Archive for the Tiny House Category

How To Build A DIY Composting Toilet With A Urine Diverter

How To Build A DIY Composting Toilet With A Urine Diverter

compost toilet with urine diverter


ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

I am all about living the off-grid life and being as sustainable as possible. When I heard about composting toilets, I knew I had to add one to my own tiny house!

ryan mitchell simple living expert

If you’re seeking a way to make the most out of the go, consider trying out a composting toilet. Composting toilets are a great way to stay off grid, help the earth, and create useable compost.

The best thing about composting toilets is that they are easy to make, easy to use, and, contrary to what you might think, they don’t smell or make a mess!

Steps To Make A DIY Composting Toilet With Urine Diverter

Steps To Make A DIY Composting Toilet With Urine Diverter

It’s honestly a pretty simple process to make your own composting toilet with a urine diverter. You don’t actually need a ton of materials to make it happen, and you can assemble it even if you are only at a beginner’s skill level.

Like I said, composting toilets are fairly easy to make and use. If you’re new to the building scene, make sure you have the right tools to get you going on your DIY compost toilet.

Materials Needed For A Composting Toilet

  • 5 Gallon Bucket
  • Plastic Urine Diverter
  • Straw Or Sawdust
  • Compost Pile
  • Caulk
  • Rubber Washer
  • Screws
  • Knob

The compost substance used in your compost toilet will be a mixture of several substances. Regardless of what elements you use to actually create your compost pile, you will want to use dry wood shavings and activated or mature sawdust as the primary cover material on the compost pile. By doing this, you’ll trap oxygen within your mixture and reduce odor.

how to start a compost pile

1Attach Plumbing Hardware To Toilet

The first thing you are going to do to start assembling your compost bucket is to cut a hole in the side of the bucket that your plumbing hardware is able to fit inside of. Then, you’re going to attach the plumbing hardware pieces together on the inside of the bucket.

2Prepare Your Urine Diverter

If you’ve bought your own plastic urine diverter, it is likely rimmed around the edges and made to sit upright on the inside of your composting toilet. However, you can also DIY your own urine diverter by cutting apart a separate plastic bucket.

budget diy urine diverter
To save some cash by creating your own diverter, just take a second plastic bucket and cut off about an inch from the bottom. You can throw the top half of your bucket away — you only need to hang on to the bottom half to create the urine diverter.

Now, cut the bottom of the bucket off and into two pieces from side to side, saving both pieces of the bucket. Each half should now look like a semi-circle. Now, connect the two pieces to each other using a cotton pin and a rubber washer.

Next, you’re going to attach your DIY urine diverter to the larger bucket you’re using for your compost toilet. This is where your zip ties and screws come in. Drill holes in the sides of the bucket and use zip ties to attach your urine diverter to your main bucket. When you attach this, you want to do so at a slight angle. Then, seal up the gaps with caulk.

If you want to forgo the hassle of making your own diverter, you can easily buy a urine diverter online. Bit setups can work great for your composting toilet.

3Add A Garden Hose To Your Composting Toilet

The next step is to attach your garden hose to your plumbing hardware. The garden hose will run from the composting toilet straight into a urine holding container that usually holds about 2.5 gallons. The hose is essential so your waste has somewhere to go!

4Attach Toilet Seat To Composting Toilet

Now, just install your composting bucket underneath your toilet seat. You can easily buy a plastic toilet seat online that works well with any composting toilet.

As far as what holds your toilet seat in place, there are several routes you can take.

Some DIYers use a wooden box that opens, a hole carved out of the top of the box for the toilet seat, giving easy access to the hose and compost bucket underneath. You can have this type of composting toilet outside or inside your home.

You can also build your composting toilet entirely into your tiny home or house either by attaching it to the wall or creating a wooden container that extends from the wall for your toilet to be located in.

toilet seat attached to composting toilet

5Give Your Composting Toilet A Try!

Now your composting toilet is all ready to start using. Once you get your composting toilet up and running, you’ll feel great about helping the environment, being off-grid, and being better prepared for those days when the plumbing system stops functioning properly.

septic system install

How To Use A Composting Toilet With Urine Diverter

How To Use A Composting Toilet With Urine Diverter

Now that your composting toilet is all ready to go, you’ll want to make sure you feel equiped to use it. Malfunctions with a composting toilet can get pretty gross pretty quickly, so you’ll want to ensure you know what you’re doing!

It’s Crucial To Keep Urine Out Of The Compost

One thing that is vital when using your compost toilet is that you’ll want to work to keep urine out of the compost at all costs. If the compost gets wet, anaerobic bacteria will start to grow in your compost.

If that happens, the anaerobic bacteria will release a very foul stench and it will not break down into fertilizer that is safe to use. Urine also contains nitrogen, which greatly hinders the composting process.

This is why using a urine diverter is so important! When you have a urine diverter, it will funnel your urine into a sperate collection chamber that you can dump in your yard and keep out of your fresh compost.

Using A Compost Toilet: Urine Verses Waste

When peeing in a composting toilet, you’ll want to sit entirely on the seat. If you hover above the seat, you are keeping the urine diverter from being able to do its job effectively.

With the urine diverter in effect, your liquid waste will go one direction and your solid waste is go elsewhere. You can throw toilet paper used when peeing into the same section with your solid waste and let it break down. You don’t have to use substrate cover material if you are just peeing.

When going number two, you definitely want to use substrate cover material over your waste. After each go, add enough cover material so none of your waste is visible. After doing this, go ahead and close the lid of your compost toilet.

tiny house toilet options

Empty Your Waste Bucket After Use

When you’re finished going, you’ll need to know how to effectively empty out your waste bucket. In order to make useable, safe compost out of your own human waste, your compost has to maintain a high temperature for a very long period of time. This is when the composting magic happens!

This high temperature isn’t actually going to be reached in the compost bucket connected to your toilet. In order to get your heap to finish curing, you’ll have to move your matter to a compost bin by emptying out your waste bucket.

How To Empty Your Compost Toilet

  • When your compost bucket is full, empty it into a large compost drum.
  • When your compost drum is full, cover it with a dry substance like straw.
  • Let that compost drum fester for an entire year.
  • After a year of composting, the contents in the bin will shrink and you can put fresh fertilizer on your plants.

Cleaning Your Composting Toilet

If it’s looking like time to clean your compost toilet, all you need is a squirt bottle and some vinegar to get the job done. Just pour vinegar in the spray bottle and give the inside of your composting toilet a nice spritz.

Whatever you do, don’t pour water into the composting toilet! Doing this runs the risk of getting your compost too damp and growing extra smelly bacteria. You can also install a new rubber seal to make your composting toilet cleaner and fresher.

Where To Buy A Composting Toilet With Urine Diverter

Where To Buy A Composting Toilet With Urine Diverter

If you don’t want to go through the process of building a composting toilet all on your own, there are plenty of places where you can buy one. When looking for a composting toilet to buy, consider what your budget is and if you’re needing to purchase the entire toilet or just the urine diverter or toilet seat alone.

privy folding seat

Separett Privy Kit with Folding seat

portable urine separating toilet

Separett Portable Urine Separating Toilet

45 degree funnel

Scribner Plastics 45 Degree D-Funnel

portable camping toilet with lid

Teencci Portable Camping Toilet with Lid

Where To Buy A Urine Diverter

There are several places you can buy your own plastic urine diverter.

Try the following places to get a urine diverter

we pee urine separator

Where To Buy A Plastic Toilet Seat

Where To Buy Just A Plastic Toilet Seat

where to buy a plastic toilet seat

Where To Buy An Entire Composting Toilet

If you don’t think the DIY route is for you, you can buy a composting toilet as is. It may be a little more expensive, but it will save you the hassle of having to build it all on your own.

Places To Buy An Entire Composting Toilet

where to buy an entire composting toilet

Your Turn!

  • Why do you think using a compost toilet will work for you?
  • Do you plan to build or buy your composting toilet?

Decorating A Tiny House For Christmas

Decorating A Tiny House For Christmas

Tiny House Christmas Decorations


Christmas brings a lot of memories back for me and probably most of you — it’s a time filled with friends and family, parties, and good times for many. In addition to all the festivities, there is fun to be had in decorating your tiny home for the holidays, too!

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

Christmas is a fun time of the year, and in a tiny house, you have to get creative when you decorate, host parties, and handle gifts during the holidays. Here’s what I’ve learned about it over the years and some tiny house Christmas decoration ideas.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

The tricky part about decorating your tiny home for the holidays is that you don’t have a lot of storage space for decorations when not in use. You also don’t have a lot of floor space, and an average Christmas tree takes up 10 square feet, which can be anywhere from 5–10% of your total space in a tiny home!

Tiny House Christmas Trees

Tiny House Christmas TreesIf you celebrate Christmas, there is a lot of focus put on your Christmas tree, and that’s not any different in a tiny home. The problem is that they take up a lot of space.

What I Do For A Christmas Tree

I love the smell of a fresh-cut tree. Being from North Carolina where we grow over 20% of the Christmas trees sold in the U.S. each year, we have some really great tree farms you can go pick out one yourself. But most years in my little home, I’ve had to get creative when it comes to my Christmas tree.

Christmas Tree Ideas For Small Spaces

In recent years, my go-to Christmas tree has been a rosemary Christmas tree. Essentially, it’s just a rosemary shrub that has been trained and pruned into a Christmas tree shape. These are easily found, can be decorated, only take up about 1 square foot of space, and smell amazing! Not to mention that it’s also edible — I usually plant mine in the ground come spring.
christmas tree on tiny house steps

Other Tiny House Christmas Tree Options

There are many options that tiny housers have tried when it comes to fitting a tree in such a small space.

Pencil Christmas tree

Pencil Christmas trees are a really great option for a tiny house because they take up very little floor space but are pretty tall, giving you a fair bit of vertical space to hang Christmas tree ornaments from. They are great to put in a corner where they can make your tiny home feel cozy, but also stay out of the way.

tiny house christmas decorations
pencil christmas tree in a tiny house

Skinny Christmas tree

Skinny Christmas trees are great to still have the holiday feel without a lot of fuss, plus they don’t take up a ton of storage space the rest of the year because they collapse down to be a pretty compact. They even have pre-lit artificial Christmas trees for tiny homes now, which makes decorating a snap.

tiny house christmas decorations
skinny christmas tree in a tiny house

DIY WAll Christmas tree

Another space saving option is a DIY wall Christmas tree. These are usually made by taking a Christmas garland and stringing it up on the wall in a tree pattern. This allows you to customize the shape and size to whatever wall space you have, which is especially useful in a tiny home where you don’t usually have a ton of wall space.

tiny house christmas decorations
wall christmas tree in a tiny house

Creative Crafts Christmas tree

You can get pretty creative with your wall Christmas trees and make it out of whatever suits you — even wooden cut offs. This simple Christmas craft is fast and pretty to make considering you most likely have a miter saw from your tiny house build.

tiny house christmas decorations
creaative craft christmas tree in a tiny house

MIni Christmas tree

A mini Christmas tree on your counter top in your kitchen is also another great idea. I’ve also taken out some books from my book case and displayed the small tree there for the season.

tiny house christmas decorations
small christmas tree in a tiny house

If you still want that taller tree feeling, get your small tree higher up by putting it on other things that already are taking up floor space. Warning: don’t put trees on top of real wood stoves or heaters — this one is a fake wood stove.
mini christmas tree in a tiny house

The Basics of Hygge

Tiny House Christmas Ornaments

There aren’t a ton of options when it comes to Christmas ornaments that are tiny house themed, but here is what I could find:

Glass Blown Ornaments for Christmas Tree Tiny House

Old World Gifts Glass Blown Ornaments

Mini House Christmas Ornament Set

Mini House Christmas Ornament Set

Christmas Tree Cookie Cottage

Christmas Tree Cookie Cottage

Hallmark Keepsake Christmas Travel Trailer Ornament

Hallmark Christmas Trailer Ornament

Camper Ornament with Christmas Tree

Camper Ornament with Christmas Tree

Decorating A Tiny Home For Christmas

Decorating A Tiny Home For Christmas

You don’t just deck a tree, you deck the halls, so here are some ideas to decorate the rest of your tiny home on wheels. Keep in mind you that don’t have a ton of space to begin with, so finding little nooks to deck out is the name of the game. I try to decorate places in my tiny home that are more out of the way.

Christmas Lights On A Tiny Home

Don’t forget to decorate the outside of your tiny home with lights! Consider solar-powered options to make it simple.

christmas decor on a small house
christmas lights on a tiny house
small house christmas decoration
tiny house christmas
tiny house christmas lights
tiny house christmas decorations

Tiny House Christmas Decoration Ideas

On the inside of your tiny home on wheels, there are a million ideas for Christmas decorations. You need to get creative when it comes to Christmas in a small space.

christmas decor in a tiny house
tiny house simple christmas decorating tips
fun christmas decorating in a small house
small house xmas decorating
smalll house christmas decor
tiny house xmas decor
tiny house small christmas tree
tiny houses decorated for christmas

tiny house design ideas

tiny house christmas decorating
tiny house christmas decor ideas
christmas decorating in small spaces
decorating a small house for christmas
tiny house christmas decoration options
small christmas trees in a tiny house

what is the tiny  house movement

Tiny House Christmas Wreaths

Christmas wreaths are another way to bring some cheer to the holiday season. I find that wreaths pack a lot of punch in terms of decorating. You and your guests will see it as the first thing when they walk up to your tiny house door.

tiny house christmas wreath ideas
tiny house christmas wreath
christmas wreath on a tiny house
tiny house christmas wreath door ideas

Your Turn!

  • What ideas do you have for decorating a tiny house for Christmas?

Living In An Earthship To Go Totally Off Grid

Living In An Earthship To Go Totally Off Grid

Living In An Earthship Home


Earthship homes are the epitome of an entirely self-sustaining household and are a great way to go green as a homeowner!

Earthships are strategically built to be as least destructive to the earth as possible. They have the ability to create their own electricity, fully regulate their own temperature, and provide water and food to the resident inside the earthship house — helping mother nature and your wallet.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

I love living a sustainable lifestyle that gives me freedom and helps the earth. When I learned earthship homes create their own heat, energy, water, and food, I knew I couldn’t pass up the chance to learn more!

ryan mitchell simple living expert

What Is An Earthship Home?

What Is An Earthship Home

Earthship houses are very eclectic structures; there aren’t two layouts that are exactly the same. However, earthship structures do share many similarities in their design and function that define them as earthship homes.

using recycled bottle to build earthship homeIn a nutshell, earthship houses have been intelligently designed to produce their own electricity, heat, water, food, and treat their own sewage. They are built from recycled materials, like old tires, cans, and glass bottles. One side of the structure is bermed into the earth while the opposing wall is lined with glass.

In an earthship, the materials work together to create an insulated thermal mass that naturally regulates the internal temperature of the house. This is ideal for homeowners who want to live off grid, save on their electricity bill, and live a waste-free life.

An earthship house does not need to rely on AC or conventional heating and cooling methods to maintain its temperature. Due to the fact that 30 percent of all energy produced in the world is used for heating and cooling buildings, this approach is awesome for environmentally conscious homeowners.

Reasons You May Want To Live In An Earthship Home

  • You care about the earth.
  • You want to save money on AC.
  • You want to save money on water and electric bills.
  • You want to build your house to be self sustainable.
  • You want to grow your own food indoors.
  • You want to try a unique form of alternative housing.
  • You want to collect rainwater to aid in water shortages.
  • You want to build a home that will improve your life.
growing food indoors

Where Do Earthship Houses Come From?

Where Do Earthship Houses Come From

The concept of an earthship house is actually centuries old! They originate from the Taos Pueblo indigenous people. The Taos used deep red adobe brick to build naturally insulated earthen homes. Since then, this sustainable form of architecture has become more popularized in the United States and around the world.

The modern earthship was initially conceived by Michael Reynolds, an American architect based in New Mexico. Reynolds came to Taos, New Mexico in 1969 with a dream to aid in the affordable housing crisis.

classic adobe house design

He was inspired by abundant media coverage on the litter issue in Taos and decided to use the streetside waste to create a “can brick” home out of discarded steel and tin cans.

The idea took off after that, and Michael Reynolds started Earthship Global. Throughout the next decade, the original earthship design began to incorporate thermal mass, passive solar, and natural ventilation as well as mud mounted tires in the design’s walls. Experienced architects also began to incorporate solar glazing into their models.

How Do Earthship Homes Work?

How Do Earthship Homes Work

The defining feature of earthship houses is how the structure allows the home to heat and cool itself without needing any kind of electricity or burning fossil fuels, similar to Mike Oehler’s original underground house design.

stacks of tires create thermal massThe basic idea of an earthship structure is that all sides of the building are surrounded by a large thermal mass. The walls are made out of hundreds of pounds of tires that are connected by clay and cobb mud.

These tires surround the earthship house on three sides of the structure, then, on the south side, the earthship is lined with windows. Sunlight enters into the house through the south facing windows and warms the floors and walls of the earthship house.

As the heat enters into the structure, it passes through the dirt caked walls through a funneled passage. As the air moves laterally, it begins to cool, and the cool air fills the structure. Hot air is then released through an opening at the very top of the earthship, creating a natural heat exchange.

heat exchange in an earthship home

At night, when the air temperature outside of the earthship house is colder, all of the heat that was received from the sun during the day and stored in the walls and floors of the earthship is accessed. The stored heat naturally radiates outward and fills the structure with warmth to combat the cold.

heat exchange in an earthship house at night

How Earthship Homes Work In The Summer

How Earthship Homes Work In The Summer

Earthship homes are intentionally designed to work with the changing seasons. In the summertime, when the sun is much higher in the sky, the angle of the window panels allows the sunlight to enter the structure at a less direct angle. When this happens, less heat is contained inside the earthship house to combat hot summer temps.

heat exchange in an earthship house during summer

How Earthship Homes Work In The Winter

How Earthship Homes Work In The Winter

In contrast, in the wintertime, the sun is much lower in the sky. In winter, the sunlight enters the earthship structure at a lower and more direct angle, allowing more heat to become concentrated inside the earthship house, keeping it warm.

heat exchange in an earthship house during winter

Electricity In An Earthship House

Electricity In An Earthship House

Earthship houses are fully off grid. Experts advise designing the electrical system in your earthship house to be as simplistic as possible while still meeting your needs.

Every household will be different when it comes to what you need power for and how much power you’ll need to use. At the end of the day, it’s up to you and your family which methods you want to adopt to power your earthship home.

pangea builders

“I honestly think everyone is ready to live off grid, it just comes down to whether they want to or not. Earthships are buildings that take care of you, who wouldn’t want that?”

– Jonah Reynolds, Pangea Builders

Be strategic with what apparatuses you use in your earthship. You can reduce the amount of power you use by investing in sustainably designed lighting, pumps, and refrigeration.

It’s also worth making sure you aren’t using extra energy from phantom loads and making the most of the natural lightning from your window panels. If you take these steps, its likely your earthship’s power requirements will only be about 25 percent that of a conventional home.

tiny house electrical

How Earthship Homes Treat Sewage

How Earthship Homes Treat Sewage

Sewage systems are another way that earthship houses are self-sufficient. Earthships homes self-contain, clean, and reuse all household sewage located in tanks on the inside and outside of the building itself.

sewage systemsThe sewage water is sent to rubber-lined outdoor plant containers to water plants and produce. This allows for food production and landscaping to be treated on its own, without any pollution from aquifers.

Toilets in an earthship house are flushed with treated greywater that is completely odorless. The water that you use to do laundry, bathe, wash dishes, cook, and brush your teeth with is collected and piped through a greywater tube.

The water from the greywater tube is used to water the planters in the earthship greenhouse. The water is filtered through the roots of the plants and sent to a small well located within the structure. The greywater is then pumped from the well to the toilets when flushing.

Since earthship homes are not connected to the city sewer line, your black water, or water that has come in contact with excrement, is not treated externally. Earthships use their own individual septic tanks surrounded by rubber lined drains to break down blackwater on its own.

septic system install

Earthship Houses Supply Their Own Water

Earthship Houses Supply Their Own Water

Earthship structures are designed with water needs in mind. To start, a water catchment system collects water from rain and snowmelt. Then, this water supply is stored in barrel cisterns that are built into the earthship house.

pangea builders

“Living off grid challenges you to be more aware of the weather. You’ll have to adjust things like how much laundry you do or how many baths you take based on weather patterns.”

– Jonah Reynolds, Pangea Builders

The water stored in those cisterns then travels through a pump that contains a filter. The filter cleans the water and passes it on to a solar powered water heater as well as a large pressure tank. When this process is complete, you’ll have water that is clean enough to shower with and wash your dishes in.

how to set up a rainwater catchment

Earthship Homes Are Able To Produce Organic Food

Earthship Homes Are Able To Produce Organic Food

Similar to a sunken greenhouse, the self-sustaining earthship home has the ability to produce its own food supply. Earthships are designed to incorporate mini-hydroponic planters into the homes that can grow delicious vegetables, herbs, and fruits.

These planters are made up of suspended buckets in a vertical growing space. It’s best to put the growing space near the window paned wall of your earthship to give your vegetables adequate access to the sunlight they need to grow.

Many earthships also incorporate horizontal garden beds along the front facing windows. You can lay out the greenhouse section of your earthship in whichever manner works best for you and your garden.

Best Crops To Grow In An Earthship House

  • Basil
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Kale
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Beets
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Dill
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro

easiest crops to grow for beginners

How To Build An Earthship Home

How To Build An Earthship Home

When it comes to building your own earthship house, it’s important to remember that no two earthship houses are built exactly alike. There are many ways to design your structure.

Building Materials For Earthship Construction

Building Materials For Earthship Construction

The way you construct your earthship is really going to come down to what aspirations you have for the design, layout, and functions of your house, and what materials you have access to.

I’ve included a list of the building materials used by the Permaculture Institute, but these are just suggestions, as there are many ways to go about build your earthship.

Earthship House Building Materials List

  • Automobile Tires
  • Glass Bottles
  • Aluminum Cans
  • Cobb Mud
  • Cement
  • Straw
  • Sand
  • Gravel
  • Dirt
  • Peat Moss
  • Concrete Slab
  • Caulk
  • Plastic or Foil Sheets
  • Thermal Wrap
  • Waterproofing Paper
  • PVC Pipe
  • Lath Tabs
  • Rebar Rods
  • Water Cistern
  • Grey Water Pipe
    • Door Frame
    • Wooden Trusses
    • Wooden Beams
    • Window Boxes
    • Horticultural Float
    • Glass Panels
    • Plywood Panels
    • Wood Furring Strips
    • Metal Roof Flashing
    • Solar Panels

earthship house materials

50 Steps To Build An Earthship Home

50 Steps To Build An Earthship Home

Building An Earthship Home Step-By-Step

  1. Scrape away grass.
  2. Level your building site.
  3. Lay out the first course of tires.
  4. Pound dirt into tires.
  5. Level pounded tires.
  6. Install vapor barrier.
  7. Install thermal wrap.
  8. Back bury your tire wall.
  9. Back bury your thermal wrap.
  10. Measure battering of walls (1.5 inches).
  11. Pour cement and concrete between tires.
  12. Begin installing cisterns.
  13. Link cisterns with valves.
  14. Connect plumbing outlet valve to cisterns.
  15. Install cooling tubes.
  16. Surround cooling tube in thermal wrap.
  17. Dig front wall footing.
  18. Add vapor barrier.
  19. Add rebar and prepare for front face pour.
  20. Make buttresses with cans and concrete.
  21. Pour cement for footing.
  22. Add porcupine wood to wet footer.
  23. Pour concrete in window boxes.
  24. Install wooden buttresses along wall.
  25. Build power wall.
  1. Install window boxes and door frames.
  2. Create bond beam using cans and cement.
  3. Add anchor bolts to bond beam.
  4. Add wood plating to bond beam.
  5. Surround house in wooden trusses.
  6. Install plywood decking.
  7. Mud pack all vent tubes.
  8. Install greywater pipes.
  9. Line greywater cell with rubber.
  10. Install corbel for living room beam.
  11. Surround water pump with rock bulbs.
  12. Start using bottles to build interior walls.
  13. Fill in greywater cell with peat moss.
  14. Use wooden beams to make X between trusses.
  15. Box the sides & backs of your trusses with plywood.
  16. Add waterproof paper to top of building.
  17. Add lath tabs to tire walls.
  18. Lay rocks in cement footing with rebar.
  19. Build out interior walls with bottles and cement.
  20. Install rock veneer.
  21. Install glass windows.
  22. Add installation.
  23. Install solar hot water panels.
  24. Install solar electric panel.
  25. Add details and landscaping.

Where To Buy An Earthship Home: Earthship Builders

Where To Buy An Earthship Home

If building your own earthship house seems incredibly complex, you are not alone in thinking this way! This is an extremely intricate process with installation of many complex systems required to create an earthship house that self sustains.

If you want to forgo the process of being a DIYer, check out these earthship house builders to partner with to design an earthship home you love. If there isn’t an earthship building company that can build for you in your state, you can always book a consultation to get expert advice on your own project.

Earthship House Build And Design Companies:

Earthship Home Floorplans

Earthship Home Floorplans

When it comes to building your own earthship house, you want to choose a floorplan that makes the most sense for your lifestyle. There are lots of different ways you can go when laying out your earthship home.

One-Bedroom Earthship Home Floorplan

Surrounded by landscaping, water cisterns, and, of course, cemented tires, this one-bedroom earthship design is ideal for one person or a couple. This layout incorporates a bedroom with a queen bed, a hybrid kitchen and living room, a bathroom, and a laundry room that doubles as a hallway.

One-Bedroom Earthship Home Floorplan

Two-Bedroom Earthship Home Floorplan

Perfect for two couples who want to take an off-grid adventure together or a small family, this two-bedroom earthship house floorplan incorporates two bedrooms and one shared bathroom. The design also includes a luxuriously spacious kitchen and small laundry room.

Two-Bedroom Earthship Home Floorplan

Two-Bedroom Earthship House With Garage

If you’re looking for an earthship home with a place to park your car, try this two-bedroom floorplan with an attached garage. The design includes two bedrooms with queen beds, two bathrooms, and an attached kitchen and living room.

Two-Bedroom Earthship House With Garage

Three-Bedroom Earthship Home Floorplan

Earthships can also be lifechanging for a family of four. This three-bedroom floorplan is idyllic for families with two children. The layout has two bedrooms that each fit a twin bed and one that fits a queen. The design also incorporates an open living room and kitchen, two bathrooms, and a laundry nook.

Three-Bedroom Earthship Home Floorplan

Four-Bedroom Earthship Home Floorplan

For even bigger families, this four-bedroom floorplan is the way to go. All three kids’ rooms open into one another, with a shared bathroom for all three bedrooms. The primary bedroom is located on the other side of the house and has room for a queen bed. The kitchen and living are situated right in the middle of the home.

Four-Bedroom Earthship Home Floorplan

Exterior Earthship Home Designs

Exterior Earthship Home Designs

Every earthship house is designed in its own unique way. There are many materials you can use to create the exterior of your earthship house like concrete, adobe, or stone. You may even want to mix and match different materials throughout different sides of your earthship house.

Use Adobe Or Clay To Build Your Earthship

Use Adobe Or Clay To Build Your Earthship

If you’re hoping to preserve the integrity of the original earthship design from the Taos Pueblo indigenous people, you may choose to construct the thermal back walls of your earthship house with adobe or clay.

Going with adobe can look aesthetically pleasing, but it can be harder to deal with excess water and leaks when going this route. Too much rain can seep into the cracks of the structure and damage your earthship house overtime.

However, if you buy adobe bricks made with asphalt emulsion, it’s likely to be made with waterproofing properties that can more easily protect your home. That way, you can enjoy the bohemian look of clay or adobe without the setbacks and future risk.

adobe style earthship construction
earthship built with adobe style
earthship built with clay
clay designed earthship

Build Your Earthship House With Stone

Build Your Earthship House With Stone

Stone is probably the most common material used on the side and back walls of an earthship. There are several types of stone you can use to fill in the walls of your earthship house, like granite, limestone, sandstone, or marble. You can stack individual bricks or fill out the whole wall with stone and cement.

earthship built with stone
earthship built out of stone
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earthship stone structure
stone built earthship
stone designed earthship

Surround Your Earthship Home With Glass

Surround Your Earthship Home With Glass

Some earthship homes use a lot more glass than others. Some designs merely cover the front side to allow sunlight into the greenhouse section of the home.

However, some earthship designs use glass to cover two or three whole walls, or even to line the ceiling of the home. It may be more difficult to manage the temperature of your earthship in an entirely glass house, but covering your earthship in glass will look gorgeous and keep your home filled with natural light. Plus, your plants will love it!

earthship constructed with glass walls
earthship home constructed with glass
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Interior Earthship Home Designs

Interior Earthship Home Designs

Even more important than the outside of your earthship home is what fills the inside. The earthship design may be unconventional, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be alluring and inviting. There are many elements worth incorporating inside your earthship house to turn it into a home!

Get Creative With Your Earthship House Design

Get Creative With Your Earthship House Design

There are so many design features you can include in your earthship to give it that extra aesthetic appeal. One of the coolest elements of an earthship home is the way that old bottles and cans are incorporated into the actual building structure.

Many people who live in earthship houses fill the walls with multicolored glass bottles and pack them in place with cement. This creates a breathtaking mosaic of colors that illuminates your home when it catches the light.

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creative earthship design ideas

Create A Cozy Earthship Bedroom

Create A Cozy Earthship Bedroom

Your bedroom is one of the most important rooms in your house because this is the room where you start and end your day. An earthship bedroom may be on the smaller side, so be smart with your design. Maximize the corners of the bedroom, hang shelves along horizontal wall space, and take advantage of vertical space and leveling in your earthship bedroom.

cozy earthship bedroom ideas
cozy earthship bedroom
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earthship home bedroom cozy design ideas

You’ll also want to make sure you incorporate design elements that allow your bedroom to feel like a cozy, inviting haven. Maybe you want to design your bedroom so it opens directly into your garden, add a salt lamp or two by your bedside, throw down a comfy rug, or hang some plants or lanterns throughout your room.

earthship bedroom design details
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earthship bedroom interior design
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earthship home bedroom style
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If funky décor isn’t your thing, take a more minimalist approach to your bedroom. You can fill your bedroom with white colors and natural light to achieve a similar sense of cozy and calm.

earthship home bedroom minimalist style
earthship home minimalist bedroom
earthship minimalist bedroom design
earthship minimalist bedroom style

Make Your Earthship Bathroom Feel Serene

Make Your Earthship Bathroom Feel Serene

When designing your earthship bathrooms, incorporate elements that you know will allow you to feel relaxed and at peace. Organizing a small bathroom isn’t always easy, but certain features can make a smaller space go further.

A popular way to design an earthship bathroom is to build the tub and sink area with the same type and shade of clay or stone as the exterior walls. This gives your bathroom a sleek and cohesive look throughout the structure.

earthship home bathroom design
earthship home bathroom style

Another element designers like to incorporate in earthship houses is to surround your bathroom in windows or have a door attached to the bathroom that leads directly outside. This helps fill your bathroom with natural light.

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Create An Earthship Kitchen That’s Welcoming

Create An Earthship Kitchen Thats Welcoming

The kitchen is one of the main spaces in a home where friends and family gather to spend time with one another. In an earthship house where you’re growing your own food, you want to organize your kitchen in such a way that has enough room for you to turn your produce into delicious dinner.

No matter what color scheme or design elements you choose for your earthship kitchen, it’s important to make sure it’s right next to your greenhouse in the floorplan. The last thing you want to do is to have to walk through the entire house to get your produce and start cooking. Some homeowners even like to have their greenhouse inside of their kitchen space.

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You also want to ensure that you design your earthship kitchen with enough space to cook. Especially if you are frequently adding lots of new ingredients to the mix, you’ll want ample space to cook the dishes you love for your family.

earthship home kitchen countertop
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Your Earthship Living Room Can Feel Like Home

Your Earthship Living Room Can Feel Like Home

Your living room is the space where you want to relax and let your worries from the day fade away. Take the time to design the living room of your earthship home in a way that makes you feel at home and at peace.

earthship home living room
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Personally, I am a huge fan of earthships that have their living room connected to outdoor space. Designing your earthship home like this is an awesome way to make your home even more cohesive with your environment. Plus, it gives you a beautiful space to kick back in.

earthship living room extended outdoors
earthship living space extended outdoors
earthship living with view
open style earthship living room
If you aren’t a fan of bringing the outdoors in, surround your living room with windows to let natural light flood in. Lots of folks have their living room come right up to the front facing wall of their earthship so it is surrounded by glass walls.
earthship home living room natural light
earthship house living room natural light
earthship living room window light
earthship living room windows
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window light earthship house living room

Lay Out A Rejuvenating Earthship Greenhouse

Lay Out A Rejuvenating Earthship Greenhouse

The way you design your greenhouse is important since it is the main source of food in a traditional earthship home. You can take several approaches to designing your garden. Some people lay garden beds horizontally along the front facing windows while others hang hydroponic planters from the ceilings.

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Some earthship homeowners take a more integrated approach with plants, filling an entire greenhouse room. I’ve also seen designs where people carve out a U-shaped plant bed towards the front-facing window that is specifically for produce, while placing other plants elsewhere around their earthship home.

earthship front greenhouse design
earthship front greenhouse layout
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earthship front greenhouse style

Whichever design you choose, it’s important that you give your greenhouse layout a lot of intentional thought. This is one of the main elements that makes an earthship house so unique!

Cost To Build An Earthship Home

Cost To Build An Earthship Home

Building an earthship house is a huge undertaking, and the price definitely reflects that. It’s hard to nail down an exact cost because a lot of what goes into the budget of your earthship depends on how you build it. Another thing to consider is whether or not you’re hiring a builder, buying it, or building it.

pangea builders

“Earthship houses cost more than a conventional building upfront, but less on a monthly basis because there are no utility bills.”

– Jonah Reynolds, Pangea Builders

Typically, earthships can cost anywhere from $10,000 on the low end to $1,000,000 on the insanely high end. By square footage, earthship houses average about $150 to $225 per square foot. However, again, this will depend on the route you take.

Additional Resources For Building An Earthship House

Additional Resources For Building An Earthship House

I thought I’d include some additional resources from experts who have built their own earthship house. I may know a ton about building and gardening, but I’ve yet to build my own earthship house. I will defer to the pros!

Your Turn!

    • How will you design your own earthship house?
    • In what ways will living in an earthship home improve your life?