Our House Comes Home

Yesterday I waited by State Highway 1 at the entrance to Makahuri for a special moment: my first glimpse of our tiny house on the move, and its arrival at its (and our) new home.

The house and its towing Mazda BT-50, with Jack at the wheel, left Carterton at 2.30pm. At the foot of the Rimutaka range, Jack stopped for a safety check before crossing the mountains…

Mustard house safety stop Abbots Creek

Then he followed this route — the blue line from Carterton but then the route that’s marked as 1 minute faster (the alternative would have been impossibly narrow and winding)…

Route map

Forget about 1hr 42min — this was a careful drive. On the way, the house must have turned a lot of heads! A Facebook friend of mine told me he’d seen it cross a busy junction at Upper Hutt and wondered where it’d come from.

At 4.45pm Jack brought the house smoothly to the gate of Makahuri…

That’s State Highway 1, the main north-south road route through New Zealand.

Then. with Tom, me and the dogs walking ahead, Jack took the rig cautiously along the pitted driveway, scrunching against some soft tree growth, past the old schoolhouses, and on to farmland.

The house fitted perfectly between a set of fence posts, but for safety’s sake Jack and the Makahuri crew removed one of the posts. It slipped out easily (thank you, recent rain).

Then the big, scary moment. The house had to do the first of two U-turns, this one on rolling turf…

A few leans, but whew!

Through the gates and along our paddock…

House enters paddock

… and the second U-turn to bring the house into an east-west line. This was the bit that I’d imagined and rehearsed many times in my mind, visualising the rig doing its loop and easing into the spot we’d planned for it. The reality was exactly how I’d imagined it (with Tom and the dogs watching from the right):

Jack set the house almost perfectly on its mat of Butynol. But he wanted to get it just right, so manoeuvred a little more. (Apparently the turntable trailer made driving forwards a breeze but reversing a pig.)

Jack unhooked the 4WD, got my signature, gave me the house keys, and drove away. Leaving our beautiful house in its beautiful place…

IMG_5818

… plus Tom and me, four of the Makahuri dwellers, and the dogs. Of course we had to have a little housewarming!

So we clambered in and explored. Much oohing and aahing over the wood scent and the finish, and the surprising luxury of the full bath. The late afternoon sun streamed in, and there was a wonderful welcoming spirit from our soon-to-be neighbours.

Hey, I thought, the kitchen drawers all slid out during the drive…

Drawers

But in fact the drawers had been fixed in position all the way out — to stop movement. Those builders are so clever!

Tom brought Connor into the house — the first time either dog has been in it.

Tom and dogs first night

Then the sun set on our housewarming. We left Makahuri for our rental house — relieved, mentally drained, heads spinning with all that we still have to do, but euphoric.

We didn’t build this house as some tiny-house people build their own. But we had made it happen, curving our lives towards this goal, over the course, really, of several years. And there it stood, real as the land around it.

IMG_5823

Next time: stopping the wobbles, popping out the popout, and connecting the water.

3 thoughts on “Our House Comes Home

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