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Home Forums General Discussion So, you want to live off the grid, huh? Reply To: So, you want to live off the grid, huh?


You may also want to get a book “Total Money Makeover” By Dave Ramsey.  he also has podcast. You may enjoy many of my articles I have some on various types of modular construction, where you build with cash as you go. I also talk about all other off grid issues, food, water, energy etc.

I have a camper and I like it, but campers have their drawbacks. A camper is not exactly an energy efficient solutions in summer for example. And in winter you have to worry about pipes and water freezing up. However the mobility is the major plus. Unfortunately structures of any type cost a lot. From Pole barns at $20 a ft2 to used mobile homes at $20 ft2 to moderate small homes at $60 a ft2 to larger middle class homes at $120 a ft2. In home construction a rule of thumb  might be 1/3 materials cost, 1/3 labor cost and 1/3 contractor cost. And that didn’t count the interested over 15 years or 30 years. In certain special situations you might get by cheaper.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to do things cheaper for years now as I drive down our nations roadways. I’ve seen unconventional designs here and there around the country.  I’m not afraid to think out of the box.  If you want to get by without banks and build what you want using your own labor then I suggest you find a location that is no where near city limits, in the county, not in a housing development. Check on county and state codes that might apply. Then you can build modular with cash as you go. And you can get away with some things in green design that you would want.

For starters I recommend paying cash for a used mobile home and cash to have it moved in and setup. Live in that while you work on the real dream home.  I do recommend financing the land if you don’t have cash for it. Another alternative is to buy a used school bus and make it livable while you build the real home. An advantage to that is that it can be moved from shade to sun and sun to shade. A camper is yet the other alternative we already mentioned. I wouldn’t recommend building a home without being debt free first except for maybe the land.

I’ve been wanting to do this for years and ye t I’m still several years away from getting started. So “I feel your pain”.