Giving new meaning to ‘downsizing’

Newly established East London-based company Freedom Tiny Home Manufacturers is bringing a more literal interpretation to the concept of downsizing.

SMALL STATURE: Freedom Tiny Home Manufacturers had one of their tiny homes on display outside Pinecreek Restaurant & Farmstall recently
Picture: MATTHEW FIELD

Founded by Pinewood Homes owner Shane Roach earlier this year, the company does exactly what its name says: they build tiny homes.

“I founded the company during lockdown for a reason,” said Roach.

“Construction was only allowed to continue at Level 2 so I needed to think of something that fell under the title of manufacturing, which was allowed under Level 3.

“It [tiny home] is more of a manufacturing process than a construction one.

“In a manufacturing situation, you’ll assemble your components rather than building it up.”

Roach was quick to point out that a tiny home is a lot more than just a fancy trailer or RV.

“A tiny home is literally just that. There’s no compromise in the quality,” he said.

“It’s not a mobile home, it’s not made of composite boards; it’s made of proper materials.”

According to Roach, all their tiny homes comply with SANS 10082, which covers timber homes.

They can also be as connected or off-grid as the customer wants.

COSY: The interior of one of the tiny homes
Picture: MATTHEW FIELD

While it is possible to run the house on nothing but solar panels and composting toilets, Roach said they can also be hooked up to the grid through a standard caravan plug and that it can also be connected to the water and sewerage systems.

Mobility is also something that can be left up to the owner.

Owners can mount their homes on a trailer when they need to get going, or the home can be bolted onto a pre-made block for a more permanent settlement.

Of course, when owners want to move locations, they can simply unbolt their homes and drive off.

For Roach, there’s a lot more to tiny homes than their diminutive size might suggest.

“The Tiny Home Movement is more of a philosophy on sustainable living.”

“How do you remove clutter from your life and simplify? What are your needs?”

“It works for that if you want to declutter your lifestyle and move into a cleaner, lower-consumption home.”

The Tiny Home Movement, while largely being decentralised and increasingly global, is largely credited with starting in the United States with authors such as Sarah Susanka, Lloyd Kahn and Henry David Thoreau usually cited as the inspiration for the movement’s initial interest in the 1980s and ’90s.

However the movement received a renewed burst of popularity following the 2008 Great Recession, with tiny homes presenting a cheaper alternative to traditional home ownership.

“There are obvious advantages to having a tiny home in terms of lock-up-and-go, reduced maintenance, the movability of it,” Roach said.

Freedom Tiny Homes builds all its homes here in East London, but Roach said they can be transported to anywhere in the country.

Each building is also designed from scratch, to accommodate each customer’s needs.

“The demand at the moment is for offices at home, isolation units at home and rental units,” said Roach.

Anyone looking for more information can visit the Freedom Tiny Homes website or check out their Instagram.

Alternatively, they can contact Roac at freedomtiny@gmaill.com or 082-453-7419.

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