp on Saturday and join us for a welcome BBQ.
"The course provides a wealth of relevant information for anyone thinking of building a tiny house in Australia. There was an excellent balance of theory and practice. The former covers everything from towing regulations, material selection to how to correctly and safely use various tools. Over the course of six days we collectively build a tiny house from laying of the floor to completion of the outer shell, complete with windows, doors and roof." (Euan, 2018)
No experience necessary
What to bring
You don’t need to have any building experience to be a part of this course and there are no pre-requisite requirements. This course is both theoretical and practical. It involves the use of power tools and some lifting and moving of building materials.
- PPE & basic toolkit (we'll provide a list)
- Camping gear (tent, sleeping mat, sleeping bag)
- Mess kit (cutlery, plate, bowl, mug, teatowel)
- Your own breakfast (fridge, kettle and microwave available)
To secure your place on the course, a $500 deposit is required, after we have reviewed your expression of interest. Full payment is required 60 days prior to the course commencing. There’s a lot of tools and materials to secure for the course, so minimum enrolment numbers are required. If minimum numbers aren’t met, the course may be postponed and your deposit will be refunded. If your situation changes and you need to cancel your place in the course, we will provide a 100% refund for cancellations more than 60 days prior; 50% for 45 days prior; and 25% for 30 days prior. No refunds will be provided for cancellations within 29 days prior of the course commencement date.
Want to talk to us to find out more? You can email us at email@example.com
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