Best alternative housing ideas worth trying

Best alternative housing ideas worth trying

Feature Staff

We all built pillow and box forts growing up to construct our homes away from home. As we age, the appeal of building a unique dwelling begins to fade until you consider the best alternative housing ideas worth trying.

Pallet homes

If you’ve ever worked in a warehouse, you know how critical pallets are for transporting and storing goods. One pallet can withstand thousands of pounds of materials, so it makes sense that utilizing tens of pallets can provide adequate housing.

Although it may be sturdier than a house of straw, the big bad wolf would still have an easy enough time blowing down a pallet home. States with tumultuous weather may not be the best location for a pallet house, but it is a suitable option worth exploring in the right setting.

Shipping containers

Anyone who has seen the great HBO series, The Wire, understands that shipping containers have shelter potential. Despite your first impression, you can customize the metal exterior to create a cozier atmosphere. The great thing about shipping containers is you can combine as many as you need to build the home of your dreams. You can be as imaginative as you want with your living space in a shipping container house—minimal limitations are holding you back!

Van life

Chris Farley’s motivational speaker character, Matt Foley, was ahead of his time when he lived in a van down by the river; however, van life is becoming a realistic option for many individuals. Jumping into van life full-time is intriguing for several reasons, but the most appealing one is your ability to see the world. You can wake up in Kansas and go to bed in Colorado if you desire—and that freedom is enticing to the adventurous type.


Being a disgraced magician didn’t keep Gob Bluth from living his best life on a boat in the hit show Arrested Development, so imagine what you could do with a houseboat in real life.

If you’re comfortable with the idea of floating about in your home, you may want to explore houseboats. Today’s houseboats have all the conveniences of a typical land dwelling. The main distinction is the much lower upfront and long-term costs compared to a conventional house. Additionally, like a van, your house is totally portable, allowing you to travel the world.


Anyone that’s had experiences hanging out in a treehouse during their youth knows how wonderful they can be as a temporary hideout. As an adult, you may not need a treehouse to hide from your parents or read comic books in peace, but creating a permanent domicile in the trees has plenty of value.

Remember, picking any old tree won’t cut it; you’ll need the perfect one. If you want to be confident that your tree can hold your weight, that of your house, and then some, it’s best to get an expert’s opinion. The more weight you add to a tree house, the less sturdy it becomes. Thus, a treehouse won’t work for a full-fledged family, although a single person can live out their teenage dream.

Albeit unique, the best alternative housing ideas worth trying illustrate how ditching your traditional home for something out-of-the-box is possible. Which will you try?