If you read my article on building an intentional community, you’ll see that I am strongly recommending bypassing the traditional mortgage path and promoting build-it-yourself, alternative housing. I have shared a few posts in the past on some of the alternative housing options, but I thought it would be fun to give a brief overview of the more common (of the overall uncommon) alternative housing options that are available today.

Obviously, the photos in this article are just a sampling of what exists and what is possible. These photos are meant to give a general sense of what a building style looks like.

As I started to put this article together, I realized it was going to be photo intensive. I decided to break it up into a few parts:

Tooday, we will cover Small Houses, Modular Homes, and Hybrid Homes…

Small House: This is more of a concept than a specific building design. These homes are typically less than 1,000 square feet (92 sq meters), and often significantly less, but the goal remains the same: maimize good design and minimize wasted space and cost. One big advantage to these homes is that they are often mobile!

Small homes can be permanent...

Small homes can be permanent…

...or mobile!

…or mobile!

Small homes are all about efficiency.

Small homes are all about efficiency.

Small home

Small home

Small home

Small home

Small home

Small home

Small home

Small home

Small home (same house as above, just a different view)

Small home

Small home

Small home

Small home

Small home

Small home

Small home

Small home

Small home

Small home

Small home

 

Modular Home: This is another concept instead of a specific building design. These are prefabricated homes consisting of multiple sections (modules). The modules are designed and built off-site, delivered to the site, and assembled on-site. I am only showing these homes to be complete in my listings of alternative home designs. Almost any style of home can be modular. These are quick to build and are usually cheaper than traditional site-built homes, but they are not necessarily better for the environment or the inhabitants.

Modular Home

Modular Home

Modular Home

Modular Home

Modular Log Home

Modular Log Home

 

Hybrid Home: There are no rules for what constitutes a hybrid home. Any design that incorporates more than one method of construction qualifies. Here are just a few examples…

One of the well-known hybrid homes (cob, wood, straw-bale).

The Hobbit House – a well-known hybrid home (cob, wood, straw-bale) in Wales, UK.
This home became rather famous, but its owners no longer live in it.
Some reports state that there were a few design flaws that caused water damage.

The same family (Simon and Jasmine Dale) went on to build, and now reside in, another hybrid home as part of the Lammas Project in Wales, UK.

The same family (Simon and Jasmine Dale) went on to build, and now reside in, another hybrid home as part of the Lammas Project in Wales, UK.

Simon and Jasmine Dale’s website

Cob and straw-bale home

Cob and straw-bale home

Cob and straw-bale home

Cob and straw-bale home

THi

This is a 400 year old clay-lump and wattle and daub thatched cottage – beautiful!

Ben Law’s home in the UK… wood, straw-bale, and cob

Another view of Ben Law's handbuilt home.

Another view of Ben Law’s handbuilt home.

Interior of Ben Law's home.

Interior view of Ben Law’s home.

Here is an amazing video (television show) on how Ben Law built his home in the woods…

 

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Photo References:

  • http://www.thetinylife.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Texas-Victorian-Tiny-House-bedroom.jpg
  • http://tinyhouselistings.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/tumbleweed-tiny-house-company.jpg
  • http://www.motherearthnews.com/~/media/Images/MEN/Editorial/Articles/Magazine%20Articles/2012/08-01/Mortgage-Free%20Living%20in%20a%20Hand-Built%20Tiny%20Home/Tiny_Homes-3.jpg
  • http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LWW9QtfquLY/T4ZzIFT-zaI/AAAAAAAAABU/n9xWJR1Fo9Q/s1600/IMG_0025.JPG
  • http://tinyhouseblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/tinyhouse.jpg
  • http://static3.businessinsider.com/image/50ede2b36bb3f7f850000010/20-surprisingly-beautiful-tiny-homes.jpg
  • http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-VyVjjx9apUY/UkWVi3vvQyI/AAAAAAAAB2A/VcneYN1wxZA/s1600/Tiny+House+interior.jpg
  • http://clotheslinetinyhomes.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/dsc01900.jpg
  • http://lookhomedesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Tiny-House-Interior-Design-2.png
  • http://www.designboom.com/contemporary/tiny_houses/10.jpg
  • http://www.thetinylife.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/tiny-house-inside.jpg
  • http://buildipedia.com/images/masterformat/Channels/At_Home/2011.12.07_small_houses/images/3_small_house_%7C_credit_-_Tumbleweed_Tiny_House.jpg
  • http://www.redesignrevolution.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/EPU-House.png
  • http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-R1Hq9AiVWBs/UF273F1BNhI/AAAAAAAABGM/vFG8VhN0zFQ/s1600/Tumbleweed+Traveling+011.JPG
  • http://simondale.net/
  • http://www.cobcourses.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/CPRE-White-Cottage-cob-bale-extension-1.jpeg
  • http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7CB9Sa-YtSI/Trw-lzaWCmI/AAAAAAAAA5U/RfTAkheQ7NA/s1600/Hybrid+011.jpg
  • http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/GbM2In5Hfx4/maxresdefault.jpg
  • http://www.motherearthnews.com/~/media/Images/MEN/Editorial/Articles/Online%20Articles/2010/09-01/Straw%20Bale%20House%20on%20the%20Prairie/hybridhouse8.jpg
  • http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/12/29/article-1102663-02DB9FE6000005DC-880_468x293.jpg
  • http://inlanding.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/benlaw.jpg
  • http://homefaerie.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/sussex-finished-house-side-lg1.jpg
  • http://earthbagbuilding.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/withyfield-cottage-interior-by-ben-law.jpg
  • http://info.greaterbostonmodulars.com/Portals/200887/images/dsc00811.jpg
  • http://www.pchomesmo.com/wp-content/uploads/copy-Wohletz-24-e1370997691287.jpg
  • http://api.ning.com/files/bSxxdg2UqxoYU3DMfsrxTSBOoR5KZFWWcxlQlx0-QZnbWq9dzRCxVFUMtep20miFQu8FRd32OQHIeUd8iaVYDXCVg20kLs6P/Construction1.jpg