This stunning San Francisco floating home was constructed for $500,000 — see inside | The house has high ceilings and large windows to let in as much light as possible and sits on a concrete barge for stability.

This stunning San Francisco floating home was constructed for $500,000 — see inside

This stunning San Francisco floating home was constructed for $500,000 — see inside

This stunning San Francisco floating home was constructed for $500,000 — see inside

This stunning San Francisco floating home was constructed for $500,000 — see inside

This stunning San Francisco floating home was constructed for $500,000 — see inside

This stunning San Francisco floating home was constructed for $500,000 — see inside
This stunning San Francisco floating home was constructed for $500,000 — see inside
  • By: businessinsider.sg
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Matthew Millman Photography
  • San Francisco is famously one of the most expensive housing markets in the US.
  • Some residents are getting creative with their living situations.
  • This floating home in San Francisco’s Mission Creek shows how luxurious alternatives to typical housing can be.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

San Francisco has one of the most notoriously expensing housing markets in the US, propelled by tech companies attracting employees the area, and the lack of new housing.

Even sites for houseboats and floating homes are becoming more difficult to find. Sausalito is the traditional site of the Bay Area’s houseboats, and its colorful waterfront has been extensively covered.

This home is instead located in San Francisco’s Mission Creek, a canal with other floating homes in an area that was once surrounded by industrial lots. Today, according to architect Robert Nebolon, the apartments that have sprung up around the canal are primarily home to employees of major tech companies like Airbnb, Uber, and Facebook.

Robert Nebolon, of Robert Nebolon Architects in San Francisco, worked with one couple to design their dream floating home. He told Business Insider that his design inspiration came from the old industrial buildings that once dotted the area.

If home prices continue to rise in San Francisco, maybe more people will choose alternatives housing, like tiny homes or floating homes.


The 2,030-square-foot home took about six months and $500,000 to build.

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Matthew Millman Photography

According to architect Robert Nebolon, about 90% of the construction was done at a dry dock, before the home was towed to the canal.

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Matthew Millman Photography

This video shows how the house was moved from a dry dock in Sausalito to the Mission Creek canal.


The balcony and kitchen give the home a top-heavy look, which Nebolon says was done to add extra space, and also to protect the front door from weather.

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Matthew Millman Photography

The structure is noticeably more modern-looking than many of its neighbors. The side resembles shipping containers, and Nebolon chose an industrial metal siding would be less prone to fading, so the owners wouldn’t have to paint it.

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Matthew Millman Photography

“There was a lot of pressure to use every nook and cranny for storage on boats and floating houses,” Nebolon told Business Insider. One solution he found was raising beds for plenty of storage underneath.

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Matthew Millman Photography

The dining room table also has a built-in window seat, with storage.

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Matthew Millman Photography

The open tread staircase lets light in from the upper levels to the lowest level, which is below the waterline and has no windows. It’s also lighter for the floating barge.

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Matthew Millman Photography

High ceilings also make the space feel larger.

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Matthew Millman Photography

To complement the rest of the modern design, the kitchen and living room are part of an open floor plan.

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Matthew Millman Photography

The “sawtooth” design of the ceiling, which Nebolon says was inspired by the industrial buildings in the surrounding areas, divides the open living area into different zones.

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Matthew Millman Photography

Nebolon was tasked with letting in as much natural light as possible, which he does with plenty of windows.

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Matthew Millman Photography

Even the bathroom is modern and full of light, and it doesn’t lack space despite being part of a floating home.

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Matthew Millman Photography

The structure is different from a houseboat because while it floats, it will stay in the same place.

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Matthew Millman Photography

The three-level house sits on a concrete box, with about half of the lower level inside the concrete.

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Matthew Millman Photography

The weight of the concrete keeps the house upright.

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Matthew Millman Photography

The floating homes on the canal look especially stunning at night.

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Matthew Millman Photography
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