Author Topic: new home construction  (Read 5443 times)

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Tooltime66

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new home construction
« on: January 25, 2015, 07:42:54 PM »
Has anyone built a off the grid home and delt with the home inspectors with things like not installing a furnace, water system that will include a 500 gal water tank in the basement.  A electric system that is slightly out of the norm?

Frank S

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Re: new home construction
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2015, 11:55:34 PM »
A lot of this is going to be dictated by the area you are planning to build.
  But you mentioned electrical a little out of the norm You should at least  follow the minimum NEC standards for all wiring.
  if your local codes prescribe certain things must be met then in order to get your house through final inspection you will have to meet those.
   
  If this is to be a cabin or what may be called a weekend secondary dwelling not used as a primary domicile there may be way rounds, a lot will depend on your state county or city inspectors.
I live so far outside of the box, when I die they will stretch my carcass over the coffin

Tooltime66

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Re: new home construction
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2015, 10:42:35 AM »
I understand the following the rules set in place.  About the electrical codes.  What I have going on is working for me.  My 3000 watt inverter is running one leg of of the standard box, running laundry, kitchen and bathroom out lets.  This inverter is only on when needed.  The other leg is supported by my 1500 watt inverter that on when ever we are home.  this is for all the lights, bedroom and living room outlets.  Maybe I am the only one that is doing this.  But, this has been working real well for me for going on two years.  If I were to build a house for off the grid I would have two boxes.  Maybe I should change over to two boxes even if I dont build. 

Tom

thirteen

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Re: new home construction
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2015, 01:41:24 PM »
Depending on your area they are starting to want to know if there is a fire if you are off grid. Fire Departments want the disconnect to be visible and marked  for their safety. With two inverters you may have to have a single disconnect disconnecting both inverters at the same time. Loan institutes may require a furnace installed for their protection for resale if something happens.  If you change over now to two boxes you would have them for your new house if you get to build one. Insurance is another question to ask about. I cannot get insurance at a reasonable cost for I am to far out for emergency coverage.  Going there and asking is one thing having them come look at things is another. 13
MntMnROY 13

Frank S

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Re: new home construction
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2015, 02:11:00 PM »
Tooltime66 : what you have essentially is a standard electrical system with a substituted electrical supply not all that different from taking a  house when the grid power is down and using a generator to power it

 If you had stack-able inverters that could be mastered & slave connected you could have 240 out of your system if you needed.
 
 If I were to think about building a totally off grid home or shop from scratch . I'm pretty sure I would mount a switch gear box for 48v nom. for lighting and other things and one for the 2 line split phase  for standard grid service powered by inverters / generator Or grid supply if the need or want arose. probably run parallel conduits through out the building that way  I could have low voltage + 120/240 any where I needed. also this would satisfy most  code inspectors if the wiring was done correctly
 as far as a furnace these largly depend on geography. It has become generally accepted that some form of centralized heating system and in many parts of the country  cooling  is now required.
 the same with water and sewer it is increasingly difficult to receive building permits without  having the plumbing  installed and to be connected to a supply and waste  (sewer) disposal.
  Even in the most remote county areas in most states now will require either a certified septic system or be connected to city/ county sewer system. 
I live so far outside of the box, when I die they will stretch my carcass over the coffin

electrondady1

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Re: new home construction
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2015, 06:45:15 PM »
why wouldn't you wire your house in a conventional manner and simply power it up with a renewable source. you may wish to sell it at some time and some kind of "exotic" wiring could affect your market value , or insurance  etc.


gww

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Re: new home construction
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2015, 07:07:38 PM »
I would give electrodaddys post a thumbs up if that was an option on this site.  I agree whole heartedly with his sentiment.
Good luck
gww

Mary B

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Re: new home construction
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2015, 02:50:56 PM »
Long as the low voltage wiring complies with NEC it won't affect insurance at all. I don't see it damaging resale value either if done right with wall outlets designated for DC use(powerpoles etc) and they could be combined with other low voltage outlets like CATV. I fit is a hack job with wires hanging out of the wall and ceiling then yeah it will affect things

gww

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Re: new home construction
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2015, 03:06:42 PM »
Just my opinion, but I believe even done right, low voltage plugs would affect price.  It might effect the price up with the perfect buyer who was looking for that but for the majority of buyers, I believe they would beware due to the fact of not understanding or seeing no use for it when a more usefull item would have been better placed there.  Point in fact, I bought a house and lived in it while I remodled it.  It had wonderfully installed two plug spots through out the house for tv connections.  I had to remove, cover, replace with cable and patch them all because it was a detraction having a bunch of useless plugs through out the house.

Just my opinion.
gww

dnix71

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Re: new home construction
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2015, 04:32:43 PM »

whythehecknot

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Re: new home construction
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2015, 08:07:33 PM »
I built two completely off grid homes. A straw bale in Cali, and the second is in Montana which im still working on. The straw bale was built in the footprint of an old ranch house under the radar to avoid any unwanted fees. The house im building now is in an area that only requires permits for the well, septic, and the wiring. The straw bale house I wired AC to all outlets, while the lighting was 12volt. Current house im wiring completely typical, with the exception of the solar, wind of course. Cool thing about much of the available off grid stuff they have now is that no changes in modern design features are needed. ill be the first to admit that its fun to imagine all sorts of crazy gadgets into a dream house, but like other have pointed out already its wise to stay within familiar ground. Check with local codes, talk with your planning dept, and check out what other off grid neighbor's might be doing.
 

gww

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Re: new home construction
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2015, 08:49:53 PM »
I always thought it would be neat to build a straw bail house,  I haven't however found resources yet to get enough straw bails cheap enough to beat lumber an insulation.  I really wanted a three wall straw bail green house and put the solar up so when I added something like that I wouldn't end up getting a higher electric bill with every outbuilding I put up.  Little did I know, his way is still cheaper.  I am off the ideal for now but would love to hear you experiances.  Pictures?
gww

whythehecknot

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Re: new home construction
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2015, 08:20:56 AM »
The costs of the bales can be a concern, especially for good bales suitable for building. I was fortunate and was able to make my own straw bales on the ranch I was on. If you are able to speak with some hay farmers in your area, not sure were you live, should be able to find a deal. Thing is that wherever there is wheat barley or oats being farmed, even thought about the possibility of swathing and baling mustard, go and talk with the farmer, because a lot of times they just scatter the straw. Or it winds up getting burnt. There is a good chance you could talk him into baling all that up. If you are able to get them for 3 dollars or less then building with them might become viable. Might even get them for free if you offer to pick them up yourself in the field. Straw is a waste product and can actually deplete the soil if not dealt with. Plaster with earth which, works awesome, and can be OK'd by local codes due to so much data being available these days. And that is "dirt cheap".
  I do have picks of the straw bale on another device. Just a process to get a few on here. Couple of days...
 

Frank S

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Re: new home construction
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2015, 08:42:04 AM »
 I used to have a desert friend of mine who collected tumble weeds then baled them in short 2 ft long really tight bales. then he dipped them in a homebrew caliche preservative then used them for the walls of his dugout desert home 
I live so far outside of the box, when I die they will stretch my carcass over the coffin

gww

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Re: new home construction
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2015, 10:16:23 AM »
whythe.....
I probly won't ever get the ambition but I am also not dead yet.  I could probly get $3 dollar ratty bales but with 2x4 lumber at $2 its still hard to justifie.  Thanks for taking the time to answer cause it is interesting.  Honestly I am not sure haw interesting I want it to be.  The more interesting the more wound up I get to wanting to do it.  Quite a few things I want to do that I haven't.  Wood gassification, green house, bigger wind turbine, More fruit trees, bees, you get the point.
Thank you for your time.
gww