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I'm Building An Off-Grid Community (update 1): Tiny-Home Living

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posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 09:50 AM
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First off I could never do it. Well put it this way, with kids I couldn't lol. I just moved from a 1600 ft ranch (up and downstairs combined) to a 1600 sq ft ranch (just the upstairs. basement not finished but add'l 1600 sq ft). After living in the new place for about a month now I am so thankful we did not go any larger. In all honesty the old ranch was truly big enough, even though cramped at times. Mainly because we were sort of pack rats lol.

I would say 500 sq ft would be the smallest I would go with me and my wife. Have to have some space, especially in those winter months where you will be bunkered down for a while.

When you get this all setup it would be really cool to visit and take a look. Are you going to start a webpage or at least come back and post pics. I think we would all enjoy this.




posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 10:20 AM
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a reply to: Ghost147

I just want to say welcome to the Tiny House movement. It is real freedom and peaceful sleep once you have achieved your goals.



posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 10:36 AM
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a reply to: onehuman

That looks like a very nice relaxing space.



posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 10:39 AM
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a reply to: Ghost147

I am so into this...

And I am so envious :-)

It's not something I can do right now - but I have plans for (the hopefully near) future

Good luck and godspeed - I hope you'll keep us all up to date



posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 11:23 AM
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Cool idea. I had a similar idea to build a small off-grid compound that used smaller modular structures (same outside form factor with different interiors for different functions) to build personal abodes, with a larger centralized, common shelter, possibly with open-air pole barn type structures tying everything together.

Originally I was thinking about shipping containers, but they don't really make good living spaces, regardless of what you see online.

I'm a frustrated amateur Architect.




edit on 20-10-2015 by HighDesertPatriot because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 04:44 PM
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a reply to: Ghost147

That is a seriously dangerous stair case, especially for old folks. Suggest redesign? The railings need to be lower down so kids or shorter people can hold on to it. Also missing railings on 2nd floor as kids can fall and break their neck.
Maybe a back up ladder too in case the stair breaks.



posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 06:41 PM
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a reply to: Ghost147

I'm a supporter of tiny homes but I think people push the concept a little too far. I've lived in apartments that are 100 sqft before and cramped spaces do have a negative impact on ones state of mind. Right now I'm sitting in a large room 3x the size of said 100 sqft apartment, and the room has nothing in it other than a chair and a laptop cart. Being in an open space is mentally liberating. Additionally I have no desire to go off grid, there's no reason to do that in order to have an efficient place to live.

2000 sqft homes are too inefficient in my opinion, depending on family size but at the same time 200 sqft is taking things to the other extreme. There exists a happy medium between the two, for example your 550sqft home example is something that I would greatly enjoy but if I one day found myself with a family I don't feel like that would be enough space.
edit on 20-10-2015 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 06:56 PM
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originally posted by: olaru12
a reply to: Ghost147

I love the idea of small efficient living spaces. I have built 500 sq ft. solar adobes but never lived in one.

My fondest memories are when I lived as a gypsy in a PU with a camper shell. Total freedom....


Haha, well I don't know about the whole 'gypsy' thing, but my fondest memory too was traveling country to country after high school for a few years. Both are exactly what we're aiming for with this community, the escape from unnecessary bills, the escape from government/city reliance, the escape from preservative-packed foods, and just having our sights set on total freedom (while still being legal).


originally posted by: Kester
a reply to: Ghost147

You need good ventilation in the top of a dome or it turns into an oven with trapped insects circling like miniature vultures. Its likely to be out of reach unless you have an upper floor, so you'll need a reliable remote system for adjusting the ventilation. The hat covering the hole in the centre of your roof has to stay on in a storm. It's a vulnerable place to have an opening.


Yes, I was concerned about that too, tons of ventilation seems like it would be a must (not that there's anything wrong or costly with that)

I'm not quite sure it would be our first build, as our current crew is already very familiar with more common building methods, but I did want to build various shelters/small buildings every year or two (if funds permitted) that varied in style and complexity. This would definitely be one of those concepts that we could attempt once we're established.



originally posted by: pl3bscheese
This is more the size I'm looking for. Large bedroom and dining room, garage for car and space left over for my exercise equipment. It's larger than my apartment, not quite tiny, but not regular sized house either.

650sqft


That's not bad at all! Very livable. We were planning on building a detached garage to each home (or attached, depending on the design). It's definitely important up here to keep vehicles out of the weather in winter, not to mention you'll have more storage space too


originally posted by: HawkeyeNation
First off I could never do it. Well put it this way, with kids I couldn't lol. I just moved from a 1600 ft ranch (up and downstairs combined) to a 1600 sq ft ranch (just the upstairs. basement not finished but add'l 1600 sq ft). After living in the new place for about a month now I am so thankful we did not go any larger. In all honesty the old ranch was truly big enough, even though cramped at times. Mainly because we were sort of pack rats lol.

I would say 500 sq ft would be the smallest I would go with me and my wife. Have to have some space, especially in those winter months where you will be bunkered down for a while.

When you get this all setup it would be really cool to visit and take a look. Are you going to start a webpage or at least come back and post pics. I think we would all enjoy this.


Hey, never say 'never'! Haha. I'm not sure how many kids you have, but you should definitely take a look at that show I mentioned in the first post. There are numerous families that did build homes from 150-500 sq/f with 1-2 children ranging from toddlers to teenagers. It's not impossible, but it would have to be built right. Even then there are some great 800 sq/f houses out there with awesome designs that feel much much bigger. Take a look at this one!

We actually do have a website at the moment, but it's still being tweaked. Definitely not finished, or user friendly for the time being. When we start to get into the construction process, I'll be posting the link here on the forums for everyone to visit, comment, and brainstorm at.







Just add a basement and you have another 3 comfortable sized bedrooms



originally posted by: MOMof3
a reply to: Ghost147

I just want to say welcome to the Tiny House movement. It is real freedom and peaceful sleep once you have achieved your goals.


Thanks a lot! Even just thinking about living this way relieves a ton of stress.


originally posted by: makemap
a reply to: Ghost147

That is a seriously dangerous stair case, especially for old folks. Suggest redesign? The railings need to be lower down so kids or shorter people can hold on to it. Also missing railings on 2nd floor as kids can fall and break their neck.
Maybe a back up ladder too in case the stair breaks.


That particular home was designed for two young adults. I do think they added a railing after it's completion. Of course, that's the the only design possible. Most tiny homes like that one are highly customization and fitted to the owners needs and requests



posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 07:04 PM
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I still don't understand why the "Tiny House" fad is seen as some kind of evolutionary or modern movement.
Mobile home parks have been around for dozens of years.
It seems like the same thing to me.
Mobile homes can be very nice, are small, require good use of space and creative storage, and most even look homey and attractive on the outside as well as inside. Of course there are exceptions.
You also see them alone in pretty settings, on farmland, etc.
Mobile home parks sometimes got a bad rap over the years, but there are some very nice ones in our area, with pretty landscaping and higher end homes that are just... small. There are nearly 9 million in the US. www.epodunk.com...
They come in all sizes, from tiny, to large double-wide, etc.
And - they have been around for... ever.
We lived in a very nice one, about... 22 years ago.
So, I don't get this "Tiny House" thing, and how it is treated as something innovative.
edit on 10/20/15 by BlueAjah because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 08:00 PM
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a reply to: BlueAjah

I think the main difference is size. Sure, trailer homes are smaller than a standard sized house. In my area the average size trailer home is about 15x70 (so just over 1000 sq/f). Tiny homes are under 500 square feet. and the really tiny ones are under 200 square feet (like the one I posted in the OP). All the necessities a standard home has, but in an compact space.

I think the biggest difference between all of the sizes is that to make it comfortable, tiny homes must be innovative when designing storage space, sleeping space, kitchens, bathrooms and entertainment, otherwise it would simply be incredibly uncomfortable to live in.

The other main feature is that when you have 500 or less square feet, space is a commodity, so you can't have an excessive amount of 'stuff'. A big focus on tiny living is to give away, throw out, and sell all the things you don't use, and to realize you don't need a lot of the things that is pushed on us through consumerism.

You could do the same thing with any house size of course, it's just that it's easy to not implement these practices when you do have available space for 100 more shirts, or simply extra space to put things you'll never really use again.

And easy thing to try would be removing any clothing that you haven't worn for 6 months or a year. I know that I could probably get rid of about half of my wardrobe right now, and still have tons of variety for various occasions.




posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 08:29 PM
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originally posted by: Ghost147
You could do the same thing with any house size of course, it's just that it's easy to not implement these practices when you do have available space for 100 more shirts, or simply extra space to put things you'll never really use again.

And easy thing to try would be removing any clothing that you haven't worn for 6 months or a year. I know that I could probably get rid of about half of my wardrobe right now, and still have tons of variety for various occasions.



I used to be obsessed with stuff. In the past 6 years I've had the good fortune to moved 4 times and each time it provided me with the opportunity to function on less and less stuff, it was the second greatest thing to happen to me in my life. After the first move I said 4 car loads of stuff, then 3, then 2, and when moving into my current place I went with the rule that all I would move is what would fit into a single car load (I have an SUV, so it's a slightly bigger car load).

I said before that having a nice open space is mentally liberating, but so is having less stuff. I believe this is the key in what makes people enjoy tiny homes. When you have less stuff you aren't so focused on always having to acquire new items, maintain current items, or run the materialistic societal treadmill. I still enjoy new things of course, but I no longer feel compelled to have new things but rather it's purely utilitarian. I need less space, so I spend less rent. I'm more free to travel. I spend less money on things, and have more for experiences or saving. I also get to help others by getting rid of everything I am legitimately not using. Decluttering your life declutters your mind. Speaking just for myself, as a person whose brain is always going, always thinking about something, having less distractions in my life allows me to think more about the things I wish to think about, and better order my thoughts.

In short. Ever since I slimmed down to having far fewer things, I have found myself much more content with that aspect of life.



posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 09:34 PM
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a reply to: Ghost147

I see the appeal of it but like I mentioned in a previous post I have a hard time seeing how I could justify the cost of a tiny home when I could get an rv or travel trailer with slide outs and be easily mobile for near the same amount of money or far less money.

Out of curiosity have you looked at travel trailers or rv and if so what made you prefer the tiny
Home?

I guess I might be biased as we have a travel trailer which we love to travel with. eventually we plan to full time or half the year live in while we visit different parts of the country.

As far as the rest of the Stuff you are planning to do sounds awesome to me especially the aquaponics. Also applaud your choice coming from a standpoint of a simpler less ratt race lifestyle choice than coming strickly from a doomsday prepper mentality.


edit on 451031America/ChicagoTue, 20 Oct 2015 21:45:30 -0500000000p3142 by interupt42 because: (no reason given)

edit on 541031America/ChicagoTue, 20 Oct 2015 21:54:27 -0500000000p3142 by interupt42 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 10:08 PM
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a reply to: Ghost147
I am confused and intrigued; there are people that already live in 'mobile' 250 square foot homes on wheels they take from/to national parks destination points. They are called "RV'ers". Would these persons be a potential customer as used to living in a submarine 8' x 30' environment or are supposed to appeal to the generation X'ers and those that have followed age wise? What is the appeal to having a stationary house when one can (as a mobile home) move it around to sight see particular points of interest? Yours is a boutique market; make them smaller.
I am not certain your avatar would work as a good faith representative on a "Ted Turner or Clear Channel" Billboard. You might frighten potential customers.
edit on 20-10-2015 by vethumanbeing because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 10:28 PM
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originally posted by: vethumanbeing
a reply to: Ghost147
I am confused and intrigued; there are people that already live in 'mobile' 250 square foot homes on wheels they take from/to national parks destination points. They are called "RV'ers". Would these persons be a potential customer as used to living in a submarine 8' x 30' environment or are supposed to appeal to the generation X'ers and those that have followed age wise? What is the appeal to having a stationary house when one can (as a mobile home) move it around to sight see particular points of interest? Yours is a boutique market; make them smaller.
I am not certain your avatar would work as a good faith representative on a "Ted Turner or Clear Channel" Billboard. You might frighten potential customers.


The appeal of a tiny home is that you can have something a bit more sturdy and permanent. A small home, a pool outside, a plot of land, and an actual house. It's a bit different than living out of a glorified car.



posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 10:30 PM
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Are these prefabs hurricane proof?



posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 10:46 PM
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originally posted by: Aazadan

originally posted by: vethumanbeing
a reply to: Ghost147
I am confused and intrigued; there are people that already live in 'mobile' 250 square foot homes on wheels they take from/to national parks destination points. They are called "RV'ers". Would these persons be a potential customer as used to living in a submarine 8' x 30' environment or are supposed to appeal to the generation X'ers and those that have followed age wise? What is the appeal to having a stationary house when one can (as a mobile home) move it around to sight see particular points of interest? Yours is a boutique market; make them smaller.
I am not certain your avatar would work as a good faith representative on a "Ted Turner or Clear Channel" Billboard. You might frighten potential customers.


The appeal of a tiny home is that you can have something a bit more sturdy and permanent. A small home, a pool outside, a plot of land, and an actual house. It's a bit different than living out of a glorified car.

Some of these glorified cars cost in the neighborhood of 300,000 dollars and they have wheels and an engine to power movement. I live in a stick frame home 2"x6" walls 2"x10" floors and roof; 4 foot concrete foundation; understand the need for a sturdy permanent home (just not the 200 square foot doll house variety).
edit on 20-10-2015 by vethumanbeing because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 10:49 PM
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a reply to: vethumanbeing

Most tiny homes cost significantly less than that which is part of their appeal. Personally, I'm going to wait for 3d printing technology to improve a bit more, then use my 3d modeling skills and print out my ideal living space.



posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 10:59 PM
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originally posted by: Aazadan
a reply to: vethumanbeing

Most tiny homes cost significantly less than that which is part of their appeal. Personally, I'm going to wait for 3d printing technology to improve a bit more, then use my 3d modeling skills and print out my ideal living space.

You realize a printer that big will be made; produce puzzle parts . Its the cost of the injected plastic and if even to your states building code is the problem (meeting fire codes; plastics are toxic when ON FIRE). I wonder what it would be like to live in a LEGO home?
edit on 20-10-2015 by vethumanbeing because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 11:09 PM
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Its best to build Subterranean, like a Hobbit Burrow..you can use tires and rocks and dirt, and cover with logs and commercial rubber roofing mat. The interior can be cob. last for 1000s of years, generation after generation, with little maintenance. Automotive glass , like windshields can be incorporated, and very reasonably priced, and in every configuration. The object is to eliminate the powers of nature. if you can build above any water or landslide threat, then the rest is moot, especially high winds, and fire, and in the event of a bomb blast or Arial burst of an asteroid. either will have little to no affect, due to the use of tires, as they work as a shock absorber
Just ask Denis Weaver

Personally i would build it like a WW2 German Pillbox, with divider chambers and an automated turreted weapons platform.. in the event you are challenged..

edit on 20-10-2015 by SPECULUM because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 11:25 PM
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a reply to: SPECULUM
I totally agree; GO SMALLER or GO HOME. The other better alternative as you say, dig into a hillside partially subterranean let the earth itself heat and cool the exterior.


edit on 20-10-2015 by vethumanbeing because: (no reason given)



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