Most people believe that living off the grid is mainly about just moving to the woods, constructing a cabin fitted with solar panels, drilling a well, and installing a wind turbine for power. Simple, right? Living off the grid is a painstaking process requiring planning, preparation, sacrifice and effort to realise the dream. The work does not stop when you move into your house, there is still the maintenance and upkeep of your homestead to worry about.
Factors to consider about living off the grid
Here are a few must-haves for you to put in place before your dream of living off the grid takes form:
a) Acquire the Land for your off grid home
You need a perfect location when planning to migrate to of grid living. This is where you the rest of the action will take place, so make sure you choose the most suitable location. There are many things to look out for as you look to settle on the area where your off grid home will be. Apart from terrain and availability of things like water, it should be in a place that supports your new lifestyle choice. Ensure you pick a remote location well away from strict building codes and regulations. The more remote it is, the cheaper it will be, and chances are higher for you to get even more acreage.
b) Build or Buy the Shelter/ Housing Unit
What does your off grid living shelter look like? Is it a cabin, a tiny house, an Earthship, a traditional wood-frame home, or a strawbale home? Before making the big move, ensure you have figured out the exact home you want and how much it will cost to erect or acquire it.
c) Source of Water and Water Collection System
Due to the remote nature of your location when living off the grid, you will most likely not have access to city water or municipal county water sources. Make sure your parcel has allowance for a good clean water source that is either natural e.g. a river, stream or lake, or where it’s convenient to haul water e.g. a well.
You also definitely need a water collection system especially for the rainy season where you can tap the water and clean it for future use. You could work with something as simple as rain barrel water catchment fitted into your home’s gutter, or invest in a more complex cistern collection system that collects all the rainwater from your roof.
d) Grow or Rear Your Own Food
There is nothing that screams ‘organic’ or ‘farm fresh’ louder than living off the grid. This is your chance to grow your own food especially since chances of accessing grocery stores on the daily are almost nil. Grow some crops in your garden: vegetables, herbs and fruits, keep some chickens, goats and pigs and you will surely be sorted for months!
As a side note, you should also figure out how to preserve or can your own food to avoid wastage and to also stock up for the future.
e) Figure out Your Power Generation System
Living off the grid actually means that you must develop some level of independence with regard to energy. Do you have a plan in place for how to generate power at your home? You need to have a power generating system complete with backup options that will provide enough electricity to support all your appliances and home needs like lighting, heating and cooling. Most people opt for solar panels and wind turbines and this works perfectly. The best approach would be to figure out all your home energy needs and get professional advice on the exact kind of apparatus that will serve you.
f) Power Storage System
It is good to have an energy generating system in place, but have you figured out how to harness and store the extra power generated? There will be some days when the sun doesn’t shine so brightly and the wind doesn’t blow so hard. You will need to invest in a proper storage system for the extra energy, and battery storage system, if you can afford it, will definitely be your best bet.
g) Where will your Waste Go?
If you plan on living off the grid for extended periods of time, you will have to deal with waste disposal at some point. You can come up with a composting waste disposal system especially for all the waste from your kitchen. However, a traditional septic system is still necessary, but find out what the local and federal guidelines are regarding waste disposal.
h) Have clothing for every season
Living off the grid means you may not have easy access to grocery or department stores where you can make a quick purchase for necessities. Ensure you have clothes for all seasons before making the big switch. This will ensure you do not suffer unnecessarily through any season or have to drive many miles to purchase or collect season-friendly clothes.
For solar panel installation in Kansas City, contact Live Smart Construction today.