Here at Urban Collective we love the idea of sustainable living. We’re suckers for energy efficient homes, we encourage the use of renewable resources such as solar power, and we think everybody should grow their own food. It was only a matter of time when we brought this all together to discuss getting off the grid completely.
It seems like the hectic nature of people’s working lives are pushing them back to the call of nature. Bush survival TV shows have shown a rise in popularity alongside an emerging trend of people to want to get away from society completely and live a more relaxed life outside of the boundaries, constraints and evils of city life. While this might sound like a good idea in theory, it can be a lot harder than you imagine, and even if you manage to get yourself free from the stresses of living in society, it is very unlikely that you’ll be able to live out the rest of your life with little or no human contact as all.
While we’re all for homesteading and getting off grid, if you’re going to do it properly there is a lot of planning involved. You need to be dedicated, prepared and thorough when organising your plans for the future.
The first thing you need is a suitable piece of land where you can set up your new home. Obviously if you want to be alone and away from the rest of society a secluded ares would be best, although you will likely want to stay in touch with family and friends, and you may need to visit the store for food and other consumable on occasion. With the rise in the popularity of modular and portable homes, there are tons of new ideas available for you to consider.
Some recent developments in prefabricate modular homes include the new Ecocapsule. This solar and wind powered pod home is portable (it can fit inside a shipping container), self sufficient and perfect for any number of applications. It also comes with a rainwater and dew collector and a build in filter so you’ll always have something to drink.
Fancy, high-tech modular homes such as these will likely come with high price tag, so for those of us who want to do things a bit cheaper, these may not be the best option. Container homes have seen a rise in popularity in recent year, and while not as fancy to begin with, these can be make into the most extraordinary and luxurious residences. Why style and architecture probably aren’t the highest on the list of priorities for any homesteader, there is plenty of inspiration to be taken from the amazing versatility of container homes thus far.
If you’re planning on doing things the old-school way, and just want a simple, energy efficient, and relatively cheap home to live in, it might pay that you speak with a local construction team that specialise in such projects. Construction companies will generally know which materials are best suited to the local climate. For example homes in sub-tropical to tropical regions of Australia from anywhere north of Brisbane will need good insulation to maintain a comfortable temperature during summer. Homes in the southern areas of Australia should be built with a northwards facing orientation to make the most of the winter sun.
Trees should be planted strategically around your home to increase shade in the summer months and block strong winds if you live in a windy area. You can read more about using trees to reduce your energy costs here. By preparing a good design plan before you start the construction and development of your new home, you can save yourself a lot of money and hassle in the long run. Another good idea is to research online about other people who live off-the-grid and find out about potential pitfalls you may encounter. It’s better you find out about any potential problems before you settle in, rather than finding out once you’ve already moved in.
Once you have decided on a design for your new home and can get it built on the land you have selected, your next step is to start planning out your garden and any changes you might wish to make to the surrounding area to make things easier for you in the coming years. That’s enough from us for today though, we’ll go into more detail about permaculture and gardening in a future post.
If you have any questions about anything above, please feel free to get in contact with us via the form on our contact page. We love to hear from our readers and we’re always happy to offer advice or guidance on modular home construction and other related projects, or anything else we have discussed on here.