'It's more than just a house': tiny home advocates build, show off simple lifestyle

The BC Tiny House Collective built an eight metre-long house on wheels at Science World using reclaimed building materials. 'We are for sustainable, well built, well designed, safe, dignified homes ... that are truly affordable,' says co-founders Anastasia Koutalianos and Samantha Gambling.

Vancouver's Tiny House Collective wants changes to city bylaws to permit small structures

People gather to tour one of the tiny homes on display by the B.C. Tiny House Collective at Science World on Saturday, May 20, 2017. (Mike Zimmer/CBC)

Advocates for tiny homes in Vancouver hoped to convert more people to the minimalist movement by building an eight metre-long house on wheels from scratch at an event Saturday.

"We are for sustainable, well-built, well-designed, safe, dignified homes and tiny houses fit into that category," said B.C. Tiny House Collective founders Anastasia Koutalianos and Samantha Gambling at Science World, where the house was built in one day.

Tiny homes are often between 200 and 400 square feet and have wheels so they can be moved. Despite their small size, they have most of the common comforts of regular homes, and look the part, only smaller.

The Tiny House Collective hopes that city by-laws will change to allow for the small homes help housing crunch. 0:22

However, the structures aren't part of Vancouver's housing stock just yet because city bylaws don't allow for them due to their size, wheels and sometimes other features such as composting toilets.

"Small doesn't have to be inherently bad," said Koutalianos. "I think cities need to start taking notice that not everyone wants to be living in a condo and some people want to own and this is an option for affordable home ownership."

She and Gambling say the homes cost between $10,000 and more than $100,000.

Two homes were on display on Saturday, along with the one that was built using reclaimed materials.

Koutalianos and Gambling say tiny homes are permitted in U.S. cities like Portland and Seattle and they hope showing off the homes will create new advocates for them in B.C.

"Building tall and wide works in some places, but it doesn't work everywhere and we're looking at innovative ways to densify existing neighbourhoods," said Koutalianos.

with files from Mike Zimmer.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story said a tiny home costs between $35,000 and $150,000. In fact, the range is estimated between $10,000 and more than $100,000.
    May 21, 2017 1:38 PM PT