Designing a Low Cost Home

So if you read this blog regularly you probably saw the post the other day about the underground home that I designed for us based off of the popular models that I’ve seen on the website of many different builders that specialize in said buildings. Since my wife and I have been talking more and more about the idea we’ve talked a lot about the amount of money that we’ll need to build it. We want to make sure that we have enough money to build at least a 3 bedroom home. A 3 bedroom home will provide enough room in the event that we ever have kids and will make it easier to sell if we ever were to do so.

It seems like we are going to need more money than what we expect to be able to save up over the next few years so we’re thinking of alternative ways to save money.

Cob Building

What we’re thinking of doing is buying the land that we want and building a cob building. I’ve got to eat my own words because I’ve told people that I wouldn’t do such a thing as they are not a good choice for the Pittsburgh area.

Cob buildings are not a great choice for the Pittsburgh area because of humidity and yearly rainfall but we think we can build one to live in for a few years while we save up to build our underground house. Cob buildings are made of earth – clay, sand, straw, and so on. They can be built fairly cheap ($5k to $10k) though ours would likely cost a bit more since want to have electric and plumbing. We’re now thinking of building an approx 1,000 sq foot one bedroom 1 bath cob structure.

For more info on building cob buildings and for examples check these out: