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Now that you're getting your power from the sun and wind, it's time to get yourself off the city water and sewer line.
There are more than 17 million homes in the United States that get their water from private wells [source: The Groundwater Foundation]. In the next section, we'll look at what you may to need to augment your solar, wind and water systems. With a lot of people not affording financially a large house or apartment like they used to in the 1990s and which you commonly see paraded provocatively on TV shows or movies, the tiny home option has become increasingly attractive. Hello- can I ask where you bought your tiny home structure…It is a nice one for the price. About usGoodshomedesign is an online home design magazine but do not sell the products reviewed or showcased on this site. Being an avid outdoorsman, Alexander didn’t need a lot of indoor space, but as an author, videographer, and off-the-grid builder, he did need need modern amenities including a cell phone, Internet access, electric lights, indoor toilet, and shower etc., and he has them.
Contributing to the conversation are Laura LaVoie, who, along with her partner Matt, built an off-the-grid tiny house in the mountains of North Carolina. Tiny house, off-the-grid living is a good way to reduce your ecological footprint, save money -- "Our bills for energy and water are zero dollars,” explains LaVoie -- and simplify life down to the things that truly matter. She points out that with tiny house, off-the-grid living, the drawbacks can be the same as the benefits.
Emptying the composting toilet, hauling water and the other “challenges” that come with tiny, off-the-grid living were, for Mueller, part of the allure. Alexander says that the biggest challenges involve government regulations and “burdensome codes.” He also mentions outside interference from neighbors and businesses in the area, securing an adequate water supply, and, if you live in a rural area, isolation and making money in a rural economy. Regarding zoning issues, all three recommend talking with local authorities as regulations are different in different counties, towns, and even neighborhoods. For LaVoie, the connection between tiny houses and off-the-grid living is one of personal preference.
Mueller points out that there’s a DIY element that connects the tiny house and off-the-grid movements. She adds that because many tiny houses are built on wheels—a necessity to bypass building codes—they can't use traditional utilities (a septic system for example), so off-grid methods are often used even if the house is parked in a location with access to the grid.
LaVoie: We worked with an online company called the Alt-E store and put together a solar power package that was exactly what we wanted. Mueller: [The cost] completely depends, but in our case when our tiny house was parked in an off-grid location, we only had to purchase a small propane tank once every few months for heating and we purchased water, which we hauled up in large jugs. Older homes can be remodeled for off-the-grid efficiency or there are many small off-grid cabin designs like mine that people can use and modify to fit their needs. My cabin cost under $2,000 to build and about $5,000 for the off-grid system and I believe a smaller off-grid home under 400 square feet that is very efficient and also nice and comfortable to live in can be built for under $20,000, and much less if people are using recycled materials and doing the work themselves.
If going without is not an option, there are several options for generating electricity for an off-the-grid house, but solar is the most affordable. Alexander’s current system is 580 watts solar, a 400 watt wind turbine, and propane for heating and cooking with a wood stove back-up.
Finding a water source is one of those things that you’re going to want to research before you buy land. Alexander, who has a hand-drilled well and a 300 foot deep Artesian well, warns that if you’re using rainwater to supplement household usage, it must be filtered and treated to make it safe for consumption.
Outhouses are a proven solution for dealing with human excrement, but composting toilets offer a solution that can be brought indoors, have all the comforts of the modern toilet, and are allowed in many rural areas. Alexander and LaVoie both recommend the book The Humanure Handbook: a Guide to Composting Human Manure by Joseph C. Another question that arises is, if you’re off-the-grid, how do you deal with details such as garbage, recycling, mail and internet.
The big picture takeaway on becoming an off-the-grid, tiny houser is that there are countless possibilities when it comes to building a home that's right for you. UK-based Kingsley Architects have put a new spin on traveling the country in a mobile home.
The SolarHome is lined with observation windows, so travelers can enjoy their trip while simultaneously saving energy that would be used by artificial lighting. The home operates off-grid, utilizing solar power that is collected from panels on the roof, which are arranged around skylights that light the interior.
The SolarHome is an innovative floating residence or vacation home that doubles as transportation while making little environmental impact on its surroundings. Please note that gratuitous links to your site are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments.
An integral part to keeping water wells in proper working order, water well pumps maintain such a system.
And yes, that’s a propane water heater for the outdoor shower which you can see in the video below.
But if you were there you can choose to go in nature, build an outhouse nearby or go visit mom! Max also helps out his mom with duties around the house and the homestead while he’s there on the weekends so it turns out to be a perfect exchange. If you enjoyed this school bus to cabin conversion you’ll love our free daily tiny house newsletter!
We have to meet certain size requirements to be or stay off-grid and be road worthy and we also want to have an eye toward being ecologically friendly by keeping our carbon footprints down, but after that I say anything goes. Well WaterBoy Products now offers the original and innovative Pedal Powered PTO™.  A heavy-duty human-powered machine for off -grid living. The unique PTO is essentially a work station where multiple devices can be set up around it.
Many devices that use a shaft and pulley or sprocket (a grinder, washing machine, water pump, alternator, air compressor, thresher, grindstone, drill, saw, sander, etc.) can be adapted to the PTO.
Inexperienced riders can maintain a small charging system for emergency use such as pictured above. Experienced riders, especially groups of strong riders, are able to charge larger batteries such as pictured right with two 6-volt, deep-cycle batteries wired in series for 12 volts: The Pedal-Powered PTO is also designed and built to be handed down for generations.
Because of the PTOs mechanical advantage, the unit can operate a low-RPM alternator to generate electricity, making it useful for inexperienced riders and allowing experienced riders to put in more time. To get you started with the possibilities of your Pedal Powered PTO, it comes with a 6″ belt pulley that can be used for a grain grinder.
MY TINY HOUSE DESIGN CONCEPT: THE LIVING TINY HOMEThis contest was a no brainer as far as which category I was going to choose. Thanks for your reply and your blog link, I checked out the rest of your images and love the whole concept.


Although, I very much like the addition of climbing greenery to the end walls (solar shading?) I'm not sure how those tenacious tendrils will effect the wall cladding.
Simple Solar Homesteading is a Not-For-Profit social and cultural service organization dedicated to producing affordable off-grid housing designs and projects so that everyone everywhere can have a safe and sustainable home. The great thing about water is that it's everywhere -- it runs beneath your feet as groundwater and falls from the sky as rain.
The principle is simple -- a hole is dug or drilled deep into the ground and a pump draws out the water. A septic system is basically a large metal tank that collects and releases your wastewater.
An off the grid tiny house is even more sought because it gives the owner a financial freedom that they wouldn’t find with another accommodation option. We try to show you what is new and beautiful in this area, arranged in several categories (apartments, ideas, interior design, home decor, home design, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, furniture, hotels & resorts, architecture) related to the area and style. For him, self-sufficiency, including gardening, raising animals and “doing for ourselves” was normal and necessary. Alexander says his tiny house is easy to clean, cheap to heat and cool, and he has no house payments or monthly utility bills. Mueller suggests calling your local town office to ask questions before making any long-term plans. Because of this, off-the-gridders often choose to live in rural areas in counties that want to increase their tax base and may be more open to alternative structures.
Having a life with less stuff and more experiences is a big driver of the tiny house movement. It included two 245 watt panels, a 45 amp charge controller, and three 110 amp hour AGM batteries. There are, of course some other minor costs but paying nothing for energy helps to offset those.
Our solar system is a pre-made unit called a Sol Man (manufactured by a company called Sol-Solutions) and cost about $5,000.
You can be a minimalist and go without any electricity using wood stoves or propane for heat and candles and lanterns for light, and a basic yurt, cabin or other house style.
Land, water and a power system are not included in that figure because they vary greatly depending on your needs, the area, and where you want to live.
Alexander explains that one quarter of the world’s homes do not have a grid electricity connection. At approximately $1 per watt you can have an inexpensive system for basic power needs for under $5,000. If you have access to a river or stream, you could look into hydro power for generating some of your electricity.
LaVoie recommends getting an energy meter before making any decisions to figure out what your electrical needs are. He does passive cooling with fans, porches, overhangs and trees, and refrigeration is done using a converted freezer run off solar. Most counties require an approved source such as a city water connection, a professionally drilled well, or a cistern tank with a delivery system. He explains that giardia is a “real problem” with rain water but it is safe for washing clothes and flushing toilets. Making the move requires a big, hands-on commitment, but it’s a lifestyle change that, according to LaVoie, can be personally fulfilling.
Rather than loading up a gas-guzzling Winabago, the firm has designed an eco houseboat that can safely transport you through the waterways in style.
The kitchen and living area of the eco house boat is open-air, allowing for cross ventilation, while an overhanging roof protects passengers from rain and the elements. North East Germany probably means that air conditioning needs are minimal, but then so is the vertical sunshine.
Lamar Alexander built this cute little 400 square foot cabin for approximately $2000, and powers it with a 570 watt solar and wind power system. The information contained on this website is for educational and information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Not only do we intend on providing only the best pumps for our clients, we begin the process by inspecting the grounds on which you wish to build the system. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. I think the Tiny House Movement should be broad enough to accommodate as many tastes as possible. Then, depending on the output load and the operator’s strength, one or more devices can operate at the same time.
Less effort is required to charge a small deep-cycle battery to operate low-watt 12-volt lights, charge flashlights, cell phones or radios.
Though, I'm not sure exactly where the pullout wardrobe is that divides the room unless its the rectangular unit in front of the euro style, wet-bath. Love the use of the roof for solar lounging but how will you insure a leak-proof topper as I'm assuming, of course, that the green shown isn't AstroTurf?
There are many regulations that apply to private wells, so you should only use a licensed well driller.
Home cistern systems have large aboveground or underground tanks made from concrete, steel or fiberglass.
Bacteria in the tank break everything down causing it to separate naturally into a top scum layer, bottom sludge layer and middle liquid layer. In the video provided here you can witness the installing of a rain gutter for the rain water collection at the site of an Off Grid Solar Cabin. He tried city life after college, but says he felt like a slave to a house, bills and employers.
Alexander lists Colorado, Oklahoma, Alaska, Wyoming, Arkansas, and Missouri as some of the states that promote off-the-grid living. It cost us about $26,000 to build our tiny house, but people have built similar tiny houses for much more and much less, depending on how they were sourcing their materials and the amount of building experience they have.
Or, you can build a very high-tech green home with the latest Leed's sustainability guidelines, which can be very expensive. Alexander says the best tip he can give is to first study how you can greatly reduce your power consumption using more efficient appliances and non-power using appliances. We have an air pressurized shower sprayer that holds two gallons of hot water and is plenty to ensure that we are clean.” She adds that one of the biggest culprits for water use in a traditional household is flushing the toilet. LaVoie uses a dry composting, sawdust toilet that she describes as “easy to manage.” She adds that there are commercially available composting systems, but they can get pricey.


Alexander explains that most rural people have an incinerator barrel and what is left over is hauled off occasionally. The SolarHome can be used to turn your road trips into sea trips – or you can just dock it trailer park style.
The roof is also planted with green grass to prevent solar gain, and filter rain water during storms. We ensure proper placement and promise that our well pumps are self-serving devices – maintaining the fullness of a tank. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. As far as design, I wanted to do something that was different in terms of a small house layout. Great use of transformative furniture in your design and the multifunctional spaces in your tiny home. It's built on casters so that it can slide out from under the entertainment area without actually moving the unit itself.
I'm also assuming the queen bed is the couch after pulling the rest of it out from under the kitchen floor space.
According to the EPA, roughly 15 percent of homes in the United States get their water on their own, so there's no reason why you can't be one of them. The water from your rain gutters is channeled into the cistern and then pumped back into your home as you need it.
As new wastewater flows in, the liquid in the tank flows out into a series of buried perforated pipes that release the water over distance into a drain field. The building is completely self-sustained, with a couple of 250 watt solar panels supplying a 500 watt Solar Panel System and a wind power turbine. If you really have something good, we will publish it with your own name in our online magazine. Within the tiny house movement, there's a contingent who are taking the simplicity, sustainability and freedom of tiny houses to the next level by building their tiny homes off the power grid.
Hand-drilled, shallow wells and rainwater catchment can be used for agricultural purposes, but these generally don’t meet county codes. Alexander designed and built a solar enhanced composting toilet that keeps the microbes at a higher temperature so they work faster to compost the waste. Ideal for those living away from active water services, Arthur’s ensures you comfortable living on your “off-the-grid” property. I wanted to maximize every ounce of 160 sq feet of living space as I could as well as create multifunctional rooms for living. I'll check back on your blog every now and then to see your updates and hopefully the finished pixs of your new home. Good call on the cat business being handled outside, love cats but the lingering scent leaves a need for incense, etc. The cost of a private well ranges from $3,000 to $15,000, depending on how deep you need to go. If your cistern is above ground and higher than your faucets, you can use the weight of the water as pressure to get it into your home.
Soil acts as a biological filter, keeping the harmful bacteria buried beneath the ground until it's eventually absorbed as nutrients.
The inhabitants are keeping their food cold with the help of a Coleman refrigerator and have a Wood stove installed inside for heating. A solar and wind powered off-the-grid cabin with a kitchen, bathroom and living room downstairs and a bedroom and office upstairs. The only other investment we made for our off-the-grid lifestyle was our Berkey water filter which cost around $300. There is some small cost for fuel like propane and butane but it is really less than about $20 a month.
When docked, it can be switched into docked mode, which takes advantage of power and water hook ups. The owner of this website disclaims all warranties expressed or implied regarding the accuracy, timeliness, and completeness of the information provided.
Physically fit, experienced riders can generate more watts, thus powering devices requiring greater loads.
The structure has a flat roof taking advantage of maximum road height requirements of 10' 6", and it also has a custom made low boy trailer letting occupants gain extra inches in head space.The first thing I did before I deciding on a design was browse the endless amounts of Pins and photos online, and found inspiration in some of the micro sized apartments you see in New York and overseas. A composting toilet is fitted inside as well so the off-grid characteristic of the home is 100% accurate. It cost him $2,000 to build not including the recycled doors and windows, the front porch, and the solar system. What striked me as the most important elements of good (small) design were: Multifunctional spaces. The soil is kept in a container near the bottom and the greenery is woven through chicken wire so nothing actually grows onto the siding itself.
Take the video tour provided here; you will be impressed by how awesome a tiny home like this one can look. Do not wire money in any way without first seeing the home (or other product), checking title, and doing your proper due diligence.
As for the rooftop deck, it is comprised of lightweight, waterproof material that includes a vapor control layer, waterproof membrane, protection mat drainage layer w(hich sends any excess water to a gutter.rain collection system), and the soil and grass. Another benefit of a private well is that you'll be able to avoid local watering restrictions during periods of drought. If you live near a major source of pollution, like a major expressway or factory, then you should avoid going with a cistern. If you want drinkable water, it's best to have a metal or clay roof because it's cleaner than a shingled one. Shingled roofs can be used, but they require a pre-filtering system before the water is deposited into the tank.
If you're interested in harvesting rainwater, consult your local green building professional.




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