Things to Know about Off Grid Living by Eric Moore

Recently, a variety of reasons influence people to go off the grid. Cabin life or fully off-grid RV, which in turn results in freestyle everyday life, are often preferred by most people. Others are rural livers, ranchers or farmers who do not like to spend the large sums of money needed to run utilities to their residence. Others are seasonal, spending just summers or winters in an off-grid cabin or second home. Everything comes down to one point – off-grid living and freedom somehow go together.

Every off grid home has clean energy source as their hub. The key to a truly sustainable off-grid life is alternative power sources such as hydro power, wind or even sunlight. It does not matter whether you are living off grid in the suburbs or out in the open country.

There are four most common types of off-grid power resource. These are wind, solar, natural gas (or propane) and biodiesel. We can also include hydro as a resource but for it to be possible, it requires very particular things. But for now, we’re only going to concentrate on all renewable sources like solar, wind, biodiesel and hyrdo power.

Off-grid living is most prevalent rampant in the western states nowadays. And because wind is the most often accessible, it is also the most common off-grid power source. Depending on your needs and situation, a typical wind turbine setup to power a home (without batteries) can be obtained for about $5,000-$10,000 dollars. Adding half again to that will provide batteries for more constant power availability.

The second most common off grid power source is solar, which is frequently combined with wind power.Solar may also be used to heat water ( with solar thermal units), which is usually more efficient. Oftentimes, wind and solar are combined and utilized to feed a power storage bank (usually batteries) for round the clock power availability. A usual solar power setup will cost from $6,000 to $12,000, depending on your place and its size. A much cheaper option would be the solar thermal type.

On those estates with a naturally running water source that moves at a speed enough to power a hydrodynamic generator may have hydro power as their source of energy. These “micro hydro” units may be set up for $2,000 to $5,000, depending on the installation necessities and its size. However, several federal and state policies may forbid their use in some areas, especially in those homes that need fast-running water.

And now for biodiesel. Diesel generators as off-grid power sources are regularly used by lots homes. It has the capacity to run purely on biodiesel (petroleum additives are not included) and they are quite low-cost. Units run from $5,000 and up to power an entire house. For backups to wind and solar systems, smaller units are often utilized to provide 24/7/365 availability of electricity. It cost about $4,000 for the biodiesel generators and about $0.70/ gallon to manufacture the fuel.

Other alternatives for off-grid living power sources include biomass incinerators or boilers (commonly burning wood, wood chips, or practically any biological stuff that may be combusted). Some are very “off grid” and less realistic than others. If you can cut trees, you may go for wood units. However, the availability of the trees are limited and it depends on how many you’re prepared to cut. Pellet, corn, and similar units require that you buy the fuel.

While homemade solar panels can look expensive, they are cheaper build them yourself. You might see that the dollar might start to look much smaller when you realize that you will never pay another utility bill once you build solar panels.

For more info about homemade solar panels, you may check out build solar panels

About the Author

Eric Moore became interested in renewable energy after building an electric powered bike. Shortly after he began riding the bike to work, he thought, why not recharge the bike’s batteries with solar power and commute to work completely free and totally pollution free. He then created a website to share his experience and knowledge with others.

What is Your Interior Design Style? by Lori Gilder

Did you know that each of us has a unique interior design style? And that particular style directly reflects our personalities.

Knowing your unique style before you begin your home renovation, addition or decorating project is all it takes to save you valuable time, money and stress down the road. Arming yourself with this knowledge will provide every inch of your home with an underlying sense of cohesiveness.

Where do you feel most at home?

Country Casual: Your casual, relaxed and friendly personality is reflected in the warm and comfortable lived in look that you’ve created in your family home. Whether your particular style of country is French, English or American rustic, you have a true connection to nature and the outside world. You are drawn to all things natural, both in color and texture that embodies the overall philosophy of country living. You may find a variety of fabrics, leathers and hides intermixed throughout your home which look fantastic against bold splashes of color. The fabrics you love range from brightly colored floral prints, stripes and plaids and are often combined with various leathers.

Traditional Elegance: Your home exudes both tranquility and elegance all the while taking great pride in the understated look that you’ve pulled together. Your furnishings brandish classic lines and restrained details, while complimenting the glossy white architectural trims and moldings throughout your home. You favor symmetry and balance, from your placement of furniture to the pairs of accessories you display. Your love of subtle fabrics, textures and accessories create the overall warmth of your home and invite everyone in. You are drawn to the bold historic color tones such as caramel browns, golds, auburn reds, and creams.

Eclectic Style: Your risk taking personality speaks loud and clear in your spirited design style. You just love mixing furniture and details from multiple sources, creating globally inspired spaces. Your inspiration is gathered from different design periods, but your planning is deliberate, as shared themes tend to tie all the elements together. There’s a method to your madness as these elements somehow relate to each other either in pattern, texture, shape or color. You may have collected some of your most precious pieces and accessories while on exotic vacations from around the world, or just visiting your local flea markets and antique shops. Your favorite colors white, cream, brown, taupe and black are quite neutral and act as an ideal backdrop to showcase some of your favorite rough fabrics and bold textiles and worn surfaces.

Contemporary Cool: Your design style is nothing short of sleek and chic. You enjoy the subtle sophistication and uncluttered atmosphere that is now your signature style. Your overall space is the highlight rather than objects and things. The unadorned architectural details such as high ceilings, vast windows, exposed air ducts or the natural brick of the building is the primary focus of your home. You adore the open spaces and the linear simplicity in all design. In your world less is more and this is why you like to keep clutter to a minimum. When it comes to dressing your sleek suite, your wall colors remain neutral and act as the perfect back- drop, which offsets your simple yet elegant furniture and bold geometric accessories. You love texture such as tile and stone, and are partial to natural fibers such as cotton, wool, linen, and silk. All of these elements compliment the dark rich woods you’ll find scattered throughout your home.

Transitional Chic: Your design style combines a little traditional with a contemporary flair. The union of these two styles creates a classic and timeless design. The focus here is on comfort and practicality while at the same time combining both a masculine and feminine vibe. The blending of curves and straight lines in your furniture creates a great sense of balance. You love texture and are partial to leathers, ultra-suede’s and nubby chenille’s ‘anything soft to the touch. A monochromatic color scheme is often punched up with the introduction of warm browns and chocolate wood tones. You tend to keep accessories to a minimum yet love to display your photos and artwork framed in silver or nickel finishes for that crisp clean look.

About the Author

Lori Gilder is an Award winning Interior Designer specializing in high-end residential renovations & additions. Lori is the CEO & Founder of Interior Makeovers Inc. She is dedicated to providing accessible design expertise & guidance, tailored to fit each individual homeowner’s lifestyle. Receive a FREE copy of “How to Avoid the 15 Most Common Decorating Mistakes”

Six Strategies of Customized Home Designer Styles by Tom Vitory

When desiring a custom home designer for unique home designs and making the fashion of one’s new home, it is often wonderful to stay to along with the subsequent pointers to help you make a home that could meet all your dreams.

Maintain it simple:

Try to find a designer with simple home plans. Suggestion and drawing in many cases are additional helpful than elegant application when you’re choice regarding what your home will probably be like. Create info of functions alongside them, going over factors that all space can perform and acquire it out of the go and onto document and then the vogue.

Some functions are greater than others:

Start with no shocks that not all your dreams associated with a custom home design may be potential, and take a look at to select that functions count putting over others. If you are trying to induce every individual last concept you’ve got in your home, you’ll quickly increase and re-examine funds. as an example, if you would like each a could you and a rec space, it could be worth taking into consideration if it’s important to own all these, or simply just one inch every of the 2.

Design for your lengthy term:

You might be individual, or wedded whilst not youngsters immediately, however what of the future? You scenario along with your programs might modify, and you wish your custom home vogue in order to give that! Be sure to comprise enough space and space for you upcoming household being. Also, place confidence in those who might come back to stay finished yourself on the vacations, or buddies of your youngsters, etc. it’ll pay to think about those info currently instead of later.

Stamp your personality:

The entire concept behind developing a custom house making it an element of you, and an notion of who you’re. Everything you’ve got been pondering having in your own home of your own may be a truth. If you’d like to possess a restroom bigger than the very first bed area, you can. In order to use a terrace that appears out over the lounge, you are able to!

Don’t ignore powerful function:

Even as you are trying to pack it every one of the potential execs and cons you’ll to your home vogue, don’t quit considering how it’s all progressing to operate! Keep your bed rooms removed from high-traffic or journey places, and allow the cooking space circulation into the dinner space. Your custom home designer are going to be ready to facilitate the foremost with this because they need every one of the encounter regarding where everything like pipe joints, cables, etc. must go.

About the Author

Start with no shocks that not all of your dreams relating to a unique home designs could also be potential, and take a look at to decide on that functions are worth putting over others. Use the provided link to get more information about simple home plans.

Living in an Off the Grid Home by Carlos Montes

The recent economic downturn combined with natural disasters occurring around the world is making many people look at how they could live with more autonomy and self-reliance. More often in recent years are people looking to live off the grid. Living “off-the-grid” (or OTG) is basically living without public utilities; this can be done in varying degrees of self-sufficiency from not being connected to the local electrical grid to the more extreme having no connection to public utilities at all.

There are many reasons why home owners might choose to live off-grid but the most common reasons are to live in a more eco-friendly way or because they want to live in a rural area where there is no access to electricity or sewer hook-ups for the home. For home owners who live in areas that see more frequent incidences of natural disasters, living OTG can help home owners return more easily to regular life because they’re not reliant on public utilities that can take days or weeks to recover, depending on the disaster.

Most home owners who are looking to live off-grid build a home with that goal specifically in mind before they start planning. A lot of planning has to go into an off-grid home before it is built if you’re looking to put together an optimal system; many home owners have successfully renovated pre-existing homes to be off-grid as well, however you will likely have less options in design if you go off-grid in an existing home.

Off-grid homes often combine a combination of systems into their homes to independently deal with the amenities that public utilities usually give you like: electricity, water, and sewage. Off-grid homes commonly use solar or wind energy generation to fulfill their electrical needs. Many OTG home owners use well water or streams to supply their water; though rain water is also a viable source as well. Some common types of OTG sewage systems are septic fields, septic tanks, or composting toilets. Not all options will work for all home owners or all areas, be sure to research what options are available to you in your area.

Not all home owners will find it doable to live completely off-grid for a variety of reasons. Living completely off-grid can be expensive to set up and due to restrictions in your preferred area, it just might not be feasible for your lifestyle or your area of the country due to weather, terrain, or land use restrictions.

About the Author

To find a professional Calgary realtor, visit – the site is clean and informative, with details about every corner of Calgary including Panorama Hills Calgary homes for sale.

Getting Started on Your Custom Home Design by Robert Digby

The planning stage of home design often determines whether or not your custom home design will fulfill the dream you had envisioned. Victor Hugo wrote, “Where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign.” Hugo was certainly right as far as custom home design is concerned. To avoid wasted time or chaos follow these six tips to help your designer create the perfect custom house plan for your family.

1. Start simple.

It isn’t necessary to invest in fancy software to begin making decisions about your custom home plan. All you really need is a pencil and a piece of paper. Brainstorm and sketch your ideas. Making lists of features you want each room to have will help you get your idea onto paper and into your custom home design.

2. Think about the future.

Consider the future of your family and how you will accommodate for different scenarios, such as having children, accommodating grandchildren and grandparents, taking care of elderly parents. Even accommodating extended family for holiday occasions should be considered in your house plans. Similarly, if you hope to transition from an office job to operating your own business out of your home, your custom home design should include an office or flexible space. When you think about the amenities in your custom home plan, be sure to not limit yourself or the growth of your family.

3. Prioritize features.

Once your ideas are recorded in rough form, begin prioritizing features for your new house. Custom home design can easily exceed a budget if you let your fancies run amok. With so many luxuries to choose from, it’s important to prioritize the most important aspects of your design. For instance, if you’ve always dreamed about a box window in the kitchen where you can grow herbs, you may want to prioritize that over installing a line to facilitate a gas stove.

4. Consider function and flow.

As you and your designer begin playing around with where various rooms should be located, consider how your final design will flow and how your family might function in each space. For instance, to reduce noise in sleeping areas, it’s wise to place bedrooms away from the communal areas of the house. Likewise, if you’re the kind of family that tends to gather around the kitchen, an open floor plan with easy flow between the living room, kitchen and dining area will suit you well. This kind of design also allows for excellent flow between rooms.

5. Reflect on light.

Light has a powerful influence on humans. Indeed, in areas that see little natural light during the winter months, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is not unusual. This disorder brings feelings of depression, along with weight gain, daytime sleepiness, social withdrawal and lethargy. If you have suffered from SAD in the past, or if you’re moving to a place with long, cloudy winters (such as the Pacific Northwest), it is smart to add skylights to your custom house plans in order to maximize the natural light in your home. Heck, even if you’ve never felt sad on a cloudy day, skylights are smart because they reduce the need for artificial light and provide as much as 30 percent more light than vertical windows.

Natural lighting should also be figured in the floor plan design in a custom home plan. As an example, if you want to enjoy natural morning light in your dining nook, it would be wise to face the nook east, where it will catch the morning sun.

It’s also wise to think carefully about how electrical lights in your home will facilitate comfort. For instance, a custom home designer would suggest installing bright task lighting for kitchen countertops to facilitate food preparation. Lighting can also create a mood – for example, dimming sconces in the bedroom can create a sense of romance or peace.

6. Showcase and maximize the lot.

Usually, those in the market for a custom house plan already own the property where the home will be built. If you already know where your custom home will be situated, be sure to consider the topography, size and best features of the lot. For instance, if your lot overlooks a beautiful natural setting, you might choose to face the living room toward the feature so you can showcase the wonderful view. Alternatively, if you have a brook or stream running though your property, you might choose to place bedrooms nearest the stream so you can enjoy the beautiful sound of running water while you sleep.

In addition to thinking about which windows should face the home’s best views, you’ll want to consider whether the land is sloped. A custom home design for a steep slope will look very different than a design for a flat lot.

Considering the tips provided above can be helpful in creating the home of your dreams. Take your time when working with your home designer and voice your likes and dislikes. It far easier to achieve your dream home in the design process than it will be to remodel your home later

About the Author

There are certain tips to keep in mind as far as custom house plans are concerned. can help by providing tips and advice for making sure your future home will match your lifestyle. To explore more floor plans and custom home design services, visit their website at

Design Alternatives Offers Home Building Suggestions For Your Custom Home Design by Bill Browne

Although building a new home can be very exciting, there are certain considerations that should be made for your custom home design. With the countless possibilities of design features, floor layouts and color selections, your new home design can be customized to your desired wants and needs. Your home building experience will be a pleasant one if the following considerations are addressed during initial stages of your custom home design [].

With so many designs and styles of homes available, it is impossible to know what you want incorporated into your custom home design by looking at a few home building and house plan magazines. It is actually helpful to take tours of recently built homes in your area to see the latest and most popular design features. Design Alternatives Custom Home Design can also provide you with popular design options to include in your custom floor plan. It’s wise to keep an open mind while researching design options. Some of these features may be the perfect compliment for your custom home design.

The location to build your dream home is also a very important consideration in the scope of your custom home design. Although it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of building your custom home design, it will definitely pay off if you take a long and practical look at your house plan and decide where the best location to build might be. Your custom home design can not only be designed by Design Alternatives, but also analyzed and studied for best building site. The location of your dream home is as important as the custom home design itself.

As far as your custom home design, Design Alternatives can help you think ahead and consider what design features may be needed in the future. If you plan on staying in your new home for numerous years, you need to consider what future life changes may affect the overall design. Having more children could determine the number of bedrooms that should be incorporated in the floor plan. A two-story home may not be the best design option twenty years down the road. Design Alternatives uses its 20 years experience to find the best features to include in your custom home design.

Building costs are another important aspect of getting your custom home design built. It is necessary to talk to and get estimates from a minimum of two builders to get a good idea of what your custom home will cost. These builders should also be reputable and have many years experience custom home construction. Design Alternatives has worked with many area builders and can also recommend which builders would fit best in finishing your custom home design construction.

Design Alternatives Custom Home Design has many years of home design and construction experience, so it is imperative to take these considerations to heart while designing and building your dream home. One more recommendation is to consider the overall value of your new home and put additional money into the kitchen and bathrooms. These rooms contribute the most value to your home and will be the biggest selling points if you plan on moving in the future. As you can see there is preparation and work involved with getting your dream home built, but Design Alternatives can assist with every step of your custom home design and construction process.

About the Author

For More Information:

Check out how Design Alternatives Custom Home Design and owner Bill Browne can assist you with your custom home design process, provide a complete set of workable construction drawings and offer project/construction management or consultation services for those individuals that desire some assistance during the building phase.