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8 Houses That Don’t Seem Real, But They Are!

Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? These eight ugly houses answer that age-old question with a resounding: Yes! Despite some odd proportions, strange building materials, and off-the-wall colors, these prideful homes all have redeeming qualities that endear them to their owners. For one, they’re all unique. And in this cookie-cutter world, that’s saying a whole lot! Which is your favorite?

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People in Glass Houses...

These home owners are obviously into self-reflection. Clad in pieces of glass and mirror, this enlightened folk art cottage in Florida requires a lot of window cleaning. For a more maintenance-free exterior, try vinyl or fiber-cement siding.

Credit: Greg Borman

Image: Gordon Borman
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  • If you’re looking for a rock-solid investment, how about this house in Portugal? Situated between two giant boulders, the house walls are formed of mortared masonry, and the living area is covered by concrete tile roofing. Fireproof, windproof, and impervious to insects, a house like this might qualify you for lower homeowners insurance rates.

    Credit: JSome1, photographer

  • Insect-proof, fireproof, and able to withstand 575 mph winds, this Boeing 727 features more than 1,000 square feet of living area, and there are plenty of storage solutions in the cargo hold and in the overhead compartments. The jet body cost about $100,000 (without engines). Moving the decommissioned jet to its final resting place and outfitting it for living cost another $100,000.

    Credit: From, republished with permission

  • Can your home survive nuclear winter? This one can. Made from a decommissioned missile silo in upstate New York, it’s one of the strongest structures ever built. The 2,300-sq.-ft., below-ground portion includes a full kitchen, entertainment center, and two private suites. Entrance is gained via an 1,800-sq.-ft. log home on the surface, and there’s a private runway. Buy-in price? About $750,000.


  • This three-bedroom, two-bath home boots the idea that houses can’t be fun shapes. Built in 1948 as an advertising gimmick by a Pennsylvania shoe salesmen, the Shoe House endures today thanks to its tough stucco exterior finish — an environmentally friendly siding option.

    Credit: Katrina Williams of Katrina Krauss Photography

  • With its green roof and rural flavor, this 200-square-foot cottage in Missouri has its, um, roots in the centuries-old art of cob construction—earthen walls formed of clay, sand, and straw. Cost of construction was about $4,000, or a modest $20 per square foot. Of course it includes a mudroom addition.

    Credit: Brian “Ziggy” Liloia and April Morales / photograph by Stephen Shapiro

  • With its multiple balconies, twisting staircases, and oddly shaped rooms, this whimsical house in Wyoming is a local curiosity. Although it’s no longer occupied, the original owner/builder used locally harvested logs and plenty of salvaged building materials to produce a one-of-the-kind cowboy mansion that towers above the plains.

    Credit: Robert Elzey

  • These home owners are obviously into self-reflection. Clad in pieces of glass and mirror, this enlightened folk art cottage in Florida requires a lot of window cleaning. For a more maintenance-free exterior, try vinyl or fiber-cement siding.

    Credit: Greg Borman

  • Think twice before you bang your head against the walls of this Gainsville, Fla., house. Built from salvaged steel shipping containers ($2,500-$5,000 each), this 2,200-square-foot flight of fancy features three bedrooms and two and a half baths. It’s fireproof, sustainable (repurposed materials!), and you sure won’t have to worry about termites.

    Credit: Stephen Bender at MW Bender Architecture












    Click here to see the slideshow about best home projects.

  • If you like these, you may want to take a spin through HouseLogic’s library of slideshows.


  • A House that Rocks
  • It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s My Home!
  • Make Homes, Not War!
  • If the Shoe Fits, Live in It
  • A Mud Home That’s Dirt Cheap
  • A House Out Standing in Its Field
  • People in Glass Houses...
  • This House is a Real Steel
  • Next Slideshow: Best Home Projects
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