Bruce Hauman built a small dome living space for about $2,100 USD. All by itself, the fact that he built it and wrote it up so well is delightful.

In the photos, it looks very nice as a workspace or outbuilding, but interestingly, he says that he lives there.

“If I want to spend my time writing blog posts, exploring new programming languages, and other things that I want to do but I am unlikely to get paid for, it’s helpful to opt out of certain common expenses. Housing is a major expense that is ripe for pruning.

“Conventional housing requires that we spend a tremendous amount of energy and money to construct and maintain a home. The comfort and living convenience that we get from these large and inefficient houses does not increase linearly with their higher cost. There is a decreasing marginal efficiency as investment in a home goes up.”

Amen, brother! So…where’s the bathroom?

Look, I totally get, and dig, the philosophy. But let’s look at the other side of the question. It’s safety and energy efficiency that are driving up the base cost of building a house, not comfort and convenience. If you want to live within city limits (read: where the jobs are), certain officials are going to see to it that you live in something that won’t blow away in a storm or kill you in a fire. And that means it’s going to cost a bit more than living in a trailer home.

All I’m saying is that there are huge trade-offs to be considered when going down the cheap housing road, trade-offs that mean the cost of housing is not, in fact “ripe for pruning”.

When reading Bruces Hauman’s article to which you linked, all I could think of was, “It’s a good thing it’s sheltered from the wind by the trees because if it was in a field, it would blow away.”

Ted ·

Won’t blow away in a storm or kill you in a fire? I think you’re looking for the concrete tent:

Should fit your bill, yes?

Rundy ·

This popped up on reddit with the title “This man started with $9,000 and a pile of dirt. 6 weeks later, he built this dream house.” Not mentioned in that title were the free land, complete lack of plumbing, no heating due to the mild climate, and no building codes to follow. Again, housing this cheap involves major trade offs and lifestyle decisions. In this case the builder made those trade offs consciously and carefully, and the result is beautiful.

The house was built in Thailand by Steve Areen. He wrote a little about the project, and has also published photos of the construction process and of the finished home.

Joel (Author) ·

3-D printing may be the new future of low cost housing. An inventor in China has developed a massive 3-D printer which “The sprays emit a combination of cement and construction waste that is used to print building walls layer-by-layer.”

This additional article states “Each 650-square-foot home apparently cost under $5,000 to produce.”

For a visual demonstration of the process there is a Youtube video.

Rundy ·