HouseMe Tiny Home & Portable Cabin FAQs

Whether you are interested in Hiring a Cabin or Purchasing your dream HouseMe Tiny Home, you probably have lots of questions.
Check out our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Hiring or Buying a Tiny Home.

Buying FAQ
How long does it take for the Code of Compliance to be issued?

Customer: "When will we receive our CCC?"

Code of Compliance Certificate: Expected Time Frames.

Your CCC is not issued immediately.

Please note there is a substantial delay between when your unit is delivered, and when you will receive your final Code of Compliance Certificate.

Once the build is 100% completed, your HouseMe unit will receive a Final Inspection and become “Signed-off”. This allows us to progress to the next step of applying for the formal Certification (CCC).

Once the issuing Council receives our documentation, it enters an administrative process in their very busy system and can take up to 6-12 weeks for the Certificate to hit our Inbox. This is fairly standard for the construction industry and we have zero influence on the timeframes. Auckland Council manages the process as this is where the build takes place. They will issue the CCC for the unit only, nothing to do with the land, foundations, or sewage.

Can I use my Kiwisaver?

Unfortunately, you can't.

It'd be great if you could as it'd help so many Kiwi's get an affordable home. However, you are unable to. There are specific rules and restrictions for withdrawing your Kiwisaver and it is only to be used for a permanent house & land purchase where a Title is issued.

Are your units Off-grid?

No, not as standard. We are open to making small changes to your unit if you're looking at going 100% off-grid i.e. Gas cooking. We do not supply nor install composting units or solar. You will need to organise that yourself once the unit is on-site.

Since our units are issued with a CCC, we have to install some form of toilet whether it be gravity-fed or with a macerator.

Do you install Composting or Cassette Toilets?

No. We install toilets with either a macerator or a gravity-fed plumbing system. Due to NZ building code laws, we have to install a toilet for the unit to get compliance and meet NZ Building Code Standards.

Do you offer Solar as an option?

We do not offer solar as an option as the installation needs to be done by a proper technician and is also very site-specific - they must face the right direction etc.
We are also unable to transport solar panels with our units. We advise our customers to go to market and find the best solution once the unit is delivered. Many customers have installed solar. We do not install 12-volt cables or componentry.

Do you build your units on trailers or wheels?

All of our units are constructed on a galvanised steel chassis with skids that run the full length of the unit. We used to put wheels on our smaller units for the purpose of delivery, but no longer do.

We DO NOT build units on trailers.

Some companies will tell you that if a tiny home is built on wheels or trailers, they do not require council consent as technically it is a vehicle. This is not entirely true and we advise that you tread carefully and do your homework.

Companies that build their units on trailers are legally registering them as vehicles (WOF and Rego) and if something is a vehicle and not a 'building' then they don't need to build it to NZ Building Code standards, as they're building a vehicle...not a house! This is why there are lots of new companies popping up and why there is such a huge DIY following. This has created a lot of cowboys in the industry.

You need to question any company that constructs "houses" that aren't built to a suitable standard. HouseMe has decided to distance itself from this as we are proud to say all of our new builds are built to NZ Building Code standards and we issue all new units with a CCC.

Do you offer a Code of Compliance (CCC)?

From October 1st, 2021, all new HouseMe units will be issued with a Code of Compliance Certificate (CCC). The CCC is a legally recognised document that verifies that the building work carried out is compliant with the New Zealand Building Code. The CCC is specific to the factory-built HouseMe unit and is separate from any site activity i.e. foundations or sewage. Units are delivered having passed a final building inspection with CCC documentation issued approximately 6-12 weeks later.

Do you offer a warranty?

Yes - We have a 3-year workmanship guarantee on all of our new builds. Some of the components come with extended manufacturers warranties which we are happy to discuss.

Do you offer Rent-to-Own or Finance?

Rent-to-Own is very similar to finance. Although we don't do rent-to-own as such, HouseMe has partnered with an external, third-party provider who specialises in lending for Transportable Homes. An online application can be completed on our website by clicking here.

  • Won't do Rent-to-Own/Buy, we offer Finance.
  • The applicant must be living in New Zealand and have a full-time job.
  • No equity or property ownership required; however, the applicant must have good credit.
  • The Landowner will be required to sign a one-page document allowing the unit on the property [if the applicant doesn't own the land].
  • Interest rates are from 8.95% (not guaranteed to be 8.95%)
  • Term length is up to 7 years
  • The maximum lend is $70,000 or $100,000 to Tier 1 borrowers with excellent credit.
  • Anything over $70,000 will be paid directly to HouseMe as a deposit.
  • The deposit amount is negotiable depending on your circumstance. No deposit options are available.
  • You can not use your Kiwisaver
  • You can find out repayment estimates via their website
Can we add components into the unit and change the specs - Can we customise?
  • We have an optional extra's price list for you to pick and choose additional components to add in.
  • As part of the purchasing process, you will get to choose your exterior paint, joinery colour, benchtop, vinyl, and carpet colours.
  • We are a high-volume business and apply a standardised approach to manufacturing – Our very competitive pricing and short lead-time reflects this.
  • Keeping the unit as standard as possible reduces the chance of error and ensures all our units are being sent out to the highest standard.
  • Small changes can be made to our larger units e.g. flipping the plan, adding a ranch slider, adding a power point or moving the bathroom to the opposite side.
  • Please note: Customisation to plans may result in an increase in price and delivery time.
Are there colour options and interior styles to choose from?

As a part of the purchasing process, you will choose your exterior paint and joinery colour combination, benchtop, vinyl and carpet style. The interior paint colour is standard and unable to be changed.

What type of flooring is supplied in the prefab units?

There is commercial grade carpet in the prefab units, and in the wet areas (kitchen and bathroom) industrial strength vinyl floor covering. If you want to make changes please let us know and we can discuss the options available. There is the option to have vinyl throughout.

Are the tiny homes insulated?

Yes, all newly built HouseMe tiny homes are constructed with NZ Made Colorsteel EPS Thermopanel. This is a 75mm thick 'sandwhich panel' comprised of pre-painted colorsteel skins over a fire retardant treated Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) core. The benefits of this EPS product = WARM, QUIET, STRONG & STYLISH. All units have double-glazed windows. All units are built to NZ Building Code standards.

Do the HouseMe units come with window coverings?

Yes. All of our units come with thermal drapes on the ranch-slider door & roller blinds supplied on other windows. These are standard with all units.
If you choose to add in magnetic insect screens, this will be to all opening windows except the ranchslider.

What will be in my bathroom?

The bathroom comes with a 900 x 900mm shower unit. There is a standard flush toilet (with a macerator pump attached). A vanity unit with basin and under cupboard storage, mirror cabinet, towel ring, toilet roll holder, and an extractor fan. The Deluxe units also incorporate space for a washing machine and additional cabinetry.
We do not install bathtubs. We can install accessibility handles in the shower if needed. Unfortunately, we don't install "wet floors" which are suitable for wheelchairs.
We can configure the plumbing to be gravity-fed but need to know this at the time of placing your order.

Do units have a stove/oven?

Most of our units come fitted with a surface mounted twin electric hob. The larger Deluxe Units have a full-size oven and 4 burner electric hob. These can be reconfigured to gas for an additional fee. We do not offer Induction as an option as they use too much power. If you convert to gas, your unit will only require a 16 amp power supply

How does waste water work in the HouseMe units?

Built into the unit is a Macerator Pump which will safely process and liquidise all waste from the unit – Kitchen, Toilet and Shower. The macerator pump uses a fast-rotating cutting blade to break up waste and toilet paper and convert the water and waste into a fine slurry, similar to an InSinkErator. This is then discharged under pressure through a 25mm alkathene pipe and expelled into your main sewer or septic tank. Most customers hire a plumber or drain layer to professionally junction it into your existing sewage network. For more permanent situations, the unit can be configured to exclude the macerator and include a common gravity-fed toilet.
We don't do composting or cassette toilets.

How do you get a Water supply connected to the unit?

Water supply is as easy as plugging in a drinking hose (like a garden hose). The unit is fitted with an exterior water inlet valve that your hose will plug in to. Alternatively, you’re welcome to hire a plumber to install a more permanent connection. The HouseMe unit requires "Mains Pressure" for the gas califont to function properly.

We will supply 2 x 9kg LPG Gas ‘Swappa-bottles’ that will power the Rinnai gas Califont for hot water. The unit will come with a Gas certificate.

A water tank is fine, just as long as it has a pump to supply the unit with sufficient pressure. If you are using bore water, you will need to install mechanical water filtration.

Can I see my tiny home being built?

We operate NZ's largest off-site manufacturing facility so due to Work Safe requirements, you are unable to simply turn up on-site. However, if you book an appointment, we are happy to discuss and show you the progress of your transportable home. We can email photo updates if required.

Do I need a building consent?

Unfortunately, there is no straightforward black and white answer to whether a unit needs consent or not. Due to the unorthodox nature of portable housing, it can be a little confusing as some councils will say you do, and others will say you don't. HouseMe is happy to offer guidance as we are aware that every situation is different.
The rules and regulations vary from region to region, and it is up to the individual purchaser to open dialogue with their local council should they feel the need to.

From October 1st, 2021, all new HouseMe units are issued with a Code Compliance Certificate (CCC). The CCC is a legally recognised document that verifies that the building work carried out is compliant with the New Zealand Building Code. The CCC is specific to the factory-built HouseMe unit and is separate from any site activity i.e.
foundations or sewage. Units are delivered having passed a final building inspection with CCC documentation issued approximately 6 weeks later.

If your unit has been customised from the standard plan, we will need to have an engineer sign off the changes for council and this fee will be on-charged to the customer. If you also require onsite consent [for foundation and sewage], this will be a separate project and you will need to approach a local draughtsperson and discuss your ideas with the planner at your local council.

How does the power work in HouseMe units?

You will be required to engage an electrician and install either a 16 or 32 amp outdoor “caravan” power point. We will supply you with a 15m long caravan type extension lead that will plug into this point, successfully powering the unit. You will be provided with an Electrical Certificate and the Unit will have a Warrant of Electrical Fitness.
If you require a longer lead, we need to know at the time of placing your order. We don't offer Solar as an option.

How long will it take to build my new tiny home?

Even though the units only take 3-4 weeks to build, our lead time varies but is generally forecasted to be 14-16 weeks from deposit to delivery. Our lead time can fluctuate depending on the volume of orders so it is always best to check in for an updated time frame. We can delay your delivery with plenty of notice. We do not store units.

What are the terms of payment when buying a HouseMe unit?

A $10,000 deposit is required for all orders under $60,000, $20,000 deposit for all orders over $60,000, and $30,000 for all orders over $100,000. A deposit is required to secure your order prior to building commencement, and your purchase will not be placed in the production schedule until we have received your deposit. Payment in full is required prior to delivery. We will not deliver your unit unless we have received full payment. Your deposit is legally binding and is strictly Non-refundable - Once you have paid your deposit, you have committed to purchasing. In the rear circumstance where our pre-delivery transport team determines your unit as 'undeliverable', we will refund your deposit in full.

Do you have Show Homes we can view?

Yes, we do! We have show homes on display in 3 locations - Auckland, Tauranga, and Taupo. You can view opening times for all locations by clicking here.

Can we make any changes to the interior of the tiny home?

Yes, but the changes you are able to make are limited. We apply a standardised approach to manufacturing which helps us build the units efficiently, at an affordable price. You can add in and remove certain components. Once your order has been placed, no additional changes can be made. This will incur an additional cost and may result in your unit dropping down the queue.

Is transport an additional cost?

Yes. The transport cost is not included in the price of your unit. The cost of delivery is based on the size of the unit, location, and level of difficulty. Occasionally, specialist lifting equipment such as a Hiab or Crane is required to complete your delivery, or lift the unit on to piles of which the hire cost will be charged to the customer. We need to know at the time of placing your order if you require lifting i.e. the unit is going on piles or over a house/fence. We don't have our own Hiab's or Cranes. For some difficult deliveries, professional traffic management may be required and the cost will be on-charged to the customer.

Are there any size restrictions on the prefab tiny homes?

Yes. The largest transportable home we build is 12.5m (long) X 3.6m (wide). Most of our units are 3.0m in width and vary in size by length. We generally refer to them by their length. Our standard units are 3m wide at the roofline, and 2.8m wide at the dwelling (exterior). Our widest unit is 3.6m wide at the roofline, and 3.4m wide at the dwelling (exterior). We have a range of standard lengths and don't do customised sizes. All units are 7.4m, 8.4m, 9.4, 10.4, and 12.5m long.

Can you build our tiny home on our site?

We are often asked this question if there are challenges with access and the short answer is No.
All of our transportable homes are constructed in our purpose-built factory and are complete when delivered to you. This is quite normal for prefab homes. Chat to the team about alternatives with delivery such as crane or hiab lifts.

Renting FAQ
What do I need to do when I've finished with my unit?

Please ring or email us when you no longer require the transportable home. Four weeks’ notice is required and from that date we will schedule the collection of your tiny home!

Is there a minimum period for Hiring?

Yes we have a 6 month minimum hiring period for our transportable homes. Once your 6 months is up, you can call us to arrange collection of the tiny home, or continue hiring for as long as you require.

What type of flooring is supplied in the portable house?

There is an industrial grade carpet in the portable house, and in the wet areas (kitchen and bathroom) there is vinyl floor covering. Flooring is unit specific and is a mix of different carpet and vinyl types & styles.

Are the tiny homes insulated?

Yes, the tiny houses are made with NZ MAde Colorsteel EPS panel. This is a 75mm thick 'sandwich panel' comprised of pre-painted steel skins over a fire retardant treated Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) core. The benefits of this EPS product = WARM, QUIET, STRONG, and STYLISH.

Do the units come with window coverings?

Yes, our tiny homes come with thermal drapes on the ranch-slider door and roller blinds covering the other windows.

Do the units have a stove/oven?

There is no stove or oven in most units, however, provision is in place for a benchtop hotplate and a microwave or convection microwave oven.

How does the waste water work in transportable units?

Attached to the toilet is a saniflow pump system. This pumps takes all waste from the unit and disperses it through a small pipe that connects to your existing services.

How does the water work in the prefab homes?

There is an exterior water inlet valve that you connect to your on-site water supply with a garden or drinking hose. The water is heated by a gas califont, and all you need to do is hook up the gas bottle supplied.

How does the power work in the portable homes?

The portable homes come with a “Gasfitting Certificate of Compliance Gas Safety Certificate” and a “Warrant of Electrical Fitness”. We supply a 15m electrical lead that will connect to caravan power plug. You can purchase an additional 3 pin adaptor if required.

What if my site has difficult access?

We can look at your site on Google earth and talk to you regarding access.

Where are your tiny home hire zone areas?

We deliver studio hired units within the Greater Auckland area, Hamilton, Tauranga, and Wellsford districts.

Areas NOT included; Lower North Island, Central North Island, Northland, Hawkes Bay, Coromandel, Manawatu, Taranaki, Raglan, Rotorua, or the South Island

How much is the delivery fee?

Transport costs start from $1,000.00 incl. GST. We will quote outside of Auckland, just let us know your location. We require payment for Transport (which is the delivery fee plus pre-payment of the collection fee) prior to delivery of your tiny house.

Is there a Bond required?

No, there is no bond required for the unit itself. All we need is your first week’s rent in advance and your transport fee to be paid prior to the delivery of your tiny house. However, there is a $300.00 cleaning bond. This is refunded to you once the unit is returned in good, clean condition.

Start Your HouseMe Journey Here

Talk to one of our friendly team, book a callback, or download our brochure, we look forward to hearing from you!