Author Topic: what's the cheapest, easiest house to build?  (Read 21883 times)

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  • Guest
what's the cheapest, easiest house to build?
« on: July 12, 2005, 12:41:41 PM »
i'm having a hard time deciding on what type of house to build. i only have around $5,000 to work with, so that makes it pretty difficult. i have the $50 & up underground house book, and with the $$ that i have, its most likely the most logical answer. (but it certainly would'nt be the easiest) but i'd like your opinions, would say a culvert type structure be cheaper?


  • Guest
Re: what's the cheapest, easiest house to build?
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2005, 06:13:30 PM »
If you can scrounge materials or get boards cheaply or saw them yourself, nothing is much cheaper than the Underground house.  The book has rule of thumb engineering tables so you are safe.

Culverts were made to be buried but I don't know about any engineering on them and unless you could get a free one I can't see it being cheap.  Edges of room would be hard to work with being rounded so if you would have to build a floor and walls inside or try to deal with as is- not pretty as wood either.  End walls would still have to be built with doors.


  • Guest
Re: what's the cheapest, easiest house to build?
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2005, 11:31:05 PM »
Some design ideas:

Purchase info:
« Last Edit: July 12, 2005, 11:38:15 PM by Chuckca »


  • Guest
Re: what's the cheapest, easiest house to build?
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2005, 06:25:17 AM »
I hate to say this, but....

If you are good at scrounging and building, you can build something nice for 5 grand.  If you have to do it in a three or four month period and are starting from nothing, the probability goes down.

Then, for living on the cheap, a used single-wide can sometimes be gotten and installed for that price.  Complete with appliances.  That work, if you're lucky.  Of course, it's going to be hot in summer, cold in winter.  And your neighbors, if they're not in the same boat, will dis you for trailer trash.

Do consider, though, if your housing money has to include water and waste systems, electricity--utility company (constant expense) or homebrew (one big expense, occasional biggish lumps of money thrown at it), or the drains for lights and so on that now count as minimal, but will add up rapidly if that's all you have.  And air conditioning of one sort of another--heat, cool, dehumidify, ventilate, move, etc.).

Mini-hydro is the cheapest of the power systems, although the only one I know of requires constant tinkering.  A mini-hydro system needs much less in the way of battery support because it runs 24 hours a day (except possibly in conditions of serious flood or drought}.

The OLD Rob Roy book on building without a mortgage can be inspirational.  I haven't seen the new one.


  • Guest
Re: what's the cheapest, easiest house to build?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2005, 07:46:48 PM »
My materials list for a sixteen foot Victorias cottage shell without the additions and using post and pier foundation is just under 4000$ in kentucky this includes roll roofing .,good till the red metal one goes on.My widows are salvaged but insulated wood frame,I am making all doors.          The foundation materials are around 450 ,The end walls 538  and the structure around 95 $ a linear foot.    this is using 15/32 cdx which will be covered with rough cut pine siding added later.another 4000 will put me close to finished. the septic tank around 3000.  I love the basic 16 foot design for its simplicity of construction..The beam and decking construction for the second floor time and money saving. I dread all the notching for the ledger boards as it will probably take the better part of a day.I will follow up in early fall with totals