10 Inexpensive Sustainable Home Ideas (Almost Anyone Can Afford)
Today, building a traditional house is not only a huge investment, but due to the prices going up in everything, a large conventional home is becoming more of a challenge to live in. Fortunately, thanks to many innovative building techniques, sustainable home ideas are popping up everywhere. Not only do they focus on sustainability, but many of these homes are more affordable than conventional homes.
Here is a list of 10 sustainable homes to look into that will inspire you and might fit your budget.
1. Shipping Container Home
There are millions of unused shipping containers in the world and using them to create a home is extremely beneficial to the environment. The best part is that Shipping Container homes are quite affordable, depending on your design of course. You won’t be limited to a single-story or standard design as Shipping Container homes can be designed in unique ways to provide a modern look.
Homes like these are also very fast to build, which can be done off-site or on the site. The only problem you may come across is finding an expert in the fields as there are not many professionals that have experience in designing and buildings these homes.
2. Manufactured Home
Manufactured homes are built inside a factory which helps the construction process proceed fast and efficiently. Keep in mind that manufactured dwellings come with wheels, which can be removed at its destination. Therefore, they are not a modular home.
Manufactured homes are in fact a modern version of mobile homes and trailers. These homes are less expensive to buy than a traditional home; however, in most cases, they need to be paid for upfront. Today, manufactured homes are made according to specific standards; therefore, they are of high quality and eco-friendly.
3. Earth Bag Home
Methods of building an Earth Bag home are very inexpensive. Local soil is used to fill rice or feed bags where after they are stacked like bricks to form a house. The materials used to build such a house are renewable while the house itself has a high potential to be energy efficient, depending on the style and shape of the structure.
4. Straw Bale Home
These homes are built with hay bales which are readily available and inexpensive to purchase. You also have the option to add a sturdier outing to the house. Straw bale homes are very energy efficient as the straw serves as insulation no matter if it is inside or out.
5. Cob House
Clay-like lumps of soil, sand, and straw are used to build Cod homes. These houses do not get constructed through bricks or blocks. Instead, a sculpted method is used to form walls with the damp cob mixture. Homes made with cob usually have sloped walls, arches, and wall niches. These home are very durable and if you are considering a tiny house, it can even become a DIY project.
6. Geodesic Dome Home
Geodesic domes are hemispherical thin-shell structure used to built Geodesic Dome Homes. These kind of homes are very energy efficient and can withstand heavy loads. Geodesic Dome homes are not only inexpensive to manufacture, but you can actually purchase a Geodesic Dome kit if you want to construct your own tiny house.
7. Pallet Home
Millions of wooden pallets used for transporting goods end up in the landfills each year. By making use of this wood, we are contributing to the environment. The construction of a Pallet House is simple, and they are not expensive to build. For every 23 square meters, about 100 recycled pallets are needed. Pallets are very adaptable to various climates, and local materials can be used for the completion of the home.
8. Recycled Bottle Home
A smart way to make good use of all the plastic bottle waste is to turn them into homes. Bottle homes are definitely very low-priced to built because a significant part of the overall structure of the house gets constructed with plastic or glass bottle that you can collect for free. This idea might not be for everyone, but it is definitely unique.
Central Asia is well known for Yurts as they have used Yurts for at least three thousand years. Today, you can find companies making modern Yurts that are energy efficient and durable at a reasonable price. These homes are built around a minimalistic view, yet they consist of amazing inside decor.
One of the most eco-friendly and uniquely designed homes out there are the Earthship homes. These home are a type of passive house which gets constructed mainly with natural and recycled materials. Earthships need to be specially designed so that they can function efficiently. There is a misconception that Earthship can be built for free and this is not true as the designing and building process can become very expensive. However, these homes are extremely energy efficient, and one can live off the grid through making use of solar panels, water harvesting systems and food gardens, which will eventually make up for the overall costs.
Most of these home mentioned can be prefabricated, meaning they can be partially constructed in the factory which keeps the costs and the environmental impact low. By using local renewable materials and recycled materials, one will have the upper hand when it comes to pricing.
When planning your home, look into various options, for example, you can use Hempcrete instead of traditional concrete. Hempcrete is a bio-composite and does not give off Co2 gasses during the making of the product. Keep in mind, the bigger your home, the more expensive and the higher the impact on the environment, so if possible, keep it trendy by going tiny!
Author: Mattea Jacobs is a freelance writer who mostly writes about both interior and exterior home design, and environmentally-friendly ways to improve homes. She is also a green activist and a mother of two beautiful sons. You can reach her on Facebook and Instagram.
Thanks for pointing out that Geodesic dome homes are inexpensive, can withstand heavy loads, and very energy efficient. My husband and I are planning to have a new house for our growing family. We are heavy users of water and electricity. Since we want to save money in the long run without reducing our energy consumption, we’ll consider dome homes.