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Recently, higher construction prices, greater demand for homes as people move out of apartments and the need for replacement homes due to weather-related disasters, have all put more pressure on home building.

As potential homeowners and renters are priced out of many markets and as municipalities look to provide more housing—especially more affordable housing—there are creative residential solutions that are available. We thought we’d take a look at some of these choices. In Part 1 we covered tiny homes, barndominiums and shouses. In Part 2 below we cover Quonset huts, modular homes as secondary units and shipping container homes.

Quonset Huts

These are prefabricated, half-circular shaped buildings made of corrugated steel. Although originally built for military use, the ones available now are far more customizable and comfortable.

Since they are shipped as prefabricated kits, these can typically be erected faster than site-built homes. Also, they are often less expensive than site-built frame homes. In addition to being eco-friendly, their interiors are versatile since they do not have structural supports inside the building. Owners can design the interior without needing to work around columns and load-bearing walls.

They are resistant to storms and are good at shedding water and snow due to their curved shape. One company in Northern California offers them as disaster-resistant homes—non-combustible for areas where wildfires are an issue.

Modular Homes as Secondary Units

Modular homes are ones built in sections in a factory and then trucked to the final building site. There they are attached and finished. Since they need to withstand the trucking process, they are often stronger than site-built homes. These are often a good option when the homeowner wants a secondary residence on the property but doesn’t want or there isn’t room to allow construction. The modular units can be brought in with minimal need for equipment and disturbance to the existing home, yard and neighbors.

Shipping Containers

Used shipping containers that are not returned overseas for another cargo shipment are another option for alternative home construction. The homes that result are as varied as the number of owners. One unit is typically 300 square feet, which is perfect as a tiny home. However, multiple units are often purchased in order to create a larger home size.

The boxes are built to be stacked one on top of the other during shipment on the ocean, so they are strong enough to be stacked for a multi-story home. They can be arranged side-by-side, stacked, with a courtyard between units, in a T-Shape, and in infinite other shapes, depending upon the home site, the number of units and the creativity of the architect and homeowner. The pros and cons of owning a shipping container home spells out details of the costs along with offering several photos of shipping container homes.

We could continue on about additional creative residential solutions, but we’ll stop here. We leave you to search further for 3D printed homes, bus homes and tree houses on your own.

e2Value is ready for these, and most any other changes or unique construction techniques, with current options in the estimator. If you need to complete a replacement cost estimate for a tiny home, kit home, shipping container home or something unusual, just let us know and we can help, sales@e2value.com.

Creative Residential Solutions that Supplement Traditional Housing Part 1