Unusual Types of Homes

Unusual Types of HomesThroughout history there have been any number of types of homes. There have been large homes, small homes, tall homes, short homes, homes built in holes, and even homes built in caves-- to name just a few. In our day and age however, there seems to be a limited variety of homes to choose from when you go out shopping-- which is a shame. And, even if you decide to build your own home, it seems as though you are still only allowed to build from a set of predetermined plans that your builder of choice likes to do. This has made it easier on the builder, but it has stifled the creativity of many homeowners. The following is a quick list of brief explanations of some of the more creative kinds of homes so that you can have a better idea of your options the next time you go to build a home.

Underground Homes

The first kind of unorthodox house on our list is the underground home. Now, it is important to point out that when we say underground home, there are many different types of underground homes. There are homes that are built completely underground, homes that are built half above and half below the ground, and homes that are built into the side of a hill or mountain and all of them have their own unique properties and benefits. The most universal benefit of building an underground home would have to be the energy efficiency, which is then closely followed by the added space you get when digging down instead of building up.

The reason that underground homes are more energy efficient is because, since they are surrounded by dirt, they don’t change temperature as rapidly or as extremely as they would if they built above ground. This is because the earth insulates it.

Then, when it comes to space, underground homes are not limited to the same height and breadth restrictions that normal homes are subject to. Assuming that you can dig as deep as you want, you could easily make a home with multiple floors one beneath the next (assuming that you own the mineral rights to that lot.

Some people when they hear about underground homes they get nervous about getting adequate sunlight. Well, that is not a problem since tube lights can easily be installed to pipe natural light down to the under depths of the home.

Tree Houses

Inspired by childhood dreams and the green movement of the 20th and 21st centuries, treehouses are literally that, houses in the trees. Much like a backyard treehouse, a treehouse home is a living space built in the boughs of strong local trees. They can be simple or extravagant; built in the middle of nowhere, or in the middle of a suburban neighborhood. Wherever they are built however, it is easy to see that they are pretty amazing.

Now, when you live in a treehouse, you aren’t doomed to cold dark nights and blistering hot days. In fact, newer treehouses are built with all the amenities and luxuries of a traditional home. This means electricity, heating, internet, the works. So don’t think that you are going to have to live like the Swiss Family Robinson.

Shipping Container Homes

Popularized by doomsday preppers, the shipping container home has become a lot more popular than ever expected. These shipping container homes can be made however you like using the large metal shipping containers that transport things overseas. They come in all different sizes and qualities. However, it is important to consult a professional before purchasing these shipping containers; you want them to be water tight and have no problems at all structurally so it will pay to take the time to buy quality containers. Once you have your containers your contractor will connect them, cut holes for doorways, and furnish them with electricity, plumbing and so forth.

Tiny Houses

The tiny house phenomenon is one that has been gaining a lot of traction over the last decade. Essentially, a tiny house is a home with less than 1,000 square feet. They are designed to be small and efficient will multiple bedrooms, a kitchen, and socializing space. It is essentially a studio or one bedroom apartment without neighbors. Most, but not all, tiny houses are going to be built on flatbed trailers so they can be transported from place to place. This is beneficial for several reasons. First, they are portable. Second, since they don’t have a foundation, most states will consider them recreational vehicles and they won’t be considered when assessing property tax.

If you can live in a tiny house, then this is probably a great option for you-- especially if you want to save money (to buy a tiny house it will most likely cost less than $100,000).

The Fortress

Another prepper inspired piece of architecture, the fortress style home is all about being impregnable. They are built usually of concrete and are outfitted with all sorts of cool features that make it as safe for people in the case of an attack. Though you may not be anticipating an attack at your own home, you may just like the added security or just the novelty of it. One fortress style home that was built in Poland a few months back is literally a concrete cube that, when it is not in lockdown, has a cute porch and windows to the outside world. When it is on lockdown, however, these are all covered with thick steel and concrete doors to protect the residents. It is a strange investment, but if you want a house that will protect you during the zombie apocalypse, then this is the one for you.


The lighthouse is one house no one would complain about revamping. These beautiful structures are not only aesthetically pleasing, but historically significant. Now, there aren’t many lighthouses in Idaho, especially in Boise, but there is no reason why you couldn’t build one. There is are homes in downtown Boise that are built to look like mediaeval castles, so why can’t you have a lighthouse built in the middle of a suburban neighborhood.

One of the fun things you can do with a lighthouse home is to put in a working light. These are bright and expensive, but they would be very fun to have for special occasions. You might want to let your neighbors know before you fire it up though. 

Silo House

Silo houses are much like lighthouse homes, except they aren’t as historically beautiful. They can be made to look beautiful, but it is not inherently present. Grain silos, however, if they are structurally sound, can be used to make beautiful multiple story homes.

Seen as a form of recycling, the act of taking old builds and spaces like these and turning them into homes is a popular thing to do in both cities and in the country. In the case of the grain silo, however, the renovation may take a bit more than just taking out old fixtures and adding plumbing. A grain silo will need to be added to so they don’t topple over while being worked on or lived in. It is an inherent curse of their natural construction.

Themed Houses

Themed houses are not anything new, but if you are a fanatic about anything in particular, you can be there is a way to make a home to reflect that. As mentioned earlier, medieval castle homes can be found all over Idaho, as well as Victorian style homes, and much more. However, if you want something more authentic, there are some Victorian homes in the Boise Historic Districts that are from back in the early days of the city. They are kept in their natural state to preserve their beauty, but that doesn’t mean people can’t live in them. So, you had best check them out.

Cave Houses

These are kind of a cross between themed homes and underground homes. They are homes that are built into the side of caves. Some of them are built to be like a Flintstone’s style home where the stone is made to be used as the furniture. However, there are other types of cave houses that you can find. Some of them are more post-apocalyptic in style, and some are just like normal furnished homes in a cave. These obviously cannot be built in a suburban neighborhood, but if you have the cave already, then it’s all good.

So, there you have it, strange and unorthodox homes to consider the next time you are building a new home. Don’t be limited by the first options you see, have some fun and use your imagination. For more information about building a home in Boise or somewhere else in the Treasure Valley, contact one of the Hughes Group of Silvercreek Realty Group’s licensed agents. They can use their years of experience to help you find the builder to fit your needs.

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