Tasmanian Architect Unveils DIY House, Which Can Be Built in Six Months, for $150k

At the beginning of last year, Jiri Lev, a Tasmanian architect with no prior hands-on construction experience, embarked on an ambitious project to build his own home. In just six months, Lev completed a 120-square-meter house for $150,000, a fraction of the cost of a standard new home in Australia. Lev’s primary goal was to demonstrate that affordable housing is still achievable. He meticulously designed his northern Tasmanian home with simplicity and ease of construction as top priorities, using locally sourced materials like hardwood, pine wood, and Australian BlueScope steel. Remarkably, Lev made his house plans available as open-source documents, encouraging others to replicate his success and share his vision of accessible homebuilding.

Lev’s approach to construction was rooted in traditional building techniques, favoring methods that avoid the complexities and costs of modern construction, such as roof trusses that require cranes and multiple workers. Instead, Lev utilized straightforward, time-tested techniques that he learned through online resources, making the process surprisingly manageable even for a novice. While he did hire professionals for specialized tasks like plumbing and electrical work, the overall cost remained low. Lev’s design also incorporates sustainable features, such as a “convection door” for heat regulation and untreated wood with natural oils for flooring. The open-plan structure is best suited for rural settings, providing an affordable option for those who cannot afford urban living. Lev’s initiative aims to inspire others to take on homebuilding, potentially transforming lives by empowering individuals to create their own homes and gain valuable skills.


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