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Our 100% DIY Hand-Built , Debt-Free, Off-Grid Shelter:

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I have been a Hometalk fan for several years and always follow other people's DIY projects. Then I realized I have a massive DIY project of my own, and entered a competition sponsored by a WONDERFUL store in Truckee, CA, called High Camp Home. (www.highcamphome.com). We won the DIY Contest and everything escalated from there. We initially had to find some land, and came across high-elevation farmland in South West Colorado. Starting off in a TENT, we spent the next few years building a shelter from five 40 foot shipping containers, which my husband reinforced with beams and then buried to keep them cool in Summer and warm in Winter. We got a well operating for water as a first action.
The first shipping container was transformed into a bedroom:
The next shipping container was turned into a kitchen and pantry.
  • our 100 diy hand built debt free off grid shelter, architecture, diy, go green, home improvement
We built a small bathroom with a sink area. The materials are salvaged wood, My husband had no building experience whatsoever and did all the work solo. I cooked on this old wood stove I found in an antique store in Cortez, Colorado.
We started off with an outhouse which I mosaiced and called "The Throne"
Our library is in a long hallway that was built between 2 shipping containers, all of which are buried under 18 inches of earth.
We then decided we needed a space that was open to the sunlight, so built a post and beam great-room with a kitchen. It is a work in progress. All the furniture was found at junk stores, off Craigslist and from Habitat from Humanity. We could not spend thousands of dollars on windows and doors, so all those, too, are off Craigslist, yard sales and Habitiat
My beautiful coffee table cost me $4 - a pallet salvaged from Ace Hardware and 4 wheels from a salvage depot. The hassock was a give-away and I covered it with coffee sacks.
We also built a rock garden from field stones and grow our own vegetables. Our power comes from the sun via a solar panel.
This entire project is proof that anyone's dream can come true. My husband is 74 - I am 65. We just decided one day to leave the city and start over. We wanted a self-sufficient life and a great place for our 2 Rhodesian Ridgebacks.
You can see more at our Pinterest Boards https://www.pinterest.com/freeeaglesllc/free-eagles-ranch/ We also have a website: http://www.freeeaglesranch.com and a Blog blog.freeeaglesranch.com We would love to help Hometalk readers and will answer any questions you have about self-sufficient living

To see more: http://blog.freeeaglesranch.com/off-the-grid-shelter-construction/

  • Jane R.
    Jane R. Rosenberg, TX

    I wish I had the wood burning stove. It's a treasure.

  • Asha Ravada
    Asha Ravada Aldie, VA

    Amazing home and Kudos to you both!

  • Karla Wells

    Really great. My hats off to you.

  • Henrijlopez

    Wish I had the guts to do this. Love it all.

  • Jessica Byrnes
    Jessica Byrnes Dove Creek, CO

    The only guts needed were to leave city life; buy a tent; set the tent up in a field - live in it for a few months while we started to get the shipping containers placed and habitable....... everything after that was easy. :)

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