Houses by Degetau Arquitectura y Diseño

15 simple houses that you can build on your own

Sunita Vellapally Sunita Vellapally

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The cost of constructing a house sometimes makes you put on hold your plans of building your own home. Instead, the limited budget makes you look at condominiums to verify how much a small unit would cost. You’ll be faced with uncertainty, whether you should buy an apartment or build a small home. The advantage of building a home is that you can design it according to your requirements, but you need to make everything fit into the space that you have. 

This article is specifically aimed at young people or couples who want to establish their independence and move away from living with the family. It is also useful for couples, whose children have flown the nest, who want to live a smaller home that is sufficient for two. While building low budget houses, which are not large, it’s advisable to think ahead so that it can be expanded slightly later. For instance, young couples will need more space when their children arrive. Today, let's walk you through some of the possibilities in this ideabook featuring 15 beautiful little houses that can be built on a low budget.

1. A house made of mud bricks

 Houses by YUSO
YUSO

Fachada Principal

YUSO

This beautiful cottage is built with a wooden structure and mud bricks (clay and sand mixed with straw and water and dried in the sun). Constructed by the owner with the help of his relatives and friends, the labour costs were low and only the materials had to be purchased. 

Some of the elements are ready made, such as the doors and windows as well as their frames.

2. A concrete house

This small house has everything you can think of, even a pool in the yard. Its simple design has an open social area integrated into the patio with the pool. The entire house is made of unpolished concrete, which gives it a lot of character and personality. The roof structure is based on a wood or metal frame lined with wooden boards on which clay tiles are laid. It’s a very simple, yet elegant, construction.

The design and structure of this house can be made in consultation with a professional, so you know the exact amounts of material, the width of walls and other technical details. The cost will depend on the size of the house.

3. A prefabricated house

 Houses by Casas Cube
Casas Cube

Casa prefabricada Cube 75 m2—Porche

Casas Cube

Modular prefabricated houses are an alternative for many families that are just starting out, as they can attach additional modules when the need arises. These houses are transportable, easy to assemble and cost less than traditionally constructed houses. Prefabricated houses can be installed quickly since their parts just need to be assembled on the already constructed foundation on the site.

The base of the floor should be well compacted to give it firmness, and then levelled, before concrete is poured into the base, so that when the house is ready to be assembled, the foundation is strong and stable.

4. A simple two-storey house

The construction of this house is very simple. The difference is in the characteristics of its design, with well-proportioned windows on the ground floor that correspond with those of the upper floor. They look elegant with their black frames against the unpainted walls. You will notice a part of the wall is covered with stone to add some colour and texture to the façade. The pergola made of bamboo, has finer strips forming the roof, while the columns are made of thicker stems. Precaution should be taken to treat the bamboo to exterminate insects before constructing the pergola.

5. Built with local materials

If your house is near a quarry, the stone from there will be ideal for building your house. You can use it for the walls, especially since you can benefit from the beautiful craftsmanship of local workers who know how to assemble it. For the roof, you can use rounded logs of wood for a rustic finish that is typical of houses built in this style. After placing boards on the roof, cover them with tiles. Alternatively, thatched roofs are also an option, if you have a lot of palm trees in the region. However, take care to treat and disinfect them before assembling as they may have insects. In the interior, the stone surface can be cemented or left bare, depending upon how it is mounted on the walls. Coating it with white paint can bring a modern and clean look to your home.

6. With clay bricks

Clay bricks cover the whole facade of this house, and it is a viable solution to keep without any coating. The bricks can have varied tones depending on the original material with which they were built, and the process with which the clay brick is baked. It’s advisable to buy bricks from the factory that makes them, or from a building materials stock yard, so you get the best prices. On the ceiling, you can use gypsum board to provide insulation.

7. A small house for an independent life

A little house with all the basics, is a nice place that you can live in. It should have a bedroom, bathroom and an integrated space that contains the kitchen, dining room and living room. The materials required are cheap and can be easily sourced. When you build it yourself, you can keep the labour costs low, especially if you keep it simple and don’t need specialized workers.

You can use solid concrete blocks, good-quality paint for the exterior and a light roof. The interior ceiling can be insulated using glass wool or polystyrene foam. Alternatively, you can paint the sheets with refractory aluminium to lower the heat from the sun.

8. A very simple and beautiful house

If you want to save on the construction of your house, you should first define what you need – the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, a laundry area… The social area, including the living room, dining room and kitchen, can be integrated in a single room in which the furniture of each area defines the partition of the spaces and their different uses.

This will allow you to lower costs, as you will build only what is strictly necessary. In the children’s bedroom, bunk beds are a good option so that you have the additional bed when you need it. Later, you can enlarge the house, if you plan the building with the idea of being able to expand it in the future.

The roof of this house has been waterproofed with mesh and reinforcing fabric.

9. A quarry stone house

A house built with blocks of stone is ideal to protect you from the high temperatures due to their thickness.  However, it is important that you can source them from a nearby quarry so that the transport costs are not high. It is more environmentally friendly because of the lower energy expenditure involved in transporting them. In this house, the wooden windows in blue bring a lightness to the design. The windows can be sourced readymade, and their costs will vary depending on the sizes and the models.

10. With white mud partitions

This home is like the ones we have seen built with mud walls, but the prebuilt white mud partitions give it an interesting finish that is fresh and clean. In a small house like this, the white can add a touch of modernity, especially when combined with sliding glass doors from floor to ceiling, making it a simple construction with a unique style.

The roof can be made of a thermo-acoustic material composed of low density polyethylene and aluminium foil.

11. A light structure with wood and whitewashed walls

This is a great design that allows the high walls to ventilate the house in a natural way, through the space between the walls and the roof. The light metal roof is attached to the wooden structure to prevent it from moving in the wind. The elevation with a raised wooden floor above the ground level allows the interiors to stay pleasant in the summer heat and humidity.

12. A house with a countryside flavour

In a construction, style is very important, no matter how simple or complicated it is. The important thing is that as soon as you see it, you should be able to get a feel of the style that it represents. In this photo, the house has a cosy feel, like it is a place of peace and relaxation. Its shape has no great pretensions, and is a representation of how a house with low budget, can look pleasant with small details, such as the lanterns at the entrance, the well-designed window grilles and the proportions of the house with its uncoated walls. It is well executed, and a place to live in peace. You can get lanterns and other accessories at a cheaper price from stores that sell second-hand items.

13. With wood and cement blocks

This house is located in the middle of a field, but you can build a similar one anywhere in the city, using wood and cement blocks. A beautiful little house such as this will make your life more pleasant. Imagine living in a house surrounded by a garden and with enough height in the house’s volume so that you can have your bedroom on the first floor, the social area on ground floor and large windows that provide natural lighting and ventilation throughout the house. Sliding glass or wood framed glass doors can be used to create this effect.

14. A house that can be moved

 Houses by ÁBATON Arquitectura
ÁBATON Arquitectura

CASA TRANSPORTABLE ÁPH80

ÁBATON Arquitectura

This modular home can be transported. It’s constructed with concrete panels on a platform of reinforced concrete. You can build it on your plot by assembling each panel, using the tongue-and-groove system, to form the walls. The structure with the reinforced elements at the corners will support the roof, which you can make with lightweight sheet on a metal structure, to lower costs. A false ceiling made of insulation material is essential to withstand the extreme temperatures.

Any of the roofs that we have seen in the photos above can be used for this very simple house. You can also build it with blocks of concrete.

15. A container house

 Houses by Ecosa Institute
Ecosa Institute

Container home front street view

Ecosa Institute

Containers, which are used to store and move goods, have become fashionable since you can use one or two to build your house. They are easy to transform. All you have to do is move it to the plot of land where you are going to live.  The costs of the containers vary depending upon the sizes.  Of course, the distance from the place where you source the containers to your plot will influence the overall cost of your home, especially if the transportation costs are very high.

Get more inspiration for building a container house from the designs in this ideabook.

Which of these designs is your favourite? Respond in the comments.
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