Off Grid, Author at Off-Grid

Simple Off-Grid Cabin That Anyone Can Build & Afford

Looking to ditch the hustle and bustle of the city to reconnect with the great outdoors? Wishing you could build your own cabin but worried about the construction costs and labor that goes into it? Good news – you can use the cabin plans (+ useful tips) offered by Dave and Brooke of Bushradical YouTube channel, to DIY a small (10*12 ft) peaceful and cozy off-grid cabin on the cheap. (PS: You don’t need super-advanced skills to pull this off — just your dedication to the task).

Some of the main considerations include:

• Location: The location is arguably the most important part. It defines the size of the structure and determines whether it serves its purpose. To quote Dave, “pick a spot that feels right… where a cabin feels like it belongs.” Take care to consider what it will be like in different weather conditions, access, safety (under a redwood tree for example puts you at risk of huge falling branches).

• Foundation: With a small cabin, the team suggests that you don’t need to do a “real” foundation. Instead, they used concrete footing pads with wooden piers – and floor joists fitted into notches in the piers.

• Insulation: They used R13 insulation for the plywood floors – good enough to serve the purpose.

• Windows: A great option is to source reclaimed windows still in the frames before starting the build – then these can simply be fitted into the walls.

• Walls: As illustrated in the video, all you have to do is align the top + bottom plates and the 6ft back wall studs where they go, nail everything in place, put it up on the building, flush it, and nail it to the bottom – then repeat for the front wall.

• Rafters: Design one rafter based on the house measurements and use it as a template to make the rest of the roof rafters.

• Roofing and Staining: To cap off their DIY tutorial, Dave and Brooke installed corrugated roof sheets and stained the walls, respectively. This offers protection from the elements.

Watch the video for the full tutorial on how to build a simple off-grid cabin of your own. Keep in mind that it may take longer than you expect and be sure to follow building regulations in your area.

Simple Off Grid Cabin That Anyone Can Build & Afford
Simple Off-Grid Cabin That Anyone Can Build & Afford – Image: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOOXmfkXpkM

Spectacular Modern CAVE HOUSE Is Man’s Lifelong Dream – 5,700 sq ft

If you’ve read some of our other posts, people looking to break away from the urban property mold typically explore off-grid ideas such as cabins in the great outdoors, modified / repurposed shipping containers, or self-sufficient Earthships. Well, Grant Johnson—from Moab, Utah—had a different idea.

A REALLY different idea. This is something else!

After several years of living off-grid in a trailer on his 40 acre property, Grant got to fulfil his lifelong dream. As covered in this video by the Tiny House Giant Journey YouTube channel, the Utah man went the astonishing route of blasting through a vast bedrock mound on his land to create a 5,700 square foot modern cave house!

The house is a wide open space filled with most of your typical household amenities, water pumped from a nearby pond, turbine-generated electricity, and even satellite internet. As with any other true off-grid living arrangement, he grows his own food and raises farm animals in the property.

Grant was careful to respect nature by molding the house design around the natural elements of the bedrock. As a testament to his appreciation of natural beauty, all openings to the cave are glass panes for an unobstructed view of the rustic countryside. Even the furniture is designed to complement the existing rough arches of the walls. The end result is an astonishing blend of clean, modern architecture and a liberating, organic aesthetic.

If you’d like to explore the innovative modern cave house and natural beauty of the land it’s built from, you can rent a two-bedroom/one-bathroom apartment in the cave house on Airbnb. I’ll bet they are totally booked out, seeing as this video got over 3 million views in just over a year of being online. 🙂

Grant even has a jam room, where he often invites guests for a music session.

Modern CAVE HOUSE Is Man's Life Long Dream - 5,700 Sq Ft
Modern CAVE HOUSE is Man’s Lifelong Dream – 5,700 sq ft – Images: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqPtClvahWw

Brilliant EARTHSHIP Home Makes Off-Grid Life Look Easy

First things first; what is an Earthship? It’s defined as “a passive solar earth shelter made of both natural and upcycled materials.” Such a building, properly designed and executed, requires no utility services from the grid to operate.

The idea behind building an Earthship is that you don’t necessarily have to go back to basics to live off-grid – you only have to be conscious of how you live and your interaction/impact on nature. That is, you can embrace nature by building an environmentally sustainable and energy-efficient Earthship.

In a video published in the Tiny House Giant Journey YouTube channel, Jeff from Big Sky Earthship highlights the self-sufficiency of an Earthship — and we have to admit, he makes off-grid living look easy. Here’s a quick summary of how one of his Earthships in Montana works:

1. Shelter: The Earthship is largely made from recycled, reused, upcycled, and natural materials. Tires, old drums, and other types of scrap that are often thrown away in dumpsters are given a new lease of life.

2. Heating & Cooling: The house heats and cools itself passively and maintains a stable, comfortable temperature year-round, without the need for a centralized AC system.

3. Garbage Management: Aluminum cans and other garbage material are integrated into the structure of the building.

4. Clean Water: Household water is harvested from the roof, stored in cisterns, filtered, pressurized, and pumped into the house.

5. Water Recycling: Grey water from the sinks and shower is used to water the plants.

6. Food: As in any other off-grid living technique, growing your food is a big part of the Earthship owner’s journey of self-sufficiency.

The walk-through of Jeff’s Earthship is both inspiring and a pleasure to see the many ways people can co-exist sustainably with nature in off-grid living.

Brilliant EARTHSHIP Home Makes Off-Grid Life Look Easy
Brilliant EARTHSHIP Home Makes Off-Grid Life Look Easy – Images: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNekutd-6qM