Candid Tiny House – Anna & Rowan
There are risks in building a tiny house that are known, like: hostile council regulations; shoddy building techniques that can lead to damaged tiny houses; poor design that can lead to an un-livable space or budget blow-outs that leave tiny houses unfinished and owners out of pocket. These are big, nasty, known risks.
But there’s another risk that is quieter, not so often talked about. The risk of loosing our relationships as we stretch ourselves physically, emotionally, mentally and financially to accomplish the build, or when we are adjusting to living together in such small quarters.
Anna and Rowan’s reflections on building their tiny house on wheels touches on all the usual talking points: Getting the tiny house insured; building nearly every day for a year to get it done; injuries sustained; transport stressors and budgeting for weight and cost.
However the glowing subtext of their story is how they stayed connected as a couple while they built their tiny house.
They used their circumstance of building as a way of improving their communication skills, rather than wearing down their relationship with stress. “I think it was really good us [building the tiny house] together because it helped us learn to communicate more clearly. We’ve gotten more experience as a couple, as opposed to if we hadn’t built the tiny house,” Rowan said. They bought their tiny house trailer only eight months into their relationship. “It totally fast-tracked our relationship, we got to know each other very well, very quickly,” Anna commented.
In addition to this, a big part of maintaining the strength of their relationship was through being able to repair with one another after a stressful moment. “There’ll be intense moments in building then sometimes we’ll come out afterwards and be like ‘Sorry, I was a little bit short with you’, ‘It’s okay, so was I’.” Anna reflected. “I think we’re really good at that, knowing that we were getting a bit intense in the moment and then apologising afterwards,” Rowan added. On a more playful approach to repairing after conflict, Anna had this to say: “Ro has this really nice thing, where when we bring things up confrontationally, at the end he’s like ‘Are we still friends?’ And I say ‘Yeah we’re still friends’, and we hug it out… [laughs]”.
As the fates had it, they found that they shared similar tastes on how the tiny house would be designed, and how it would look, which Rowan thinks made it easier for them to build together, too.
Overall, Rowan reflected on how the whole building experience actually improved their connection: “I think we’re definitely stronger for it,” Rowan said. “A hundred percent!” Anna agreed, and went on to say that building a tiny house together “Is a huge test, and I think it can make or break a couple for sure”.
Have a listen to their podcast interview below or find it on your podcast app to hear more about their journey, as a couple and for all the other tiny house building tips that they can share.
Date received trailer: September 2019
Date started working on house: January 2020
Date moved in: December 2020