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Living Off The Grid – Building Your Home

When we moved off the grid 16 long years ago one of the things we wanted to do was build our own off grid home. My father had always wanted to build his own house because it would be built the way he wanted… not something that he had to settle for. The first thing we did was build a small cabin that we could live in during the summer months while we were building our off grid home.

Our goal by the end of the summer was to have at least the first floor finished so that we could live in it for the winter.

The great part about where we live is that bed rock is only about 3 – 5 feet down so we were able to put the foundation right on the bed rock. After pouring the footings it was time to put the concrete block up. You don’t really know how heavy they are until you lift a couple hundred of them. After you get the blocks up it actually starts to look like a house.

The next step is to put in the floor joist. These are the pieces of wood below your floor which supports everything you put on it. We made ours out of a bunch of 2 x 11′s nailed together. After you have the floor joists put up you can lay down your floor so you can put the walls up.

This is when the house really starts to look like a house. The best part is that it can be done in one day. To begin with you’ll have to build each wall frame before putting it up. It’s very important that you brace each part of the wall as you put it up because before it’s all attached together it’s quite weak.

After you’ve done that you can tack plywood to the outside and put the weather sheet on. After we had finished this part it was too late in the season for us to complete the second floor so we decided to put the floor down and put tar paper on top so we could live in it for the winter.

The tar paper was a mistake. It’s very fragile and rips easily. We ended up putting plastic on top of the tar paper which made it leak proof.

After that it was time to insulate the inside and do some interior work. We installed a fireplace and made sure we had lots of wood for the winter (because the house wasn’t insulated too great) and hunkered down for the winter.

The next spring we were able to take the plastic off the second floor and finish the roof of the house. It’s really a great feeling knowing that ‘YOU’ built that. Syndication Source: Andrew Oke is very interested in renewable energy.He has 16 years experience living off the grid, and has completely built his own renewable energy system. Visit his website at Living Off The Grid