cheap home design http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9217/all en-US Houses You Can Build Yourself http://www.wisebread.com/houses-you-can-build-yourself <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/houses-you-can-build-yourself" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/container_house.jpg" alt="Container house" title="Container house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Living in an incredibly expensive city has limited my options for purchasing property. I can either increase my income by, say, $100,000 annually, or I can begin thinking outside the box, almost literally speaking. The more I investigate alternatives to buying cookie-cutter houses that are out of my price range, the more I realize the possibilities are almost endless, from building a home from scratch to purchasing prefabricated kit homes that don't necessarily need a stationary foundation. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/twelve-ways-to-become-rent-or-mortgage-free">Twelve Ways to Become Rent or Mortgage Free</a>)</p> <h3>Prefab: A More Traditional Approach</h3> <p>As soon as reality set in and I realized that buying an existing home in my neighborhood was completely out of my price range, I started looking at buying land and building my own&nbsp;<a href="http://www.littlehouseinthevalley.com/little-house-plans-i-adore">little house plan</a>. I'm not a very handy person, so I began searching for companies that will do most of the work for me, which lead me on the path to prefabricated kit home designers.</p> <p>Prefab kit homes range in style, price, and quality. Some companies will arrive at your build site with a mostly completed house, where others will ship you the materials partially assembled with directions on how to put it together. The best way to compare companies is to decide what style of home best fits your family and your budget.</p> <p><strong>Rocio Romero: A Prefabricated Modern Dream</strong></p> <p>On my quest to find the perfect prefab kit home that would cost a little less than buying an existing home in my neighborhood, I came across the <a href="http://www.rocioromero.com/LVSeries/index.htm">Rocio Romero LV</a> kit home. Their homes are very modern in design and may not appeal to all home owners, but for anyone that appreciates their sleek beauty, the cost of $120 per foot is affordable compared to homes of similar design.</p> <p><strong>Cottage in a Day: Quick and Quaint</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.cottageinaday.com/">Cottage in a Day</a>'s cottages literally show up to your build site mostly completed, depending on size and utility connections, and can be ready to go in a day. Their plans range from small and inexpensive to larger, yet still modestly priced.</p> <p><strong>Eco-Cottages: Beautiful Modular Homes</strong></p> <p>Some of the most beautiful renderings of modular homes I've come across, <a href="http://www.nationwide-homes.com/ecocottages/">Eco-Cottages</a> are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-tips-to-cut-costs-by-using-your-oven-efficiently">energy efficient</a> and affordable. They aren't very large, but their flexible construction allows for various build locations.</p> <p><strong>Quik Build: Container Living</strong></p> <p>Ever wondered what eventually happens to those large shipping containers you see attached to trains? One company is reusing them as housing. <a href="http://www.quik-build.com/">Quik Build</a> recycles these containers into three-bedroom, two-bath houses. For under $200,000 you can have your very own Quik Build container home in 10 weeks, just be sure to have your foundation laid ahead of time.</p> <p>You might have noticed from my list that I've spent some time researching pre-fabricated homes! I'll be the first to admit that I'm a bit obsessed. However, a very important step in building your own home, even for a prefab configuration, is land preparation. A few of the companies I've mentioned discuss the details on their websites as well as the potential costs, which can sometimes be more than the actual house.</p> <h3>Get Your Hands Dirty: A More Eccentric Approach</h3> <p>If I were handier with a hammer or had the time to spend a summer stomping straw into an adobe-like mixture, I might be willing to take a more eccentric approach to building my own home. I'll admit that I truly admire those that opt for this alternative.</p> <p><strong>Phoenix Commotion: One's Man Trash Is Another's Treasure</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.phoenixcommotion.com/">Phoenix Commotion</a> is a company that helps people build their own homes using recycled materials. Based out of Texas, this company encourages owner participation in the building of some of the most uniquely designed homes I've ever seen.</p> <p><strong>Tumbleweed Tiny House Company</strong></p> <p>Why be tied down to just one location? Purchase a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/">Tumbleweed Tiny House</a> plan. The homes are designed for maximum efficiency and can be built on most trailers. Tumbleweed Tiny House Co. offers build-it-yourself workshops frequently.</p> <p><strong>Living in the Shire: A Woodland Home</strong></p> <p>When <em>Lord of the Rings</em> debuted in theaters years ago, the Hobbit homes reminded me of a fairy-tale setting. Apparently, with enough time, hard work, and some land, you can build your own woodland home similar to Frodo's. One beautiful example is <a href="http://www.simondale.net/house/index.htm">Simon Saville's woodland home</a>.</p> <p>Whether your budget is large or small, or your taste ranges from traditional and conservative to wacky and eclectic, the possibilities for building your own home are only limited by your imagination.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhouses-you-can-build-yourself&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHouses%2520You%2520Can%2520Build%2520Yourself.jpg&amp;description=Houses%20You%20Can%20Build%20Yourself"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Houses%20You%20Can%20Build%20Yourself.jpg" alt="Houses You Can Build Yourself" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/little-house">Little House</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/houses-you-can-build-yourself">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mcmansion-to-mccottage-why-smaller-houses-are-smarter">McMansion to McCottage: Why Smaller Houses Are Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cheap-ways-to-stage-your-home-in-a-buyers-market">6 Cheap Ways to Stage Your Home in a Buyer&#039;s Market</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-downsize-your-home-and-start-living-a-better-life">This Is How You Downsize Your Home and Start Living a Better Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-renovations-that-almost-pay-for-themselves">10 Home Renovations That Almost Pay for Themselves</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-bathroom-look-awesome-for-under-100">How to Make Your Bathroom Look Awesome for Under $100</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Real Estate and Housing cheap home design house plans small houses Mon, 21 Feb 2011 14:00:13 +0000 Little House 491308 at http://www.wisebread.com McMansion to McCottage: Why Smaller Houses Are Smarter http://www.wisebread.com/mcmansion-to-mccottage-why-smaller-houses-are-smarter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/mcmansion-to-mccottage-why-smaller-houses-are-smarter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/173715165_0bc49eb5bd_b.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>According to US census data, the size of the average American home in the 1950s was a modest 1,000 square feet. Today, the square footage has more than doubled to nearly 2,500. If our families are getting smaller and our objects are getting more compact and portable, why do we need all this space? As the recession of 2008 continues to grind away at our lifestyles well into 2011, maybe it&rsquo;s time we slay that final sacred cow of &quot;bigger is better&quot; &mdash; our homes. Here are just nine advantages of small houses.</p> <h3>1. They Fight Clutter</h3> <p>Smaller homes force us to consider what items we own and why we own them. It&rsquo;s easy to fill up large homes, and often it seems like our personal inventories balloon to fit the spaces we&rsquo;re in. The first step in becoming a minimalist may be to minimize your square footage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-space-survival-strategies">Small Space Survival Strategies</a>)</p> <h3>2. They Promote Energy Efficiency</h3> <p>Don&rsquo;t get me wrong, great rooms are lovely, but I can&rsquo;t help but think about those heating and cooling bills. Cathedral ceilings are dramatic and wonderful &mdash; if there&rsquo;s a corresponding cathedral-sized congregation to pass the collection plate to. A smaller physical footprint means smaller bills, and a house that&rsquo;s well designed and well-insulated will always win the numbers game.</p> <h3>3. They Rein in Taxes</h3> <p>Our property taxes are determined by assessed property value, and value is partly determined by square footage. Though a number of other important factors also affect assessed value, all things being equal, smaller homes equal cheaper property taxes.</p> <h3>4. They Encourage Social Interaction</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s easy to get lost in a big house, or at least be isolated from the rest of your family. When I was a kid, my brother and I shared a bedroom until my parents bought a larger home when I began high school. Though I might have argued the point at age 11 or 12, the memory of falling asleep with by big brother nearby is a cherished one. I think part of the reason we enjoy a strong bond now is due, in part, to all those years as &quot;roomies.&quot;</p> <h3>5. They Promote Good Design</h3> <p>In much the same way that small homes compel us to be conscious of clutter, they also encourage smart design. Space limitations challenge our creativity and drive innovation. Small homes designed for versatility are filled with clever surprises: A staircase is built to house a reading nook underneath; a stainless steel utility table is a kitchen countertop on wheels, a home office, and kids' craft area.</p> <h3>6. They Reduce Maintenance Costs</h3> <p>Larger homes also carry larger price tags for general maintenance like re-roofing, painting, new windows, etc. A commitment to going small also means a commitment to reduced expenses over the life of your home &mdash; and a greater chance of affording those &quot;uh-oh&quot; unforeseen expenses.</p> <h3>7. They Create Better Neighborhoods</h3> <p>Have you ever noticed how different it feels to walk through a modest pre-war neighborhood vs. any subdivision built after the 1980s? The pre-war neighborhood probably has smaller single-story homes that are built close to the sidewalk. They may feature broad front porches, garages tucked away in the back, and dense canopies of trees. By contrast, newer homes are imposing, set back like stately mansions on lots that are barren, deep, and narrow. The garages are more prominent and designed for small fleets of cars, bikes, and lawn implements. A <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-benefits-of-a-walkable-neighborhood">stroll though a pre-war neighborhood</a> becomes a jog in a newer subdivision.</p> <h3>8. They're Cheaper to Build</h3> <p>Smaller homes are often significantly cheaper to build. A conscious attention to detail can lead to lower materials costs and the option of using higher-grade materials. There&rsquo;s less foundation to pour, less floor to lay, and less roof to cover.</p> <h3>9. They Encourage Outdoor Activity</h3> <p>Homes are meant to shelter us from the outside, not to be a substitute for it. Often larger homes can meet all of our needs so completely that we forget there&rsquo;s a yard around all of those walls. Sometimes feeling compelled to &quot;get out of the house&quot; isn&rsquo;t necessarily a bad thing. Small homes can inspire us to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-plan-your-garden">garden</a>, to get to know our neighbors, and explore other neighborhoods.</p> <p>Television and movies suggest we aspire to micro-estates with nothing less than three-car garages, media rooms, and America&rsquo;s newest enigma &mdash; man-caves. But were the homes we all grew up in so bad? What&rsquo;s lost in the bargain we&rsquo;re making to constantly move on and move up? Do we have more time, more money, or more freedom? Or are we simply wandering around our big houses looking for one another?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mcmansion-to-mccottage-why-smaller-houses-are-smarter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beginners-guide-to-finding-your-interior-design-style">Beginner&#039;s Guide to Finding Your Interior Design Style</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/houses-you-can-build-yourself">Houses You Can Build Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies">Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-live-large-in-a-small-space">20 Ways to Live Large in a Small Space</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-on-a-long-distance-move">10 Ways to Save on a Long-Distance Move</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Lifestyle Real Estate and Housing cheap home design small houses small spaces Mon, 14 Feb 2011 13:24:11 +0000 Kentin Waits 489923 at http://www.wisebread.com