An Englishman’s Home is His Castle: Unconventional Places to Live

With the housing crisis, the collapse of the housing market and the all-time high prices of buying and renting property, finding somewhere to live in the UK can be an expensive and stressful process. Once you’ve established yourself in a property, you’ve then got bills and maintenance to worry about, so your living costs continue to go up year on year and it never seems like your pay packet increases equally. What if there was a different way to live? Somewhere that doesn’t come with the hassles of a house and all the extras, as it stands, there are alternative options to property living and some of them are quite interesting.

Shipping Containers

Although the shipping container movement started slowly, there has been a recent explosion of individuals buying and converting one, two, three and more containers into comfortable accommodation. While the containers are available in one shape, they are quite versatile and can be joined together to create multiple rooms or larger single rooms, even stacked on top of each other to create multi-level homes.

Second-hand shipping containers are quite cheap (especially compared to UK property) and there are plenty available from shipping companies and yards that sell off their old stock. There are even conversion companies that offer container conversion services, so you only need to have an idea of what you’d like your shipping container home to look like and they will take care of the rest.

Silo Living

Another structure that is quite uncommon, although this is likely due to the rarity of finding disused silos. If you aren’t familiar with them, silos are a rounded farm building, most commonly used for storing animal food and grain and can be converted into a quaint, rounded home. Often quite tall so to make the most of storage space, there’s a lot of room to play within a silo conversion which allows for separate floors and interesting stair/ladder designs.

Possibly the most striking of the silo accommodation designs is the Grünerløkka Studenthus in Oslo, Norway, this incredible 21-silo grain elevator was converted to a 19-story student accommodation building which opened in 2001.

Caravan Life

Living in a caravan likely conjures to mind images of small rooms, having to tie your belongings down every time you set off on a journey and living minimally. Now, they aren’t necessarily bad things but it’s very different from living in a house. What if you could have all the comforts of living in a property while surrounded by the gorgeous views only nature can bring? Then a residential park is for you.

Residential park homes are set up with quaint, smaller homes that are perfect for families or older couples and feature a number of benefits including on-site security and maintenance, lots of green spaces and peaceful locations to visit and a host of nearby facilities within walking distance. An excellent example of a beautiful residential park is Pendeford Hall, managed by Allens Caravans, who have a selection of residential park homes for sale.


Earthships are completely off-the-grid, eco-friendly homes that are built from the ground up from recycled materials to be self-sustaining. The main bulk of most Earthships are old tyres which are filling up landfills at an astonishing rate, the tyres are then filled with dirt and pounded until the dirt is solid and level.

Eco-friendly homes are popping up more than ever before, particularly for individuals, couples and families concerned about off-the-grid living. It’s a huge change in the way of living but extremely beneficial and good for the environment for those that choose Earthship life.

Being on the Water

It doesn’t get more unconventional than leaving the dry land for a life on the water, whether that’s in a small ship, canal boat or even a private yacht. Life on the water doesn’t need to be that different from land-property living however there is always the option to detach the ropes and take off on a casual float down the river – not something you can do with any other type of home accommodation.

Would you be willing to trade your standard brick and mortar home for one of the cheaper, unconventional ways of living above? With housing the way it is in the UK at the moment, we are definitely looking forward to seeing more home-builders get creative with other means of accommodation.

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