Alternative Housing Thread
Here’s a place to think about alternatives to traditional housing.
- One of our members lives on a boat.
- This couple lives in a cave – it’s nice!
- Then there is the Tiny House movement.
- You could build your own out of cob
- There are straw and bale homes
- Shipping container homes are nice
- You can make a house out of wood pallets (and check how pretty they can be on Pinterest)
- Make an Earthship
- Make a home out of glass bottles (this type of constuction has been around since pioneer days)
You don’t want to end up like this guy.
Good thread Wendy.
Over here in Australia housing is an unquestioned religion. "House prices always go up. Always." Therefor we are all going to become multi-millionaires renting houses to each other. No politician dares touch the Negative Gearing tax breaks because all the voters are so heavily invested in the Madness.
The above link gives a flavour of the florid psychosis.
Anyone who questions the Meme is dealt with harshly. There are "No Camping" signs all around town by order of the Council. That law itself is unconstitutional.
There is only one lifestyle insisted on for all young couples-one of debt slavery to the banks and by extension the government. It is a very hard trap to escape.
And no- a house is not an asset. It is a liability. Hence the popularity of negative gearing. Houses are expensive to maintain and all those expenses can be offset against tax liabilities. That is the same as claiming your cobblers fees for fixing your boots as a tax deduction. It is a load of old cobblers.
There is an accommodation shortage in Perth and a lot of houses vacant. They are bought as a tax break, and the owners have no intention of having tenants.
Why not explore sharing housing? It's as old as human beings. Living with others is what we do naturally – in families and in tribes. This idea of the independent, I'm-an-adult-I-can-take-care-of-myself, is actually a myth.
People need people. Another of the breakdowns of our society is the epidemic of chronic loneliness! It's estimated that 63 million people are at risk for this debilitating emotional condition – which has huge implications for our society. Loneliness leads to depression, obesity, aggression, loss of executive function, suicidal ideation, high blood pressure, sleep disorders.. etc. etc.
Sharing housing is a obvious answer. And yet, it's not easy to implement. Many people are very nervous about choosing to live with others – and understandably so. We all have our own ways of living and we want to be comfortable in our homes. Memories of nightmare housemates, worries and fears of "what if it doesn't work out?" keep most people from pursuing the idea.
How do you decide whom you can live with? Until I wrote a book on it (Sharing Housing, A Guidebook for Finding and Keeping Good Housemates) there was no method or process to use to figure this out. I believe that many people could and should be comfortable having a "home-mate" (definition in video on my home page of http://www.sharinghousing.com) . The right person can make all the difference! And then the benefits .. saving money, company, help with tasks and in emergencies, sustainability all kick in.
Above Example: Vina’s Tiny House: Living Off The Grid in 140 Square Feet
Tiny homes are usually built on trailers to avoid zoning regulations and local building codes. They usually cost a fraction of traditional housing costs. Often they are sustainably heated with boat fireplaces or at least tiny amounts of propane. Here is a good site for exploring tiny houses: http://thetinylife.com/what-is-the-tiny-house-movement/
It's a real thumb in the eye for our consumer culture but, in my opinion long overdue. Also it might help some social problems. Click on the following link to see what one community is doing to help the homeless: http://tinyhouseblog.com/humanitarian/madison-tiny-house-village-homeless/
Occupy Madison, with help from numerous community groups, has built nine tiny houses, a day resource center, laundry facilities and a community gardening space in the village. The 96 square foot homes are made from reclaimed and recycled materials and include a bed, a toilet, propane heat and solar panels for electricity. Each building costs around $5,000 to build and the money was raised with private donations.
It's rare to get Conservatives and liberals to agree on ANYTHING, but here is a conservative group doing the same thing in Texas: Community First! Click on th video screenshot to go to YouTube.
So Can tiny houses help solve the problem of homelessness? It sure beats tent cities and is cheaper than paying pubic monies to house the homeless in hotels. Not to mention giving some dignity and a sense of home to the homeless.
The diminutive houses pictured above are part of Quixote Village, a community of formerly homeless adults in Olympia, Washington. Each house is only 144 square feet, with just enough room for a bed, a desk and chair, and a tiny bathroom with a toilet and sink. Showers and a kitchen are located in a community center shared by all the residents.
The 29 adults that call these houses home used to live in a tent city, also called Quixote Village, that moved every 90 days to the parking lot of a different church. Some of the church members, after getting to know the residents of the tent city, started campaigning for a permanent location. Funding was secured, and the architect, Garner Miller, agreed to design the project for half his normal fee.
Meetings were held, and the future residents got to be involved in the design of their homes: they chose larger porches over more inside living area, and asked that the houses be arranged in a horseshoe shape, instead of in clusters, to encourage community. The tiny houses are much cheaper to build than typical affordable housing projects, and their freestanding nature gives residents a sense of independence, while still being connected to a community.
We may be seeing the future, and it seems to involve community. As my son would say, Cool beans.
Okay, this guy made it, the so-called "American Dream," and he's NOT happy. Warning, he uses profanity but this is a hilarious rant on how materialism does not satisfy. He's made it. and he does not like the ball-and-chain of the constant maintenance and bills for his McMansion.
Vic DiBitetto is frustrated with his house.
I lived on a 30 foot sloop for the better part of 10 years, this approach is similar (limited space and storage) but very livable…still working to get the Mrs. "on board"
Lisefski (designer and builder) lives just outside of Sebastopol per the article – in case you happen to spot it.
From my previous life, same make and model (Cal 2-29). Came fully furnished (no trips to Ikea). I miss the simplicity, and the freedom.
This particular model of dome also has a water collection system. It's been used successfully in the Namibian desert and Siberia. Here's the interior.
The architectural firm that designed the prefabricated home has details, here.
Solar panels are mounted onto the roof and connected to the hot water tank, providing toilets and kitchen with warm water. Rainwater collection tanks can be connected to the drainage system located around the perimeter of the house.
Geodesic is nice, but often isn’t cost-efficient, because materials are made square or in strips, not in triangles.
To some extent you can make up for this by splitting your triangles in two, and cutting your mateiarls on a diagonal. However, that then increases the required number of structural beams by a 4/3.
Another possibility is to precast concrete prestressed panels in forms that are exactly the required shape. If you do this, you can also adjust the design to allow water to be excluded from the start.
Another thing you can do is to go with a half-dome, and then use a vertical cylinder for the first (or basement) floor.
Comprised of a structural woven fabric that “blurs the distinction between structure and fabric,” the shelter expands to create a private enclosure and contracts “for mobility.” It also comes with some fundamental amenities required by modern people, including water and renewable electricity.
The outer solar-powered skin absorbs solar energy that is then converted into usable electricity, while the inner skin provides pockets for storage – particularly at the lower half of the shelters. And a water storage tank on the top of the tent allows people to take quick showers. Water rises to the storage tank via a thermosiphoning system and a drainage system ensures that the tent is not flooded.