Category Archives: Sustainable Housing

Off the Grid Home Ideas – Power Generation Ideas and their Costs

Now this is one that many people have dreamed about and probably rumored about 25 years ago: Off The Grid Homes. Are you familiar with such an idea? What this is is a home that is completely independent of all and any electric utilities. Ponder that, no utility bills – are you gasping? I mean, in a world driven by so much technology, I am sure you are wondering how is this possible, right? In an “off the grid” home, the individuals and the house must produce the energy that is going to power the products without utilizing cords, cables – essentially electricity. The primary areas of “concern” are normally the space heating, water heating and other forms of heat such as: washing, drying and other sorts.

spaceship-like-home-capsule

Now with that being said, there are numerous methods one can embark upon if they desire to choose this route. These ideas range from: solar power, wind and water. To be truthful, if you’re planning on making such a drastic change in your life as an off-the grid home, you should consider how much sun, rain and wind you often get – this is a common question any contractor will ask you. From living with electricity 24/7 to having to use natural means to produce energy, you may run into some challenges if you are not prepared. Now with this all in mind, let’s keep in mind that the products needed to own an off-the grid home are going to be quite pricey – as the technology for such caliber housing is advancing and is of the most advancement in house technology.

Solar Power:

crystalline-solar-panels-installation

If utilizing the solar power outlet, on average, a 24-volt system with backup generator can cost roughly $30,000-40,000 depending upon the quality and installment. I am sure you are familiar with PV solar power products as well – have you heard of crystalline solar panels or BIPV (building integrated photovoltaics) solar shingles before? Have you ever heard of solar-powered lights? It’s a thing ya’ll!

pv-solar-roof-shingles

If you happen to have a flat roof, solar panels can be angled on a flat surface to attain the optimum angle for the sun. A PVC flat roofing membrane can be an ideal choice in terms of durability and longevity for mounting solar panels on a flat roof.

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Top 15 Tiny House Design Ideas and their Costs – Green Living Ideas

Sustainable Home Living Ideas for Minimalism and Comfort Explained in a fun way, plus beautiful examples of Tiny Homes!

When I found out about the tiny house trend, my first thought was “why on earth would anyone want to live in a house the size of a shoebox?”. 😉 As it turns out, this is a superficial way of looking at things. Let me explain the potential reasons why the tiny house movement is so popular.

via FYI, Tiny House Nation

While the average house in the US measures 2,600 sq. ft., a tiny house is no bigger than 100-400 sq. ft. Let’s say you want to buy a typical single family house that costs roughly $290,000. The bank requires a down payment of about $60,000, if you want to save on mortgage insurance (almost all conventional home loans with less than 20% down-payment will require an additional monthly payment in a form of mortgage insurance), so the principal is $230,000. Even at current low interest rates, you are still paying a fortune over the life of a 30-year loan. Does this sound like something you want to do?

According to CBS News, at least one third of an American’s income goes into his house. This is one of the reasons why many people are living paycheck to paycheck. 29.3% of US homeowners have mortgages compared with 68% tiny house owners who don’t. Moreover, 55% of tiny house owners have more savings than the average American who has about $10,000 in savings.

So, the first reason is related to costs and if you extrapolate, people who have more money to attend to their pleasures are happier than those who spend most of their income on what’s needed to have a decent living. Other reasons revolve around environmental concerns and the fact that some people feel more comfortable in a cozy small home. That being said, let’s see 15 tiny house designs that will hopefully make you consider this more efficient way to live.

Toy box house

toybox-tiny-home

Via Toy Box Tiny Home

Based on the idea that a home is place of peace and simplicity, this design combines modern elements with Eco-friendly materials. The white roofing membrane is made of thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) to address the issue of durability commonly encountered with EPDM, and to provide superior energy efficiency. The walls are made of fiberglass and natural cedar, while the base that’s also made of cedar wood makes the outline of this tiny house on wheels. On the other side of the house you will notice a large sliding door made of glass that ensures proper ventilation and allows natural daylight to come inside the structure. The size of the construction is customizable and the base price is $79,000.

Water Woody houseboat

the-water-woody-houseboat

Via Tiny House for Us

The single most important feature of this design is that it runs on both water and land since you can attach it as a trailer to your car anytime you want to go on a road trip. The house is very self-sufficient having solar panels for electricity and a system that collects rainwater for later use. There is also a composting toilet onboard. This house is perfect for anyone who wants to sail and to travel the world by car. The minimum price for this marvel is $125,000.

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