The Shelterseeker Cheapest House Challenge

We are starting The ShelterSeeker Cheapest House Challenge! We are inviting people to submit their own design, or examples they find (in books, real life, or the web) - for the ultimate low cost home. The winner will win eternal glory, and the satisfaction of being inspirational for many people to create a low cost building of their own.

This is an open contest, with no deadline. (In truth, all the entries are merely a valuable resource for people looking for their own perfect design). So get cracking! A current leaderboard is to be found on the column to the right.

Entries will be ranked with a loose reference to the following crieria:

We are talking radically low cost building approaches here. An ideal winner will come in at around the cost to build of a year's inexpensive rent. Several designs will scoop the pool by being very much under this figure - some are currently only one or two thousand dollars!

Being Already Tested
A low cost building isn't the only criteria - and we're not looking for diagrams of your bird-powered laserbeam castle. Higher scoring entries would have been not only possible, but already built, and will come with pictures of th eproject. A list of materials bought and a breakdown of all costs will be highly valued by the judges.

Easy to Build, Easy to Follow
We are also valuing entries that come with extremely clear, illustrated, step-by-step guides that anyone with basic abilities and tools can construct for a low cost home. The best case scenario is for royalty free, open source plans that can be downloaded at no cost by anyone. If plans come from a company that charge for their services, they should be available at low cost. Houses that can be built in a rapid amount of time will do well, also.

Basic Emenities
Some projects come without kitchens, bathrooms, insulation and other - well - necessities. Inclusion of these is not a prerequisite, but we will (mentally) tack on a $500 - $1000 dollars or so, to bring them to parity with those that do (a compost toilet can be installed for about $500).
We are looking for a high level of general "livability", meaning aesthetic decisions will also play a part.

Ecological Footprint
Highly prized will be designs that use local materials (reducing the need to transport large distances), recycle, have good energy efficiency, and low toxicity.

While a solution to the problem of expensive land prices is not vital, it would be an advantage if the author or nominator could point out solutions to this thorny issue, also.

This is the early stages of the challenge, so if you would like to se further criteria, let us know. And if you would like to argue about the current leaderboard positions, we are always open to suggestions!

You can send all entries to soggyindo (a)

Good luck!

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1 comment:

Michael said...

Hi! I'm building a free house. It's built from pallets and on a trailer. The walls will even be covered with pallet boards and insulation will come from newspaper or styrofoam (or similar). Any money I spend on screws, nails, etc, will be recaptured by selling free things I find on craigslist. Take a look.