A builder claims to be saving over £900 a month by living in a tiny eco-home that he constructed in a friend's garden.
Chris Marsh, 40, has used his trade skills to help him through the cost of living crisis, creating a 140 sq ft wooden home to fit in his friend's garden in Riding Mill, Northumberland.
The micro-house comes with a fully-fitted kitchen with an oven and a two-burner hob, a living space, a bathroom, a mezzanine bedroom with a double bed and a separate bedroom with enough space for a mattress on the floor.
Marsh used to rent a two-bedroom house in Hexham, Northumberland, at a cost of £650 a month, with another £100 a month on electricity bills and £160 on council tax.
But since spending 11 weeks building the new eco-home himself, Marsh now lives in the building almost for free after buying the land for £110,000 in January 2019, with the original plan to build a full house there.
Since moving into the tiny house, he now only pays around £15 a month in electricity bills, with no outlay on gas, council tax or rent, and also doesn’t pay for water as it is retrieved through a rain collection system.
Marsh, who lives on his own, has planning permission on the land where his house is located, meaning he is legally able to use it as a permanent form of residence.
In total, Marsh estimates saving over £900 every month, compared to when he was living in his rented Hexham house.
He said: "My old house was lovely but it wasn't remotely economical; it had single glazed windows and oil heating that I'd rarely put on with it being so expensive to run.
"The house was constantly cold and I was tired of paying out so much money each month – it was hard to maintain and keep it up to scratch.
"I then came across these ‘tiny houses’ on an American website and thought I'd give it a try making one myself.
"I've now been living in my new house full time since the end of March and completely love it – I won't be rushing to move back into a proper house any time soon."
Marsh says he is used to living in tiny homes as he has done so several times over the past five years – with his first made from natural timber and larger than the one he currently lives in, costing around £50,000.
His own business builds and sells similar mobile mini-homes to people across the UK, while those wishing to try one out first can do so at a cost of £150 a night.
The builder says his future plans involve buying his own land and to build one with a "totally different design and lay out", adding that the money he is saving is being put towards having an easier lifestyle and for future retirement plans.