As the world’s population density climbs and cities become more crowded, it’s becoming necessary to fit even more housing into existing urban areas. Even in places where overcrowding is not an issue, home buyers are looking for housing that more ecologically friendly, use fewer resources and contain no wasted space. These concerns have given rise to some surprising new trends in housing: the extremely tiny house and the extremely cheap house. Also check out our complete collection of 70 Amazing Houses from Around the World.
(image via: Tumbleweed Tiny House Company)
In 1997, Jay Shafer decided that he wanted to do something tangible to reduce his footprint and still live in a comfortable and affordable house. That desire resulted in the birth of the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. The company sells itty-bitty prefab houses (most under 150 square feet) as well as plans for those who want to build their own tiny houses. Most Tumbleweed houses are built with attached wheels so that they can be moved around as the mood for new surroundings strikes. Of course, the wheels also mean that the houses are classified as trailer homes and can escape many building codes. And if you’re looking for a more permanent, slightly larger home, Tumbleweed also sells plans for houses up to 774 square feet.
(image via: Gizmag)
Fans of Ikea’s ingenious flat-pack furniture will be happy to know that they have partnered with property company Live Smart @ Home to create affordable housing that can be assembled on-site in just one day. The BoKlok are both tiny and cheap, and we bet putting one together will finally give you a use for all of those odd Ikea allen wrenches you’ve got left in the drawer. The high ceilings, Ikea-fitted kitchens, and exterior green spaces make these out-of-the-box homes feel inviting and homey. Not sure you want to buy one? You can rent a BoKlok for 6 months before taking the big plunge.
(image via: Clay and Straw)
Cob buildings have been around for centuries, but these days they are redefining the phrase “dirt cheap housing.” Cob structures are built using dirt, sticks, sand, rocks, straw, and water to create sturdy mud walls. Cob homes are usually made by the people who will be occupying them, as opposed to modern wood-frame homes that are built by contractors. The construction of a cob home can be a truly artistic experience; many modern cob builders sculpt their homes’ interior surfaces to include nooks, crannies, and whimsical shelves at every turn. The result is an absolutely beautiful home that lets the personality of the builder shine through.
(image via: VonSlatt)
If you’re looking for a house that’s cheap, small, and comes with ever-changing scenery, you won’t find a much better solution than a converted bus. Doing the conversion yourself might take a considerable amount of work, but when you’re done you’ll have a totally unique and personal home that you can take on the road whenever you feel like seeing something new.
(image via: Micro-Compact Home)
Although the Micro-Compact Home (m-ch) isn’t exactly cheap at 50,000 Euro (about $77,000), it definitely qualifies as a tiny house. This miniature domicile was designed to be a temporary housing solution. As such, the suggested life span is only about five years. However, the house can be recycled by the factory once it is ready to be retired from regular use.