This year we celebrate TinyFindy’s 5th anniversary, a good reason to ask some enthusiastic TinyFindy participants about their experiences in the Tiny House market and their expectations for the future.
Robin Zwarteveen, director of Inropa Tiny Houses is one of the Tiny House construction pioneers in the Netherlands:
‘Inropa started 8 to 9 years ago in the Tiny House market. We were previously active as a supplier and importer of natural and green building materials, which at the time were still called ecological. The modern term is bio-based building materials. At the time, we were asked from various sides to contribute ideas about the use of natural and healthy materials in Tiny Houses, which were intended for personal use, residency or recreation, and that’s how the ball started rolling.’
Inropa saw that there were good ideas in the Netherlands, following the American example of Tiny Houses on Wheels:
‘This was with individual people, who were actually all reinventing the wheel. An undercarriage of an old trailer was used as a trailer and the house was put on it and built by the people themselves. But there was no added value, or rather resale value, because it was a combination of old with new. Together with a few parties, we have started building new and custom-designed Tiny Houses that meet today’s comfort standards. We exclusively use natural building materials and new trailers.”
In 2017, Inropa completed the construction of its first Tiny House, which was developed and built in-house.
The Tiny House pioneers now provide a total package of advice, design and construction of Tiny Houses, both with and without wheels. From hull to completely turnkey, and equipped with on-grid to completely off-grid installations. “We strive to deliver quality according to the wishes of the customer and at affordable prices. We always choose healthy materials because we believe in them, and not because it is now a trend.”
Robin adds with pride: “We have built up 25 years of knowledge and deliver an end product that is completely designed and built in The Netherlands. We are now the largest Tiny House on wheels builder in the Netherlands and also supply houses in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Denmark and Italy.”
The housing market is going through difficult times, but this is precisely where opportunities lie for the Tiny House producers: ‘There is far too little supply of affordable housing throughout Europe. When Tiny Houses was introduced, the users mainly had ideals, such as: decluttering, sustainable and energy-efficient living, and avoiding mortgage payments. Now for many people it is the only option to own their own house at all. In addition to the idealists, there are more and more young people, but also seniors and singles, whether or not divorced, who are looking for a Tiny House as an alternative. This creates an increasing desire to live in a Tiny House from the population itself. Municipalities are challenged to go along with this and to propose solutions for plots of land where Tiny Houses may be placed. A clearly positive development is visible.”
Inropa expects that the Tiny House market is far from being grown. ‘A Tiny House will become one of the pillars for solving the housing need in Europe. We hope to be able to play a pioneering role, whereby we can further develop the industrialization process of our production at our new production location in Hardenberg in order to continue to meet the increasing demand.”
Through its wholesalers and web shops Technostuc and Warmgreen, the company also supplies materials for the construction of Tiny Houses of others. The range includes natural insulation based on wood wool, jute or hemp, emission-free sheet materials, IR heaters, natural paints made of loam, lime or linseed and much more.