March 25, 2011

Beginning thoughts on home design

To create a functional home you need to design the home around your basic needs. As we go off grid we need to look at these basic needs and how we are going to fulfill them in the most simple manner.  It definitely will take a lot of ingenuity, research, and creativity.We also need to seriously consider the things we are willing to give up for the sake of saving energy for other things.

Top priority needs:

Water - Well - Still considering plumbing options, but we would like to do something less conventional when it comes to water pressure. Jake has some unique ideas that just might work that have to do with a raised buried water tank.
Hot water - Trying to figure out the best route for a hot shower/clean dishes that doesn't take a lot of energy. It is interesting to look back in the past to see how it was done.It helps us to really reconsider the way it is done and think about different options.  It's not that we are looking to recreated the wheel, but to find the avenue that works best for us.

Clean Clothes - Energy efficient washer, perhaps a less conventional route.
Clothes Drying - Unsure of  how to do this without making our home one large clothes line in the winter.
Heat- Wood stove (we plan to center the home design around the wood stove to create even distribution of the heat.)
Photo courtesy of Good Time Stove Co.

Cooking - We agreed that we need to do natural gas, but will do a lot of water warming on the wood stove. Whether to go cookstove or not or just have burners on our heat stove is still up in the air.
Food storage -Considering having a freezer and doing an old fashioned ice box with 2 liter pop bottles replaced every day. Also considering a solar fridge for summer and utilizing the outside cold some how in the winter. Perhaps something like this:
Photo Courtesy of

Toilet - Incinerating Propane Toilet - We have our eye on this one in particular at Popane Products 

Electricity for lights/appliances - Solar/Wind/Bike ;)

All of this is subject to change as we research and what the township will approve of, but it will give you and idea of the route we are taking.  We are somewhat conventional with a few tweaks to conserve energy.

If you have any ideas for us to consider, please do tell!

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