When Established Norms Disintegrate, Critical Thinking Becomes Necessary


Outside The Box

Building a home, maintaining a home, and living in it don’t have to cost nearly so much as many people assume. Is your utility bill high? A little work can change that; install a solar system, dig a well or follow the example of Chinese farmers and convert expurgated waste into fertilizer.

A rain collection system can also help you retain necessary water, as can irrigation from a nearby lake or pond. With modern technology, you can get an effective filtration system that is able to convert most water sources into potable solutions.

The only real difficulty is the work involved, but rewards are cumulative and expansive. If your utility bill comes in at around $150 a month, these suggested changes can save you $1,800 a year, or $3,600 in two. In five years, you’ve saved $9,000, if you did the job right.

If you draft out a five year plan including solar and water solutions, it’s very conceivable to get the whole thing done for under $10k. So long as you use that exclusively over five years, you’re $1,000 in the green. When you expand that thinking to home construction, the savings may even turn to profit.

When established norms disintegrate, critical thinking becomes necessary

Prefabricated Solutions

American Steel Span offers colored steel buildings that can be constructed to specifications; a top seller among them the P-model: “This model is very popular for residential use and because it can be any length, it is also popular in commercial applications.”

What’s most telling about that quote is the term “residential use”. Prefabricated steel buildings can be used in a commercial capacity as well, but they can also be installed in the backyard of your existing property. Such buildings can be converted into greenhouses, storage sheds, workstations, or additional living.

Especially considering the cost-effective nature of their construction, such prefabricated buildings are becoming a go-to for many sustainably-minded property owners. Did you know the average cost per square foot on such a structure is between $16 and $20? Now, that number is skewed by commercial application, but it’s still staggering.

Accordingly, if you wanted a 3,000 square foot building, at $20 per square foot, you could have it for $60k. And you can have it in the color you want. In a cold region, going black will ensure heat; though that isn’t always going to be advisable. In warmer regions, light colors reflect light, reducing interior heat.

Above Average

Still, 3,000 square feet is pretty large. That’s actually greater than the national average for home size in America, which is 2,400 to 2,600 square feet. Now, in such instances, the space is going to be divided by rooms and levels—often of the “split” variety where two or three steps separate floors.

In a prefabricated building, it’s all open. Think: gymnasium. Now think: tapestries, carpet, paintings, mood-lighting and elevated interior lofts. Think outside the box, and inside the warehouse. What can you do with all that space? Make it a restaurant, make it a bookshop, a clothing store, or a home.

Depending on zoning and residential laws in your area, you’ve really got some latitude, here. If you’ve got a stretch of property that’s 30 X 100 feet, or the basic size of an average fast food restaurant’s parking lot, you’ve got all you need.


It’s entirely feasible for you to build and own a spacious home with no monthly utilities within several years. The same can be said for a business. You can really look at a prefabricated structure as though it’s an empty palate on which to paint your dream home or business.

When established norms disintegrate, critical thinking becomes necessary