What would your dream off grid homestead be like?

  • What would your dream off grid homestead be like?

    Posted by BiggKidd on October 4, 2022 at 5:00 am

    I’m looking for ideas for my next home build. The plan has always to build a larger nicer home up the hill from this one. This was supposed to be temporary until my house in the city sold at which time I was going to build and use this either as a guest house or more likely a wood working shop. Well the crash of 08-09 happened and the house never sold. After covering both notes, here and there for about 20-22 months I had to let that one go to foreclosure and lost about 170k in equity. Which means I didn’t and don’t have the money to build like I had planned. That’s not to say I’m not still going to build. I made up my mind tonight that project goes forward starting next year money or no money. It will have to have as many raw materials off the land as possible. The good thing there is I have stone and timber on the property. The timber is almost all hardwoods though. I am also sure there are course sand deposits since I hit them when putting in a drain for a root cellar. So a good many raw materials to work with. I also have metal roofing and fasteners on hand that I bought before prices went sky high.

    Since this is now going to pretty much be a solo build with no budget my plans need to change a LOT. The plans I had originally come up with were for a family of four, that was 15 years ago though!

    The only small sliver of silver lining is I know most of the building trades since I did most of them during my working life.

    BakerHillFarm replied 2 weeks, 4 days ago 11 Members · 15 Replies
  • 15 Replies
  • JerseyGiantChick

    October 4, 2022 at 5:14 am

    Husband works with electricity, not the home power. After asking he is thinking about solar panels now, have to be patient to wait and see. Could mean I have to guve the kitchen garden, but that is the best and safest spot to put the panels. Do not want them on our home, maybe we can put them on Stellage and plant under them. There are farmers planting vegetable and fruit under the panels way up.

    Water with ibc 1000 l tanks system, also filter system with plants. And fish is on our planning, with vegetables and small fruit like strawberry.

  • JerseyGiantChick

    October 4, 2022 at 5:32 am

    Wow what a story, so you got the land with building site. Maybe you can build the most and than save and build ready in stages.

  • CarolinaCarefree

    October 4, 2022 at 6:10 am

    This is exactly where we are. We have the land and are in the planning stage of building. As we are an older couple that have lived in large houses before and have lived in apartments,, we have come to the conclusion that all we need is a smaller (not tiny) house, all onn one floor. We have figured out that getting older may mean not going up and down stairs easily, so eliminate the from the start. A small kitchen, living area, and two bedrooms, (one for visitors,or out-laws, I mean in-laws.) With two full baths. Again one for us and the other for every one else. To make up for the small kitchen inside, we want to do an outdoor covered kitchen area. For get together. Small herb garden nearby maybe between the house and outdoor kitchen. Well, that’s what we would like, we shall see what we get. The thing is the older we get, the less we want. I’ll start with a small shed to keep my tools in at the site, until we can build the rest. Since I have done some building of houses on mission trips I have some knowledge. As well as some plumbing and electrical experience. So at least that’s a start.

  • JerseyGiantChick

    October 4, 2022 at 9:51 am

    Maybe living units are a possibility, like Living Tradition (please correct me if it is nit right). Fertig Häuser they call them over here, build the units and than place them on the site. Maybe it can be built and placed in faces and not at once, so save between is possible.

  • Hippocrates_Garden

    October 4, 2022 at 1:41 pm

    Well, to start it would be passive solar. If I get to build from scratch, why in the world would I build something that will, over it’s life require -more- energy to remain comfortable, rather than less energy. Design to capture free energy first.

    Smaller, not larger. partly goes with the above, but also, less to clean, less space to lose stuff in, force me to downsize to what’s needed. I keep remembering George Carlin’s skit about having too much stuff, then getting a bigger house, which has empty space so you need MORE STUFF!

    As much as possible, materials that biodegrade, so stone, wood, fiber etc. less plastic.

    And situated on a permculture-based homestead so that what I need often is close, and systems are connected for resiliency and abundance.

    Lastly, not in a town or city. My tolerance for booming automotive sound systems and loud exhaust has been exceeded. Give me a rooster crowing, any day.

  • Jen-in-Ok

    October 14, 2022 at 8:14 pm

    I would look into adding solar hot water (builditsolar is a great resource )

    and i so want to build a methane digester here for cooking gas. but i do have lots of animals and things to feed it with here.

    • BiggKidd

      October 14, 2022 at 10:46 pm

      We have been using solar hot water for several years now it’s great compared to other options when off grid.

      • Jen-in-Ok

        October 18, 2022 at 3:22 am

        I want a solar hot water too!! one day I’m going to build me one ; )

  • NanaKK

    January 26, 2023 at 2:20 pm


    Wow… presently we live on 1.2 acres, rural little town in Northern Arkansas. Would love to have 10+ acres. I drew up plans years ago using a 40 x 80 Pole Barn. Self sufficient. Half for living, half for garage, workshop, and storage. but I guess a pipe dream. At 65 yrs don’t see it happening unless we win lottery…lol

    But if wanting to have ideas, look up European old farm houses. They have lasted years for a reason.

    Prayers and Blessings sent, hope your dreams come true

  • Redcap

    February 4, 2023 at 4:01 pm

    If I could have designed our house, I would have used a lot of passive solar and gravity-feed rainwater. Solar heated water (not panels, just black tanks) running under the floors for heat maybe. I also would have lived somewhere less humid but still had four seasons (is that possible?) so I could use evaporative cooling in summer. I would also have a nice but small wood cookstove which would also heat the house. And light tubes in the ceilings to replace a lot of lanterns or candles – well installed so they don’t constantly leak rain. I’d also have a nice laundry wash-tub set-up in a large cool room/pantry. Definitely want a root cellar and if I was super lucky, would have a spring and build a spring house around it. An outhouse is good enough for me. I don’t like composting toilets in the house. I’d rather have a honey bucket inside for cold weather and still go outside for the smellies.

  • Maranatha

    February 4, 2023 at 4:34 pm

    If I were to start from scratch, I would be building with a keen eye to sustainability and energy efficiency. I would build an earthbag home, with a cellar underneath or half sunk into the ground.

    Earthbag homes are impervious to fire, termites, and gunfire. They are very resistant to weather and disasters, especially earthquakes.

    Incredibly easy to heat and stays cool in the summer. Combined with a rocket mass heater, you can heat in the winter somewhere around ⅛ of the firewood you would need in a regular framed home.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by  Maranatha.
    • Magnoliahomestead

      February 4, 2023 at 9:56 pm

      Currently living in a house built in 1795 in East Tennessee. Built be a Methodist preacher who settled 1600 acres. Unfortunately, it is down to sitting on 1.1 acres. He built this house using materials from his land. First stick built house in the area. Made 6” walls so didn’t need insulation. Hoping to add solar electric and hot water.

      • BiggKidd

        February 4, 2023 at 10:07 pm


  • cloudy

    March 2, 2023 at 8:34 am

    I owned a 4000 sq foot gallery. I know exactly what you mean. I didn’t loose it I just closed it. That was a bad year for almost everyone. I really love the ranch style, but limited to that style. For me, I’d have a good sized kitchen living area where friends and family can visit, but most importantly it has to have a studio. I’m an artist and I work lots of mediums. a basement would be great pray least a root cellar.

  • BakerHillFarm

    March 7, 2023 at 2:39 pm

    That is quite the turn of events. I hope you will get to build the way you desire.

    For me, I like where we are but my husband would love to be in the mountains. I do wish we had a creek coming through our property though! That would be ideal. Solar panels and all that are great, that’s on the dream list- but a creek! A creek that is running downstream through my property would be awesome. Maybe one day! 😉