So we've researched. Here's our plan:
- Create a budget. Done.
- Find a way to bring in more money. Uh, working on.
- Make plan. Done.
- Find the land. Must have alternate water source or grandfathered well. Within 30 minutes from Mom-In-Law and Hubby's job and town. Off country road and off beaten path. Still looking.
- Place house on market (after making minor cosmetic repairs). Note: We just found out we can't place the house on the market until the first of June 2009 - bummer.
- Sell everything we have that we can do without.
- Buy couple of cheap sheds and move our boxes with the rest of our "stuff" into them.
- Find inexpensive trailer to live in or pitch our tents. This is for while we build our home.
- Sell home. Please God Please God Please God.
- Start "building" our home (not necessarily in this order - we could start building before this home gets sold).
The following are links to building cheap homes:
- Build a cob house: http://www.meaningofdreams.org/Dream_House/dreamhouse_build_your_own.htm
- Build a huge cheap home with shipping containers - wonder if they withstand bullets?: http://www.unexplainable.net/artman/publish/article_1180.shtml
- I once visited a tire home (for some reason called an earthship home but has nothing to do with aliens) - http://www.bluerockstation.com/earthshiphome.html
- Straw Bale: http://www.balewatch.com/ or http://www.blog.thesietch.org/2007/11/10/how-to-build-your-own-straw-bale-home/
I think that's enough links!
Now... we can't publicize what we're going to do EXACTLY because this is our chance to become very private, but we'll give you several ideas about building a good retreat/survival home:
- Can do most of the work ourselves or with friends' help.
- Environmentally friendly (straw-bale, old tires, old bottles/cans, container, etc.)
- Can't easily be seen from sky (may need to plant fast-growing trees on the north, north-east and north-west sides)
- Easy to defend from all sides
- Lots of hidden storage
- Mostly underground (reduce heating/cooling costs, easy to defense, etc.) - doesn't have to be directly underneath ground-level home.
- Separate ventilation system for underground.
- Deceptive first floor (giving no indication of having majority of house underground)
- Lots of south-facing windows on ground-level for indoor "greenhouse" - yum - year-round tomatoes, peppers, herbs, blueberries, bananas, carrots, greens, strawberries, etc.
- This may sound weird, but part of ground level should have (a) garage for concealed transportation and unloading, (b) barn with thick walls and separate ventilation system but to enable taking care of animals without leaving the house to wade through 6-foot snow drifts.
- Underground bathrooms have composting toilets and minimal shower flow.
- Underground will have a secondary/alternative kitchen-type area.
- Ground level is mostly one big room (except the separate garage and barn), plus a bathroom, kitchen, and 2 side rooms set up like bedrooms. That "big" room will "house" the dining area, living room, library, music room, schoolroom, game room, et al.
- Ground level has a good wood cookstove. Floor layout will enable that one cookstove to heat the entire floor.
- Hook up to local utility for water and sewer. Prefer to dig well and use septic tank and gray-water leach field.
- Purchase and hook up solar panels and/or wind turbines
- Live off the grid, in a green manner, with strong self-sufficiency, and easily defensible.
This is what we're looking at. Hope we can do this fairly cheaply. Sure we can't get a mortgage for exactly what we're planning.