Impeccably Designed $20,000 House

Ask anyone at Auburn University’s Rural Studio about what makes the architecture program’s housing designs unique, and someone will proudly tell you about the refrigerator. “We can spend four days discussing where a refrigerator goes,” explains Rural Studio’s 20K House product line manager Marion McElroy. That’s because, unlike other design firms, Rural Studio students have been perfecting a series of radically affordable, well-designed 550-square-foot houses for nearly a decade–and they’ve been building them exclusively for residents of impoverished Black Belt Alabama.” – Co.Exist 

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6 thoughts on “Impeccably Designed $20,000 House”

  1. I applaud the students and their instructors for putting their creative efforts into this project. I feel as if standard homes are overpriced because of how our economical system works. There are few alternative shelters for aging citizens and low income families. I am even interested in building an alternative community based on some of these proven designs.

  2. Stanley Stalvey

    The old tiger in the above photo still uses a rotary knob TV. Amazing.

  3. I would love to see a ramp option instead of all of those stairs to climb. When you get old it becomes daunting. A small ramp off the back porch would work too. A bit more paint on the wood and siding would really make it appealing. All in all, it is nice inside and would be great for the single or couple.

    1. The lack of ramped or at grade entrance is a legitimate concern, but within the constraints of this project difficult. First, these are home designed for place, and built above grade for realities of terrain, flooding, and ventilation. Second, these houses were built for the people living in (typically) Northern Alabama, and the front porch and front steps are integral to how they live their lives, in their communities, homes and with their families. I know at least one of the 20K homes did account for a near-at-grade entrance from the rear of the house where vehicle parking met at screened in porch that entered onto the kitchen? I forget which year.

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