Compact Living


By Davina Richards

With more people deciding to build their own home and lead a life of simplicity with lower living costs, the tiny home movement is a testament to the benefits of living in a custom-made, compact space with all the amenities of a standard house.

People all around the world are enjoying bespoke and transportable micro-homes and there’s one company in Christchurch helping Kiwis make micro-houses their new home.

The Living Box was established in mid-2014 by directors Jonathon Webster and Richard Lorgelly. They specialise in transportable micro-homes which can be built on a trailer, or bearers and joists. So for anyone who wants to kick back in a 10 sqm home, or needs a bach, sleepout, worker accommodation, hunters’ hut, office space, or rental/visitor/tourist accommodation, The Living Box will surely have something to fit the bill, so to speak.

I talk to Jonathon from The Living Box to learn more.

How did you become interested in micro-homes and why did you decide to set up the business?

Richard was a builder for many years, but it was while he studied his Bachelor of Architectural Design at CPIT that his interest in micro-architecture began to flourish. The decision to set up the company with me came about not long after Richard decided he was going to build his first ever tiny home.

What price range can clients expect?

Price is very dependent on size and materials, but anywhere between $15,000 and $30,000 is possible for a building around 10 sqm. We design to order, so we will quote after a client comes to us and tells us what they need.

In terms of size, what is the smallest and biggest size you can build?

There are no real limits to size, although for those clients wanting a building that doesn’t need consent, one requirement (there are others) is that the floor area would have to be no bigger than 10 sqm, unless it was on a trailer. The real focus for us is more on innovative use of space rather than necessarily on tiny buildings.

How ‘green’ are the micro-homes?

A micro home can be built as “green” as a client wants it to be. Heating in particular is often very cheap and easy in a small building for the simple reason that there is less air to be heated. Composting toilets, showers etc can be included, although their inclusion may mean the building would require consent.

You can see The Living Box’s first ever build, the Waimo, located in Spark Park on Hereford Street between Oxford Terrace and Colombo Street.

The Living Box

Richard Lorgelly


M 022 075 2898

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