If you’ve ever been interested in off-grid living, this video is the perfect place to start. The 10-minute video will show you the journey of the building construction of a small rustic live-edge grid cedar-sided log cabin built by a group of friends by hand. This is how the friends built a small cabin in the woods on a small budget. They will show you how they hand dug the post holes to hold the cabin up, right up to the installation of the custom-built front door, all using a portable sawmill. This cabin build is something the owner’s brother and himself wanted to do ever since they were kids, playing around in the forest, coupled with whatever building materials they had from the local infill to build all sorts of forts. Now they build a full habitable cabin.
First, they start by digging in reclaimed pressure-treated posts by hand using a shovel. Next, they cut and harvest dead-standing cedar and pine trees for the structure including the 2 by 4s, ridge beams, and siding. They must use battery-powered hand tools because there is no power at this location in the forest. They use reclaimed windows from a house demolition and install a used fireplace. The roof is supplied by Vic West and goes up quickly with screws that have rubber gaskets. The door is custom-built using cedar. The deck is held up by pine logs (dead standing) and covered with cedar. Season 2 will cover more of the build including the interior and outbuildings for things like off-grid power.
When it comes to off-grid living it takes planning, preparation, and work to make it happen. And once you’re there, the work will continue with the maintenance and upkeep of your off-grid homestead. It all goes back to the basics, living a sustainable life while being self-sufficient is key. The following are the first few steps you will want to consider.
Land. First, you’ll need a good location. To go off-grid, you will need a parcel of land that lends itself to your new lifestyle choice. That will usually mean finding land in a remote area, far from strict building codes and permitting regulations. Land in these areas is less expensive, property taxes are lower, and you can get more acreage for your money.
Shelter. The next thing you need is shelter. This is a fundamental need every human being requires to survive. Your off-grid shelter can come in the form of a cabin, a tiny house, a traditional wood-frame home, a cob house, an Earthship, a strawbale home, or even a yurt. There are many different types of shelters and it’s a good idea to choose which type of shelter you will build or buy long before moving onto your land.
Water. You will need a good clean water source. You will most likely not have access to city water or municipal county water sources on your land so you will want to be sure and choose a piece of land that either has a natural water source or where it’s convenient to haul water.