More and more homeowners are singing their praises for modular homes, with their sheer affordability and practicality.
When Andrew Elbo’s parents acquired a 150 square meter property in Lumban, Laguna, he thought of building a house for them.
“Naisip ko lang na lagyan ng pahingahan na ganitong bahay na kung saan dito kami magpapahinga ng pamilya ko,” he tells the OG team.
Fast forward to October 2020, when Andrew set the wheels in motion for the construction of a tiny house, which only took three months to complete. Today, his home is a striking matte black structure jutting out by the Pagsanjan River.
“Ang unique feature nitong tiny house, unang-una talaga yung view ng Sierra Madre,” Andrew shares. “Tapos pangalawa, siguro yung kung gusto mong manirahan lang sa maliit na bahay, yung small living lang talaga, masu-suggest ko talaga sa mga nagsisimula ‘saka sa mga bachelor o kahit babae na nag-uumpisa.”
Initially, Andrew lived alone in the house, something which he says never made him feel lonely because of the beautiful area. These days, he is happily sharing his home with his wife, Aiza, and they have started to open the property to the public as a tiny coffee shop.
The floor area of Andrew’s tiny house measures three by six meters. Inspired by finds on Pinterest and YouTube, he was intentional with the home’s industrial design and compact size. Instead of using container vans, he opted for a fabricated structure, using longspan wall cladding and I-beams for the posts. So as not to eat additional space and prevent the smell of food in the tiny house, Andrew placed the kitchen and bathroom outdoors.
Stepping inside, guests will be greeted with a predominant grey color, in line with the industrial feel of the home. Natural light splashes into the living area with floor-to-ceiling window panels, while the minimal furniture and fixtures add to its spaciousness. The underbelly of the staircase serves as a hidden storage cabinet for items.
Upstairs, Andrew and Aiza have their clothes tucked in the storage drawers under their bed. While the same massive windows give them a glimpse of the majestic Sierra Madre mountains, they still have a sense of privacy as the glass used is reflective on the outside. Blinds also help sunproof the 3x3 square meter bedroom.
Andrew had his share of problems with the house at the beginning. Given the square-type structure, they experienced leaks whenever it would rain. Another downside was the heat as the house faces the sun, something they remedied by using Styrofoam for insulation. Andrew also worries that the glass windows might crack during typhoon season as these are not tempered.
The construction alone cost Andrew roughly P700,000. He believes that a tiny house is a great option for solo living or single people, but not for more than three dwellers.
To aspiring homeowners who also wish to build a tiny home, Andrew reminds them of the importance of adjusting their lifestyle to the size of the house given the limitation of space.
“Dapat yung pamumuhay niyo ay tiny lang din,” he advises.”I mean, hindi kayo nagbabalak na kumuha ng malalaking gamit o kahit sasakyan na lang. Talagang mahihirapan ka maglagay ng mga gamit mo, so dapat ang plano mo lang din at pamumuhay mo ay maliit lang din. Yung sakto lang para sa ‘yo.”
Get a closer look at Andrew's tiny home in the video below:
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