Beginner’s Guide to Building an Off Grid Home

Beginner's Guide to Building an Off-Grid Home

Start Living an Off-Grid and Free Life

When a lot of people think that living off-grid is only for survival nuts and hippies that don’t enjoy any luxuries in life, that is far from reality.

As population grows and food is being manipulated for mass production and water is running low in high heat areas, off-grid living isn’t such a crazy idea any more to pursue.

I’m going to start out with a list of things that you will need to live off the grid based on the cost of building and maintaining a house.

Types of Off-Grid Shelters

The Mud Hut

($0 – $5,000)

This off-grid house is great for the person who wants to get their hands dirty and they don’t care for any luxuries whatsoever.

Step 1: Building material

  • Cob (Earthen plaster-like material comprised of clay, sand, and straw)
    • Pros – Has flexibility for design and is very cheap to make for off-grid living
    • Cons – Doesn’t resist water that well and it would need more insulation for colder climates
  • Earthbag (Plastic bags filled with dirt, sand, clay, or volcanic rock)
    • Pros – Allows for quick building and it remains strong
    • Cons – It’s hard to add outlets and plumbing after the off-grid house has been built
  • Adobe (Basically just cob but instead of applying the material freehanded, you put the cob in molds to form bricks for which you build the off-grid house)
    • Pros – Keeps the walls straight and uniform
    • Cons – Takes a lot of work and time to make the molds and to let them dry

Step 2: Walls

  • With all the methods above, you can use cob, lime plaster, or stucco to make the walls stronger and smooth.

Step 3: Floor

  • Most people like to use gravel as a base for the floor to let excess water drain down, along with wood or cob/lime plaster on top to make a nice looking floor that’s smooth.

For the most part if you only have a $5k budget, you won’t be able to have any extra luxuries like water or electricity, so you will most likely need to collect your own water from a river or you could collect rain water by using your roof as a funnel.

You can make a pretty nice mud hut if you put your mind to it:

The Cottage

($5,000 – $30,000)

This type of off-grid house would be best suited for the person who likes the outdoors and doesn’t mind to get their hands dirty with electrical work and plumbing. All the above building techniques would be suitable for this house.

After building a 1000 sq. ft. house or so, the building itself will cost about $15,000 on average along with another $10,000 for plumbing and electrical work.

The extra $5,000 would be used to get a solar panel or wind turbine setup to produce about half of what a normal household uses per year.

The $30,000 price tag is for the people who just want to build the house on their own but they don’t know much about electrical work or plumbing. With the right resources from scrap yards and friends, the prices can drastically drop.

The House

($30,000 – $150,000)

This off-grid building is meant for the type of person who want’s the same luxuries as a normal suburban house.

The price tag of $150k is determined for the people who are now living in a suburban house with little to no building experience and would need to hire everyone to build the house for them.

The house would include, enough solar and wind power to supply the average US power consumption, which includes every luxury that we are used to in today’s modern world.

Again, the $30k price could be easily managed if the right resources were in play.

The Mansion

($150,000 – $50 million)

This is for the people who want everything that the off-grid world has to offer, 5 times the amount of average US energy consumption provided by a large array of solar and wind power, natural spas and pools, extremely thick walls for protection and insulation.

If you can afford this house, you would be set for life without any bills except for the property tax.

What You Need for an Off-Grid Home

To summarize, here are the things that you need:

  • A building method and material
  • Pipes for plumbing
  • Wire for electric work, along with breaker boxes, inverters, etc.
  • Plaster material for walls
  • Some kind of insulation (Volcanic Rock, Foam Insulation, etc.
  • Solar or wind power generators
  • Batteries for the generators

The above list is for if people intend on living off the grid, but still rely on water, sewage, and food from the state.

You can use:

  • Composting Toilets
  • Rainwater collectors/River
  • Hunting/Fishing

Based off of everything in this post, you could sell your house and start designing your dream home to stay safe from social/economic/environmental collapses and live a happier and healthier life.

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x