How can you build a house for $2500? The answer is a dry stack of cement blocks that you make yourself (or unskilled workers can make for you on site), and so they end up costing only around 50 cents each. Those blocks are molded on site into a brick shape that can interlock with other bricks, reducing the need for anything to hold the blocks together, like cement. They have holes through them, so drainage, electrical, and any other wires can pass through, and you just use a cement saw to cut holes where you need to put electrical outlets or anything else that has to go in the wall.
So these blocks are stacked on the foundation until the desired height is reached, and then comes a floor or roof. They use a metal frame (like rebar), assembled below and lifted up top, and then put insulation into the spaces of the metal grid. They fill in the metal roof grid with squares of Styrofoam, then pour cement on top to waterproof and strengthen the roof. Then they set a water tank on top of the house (and you might consider solar panels for there, too), and then finish the building. As you can see in the photos, the end result is quite nice.
Cement block construction like this one have been a standard for houses in the Southern United States for decades, and Hibiterra here has made an improvement on the type of blocks used. With these, they can be assembled with non-skilled labor – even a child can stack blocks like lego. In some areas, however, particularly along the coast where there is often uplift with block houses, you might be best to add rebar inside the blocks to keep everything securely in place.
Some other benefits of dry stack concrete blocks: they’re resistant to mold, water, fire, and insects, unlike timber construction. This house by Habiterra cost only $2500 to make. It used 2568 cement blocks, each at a cost of 50 cents, and was built in Mexico with a small crew, and it took only 14 hours. You could of course build one yourself over a few days and save on labor costs, or you could pay local builders and it would probably cost a thousand or two more.