Home Design

10 Incredible Things That You Can Convert Into A Home

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Looking for a unique home to buy? Instead of buying an existing home or building a home from scratch, you could consider the option of a conversion. This involves turning a non-residential building or structure into a home. 

A conversion could be a great way of preserving or recycling an old structure while also accessing affordable property in a prime location. Almost any building or structure can be turned into a home if you’re willing to get creative. Below are a few examples. 


One of the most popular conversions involves taking a disused barn and turning it into a home. Barns are often located in stunning rural areas and many are historical buildings with lots of character. The walls, roof and foundations are already there – it could just be a case of filling in the rest of the building. You can buy disused barns from rural landowners or buy barns that have already been converted.


Container homes are built out of disused shipping containers. Such containers can be very cheap to buy and can be converted to create fascinating modern steel homes. You could use a single container to create a small cabin, or several containers to create your own house. The biggest cost is likely to be acquiring land to place your containers on, as well as converting the containers for residential use. There are companies that specialize in container modifications that you can use to turn your containers into a home. 

Water towers

Looking for a truly unusual building to turn into a home? Why not consider a disused water tower? These converted water towers are a great example of how such structures can be repurposed. Converted water towers can be transformed into head-turning homes in great locations – often with impressive views!


Houseboats have been seeing an increase in popularity in recent years. They’re often cheaper than condos and you can use them to explore waterways or moor them up in central locations where you wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford property. Instead of buying an existing houseboat, another option could be to convert an old disused boat into a home. This could stay permanently moored in one location, or you could learn to sail and take it on adventures. Make sure to look into necessary licenses and mooring fees before buying a boat. 

Railway carriages

Another unique conversion idea could be to take an old railway carriage and turn it into an off-grid home cabin. You can buy disused railway carriages online – often very cheaply. All you then need is land to place your carriage on and money to convert the carriage into a home. It could be a great home conversion idea if you’re a railway enthusiast – or if you’re simply looking for a cheap and quirky small home. 


Here’s another unusual conversion idea to aspire to. Churches are often stunning historic buildings in great locations. Many end up becoming disused and end up being sold – these could be turned into incredible homes. This post features a few examples of amazing church conversions. A church conversion could be ideal if you’re a Christian or if you simply love old buildings. 


The rise of online shopping has led to many old physical shops becoming abandoned. Turning one of these abandoned shops into a home could be an option. Conversion costs for these buildings can be quite low – many of them already have the necessary structure and utilities in place. Just be careful about where you buy a shop building – while many old shops can be found in central locations, the buildings can be expensive to buy and you may not always be able to get planning permission to convert them. 


Another conversion idea could be to take an old warehouse and turn it into a home. Small warehouses can be relatively cheap to buy while containing a lot of space to convert. Those with more money to invest could consider buying a large warehouse and possibly even turning it into an apartment block.


The pandemic has resulted in many empty offices. Many of these are being bought up and turned into condos and apartments. Just like a shop, office conversion costs can be very fairly cheap as many of the mod cons are likely to already be in place. Many offices can also be situated in central locations, making them a great way to access centrally-located homes. 


Finally, why not consider becoming a modern caveman by converting a cave into a home? These spectacular cave homes were either built out of existing caves or carved out of rock. Cave homes can have many advantages including fantastic heat and sound insulation. They’re also often situated in beautiful locations. Turning a cave into a modern home is no easy feat – you’ll likely need to talk to cave/excavation professionals as to how to do it.

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