There are many different types of off grid homes to choose from out there. It really just depends on your own style and taste. In this post I’ll be looking at four different types of homes and what the upsides and downsides to each of these are. Whilst checking out the content of this post, ask yourself if you could see yourself living in any one of these homes.
A cob house has an almost magical and whimsical like quality to them, because when a cob house is being built you can shape and sculpt your house only to the limits of your imagination. A cob house can be as BIG or as small as you like, and with proper maintenance your house can last for generations upon generations to come. If you decide to leave the house, it will eventually return to earth over time.
They are generally fire proof and must be manually waterproofed with linseed oil. These cob houses can stand up to earthquakes if built properly, which makes them very safe and sturdy houses to live in. This building method is also a very ancient one, and can be built anywhere in the world. Cob houses are made with soil, clay, water and straw and other organic materials, and because this house is built with the earth, it makes use of something called thermal mass, which allows you to stay warm in winter and cool in summer. There are absolutely no toxins in the air you breath, which could be potentially harmful to your health.Unlike conventional homes made from cement and painted with lead ba sed paint that can put toxins in the air you breath and can be harmful to your health.
Be careful when building a cob house though, because usually these cob structures do not adhere to the building codes and there is always the chance that a building inspector may come and inspect your cob house. Fortunately there are many people around the world working with the building inspectors to change the codes somewhat to allow for cob houses to be built.
Cob houses are very cheap and easy to construct, in fact you can learn how to build your own little cob house in about ten days give or take. These beautiful cob houses are truly magical and tends to bring out the artist within the people building them.
Shipping Container House
The really cool thing about the shipping container house is that it provides instant space whilst your building your home. As soon as your container arrives on your property and you have placed and moved it to where you want it, it provides you with an instant safe and lockable space where you can store all your tools when your not on site. Even a space where you can camp out or live whilst building and working on your home.
Be aware of the kind of climate you live in to be able to insulate the container accordingly. If you live in a very cold climate, your going to have to insulate your container home quite a bit. In my opinion container homes are best suited for moderate climates.
Container homes can be designed to look very modern and stylish, inside and out. Again the only limits you have when working with containers is your own imagination. Iâ€™ve seen some really awesome container homes that are very well designed in terms of functionality, and that also just look amazing.
If you live in a country that imports more than it exports, they might have a surplus of containers, which they would want to get rid of. Which means that you could probably pick up a container for a very good price. The price will also depend on the grade of the container that you want to buy. You get grade A, B, C and D containers. Grade A being a container that has only probably made one trip over the open ocean and might have a few scratches and dings on it. To Grade D which will have rust, bumps, scratches and holes on it. People tend to mostly go for grade A and B containers.
As most people know bamboo is an exceptionally strong material, a strength equal to steel some would say. Which is why bamboo has been used for a very wide variety of things such as being used for scaffolding to construct tall buildings to making musical instruments and even to make clothes as soft as silk or cashmere.
But if you want build a house with bamboo, the bamboo needs to be treated with borax. Treated bamboo will last for up to 30 years give or take. If you try and build with untreated bamboo, your bamboo will only last for about 2 years. This because of bacteria and insects that help organic matter decompose. Bamboo is a type of grass and can grow extremely fast, which makes this a very sustainable building material.
A bamboo house will generally be a very open and free flowing space with very little to no insulation against cold and moderate climates. And this is why a bamboo house is best suited for hot, humid and tropical climates. Bamboo houses look absolutely magical in between the thick vegetation of a tropical forest and becomes a paradise that you can call home.
The earthship home is truly fantastic in terms of self sustainability and renewable energy, and because of this homes ability to reuse and recycle. It is also built out of recycled materials like aluminum cans, glass bottles and used rubber tires. This is awesome because now we have a very effective and amazing way we can recycle materials that would otherwise take extremely long time to disintegrate. One normal size earthship would use about 750+ tires to build. Earthsips also use thermal mass as a natural air conditioner so you stay nice and warm in winter and cool in summer. Earthships can be designed to be built anywhere on the planet for any climate. They are so tough and resilient that they can be designed to withstand earthquakes and hurricanes/typhoons, if your area is prone to these kinds of events. Making natural disasters less disastrous. Which can make a BIG difference in peoples lives.
An earthship can initially cost you just as much to build as a normal house would, unless you want to build it yourself which can save you allot of money. On the plus side however, you will never have to pay any utility bills for water, electricity or sewage as the earthship takes care of all this on site. Yes, your sewage is treated on and never leaves your property. This is done with the help of botanical cells (plants) that treat and feed off the black water (sewage water) after it comes out of the septic tank. And surprisingly enough, there are no funky smells to be found because the sewage is constantly being treated under ground and the smells do not have enough time to make it to the surface. Your earthship will reuse water 4 times before it reaches the outside botanical cell.
The earthship makes use of solar power and wind turbines for generating more than enough electricity during sunny days, cloudy & rainy days and through the evenings. So you would never have to worry about blackouts. One of the most amazing features of the earthship is the built in green house that grows food for you all year round while at the same time producing clean oxygen for breathing. Having a variety of plants inside your home cleans the air inside and certain plants will help keep away pests like mosquitoes and flies. And certain plant will also attract beneficial insects that will help keep your plants healthy and free of diseases.
The earthship is by far the best option for off grid living in my opinion, because this is a house that looks after the people living in it. And by living in an earthship your are truly in every sense looking after the planet and doing your part for the environment, and in return your house looks after you. You might never have to work that job you hate again! As living in earthship provides you with all your basic needs.
In fact I’m so confident in the earthship that I’d be willing to state that even if civilization were to collapse people living in earthships would be unaffected because their home provides them with all they need.
Who needs money when you’ve got an earthship!! Unfortunately you just need money to build one, but after that not so much.