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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 @ 11:46 PM
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originally posted by: vethumanbeing
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.

Yep...The larger the home, the more maintenance and overall cost. 16'x16' is perfect, especially if you have porches on the outside and a crows nest or deck above. Ultimately you want to build below ground...Its more secure and Comfy




posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 11:51 PM
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a reply to: vethumanbeing

You can print more than plastic, you can also print metal and even concrete. China is using those materials to 3d print homes now, but they have lower building standards. In another decade the material research will meet our standards over here. The printers don't need to be that large either. Typically you print offsite, load the pieces on trucks, and assemble them together on site. No different than how a home built out of multiple shipping containers works.

As another poster mentioned, going into a hillside is nice too but I don't want to live at the top of a hill. My ideal location would be flat terrain next to a natural hot spring.



posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 11:54 PM
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Currently I'm building a small house in the Pacific Northwest (Washington state) The house is 1100 square feet and I think that it is pretty small for a full time residence.

I have looked at the tiny houses and I just don't want to go that small.

I'm building the house myself. You might incorporate into you plan the possibility of people helping/building their own houses in a cooperative fashion. That way, everyone would have a deeper appreciation for what makes up a house, and how to maintain one.

Best of luck to you. If we were closer, we might want to join up.




posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 11:56 PM
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a reply to: Aazadan
You are not at the top of any hill; you are inside of it. You must still pay for whatever the materials your home is made of. You also realize labor alone is 75% of your cost to build?

edit on 21-10-2015 by vethumanbeing because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 12:06 AM
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originally posted by: vethumanbeing
a reply to: Aazadan
You are not at the top of any hill; you are inside of it. You must still pay for the materials your home is made of. You also realize labor alone is 75% of your costs to build?


Being protected from a landslide while being in a hill requires being at the top of it.

And yes, I am aware of the costs to build a home.

It's the sort of thing that would be far in the future for me, if ever.



posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 12:09 AM
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originally posted by: Aazadan

originally posted by: vethumanbeing
a reply to: Aazadan
You are not at the top of any hill; you are inside of it. You must still pay for the materials your home is made of. You also realize labor alone is 75% of your costs to build?


Being protected from a landslide while being in a hill requires being at the top of it.
And yes, I am aware of the costs to build a home.
It's the sort of thing that would be far in the future for me, if ever.

Yes it IS possible; if you can think it and dream it; it will happen. It did for me because I WILLED IT and built it *high desert* no risk of flooding or landslides (no volcanic activity nearby not built on a seaside near a river or on an earth quake fault line).
edit on 21-10-2015 by vethumanbeing because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 01:34 AM
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originally posted by: interupt42
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.


Cost is really subjective to how you want to build and what you want to accomplish. I totally agree that many pre-fab builds are just insanely priced for the finished product. But I can also build a simplistic (empty) 400 square foot cabin for under $5,000 quite easily. Or a go all out with reclaimed materials and wood off the land and build it for almost nothing at all.

If you're having someone else do all the work, however, yes, they are far too overpriced.


originally posted by: interupt42
a reply to: Ghost147
Out of curiosity have you looked at travel trailers or rv and if so what made you prefer the tiny
Home?


No, we haven't, but that's mainly because we're not building mobile. We want a solid foundation and even a possibility for a basement. There's no real need for us to build with mobile in mind considering the whole purpose is farming, and we can't just pickup the aquaponics and move without it being quite a strenuous situation.


originally posted by: interupt42
a reply to: Ghost147
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.


Thanks! We'll be sure to keep everyone updated.



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".


Yes, small living quarters are nothing new. For our particular situations it's simply a matter of not needing to move. Where we have our aquaponics systems is where everything else is going to stay. Some people have tiny homes for mobile purposes, and you're right, they could very well buy an RV, but for us, there's simply no need to be mobile. Just energy efficient and sustainable.


originally posted by: vethumanbeing
a reply to: Ghost147
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?
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.


Hah, this avatar is on ATS and ATS alone
As for having the potential to move from place to place, as I mentioned earlier, our whole livelihood would be the aquaponics, and we aren't making those mobile considering their potential size. My wife also has OCD, and her particular tendencies wouldn't work well when it comes to our valuables and moving from place to place.


originally posted by: InTheLight
Are these prefabs hurricane proof?


I'm not quite sure, you'd have to ask the builders (we aren't building in hurricane areas)


originally posted by: Wildbob77
Currently I'm building a small house in the Pacific Northwest (Washington state) The house is 1100 square feet and I think that it is pretty small for a full time residence.

I have looked at the tiny houses and I just don't want to go that small.

I'm building the house myself. You might incorporate into you plan the possibility of people helping/building their own houses in a cooperative fashion. That way, everyone would have a deeper appreciation for what makes up a house, and how to maintain one.


Tiny homes are definitely not for everyone. But it's awesome to hear yet another person building their own home. Nice work!

As for communal building projects, that is actually one of our main focus' when it comes down to the whole community aspect to this project. Everyone working together to better the community as a whole. Of course, that too requires particular individuals with similar mindsets



posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 11:27 AM
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I've got a log cabin that's falling apart, I wish I could just start from scratch, but hey....you work with what you've got. I've also got goats, chickens, bees and a garden. Feel free to ask any questions.

1. Basement One of the benefits of my house is there is a concrete basement. Yes, I've had some leak/minor flooding issues. But it is always good to have an underground, cool (as in temp) place. Either as the ultimate safe room, or just perfect for storage. *Be sure and store tools in it in case you're taking refuge in it and the house collapses on top (tornado)...so you can dig your way out.

2. As far as house size, perhaps you could meet somewhere in the middle. A little more space than a tiny house, but smaller than a 'normal' house- which I agree are generally ridiculously too big. My parents used some kind of 4' brick to build their new home and it is crazy energy efficient- sorry I don't know what they're made of or called, but you could look into it. Shipping containers make solid and cost effective structures- modular, small but you can keep adding on. I don't know about Canada, but here stores like Lowe's and Home Depot offer pre-fab structures. There's a 2 level barn looking one for only about $12,000. It's just a shell, you'd have to figure out insulation, water, electric....but there is plenty of open room for a person or two to live comfortably.

3. I have MAJOR problems with mother nature here- Heat, grasshoppers, rabbits, my own goats, etc.- that make gardening a serious uphill battle. I too have been considering aquaponics. I would like the most absolute, basic setup. I haven't actually done anything yet but it seems like a really rad setup. Plants + fish dirty water= fertilizer water used by plants= filtered. Sorry I don't have any concrete tips yet.

4. When prepping, don't forget to stock up on alcohol. Everyone thinks I'm joking, but I'm serious! ATS Alcohol Thread


5. Back to the house situation, after working on an old house let me tell you: WATER DRAINAGE Almost all of my major problems right now are from leaks that were never properly fixed. Make sure your roofs are sloped and you have gutters and such. This is good anyways because you can harvest the rain water. They even have solar powered irrigation kits where you can water your plants with rain water with no expenditure of electricity.
INSULATION If you have a solid structure, with thick walls and good insulation your houses will be much easier to maintain. If you're doing a pier and beam setup, be sure the crawl space is closed off from the elements to protect your pipes.
DON'T SKIMP I can't tell you how many times I've come across some problem on this house that had clearly been 'ghetto rigged' at some point. Or something where clearly the cheapest materials were used. You get what you pay for. Do it right the first time and your structures will hold up much better over time, thus saving you money in the long run.



posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 03:01 PM
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originally posted by: ladyvalkyrie
I've got a log cabin that's falling apart, I wish I could just start from scratch, but hey....you work with what you've got. I've also got goats, chickens, bees and a garden. Feel free to ask any questions.


We are definitely going to be keeping chickens, and possibly bees. I would say definitely bees, but I may or may not be allergic to them, and although I'm not terribly worried about getting stung, if by chance I ever did, I would be quite a ways away from the nearest hospital. I'll definitely have to put more thought into it. However, I don't see why another member of the community could have their focus be on the bees anyway.



originally posted by: ladyvalkyrie
1. Basement One of the benefits of my house is there is a concrete basement. Yes, I've had some leak/minor flooding issues. But it is always good to have an underground, cool (as in temp) place. Either as the ultimate safe room, or just perfect for storage. *Be sure and store tools in it in case you're taking refuge in it and the house collapses on top (tornado)...so you can dig your way out.


We are definitely building a basement. As you said, it's a great place for storage, safety, or if any kids are born into the family.


originally posted by: ladyvalkyrie
2. As far as house size, perhaps you could meet somewhere in the middle. A little more space than a tiny house, but smaller than a 'normal' house- which I agree are generally ridiculously too big. My parents used some kind of 4' brick to build their new home and it is crazy energy efficient- sorry I don't know what they're made of or called, but you could look into it. Shipping containers make solid and cost effective structures- modular, small but you can keep adding on. I don't know about Canada, but here stores like Lowe's and Home Depot offer pre-fab structures. There's a 2 level barn looking one for only about $12,000. It's just a shell, you'd have to figure out insulation, water, electric....but there is plenty of open room for a person or two to live comfortably.


Both lowes and homehardware sell prefabs here as well, the only issue is that the design's for the smaller homes aren't really what we're looking for. Definitely cost effective with many of them, but there have been other designers that specifically build for smaller homes that have caught our greatest attention. In all likelihood we'll be building closer to 500 sq/f, just in case we do have children.


originally posted by: ladyvalkyrie
5. Back to the house situation, after working on an old house let me tell you: WATER DRAINAGE Almost all of my major problems right now are from leaks that were never properly fixed. Make sure your roofs are sloped and you have gutters and such. This is good anyways because you can harvest the rain water. They even have solar powered irrigation kits where you can water your plants with rain water with no expenditure of electricity.


I've worked for several years installing eaves trough, so I know full well how important water drainage is
We are definitely going to be collecting rain water, and making sure it's safe for various other uses. Hopefully becoming our main water/only source.


originally posted by: ladyvalkyrie
INSULATION If you have a solid structure, with thick walls and good insulation your houses will be much easier to maintain. If you're doing a pier and beam setup, be sure the crawl space is closed off from the elements to protect your pipes.


We're definitely taking a lot of consideration when it comes to insulation. We want cost effective, environmentally friendly, and a great R-value for our winters.


originally posted by: ladyvalkyrie
DON'T SKIMP I can't tell you how many times I've come across some problem on this house that had clearly been 'ghetto rigged' at some point. Or something where clearly the cheapest materials were used. You get what you pay for. Do it right the first time and your structures will hold up much better over time, thus saving you money in the long run.


For structure-based materials, absolutely. We want to focus on environmental impact as much as possible, but if quality is taken away and efficiency of that material is taken away, then that will effect us in the long run and our goal would have not been reached anyways.

As for other things, such as interior aesthetics and building materials, we will pretty much be using anything, so long as it can do the trick. Pallet-wood floors for example. It's free, and can look either more modern or super rustic!








posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 05:24 PM
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a reply to: Ghost147

If/when building your own floors be sure and use deck screws instead of nails to eliminate squeaking in the future.

Also, if building your own, be sure you're prepared with some serious clamps to keep the boards straight. I ended up with gaps in mine. Regular caulk didn't even cut it. I'm going to have to sand down the whole floor to an even plane, fill the gaps with concrete caulk....at this point the nice stain I have on my floor will be moot, seeing as how there's huge caulked cracks, so then I will have to use porch paint. If you do end up painting floors (or even staining) be sure you use products specifically designed for floors. I made the mistake of using a plain clear coat and it was torn up really quickly.

* PS I am in LOVE with concrete caulk lately! Lol! There's regular and self leveling. Self leveling is gooey and is ok for the floor because gravity pulls it down. However, on walls and other areas the regular concrete caulk is awesome. It dries super rigid. BUT when the house shifts it creates little cracks, so you have to go back over the concrete caulk with regular caulk. But then....like I said, I am in the process of ghetto rigging an entire house. You will have the luxury of building from scratch!

Good times!



posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 05:40 PM
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a reply to: ladyvalkyrie

Thanks for the tips
I figured we would need to use a few special tricks when using reclaimed materials; especially for something that is more commonly perfectly cut (like floors). It will be very exciting to get the Work-In-Progress photo's up for you guys to see.



posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 10:12 PM
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Mind you, this is a govt plot to get young people to accept less of a home than previous generations...calling it "cool", or even funnier, a "movement".

Give me a break.



posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 11:56 PM
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I've been fascinated by the idea of tiny homes. I have a few books on the subject. I went as far as to buy all the tools I need miter saw jig saw circular saw and on and on. My income is so small I don't know if I could actual do it. I only have $1000 a month to spend. There are thousands of abandoned homes in Detroit. I was thinking about going into the city to see what I can scavenge. I was thinking if I built one of moving to northern Michigan to get away from the city.



posted on Oct, 22 2015 @ 12:44 AM
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originally posted by: FlyingFox
Mind you, this is a govt plot to get young people to accept less of a home than previous generations...calling it "cool", or even funnier, a "movement".

Give me a break.


Hahaha, RIght... Because the government wants people to spend less, use less, totally reject capitalism, not have to rely on power or water companies, and avoid various taxes legally. lol, I think your logic is a bit off there, bud
edit on 22/10/15 by Ghost147 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 22 2015 @ 01:25 AM
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Don't overthink it.



posted on Oct, 22 2015 @ 02:44 AM
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originally posted by: FlyingFox
Don't overthink it.


That's not overthinking it. That's just thinking in general.

Honestly, Why would the government want this generation to consume minimally? I'm honestly asking you



posted on Oct, 22 2015 @ 07:22 AM
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Quick question out of both curiosity and boredom with my current daily life...I wanna fantasize.

Are there upcoming needs/projects you will be attempting to find people to consult or methods to investigate? Any type of work foreseeable that you will need a person qualified in X for? Again, it's not gonna effect me but I'm just intrigued as to what the set up will entail (I love projects/building/real life problem solving) since my dad, my aunt, and I just built a pretty nifty hydroponic (I think is what category it falls under) system-ground level, long troughs of water at waist level for more plants, hanging single vessels for herbs or more isolated plants (even in the 115 heat of the desert which usually ruins tomatos...they're tasteless here after spring...they grew like wild and tasted like candy to where veggie hating kids we're begging for daily raw ones). All runs as one system and made with home depot piping and tubes that cost cents to buy. And that's after growing the start of 4 frankincense trees that are two or three feet now and a few moringa (?) saplings. And my aunt is busy building a huge heap of dome houses. Like, 2 weeks to build just takes a few ppl, lots of space, cheap, and green. And what will be electric supply? The bike? Solar? Trash disposal? I guess I'm getting way ahead of myself....I know my few green projects got me all imagining what it'd be like to go all the way self sufficient. How about I'll go see what all a break away civilization needs to function then I can ask focused questions when I return.



posted on Oct, 22 2015 @ 07:47 AM
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a reply to: Ghost147'

Actually, living in a minimalistic way affords one more disposable income, which can also contribute to stimulating the economy.



posted on Oct, 22 2015 @ 08:59 AM
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originally posted by: AlexandrosTheGreat
Quick question out of both curiosity and boredom with my current daily life...I wanna fantasize.

Are there upcoming needs/projects you will be attempting to find people to consult or methods to investigate? Any type of work foreseeable that you will need a person qualified in X for?


The link in the OP is to the original topic, and you'll find more information in general there. To answer your question though, Yes, we will eventually open up the community for more than just the founding individuals. We want to establish everything with just us first to avoid any confrontations, and so it would be an easier transition for new individuals or families.

For instance, it would be better if we had a sizable Aquaponics farm going and well regulated so newer families would already have free food when they moved in. Just a lot less stressful for everyone really.

As for Electricity, it greatly depends on the location. For the most part we will be running on Solar, however, if we are able to find a place with moving water, and get the rights to the water, we'll look into hydro and wind energy as well. Again, there's more details in the link listed in the OP


originally posted by: InTheLight
a reply to: Ghost147'

Actually, living in a minimalistic way affords one more disposable income, which can also contribute to stimulating the economy.



You're very right. You would have an easier time saving, but many people go minimal because they don't feel that they need a whole lot of stuff. It's a bit of an oxymoron for a minimalist to go out and buy a whole bunch of stuff thanks to their minimal living.



posted on Oct, 22 2015 @ 09:02 AM
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a reply to: Ghost147

They need not buy stuff, but rather travel, continuous education, donate, ... enrichment of life.



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