Alternative Homes

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Alternative Homes

Owning a home doesn’t have to mean buying a three bedroom house with a big backyard, dining room, living room, and kitchen. A home is whatever you make it. Many people choose to live in alternative style houses such as homes carved out of sea rock, tiny homes, tree houses, or houseboats. Whether people want to save space, live right by the sea, or sleep among the trees, there are many unique options for them.

Tiny Homes


Tiny homes are mini houses people live in that are between 9-37 square meters, and some tiny homes even have wheels. Many people are choosing smaller homes over bigger ones so they can live a simpler life. With tiny homes, you can travel around the world and visit friends and family whenever you want. If you live in a tiny house, you can spend more time with your family because the space is so tiny. You even save money on tiny houses as you don’t have to pay someone to clean a big home, or pay for all those cleaning supplies. You can even get rid of things you don’t need, and only keep what is important. Alexis Stephens is a tiny-house owner. “it’s just really down to what you really love or need and how you use your space,” she said. Alexis loves small, outdoor living. She travels around the country to show people what tiny houses are like. Crystal Harvey is also a tiny home owner. She said she does not need a lot of stuff. “I don’t hold onto things…so it was really easy for me to get rid of everything, and I didn’t have that much to begin with,” she said on the phone from her tiny house in Tennessee. The only problem of having a tiny home is finding a place to park.

Living in a Cave


Forty years ago, Nissim Kachlon decided he didn’t want to live in the city anymore. The divorced father of three wanted to live right on the beach. Instead of buying an apartment with views of the sea, Kachlon carved his home out of rocks in Herzliya. The home is made out of rocks, recycled trash, and sand. “I decided that I didn’t want to live in the city, I love the sea, that’s how I came here. I don’t have to pay city tax because I don’t have garbage, I burn everything and use the ashes for concrete to build with,” he told Arutz Sheva. Kachlon gets his water from a well. He doesn’t have electricity, a washing machine, or a telephone. He likes living alone, but also welcomes visitors who want to see the home. This alternative way of living was even featured in the film “Sipur Apoloni,” which was shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival in 2013.



Another option is to live among the trees. If you love nature, a tree house could be for you. Michael Garnier, a builder and woodworker, has been building these homes for 25 years. “Treehouses are becoming more and more adult,” he said. “They’re not just for kids anymore.” Garnier also said more and more people are looking to live in these alternative homes. Some even use them as bedrooms for guests, or for an office space. Like tiny homes, tree houses teach you to get rid of things you don’t need or are not useful. They also bring out the kid in all of us. Tree house homes have everything a person could want like a bed, a refrigerator, a microwave, and living spaces. Some tree houses cost between $75,000 and $500,000 including the materials and decorations. Some tree house homes can be built in 4-5 months.

Floating House

If you have always loved the water, maybe a houseboat is the right home for you. Bonnie from Wakefield, Québec, Canada, wanted a tiny home and when her friend suggested a houseboat, she loved the idea. Her home is called The River Den, and it has windows, a classic ship’s wheel, a fireplace, a few decks, a toilet, and a burner for cooking. Bonnie says the river water is clean and is great for washing dishes,  rinsing up, just not for drinking. Someday, she hopes to build solar panels on the roof of her boat, to save more energy. Bonnie’s home was built from five 9-meter boats that are especially sturdy and can support a lot of weight. The project took four months to complete and Bonnie lets other people experience her home too. She rents out her home on Airbnb so others can get away from the chaos of city life and enjoy nature. Bonnie loves living on her houseboat. “It’s great to wake up on the water, and jump in the river first thing in the morning. It’s a really peaceful way to live.”  


  1. Would you like to live in an alternative home?
  2. What kind of alternative home would you design for yourself?