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Forum Post: Tiny House Living, Off the Grid? Here's How to Do it in Style

Posted 9 months ago on April 12, 2014, 4:42 p.m. EST by LeoYo (5909)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Tiny House Living, Off the Grid? Here's How to Do it in Style

Saturday, 12 April 2014 00:00
By Cat Johnson, Yes! Magazine | Op-Ed

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/23057-tiny-house-living-off-the-grid-heres-how-to-do-it-in-style

LaMar Alexander grew up in a homesteading family. For him, self-sufficiency, including gardening, raising animals and "doing for ourselves" was normal and necessary. He tried city life after college, but says he felt like a slave to a house, bills and employers. At 35, he made a change.

"I had a wake up call," he explains, "that made me realize that what I really wanted was a simple homestead cabin and to eliminate my dependence on the system, so I could live sustainably while I pursued my dreams."

So Alexander built a house. A very small, 14 ft. x 14 ft. house. A solar and wind powered off-the-grid cabin with a kitchen, bathroom and living room downstairs and a bedroom and office upstairs. It cost him $2,000 to build not including the recycled doors and windows, the front porch, and the solar system.

Being an avid outdoorsman, Alexander didn't need a lot of indoor space, but as an author, videographer, and off-the-grid builder, he did need modern amenities including a cell phone, Internet access, electric lights, indoor toilet, and shower etc., and he has them. Alexander says his tiny house is easy to clean, cheap to heat and cool, and he has no house payments or monthly utility bills.

"I now have the freedom to pursue my dreams," he says, "and the money I make stays in my pocket and can be used for vacations or to help my family and for a secure retirement. That is the freedom that an off-grid lifestyle makes possible."

Alexander is part of a growing movement of tiny housers. The options for going tiny are growing. In fact, tiny house villages are even being tested as solutions to homelessness. Within the tiny house movement, there's a contingent who are taking the simplicity, sustainability and freedom of tiny houses to the next level by building their tiny homes off the power grid.

Shareable connected with four experienced, off-the-grid tiny housers to find out how they made the move to living off-the-grid in a tiny house; what challenges they face; how they handle practical matters like electrical, sewa