Everything You Need to Know About Off-Grid Homes
Over the years, home prices have risen significantly. The main reason for this is the shrinking number of available houses compared to staggering demands. Increasing energy costs have also played a part in this alarming trend. A combination of these two factors has resulted in high living standards.
More and more people find it hard to maintain a high quality of life in these conditions. In response to this crisis, affordable, non-standard living options are becoming increasingly popular. An example of a living option that may work for you is off-grid living.
If you’re wondering what it This may give you an idea on whether or not it’s a good move to build a home there is, you’ve come to the right place. This guide will provide you with the essentials of what off-grid homes are, how you can live in one, and what tips can come in handy to have the best possible experience with off-grid living.
What Is An Off-Grid Home?
An off-grid home doesn’t rely on the usual utilities available in other abodes. That means they don’t depend on public sources for power, water, gas, heat, and the like.
To maintain their lifestyle, an off-grid homeowner has to find ways to produce their own energy and tools for living. That involves establishing sustainable sources of food, water, and power.
A great example of that is tapping into solar energy. People who want an off-grid setup can install solar panels to get a reliable energy source to power their lights, appliances, and devices. They can turn to services like Impact Energy solar installation in Denver and others like it to set up a solar-powered system with ease. Doing so lets them save money on electricity, giving them more freedom to pay for other necessities.
The prospect of going self-sustaining may seem exciting for some. But things can go awry without the proper preparation. This next section will show you a step-by-step guide on how to pull off an off-grid setup for your home.
How To Live In Off-Grid Homes
- Look For The Ideal Spot To Set Up Your Home
Since off-grid living means you won’t use public utilities, consider looking for a place that has natural resources you can access safely. For example, you need to be near a spring or river to get clean water for daily use. A rain catchment system may also come in handy. You should then have a system for cleaning water to reduce the risk of contracting diseases from contaminants. In the same light, relying on solar power will require you to choose a place that gets optimal exposure to the sun.
The safest way to select a spot for an off-grid home is to buy a lot. Some are costly, while others are affordable. You must consider the factors behind why certain places reach certain costs. This may give you an idea of whether or not it’s a good move to build a home there. Once you settle for a spot, budget accordingly.
Another factor to consider when looking for an off-grid spot is accessibility. At some point, you’ll have to leave your home to restock supplies. The spot for your home should at least be close to the main roads or places for shopping. That way, you can go out to get what you need with ease.
- Set Up Your Home
After finding your ideal location, start working toward establishing your shelter. In off-grid living, you have two options: building a custom home or buying one.
You can go online to look for homes that are ready for off-gridding in your area. There are home-selling sites that specialize in providing listings for properties that are suitable for going off-grid.
On the other hand, if you decide to build your home, you can do it yourself or work with an experienced housing contractor. Depending on the amount of work you need to get done, one of the options may be better.
Whichever you choose, know that you can have it designed in various ways. It can be a cabin, a tiny house, a strawbale home, a traditional wood-frame home, or a cob house. You’re not confined to any traditional builds, though. Even a modern, concrete-and-rebar space can go off-grid with the right planning and creativity.
Now that you have a home, it’s time to find sources you’ll need for a sustainable lifestyle.
- Find A Reliable Water Source
Water is vital for both hydration and various daily living tasks, such as cooking, bathing, and washing clothes.
Access to a reliable water source should be your top priority. Wells are one of your best options. Depending on your location and local climate, they can last for a few decades. You can decide between an electric or hand pump to procure well water. You can do much of the same if you choose to rely on springs.
Rain catchment systems are also a great idea for gathering and storing water. Your roofs can connect to pipes that drain rainwater into water tanks.
Take note that gathering water with these alternative methods doesn’t guarantee it’ll be safe to use. Invest in a purification system to avoid suffering from water-borne illnesses.
- Develop A Sustainable Food Production System
If you want to reduce as much spending as possible in your off-grid setup, one thing you can do is have your own source of food. Along with water, food is essential to survival.
Gardens can be good food sources. So long as you have a working system for tending to one, you can easily produce fruits and vegetables for your daily consumption. It’s best to stick to plants suited to your locale since they won’t require a lot of special planting requirements.
For protein and minerals, raising livestock is a good idea. You can raise chickens for their eggs. They themselves can also be cooked for meals. If you want to take your food setup a step further, you can develop a system for feeding your animals with your garden’s produce and using their droppings as fertilizer.
You should also think about ways to extend the shelf-life of meats. Smoking and salting are easy to do and don’t require much of a budget.
- Get A Source Of Power
In a previous point, we’ve mentioned how off-grid homeowners can rely on solar energy to power their homes. But that isn’t the only option for generating power.
Some homes rely on wind and water. Wind turbines can be used to generate electricity. The difficult thing about them is that they’re more costly than solar panels and require a lot of space. Their efficacy also depends too much on weather conditions to be reliable.
The other option is micro hydropower. Some homes prefer this due to how long it can last. But it’s usually suited for hilly places that have constant running water.
- Manage Your Waste
To maintain hygiene, reduce the risk of disease, and prevent infestations, you need to have a system for disposing of your trash safely and efficiently. Septic systems usually work, but you’ll have to be careful to design them so they can’t affect your environment. Some off-grid homeowners can reduce their waste by repurposing it for fertilizer.
- Have Clothes Suitable For All Seasons
Your off-grid home won’t be immune to changes in weather. Make it a point to dress for your local climate. When it’s summer, wear light clothes to avoid the effects of constant heat. Consequently, go for thick layers and full-bodied covering to protect yourself from the cold in the winter months.
Summing It Up
High home prices and energy bills have raised interest in off-grid living. If you play it smart, you can easily live the lifestyle you want in a sustainable way. Make sure to consider these tips as you explore alternative living options. Living off-grid can be challenging but rewarding in the end. Take note of what you need and get creative.