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Need feedback on pros and cons of using Polar Sheds as a tiny house  RSS feed

 
Posts: 176
Location: SE Oklahoma
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I am seriously looking at getting a building quickly using a rent-to-own program. Does anyone have feedback on the pros and cons of using a polar building as a tiny house versus more typical portable buildings? The reason I am considering it is that they are constructed of insulated panels so the entire building would come pre-insulated. And they use real plywood in the floor. They will install door(s) and windows.

Then if I paint the roof with Henry's Tropical Tropi-Cool https://us.henry.com/roofing/reflective-coatings/white-roof-coatings/887-tropi-cool-100-silicone-white-roof-coating that should lower the temperature in the summer, especially since there will probably not be trees around it at least at first.

What kind of materials does Polar Sheds use?

Floors are built with treated double stacked 2x4’s for the skids, treated 2x4 (or 2x6 floor joists for upgraded flooring) on 16” centers and 23/32 BC Sanded plywood. Our walls, roof and even the trim used on all Polar Sheds are built using an up-cycled material that comes from a product that is commonly known as a “sandwich panel.” The panels are 1 3/4 “ thick and consists of 2 sheets of primed 26 gauge steel with polystyrene insulation in between. The product we use for all of our sheds is derived from the same materials door factories use to construct exterior steel entry doors.

Sorry. I don't know how to get the images to show up in the post. If someone can tell me how, I will add them to this post



The other alternative is a more typical portable building like this:



Or like this:



Or like this:



There are basically barn-style or house-style roofs and various configurations of porches. These typically come as shells and I would have to insulate it myself, but they might consider doing it.

Any thoughts?

 
pollinator
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I was going to suggest a used trailer instead.
That is still a viable option, a 5th wheel or other such trailer will be move in ready.
But cost wise, the Polar sheds seem competitive and then some.
Your profile says you already live on a farm, I suppose you are wanting for your own space.

What do you want/need in terms of a kitchen/bathroom of your own?
 
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Location: Oklahoma Panhandle
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All I've ever heard about that type of building has been positive.  People have used the small ones for well houses that wouldn't freeze up.  Someone north of you, I think at Warner or Connors State built several rent houses out of those door panels before the portable buildings started being manufactured.  From what I heard they were very comfortable and the utilities were crazy cheap.  Thanks for reminding me of those, we might be needing an outbuilding soon for my wife to use as a studio.  I'd forgotten that option.
 
Gail Gardner
Posts: 176
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William Bronson wrote: I was going to suggest a used trailer instead.
That is still a viable option, a 5th wheel or other such trailer will be move in ready.
But cost wise, the Polar sheds seem competitive and then some.
Your profile says you already live on a farm, I suppose you are wanting for your own space.

What do you want/need in terms of a kitchen/bathroom of your own?



Hi William,

Thank you for replying. While a trailer would be fast, it would be less viable long-term as used trailers usually come with a ton of issues and shorter lifespans. Challenges with existing trailers explained at http://www.eiwellspring.org/saferh/LowEMFtrailer.htm

I was actually planning on getting a cargo trailer, insulating it, and creating a tiny house on wheels down the road. But I changed that plan when the landowners installed HughesNet WiFi on the other mobile home on this property.

That happened the day I was supposed to move out of the oldest mobile home into a newer one. That newer one is now bathed in WiFi 24x7 and there is no way I am going to live like that. I was able to shield my room in the oldest mobile home so that I can keep a clear mind and work. And that is really important because all of the sudden I need to seriously up my income.

Whether I get a polar shed, or a portable building, or a cargo trailer - all 3 I could gradually build out to be exactly what I want. And that includes having a large, upright, antique piano in it. Although I might be able to find a trailer with a large enough door, that is a unique challenge.

The solution to both a magnetic field coming off the power lines that is higher than I would like and causing me problems in the winter and to their new WiFi is buying something else to live in and putting it far out in the middle of the pasture.

And that brings me to the next challenge of learning solar in a hurry and ensuring that would be enough for me to consistently work. I would almost have to use an inverter and not have the panels right next to where I live. That would mean finding low EMF panels and the lowest EMF inverter.

Because I want the lowest EMF / wiring exposure and most trailers have wiring everywhere, I want to building to limit where power is. I will only have power partially down one side and no power at one end or on the other side. That way I can most easily avoid all health issues related to electrification.

RE: the bathroom I'll use a homemade composting toilet for now and maybe spring for a Head down the road. In the kitchen, I need counter space. And eventually I would like to install a wood-burning stove of some kind. I'm debating whether to use propane for now or try to go wood-burning immediately.

I thought about getting grid power, but I want to be a long way from the power lines - at least 300 feet - so that gets expensive. So now I need to research solar and how much power computers, router, modem, small appliances, refrigerator use. Hmmm. Maybe I need a propane refrigerator.

If this hadn't happened all of a sudden, my plan was to figure out how to convert everything from A/C to D/C in advance of going solar.
 
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The Polar sheds look very cozy. If they are price competitive with wood sheds that's what I would consider if I'd didnt prefer cargo trailers. The cargo trailer route is even better in my opinion. This previous Winter I saw many converted cargo trailers. I was quite impressed with them.
On a side note I've seen people make simple foam structures inside their homes by glueing the foam sheets together into big boxes. On another side note I saw there are videos on DIY paneling covered foam interiors for campers. These structures are more complex and aesthetically pleasing.
If I had access to a nice shop and lots of aluminum I would build a custom cargo trailer using aircraft construction similar to Airsteam trailers. Mine would be taller. And a blank slate like a cargo trailer with a wood stove.
 
pollinator
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Gail said   Sorry. I don't know how to get the images to show up in the post. If someone can tell me how, I will add them to this post



Here are some links that will tell you how to add pictures and videos:

https://permies.com/t/61133/Post-Image-Permies


https://permies.com/t/30463/post-YouTube-video-Permies


And here is everything you ever wanted to know about permies:

https://permies.com/wiki/34193/permies-works-links-threads
 
Gail Gardner
Posts: 176
Location: SE Oklahoma
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Anne Miller wrote:

Here are some links that will tell you how to add pictures and videos



Thanks, Anne. I could have sworn that is what I tried to get the images to appear and it didn't work. But it did work this time and I wouldn't have known there was a separate YouTube button. Thanks for the links. I edited this post to be better visually so more people might respond.

Thanks for popping in, reading and commenting, Jeremy. Yes, a cargo trailer was my original plan when I thought I would have a year or two to build one out. But they are expensive and not available as rent-to-own. Also, as I have horse equipment, a wheel barrow, tools, and do a lot of food prep and preserving, the larger area of a building would actually be preferable anyway.

Since I don't have a shop, or aluminum, or a vehicle to haul insulation, interior walls, etc., one that comes already insulated is a plus. I would rather spend my time growing and preserving food and working so that I can afford a wood cook stove, to drill a well, etc.

This morning I'll be calling building companies and Polar insulated buildings to get more details. And the Telco people will be here so I need to corner them and see how far they'll run a DSL line and what they will charge for it. No wireless for me ever again.

 
Anne Miller
pollinator
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I really like the look of the interior of the Polar and since you don't want to DIY these look like a way to go.




Many of the maker of these type building offer many options.  It just depends on the company.  Many will finance and custom the buildings for you.
 
Gail Gardner
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Anne Miller wrote:I really like the look of the interior of the Polar and since you don't want to DIY these look like a way to go.



Yes, I will be speaking with them this morning. They don't answer the phones until 10:00 a.m. there. I already confirmed that Telco can run DSL cable through trees and as many feet as I want. Now I have to figure out solar in a hurry.
 
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Gail Gardner wrote: Now I have to figure out solar in a hurry.



Gail - did you see this thread? https://permies.com/t/smartest-solar-power
It sounds like an inexpensive system and maybe one you could get installed quikcly.
 
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I can add that there is no scientific proof that heat reflecting paint that you speak of actually works.
In Australia and other places, the claims have been through court rooms and debunked.
A light frame with shade clothe over the whole roof will work, without any dispute.
 
Gail Gardner
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John C Daley wrote:I can add that there is no scientific proof that heat reflecting paint that you speak of actually works.
In Australia and other places, the claims have been through court rooms and debunked.
A light frame with shade clothe over the whole roof will work, without any dispute.



I don't think what she used was what we would call paint. She used a thermometer to measure the change. And when she told someone else about it, he used a heat gun to measure where it was painted and where it wasn't. Because it was sticky, she wore socks to paint on the 2nd and 3rd coats and said her feet were cold standing on it.
 
Gail Gardner
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Annie Collins wrote:

Gail Gardner wrote: Now I have to figure out solar in a hurry.



Gail - did you see this thread? https://permies.com/t/smartest-solar-power
It sounds like an inexpensive system and maybe one you could get installed quickly.



I had not. Thank you, Annie. I'm making notes and trying to sort this out as quickly as possible. The landowners are trying to force me out of where I'm living before I have anyplace safe to move. I  am asking them for 3-4 weeks because I have to do triple the work and it takes that long to get the building I want. I hope they'll agree.
 
Anne Miller
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For the record, the landowner cannot force you to move without an eviction notice.

They can make you uncomfortable and not want to be there though you have the law on your side.
 
Gail Gardner
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Anne Miller wrote:For the record, the landowner cannot force you to move without an eviction notice.

They can make you uncomfortable and not want to be there though you have the law on your side.



It is a complicated situation. They provided a newer, smaller mobile home for me to move into and expected that to already have happened. Last night they told me I had to move into it by next week. The reason I do not want to do that is between the time I agreed and the day I was supposed to move, they installed 2 transmitters on the roof of a different mobile home their son lives in.

So the new mobile home is now bathed in RF to an unhealthy level. They know I live in the middle of nowhere because I am electronically sensitive. They know I only turned WiFi on when their son wanted to use it (usually less than 10 hours a week) and I shielded between me and it.

Even though I never refused to turn it on for him, he works full-time and is rarely here when he isn't working, they have chosen to blast that new mobile home 24x7 with no way to ever turn it off. And I know they were forced to sign a 2 year contract so they are stuck with it.

That is what has prompted my sudden need to get a building and go off-grid with no advance preparation. They emailed and told me to get moved. I replied I need 3-4 weeks. We'll see what happens.
 
Posts: 52
Location: Western OK, avg rain 23" hazards: drought, tornado, wildfire
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Gail,
What will you be doing for a tornado shelter? Do you have many tornadoes or high wind events in your part of Oklahoma?
denise
 
Gail Gardner
Posts: 176
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denise ra wrote:Gail,
What will you be doing for a tornado shelter? Do you have many tornadoes or high wind events in your part of Oklahoma?
denise



There is one on the property, but I don't worry about tornadoes. If God wants me now, he can have me. Thanks for your concern.

When I asked for 3-4 weeks to get the building (because that is how long it takes to get one), they said no - you have to get out immediately. That prompted me to look again for a better situation. Fortunately for me, I found another place to lease that is far lower EMF. Now if I can just stand the pain and how horrendous I feel for a few more days I'll be out of here.
 
denise ra
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Wishing you the best. Hang in there!
denise
 
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