Small Custom Home Designed for Solar & Wind -OFFGRID

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.

Preparation:

Clean up the Land from items that are in the way.

1.)Shed

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.

Views: 99

Tags: &, -, Custom, Designed, Home, OFFGRID, Small, Solar, Wind, for

Comment by Ryan Paul Romero on September 23, 2013 at 3:53pm

This is a picture of Tim's House which is my inspiration.  His is 20 x 20 excluding the porch, but I will be going 30 x 30 as I have kids still at home with me.

So as he has it I will be duplicating much of it except size.  I have in Autocad a layout of the exact count of post,sills,and joist which I can use to calculate cost.  Below is a JPEG, However it originally was in Autocad in the DWG format for Autocad.  As I move along in the design I have no problem in sharing the Autocad drawings themselves.  

Well its time to go look at the landscape, I will take some photos of what I must tear down tomorrow.  Today I must just go clean up the area from any types of equipment prior to tearing it down.

Comment by Ryan Paul Romero on September 23, 2013 at 7:08pm

Well, started clearing out all the stuff that was around the shed. It was some of my dads junk wood and old metal parts for tractors back in the day. Below you see after I already picked up most of the stuff, except the cart and grass (Still to wet for that, rained today). Couldn't get it to budge as the wheels are stuck in the grass, tomorrow I will work on that.  Both of those sheds must be torn down, also you can see the electric pole there.  It still has a light running on it from the electric company, once upon a time the water well had its on meter on that pole.  

Then that small extension shed had the water well in it.  So I went take a look as to what I must deal with, replacement or anything that may be salvageable.   Boy it was a mess in there, took a little while to clean it up.

You know, I wasn't about to spend hours on this as the sun was setting.  I got out my pressure washer as I new most of it would have to be replaced anyway if not all.  

Looks like about the only thing worth reusing for the water well is likely the break boxes and some of the wire, well and the electric pole to mount stuff on.

The water purifier i'm not sure I want to use it as it requires a type of salt.  Not sure if that will be feasible at some point in the future as I want it to where no outside connection needed.  Though for those who inquire, it runs on 24 volts DC.  Found a 120 v to 24 DC rectifier connected to it.

I did not open the cover to the cement cover to the septic motor yet, but I did go take a look at it.  The outside of it appears to be intact fairly well.  Tomorrow I will go get a better photo of it, figure out what sort of power it takes.  All this stuff we just stop using around 3-5 years ago when we moved, this stuff just remained there sitting and collecting spider webs.  But none of it was left due to it being broken are anything, it was just disconnected.  From what I understand in order to reuse this, it has to be flushed and cleaned in Louisiana.  This particular one is a giant cement tank underground.   When originally purchased for it was in the 6k range for its size, hopefully this will be the case that it can simply be reused after cleaning with Louisiana Law.  It was purchased to be the tank for 3 homes, hence the extreme size.  However, things never go as planed and it was installed and left there.

Anyway, tomorrow there is a lot of work to do.  As it is to late to work on this without sunlight, so I will work in Autocad on the design for now.

Comment by Ryan Paul Romero on September 23, 2013 at 10:07pm

Did a little figuring for the foundation cost for the 30 x 30 Design : 

6x6x8 Pressure Treated (20) post (home depot 21.97)(lowes 21.97)                      total price = $439.40

2x6x10 Pressure Treated (60) Skirting (home depot 7.57)(lowes 7.57)                   total price= $454.20

2x8x10 Pressure Treated (12) Sills (home depot 11.97)(lowes 11.97)                     total price= $143.64

2x8x10 Pressure Treated (72) Floor Joist (home depot 11.97)(lowes 11.97)           total price= $861.84

4x8 (23/32") Plywood for Sub-Floor (32) Sheets (home depot 23.97)(lowes 23.97) total price= $767.04

This does not include the braces, screws, etc. I will find prices and calculate those soon.

Comment by Ryan Paul Romero on October 3, 2013 at 12:24am

Well, time to return to work for two weeks. I did tear down one shed, concrete slab below it....gave me a idea. I moved my four panels from the cart to : Two 4x4's cemented in the ground with the metal rod thru them. I will make my rotating solar farm there. As this spot...Nothing blocks it from the sun as it will be the best place to put them I believe. Sadly the vid, was 25 megs no time to reduce it headn to work in a few hours. Hopefully when I get back I can do a little more work on it. Also going to work on lamp conversions to 12 volt using the HF light kits that came with the 45 watt set.

Anyway.. for now, see you in two weeks.

Comment by Ryan Paul Romero on December 20, 2013 at 2:34am

Well, I am still working on this Project, which I project will take a year to complete.  Since the original Idea much has changed in it.  Mostly due to the Permits , ETC.  Because of this and my concern for the future I decided to go a little bigger and make it a full home. I am currently working on the plans as to code : so many codes...so many...I dont wish to do this a second time, and I dont know how much time we have.  Because of this : the house will be able to use both City and Solar.  As I planned I will be able to run the house with solar or city.  So there will be two stoves, One both wood burning, one with your standard city power.  I am doing this build with 2 ways to do everything.  The stove we chosen that we will get it quite remarkable and here is why.  Its Pioneer Princess that has a tank to boil water as well.  With a 12 volt pump if need be I could pump that water into the hot water tank.  You get the idea.  As I am still working on the prints to comply with code; this is all being added into the plans.  As I have the foot print of the plan, It still may change as I continue due to other things that come up at a later stage.  The 2009 imperial code book is what I must follow for my area...Which is about 40 bucks or you could find a torrent...Anyway, I didn't give up or anything just I expanded to basically a house that will be designed around two ways to do everything.  More updates later as the prints are nearing completion.

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