Three alternative homes to buy in Ireland right now

Traditional brick and mortar houses aren't for everyone. If you're looking for something a little bit different (not to mention more affordable), have a look at these three alternative homes available to buy right now.

Modular house

Modular houses (or prefabricated houses) consist of multiple sections (or rooms) called modules. These pieces slot together like a jigsaw, depending on how you want your finished home to look. They’ve recently been discussed by the Irish government as a solution to the current housing crisis; while some families use them as student accommodation or a granny flat. There are many plus sides to modular housing. Planning permission is often not required (depending on the rules of your local authority) and they’re fully insulated. They can be constructed in a matter of weeks and they cost considerably less than traditional housing.

Based in Galway, Scandinavian Homes has been pre-manufacturing low-energy, modular homes since 1991. Founded by Lars and Linda Pettersson, the company uses Swedish building methods to provide high levels of insulation, proper ventilation, and triple glazed windows. “Any layout is possible,” they say, “Each house is different; developed and designed in partnership with [the customer]. We help with design and orientation to suit the local climate and solar conditions.” The best part? The house is delivered fully-finished and in turn-key condition.

Photo by scanhome.ie Photo by scanhome.iePhoto by scanhome.ie

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Barge

If you've ever wondered what it's like to live on a houseboat, explore the range of barges available to buy in Ireland (or look further afield at those in the UK and Holland). The average barge can house a couple or small family; with one or two bedrooms, a kitchen, living area and bathroom on board. They're inexpensive in comparison to apartments and houses, with some costing as little as €18,000. However, depending on the interiors and condition of the barge, some carry a price tag of up to €80,000. The barge in the images below has a Mercedes engine, includes moorings until February 2019 and has double doors opening out to the rear deck. It's listed on Done Deal for €19,000.

Buying the boat is only half the battle; mooring costs must be considered too. Many moorings around the country are for temporary, public use only; so be sure to search for allocated houseboat moorings. Waterways Ireland has built a houseboat mooring in Shannon Harbour, County Offaly for one-year agreements. Spaces are currently available €1,250 per annum; this includes services such as public lighting, clean water supply, electricity supply, access to a nearby pump-out facility, an area for refuse bins, nearby toilet and shower facilities and car parking. Other moorings even offer wifi. For a full list of things to consider before buying a boat, see Afloat.ie.

Photo via G.T. Hare Systems Ireland on DoneDeal.ie
Photo via G.T. Hare Systems Ireland on DoneDeal.ie
Photo via G.T. Hare Systems Ireland on DoneDeal.ie

Log cabin or log house

The team at Coppola Cabins design cost-effective log houses in various sizes and styles. These can be completely personalised to your tastes and needs. Select your desired log diameter (between 90 mm and 210 mm), or submit your own design drawings. It’s important to note most of Coppola Log Cabins require planning permission.

The log houses take between six and 12 weeks to fully erect and can include up to five spacious bedrooms. They’re cosy too; the roof and floors are fully insulated with double-glazed windows to help maintain the heat. Gas and oil heating is most popular, though some people also opt for a stove. The outside walls are treated with Remmers Aidol long-lasting stain to protect the wood from the elements, while the inner walls can be painted however you like. Want to go all out? Coppola can also fit your log house with its very own sauna.

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Photo via CoppolaCabins.ie Photo via CoppolaCabins.iePhoto via CoppolaCabins.ie

More like this:

  • Three houses to buy in Clontarf for less than €475K... click here.
  • Three houses to buy in Phibsborough for less than €500K... click here.
  • Dublin vs Cork: Four homes to buy for €300K or less... click here.

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