There's a post going around twitter where someone is talking about buying a bunch of the two story toughshed from home depot, and building a little community.

This caught my attention a few days ago, and I've been thinking about it.

The shed, counting both stories, should have about 625 sqft of floor space. It's $12k or $200/month financed from home depot, they'll drive it out and build it on site.

It's not weather proofed, there are no interior walls, no power outlets, etc. etc. (thread)

So let's say you can find a contractor who can seal the thing up, drywall, and run power.

My uncle said that this would probably run $5k-10k depending on who did it. He does these things professionally, so I trust that I guess?

You'll lose 6 - 8 inches on every wall to drywall, insulation, and power wires.

Based on the building codes for GA, though, you're still within the legal definition of a house, the building could be made to GA codes as I understand them.

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You'd have to add an upstairs fire escape, I think. Or maybe you'd just need a front door and a backdoor. I didn't really understand that section very well.

And, of course, the thing isn't on a foundation to speak of, so you'll fly away with sufficient wind (but this is no less true of mobile homes and most other small houses)

If there's already water on your property, the local water company will hook you up for $500. If there isn't, it's more but not a lot moer.

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Now, there's zoning to worry about. And zoning laws are written to be ... well, actively antagonistic to the poor.

What that means in practice is that houses and mobile homes have a minimum amount of land they have to occupy, and that land has to meet certain requirements, and if you don't meet those requirements, you have to ask for permission from your city to actually live in the home.

It is something that can be worked through or worked around, just have to know the local laws.

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In practice, what this means is that you're looking at something closer to $20k, rather than $12k to turn the place in to something livable, and there are a bunch of laws to navigate around building codes and zoning, but at 625 sqft, and on at least half an acre of land per home, it might actually be doable?

I'm waiting to hear back from some local home inspectors to get their thoughts on this.

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Anyway, land is an issue, and zoning laws are a problem, and there are a dozen cheaper ways to do all this if you're willing to operate on the edges of the law.

There are likely cheaper buildings than the $12k prefab unit that home depot is selling.

Because it's a prefab building no construction permit is needed so you don't need a licensed contractor to do the work if I've understood correctly.

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A unit that size is too big to put on a trailer, but if you stick a smaller one on a trailer, you can go the campground route (Which is surprisingly affordable in areas like mine.)

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@ajroach42 Wife and I have been doing a lot of research the last few months on low cost tiny/small/cabin houses. We are planning to find land in a spot we like and downsize to a very small(by American standards) house. One solution we are pretty interested in is archedcabins.com. Not prefab or built for you but the design is such that its very easy for anyone to build the shell. Its just bolting the arches together and the metal roofing onto the arches.

@ajroach42 Very inexpensive too. A 20x24 gives you about 500 sqft plus enough height for a loft for a total of around 600 sqft for $8400 and $1600 for delivery to Georgia. There are smaller and bigger sizes too with accordingly lower and higher prices for options depending specific needs.

@kelbot interesting! Our place now is 525, which is the GA minimum. I'll have to take a look at those.

@ajroach42 They seem like a really good option for trying to keep costs low. From the photos I've seen of them the larger ones look kind of goofy but the smaller ones are kind of cute. Its the leading option for us so far due to low cost and being able to build it ourselves. Also love idea of having a loft for sleeping and keeping the size of the structure down.

@kelbot their heavily litigious statements on their website make me like it a little less, and I feel like the end caps will be less trivial than they've made them seem, but yeah otherwise this looks like a great option.

@ajroach42 The part about copying their design? Yeah, I could do without the semi-threatening tone of that FAQ answer. I'm sure some lawyer convinced them they need to aggressively deter that.

I would probably end up hiring a contractor to frame the end caps and whatever interior walls we want. Shouldn't be too expensive for a smaller structure with none of the walls being load bearing.

@ajroach42 This is an eternal mood for me. I just really like houses! And, living in a west coast urban center, will never be able to afford one.

Fwiw for the shed hanging drywall and putting up insulation isn't too complicated (in my admittedly-limited experience), though the pros are blazing fast at it so as usual it's a your time vs your money tradeoff.

The biggest problem for me is finding the land with like an hour of my friends and work, but I imagine that's less difficult in GA?

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