A Home Not an Investment

Ever since we started living off the grid we have noticed a very prevalent opinion that goes something like this – ” your home is nice, but how would you ever sell it?”

We used to get kind of irritated at the question as being off the grid has given us the option of not looking at our home as an investment at all.

We built the house as our own, without any thought of selling it.

Recently it has become all the rage to flip a house for profit. Buy it, fix it and sell it.

And keep doing it until you are rich presumably.

That’s fine if you really like building and want to look at your home as a business, but does that make it a home? For the most part it doesn’t.

It is really difficult to translate the intangibles about living off the grid and how we look at our home differently than most.

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Getting Started Off The Grid

For most of us the old saying, ‘the first step is the hardest’, really does apply to living off the grid.

This is a big step for you and your family to consider.

We know it certainly was for us.

But getting started does not have to be difficult. There are lots of little steps you can take if you are not comfortable with a plunge. Some of us like to test the water by sticking our toes in first. Others run right in. It is up to you to decide which one you are, and what’s best for you in learning how to live off the grid.

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Emergency Preparedness Checklist

While living off the grid for the past 17 years we have added a lot of items to our emergency preparedness checklist.

Virtually every minute we are prepared, and we have seen a lot of different weather events that leads us to believe that an emergency could be around just about any corner and occur just about any day.

We have seen tornadoes, floods, blizzards, sweltering heat waves and the worst yet, a terrible ice storm that virtually wiped out the grid for 2 weeks over a massive swath of Eastern North America.

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Living Off The Grid Magazine

It is finally here, after months of preparation we want to introduce the new living off the grid magazine.

For quite a few years we have had it in our minds to take the website concept and make it into a magazine format.

We are not quite ready to unveil the ‘off the grid magazine’ just yet. That is the purpose of this post.

We want to know what you, our readers want to see in a magazine covering this material.

First off, there is a lot of different subjects that we can cover- from renewable energy, to solar, to wind, to gardening, building, and different diy projects.

The question we are putting to you today is- what do you want to see in the new living off the grid magazine?

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Build Solar Panels for Off Grid Living

If you want a simple system for meeting your energy needs when you begin living off the grid then building solar panels is probably your best answer.

We learned how to build solar panels over 16 years ago and have seen many designs and plans. Some good some not so good.

What does 16 years of experience give you? Thorough testing of every possible solar panel plans.

If you want to be successful with off grid living, and your family depends on it, then using the right plans is essential.

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Grid Tie vs. Living Off The Grid

This website is dedicated to living off the grid for a reason.

Repeatedly we are asked to provide advice and assistance for grid tie systems, their maintenance and installation. Granted we have done a ton of these in the past, but our true love is really off grid living. Why?

Well, let’s have at it…

For those of you who follow this website and our newsletter regularly you will know that we have rather one sided opinions on some subjects, one of those is living off the grid vs. grid-tie in any form.

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What Does Living Off The Grid Mean to You?

I remember the first time someone asked us ‘ What does Living Off The Grid mean?’

The words did not come easy… the obvious non-connection to the grid always comes to mind, but there was (and is) so much more to it.

Then came the question, after a few years when the off grid movement caught on a bit , ‘what does living off the grid mean to you?’

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Sanyo HIT vs. Mitsubishi Solar Panels

Ok, so which one is better for living off the grid (or grid tie systems)?

We asked this question recently of some friends, solar panel installers, and all of our acquaintances who are using either Sanyo HIT Solar or Mitsubishi Solar Panels.

We have to admit to a slight bias here in that we have used the Mitsubishi product quite a bit longer than the Sanyo. And our off grid setup is only one of many that we have seen.

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16 Years of being Off The Grid

For the past 16 years our family has been living off the grid with only solar and wind power to run our home.
Back in 1994 we began a search to find alternative energy options that we could afford. We had to because we had no other options.
It was really a matter of time and money, you see we had lots of time and … you guessed it, no money. So we found ways to build a wind generator and even found free solar panels for our home.

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Wilderness Encounters

For many years we have tried to come up with the definitive answer to the question, “What does living off the grid really mean to us?”
Yes, there is the energy savings from using renewable energy sources, wind generators we built ourselves and solar panels. There is the garden of course. And our off grid home too…
But, when everything is measured we have to say that encounters with the wilderness all around us is what means the most. There have been many things that we have been passionate about through the years, but none compares to the wilderness.
Granted you can live off the grid right in the middle of the city, but

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