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Home Forums General Discussion Every cost in going off-grid or green (energy efficient) Re: Every cost in going off-grid or green (energy efficient)


That is a nice ideal, but here is how I had to do it.

I bought the lot and took out a construction loan. I had to pay for where I was living and work on the off grid house after work and on weekend for over a year before I got my Certificate of Occupancy. I then moved in and started on the addition to the small house, and the Earthship outbuilding, all with rammed earth tire retaining walls. I maxed out a credit card for more tools and materials, but got the job done. Then I paid double to quintuple payments on the low mortgage after paying off the credit card. Not having power bills helped! Finally the mortgage was paid off in 8 years. Now we save a lot each month from no mortgage or power bills.

Using the same type of buying wisdom and belt tightening, that point is when we could have had enough saved to build. I would have been 8 years older and probably couldn’t have done it.

I had to go into temporary debt, use recycled, re-used, and indigenous materials, do all the trades myself with my wife and son as helpers, and buy on sale sometimes well in advance. The sweat equity and no power bills made the mortgage and debts as low as possible, and affordable to pay totally off in a reasonable time and without paying a huge chunk of interest.

When I started, I had a full time job and kept my credit card paid off, had good credit, and had to pay rent until I could legally move in to my off grid house. I didn’t want to live in a trailer, or too small a house for long, but the main house was only 600 sq. ft. and the addition added 250 sq. ft. and a 330 sq, ft. garage. The Earthship added 460 sq. ft and 100 sq. ft. of interior gardens with 425 gal. rainwater catchment and a compost toilet. The original solar electric had to be full tracking 600 watts, then the addition 360 fixed watts, and the greenhouse 158 watts fixed. Main water had to be a nice deep well into pure water. Everything is south facing for passive solar even to the driveway that mostly self clears in winter!

Get good credit and don’t be afraid to DIY, and go temporarily in debt, to get the job done. IMHO