Living and building off-grid on the cheap

Dimensional lumber, nearly stacked and ready for their second life….

Going off-grid on the cheap, it’s possible to do, but you should be creative and flexible, the property was the biggest expense, buying a property with “issues” made that expense much less than it could have been.

Our property’s issue was the access, it has a seasonal creek that runs across the front/bottom of the property, so driving up on the property is tricky if not impossible. We didn’t mind, the rest of the property was great.

One of the things we do to build cheap (sometimes free) is to constantly be on the lookout for free materials to recycle or re-purpose. It’s not the same as going to the lumber store and buying what we need, we often are gifted with material that would normally go to the dump at odd times, this material has its issues, the lumber is rough, has nails, screws and other hardware, sometimes ends of lumber are rotten, damaged or cut off, as I said, you need to be creative.

You also need to have an eye for the future, sometimes we get material we can’t use yet, but it will be good for future use, of course you have to watch that you don’t become a hoarder for hoarding’s sake. You also need to know when to say “no, thank you”.

Since I worked in the country store in my neighborhood when it was open, I got to know a LOT of people out here, I got the word out with the locals that we would take their scraps, tearing down a building? Great, let me know when and where.

If the material isn’t going to be used right away, then it needs to be prepped and stored, as much to protect it as it is to keep from turning your property into an eyesore. Fortunately for us, the property isn’t terribly visible, especially things on the ground, so there isn’t going to be anyone complaining about what they might see as a junk yard.

That is how much of my place was built, very much on the cheap.


in out 3
Metal chairs and table, rescued from going to the dump…
More dimensional lumber…
Bricks for future use…
Used washing machine, and below are some drums of diesel and kerosine
Old beat up water tank, still has lots of life in it for other uses…. and some dimensional lumber
Spare windows for future use….
Leaving technology behind….

4 Responses

  1. My younger son and I went to war over him cleaning up (burning!) one of my junkpiles. Knew just what I had, stacked boards, etc. Wanted to cry. Hard to believe what people throw away.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Join the global off-grid community

Register for a better experiencE on this site!