Monthly Archives: April 2014

Frugal DIY Door Stopper

When we first moved into our rental, a number of our door stops were broken. I was able to replace all but the front door with the standard plastic door catchers you can get at Bunnings. The front entry had an old style door stop that proved to be a problem because it was installed quite close to the door edge, and because I didn’t want to drill new holes (a rental no no) if I installed the new plastic door catcher using the existing holes it would completely miss catching the door!

What to do…

Well after thinking about this for a moment I conjured up a lo-fi crafty and nifty solution, I introduce you to the monkey fist door stop –




Ta da!

All up it took me a couple a couple of hours to make it, but that was because I had never made a monkey fist before, now that I’ve made one, I reckon I can knock one up in a matter of minutes. Normally you would wrap the monkey fist with a small round object, like a golf ball or tennis ball, but I had none of those on hand so I simply crumbled up some junk mail catalogues into a ball and used that instead… (another lo-fi solution).

Now you could when looking at this ingenious solution decide that a tennis ball and some stocking could work just as well and you are right, but I love me some rope… I have a knot addiction and my motto has always been ‘you can never have enough rope around the house’. The rope I used was probably about 1 metre long and from memory it was 6mm rope. I bought mine at supercheap auto for 3 dollars and I still have ~9 metres of it left… great value if you ask me.

I followed the following youtube video to learn how to make a monkey fist –

How to build your house without worrying about planning and building codes

Anyone that goes through the process of building their own home will know how much red tape, hoop jumping, paper shuffling, form filling and bureaucratic meddling one has to put up with in today’s modern era of housing construction. Most of it is peripheral to the actual building process itself and irrelevant. It’s also enough to scare most people away and unfortunately this is exactly the unseen unintended consequence.

I’m too young to talk about the good old days, but like almost nearly everything else, I’m sure back in the day it was less about approvals and more about building a home for yourself.

In today’s environment, the myriad of legislation, rules, regulations and codes that govern the building of a home is truly astounding.

To give you an example, I currently reside in Queensland, Australia. If I wanted to build a standard 3 Bed 2 Bath single storey home on a piece of vacant land I need to comply with the following –

  1. Sustainable Planning Act
  2. Sustainable Planning Regulation
  3. Planning Scheme
  4. Planning Scheme Code(s)
  5. Building Code of Australia
  6. Australian Standard(s)
  7. Queensland Development Code
  8. Council Planning Policies
  9. State Planning Policies
  10. Other Miscellaneous Reports required by the above which could easily number in the double digits

Note the plural in some of the above dot points, emphasis mine.

I haven’t even talked about what a developer has to go through to make that piece of vacant land available for you to buy!

All the above adds cost and by the way I also haven’t gone through the myriad of professionals you would have to engage to help make sure you comply with the above. It’s no wonder this country is facing a housing affordability crisis, now that’s not to say this is the only factor or the primary factor in pushing up prices, but it’s an important one. Restrictive planning regulations and release of Greenfield land is another, the fiat money system is another… but I digress…

Anyway this site is about solutions, so how should my frugal brethren provide shelter for themselves in accordance with their frugal sensitivities?

The answer… build a Tiny House on a Trailer! J

Ain’t it grand! I’ll let your imagination interact with the picture you see and hopefully the pin should drop… right about now.

The importance of building it on a trailer is crucial, if you build and fix it to the ground you are technically building a structure which can trigger all sorts of planning and building requirements. If you build it on a trailer that is registered for the road it automatically becomes a caravan… but you and I know it’s more than a caravan it’s a Tiny House J

Building and living in a Tiny House is very much in accordance with my frugal sensitivities and it obviously ticks all my boxes – It saves me time, money and space.

Now admittedly I don’t live in one, but this is very much a goal in my life. Right now I’ve just moved to Queensland where I have started my new job, I’m still getting my bearings in this great place, but once I’ve settled in and when my rental period expires, building and living in a tiny house will be next.

If you are thinking of the same and live around my area, make sure to leave a comment. Two minds are better then one!

For more info on Tiny House’s and what people are doing with this concept check out the Tiny House Blog and Tumbleweed Homes.