We have seen a lot of homes as movers but none as strange as these. Despite some odd proportions, strange building materials, and off-the-wall colors, these prideful homes all have redeeming qualities that endear them to their owners. For one, they’re all unique. And in this cookie-cutter world, that’s saying a whole lot! Which is your favorite?
What are their stories?
Top Left: A House That Rocks
If you’re looking for a rock-solid investment, how about this house in Portugal? Situated between two giant boulders, the house walls are formed of mortared masonry, and the living area is covered by concrete tile roofing. Fireproof, windproof, and impervious to insects, a house like this might qualify you for lower homeowner insurance rates.
Top Middle: If the Shoe Fits, Live in It
This three-bedroom, two-bath home boots the idea that houses can’t be fun shapes. Built in 1948 as an advertising gimmick by a Pennsylvania shoe salesmen, the Shoe House endures today thanks to its tough stucco exterior finish.
Top Right: This House is a Real Steel
Think twice before you bang your head against the walls of this Gainsville, Fla., house. Built from salvaged steel shipping containers ($2,500 to $5,000 each), this 2,200-square-foot flight of fancy features three bedrooms and two and a half baths. It’s fireproof, sustainable (repurposed materials!), and you sure won’t have to worry about termites.
Bottom Left: Make Homes, Not War!
Can your home survive nuclear winter? This one can. Made from a decommissioned missile silo in upstate New York, it’s one of the strongest structures ever built. The 2,300-square-foot, below-ground portion includes a full kitchen, entertainment center, and two private suites. Entrance is gained via an 1,800-square-foot log home on the surface, and there’s a private runway. Buy-in price? About $750,000.
Bottom Middle: DIY Earthbag Dome
Earthbag domes like this one make great garden sheds, studios, chicken coops, and houses. They’re made using polypropylene rice bags or feed bags filled with soil and then stacked like masonry. The small dome shown here is for storage and costs only $300 to make. You can check out this unique building technique on Instructables.com.
Bottom Right: Swiss Chalets Tolkien Would Dig
These eco-friendly homes in Switzerland come with lots of perks, including lakeside views, rooftop yards, and underground parking. Because the structures were built into the earth, they’re naturally insulated — heating costs are slashed and air conditioning isn’t necessary. The only bummer: You have to mow the roof by hand, which can take hours to do using a scythe.