Great Ideas For Alternative Homes

By Cam Clark

Have you ever wondered what types of alternative homes are out there, aside from the standard house, duplex, or apartment? Perhaps you are under the impression that it might be too expensive to think of a home as a way to be creative, green, efficient, or different? What if I told you that that it is possible to add your own unique flair to your own home?

When you imagine a house you may picture a three bedroom, two bathroom house. It may have an attached garage, is surrounded by a well-pruned yard and enclosed by a small white picket fence. But did you know that there are many alternatives to this standard to which we have set our minds? Take a look at these trendy, alternative homes:

Shipping Container Home


Many individuals are looking for greener or more cost-effective ways to own a home. Shipping container homes are one style that many people use for different reasons. It offers someone the flexibility of off-the-grid living, it is a greener-living alternative, and it is a cheaper way to build your own home. The idea of a shipping container has been revolutionized from a giant metal box that typically sits in a storage yard into an opportunity to create a cost-effective, energy and space efficient, customizable home. From smaller one-container homes to extravagant multi-container palaces, there are many ways you can to let your creative ideas flow. This is often even more affordable compared to most standard single-family homes!

Things to consider – costs for container; shipping and placement of shipping container; proper insulation and paint to prevent rust; zoning restrictions.


Dome Home

A home style that has been around for a long time but is just now becoming a popular alternative home is a dome home. They offer a unique, sturdy design and long-term cost benefits. While the initial cost for this type of home is comparable to your standard house, the long-term costs and sturdiness are what sets a dome home apart from the norm; that, and its unusual, round shape.

Things to consider – Costs for building compared to standard home, potential savings over time, zoning restrictions, higher ability to withstand harsh weather conditions compared to a standard home.

Skinny House

Mainly designed for heavily populated areas, skinny houses offer a stacked living design in order to make the most out of the available square footage. The typical design of these houses is similar to a townhouse; the house is designed with a garage on the ground level while the home’s living quarters are above the garage. This type of house would be great for those looking to build a home on a smaller lot.

Things to Consider – Costs to build; building plan; zoning restrictions.

Eco Friendly Alternative Homes


Sculpted with a natural combination of clay, straw, sand, and water, cob homes are considered to be eco friendly, structurally sound, and relatively inexpensive to build compared to a normal house. A cob home is a great consideration for someone wanting to live greener while creatively designing a home.

Things to consider – Cost for building materials, time for construction, zoning restrictions, design.

Image Credits: Wikipedia, Flickr

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