Things to Consider When Looking at Alternative Homes
We are seeing a rapid change today across society in the way we live and work. Alongside the tremendous change the digital age has brought to how we use our homes – from computers to smartphones to smart tv and more – many Australians now also consider how they may acquire a different style of home.
The reasons for this shift away from a traditional home is varied – from greater working hours to growing urbanisation, to rising land prices. But one factor is clear: this change is here to stay. Just as many Australians now explore the options of alternative homes, so too is it important to understand the differences between them and other options. Let’s take an in-depth look at this now.
What are Alternative Homes
As the name indicated, alternative homes are structures that can be used as a home but fall outside the bounds of being regarded as a ‘regular’ or traditional structure. While each alternative home has a common form in being fit for purposes as living quarters (as opposed to a structure like a pool house intended for casual use only), their differences when compared to a traditional home design can be significant.
For this reason, alternative homes are perhaps defined as ‘alternative living structures’ rather than outright alternatives to a typical brick and mortar home in the suburbs.
What Options Exist for Alternative Homes
One of the strengths of the alternative home movement has been its rise alongside the green movement. This means the creation of an alternative home is usually environmentally efficient and sustainable, and low-impact design construction can be created.
Furthermore, beyond construction costs exclusively, the ongoing maintenance costs of these homes can be smaller, as lower costs surrounding heat and air conditioning bring with it some savings over the long term. The downside to this is while materials used in the construction of an alternative home may be widely available, their use in the construction of a home is significantly pricier.
While components like clay and straw may be common – and even the use of materials like an old shipping container can form part of the design – the sourcing, quality control, and installation of such elements in the creation of an alternative home will cause expenses to rise significantly. And addition to this, finding an alternative home builder in your region, as well as ensuring your proposed alternative home design conforms with your local council regulations, can further complicate and add expense to the building process.
Alternative Homes versus Granny Flats
The widespread popularity of granny flats, their longstanding use in Australia, and the ongoing potential for their future growth within the country have made constructing a granny flat in numerous Australian regions easier than building an alternative home on the same land.
While the structures can serve the same purpose – with many granny flats serving as a second home on existing land with bedrooms, showers, a kitchen, and other amenities – the longstanding use of established and easily accessible components like iron and steel have made winning approval from planning authorities for a granny flat easier, as well as more affordable given the wide availability of construction materials.
Alternative homes can often be ideal for someone seeking to build a home with aesthetic value, environmental efficiency, and originality in mind. For those fortunate to have significant capital to draw upon, the construction of an alterative home can provide for you a structure that is at the cutting edge of residential design, sustainable, and unique. If also built on a rural property or the land of a holiday home, it can be easier to navigate the extra red tape that can arise with building materials and regulations surrounding the structure.