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dan simon

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since Feb 13, 2012
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Recent posts by dan simon

well i will by necessity have to avoid almost all codes and permitting. i am poor. Codes and permitting like taxes and speeding tickets have the greatest adverse effect on people in my economic class. i will be completely off grid with no septic. ill compost my contributions. As for grey water i'm not worried about that. i am very low use on water. i will do rain collection and i do so now. i use maybe a gallon for a shower and maybe 2 for dishes. when i have my kids that goes up for a little while but as i work 40 plus i just don't use much. my house will be small 16 x 20. and i emphasize absolutely no utilities. my main concern is being left alone with little expense compounded on my already stressful life. im very libertarian and don't believe all the government regulation is necessary or viable. Its a ludicrous stressor arbitrarily placed on us for the illusion of safety and better living.
Thank you for your reply it is helpful to know where people are more inclined towards these ideas. those areas will be the best place to start.
Is NH in and of itself more libertarian than VT? I don't mind a 3 or 4 hour commute to get my kids. i currently travel 20 hours 1 way.
finding a place to rent up there is a possibility but a slim one. getting a job, paying rent saving and all the other bills that come with living in a conventional situation really add up.
3 years ago
I am moving from tennessee. My kids live in Maine and I want to be closer to them. So I need to know what is the bad of living off grid no septic no public utilities, Politically speaking, In Vermont or new Hampshire or maine? Are there counties that are not subject to the international building code? What are the taxes like in those states. My place will be small. The land I'll be looking for would be about 5 acres.
In tn in the county I'm in they only inspect grid tied electric And septic. My taxes are about $150 a year. I stay away from most people and don't advertise what I'm doing and so I'm left alone. Could I have hope of having that same expectation if I live in one of those states?
3 years ago
Some things to consider.
1. White leds, there is a company that makes led bulbs with an edison base. This means less AC and more DC. This reduces your power needs.
2. Use less power. Build with that in mind. Reduce your dependancy on electricity. Use DC appliances and cut out the inverter. Install more windows. Build smaller. Get rid of the tv.
3. Buy the cheap batteries. I have 3 years on mine. Ive been neglectful. Too many things to do and i forget to check them. Most of us do. So will you.
4. Plan well. Be patient. Learn how to care for your batteries. They are like children.
4 years ago
the elements of a proper foundation are neccessary for the protection of the building. to effectively do this there needs to be in place ,
1. Drainage. Drain the first few inches of soil as well as drain water that will effect the base of the foundation (the footer or peer). drainage also need to incorporate a plan for removing water that is shed from the roof. Drainage would also include moisture under the floor taken to the sump or day lighted outside the subsurface drain. so effectively 4 drains or 4 areas to drain.
2. the actual foundation. my home is a post and beam with straw bale infill. my foundation is both a rubble foundation with a bond beam that supports the straw bales and peers on the inside of the house supporting the structure of the house. I used concrete for the peers. this is what i knew how to do. im not sure what alternatives there are for concrete peers that incorporates both the downward pressure of the posts and roof and also the upward pressure of wind or updraft. think tornadoes. the peers are 2 feet deep, frost here is 18 inches this is to code. I only used sonatube above the excavated ground level. i used metal post bases to attach the peer to the posts. the peer also rises to the finished floor level. i narrowed the last 2 inches of the peer down to 6 inch. the straw bale foundation is a 2 foot deep 18 inch wide rubble trench with a 4 inch french drain under the rubble that drains to daylight about 20 feet way well below the base of my foundation grade. the edges are lined with silt screen and filled with gravel. on the top of the foundation is a concrete bond beam 4 inch think and on top of this beam is 2 2x4 pressure treated wood strips that the bales sit on. these are there to separate the concrete from the bales. I now know there are alternatives to concrete however im not sure how to implement them. the top of the concrete bond beam sits at my finished floor grade and is 4 inches above the outside grade.
3. The roof. my roof has 3 foot over hanging eaves. this worked very well as i had exposed bales for over a year and had no water on the even though i get 60 inches a year here. with gutters draining off and tying into the sub surface level french drain. the subsurface drain is just under the outer edge of the house eaves and just under the gravel walkway i have around the house. this drain daylights also 20 feet away from the house. and finally the subfloor drain drains into the foundation drain. to do this i tapered the subfloor under my sub gravel so it drains to the back of my house.
This may not be perfect however i use current engineering standards to mix my concrete and to sized my peers. i also made sure i met frost standards for my area and new the local soil standards.
4 years ago
On the topic on simple water pumps. There are many on demand 12volt dc water pumps on the market. I have a 30 psi shureflow that i use to give water pressure to my fixtures. they are low energy passive pumps they only use power when they are triggered by low pressure.
4 years ago
Im not sure where to post this. Im sure someone can figure that out.
I have been reading quite a few posts here and find myself quite horrified with the lack of good foundations on many builds of which people hope the buildings will last for some time.
I understand that not every build is the same. The main differences being soil condition, ground water, building materials and cost.
However is there some possability of a thorough discussion that could lead to some viable foundation models that could be adapted for specific needs. Its just terrifying seeing some of the stuff you guys have come up with.
4 years ago
So some personal observations.
1. My bales were exposed outside with only 3 ft eaves for over 12 months. They took no damage. They did not get wet either.
2. The only part about them being exposed is the let the wind through. It was chilly.
3. Lime is not ruined if it freezes. All one would have to do is remix it when it warmed back up. Consider the lime cycle and what it takes for lime to move through each phase of the cycle. If it is not exposed to co2 and heat so as to calcify then it is usable for years if left as wet putty. it takes a very long time to move from hydrated lime into calcium or chalk. And freezing is not a part of the process. Thats why lime is a superior material in this aplication.
4 it would do wonders for your house to put at least 1 coat of plaster on the walls. The first coat will take quite some time to dry out and will crack a lot. The next coat will dry much faster and wont crack or will very little.
4 years ago
I am going to attempt to talk you out of it. Yurts work fine as small temporary shelters. When the attempt is made to adapt them into large permanent strucrures such as you want to do problems and cost arise. To compare two structures with the same living area. The cost will increase significantly in a well constructed yurt compared to a well constructed rectangle house. A yurt the size you describe is harder to heat and difucult to finish. it is more diffucult to detail proper insulation and windows tend to be non standard. Expect to pay a butt load if you want this house to last your lifetime. A friend of mine was hen pecked into building one and he hates it. Its not finished and they have spent way too much money on it. They make great tents but shitty houses.
4 years ago
To start I am currently involved with my friend building and creating an off grid home in southern Tennessee. I have have experience in construction and telecom. What we have accomplished so far is to build a strawbale house. we have begun to cultivate our orchard and garden. I am not lacking in any skills for this sort of lifestyle. I have the skills to plan and build a home very inexpensively. I have gained considerable experience with an off grid home and many of the details needed to create a functional home. My 720 square foot house has cost me $3500 in materials as i did all the labor. I currently live in the home. My estimated costs for completion will be another $3000-$4000.
My problem. I am divorcing. My ex has family in southern Maine and has moved back there with our children. It is beginning to appear that if I want quality contact with my children I will have to spend a lot of time in Maine. I have no support or resources in Maine. My family is from Colorado. My problem is that if I moved to Maine now I would be effectively homeless.
I am looking for help finding a place to live that would be suitable for me and 2 young children when I have them. Without resources in Maine or the surrounding area I cannot effectively plan or prepare for living in Maine and providing my children the kind of experiences I want them to have.
Any Ideas would be helpful. Thank you.
6 years ago
Where did you get that wonderful soundtrack?
7 years ago