The Aussie Cube

by John

A tiny house doesn’t always mean a tiny build time. We managed to stretch our build out to well over six months, surprising given the footprint comes in at only at 9 sq m /100 sq ft.

But given we had to carry all the materials down a hill, across two flowing creeks, back up a hill and across to the site it was always going to be hard and slow work.

But we got there and this is our first tiny house – a 3m x 3m x 4.2m building very similar to the French Cube profiled here some time ago.

Our house has a distinctive Aussie feel – corrugated iron cladding with a 15 degree skillion roof with exposed rafters. A 3m x 4m deck is attached to the front that will be used for most cooking and lazing about watching the wildlife

The property is a 750 acre bush block, 260 km or 4 hours drive from Sydney. The terrain is hilly to very steep – the house is sited snug in the gully between two mountains and at the junction of two creeks – which are dry for most of the year, except of course when we decided to begin building.

Construction is conventional 4 x 2 pine stud frame, which was made offsite and installed by a friend Mike – the intrepid carpenter/builder/welder/mechanic who has the knack of combining excellent technical skills with a great eye for the aesthetic. The sub floor and roofing are all hardwood – so hard that nailing/screwing was impossible without pre-drilling and a lot of cursing.

Even though it is ultimately a weekender we decided to pay attention to the detail of the exposed rafters/battens as well as giving it a very modern finish inside with square set plasterboard and polished floorboards. Not wanting to completely abandon the modern life it is solar powered by 1 x 120 watt 12 volt panel fed into a 600 amp battery and inverted to 240 volts. This gives us the joy of the coffee maker, a small fridge, electric blankets, DVD player and lights. As we are not there for most of the time the batteries will easily top up and be ready for the next visit.

Unlike the French Cube we decided not to incorporate a bathroom inside – it was a tough choice, but we just couldn’t seem to make the space work with it internally. Instead it’s back to nature and enjoy the views while you’re there.

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Les Wes - September 22, 2011 Reply

Cool door. Was that for securities sake?

Les Wes - September 22, 2011 Reply

Cool door. Was that for security’s sake?

Josh - September 22, 2011 Reply

As an alternative to a tent, for a weekend excursion, this thing is about perfect.

william carlisle - September 22, 2011 Reply

Great job , What about water?

John - September 22, 2011 Reply

That door was dubbed the ‘crack-house door’ – beefy steel door & frame – the property is fairly isolated so we wanted to protect the glass entrance door from anyone gaining easy access.

We have a small 1000L water tank behind the house – not a lot but when you don’t have much you tend to be very careful with it…


Victoria - Ozarks Crescent Mural - September 22, 2011 Reply

I love how that looks. Very nice!

Joe - September 22, 2011 Reply

Hi John,

Any chance you could give a rough budget of wht it cost? I would love to build something similar on my own property.

Did you have any problems with planning?

    John - September 22, 2011 Reply

    Hi Joe

    It was around $8000 excluding labour, the solar gear and the hardwood joists/rafters as I had this timber stored away for years.

    Planning? Why it’s a farm shed…(no permission required in rural zoning which allows for a 10m x 10m x 10m shed.)

      Joe - September 22, 2011 Reply

      Great, thanks. I will have to start saving.

GarageCat - September 24, 2011 Reply

Beautifully done. I’m sure the metal front door works well for critters as well as the unwelcome visiter.

Kenise - September 26, 2011 Reply

That is darling and cozy. I’m not into the metal but if it works there 😉 You packed so much in there I’m thinking of shrinking mine. A planned for 12X20. Especially considering the permit setup where I live. Thanks for the pics

Edward James - October 25, 2011 Reply

Would people tell readers information about the minimum size a house needs to be before in must be considers

Aussie Cube: refugio de 9m2 con altillo y placa solar - November 14, 2011 Reply

[…] en Tiny House Blog. GD Star Ratingloading… Share Publicado en: Arquitectura|Etiquetas: altillo, Australia, […]

Patricia - December 22, 2013 Reply

Oh my goodness! I am soooo green with envy! Between the location (esthetics included) and the build, I couldn’t choose which is more lovely. Spectacular job, kudos to you =~)

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