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What alternatives are there to bricks and mortar in 2022 UK? 

Posted on 21st September 2022 by Master Removers


  • Van life and living on the road
  • Houseboats
  • Treehouses
  • Tiny Homes
  • Storage Container Homes
  • Storage Solutions 

Van life and living on the road 

In the UK living on the road is becoming more and more limited.  As there are fewer sites where vehicles can be parked and more stringent laws against caravans and vans on private land, it is not a way of life that is easy.  However, the adaptation of vehicles into homes has continued to develop particularly with larger vehicles like Horse box homes.  Often these conversions become great projects involving bespoke joinery and carpentry and the fulfillment of people’s dream homes. In the US where vanlifeing is a thing, there is more scope for taking in the great outdoors whilst living on wheels. The 2020 film Nomadland documents the growing communities in the US of people that are driven to take up the transient lifestyle of the road.  In the UK, nomadic road life can be a temporary way of connecting with the countryside but is tricky to establish as a permanent lifestyle.  The lack of places where mobile sites can be established is a problem for the traditional traveller community, who have fewer options as land is sold for development.  For those that want to live on the road in a van but not in a community, finding people with land that will let you park up will be the main challenge. 


A different alternative community exists on the waterways.  With a wide spectrum of choices and affluence, from the narrow boat to the luxury marinas there are all kinds of streams of entry.  In London, there has been a 60% increase in boats registering to be moored in the city. Many Londoners are seeking to try life afloat in the post-pandemic era of the race for space and increased house prices.  While the advantages of low Council Tax and no Stamp Duty appeal to first-time buyers, mooring fees in London are not immune to inflation.  For the nomadic water dwellers, being a continual cruiser means you can skip the higher mooring fees and stay on the move. In London that gives you 14 days in each location, but there is the added challenge of finding places to moor.  A comprehensive system is in place set up by the Canal and River Trust which oversees the licensing and legislative aspects of the waterworld.  Living on the waters is likened to having a second job by some, and has more of a survival edge than a Victorian terrace. For insight into the way of life check out these guidelines to see if you are ready to take the plunge. 


Once associated with environmental activists, now treehouses seem to be high on people’s Airbnb bucket lists.  There are even browsable categories there for Earth Homes and Treehouses. In fact, a lot of alternative dwellings have migrated into the tourism sector with the advent of Airbnb.  What began as alternative architectural ideas for off-grid living in the last decades, are now highly profitable designs for eco-tourism and niche get-aways.  Shepherds Huts, which have a nostalgic place in their hearts for the traveller lifestyle, have now been glamped up and gentrified.  There are no shepherds or sheep to be seen, instead flocks of wellness enthusiasts. While the real gypsy lifestyle is being driven out into extinction, it is always possible to hire an old-fashioned wagon for a great Instagram backdrop.  As long as it is not a permanent affront to the general trend of bricks and mortar, it can be enjoyed temporarily, and for a profit!

Tiny Homes 

The trend of tiny homes is a place where there may be some real competition to bricks and mortar.  Tiny homes, which have blown in from the US prairies, do pose a genuine alternative to home ownership, which can be both fixed and moveable at the same time. Tiny homes do not need planning permission if they keep within the required dimensions.  Seen as extensions of the home or land they are on; they can be permitted in that context.  What is required, is the land that they are built on.  To dwell in a tiny home, stealth storage is required and innovative design. Whilst they are easy to move in the US, on the smaller island of the UK they are more likely to be fixed addresses. As seen in the recent Parliamentary bills, to move a tiny Home in the UK, you would have to have permission from the landowner to be on that land. 

Storage & Shipping Container Homes

Container homes are a new innovative way to provide temporary and permanent housing solutions for homeless and disadvantaged peoples.  MAC container homes provide both container homes for shelter, as well as for domestic alternatives to extensions and houses.  Working with charities and church groups they can deliver housing solutions within 12 weeks.  Aside from being an excellent housing solution, storage container homes are also very fashionable. Cargotecture is the name of the architectural trend of utilizing and adapting shipping containers.  Popular because of the sustainable implications, stainless steel containers are an easy to recycle building material. With innovative designs, containers can be stacked on top of each other, or around each other to build up iconic units. With the cost effectiveness of this cheaper material, and the quick assembly times they have a lot of appeal and flexibility of purpose. In a new age of minimalism, paring down your possessions for a more streamlined abode seems to be the way forward.  Paradoxically, this is where the humble storage container can be most useful! 

Storage Containers

As the Master Removers, we are well aware of the necessity and versatility of storage containers.  With a network of storage facilities all over the UK, with different sizes and packages for storage we understand how useful it is to be able to put things away temporarily.  As a vital part of our removals resources, we can see the appeal for storage use growing over time.  As people downsize to take up alternative housing, as in a houseboat or a tiny home, a storage container add- on means you don’t have to compromise equipment and possessions.  By safely storing these items in a container, you can be sure they are climate controlled, secure, and easy to access at any time.  Master Removers have the whole removals map covered, from different grade business removals to domestic and overseas. Our British Association of Removers teams span the country providing the country with leading edge removals and storage services.  If you need expert advice on all things removals and storage you have found the right place. Get in touch and we are happy to advise you today!