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Living off-grid does not have to be primitive living as some of us might think. There is no concrete definition of what living off the grid means because it means different things to many people. Some cabins or homeowners disconnect from their electric companies while others turn off their water and gas companies as well. Building with log siding is another way to disconnect yourself from the high cost of full logs and their associated labor costs.
Before you move to a remote area and start to build, you must decide if living off-grid is actually for you and/or your family. You must plan carefully for alternate sources of power, energy, and water as well as backups to live comfortably. It may mean compost toilets, outhouses, and a separate bathhouse with limited hot water. If you do it right, your off-grid lifestyle can be a bit of heaven.
Exactly What Is an Off-Grid Log Cabin or Log Home?
An off-grid log cabin or log home is a dwelling that does not depend on conventional utility or energy grids. They are typically built in rural, mountain, desert, or other remote areas where there is no reliable power grid access. This means homeowners do not rely on:
- 120 or 220-volt electricity from power lines
- Natural gas for home appliances (optional)
- City or County water piped to their homes (optional)
- City sewer lines to carry away sewage and greywater (optional)
- Conventional toilets (optional)
Living off-grid is more of an independent or autonomous lifestyle that is free from typical utility bills. It means less convenience when it comes to power and common utilities. It also means you will work harder to provide the everyday necessities and conveniences of life. If this sounds good to you, then go for it.
Off-Grid Dwelling Versus Conventional Log Cabin or Home
When it comes to living off-grid, you must supply or generate your own household energy and/or other utilities. Common alternative sources include:
- Solar energy
- Septic tanks
- Battery storage systems
- Lamps and candles
- Heat from wood, coal, or propane gas
- Gasoline generators
- Well, rain, or creek water
- Haul water home in tanks
- Compost toilets
- Wind or water power
Once you get all this figured out, you can enjoy this growing trend in lifestyles. Central heat and air may not be available, but you can use fans and open the windows for a little breeze.
Living off-grid may not be as cheap as one might think because of today’s rising prices. Shop around from several sources for everything you will need to meet your budget demands.
|“Before you move to a remote area and start to build, you must decide if living off-grid is actually for you and/or your family. You must plan carefully for alternate sources of power, energy, and water as well as backups to live comfortably.”|
Choose Your Location Carefully
Choosing a location for your log cabin or log home is directly related to how much you want to disconnect from electric power and other utilities. If you only want to eliminate electricity, you can live closer to civilization and stay with natural gas and city or county water.
If you want to go full swing with off-grid living, it may not matter where you buy a lot. By supplying all your own power, water, heating, and sewage needs, living in the wilderness may not be a problem, and you can kiss the city living goodbye.
You May Need to Alter Conventional Floor Plans to Make It All Work
Take into consideration different or additional spaces necessary to meet your off-grid needs.
- Outdoor and roof areas for solar panels
- Space for storage batteries
- Wood or pellet-burning stove
- Area to store firewood or pellets
- Fireplace and related tools
- Water and food storage areas
- Crawl space or loft for storage
Although these modifications in floor plans may be minor, they are necessary for a neater, organized log cabin or home.
How to Save Time, Labor, and Expense on Your Project
You can still have the full log look without the full log price and headaches. How? By using pine or cedar log siding, you can make constructing a dwelling a simpler task. Log siding is secured to the conventional wall framing and does not require specialized contractors to do the job. You can do a lot of the work yourself, with friends and family if you have woodworking skills and save a bundle of money.
You will need log siding, log trim, and a corner system for the outside. The door, window, corner, and baseboard trim for the inside will round out the project. Add pine or ceiling tongue and groove paneling and a knotty pine floor and your log cabin or home will be a rustic masterpiece.