Smarter Living: Build Your Own Home!

Over the past few years, the global economic downturn has affected the way all of us live our lives, in one way or another.

Gone are the heady days of the property boom, when the banks were lending and interest rates were competitive enough for someone on even the most modest of salaries to secure a mortgage.

Instead, many of us are facing up to the reality of having to make do with the space we have available, whilst looking for ways to adapt our homes, either by making them more energy efficient or by making alterations that will make them suitable to our evolving family needs.

Others however, are taking a different approach, looking for ways to develop cheap homes that are both affordable and eco-friendly. Indeed, all over the world,individuals, companies and governments are looking to develop innovative housing solutions for families of all backgrounds and budgets.

Nano House


For example, an Indian design company recently created the ‘nano house’- the world’s smallest sustainable home, consisting of bamboo walls, fibre roofing and a mud floor. The houses sleep a family of four, and at a cost of just £197 per unit, have been mooted as potential solution to India’s slum housing. Although the ‘nano-house’ is just 23.6 sq ft, it is comfortable and addresses all human needs, as well as having a monsoon-proof structure, solar lamps and water purifiers.

The ‘nano-house’ has been designed for rural and homeless families in developing countries such as India and Africa and each unity takes only four days to construct.

Hobbit House


Closer to home, photographer Simon Dale decided to build his very own eco-friendly house in the Welsh woodland after becoming increasingly fed up with high mortgage prices in the countryside.

At a cost of just £3,000, the house took him four months to build, using nothing but a chainsaw, hammer and a one-inch chisel. Resembling something you’d expect to see in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, the house has been designed to be ecologically sustainable. Heat is generated by a wood-burner and electricity comes from solar panels on the roof, whilst water is collected from a nearby spring. There is also a compost toilet.

Tree House

In Germany, an innovative firm of developers have created a stunning range of treetop dwellings that integrate beautifully into their surroundings, whilst preserving the integrity of the trees that support them.

Evoking playful memories from our childhood, these homes go to show that you’re never too old to enjoy the high life! They’re fun,have all of the benefits you’d expect from a small apartment, and at a starting price of just £15,000, a really cost effective alternative to conventional housing.

These are just some of the innovative ways that people across our planet are addressing a variety of changing housing needs.

Could you see yourself living in a tree house, a hobbit cave or bamboo shack? We’d love to know how you would construct a new family home on a limited budget. Let us know, why not tweet us @BGSmarterLiving

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