It’s not ordinary that a high school student would want to build a house for a class assignment — but what Mitchell Phillips is building is no ordinary house.
In a Melrose Park warehouse the McLaren Vale 18-year-old has spent this year fastidiously constructing a tiny house for his Year 12 research project at Willunga Waldorf School.
His goal is to prove that there is a cost effective alternative to owning a home — and that those without any experience can build their own home.
He has devoted weekends and school holidays to translating a design, initially sketched out on pavement of his family’s home, into a reality.
The 18sqm house — about a 10th the size of the average SA home — is made of timber and corrugated iron fixed onto a steel frame, supported by a trailer.
Mitchell — who had little prior building experience aside from woodwork classes at school — has learnt to install windows, roofing and cladding, lay flooring, while project managing the build on a $30,000 budget.
The property’s exterior is complete and he expects to have the interior completed by October.
“Once I sort of got exposed to the idea of it and the whole concept of it I was really hooked on it, it seems really cool to be able to build your own home, it’s a bit more affordable for especially younger people like myself,” he said.
“They (friends) always say you’ve picked a pretty crazy project for Year 12, it’s pretty cool to see other people’s reactions to what I’ve done.”
He initially intends to rent it out as an Airbnb but eventually use it as his first step onto the homeownership ladder and avoid the rental market.
Want to take a closer look at the project?
Mitch’s Tiny House will be open to the public at the Salopian Inn, McLaren Vale, this Sunday from 10am to 2pm.
This is a free event and there is a chance to win two night stay in the Tiny House.
– STORY BY RENATO CASTELLO, URBAN DEVELOPMENT EDITOR, THE ADVERTISER