For many of us, building an off-grid house is the ultimate dream come true. We’ve imagined living in a home we built with our own hands, growing our own food, making our own clothes, doing our own repairs. But, fortunately, this dream can be made into a reality. It takes time and effort, true, but ultimately the benefits—of having your own house that you’ve built by yourself, for yourself—outweigh the costs.
If you find yourself in this situation—wanting to build your own, off-grid house, but not sure where to start—then allow us to guide you. It’s best, of course, to start from the beginning; but what is the beginning, precisely? Well, first you need to choose a space where you’re going to build the house. The area you end up choosing—the rights to which you legally need access to, if you’re going ahead with this plan—must not be so far from society that you have difficulties getting help if you have an accident. Moreover, it’s best to join a rural community where there other folk around, since they can help you in your homesteading adventures—and so you can help them.
The second step is to plan out the design of the house. You can find many guides to this online and in books, so don’t be shy about consulting as many resources as possible. This is a house, after all; one wrong move, and the whole structure could collapse.
When designing, ensure that your house will not require high energy costs to run; lower energy costs are better in terms of “going off the grid”—as well as for your budget. You can do this by, for example, building an underground house; underground houses save money on heating and energy usage. Ensure that the design allows you to place energy-saving accessories—like photovoltaic cells and roof-mounted wind turbines—inside it and on the outside of its structure. These accessories are good for the environment, and they’re an essential part of getting energy off the grid.
The next thing you’ll want to decide is construction. Many off-grid houses are built out of wood, although many homesteaders incorporate metal and synthetic materials into the designs, too. The specific kinds of materials that you use will depend on what the weather and environment are like in your area. You’ll want something that’ll be strong enough to stand up to different weather conditions, and which is hopefully sturdy enough to withstand potential fires.
As for acquiring the materials, look up the least inexpensive rates in your area; you might be surprised at the deals you can find. Consider consulting the local DIY communities; they can probably help you find the cheapest deals possible.
Finally, when it comes to actually building the house, ask for help from your friends and family. Building a house can be long and time-consuming, and—if you do it alone, you won’t be motivated to continue. Friends and family can not only make the process more fun, but it’s also an unforgettable opportunity to bond with your loved ones.
All in all, building off-grid houses can be time-consuming—and even expensive—but it’s most certainly worth it. If you’ve considered building your own little house for a long time, now’s a time to seriously consider it. Many people have had great experiences with creating their own little habitations in the wilderness; maybe it’s high time for you to join their ranks.
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