Have You Considered Living Off The Grid? - Page 2
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  1. #16
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    people are always there to criticize everything and seems to be women more. I got told off yesterday in a discussion of going door to door cookie selling w my guides because I don't follow safe guide and go right up to the door with them. like the bottom of the stairs is fine. what is someone going to do rape or stab them in broad daylight 3 or 2 little girls as soon as the door is open with a couple of adults there. plus just keeping up with the girls lol. but that is off topic!

    I think the tiny houses are on trailers because they don't have land or can't afford to build a house. so they need to be able to move it. also extra costs if it is on ground sewers etc.

    I love vintage trailers lol I want one in the backyard to escape too. we did have a tiny one that the guys convinced me to sell but I regretted it. could have been my escape home. depending on the trailer some have lots of windows. but yes you can buy a nice 5th wheel and it has all you need in it proper storage, kitchen etc.

    we have a small house 40s but it is big enough (nothing is big enough for dh lol he would fill a palace but you can always declutter) ds complains sometimes with people who have newer bigger homes. but really new homes here look bigger huge windows etc but the size of the rooms are the same or smaller. or open plan. even condos. yes having a master bathroom is great but... seeing next door being built huge windows a whole wall facing the sun all day from sunrise to late afternoon..the air cond. bills. rooms small no linen closet, no storage, no utility rooms. sm mud room. no basement because suites in it. extra kitchen so you can cook your smelly food it in so you don't stink up the open plan kitchen etc. so who needs a third bathroom on the main floor with a huge shower? toilet and sink powder room is enough. no shower you could have had a coat closet/storage. their electrical box is in daughters bedroom closet, hvac in their walkin closet. worth 1.6 million all looks so pretty and nice but our old house is better built. but that is the way it is now because the other house on the block is being built the same way.

  2. #17
    Registered User RABBIT's Avatar
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    Hey Maggie, I hope you didn't take offense to my post, didn't mean any! Just because living off grid is not for me does not mean that I am not interested in people who do it. I really like hearing about anybody who lives differently than I do. If we all lived the same way it would be very boring.
    I'm too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener.

  3. #18
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    My remarks about the drudgery of off grid living was a response to the type of off grid living described in the article above. That is drudgery to have to do virtually every menial task yourself. That's a full tome job in itself. Off grid living without power but with easy access to amenities like grocery stores, and a paycheck to pay for some of the necessities instead of having to manufacture everything personally is a whole different thing.

    I can well understand living in a small space while waiting for a real house, as we did that while our current house was being built. We had power, a propane furnace, and a septic system but no fresh water. It was the two of us and 4 huskies living in about 250 sf. If it had been permanent we would have done it better . We drove nearly 50 miles round trip to shower at my mom's house. If we had it to do all over again (oh, please, no!) I would like to say I would have planned better for making meals and freezing them ahead of time and planning the space we had, but I was my own general contractor and all my energy was going into that. It was very stressful. We were also our own movers and stored everything in our double garage, which took a huge physical toll that still flares up from time to time. Never again! I don't care if we're going to the moon for our next move, we will be hiring movers no matter what it costs! 😀

    I never minded dealing with the compost toilet either, but we bought it used for $850, plus the compost was $25 for a little bag. If we had that to do over, we would have bought a top of the line Porta Potti for about $150 instead and dumped it into the septic as needed, but we weren't campers yet then so weren't really aware of the benefits of PPs. We've learned a lot from camping that would have been helpful to know during that time, but we were clueless.

    I don't quite get the whole Mc Mansion thing either. We used to like watching that Extreme Home Makeover show, but it never made sense to build those huge elaborate houses for people who had not been able to afford to deal with the old houses they had before. Some of them, not all. It just set some people up to fail. I think that whole oversized house thing led directly to the recession when too many people bought too much house and then couldn't pay for it.

    Some people don't understand us being willing to pay extra to live on a lake, either. As I and others have said in this thread, we're all different, and I like getting others' points of view, too. 🙂

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  5. #19
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    Maggie, I don't know if anyone mentioned it to you, but you can have the tie-down attachment points installed in the wet concrete when your slab gets poured. That provides better protection than the screw-in anchors. I recall you aren't doing standard construction but don't recall the details so maybe that won't work for you. Just thought I'd mention it because of all the stuff like that our contactors failed to tell us ahead of time, although our concrete subs did install our anchor points.

    You mentioned possibly not anchoring your shed. I don't know if you meant the same about the house, but if you haven't, you may want to discuss it with your insurance carrier. Some won't cover buildings that aren't anchored.

  6. #20
    Registered User MaggieTrudeau's Avatar
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    KathyB: not confrontational at all...though clearly I was feeling a bit defensive when I wrote my reply. I get quite a bit of criticism from folks around here and sometimes that leaks out in other areas. Either I'm too off grid or not "off grid enough" for people.

    Anyway...your question:
    Off-grid can mean anything. For me it is no link to the power grid or public sewer/water, no landline phone. As for 100% independent of society...not terribly possible for me and not my goal but for many people that is the ideal or holy grail of "off grid" I don't know anyone who manages it for long because eventually you need to use a road (built by "society") or use a library, the mail, a store etc.

    If someone is in one of those tiny houses they generally aren't all that isolated because those don't do well on dirt roads or soft gravel roads so you can't get too far out.

  7. #21
    Registered User MaggieTrudeau's Avatar
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    apologies to all for my touchiness in my other response! Rough day off the grid...or not far enough off the grid!

  8. #22
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    Hope your day is better today, Maggie.

    I can't speak for anyone else, but nothing I said had anything to do with your situation. I was responding to the article and the definition of off the grid it contained. Sorry if I did not make that clear.

  9. #23
    Registered User Precarrious's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieTrudeau View Post
    Ok...I DO live off grid...but work on the grid because I have a regular job (with a gym membership) so I'd like to address a few things

    I don't see off-grid as constant drudgery, but there is SOME drudgery just like in all types of lifestyles. I do not find snow shoveling or snow-shoeing to the car each morning and back to the shed (not a tiny home...more on that anon) in the evening afterwork as "drudgery" but I would rather pull out my eye teeth with rusty pliers than vaccuum a mcmansion...or even a bungalow. I loath vaccuuming and dusting but not emptying a composting toilet. I've been a janitor and a hotel maid and cleaned and unclogged my lifetime quota of toilets. I don't mind the sawdust composting toilet because you carry a sealed bucket of sawdust and poo (my brother calls it the litter box...) out to the composter. No clogs, ever. Clean it outside about 1/8 mile from the home. Seems cleaner over all but it is not the norm.

    As for space. I live in 135sq feet and have a storage unit for the furniture and household items for my future "real" home of about 500-600 sq feet. It's just me. It will be plenty. That will also be off grid.
    I have a well with 15' head so pumping to the surface if I lose solar won't be too bad, but I have to carry it or pump it uphill about 50 feet to the house. Right now it pumps with solar power from 100' down to a cisterm 40' vertical uphill from the homesite providing passive pressure and 1250gallons in reserve.

    I'm on solar because though there is a powerline on my property, I'd have to pay at least 10,000$ for a pole to be set and line to the house. Probably need a second pole and a transformer. That was upwards of 20,000$. So, I can get solar for less and I did. 30% of the initial installation price for solar was refunded in a gov't program. My brother put in a grid tie system (I am not grid tie...would have had to have those poles) for 0ver 200,000$ and got 30% of that back too. He lives in a different state and got a state refund as well.

    In the summer, I solar shower outside. In the winter, I shower at the gym, I get a membership with my job.
    I heat with wood. Uninsulated shed that I live in looks like a tiny house but those are actually NOT cheaper than real houses and are not generally easier to live in. I have no kitchen, a privacy closet for the composting toilet, no running water. I am not hooked to the ground as the whole thing sits on wooden skids (no wheels or trailer...that's expensive). In the midwest/tornado country I would use trailer tie downs which screw into the ground and are cabled to the structure. When I have the shed in a permanent spot, I may do that but a 70mile an hour wind didn't phase the place so I'm comfrotable in there.

    As for simpler...no. Not simpler. Just different. I prefer no tv, no internet, just a cell phone and a laptop with some DVDs, no email etc at my home. Hence, easier for me to move off grid than most. I am not remote. Right on a major highway.

    I've lived in 2 versions of vintage campers. they were fine but the maintenance was more challenging for me than the shed. And, I didn't like the pilot lights on the furnaces and hotwater heaters. The space was too tight for me and I didn't feel safe from CO poisoning. Others like it. In my 2nd trailer, I didn't use the propane. Just disconnected it and used candles...I guess I'd rather burn than smother.

    With LED lights and rechargable batteries (charged on my solar system) I find I can light the place just fine. I do burn a candle in the evenings because it corrects the range of light from LEDs pretty well and makes it easier on the eyes.

    Again, it is a distinct lifestyle choice and no way would I share the tiny shed or a tiny house with another human or some kids and a pet. I prefer my alone time. Having someone that close to me all the time would drive me bonkers.

    Parts of the article are unrealistic, but I find that true of any "how to live" article. Perhaps they are just not my style.

    that's more than my 2 cents so I will stop now! I'm enjoying hearing/seeing your views on this type of lifestyle.
    Thank you so much for your perspective. I think there can be several different versions for living off grid and being self sufficienct.

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