We were looking for a coastal state, my wife loves the ocean but the water is too cold most of the year for us up here in MA. She also has family and has lived in NC before, which gives us support and experience there.
Armel that's fantastic! I'm going to be checking out those links today for sure! Thank you so much! We are expecting to be moving in about 2 years, so I will probably be contacting you asking for advice on the area as a fellow permie 😁. Please keep me in the loop, I would love to hear how the move goes!
Thank you Randy that is exactly what we are looking for! The wife and I have honed in on central NC thanks to everyone's wonderful input! Now we just fix up this mobile home enough to sell it, buy a used RV, and drive ourselves and our stuff down. The company I work for has multiple branches in NC, so I should be able to transfer rather than finding a whole new job, and she has family in the area to help us get settled!
Those are really good points John and thank you for so much info! The couple years is because we have to replace the roof and reinsulate and finish the interior walls and floors. There's another that needs to be done before we can sell or rent our mobile home. I am however going to focus more on job placement and look further inland. There seems to be slot more owner finance land in NC as opposed to the other states, which would give us more options.
Hey everybody, figured I would see if anyone had any advice or experience in what my wife and I are planning.
Wife and I live in MA in a mobile home in a park with a decent reputation. We own it outright, no mortgage, and are currently fixing it up, as it was abandoned when we purchased it. Last big project left(lump sum money wise anyway) is to build a gable or shed roof over the awful flat roof. Due to our very tight budget, we are thinking we might have to try to get a home improvement loan for the materials for the roof.
The getaway plan:
Fix up the mobile home, sell it in a few years(based on sales of similar trailers in our park we are hoping to walk away with 20-30k after we repay the above mentioned home improvement loan), get an RV or convert a bus, and drive us, our cats, and our stuff down the coast to either NC, SC, or FL. No more New England winters!
The motorhome may or may not give us a place to live once we get down there. If we can't live in it for a little while, it will at least make the move much more comfortable than a U-Haul truck lol.
The arrival plan:
Live in motorhome in park or on private land till we find land/area that we like. If that won't work, then we use what money we have to buy another mobile home and live there(preferably purchase MH on land so we can resell it later to purchase "till we die plan" land.
The 'till we die plan:
Find a few acres with southern exposure to build a natural home, preferably bermed with greenhouse attached. Grow small orchard, large garden, possibly wind turbine or watermill depending on site. A little space for tinkering, woodworking, wife's metalworking and art, etc. Die peacefully in our bed at the same time, use our ashes to plant a tree, you know all that happy horse... stuff.
Our big question right now in our planning is, where should we plan to move to?
Cheap cost of living(looking for early retirement/part time working situation. Getting out of the "rat race" is the whole point here)
More sunlight year round and warmer winters than MA(winters can be so depressing here!)
Cheap, suitable land(that we can build naturally on, won't be buried in permits and red tape,etc)
Land near ocean if possible
Peace and quiet, and a little space between neighbors.
Being vegetarians, we want to grow a lot more of our own food. I don't think we will ever go as far as a homestead, but halfway there sounds quite nice.
Jobs within driving range(she has retail experience, I have security, but both are willing to look in other industries)
Probably looking for more forest, or forest and field type land
So can anyone recommend which of the 3 states(NC, SC, FL)sounds like it would fit our needs? I've been checking out climate maps, city data websites etc. And a lot of it is outdated, and not relevant to the lifestyle we want to live.
While I will definitely be bookmarking all of these maps for later referencing, the Koppen climate classification system is EXACTLY what I was looking for! It has so much detail too! The wife and I are thinking about moving out of our region in the next few years, and I really wanted to see what other parts of the US are like. this is perfect, thank you everyone!
I've noticed a lot of people referring to specific climate zones they live in. Is there a specific system or map everyone is using? Googling "climate zone map USA" gives a million different maps. I'm more concerned with climate zones for natural building purposes, but a zone map for farming/growing purposes would be great to have as well. Thank you!
Strawbales, reeds, or straw/woodchip clay slip attached and then plastered to the outside may be helpful for your situation, but I think you might be better off changing the design of your house. From what I understand, thermal mass and insulation are like 2 different directions on a scale. I believe in exterior walls if you try to incorporate both systems and are planning to get heat from passive solar thermal mass, they tend to cancel each other out. You would be either insulating yourself against your thermal mass if insulation is on inside of exterior thermal mass walls, or insulating your walls from collecting passive solar if insulated on the outside of thermal mass walls. If your are only planning to charge your thermal mass via windows and an interior source(aka rocket mass heater or masonry heater) then insulating outside an earthbag structure should be fine.
If any of this info is incorrect PLEASE correct me! I am by no means an expert.
You know I think thats the next thing I will do. My wife and I live in Massachusetts right now, but are planning on moving to North Carolina within the next 5 years. I know there are more natural building groups and communities there, just didn't know if there was some kind of certificate that is required nationwide to teach. You know, something that not only teaches principles and techniques of building, but other things that teachers might need to know such as how to run and operate a natural building school.
I am interested in becoming a natural building teacher/professional, and wanted to know if any of you had any info/anecdotes/advice on that process.
My whole life growing up I was never really passionate about anything, which has always been a concern of mine and a real source of stress in my late high school years when I was supposed to decide what i'm going to do for the rest of my life(no pressure or anything lol). Really the thing I enjoyed the most was reading books like Swiss Family Robinson, Hatchet, My Side of the Mountain, etc. Books about returning to a natural way of living. I have never been able to muster much enthusiasm or drive to commit 50+ hours a week to some job, it always just seemed like a waste to me, what good does it do in the big picture? I believe we are not meant to live like that.
Since discovering natural building I have been absorbing every little scrap of info I can,every book I can get at the library,every video I can find on youtube, here on permies, groups on facebook, I am crazy about this stuff! This is really the only career I can see myself feeling passionate and productive about. So I really want to see what it would take to make it a career!
My wife has recently decided to pursue a career in nutrition, and it just feels right as rain, me helping make responsible and healthy homes and her helping people fill them with responsible and healthy food!
My biggest concerns right now are education costs to become a natural building teacher and job security once i am qualified to be a natural building teacher. If anyone has any opinions or info on this subject, I would love to hear from you! Thank you for taking your precious time to read this, I really appreciate it. Have a great day!!
My wife and I live in a mobile home in western Massachusetts. We bought it about a year ago for $6500. The place had been abandoned for 2 years, with a single elderly woman living in it before then. Nursing home folks came and took her and her bed and locked the door behind them(food still in the fridge,personal effects left behind,etc.)leaving the place abandoned until 2 years later when the park took it. The park sold it to a flipper, who got halfway through a lazy renovation and repair, and then gave up and sold it to us. We had to rip out every wall, redo all the plumbing, re-stud, re-coat the roof, you name it. Water damage, bad wiring, dead furnace, everything. Also one other thing often overlooked is health! Mobile homes are made of some nasty stuff and any toxic substances will be stirred up into the air even more once you start renovations. I think we have asbestos linoleum tiles in ours.
The good news is that with friends, tools, SOME money(my income is sad lol) and alot of time, you can make an old mobile home a viable place to live. Just be ready to do alot of remodeling. If you dont have time to invest in upgrading and repairing,I really wouldnt recommend it.
I think that in the end, it will still be much cheaper than getting a mortgage on a house, especially in my area, but we knew going into this that we were not going to live in it for the rest of our lives. Still better than renting, i love not sharing a wall with strangers anymore, and having my own tiny yard.
All in all it depends on what you need in a home, how long you need it, and how much work you can invest.
My wife and I are building an 11'x11' shed ourselves out of pallets we got from the trash. They are all the same dimensions, and have plywood on the top. We will be building the floor and walls out of these pallets. We are trying to figure of the roof. We have access to a re-store that sells OSB for $5-$7 per sheet, so im not terribly worried about the support structure. I'm looking for a VERY inexpensive, DIY-able, and durable roofing material/system(preferably recycled and not retail). We may be moving from this home in the next 5 years or so, so preferably it would be something that traditional home buyers would not dislike. I have done some research regarding tire roofs, but everything DIY on the internet sends me to a site about using racing tires(because they do not have steel under the tread). I don't know where I would get old racing tires around here. I was also very interested in a post I found about pond liner and old carpet to make a living roof? Anyone know how to do that? Does anyone have an experience they can share about either of these methods, or any advice? or perhaps a method I have not discovered yet? The two key factors here are cheap and still relatively uniform looking.
P.S. If this helps any, we are in a mobile home park, and have gotten permission from management.
P.P.S. Should this topic be here or in Natural Building?
Sorry for the delay in response, been a very busy week here. The home is approx the width of a double wide because of the additions, and approx 72 ft? I'm not positive on the length, havent had to measure it yet. Once all the walls have been redone with 2x3 studs, brown water heater fiber glass insulation(saved from trash, couldnt find an R rating for them,but it seems to be doing a good job where it has been installed so far), and 1/2" drywall. All the spaces will be open to each other, with sliding barn door style doors separating the bedroom and bathroom from the rest of the house. Weather conditions were described in OP.
Excellent! I figured the mass should go under the trailer and attach to the floors from beneath so that we don't have to spend a ton of money reinforcing floors. If I can do that, im still trying to make sure I could get to the feed tube from inside the house, whether the stove itself can be inside or beneath the house, etc.
New member here. I am very interested in putting a RMH into my mobile home for the main heat source. My wife and I bought this mobile home that was abandoned for 2 years this past April. We have done alot of fixing, and still have plenty more to do, but one of the major things was removing the propane furnace and tanks. My wife was not comfortable with such a volatile heating substance in her home that had not been maintained properly. We were originally going to do electric baseboard heaters(and might still as a backup) but I would love to put a RMH in so we can burn scrap and scavanged/donated wood rather than pay even more on the electric bill. We own the mobile home, and rent the lot it is on. The home sits on dirt, with a cement pad under parts of it, and has a vapor barrier in some places, or I could add one to the places that doesn't. I will probably be getting my mass material from off site, as it is a small lot and I don't think I am allowed to dig anyway. The trailer still has the axles and tires attached. I believe it would be best to run the mass under the house and attach it to the floors, as reinforcing the floors to hold the mass weight seems extensive and costly. I currently have Ianto Evans RMH book on the way from my local library and will be pouring over it thoroughly. I had looked at radiant floor heating before as the floors need to be redone anyway, but short ceiling heights and costly (retail) radiant heating systems have me looking at RMH instead.
My concerns are mostly about effectiveness of a RMH in a mobile home(which we are currently re-studding and insulating and doing drywall instead of paneling) in my climateclimate. I did see another post on this forum that was very similar, but it was in a different region. I live in Western Massachusetts, so we are talking humid summers in high 90s+ Fahrenheit to teens and single digits or lower and long periods of clouds and snow in winter. Would a RMH system be enough to keep us warm in my environment and type of home?
Ideally I would like to have this project finished before next winter, as we are currently using space heaters only and it is very expensive and LAUGHABLY ineffective. Finances are what they are. Anyone have any advice or ideas for me? I'm open to other options if a RMH wouldn't work in my situation.
Also, so glad to have found this forum! What an awesome place! Love all the support and free exchange of info!