We're here at Fieldays today and what I've learned is that there's lots of other really good off-grid businesses here that I can network with while I'm here, so what I thought is I'd take the camera along and we'd ask a bunch of questions and get some information for the rest of you that may not be able to make it to Field Days. Come and join me!
Right next to our site at GridFree are these fantastic glamping tents right next door and I've been looking at them all day yesterday, so I thought during a quiet period I'd pop next door and I will introduce you to James and he can give us a bit of a tour.
"These are fantastic!"
"Thanks very much! We're Safari tents New Zealand, we're the distributors for Yala who are the largest manufacturers of glamping tents in the world at the moment and this tent here is our Sunshine 38. We've set this up to suit a family so we've actually got a capacity for seven people to stay in here. Sometimes they get set up just for a luxury double bed and people are using them for high-end glamping destinations and a lot of other people are using them to build instead of a bach, a cheaper way of getting a holiday home at the beach.
So come in and come in and have a look. This tent's got an extended deck which gives you a really large covered outdoor space - four and a half meters long by five and a half meters wide so it gives a really good indoor outdoor space and then in here this tent is seven meters long by the same width five and a half. This is a cabin bed which is designed for kids but it's actually got a big enough bed, it's an adult Queen double in there. Here we've got a full poster queen size double bed and in the corner we've got a bunk room. We've set this up as a bunk bed and a single bed but it could be set up with two bunk beds so this tent is currently set up to accommodate seven people."
"And I noticed this one's got a kitchen in it, do they all have kitchens?"
"Yes we can supply as much or as little of the furniture you like, this kitchen is finished with a bar front and we've got other designs of tent where you can actually have the bar right at the front of the tent have a great indoor outdoor split and it's a great place, obviously, to chill out at any time of the day but particularly at the end of the day."
"And how much are they?"
"This tent starts from $28,000 plus GST, that is for the tent, the poles, the roof, and the connectors and we can then add to that as you want if you want to upgrade - have an extended roof, have the larger 100mm diameter poles or the the full interior fit out. That will then take it incrementally higher and this particular tent as you see it is in the region of $60000 plus GST which excludes the platform."
"What do people normally use them for?"
"Primarily now our client base is glamping operators. Originally when we started we thought it was going to be people building them for Holiday Homes, but the glamping thing has really taken off since 2020, where all of our clients had to shut up for three months. They thought they were running businesses that ran until Easter, they reopened in May in 2020 and have been running 12 month operations ever since. The winter demand for glamping is enormous, it's an incredible return on investment and it's proven to be a great add-on business to a lot of farmers and people with a nice lifestyle block."
"And of course if you want to have the full off-grid lifestyle you can put one of our good free kits on top of it and really be off the grid."
Safari Tents | https://www.safaritents.co.nz | firstname.lastname@example.org | 021 024 29278
"And so now I'm around the corner and staying with a glamping outdoor off-grid theme we've got saunas!
"These are so these are handmade saunas by the three of us at the Sauna Project, and it started out from the love of sauna-ing really. We wanted to sauna regularly and we couldn't really find anywhere to sauna so we decided to just build one ourselves. It just took off really, we built a community around it, had people using it regularly and so this is the product that we've come up with which is a sauna on a trailer with a big window. And it's a traditional Wood-Fired sauna so it provides a really superior quality heat."
"Let's go check one out. Gosh it smells amazing eh?"
"It does yeah. So this wood is Lawson Cyprus. Basically any sort of soft wood works really well in the sauna and getting the sauna up to temperature really brings that aroma out. This one is a wood-fired sauna and this is actually New Zealand's first New Zealand-built sauna heater. It's this guy in Cromwell called Roaring Meg who builds them and this is the very first one."
"That's a nice off-grid solution right there!"
"Yeah yeah so it's just one and it takes about one hour to get up to 80 degrees."
"And how much is one of these worth?"
"This is our biggest model which goes for $38,000 on a trailer, but they vary between $26,000 to $38,000 - either on a trailer or off a trailer, small, medium, or large."
The Sauna Project | https://www.thesaunaproject.co.nz/#offerings | Thesaunaprojectnz@gmail.com | 022 425 7110
"And so right next to the saunas I looked over and there were outdoor fireplaces. I thought they were really cool so I've got to wander in here and chat to Connor about them."
"So we're just doing all corten steel fireplaces, barbecues, with a range of designs, applications, and we try and make everything multi-use. Like this one here which is called The Traveller - it goes into a flat pack design, is a fire pit, you can rotisserie with it, or you can grill on your flat plate. And we do a larger model of it and then we do some bigger outdoor fireplaces, all corten steel. And what we're trying to do is, we live in quite a disposable world, so we're trying to build quality stuff that lasts a lifetime and that you won't have to buy another one."
"Fantastic and so family business is it?"
"Family business yeah, a new business, just my wife and I. I design all the models myself and and we tweak them get customers opinions, and we also do custom designs - so someone might come to us and say 'I love this but I want to change something' so we try and give our customers exactly what they want you know. We're not saying that you have to buy what we have, we're just saying that this is what we can do, what do you want?"
"Oh fantastic so if you're looking for an outdoor fireplace look these guys up!"
ROE Engineering | https://roe-engineering.myshopify.com/ | email@example.com | 022 677 5714
"So I was wandering around down here and I saw these domes which I thought were really cool so I thought would have a chat to Adele from Globe Domes"
"I'm the CEO/founder for Globe Domes. We are eco-friendly Off the Grid promotions, we even registered with our government our ministry of Social Development because our mission is to help tackle both the housing and Mental Health crisis in one. So these are our glamping tents, these are made out of galvanized steel and this is at our PVC covering. This is the smallest of all the resources though the four meter Dome. You think it's just small but really look at the double bed, the desks, the drawers. As you can see here this is all the 10 millimeter insulation so you won't get cold even during winter. We also have our fireplaces and also internal or even compost toilet showers as well. Basically take your pick as to what you want to put in it - whether it be for Airbnb style, sleeping style, a lot of people clients use it for yoga or even offices, sleepouts - take your pick really!"
"And so what you just build the deck and then build it on top of the deck and build the frame up?"
"Great question, that's what we sell as our packages is even galvanized steel floorings and decks as well as the domes. The bigger ones, the most popular ones, are the six meter Dome so it even can have front and back doors, as well as even sunlight, aircons."
"So how much is this?"
"If you want all the average package, bundled together is around about $25,000. Flooring, the home, the compost toilet, showers, all the resources. This can be all put together between three to three to six weeks."
Globe Domes | https://www.globedomes.com/ | firstname.lastname@example.org | 0210 512 864
"So I looked right behind the domes and then I saw the shower running with a califont and a toilet in behind it, so I thought that's exactly what you guys are interested in knowing about. So Hilton this is your company, you want to give us a bit of a tour?"
"This particular model has a shower and a flush toilet. That's the exit from the toilet and the shower, they go into this macerator box, when that fills it automatically turns on and automatically turns off when it's empty. Normally this pipe here would go away to a septic system or another holding tank. This is a water tank that is feeding the unit and obviously the solar panel, and it's battery operated so the whole thing is 12 volt battery, all off-grid. It has a hand sink in there, non-slip floor, shower curtains across the toilet and shower curtains across the door to hang your clothes on the door. A 10L califont which runs the hot water for the shower."
"I like this with a califont cover and a little chimney and everything, that's a great idea."
"I've used califonts for many years and I've always found that the wind blows them out, that saves it, that makes a huge difference. Also in cold you can't let them get frozen, they just freeze and this frees up the pipes."
"So it's this whole shower unit decked out, you sell it but complete with a califont, all of the pumps and everything a little solar panel to run everything out
the back, it's a full standalone unit. What sort of money we looking at?"
"$6,000? That's not bad. That gives you a pretty cool outdoor shower, bathroom, completely off-grid and you can just deliver it to site ready to roll?
"We organize delivery or deliver ourselves depending on what part of the country you're in."
Tuff Roto-Moulders | Tuff Bathroom Facilities Limited | https://www.tuffplasticmoulders.co.nz/ | email@example.com | 027 362 0010
"So I was wandering down the lane here, saw these amazing pods and thought I'll bring you guys in and we'll come and have a closer look because I know how much you guys talk about buildings all the time in our group. So I'm here with Anna at Podlife, tell us a little bit about these pods!"
"Well we're super proud of them firstly, we've been going for about six years now and we have a whole team of experts. We put so much thought into the design and the layout. They're all prefabricated - we work on a production line in Whakatane - and modular, so we have set footprints but within the footprint you can move around kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, whatever you want to make it suit what you need. So then you just put it on truck and take it to site. And we take care of all the logistics as well for our clients - screw pile foundations (they're super compatible with screw piles and we work really closely with Stop Digging), we can manage that all over New Zealand. And if our clients want to get a building consent we actually have an in-house drafting team so we can manage that on their behalf as well."
"And what about if we sold a solar kit to them would you be able to install the solar kit first before it got shipped out?"
"So solar is best to be installed on-site. Just for the logistics - these are right at the width and length limits for transportation. So completely compatible with solar and all off-grid options but best to be fitted on site."
"Yeah that's fantastic, I'd be keen to check one out. Gosh it's quite flash inside."
"Yeah! And it's wonderful being at like a show like the Fieldays because I love seeing people's reaction when they come into the building. Because a lot of people have looked at us online and maybe not had an opportunity to see us so when they actually get into them they're like 'oh my gosh this is amazing'"
"Is it double glazed or triple glazed?"
"It's double glazed and the glazing actually meets though the new insulation standards that were introduced in November 2022. All of our pods as meet the new insulation standards that are getting rolled out in 2023, so we're really proud of being ahead of the game on that one."
"So it comes with the flooring done?"
"Yeah, it's beautiful flooring isn't it? And we actually have colour options as well so we've got a few different colour packages you can mix and match your flooring and your bench tops and things like that yeah just to personalize it."
"And so for this one here how much for this unit?"
"So this pod is $159,990 inclusive of GST."
"Gosh it's flash for that!"
"Yeah the quality, that's one thing that people comment on a lot is the quality is amazing, the finishing is amazing, we're really proud to be able to offer such a great quality building at that price point as well."
"Yeah it's be fantastic for a little bach or something like that, luxurious living."
"Yeah the kind of range of uses for these buildings is just amazing like perfect for a bach, starter home, kids still at home, people wanting to downsize, commercial uses. It's just kind of endless and it's always surprising to see what people come up with."
Podlife | https://podlife.co.nz/ | firstname.lastname@example.org | 027 239 9613
"So just down from us on the right is Kiwi cabins. I like these because they look a lot like my cabin I built that you see on our website all the time. So I thought I'd
come down here and chat to Abby from Kiwi Cabins."
"This is one of our home workshops, this one on the site that we have is 4.8 by 2.4m, it's a really popular size, people love chucking them at the bottom of the gardens to put their lawnmower in and their tools. They come as standard with the building paper lining, but we do also ply line them and turn them into a bit of a workshop with workbenches and everything. This one here, this size is $5,500, that includes delivery and assembly and it's built on site by our team."
"Wow that's not bad! I noticed outside here there's like a little Playhouse, we should check that out."
"Yes absolutely this is the Clubhouse junior, it is one of eight of our playhouse models. So we have eight standard sizes and styles in our playhouse range and they are the most popular model that we sell. At the moment, we're all decked out for Christmas and we're trying to really push them, we deliver the entire week of Christmas, it's booked out for playhouse deliveries."
"What an amazing Christmas present, I don't know how they wrap it though."
"Just a big bow on the front!"
"And then you've got this one over here?"
"Yes this is our studio which is one of our sleepout range, and we go all the way up to 30 square meters so they're great for that outdoor living space and for Eco living, and really bringing the sustainability in - putting some solar panels on them!"
"Yeah so you could you could line it up you could put some LED lights in it, put a little fridge in there, put one of our little solar kits on the top and it's a nice little sleepout. How much are they delivered?"
"Something this size fully fitted out is about $12,000 delivered and assembled."
Kiwi Cabins | https://kiwicabins.co.nz/ | email@example.com | 022 601 3656