Off-Grid Tiny House Guide

the tiny life

Hi, I’m Ryan

Thinking about off-grid living can be confusing and daunting at first, I should know after living off grid for 8-plus years. However, being self sufficient can be rewarding and freeing. Take a look at these posts where I answer some of your common questions about living independently of public utilities and creating your own energy at home.
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THOW DesignAdvice For Off-Grid Living

Common Misconceptions to living off grid

Common Misconceptions

People might think they have an idea about what it’s like to live off grid before they try it out, but the reality is always different than expectations. I’ve been powering my tiny home on my own for a while now, and it’s become abundantly clear what I got wrong or initially misunderstood about off-grid living. If you’re considering switching to off-grid living, take a look at these common misconceptions about the lifestyle. Read The Post

Challenges Of Going Off Grid

Challenges Of Going Off Grid

Starting to live off grid can be a lot to handle all at once. Before you decide to grow your own garden and start installing solar panels, you’ll want to think about possible challenges. Challenges can range from finding land to installation technicalities to cost of the project. Check out the post below for a closer look at challenges to consider when going off the grid. Read The Post

Reasons To Start Living Off The Grid

Reasons To Start Living Off The Grid

Looking for some inspiration to adopt the off-grid lifestyle? A huge reason I decided to cut costs and start supplying energy on my own is for the sweet freedom that comes with self-sufficiency. Providing your own food, water, heat, and fuel is empowering for you and beneficial for the earth. Check out this post for more reasons that living off the grid is totally worth it. Read The Post

tiny house solar powerUsing Solar Power

solar power for tiny houses

Installing Solar Panels

Solar panels are the most common method for getting power to your tiny house off the grid. I’ve been powering my tiny house off solar panels for my tiny house for over eight years now, and having the ability to produce my own power for almost a decade has been a major learning experience. There’s a lot to keep in mind when transitioning to solar power, like how to mount your panels on the roof, how to calculate the amount of power you’ll need to produce, and how to choose your wiring. Look into my detailed post about all-things solar panels.Read The Post

planning for the winter months

Planning For Winter Months

A huge challenge with living off the grid is getting through colder months. Days get shorter in the winter and you tend to have more overcast skies, which means less power from your solar panels. A smart way to combat this is to specifically size your panels to accommodate your leanest winter month. This means that you want to have enough panels set up to make ample power for your lowest production day. When you do get to the summer, you will have more than enough power for all of your needs and appliances, and the system will actually convert some of that energy on its own. Read below to see how I plan ahead with generators and gasoline, make sure my panels stay clean, and other tips and tricks to survive harsh winters off the grid. Read The Post

tiny house electrical

Getting Power

The off-grid method is most accessible for home owners who aren’t planning on moving around a ton. To power your entire tiny house, you’ll need to size your solar panel system properly. The process is long and definitely has its downsides. Check out this post to guide you through how to power your tiny home with solar power as well as other alternative methods. Read The Post

tiny house alternative energyAlternative Energy Options

solar power generators

Solar Generators

Another thing to consider when using solar power for your tiny house is solar generators. There is a lot of confusing information out there when it comes to solar energy. Read more for clarity on what you can and cannot power with a solar generator, what types of generators are out there, and how to decide which generators can work best for your purposes. Read The Post

solar powered air conditioning for tiny houses

Solar Power And Air Conditioning

When I was first planning to move into my tiny house, considering the possibility of running a solar powered air conditioner and cooling system weighed heavily on my mind. Having a fully functional AC unit is critical, especially in warmer climates like mine. It’s important to make sure you have no problems or obstacles trying to keep your tiny house cool. In this article, we work through all the common hurdles of running AC on solar energy. Read The Post

Solar-Powered Oven

Solar-Powered Oven

Ever heard of using a solar oven to generate power in your tiny house? In this post, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about solar ovens and solar cooking. I also include honest and unbiased solar oven reviews on every top solar oven available right now, videos explaining my experience testing each solar oven, and personal interviews with each solar oven manufacturer. Read The Post

tiny house heatingOff-Grid Heating

heating a tiny house

Heating A Tiny House

Heating a tiny house in the winter is no walk in the park. There are lots of things to consider like which heating method will work best for you, what your budget is, and how to set up heating for the entire house especially in the colder months. In this post, we’ll walk through everything you need to know when trying to keep warm while living off the grid. Read The Post

wood stoves for a tiny house

Using A Wooden Stove

Most people think about using a wooden stove for things like cooking food and heating your homestead, but wooden stoves have lots of other benefits like humidifying the air, dehydrating foodstuffs for long term storage, or even generating electricity. Believe it or not, thermo electric generators are simple devices that convert heat into electricity that you can store in a battery. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can maximize the value from your wood burning stove off the grid. Read The Post

tiny house propane

Using Propane

Propane is a great option for a tiny home because it’s practical, portable, and affordable. At the beginning of my journey, I was hesitant to use propane because it’s a non-renewable fossil fuel. But after crunching the numbers, it was the only realistic way I was going to be able to go off grid. If you want to live off the grid, you’ll quickly realize that propane alongside other methods is the only practical way to do so. Check out more in the post below. Read The Post

diy buildingBuilding A Tiny House Yourself

tiny house building checklist

Tiny House Building Checklist

Planning your design is the most critical piece in building your tiny house. The design stage is crucial. When you have a few thousand square feet to play with, getting the design perfect isn’t as critical. In a tiny house, you’re working with less space, so small mistakes make a big difference. You don’t want to get down the road in six months or a year and have regrets about your tiny house design! Here’s info on how to avoid design missteps in your dream home. Read The Post

Tiny House Design Guide

Planning your design is the most critical piece in building your tiny house. The design stage is crucial. When you have a few thousand square feet to play with, getting the design perfect isn’t as critical. In a tiny house, you’re working with less space, so small mistakes make a big difference. You don’t want to get down the road in six months or a year and have regrets about your tiny house design! Here’s info on how to avoid design missteps in your dream home. Read The Post

tiny house tools

Guide To Tools

I’m often asked about what tools I used to build my tiny home. Over the years, I’ve learned a few things about what tools you really need and which ones you can do without. There are some places where you can save money on tools and others where you want to buy the best you can afford. Here are my personal recommendations for brands and types of tools. Read The Post

tiny house waterWater Supply Off The Grid

greywater system

Greywater Systems

What is Greywater? Any variation of wastewater that isn’t sewage. It includes water from sinks and showers that’s clean enough to be re-used in an irrigation system as long as you use biodegradable soap products. Re-using greywater can be a super tool for off grid living! Read more below on how to deal with greywater off the grid.Read The Post

tiny house composting toilets

Using A Composting Toilet

Taking care of bathroom needs in a tiny house is its own beast, especially when it comes to living completely off the grid. Using a composting toilet isn’t actually as gross as it sounds and can be an impactful method for sewage management. We have all the essential tiny house toilet tips below to answer the questions you may not even know you have. Read The Post

septic system install

Septic Tanks

Basically, a septic tank is a sealed reservoir that’s buried and collects black and grey waste water. It allows you to safely collect, filter, and distribute waste from your home. Installing a septic tank in the right way is critical because septic complications are never an easy fix and are seldom inexpensive. In this post, I outline my advice on the installation, costs, and all logistic details of installing a septic tank on your own land from start to completion. Read The Post

tiny home design plansOff-Grid Design Plans

rustic barndominium exterior

Barndominium Floor Plans

One variation of living tiny is building a barndominium. What is a barndominium, you ask? It’s essentially just what it sounds like — a barn or metal shed that’s been converted into a living space, perfect for the off-grid lifestyle. Cheap and quick to erect, a barndo presents an excellent solution for my “where to live while I build” conundrum. If you’re considering the merits of living off the grid in a barndominium, here are the barndominium floor plans, costs, and details you need to get started. Read The Post

yurt lattice walls

Yurt Design Plans

Living in yurts is an up-and-coming trend within the tiny community. These hip, round tents can work well for living off the grid because the setup is similar to camping. No matter what type of yurt you find is best for you, they offer a fun and affordable living option. To learn more about types of yurts, costs of living, and general design ideas, read our post below.Read The Post

A-Frame Design Plans

The A-frame tiny home is another design option that is easy to build on your own be it on or off the grid. It is especially revered for its angular, retro look. If you’re considering building your own A-frame tiny house or small A-frame cabin, good plans can be hard to come by. Studying a set of plans can help you determine a design that works for you, estimate how much a tiny house A-frame costs, what materials you’ll need, and more. In this post, I’ve put together some free A-frame plans to spark your inspiration and design your own off-grid tiny home. Read The Post

other resourcesOther Resources

tiny house preppers

Tiny House Preppers

If anyone knows the ins and outs of living off the grid, it’s the prepper community. A prepper is an individual who focuses on training themselves in both urban and bushcraft survival skills to be prepped or prepared for all situations. The prepper community has taken a keen interest in tiny living over the years, with a curiosity for simple and low-cost shelter options like tiny homes. Keep reading to see the ways these communities overlap and glean some inspiration from preppers to become totally self-sufficient.
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Off-Grid Internet

In the 21st century, off griders still need to be plugged into the internet to stay connected to news, friends, and colleagues. In other words, internet access is nonnegotiable. So, how can you connect to the world wide web so far from the city? To understand how to get internet on your own, you need to understand what you actually require out of your internet connection. In this post, I’ll outline various connection options and internet types to help you figure out what works best for you. Read The Post

setting up land for a house

Setting Up Land

One thing I’ve realized through my entire tiny house journey is that, not only do you have to build a house, but there is quite a bit that goes into setting up the land itself, especially when you are wanting to install your own sources of power. These things include internet access, infrastructure, security, and utilities. Read more about land set up below.Read The Post