Expanda Van Homes manufactures a patented mobile accommodation solution in the form of an expanding caravan, which converts from a caravan into a one-, two- or three-bedroom home in a matter of hours.
Russo says he saw an unmet demand for an alternative and affordable housing solution.
“I enjoy building and creating, and the concept had enormous potential,” he says.
The Expanda Van Homes solution is ideal for use as a granny flat, guest house, holiday hom, fishing shack, workers accommodation, portable office, or as a temporary or permanent home.
“Expanda Van Homes are a one-piece unit that folds out to give you a 4.9 metre or 7.1 metre wide home,” the website says.
“The design of the Expanda Van Homes gives you a much bigger open area with full height ceilings all on the same level.
“It generally takes two people less than half a day to set up an Expanda Van Home on your site.”
The company’s mission statement is broken down into three key objectives. Firstly, to provide an affordable, quick and easy solution to the alternative housing needs of Australians, young and old, anywhere, anytime.
Secondly, to build a quality brand that is known for providing a superior product and service at an unbeatable price.
The third objective is to build 350 homes a year by 2015, growing to more than 3,000 homes a year by 2018.
Russo says the most challenging part of starting the business was implementing systems and procedures to make the manufacturing process more efficient.
What did he learn from this?
“Document everything you do,” he says.