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I personally want a blog or place I can record progress and this is probably the best place as others can see it as well as myself. I know others who did it used YOU TUBE or created there own website as I have been reviewing them, as I want to keep tabs on everything from cost to the last board used.
The IDEA is to build a 30 x 30 (Living Space) Home : Excluding the Porch 10 X 30. This Home I want to be 100 % Free of sources of energy that one day I might not be able to get. These things can and will run out one day, perhaps not in my lifetime but I want my family to not have any hidden expenses. So it will not only be SOLAR only, I will have WIND TURBINES as well. Though I mentioned these are the PRIMARY sources of power, I already own a gas powered generator that I will also incorporate into the design as a third source of power. Even though the water will come from a water well powered by solar & wind, I will have a water catch system that I will implement near or at the end of the project. You must always have a secondary if you are going to be off grid if you want to be prepared as best as possible in my opinion. This is why both Wind and Solar are needed as you do not know when the SUN wont shine; Hopefully there is WIND! And if those two fail, I will have the generator to at least charge the batteries back up.
Well, its settled that we will build a home instead of financing anything. In addition to this, I will not be making any loans as me and the wife discussed this it will take about a year to complete with a tight budget. Basically no more spending money unwisely as every penny counts just like you count those watts I must now do the same with a penny. Sounds like ramen noddles is about to become a standard meal! In the end I think it will be worth it doing it check by check and working on it the two weeks I am home from work. As I work offshore 2 weeks out, 2 weeks in I believe I can do this in ruffly about 9 months. There is already several things there over the years, some of which will need to be fixed, modified, upgraded or replaced all together. We decided on a plot where we will build it, however at the moment there is a shed there that I must tear down in order to even get started.
I plan on taking pictures on progress and posting them as I go along, Listing actual cost of each purchase / trip to Lumber store. I drew the home in Auto Cad up to the Floor Joist so I can count the actual number of pieces of lumber I will need with each purchase. The reasoning for doing it on the PC with autocad I can get exact counts on the wood I must purchase as it can get expensive quickly. So there is no room for error, But I have time to fix the error prior to it happening. For the Solar & Wind End : I plan on using my income tax check to purchase the entire thing at the same time, as it should be about the same time I am ready for it. I know currently I am using 2100 watts a hour in a 1440 sq foot (1988) trailer with poor insulation. The house will be 900 sq foot with new insulation. Some things I know I will do about this house is that I will run as much on 12 DC volts internally as possible but will also install 120 AC volts and power those with inverters. When I get to this point in the project, I am surely going to post pictures and inquire as to the best configuration for what I have done in the project thus far. Though I plan on having a refrigerator, microwave, stove and all the same luxuries we have now, I been reading upon wood burning stoves as a secondary source to cook and to heat the house. As with all things they is more than one way to fry a fish or something, I will try to have two ways to do everything built into the home.
There is a fellow that did just what I plan on doing by doing it check by check and it took him 9 months working a full time job. Seeing as I have 2 weeks off at a time I see no reason for me not to complete it in the same time range. Though the only difference is that I only get paid twice a month which this will dictate how far I can progress each time I am home. You can see the small cabin / house he build at http://littlehouseonthehill.weebly.com/ I emailed him and asked him if I can use / post anything from his site and he said yes and was flattered by it. Glad I ran across his site when I was looking for small home designs. As for now, when I cant do anything worth wild via money or weather I will continue drawing in autocad; Which I will post some of the drawings below and cost of what I have found locally for my area.
For me to even begin I have some Prepping to do with the area I wish to build.
Clean up the Land from items that are in the way.
2.)Must Rebuild Shed in a new area as this is the Lawnmower and other types of equipment storage. However it is currently big enough to house two vehicles and the new one does not need to be as large.
3.)Before I actually build I must do the things above, at this point I must see about getting a BUILDING PERMIT.
What is there already?
Water Well - 3 years not in use - Will be checking into it.
Septic - 3 years not in use - Will be checking into it.
Electric Pole - In use with a Light Now - Must see if the light can remain or must be removed.