Ara’s first tiny houses are going under the hammer

News News & events

10 May 2019

Now that Ara’s dual enrolment students have put their hammers down it is time for the next/another one to hit the tiny houses: the auction hammer.

Over the last year, 16 Ara students created the two tiny masterpieces that are now on the market and are going to be sold on the 18th of May at 12pm.

Ray White Ferrymead is auctioning off these fully functional houses at the Ara Trades Campus, on Sullivan Avenue in Christchurch.


This is the outside of one of the completed tiny houses.  

Many of the dual enrolment students who worked on creating the houses had never picked up a tool before starting their course but have since signed up for the pre-trade programme that Ara offers and others have already found apprenticeships in the carpentry industry.

They were students from Christchurch Boys' High School, Shirley Boys' High School, Papanui High School, Mairehau High School, Hagley College, St Bede's College and Burnside High School.

The Dual Enrolment Programme, which they participated in, allowed them to remain enrolled in secondary school, while spending two days a week in the workshop at Ara, learning skills applicable to a future in trades.

It took them four terms to complete the tiny houses but the effort was well worth it and Ara’s carpentry tutor Mick Cooke is happy with the end result of this first ever tiny house project.

“The students have done a great job on the tiny houses and I’m very proud of what they have achieved.”


The kitchen area is located underneath the mezzanine bedroom. 

The tiny houses measure 7.2m L x 2.5m W x 4.1m H with the total floor area just short of 23m2.

The houses are transportable, equipped with a fully functional bathroom and kitchen, gas hot water, plenty of storage, double glazing and have the option for the future owner to style and add value to it as they please.

Cooke points out that various design aspects have been included to make the houses more energy efficient and allow sustainable living.

“We added low-emissivity (low-E) glass to the tiny houses. The glass allows light and heat into the house and reflects some of the escaping heat back inside the room. The windows also have a tint on the outside.

“There’s also potential to put in a composting toilet or an incinerating toilet instead of a standard one if the buyer chooses to,” Cooke says.

The houses are insulated with a combination of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS), OSB board, and polystyrene to ensure they remain at a comfortable temperature.


The tiny houses have plenty of storage space and offer endless options for the future owner to style it to their liking. 

All profits of the sale will go towards funding ten students, who have been involved in building the tiny houses, to go to Lautoka in Fiji to work with Habitat for Humanity.

During their time there, the students will work alongside a local community to help build homes for families that were affected after cyclones.

“It will be special for the students being part of something where we have the opportunity to help others. It will show them what they can achieve in the world with the new skills they are currently learning at Ara, and hopefully they will continue to help others,” says Cooke.

Ray White Ferrymead is holding open homes at the Ara Woolston Campus on the corner of Ensors Road and Sullivan Ave  on Saturday 4 May and Sunday 5 May between 3.30 and 4pm.

You can also watch this video to get an idea what the two tiny houses look on the inside.