What You Need To Know To Start Building Your Off-The-Grid Home
There are several advantages to building your home in a remote location. For those looking to get away from it all, this is an excellent way to do so. Living in a remote area can provide you with peace and quiet, privacy, and natural surroundings. It is also possible to find inexpensive rural land, perhaps allowing for a larger property than would otherwise be affordable.
But for all the positive points about living in a remote location, there are some potential negatives that also require consideration, including some that might drive up the cost.
Access to the Land
Being off the beaten path is likely one of the appealing factors of the location you choose for your home, but being off the path is not the same as having no path. To be able to build your home, you will need a way for materials and workers to access the building site. This will include large trucks such as flatbeds carrying excavating equipment, concrete trucks, and more.
Those wishing to have their home built in a remote location don’t always stop to consider the work that will be involved in simply bringing in materials and equipment. Delivery charges will be dependent on how far the contractor must travel to reach the site, so as much as you want unspoiled views and a private place of your own, you don’t want to be so far or hard to reach that a significant portion of your budget is consumed getting materials and builders to your site.
While there will likely always be a way to proceed, ensuring that the site is accessible is important in helping to keep costs down. If materials must be shuttled to the site in smaller quantities, the work becomes more time consuming and expensive. Adding a day or two of labour simply for transportation has the potential for a major impact on your budget.
How to Plan For Utilities
Building on a city lot means that your utilities are not an issue. Water, gas, electricity, and sewage would be easily accessible. Building in a more isolated area, however, will require some planning, as utilities may or may not run along roads bordering your land.
If you are a significant distance from other homes or public utilities, connecting to them could prove challenging. If you are far enough, it may prove prohibitively expensive and may make it difficult for the project to pass code. Contacting the utility providers to obtain quotes for the necessary work can help prevent big surprises down the road when you see the price tag.
Depending on the particulars of your project and where you are located, you may want to consider whether it will be cheaper in the long run to explore alternative sources of power such as a propane tank, wind turbine, or solar panels.
If you plan on using a water well, as opposed to municipal water lines, you will have to factor in the cost of not only drilling the well but also the pump that you will require. Both of these will be based on how deep you have to dig. Household water wells often range from 100 to 800 feet deep and may require a large and expensive pump.
In a rural locale, you may find that a septic tank is your best bet, but this will require some planning to ensure that your septic field is a suitable distance from natural waterways.
Choosing the Right Builder
While choosing to build in a remote location can provide you with what will surely be your dream home, it is important to work with the right builder, who can offer you the advice and expertise you need to make your project a success. Some factors in choosing a builder should be:
The builder should work closely with you, answering all of your questions thoroughly. This is the largest purchase you are likely to ever make, so it’s important to be fully informed. You can’t ask too many questions. They should be on the same page as you in terms of your creative vision for your home.
Related to communication, your builder should always offer clear, definitive answers. If they are vague or cannot provide a well-written and detailed contract, you should look elsewhere. They should also be willing and able to provide you with proof that they and their team are properly insured.
How long have they been in business? How many off-the-grid builds of a similar nature have they undertaken? A builder who has been around for many years is more likely to provide quality work. You may need to do a bit of research, but if they are an established and experienced builder, they should have a portfolio of past work for you to review.
Building a remote home can be challenging, but with the right planning and the right builder, you will find yourself with a beautiful, unique home that also serves as a perfect getaway.