List of needs, wants & benefits for Happy, Simply South Australia

What a week for Happy, simply in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia…

Firstly I have been living in my Happy, simply home in Paekakariki, NZ with such purpose, joy and fulfilment I can’t tell you how wonderful it is living off the grid (but still going to the library to use internet and work each day :).

Secondly the Happy, simply build being planned for Adelaide is taking some major steps forward:

  • We have been given an old caravan off freecycle to use as the base of our home! Thank you so much Stacey and we will be sure to give it new life!
  • The Heathfield HS is very keen to join us 3-4 days a week, one week before the build for the demolition of the caravan then the following two weeks so they can have a hands-on practical build for their students to learn. This is just what Happy, simply was designed for – education! Thanks Kieran.
  • We have one full-time volunteer, Sam, keen to join in for the full experience for him to add his skills as a furniture maker and for him to gain invaluable building skills
  • Another almost full-time volunteer, Lindsay, will join in and add her organisation skills and many years experience of building background sets in the opera!
  • We have a Happy, simply SA Facebook group and also a Facebook event page if people want to connect on FB

This is a wonderful mix of people, skills, experience and ideologies – just what the project needs.

However in this blog I want to set out a bit of a wish list so people can see what is needed to build a home made from as many left over bits and pieces as possible. If you think you might have any of these things or someone who would like to be the head builder please contact me on

Looking forward to another week of wonderful surprises, people and building community!

See below these lists for the details of the build and the benefits of people being involved…

Ideally the people we are essentially looking for…

  • A lead builder – doesn’t have to be certified but does need to know how to build a home and share their skills with others. The payoff is being a part of an interesting sustainability project and for only 16 days (24 May – 8 June) and maybe a week before. Also there will be a lot of attention from this and media and might lead to other people requesting their own small homes – as was the case in NZ last year
  • Volunteers – especially students, retired folks or people passionate about sustainability and/or building
    • Designer / Architect if anyone is keen
    • Skilled tradespeople – carpenters, handypeople, people with a bit of experience
    • Volunteers totally new to building and keen to participate and learn new skills (ideally 10-15 on weekends and around 5 on weekdays)
    • Someone to maybe document the build as we had last year – really adding to the education and outreach of the program

Ideally the items we are essentially looking for…

  • Long structural beams for base and flat platform on the trailer base – 5-6m long
  • Axle stands for reinforcement of load bearing for the trailer
  • Solar panel(s) (95w or more) and batteries (usually smaller security system batteries are best)
  • Insulation – ceiling, walls and floor – new ideas and prototypes encouraged or recycled or donated
  • Inside cladding – gyprock or similar
  • Outside cladding – possibly corro iron or outdoor chipboard or best is insulated corro they have these days
  • Roofing – again I think corro iron would be best, and gutters
  • Watertank – anything from 200L to 400L is good
  • Structural timber – builder leftovers or may need to get donations / buy some
  • Building wrap – breathable membrane would be best or building paper
  • Doors – 1.8m ranch slider door and two other normal doors with some glass for light
  • Windows – anything we will build around them but double glazed would be excellent and best if one large window (1mx1.5m) and a series of about 3-4 small long windows (900mmx450mm)
  • Indoor floor and ceiling – chipboard or similar
  • Paint – inside and out – eco friendly and left over if possible
  • Grout and filler for inside cladding
  • Screws, nails, nuts, bolts, etc…
  • Outdoor decks – strong and weather proof – maybe the stuff made from recycled milk containers
  • Materials for verandas and awnings – retractable awnings would be best
  • Double sized bunk bed as we probably aren’t building a loft
  • Materials for simple shelter for compost toilet
  • Compost toilet – simple duel toilet system is easiest and best – basically two buckets and two seats
  • Other things like donations of food for the volunteers and a place for them to stay…
  • And the list will grow or if you have suggestions for things you have that you think will add to the Happy, simply feel and home!

Resources and equipment we will need to borrow:

  • Car and trailer for transporting and moving materials
  • possibly a welder for reinforcing the trailer that the house is built on
  • ear covers and safety goggles
  • drills and drill bits
  • ladders (at least 3)
  • collections of hammers, saws, set squares, measuring tapes, etc
  • paint brushes, rollers, etc

What we can pay back to you!

  • Love, appreciation, good vibes, some karma and other warm-fuzzies
  • Beer / chocolate or equivalent for the big asks
  • Your name on the Happy, simply plaque of honour and appreciation – to be hung in the Happy, simply home
  • Free accommodation in the Happy, simply home once it is finished!


I will be paying for all this just from my own savings and I plan to use it for the small bits of time I am actually back in South Australia, but outside of that time (usually 11 months or more a year) the home will be available for anyone to come and experience the happy, simply life!

Basic details for the Happy, simply build:

Happy, simply – a sustainable lifestyle model and education project.

Tiny house, community living and where just enough is plenty!

The Happy, simply home – want to participate in a community building project?

We are proposing constructing a small, mobile house of approx. 10m2 that is ‘off the grid’.

The same project was done last year in Aotearoa New Zealand (see youtube clip here) with great success and we want to see if we can do something similar (and better) this time in South Australia.

  • When: Late May / early June 2014 (24 May – 8 June build time with some prep and finish before and after those dates)
  • Where: Aldinga Arts Eco Village, Aldinga (40km south of Adelaide), South Australia map:
  • How: Using volunteer labour and recycled / donated materials
  • Why: To learn, share and participate in a community project that demonstrates how people can live a happy, simple life in a sustainable self-sufficient home

If you can contribute any skills, time, materials, support, please contact us via email – and keep up to date on the Facebook group if that is what you like: or the FB event page

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2 thoughts on “List of needs, wants & benefits for Happy, Simply South Australia

    • If you can’t move to a community like this then just create one in the community you live in – that might be just having a chat with your neighbour…

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