Job done . . . Dave Cusiel (left) and Antoine Fitzgerald are pleased with the tiny house that has taken them months to build. PHOTO: TYSON YOUNG

The hard work has finally paid off for Antoine Fitzgerald and Dave Cusiel, who have just finished building a tiny house.

Mr Fitzgerald, who is now living in the house, first came up with the concept while travelling overseas last year.

He decided he would build a house that was eco-friendly and could lower his living costs.

“Coming back to Christchurch, and the rent and things being so high, I was pretty prone to finding an alternative that is low-cost to run and pretty sustainable to live in,” he said.

Soon after coming back to New Zealand, he moved in with friends Dave and Hayley Cusiel, who live in Kakanui, and he and Mr Cusiel built the house on the property.

The build took about four months, but the design had been in Mr Fitzgerald’s head for a “long time”, he said.

During the build, he had received a huge amount of support from the Kakanui community.

Kakanui woman Liz van den Ende also helped out by crafting upholstery for furnishings in the house.

“There’s been a lot of support,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

“It has been a community-backed project.”

The house – measuring just 14 sq m – features a kitchen, a bathroom and a small space for a bed.

It can run off solar power and features a roof system that can collect water from rainfall.

“It’s all wired up to be off the grid.”

Much of the house was made out of recycled materials, including timber and bottles.

Working with recycled materials meant the build was a lot more time-consuming and intricate, he said.

The house was last week transported to its new base in Christchurch.

After working on it for countless hours, Mr Cusiel said, it was hard seeing the house go.

“It’s been a pretty fun project. It’s at the end of an era –it’s weird to see it leave, actually,” Mr Cusiel said.

“It’s good to be involved in something like this.”

The best part about the project was getting to create something “completely out of whack”, Mr Fitzgerald said.

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