Frequently Asked Questions

We recognise that being well informed empowers you to make better decisions. With 25 years experience in container home design, we’ll work to answers all your questions - please start with our frequently asked questions:

Why buy a container home?

There are a whole list of reasons but some key motivations we hear include: build affordability, they’re also strong and safe, they're consentable so you’re on the property ladder, easily transported and relocated. Their modular design makes containers a flexible and expandable living option. Whether you're a first home buyer, empty nester downsizing, or you're looking for a secondary dwelling, Genuine Tiny Homes have you covered.

What sizes do you offer?

We use both 20ft (6m) and 40ft ( 12m) standard size shipping containers in our plans, we also make use of 10ft options as clip-on rooms or as separate utility rooms. Our plans range from one 20ft self-contained unit to multiples of various sizes.

How much do they cost?

This is the most commonly asked question, so we want to give you a realistic idea of what one may cost. Please see our prices listed on the design options page. 

Container housing has the same costs associated with building traditional homes such as insulation, wallboard, electrical, plumbing, additional roof, kitchen, bathroom, engineering and design consent drawings. We provide a base price for each of our floor plans. We then have options sheet which allows you to select various upgrades or in some cases, remove certain items from the base unit.

Do you offer financing?

Because the Genuine Tiny Homes range is built to the New Zealand code it can be consented via your local Council and insured like any other house. Most banks will provide mortgages on these buildings with the appropriate criteria being met. Speak to us if you require assistance with mortgage finance as we may be able to help.

Are they mobile? Can I transport them?

While shipping containers were made to be easily transported, they are not conducive to placing on a trailer (note that trailer built tiny homes are not designed to comply with the building code). We do have a range of smaller units that can be easily moved for this type of accommodation, however our consented housing range is designed more for permanent sites. That said they are much easier to move or transport than conventional housing.

Are site works, foundations, and installation included in the price?

Transport, site works and installation are not included in our prices. The foundation and transport costs for container buildings are generally significantly cheaper than for other transportable buildings. We will provide quotations on a case by case basis.

How are they insulated?

We wrap our container homes in an external insulation envelope that covers the walls, ceilings and floors of your tiny house. This not only provides the maximum insulation possible, it also reinforces the structure with a second weather tight covering. Using containers and not a traditional wooden construction, they are already wind and water tight. The only holes in the container are those we cut for doors and windows. Because of this, the containers heat and cool very quickly which is why our insulation and approach make all the difference.

What about heating?

Heat pumps are standard with your Genuine Tiny Home and can be coupled with an underfloor water heating system, supported by solar panels. Our container homes also feature an automated ventilation and heat recovery system.

What about building codes and planning?

Our buildings are designed to meet the building code (in fact they far exceed the code in many areas) and we have consented homes in many areas of New Zealand. We will take care of your building consent process.

How long is the building process?

It takes about 8 weeks to build a Genuine Tiny Home from scratch,however you will also need to consider the planning and consent time involved with local authorities and that can take 3 or 4 months. We can give you a more exact timeframe when you order.

How are the services connected and is that included in the price?

The utilities (electric, water, sewer/septic) are connected the same as they would be in a normal house; these can be customised to meet your needs: permanent or temporary (plug & play). Connection to services is not included in the price. We can quote all of this for you when planning your Genuine Tiny Home.

Do you offer solar?

Yes,we offer solar as a packaged option, we can discuss this with you at time of ordering. If you think you want to go Solar later, we make every Genuine Tiny Home “solar ready”. We can also deliver full or partial off-grid quotes specific to your situation.

How are they attached to the ground?

Our engineers provide a number of simple foundation options that are both cost efficient and easy to install, saving thousands of dollars on conventional house foundations.

How long will the container last?

We believe hundreds of years. When building container homes we only use near new containers that have had only one trip at sea. The containers themselves are built of Corten steel and the lifespan of this far exceeds building code requirements. On top of that we completely wrap the building containers using products guaranteed for 50 years. This includes another roof and exterior wall cladding.

How much maintenance is required?

Our Genuine Tiny homes are very low maintenance. All the exterior products are designed for 50 years with virtually no maintenance.