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Education Training, Environment

The Bower leads Re-Use Revolution with Tiny House Building Course using Reclaimed Materials

The Bower Reuse & Repair Centres 2 mins read
Finalising build of Tiny House by course participants in 2021

The Bower Re-Use and Repair Centre is running its popular course on How to Build a Tiny House from 10-15 July in its new home in Summer Hill, as part of Inner Western Sydney’s new Green Living Hub.

The Bower has saved over seven tonnes of building materials from landfill in the process of building seven Tiny Houses using mainly reclaimed materials since 2014.

Course designer James Galletly, aka The Upcyclist, said three instructors work with up to 15 students to build a 4.8m tiny house in just 6 days:

“We use second-hand building materials wherever possible, all the framing timber, all the windows and doors and the cladding are all made using salvaged materials.  Only the trailer base, the bracing, insulation and fixings are made with new materials.  

“It’s intensive hands-on learning, with students on the tools, up the ladders and really finding out what it’s like to build your own tiny house to lock-up stage, and we have a lot of fun in the process.” 

“No prior experience is necessary. We welcome beginners, experts, the curious and the adventurous,” said James.

Past participant Peter said he was inspired to take the course because of the housing crisis:

“Tiny houses have been used around Australia as low-cost housing solutions, that got me really interested in how difficult would it be to actually construct a tiny house? And how to become part of the housing solution. I've thoroughly enjoyed it, it’s really exceeded my expectations.

Julia was pleased with how practical the course is:

“There are now 8 or 9 power tools I can use. I can really visualise myself actually doing it, it's very empowering to be able to know exactly how to use everything safely. As well as the whole sequence of the course. It's so well written, the actual course material is very thorough.

Last year’s Tiny House was bought by architect Ashley Menegon, who has also taught the course in previous years:

“I like second-hand things and this course is a great combination of my architectural, building and furniture-making experience. To live in a Tiny House you have to put in some effort and live with intention. It’s like living in a van forces you to keep everything tidy.”

The finished Tiny House will be sold via auction in August.

Course Date: July 10- 15th (9am – 5pm)

More information:

Key Facts:

The Tiny House is built on a trailer base, to be mobile – participants will learn:

·        Considerations when choosing a trailer

·        Building a frame and getting it right

·        Insulation and cladding

·        Roofing and flooring

·        Sourcing and working with reclaimed materials

·        Using a variety of power and hand tools

·        The what, where, why and how of tiny house living



About us:

The Bower is an award-winning environmental charity and a champion of reuse and repair.  We have centres in Marrickville, Redfern and our new site in Summer Hill opens on Saturday 1 July.


Contact details:

Carolin Wenzel  0417 668 957 

Lea Nage, Workshops Manager


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