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Off Grid Living

Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:07 am
by sarah83
Has anyone built an off-grid cabin for early retirement?

I'm looking to build one in my ranch.

Any guidance, tips/advice for a novice?

Re: Off Grid Living

Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:24 am
by mathewsmith12
Hi Sarah,

I've been looking at building on my plot of land in Texas for a while.

Not sure how much I can offer with personal experience, but for advice I've read a lot of good books over the last few years.

Do you have any specific questions?

First, I think you should try and get down on paper what you'd like to actually build- I found this the hardest part. Using existing log cabin plans will help you with this.

Also, one thing that comes up often is whether to use a kit of self build, do you have any thoughts about this? In terms of cost self builds are normally much cheaper and last longer :)

Hope this helps!

Re: Off Grid Living

Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:51 pm
by halfmoon
Where is your ranch? Is it well-situated for solar or wind power? Keep in mind that having surges of wind doesn't necessarily mean that a wind turbine is appropriate.

Being off-grid, you should plan the site and design for your cabin to optimize power generation within minimal distance. The further your transmission line, the more line loss at low voltages. If you're going to have solar panels on the cabin roof, position it with a south-sloping aspect. Realize that any trees to the south will only get bigger, so be prepared to cut them when necessary.

If you plan to have a well, you'll need to think about how you're going to pump water. Again: keep the house reasonably close; if possible, put the well in first. It's surprising how many people site their house to be aesthetically pleasing and just assume they'll find water right next to it.

There are MANY factors to consider in siting and building an off-grid cabin. As @mathewsmith12 says: there are a lot of good books out there. Also magazines, websites and YouTube. Have fun! :D