Off-Grid and Underground


Off-Grid and Underground 

Most of our lives my wife and I worked to make money to pay the bills to keep us comfortable while we worked to make money — you get the picture! As we became empty nesters, with both our sons starting their own families, we decided to see if we could simplify our lives and retain comfort while requiring less money to maintain that lifestyle and fewer resources to sustain it. At the time, we were living in an urban environment and realized that to really simplify our lives, we would need to find a more rural situation.

We found a 10-acre piece of raw land in 2000 and started out by camping on weekends to begin to get a feel for the land and what was available around it. The next year, we built a small cabin that we could leave our camping stuff in — a 10-by-12-foot structure that didn’t require a permit. Up to that point, we had been hauling water by barrels to mix concrete for the small foundation.

As we got closer to selling our urban house, we took out an equity line of credit so we could begin to put some basic infrastructure in for when we decided to make our move. Our first consideration was to get a well in place. By the summer of 2002 we were ready to put an ag-barn in place, which only required a $60 permit. We even had a barn-raising campout week and invited some friends out to camp and help us with the basic framing of the barn. It was actually a lot of fun, even though the temperature that entire week was higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Home Underground 

By September of 2002, we had our barn closed in so we could store our household possessions when we sold our house in the city. We bought a fifth-wheel trailer to live in until we were able to build a home, and finally moved onto our country homestead in September of 2002.

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