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Tiny house on wheels

The Leaf House 2 -- there was an earlier and smaller one -- claims to be able to comfortably house a family of two adults and two children for around US$50,000.

The brainchild of Canadian home builder Laird Herbert, it is fully self-contained with a kitchen, bathroom - including small bathtub - composting toilet, gas fridge and heating for water (from the 132 litres on board).

There are still some space compromises… part of the sleeping arrangements include a sofa bed in the ‘lounge’ area, while a mezzanine deck adds more sleeping space. 

The 6-metre construction on a caravan base leans strongly towards recycled cedar timber and other eco-friendly materials. But the design also aims for a proper home interior, with features like hardwood timber flooring in the living area and granite tiles in the bathroom.

Herbert has several other designs - some smaller - on the market, and has become something of a small house enthusiast and promoter, saying he is “inspired by the philosophy of the owner-built home, and a creative approach towards designing and building.”

The Leaf House is a legal size for US roads, and given the dimensions of some of the caravans we've tried to struggle past on Australian roads it shouldn't have any problem here either. It would certainly set a new style standard among the acres of white aluminium favoured by the Grey Nomad set. And would make a statement in any of the suburbs slowly being infested by the blocks of bland McMansions, too.