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Build Tiny has unveiled its latest project: the Dark Horse, an approximately $103,190 tiny home on wheels that was designed and constructed during the pandemic.
Build Tiny specializes in, you guessed it, building custom tiny homes that sit on trailer chassis. This one in particular has a bedroom, living space, kitchen with a breakfast bar, and a dual purpose laundry and bathroom.
But unlike most of the New Zealand-based company’s little homes on wheels, the Dark Horse wasn’t created for or named by a client. Instead, it was designed and built in-house by the team of builders that then had to come up with and vote on its name, the latter a task that’s normally delegated to the client.
“The thinking behind it is … a ‘dark horse’ is a term usually used to refer to someone that was previously taken for granted, but rose to prominence in a situation — something akin to an underdog success story,” Build Tiny’s director and designer Gina Stevens told Business Insider in an email interview. “That’s how we view ourselves as a company in some ways, and also the tiny house is quite unassuming from the outside, but has a few surprises on the inside.”
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The naming and building anomaly was a result of New Zealand’s coronavirus-induced lockdown in mid-March that caused Build Tiny to temporarily shutter production efforts.
During this time, two of its clients pulled out of their plans to order a tiny home, leaving only three units in the workshop instead of the typical five.
As a result, by the time the company could resume operations eight weeks later, the builders had two “gaps” in their work schedule.
In order to fill this gap, Stevens designed the Dark Horse, allowing the company to introduce a new tiny home while giving the builders something to work on.
This process differs from Build Tiny’s normal workflow, which is often based on custom orders as requested by clients.
And often times, these orders are for double instead of single level homes.
Despite slight tiny home order fulfillment and delivery delays when the lockdown was first lifted, the company is now back on schedule.
And with the help of New Zealand’s COVID-19 Wage Subsidy, Build Tiny was able to pay its employees 80% of their wage even through lockdown.
“Without the Dark Horse Tiny House, and [another build for one of the company’s directors], we would have had to reduce the working hours for our build team,” Stevens wrote. “However, had this occurred, we would have had the government wage subsidy to fall back on again …
… but it was wonderful that we didn’t have to use this, keeping more money available for other businesses that we’re in greater need.”
According to Stevens, a typical design process for a client-requested build can take over two months.
But because the Dark Horse was designed in-house based on “general feedback, wants, and …read more
Source:: Business Insider