Off grid building ideas

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Caribou

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Here is an article from a few years ago about water catchment. My favourite cistern is one built into the foundation.
 

viking

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Here is an article from a few years ago about water catchment. My favourite cistern is one built into the foundation.
We built our 1,100 gallon cistern at the top of our property, it gives us 25 psi in our home, no cost to pump, I love gravity flow.
 

haboob

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I am planning on starting off by getting a pole frame up and roof on then building under it. Backwards I know but . . . I really hate working in bad weather etc.
That only sounds backwards...when you build a pole house you have that option. I used it too and was able to stay out of the blazing sun. Another benefit of Pole Houses!
 

Tirediron

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Here is a list of 29 Tesla vehicle fires. Most are after crashes but several happened while parked, charging, or while being driven. This is only one brand and I'm sure a search of similar vehicles will produce similar results.
That is interesting, and kind of scary, as far as I can tell the company can still remote moniter the battery bank operation in real time, not a lot they could do is a crash, but the rest seem kind of like they should never have happened.
Not disputing that the whole electric car thing is pretty stupid in the first place unless one were to have an abundance of natural hydro electric power near by to charge them with. There is a local guy with one, and it costs him more to drive it, if he uses metered electricity at home,than it cost me to run my 500 cubic inch gas crew cab dually.
Batteries ALL of them are inherently dangerous.
 

Tirediron

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IBC totes are a great resource for a homestead, the cages make great firewood storage, if you cut the tank in half diagonal you can cover 2 cages with a nice thick plastic roof. cut the floor out of the tank and you have a nice covered storage pallet, if the tank is stained no one is going to see what is inside. clean tanks are a great start to a catchment system.
 

Biggkidd

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IBC totes are a great resource for a homestead, the cages make great firewood storage, if you cut the tank in half diagonal you can cover 2 cages with a nice thick plastic roof. cut the floor out of the tank and you have a nice covered storage pallet, if the tank is stained no one is going to see what is inside. clean tanks are a great start to a catchment system.

I second that.

And raise you one. If you remove the cage it makes a nice 2 man work bucket for the FEL. Granted I have forks for mine.
 

Caribou

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Batteries ALL of them are inherently dangerous.
True but some are more dangerous than others.

In all the years of working with lead/acid batteries I only blew one up. I was stupid and destroyed a battery. I also ruined a new pair of pants. No, not that, the acid ate holes all over them.
 

haboob

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Dr Jenner- Have you considered cargo storage units? I considered them but getting them to our location made it a no-go. I had drawn up some nice plans for using them, wish I coulda done it....
 

fordkh

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We are in the planning stages for building on our property and want to be completely off grid. Looking at solar and wind power, well/septic (scheduled for spring).
Also planning on building a shop, root cellar, good garden space/orchard, chicken coop, dog area, greenhouse and summer kitchen for canning/cooking.
Any thoughts on must haves for those of you who already live off grid? I am thinking we need a battery room close by (or part of) the house. Would also like to have a cold room/pantry and gun safe built in the house. Thinking the cold room should be a basement.
We are planning on building a small guest house first to live in (anywhere from 800-1000 sq feet) and then a larger home (about 2500 sq feet) in a couple of years. I am planning that my mom will likely need to come live with me once my dad passes.
This is the house plan I want to build first. We will live in this one while we save more money to build the bigger house. Thinking the storage area would be good for battery area, or maybe should build a separate shed next to it? Thanks in advance!
i buried a 63 merc station wagon, it lasted better than 30 years
 

Tirediron

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one big thing to consider when planning to go off grid is to avoid multiple phase changes, IE if you are going to heat with solar, use it directly, IE heat collection panels, for hot water etc, and store the heat in well insulated tanks.
Solar electric into a electric hot water tahk is probably about as efficient of a phase change as you are going to get, but it all requires a lot of research
 

viking

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[QUOTE="Tirediron, post: 407579, member: 118"
one big thing to consider when planning to go off grid is to avoid multiple phase changes, IE if you are going to heat with solar, use it directly, IE heat collection panels, for hot water etc, and store the heat in well insulated tanks.
Solar electric into a electric hot water tahk is probably about as efficient of a phase change as you are going to get, but it all requires a lot of research
[/QUOTE]
Electric water heaters are huge current users, just to have enough to run them on solar power would add thousands of dollars, a glycol solution (anti-freeze) from heat collecting panels to water heating system storage would be far better, Tirediron is right on the mark. Always keep in mind that anything that needs large amounts of current to run is not solar compatible, all electric clothes dryers, all electric stoves, high wattage electric bathroom or bedroom heaters, these things will draw down the solar storage batteries fast, especially after the sun goes down.
 

Cascadian

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Not off grid but relating to food storage. We couldn't really do a basement for several reasons. One is our water level is 24 inches in winter. We also considered a separate block house but that was a little too conspicuous. While reading this thread it occurred to me we could use part one of our cargo containers. I was thinking we could frame out a room 8x15 or so on all sides like a cube and add lots of insulation. It would be out of sight and pretty secure.
 

Tirediron

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If I was to build again, I would build a pad a foot or so higher than the surrounding area, then build like I was building a basement, with the plan to mound the perimeter, except for where windows and doors would go, then probably do a well insulated metal roof, so that the effect would be kind of like a basement with a loft. 0eliminating all of the below grade headaches while using the earths thermal mass.
 

SheepDog

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When I build again I will build a basement - underground house - with steel and concrete from base to ceiling. Then I will build a home on that foundation. Access to the buried part will have to be from the outside, through a tunnel or some such thing. As far as the county knows it is a foundation and not a basement. I will likely heat it and supply lighting and water but it will never be a comfortable living area.
 

Neb

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If I was to build again, I would build a pad a foot or so higher than the surrounding area, then build like I was building a basement, with the plan to mound the perimeter, except for where windows and doors would go, then probably do a well insulated metal roof, so that the effect would be kind of like a basement with a loft. 0eliminating all of the below grade headaches while using the earths thermal mass.
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Yup.

The Princess would be happy with that had enough room for her books and my shop.

Ben
 

Caribou

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If I was to build again, I would build a pad a foot or so higher than the surrounding area, then build like I was building a basement, with the plan to mound the perimeter, except for where windows and doors would go, then probably do a well insulated metal roof, so that the effect would be kind of like a basement with a loft. 0eliminating all of the below grade headaches while using the earths thermal mass.
A friend has a house where the water table is a foot or two down. There is a trap door and a hand dug well. The water is very high in tannin and really not something you want to make your coffee with. It is suitable for flushing in an emergency but will stain the commode if used for very long. A Berkey or Katadyn would probably do the trick. Their water is mostly rain catchment into a 5,000 gallon plastic cistern.
 

Tirediron

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lloyd kahn runs a interesting outfit, Shelter Publications there is a lot of off grid , "alternative stuff there. lots of ideas and things a person might not otherwise think of
 

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