Microhomes?

Discussion in 'General Homesteading & Building' started by GatorDude, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. GatorDude

    GatorDude Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone built a microhome or mini-cabin as a shelter, vacation home, or primary residence? I think that something the size of Thoreau's cabin or the unibomber's shack would be interesting and economical. I also think that the Katrina cottage would be an interesting size.

    Seven Reasons to Consider a Micro Home - Associated Content
     
  2. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

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    most of the people I know that SHOULD have a micro-home (no kids, only home to sleep & bathe/change clothes before going out again, eating ALL meals out etc etc) have McMansions & wonder "I make $100k/yr. ... WHY am I living paycheck to paycheck?"

    One couple I know has a CLOSET that is 300 sq ft
     

  3. doc66

    doc66 Well-Known Member

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    I was just talking about this with a friend of mine while we were at the range yesterday. We were talking about a small pole building with a large porch and a small "house" attached. He's young enough to start it out right without all the crap possessions that we tend to collect in our lives. My SO has all the furniture from her great grandmother and such that she would be unwilling to part with and living small, while something I'd like to do, is beyond reach at the moment.

    Here's a neat article I found yesterday about car living Survivalist Truck Dweller.... and MSN did one about small home designs.

    Here's the same guy with his "cabin".

    The off grid survival cabin - When SHTF - The Modern Day Survival Forum
     
  4. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

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    I've ALREADY seen "Obamatowns", the modern equivalent of 'Hoovertowns'...
     
  5. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

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    I'm working my way to Pittsburgh today and continuously think about microhomes. I am impressed with those little gambrel roofed barns.:congrat: I would like to build one that is 12'x16' with a sleeping loft and keep it off the grid. I am going to power it up with 12volt, propane for cooking and hand pumped well water.:) My sail boat is set up similar to this and has been a good model to design from. I would like to move some of my apple trees around it. The only problem I am having is finding a piece of land that is inexpensive and obscure enough. I would also like it to be no more than a tank of gas away from my house, 1/2 tank would be better. Keeping it simple has always been the way to go for me. A pastor at church once told me the fastest way to become rich was to want nothing, he is right.:2thumb: This place is going to be the family BOS. I am also concerned about undesirables cleaning it out when I am not there.:mad:
     
  6. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    I can purchase a "large shed kit" from one of the local building-supply stores for a couple thousand. This kit is basically a frame ready to go with a barn-style roof. Easily insulated, add in some windows and you have a 180sq ft home for $1100. Buy two kits, place them back-to-back for ~360sq ft. Build a concrete basement under the house and have about 660ft of living / storage space.

    It might sound bad - but - my entire house is only 820sq ft (each floor) and I have lived there for 12 years ...
     
  7. GatorDude

    GatorDude Well-Known Member

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    I really like the barn idea. It seems like such a simple route to having a home. I'm sure that the building inspectors of the world must have some objection. My parents have a little barn in their backyard and it has plants in window boxes and nice windows. I could see it being easily converted into a cottage.

    With everything being downsized and miniaturized, things don't seem to take up as much space as they one did. While most of this stuff isn't very homesteadish, the fact remains that you can squeeze into a small space.

    Seven Space Savers for a Downsized American Dream - Associated Content

    If you've ever visited an Ikea furniture store, they have lots of furniture arranged for tiny studio apartments (365 square feet, etc.). Living in a mild climate, I'd probably build one barn for sleeping and living and another barn for cooking and then put both on a large pad with a grill and picnic table installed between the two buildings.
     
  8. almac

    almac Active Member

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  9. HozayBuck

    HozayBuck Well-Known Member

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    I just finished drawing up my plans for my cabin in the piney woods of E TX, a 16x20 ft shanty roofed one roomer with a 12 x 20 screened 1/2 walled porch with removable storm windows for winter, I figure with it facing the south east it will have sun most days into the porch which will give passive solor while allowing the growing of cherry tomatoes and salad greens with luck and a place to sleep in the summer free of the bugs..

    Being single it will be all the room I need and if I should ever find a lady that can stand me then she will just have to adjust..:2thumb:

    It will be built from logs from Satterwhite Log Homes - Featuring Dead Standing Timber - Outstanding Quality, Performance - Environment Friendly in Longview, since I will build it, I will use their seconds which makes it cheaper then conventional construction..( I think)...and will fit into the location very nicely..a small wood stove for the colder nights and I'm good to go..

    Of course I've already cut out all the "Stuff" in my life, it amazed me when I gave all that "needed/gotta have stuff" away to my friends just how free I felt... I have my TT to live in while building, minimum furniture and I'm good to go...may even just use solar for charging a battery bank and use 12 v lights and run my Honda Gen for a few hours in the evening for the time needed to keep the fridge cold and maybe watch TV a while...

    A question, if I use a bank of deep cycle 12 volt battery's, say 6 to 10, could I use a inverter to run a TV? long enough to watch the news or a DVD movie..say 2 hours...I could also be charging the battery's while cooling the fridge ... of course I can use a RV type fridge with propane ..

    But having power into the site is not a big deal..but having back up for shtf is..
     
  10. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    If you want movies, do what I did. I purchased a portable DVD player with supersized battery-pack on it. I can leave it plugged into a "jumpstart battery" that is plugged into a solar-panel and get a couple of days worth of movie playing.

    I don't watch TV, so, I snag my news in the evening via my Asus EEE NetBook .. and again, it can be charged up via solar as well. I purchased a supersized battery-pack for it as well which gives me about 6hr worth of computer time and I have the original battery which holds about 2hr of computer time ..


    For lighting in your house, using 12-volt LED lighting on solar-charged 12-volt RV-style batteries should give you a good week (week plus) of lights. If you use 12-volt RV incadescent lighting, expect 4 days on a full-charge (that is without topping up the batteries via solar-panels or wind-generator).

    If you use the power-technology already in use in your TT (Travel Trailer) and just expand on the battery-banks (lets say that you use 2 RV 6volt batteries in series paralleled in a couple of sets) you would never run out of power.
     
  11. HozayBuck

    HozayBuck Well-Known Member

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    I have 4 RV 6 volt batteries but never got a solar set up..figured I can run my 2k Honda gen set to recharge ..thing runs like 15 hrs on a tank of fuel..I have two of them to run in tandem if need be..never have tho... but your right I can set my cabin up like an RV, easy way to go..

    I don't watch TV either except for netflix and I watch a lot of their movies on my lap top..hell, it's a 12 v world!!.. I don't know how long an RV fridge would last on a 1000 pound cyl of propane but I'd say quite a while..

    I'll look into a good quality solar panel set up...plenty of sun here.
     
  12. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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  13. GatorDude

    GatorDude Well-Known Member

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    That 12 Volt site looks pretty cool. We've often used car refrigerators and all the other gadgets look pretty nifty too.
     
  14. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

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    You can find alot of 12 volt stuff in truck stops.:2thumb:
     
  15. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

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    They made stuff on that site I would never think to need in a twelve volt capacity. A crock pot for instance. A blender? Awesome.
     
  16. samw334

    samw334 Guest

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    Never thought about a truck stop. Thanks.
     
  17. HarleyRider

    HarleyRider Comic Relief Member

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    Have you considered an old RV?

    One quick way to create a mini-home is to purchase an old beat up RV, even if it doesn't have an engine. They generally come with a sofa, bed, fridge, stove, sink, bath, etc. and you can sometimes get them for pennies on the dollar. Just put it where you want it and it should do quite nicely.
     
  18. Grizz

    Grizz Well-Known Member

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    Our family cabin is totally off grid. When we bought it in 1978 it was pretty rough. 2 rooms, 16x16 and 10x30. no water, power, phone, windows, refrigerators, bathroom. very rough but what a dream for our family. A lot better than tenting it. the flies and mosquitos were bad at times. used lanterns for light and ice chest for storage. the first year we dug 1/4 mile long ditch and ran pipe to a spring. never had a problem with it, except when a medical helicopter crashed on top of it and melted the pipe. found second hand windows and installed them. Found out why the refrigerator did not work. it had been used in the valley where they have natural gas, so we changed the gas orifice and burped it (set it on its top for a couple days) and no problems since. built an outside shower, you get pretty stinky doing all this work. My grandfather bought us a hot water heater so we plumbed that in. in the next few years my parents bought Propane lights, we worked on the valves to the cook stove with a trash burned on the side and thats all we need for heat. In the dead of winter we snow mobile in and take the chill off the the trash burner and then all we need for heat is the propane lights. We divided the 10x30 room making a bedroom for my grandfather. My mom did not like walking through all the snow to get to the outhouse in winter so the next year another chunk of the big room became a full bathroom. We have also added a storage shed out back with another propane refrigerator for extended stays or large groups. 4 years ago we gutted the cabin, insulated, took the shake roof off and put on a metal roof. We never considered running wire for a generator as we have no need for one. We use oil lamps once in a while. The cabin has been a labor of love for the family and is my favorite place to go and get away. I will retire in 24 months and our plans for our house have been greatly influenced by our cabin. yes we will have power but we will also have the options to be totally off grid. with back ups for the back ups. We currently live in a 2400 sq' house built in 1897. the new house will be a simple rectangle and around 1300 sq'. very energy efficent. very low maintenance and very pleasurable to build. this site has given me, many great ideas of things to put in the plans.
     
  19. questor

    questor Well-Known Member

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    heck . . .
    get a container, dig a hole and put the "sheds" directly on top the container.
     
  20. questor

    questor Well-Known Member

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    NOW . . .
    If I could just get my shop down to 12 volts I'd be entirely off grid
    I could really use a 12 volt lathe, drill press etc.
    hmmmmm
    how about a 12 volt motor hooked up to a 220 generator (he said with a grin)