Its been months since I posted anything here but we are finally building! No not where I should be near Showlow, Az but in an off grid community north of the I-40. I saw an opportunity to make some money while I perfect a small cabin design and all its facets. Im teamed up with a realtor/contractor with a passion for off grid cabins. No power you say, yes thats right. Dont worry though, Az has a lot of sun, sun, sun.
We have found ourselves a reputable solar system design, that has a system perfect for our sub 1000 sq. ft. dwellings. This system will give us 600 watt hours per day. This system comprises of only four pieces of equipment, this makes for a very affordable system. It uses one large deep cell battery weighing in over 100 pounds, that should give you plenty of reserve power. Another sweet thing with this system is that it can be upgraded if needed in the future and is extremely reliable.
We are starting to build using wood studs, in the near future we will be offering foam structures that keep the warmth inside longer because of a sealed interior. Getting approval from the county may pose as a small problem, perhaps we would have to get it engineered. Like our first cabin, getting the first passed takes time.
I am now thinking of building foam panels here in Phoenix then shipping all the pieces onto the job site for easier assembly. That way I could install all the windows, run the plumbing and electric, installing any stronger supports such as where the second story connects to the walls.
My new design connects the panels to the foundation using screws and also attaching the panels together. The total width of the walls will be 8″. This gives us lots of surface area to glue pieces together.
A pellet stove will be chosen for the heating chores, this method is much easier to fuel up and the heat is retained much longer. Ive noticed though that they are a little pricey.