Bruce Hauman built a small dome living space for about $2,100 USD. All by itself, the fact that he built it and wrote it up so well is delightful.
In the photos, it looks very nice as a workspace or outbuilding, but interestingly, he says that he lives there.
“If I want to spend my time writing blog posts, exploring new programming languages, and other things that I want to do but I am unlikely to get paid for, it’s helpful to opt out of certain common expenses. Housing is a major expense that is ripe for pruning.
“Conventional housing requires that we spend a tremendous amount of energy and money to construct and maintain a home. The comfort and living convenience that we get from these large and inefficient houses does not increase linearly with their higher cost. There is a decreasing marginal efficiency as investment in a home goes up.”
Amen, brother! So…where’s the bathroom?
Look, I totally get, and dig, the philosophy. But let’s look at the other side of the question. It’s safety and energy efficiency that are driving up the base cost of building a house, not comfort and convenience. If you want to live within city limits (read: where the jobs are), certain officials are going to see to it that you live in something that won’t blow away in a storm or kill you in a fire. And that means it’s going to cost a bit more than living in a trailer home.
All I’m saying is that there are huge trade-offs to be considered when going down the cheap housing road, trade-offs that mean the cost of housing is not, in fact “ripe for pruning”.
See also: Why Houses Ain’t Cheap.