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Housing a family of 19 children takes a bit of creative planning. Anyone who has watched the show 19 Kids and Counting knows that Jim Bob Duggar and his wife, Michelle, live in a sprawling Arkansas home that’s been customized for their unique family. Fans typically assume a house like that must have cost a fortune and that the Duggars are probably stuck paying an excessive mortgage payment for decades. However, that’s not technically correct.

Here are the details on the Duggar family home, including how far into debt they went while building it.

Duggar family
Duggar family | Duggar Family via Instagram

The house is the heart of the Duggar family

A lot of things happen under the roof of the Duggar family home. It’s the setting for holiday gatherings, sing-a-longs, family meals, and birthday celebrations. Since Duggar kids don’t attend traditional schools, the house is also a classroom during the day for all the young students. Even the children who are grown and moved out typically come back to the Duggar homestead to socialize.

When Jim Bob and Michelle were designing and planning the house, they realized this would be the case and planned the size accordingly. The large staircase in the center was a wish list item for Michelle – and has become the perfect place to pose for those treasured family photographs.

How big is the Duggar family home?

The all-steel home is 7,000 square feet large and was created by putting two pre-fabricated kits together to create one large house. Jim Bob and a crew of friends, including people from his church, finished constructing it in 2006. At the time the couple only had 16 kids, but they knew they’d have room for more (which eventually they did end up having).

But it’s not as though each kid has their own bedroom. In fact, there are only two children’s bedrooms – one for girls and one for boys. Even 29-year-old Jana Duggar, who is still unmarried, shares a room with her young siblings. Good news for the kids, however: they’re not all sharing a bathroom. There are nine of those throughout the house.

Downstairs, there’s a 2,000 square foot living space that can easily accommodate the giant Duggar family gatherings. “It’s about the same size as our whole other house,” Jim Bob Duggar said, speaking of the home they had before. The kitche has a gigantic countertop that’s four and a half feet wide by 20 feet long. There are also two sinks, two ovens, two microwaves, and two dishwashers. The Duggars purchased industrial kitchen equipment at auctions for hugely discounted prices.

How much did the house cost?

The house kits from Kodiak Steel Homes cost $82,000 each, but the original ones came with defective I-beams and the owner of the company allowed the Duggars to keep all the extras when he sent a new set. That meant Jim Bob was able to make the house 20 feet longer than originally planned.

The white house with a green roof and gigantic front porch sits on 20 acres of land. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are vocal about their method of not carrying any debt – including a mortgage. The Duggars make their money through Jim Bob’s real estate investment business. They also earned funds from filming the show, book sales, speaking engagements, and other businesses. The couple’s estimated net worth is around $3.5 million.