Nice off-grid house...

Discussion in 'Architecture & Engineering' started by Seattle, Dec 22, 2019.

  1. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Add a rooftop deck and it's perfect. I like the bed design, climbing wall, human generator. It's pretty well designed. What do you think?

     
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Yes it looks nicely done. Just one thing: I am a bit sceptical about the value of the hamster wheel. I'd like to know how long you have to walk on that thing to generate one kWh. I suspect it only generates in the order of 50W, in which case 20hours of walking would be needed! But maybe the electrical requirements are very low, since the heating and cooking is all propane (a retrograde step compared to use of on-grid methane, but I realise this is not being promoted as eco-friendly).
     
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  5. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, I'm curious about that, as well. With a bicycle, one can generate about 100W, pedaling at a "moderate" pace--I'd have to delve a bit further for the specifics. So more than a full day's work for a kWh--nothing to get terribly excited about.
     
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  7. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    It's okay for a vacation cabin, or a single person. Certainly not a family, or even an adult couple who have occupations and lives. That kitchen is inadequate and the lack of privacy would drive me mad in no time. Also, where would you keep the books?
    Seattle is right about the roof: it seems wasteful not to put a little observatory or pigeon loft or herb garden up there. All the cool eco buildings in the UK have greenery on their roof - and have done for over a decade. Many also collect rain-water.
    The hamster wheel doesn't need to produce much power - he says to 'top up' the batteries. It would only be used as exercise equipment in bad weather. I mean, who wouldn't rather go for a walk outside, given a choice? I think they just put it in there as a cute idea...
    ... but it really would be a good idea in a big-city fitness center - why waste all that energy for and from treadmills?
     
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  8. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    That was my thought as well but I liked it just for its exercise value and any power generated is a bonus.

    You could burn off a little energy, plus there's the climbing wall and if there was a rooftop deck, it would be pretty innovative. I like the raised bed and there is still a loft with another bed.

    It's not meant to be practical for an entire family and to me its more of a model or concept structure.
     
  9. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Exactly. One gets about 150W on a rowing machine at steady state, but that is hard work. So I can't see how just walking, against the resistance of the dynamo, can yield more than 50W or so.

    It wouldn't matter, but for the fact that this wheel becomes a central feature of the living room. So it needs to justify its presence, I feel.
     
  10. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Entertainment.
     
  11. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I like. I’ve become a bit obsessed with watching YouTube vids of tiny house/living off the grid homes. But, in some cases, the cost to build off the grid homes seemed pretty expensive.
     
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  12. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I agree, that seems to apply to tiny houses in general even if they are on the grid. It's generally easier to just buy an older traditional "small" house and don't do it in one of the more expensive markets.

    It often looks like people are unnecessarily forcing themselves to live in a too small environment when for the same money they could just buy a regular 2 bed/1 bath home in a small town.

    The cost isn't necessarily in the size of the house. A lot is where the money is in a hot real estate market and once you deal with water/electricity and maybe pour a foundation, you might as well have just bought an older traditional house.
     
  13. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    3,015
    Kinda weird. The guy says it's 20' x 26', whereas our A-frame is only 18' x 22' (w/ small loft space); yet we seem to get a hell of a lot more out of supposedly smaller space. And that kitchen... ugh. We have a couple of small outbuildings, as well: storage, eventual greenhouse, and my studio/workshop (6' x 12' interior).

    It was difficult, but I've digitized the bulk of my vinyl and books. However, keeping a fair number of books, records, etc. is still doable if one adopts a library stack-style organization.
     
  14. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    4,699
    It's not laid out as efficiently as it could be, partly, I suppose, because they need the big empty space in the middle for the elevator-bed. That, like the treadmill, is likely for novelty value, rather than functionality. I'd have a fold-out that serves as seating in the daytime and ditch that big stupid bathtub - or at least put a cover on and use it as a table.
    And, of course, put everything that's not attached to the walls on wheels, so that you can reconfigure the room for different needs and occasions.
    But, then I remember, this is a vacation cabin, presumably rented out to strangers for a couple of weeks at a time - it's not anyone's personal space.
    Need those for a permanent residence.
    Yay! Glass or plastic? Hydroponics or dirt? Heated? How? (Never mind; my preoccupations don't belong here.
    That's tiny. But at least it's all your own.
    When you build a bigger one, you can make wine in there.
     
  15. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    Agreed. Unfortunately, a lot of people make the mistake of throwing everything into a "tiny house" without ever having actually experienced living in such a manner. Then they want out. I read somewhere that the vast majority of people who move into tiny houses will move out (or try to) in less than a year.

    Personally, I've had a lifelong obsession with tiny spaces and minimal material encumbrances. I've lived in tents, yurts, a tree, a hogan for a while, vans (Westfalias), or just under the sky. I can't "do" regular houses--or... apartments [/shivers] (I have but not for a very long while). If I have to live in a more spacious environment, it's gotta be an old mill building, a factory or a castle.
     
  16. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    3,015
    I'm still working it out. Probably plastic and dirt--if I can figure out a way to heat it with minimal investment resource waste, I would like to do that. I'm not sure how feasible a year-round greenhouse is in our zone.

    It's mostly for electronics and music endeavors. I work on larger projects (involving carpentry, etc.) outside, when feasible, and in the house, which is weird--I should probably move such projects to the teepee.
     
  17. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    4,699
    We're in Zone 4 and have one attached to the house. It's made of old windows on a wood frame (plus two layers of heavy plastic lining - a little cat hides in there) and has a heated concrete floor. It's a propane furnace, so we only use the floor-heating in the coldest times, but there is an open door from the house. The stands for the planter-tops are made of a couple of dozen great big plastic drums filled with water. On top is a row of shallow hydroponic tanks. We get fresh kale, chard, escarole, arugula and bok choy all year; I also have some peas and spinach coming up in containers of earth along the far wall.
    You can do something similar on a smaller scale, quite cheaply - except the floor heating.

    Hey, you does your woodwork wherever you can plug in your saber saw. I prefer hand or cord tools, because the batteries don't last worth a damn, but sometimes we have to be mindful of available sunlight.
    (A teepee strikes me as the whole wrong shape and lighting for carpentry - but I've never worked in one.)
     
  18. Truck Captain Stumpy The Right Honourable Reverend Truck Captain Valued Senior Member

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    this is going to sound very pessimistic, but ...
    well, it's nice for a younger person or newlywed couple who is physically capable, but not really handicap/age-friendly nor conducive to long term relationships. It is also too "cool" in that it has a lot of little things that are nonsensical in a house (climbing wall? why?). There is also an issue of privacy (couples, etc, need occasional privacy).
    definitely an issue for us, to be sure!

    not always. you have to consider power generated compared to output as well as resulting situational contaminants, IMHO. Taking a stroll on the hamster wheel during inclement weather sounds all good until you work up a sweat in a small space, and that doesn't even include the cleaning requirements for the wheel. You would have to walk slow and keep it very, very clean.

    I'm seriously not trying to sound negative... I just think wasting space with nonsensical outdoor activities built into the indoors is rather irrational unless you're going to lease it out to a psych ward or a local gym.
    it can be expensive, or you can do what I did: move and remodel a small barn. (448 square feet)
    we got our solar panels by salvaging marinas and other sources (like DOT), so they were mostly free, along with some wiring, a couple of inverters and a sh*tload of incidental materials like plugs, sockets, light switches, etc.
    We did have to pay for plumbing from a gravity fed tank we also had to buy, though. We have a generator for emergencies
    We've lived in our cabin for almost 20 years while raising a pack of wolves (and some grandkids too). Considering I make diddly, it's provided us with a means to live better than having to live in some town (or city).

    edit:

    depends on the time of year. in the summer, you can roll up the sides. I don't recommend it in the winter, though. traps dust, confined space, etc. (unless you're strictly using hand tools, then I would recommend it, unless it's cheaper to buy a barn)

    end edit
     
  19. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    4,699
    Moving a barn to your property is harder than setting up a tipi. Personally, I'd go for a lean-to, made of local/found/recycled materials in summer and stop heavy carpenting in winter - unless you had a commercial operation and deadlines to meet, in which case it's worth your while to build a proper workshop to your particular requirements.

    Do keep in mind, though: the cabin of this thread is nobody's permanent residence: it's a short-term rental.
    I watched a series on Netlix where different people built all kinds of portable cabins - just to be occupied for short vacations. Can't see the point of it, really, but enjoyed the innovative designs.
     
  20. Truck Captain Stumpy The Right Honourable Reverend Truck Captain Valued Senior Member

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    I don't know... I just watched the barn being moved, so it was quite easy, whereas the Tipi was a whole lot harder, especially as it was just the wife and me.

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    of course, that was also years ago. erm... make that decades ago. I've not put up a (real) Tipi in at least 5 or so years, tbh. and the last one was a smaller one that I built for the girls as a private bathroom (granddaughters hillbilly glam-camping experience with an en-suite pee-pee tipi - LOL)

    it would have to be. anyone living there long term with someone else would go nuts!
    that sounds kinda interesting. We got most of our ideas from blue water sailing magazines and the Solar Living Sourcebook
    Have you ever watched "Handmade Houses with Noah Bradley" on youboob?
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfNcyHyZX9VoY2feVgztBnw
     
  21. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    4,699
    I've watched a church, a Southern mansion and a lighthouse being moved, and I got plum tuckered out, just thinking about why anyone is that crazy or that rich.
    I see a whole new reality show concept.....
    ...or be living alone again, one way of t'other.
    Not on You Tube - we haven't enough bandwidth to go exploring. May have caught it regular tv - it sounds vaguely familiar. But then, we watch Holmes, This Old House, that one about flipping properties and Grand Designs - anything to to do with building and renovation. In the olden days, I used to gobble up Harrowsmith articles on construction.

    Here's a ponderable: why grey? For years now, any interior surface that's not glass or wood is grey-scale. Is it that people are suffering sensory overload from living in cities, surrounded by colour and noise and motion all the time, they need to recover in a B&W home-scape?
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
  22. Truck Captain Stumpy The Right Honourable Reverend Truck Captain Valued Senior Member

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    tell me about it!
    although, to be honest, if I ever win the lotto I may well just splurge and move a larger building... (of course, that means I really should play it sometime)

    our barn is only 14' x 32' though, so it only took a pickup with a flatbed trailer. Plus a really, really cool little mule
    https://www.pinehilltrailers.com/da...atermark=watermark&h=486&w=730&forcetrim=true

    on youboob or IRL?
    I've seen a two-story house cut and moved IRL, but it was only moved about 5 miles down the road

    Hey... not a bad thought! I'll talk to the wife and see if she wants to be famous and write up the concept for one of the American TV stations (I don't think other nations are tasteless enough to actually air the idea, but I could be wrong). I'm thinking I should make it a Bear Grylls/Duck Dynasty meets the Kardashians and go hillbilly glamping. I'm open to suggestions about possible trials, tribulations and things to do for the serial, with full credit to you as co-author since you're the one who got me thunkin' on it.

    good question. I always thought it was more about the circular nature of popular or fashionable styles, like high-waist jeans and bell-bottoms around here. When the grandkids act up I threaten them by telling them I am going to buy a pair of bell-bottoms and make sure I can belt them around my chest, then walk around their school asking after them. All I need now are some platform shoes with goldfish in the heel... I think my brother still has a pair!

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  23. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Love it! But take it easy on the young'uns. Our mandate is to ally with them against the generation in between.
    (PS - you and your brother don't look much alike.)
     

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