Thursday, April 7, 2011

Low Cost Housing-A Survivalists Dream

Five years ago I bought this 12 x 16 metal building and had it delievered to my home in the woods.
It has a pressure treated wood floor, regular mobile home door, 4 windows, steel stud construction in walls and ceiling. The roof is not as strong as I'd like. A branch fell during a storm and punctured it, causing a leak. I repaired the leak, recoated the roof, and its been fine ever sence.
I had hurricane anchors installed when it was delievered, after they backed it in, leveled it and checked to be sure everything was working.

I bought 13 R insulation, panelling, some wood stripping and carpet.
The entire package and interior finishing cost under $4,000.
The bed has storage under it. The chest doubles as storage and seating. There is electricity and internet. My heat is either electric space heater in spring and fall, or the Mr. Buddy Propane Heater in winter or brutal cold snaps.

I create my artwork outside mostly, because of the fumes and messy mica and paint work. Additional found objects are added over a period of time. The folding table is portable and used outside.

I'm working on a passive water collection system. If and when the power goes out, I can filter and treat the water collected in these buckets. I can use untreated water for the garden, filtered water for washing, and filtered-treated water for cooking and drinking. By using several buckets instead of one large holding tank, I can carry the buckets to the garden, or inside the main house as needed.

I purposely chose a metal building with the roof overhanging on the door side so that a portch can be easily added.

There is no indoor plumbing in this studio. I have potable water used for coffee in jugs under the desk. An outhouse could be built.

This building is easy to set up. In retrospect, wood wall studs would have been easier to work with while installing paneling and hanging shelving and artwork.
However, the steel studs are stronger, and once everything was installed, gave me peace of mind. With Steel studs, its less flamable, fewer worries about termites and warping due to moisture.

This housing system is totally sustainable and doesn't require any electricity. Because of the insulation, windows, and solid floor, it heats quickly. Opening the windows provides excellent air flow for cooling.

While shopping for this building, I was able to choose color, size, window placement, type of door, wood or steel studs. I chose to have one side of the building with no windows or doors, and three sides to have openings for air flow. I chose 4 windows instead of the customary two vents and two window combination.

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