A cave: Built in Missouri in place of an old concert venue (which was in turn built in place of a much older geographical feature), this 17,000-square-foot cave dwelling has three bedrooms, and a surprising market price of about $300,000.
Upsides: Great noise insulation, instant villain cred
Downsides: Difficult to wire for electricity, still prone to bunker busters
A 727: A standalone suite in the Hotel Costa Verde in Costa Rica, this repurposed 727 is quite possibly the most comfortably furnished commercial jet in the world.
Upsides: A fuselage makes for an unexpectedly nice party pad
Downsides: It's still high enough off the ground to kill you in the event of a crash
Cardboard: Designed by a small Australian design firm, this plastic-coated modular cardboard house is said to run about $35,000 in a kit, though it's not clear that any have ever been shipped. At any rate, cardboard house.
Upsides: It's cheap for its size, and has a neat Conestoga-wagon-esque aesthetic.
Downsides: There are certain connotations that come with living in a cardboard box. I'm not saying they're fair!
Paper: Speaking of which, I dubbed this more subtle paper house the "World's Swankiest Hobo Pad" back in January—a title I think it still holds. This one, called the Universal World House, is just $5,000, and make from recycled pulp materials.
Upsides: Built-in animal slaughtering facilities, with floor drain
Downsides: Gets a little crowded when filled to its 8-person capacity
Shipping containers: This one's been done a few times, but the undisputed king of shipping container architecture has to be Adam Kalkin, whose massive aluminum container house is pictured at left. He's designed quite a few more, ranging from $50,000 to $2,000,000 in cost.
Upsides: They may be made from junk, but they're invariably awesome-looking.
Downsides: You could be mistaken for a pallet of Ikea furniture while you sleep, and shipped
Glass Bottles: Building homes out of concrete, mud and bottles isn't some kind of architectural experiment—this is a bonafide technique. Tom Kelly's bottle house in Ryolite, Nevada was constructed from 51,000 glass bottles all the way back in 1920.
Upsides: Extremely easy to gather materials for, and the air in the bottles is a great insulator
Downsides: It's a little hard on the eyes. Ok, a lot hard on the eyes
Plastic bottles: It's like the last one, except more eco-conscious/grosser. This one was devised by a Serbian Math professor, partly as a home, and partly as an environmental statement.
Upsides: It's good for Mother Earth, or whatever
Downsides: Less classy than glass bottles
Glass: Granted, the substructure on this thing is made of metal and wood, but the walls? All glass.
Upsides: Beautiful, luxurious, and designed by famous architect Philip Johnson
Downsides: You'll have to cut down on naked activities
Tires: Another surprisingly common construction technique, building with tires actually makes a lot of sense: They stack well, they're expensive to recycle, and they offer tons of room for stuffing with insulating materials.
Upsides: Free, dead-simple construction process
Downsides: Could violate municipal zoning regulations
Legos: This one's still under construction, but with the loving support of the entire internet, not to mention James May, behind it, it will one day be glorious.
Upsides: Unparalleled dream fulfillment
Downsides: Anyone over the age of three will be able to rob you without leaving a trace