Living off the grid is a dream for many, but the idea of going back to nature and depending on no one for power, plumbing, or any other convenience doesn’t have to remain a fantasy for you and your family! Many people all over the world have build their own energy-efficient home using inexpensive and easy to work with supplies. If you are considering building your own off-the-grid home for temporary shelter or full-time living, then you should know your options. The following four forms of energy-efficient building supplies are some of the best construction methods yet for off-the-grid living.
Yurts: Cloth Houses
A yurt is a rounded, fabric house originally used in Central Asia. These homes are portable, since they were initially used by nomadic cultures. For being made from fabric and having a lightweight wood frame, these little houses are surprisingly durable and warm. You can create your own yurt hut using coated fabric and a wooden frame that can last anywhere from 2 to 10 years.
Yurts have many benefits for temporary housing, including the following:
- Yurts are easy to build
- Yurts do not require any additional materials other than the fabric coating and the wood frame.
- Yurt construction materials, the fabric and wood, are inexpensive, and surprisingly weather-proof.
Don’t forget – there are also a few disadvantages to yurts:
- Since they are temporary shelters, Yurts do not work well as full-time housing.
- Yurts cannot have any plumbing or electrical connections built into the walls.
- The fabric and frame are somewhat complicated to make, if you are not familiar with carpentry or heavyweight sewing.
Cob Houses: So Pretty!
Cob houses have been in use for thousands of years. They use a mixture of sand, straw, and clay to create a cement-like wall that is sturdy and can last for years through any kind of weather conditions. Cob houses provide enough strength that they require no additional building materials and provide decent insulation.
Cob House Benefits
- Cob houses are easy to make and use inexpensive materials.
- Cob houses require no special carpentry skills or training to create.
- You can place plumbing and electrical lines right inside the walls of a cob home.
- Cob is easy to shape, and has enough support to make the walls and roof from the same material.
Disadvantages of Cob Construction
- Cob houses may break under pressure or shifting ground.
- Cob does not provide as much insulation as some other forms of building materials.
- Some knowledge of construction is important – without any other structural support, the house could end up looking like a pile of mud.