JG covers all sorts of innovative homes, but to be entirely honest, we prefer the affordable.  So Caleb Schafer nabbed our interest when he emailed us about his efficient, modern home.  Four years ago, after graduating from architecture school, he and his wife moved to Texas and began building the home on a 1.5 acre site due north of San Antonio.  They built it for ~$70,000 — it's a 1400 square foot home — we're talking about $50 psf.  Not bad!  Here's how they did it:


First, Caleb and his wife built and designed the entire home themselves.  They did pretty much all the labor themselves without subcontracting anything except the septic system.  Caleb said, "it was a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to get this home built!  It was an awesome experience to say the least."  Caleb tells us other students coming out of school can do the same if they're willing to work hard and get dirty. 

Second, the design is simple and the materials lack fuss.  The home was designed to 4-foot increments to minimize waste of materials.  The siding is commercial galvalume with yellow pine wood accents.  The exterior kind of reminds me of Rob Pyatt's Boxhouse.  In addition, the combination of SIPs and a Mitsubishi mini-split HVAC system provide an energy-efficient outcome. 

Caleb started his own company to market similar homes that are modern, affordable, and energy-efficient.  Simple Modern Homes has some handsome renderings of basic homes, which he'd like to sell in the price range of $50k-$150k (depending on the complexity and finishes).  Keep an eye on Simple Modern Homes




Photos credit: Caleb Schafer, Simple Modern Homes.