Building Your Own Off Grid Home Archives - Off-Grid

Category: Building Your Own Off Grid Home

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

How To Build A Straw Bale House

Looking for the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to create a beautiful home? According to Jon Jandai from Life is Easy YouTube channel, the answer is to learn how to build a straw bale house. And when you think about it, the idea makes sense. Here are a few reasons why building a straw bale house could be a worthwhile endeavor:

• Despite the first image that comes to mind, that of a house that looks like a pile of straw bales – the finished result can be a beautiful home – and once rendered / plastered, you would not even know that the home was made from straw bales!

• Straw bale is energy-efficient – i.e., it’s great for insulation. Depending on the thickness and placement of the bales, the R-value can be up to 0.94 per inch. This translates to a cozy home and low electric consumption (win-win).

• Straw bales are a relatively simple, safe and natural material to work with.

• When properly constructed and maintained, straw bale houses can last a lifetime. And when the time comes to take them down, you can simply plough the biodegradable material back into the earth.

• The thickness of the straw bales makes for a rather aesthetic house design with awesome features such as a window shelf/seat.

• From the price of the material, the construction process, to the energy savings, a straw bale house is very affordable.

• With the guidelines (e.g., the YouTube video linked above), building a straw bale house is not overly complicated — even for novice builders.

If you’re interested in an affordable and unconventional straw bale house, Jon Jandai offers a surprisingly detailed and illustrative tutorial. He narrates how to raise the foundation with concrete, how to place the straw bales, install the roof, plaster over the straw bale, and even apply some artwork.

Disclaimer: It’s crucial to keep the straw bales are dry as possible to prevent rot. And ensure you observe the applicable building regulations in your region.

How To Build A Straw Bale House
How To Build A Straw Bale House – Images: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cd3PlKH2PIs

How To Build A DIY Travel Trailer (Aluminum Exterior And More)

How To Build A DIY Travel Trailer - Aluminum Exterior And More
How To Build A DIY Travel Trailer (Aluminum Exterior And More) – Image: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deJcipGH2wU

Alternative living and DIY off-grid homes are all the rage and for good reason. They are more sustainable and pocket-friendly living spaces. Plus, there’s a sense of accomplishment and appreciation that comes from standing in a handcrafted structure — whether it’s a log cabin, a shipping container home, an Earthship, or a DIY travel trailer.

Regarding the latter, Homesteadonomics shares some building instructions and design tips with a 3-part video series on how to build a DIY travel trailer from conception to completion. In a series of videos, he highlights the steps and important consideration in a manner that is suitable for both experienced handypersons and beginner RVers.

Part 1 – The Frame

This video was all about building the frame of the trailer — which is a blend of the classic Teardrop and a conventional full-size camp trailer. This includes creating the steel chassis, trailer tongue, axle, wheels, and welding different parts for the basic steel shell.

Key Takeaway: Always start with a great plan—including detailed design schematics!

Part 2 – Aluminum Exterior and More

The second installment focused on the finer details of the frame – i.e., adding window framing, beefing up the trailer tongue, fabricating the wheel well, welding in mounting tabs to hold additional wood support, sanding out welds, and painting the shell. He also goes on to highlight the process of flooring. He uses 2×4’s attached to mounting tabs and bolted plywood.

Part 3 – Insulation, Windows/Door, Aluminum Trim

The final step of this project was installing windows and door, weather proofing, adding aluminum trim, and starting work. Interestingly, Homesteadonomics attached the panels to the trailer frame using VHB (Very High Bond) tape — rather than rivets or screws. It has the benefit of little-to-no perforations and it allows the panels to expand/contract with changing temperatures.

If the idea of building your very own roadworthy DIY camp trailer crossed your mind, here are the 3 videos in one place!