The maker of this $118,500 tiny home on wheels that was designed to work from home in during the pandemic saw a huge spike in interest in 2020

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.
  • New Zealand-based Build Tiny created Cyril, a tiny home on wheels for clients who wanted a work from home setup and amenities for their cats that were adopted during the country’s coronavirus pandemic-induced lockdown.
  • Build Tiny saw an increase in domestic demand “with urgent need” during the coronavirus pandemic, the company’s director and designer Gina Stevens told Business Insider in an email interview.
  • The home has a bathroom, kitchen, living room, lofted office, and lofted bedroom.
  • In terms of pet amenities, the interior has a cat door in the bathroom and a cat bridge that connects the two lofts.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Build Tiny created Cyril, a tiny home on wheels for clients who wanted a work from home setup and amenities for their cats that were adopted during the initial coronavirus pandemic-induced lockdown.

According to Gina Stevens, director and designer of New Zealand-based Build Tiny, the tiny home on wheels took a total of 13 weeks to construct.

“The design for the tiny house was completed during the ‘Level Four’ full lockdown we had here in New Zealand,” Stevens told Business Insider in an email interview. “It was in March at the start of the pandemic where there was a lot of uncertainty, so the need for a home office was top of mind.”


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The clients booked Build Tiny with interior requests like an office loft with a footwell, tall kitchen bench tops, a bi-folding front door, and a cat bridge, all of which can now be found inside the little mobile home. Keep scrolling to see how all these amenities look:


“Both of our clients already had the flexibility to work from home before the pandemic, so the home office was always on the cards, but one of them is now working exclusively as an illustrator from home, so it’s being well-used,” Stevens wrote.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Build Tiny saw an increase in domestic demand “with urgent need,” Stevens wrote.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

According to Stevens, the country was already seeing a housing issue before people started flocking back home to New Zealand during the coronavirus pandemic.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

As a result, people started looking for immediate housing solutions.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

“We have always had a very high level of inquiry, and are always booked out roughly nine months in advance, making it hard to accommodate the needs of people in this situation,” Stevens wrote. “It can be heartbreaking, but we do have to turn people away that aren’t able to wait to work with us.”

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

Build Tiny has also been receiving daily questions about international shipping, but the company has been putting these people in touch with other builders local to the inquiries instead.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

The increase in demand for Build Tiny’s homes should come as no surprise given tiny home trends amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, both tiny home rental companies and makers have seen a surge in interest.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

Source: Wall Street Journal


Some tiny home builders have even seen demands double during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a blog on Mashviso, a self-described “real estate investment data analysis” company.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

Source: Mashvisor


Now, back to Cyril.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

Stevens estimates the total cost of the tiny home on wheels, which was officially completed in October, to be a little more than $US118,490, not including the solar equipment or solar storage.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

The home was named after the clients’ grandfather, who was also a “tiny house enthusiast,” according to Build Tiny.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

Source: Build Tiny


The structure of the tiny home consists of a steel frame and corrugated aluminium cladding.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

The home’s trailer sits at a little over 26 feet long, almost 9 feet wide, and almost 14 feet tall.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

Cyril is wider than most of Build Tiny’s homes, therefore making room for features like the L-shaped kitchen, larger bathroom, and two lofts for two different purposes.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

The home features amenities for both human occupants and the clients’ two cats that were rescued during New Zealand’s coronavirus pandemic-induced lockdown.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

These pet amenities include a cat door and a wall-mounted bridge that allows the cats to travel between the bedroom and the office lofts.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

When the team first started designing the tiny home, the clients hadn’t rescued their cats yet, according to Stevens.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

But after the clients adopted the two cats, Build Tiny started redesigning the plan to include the cat bridge and cat door, the latter found in the bathroom.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

The bathroom also includes a shower, storage units, a composting toilet, and a sink.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

“People found it really curious that there was a tall window placed in front of the toilet,” Stevens said. “There is a perceived lack of privacy, but for some people, our clients included, having a view while you do your business is a great thing.”

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

If the owners want to clean off outside, there’s also an exterior shower.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

Beyond the bathroom doors is the kitchen.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

The cooking area includes a refrigerator, a oven, a four-burner gas stovetop with a range hood, and a sink.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

In terms of kitchen storage, there’s a pantry, built-in cabinets, and storage shelves that run on the walls above the kitchen unit.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

Food made in the kitchen can be eaten at the bamboo-topped breakfast bar, which sits at the shorter “L” end of the kitchen.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

Part of the breakfast bar can also be folded down for more space.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

To enjoy food outside, Build Tiny also included a removable exterior countertop that can be accessed from the inside of the tiny home when the windows in front of the kitchen are opened.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

The living room, which sits below the office loft, includes a couch and coffee table.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

The upstairs office loft can be accessed with a removable ladder that sits in front of the living room.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

Cyril’s office loft comes with a long shared desk and two floor chairs with a footwell area, all in front of a window for natural light.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

The second loft, above the kitchen and accessible with the staircase, was created to serve as the bedroom.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

The staircase needed to access the bedroom has integrated storage units to maximise the tiny space.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

Upstairs, the loft has a queen bed and several storage units, including a wardrobe.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

The office loft also has room to sleep additional people if needed.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

Cyril also has room for a washing machine and fireplace …

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

… although there’s already a gas heater for warmth.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

When it’s time to dry any clothes from the washing machine, the owners can use the ceiling-mounted drying rack that can be lowered to the ground-level when it’s needed …

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

… and tucked away out of sight by the ceiling when the clothes are done drying.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

All of the tiny home’s amenities are powered by a “full off-grid lithium solar setup,” according to Build Tiny.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

Source: Build Tiny


It also has a 16-amp connection point when the home doesn’t have to stay off-grid.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

The clients are now living full-time in the tiny home with two cats and a soon-to-be dog.

Build TinyCyril the tiny home on wheels by Build Tiny.

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