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Last week I spoke about the costs of tiny houses and why I don’t find that figure to be much of a problem. Several individuals mentioned that the $20,000 cost was fine for just the house but what about the cost of adding power systems on top of it. A lot of people believe that solar power needs to be expensive but we have a different experience with this.

The first step is to determine how much power you need if you want to be off the grid. If you’re looking to run a refrigerator, an air conditioner, a washer and dryer, etc.; a small solar power system may not be the best solution for you. We decided to keep our lifestyle as simple as possible to be able to use a scaled down system. We run as much as we can on butane and propane so the only thing that really runs on the solar power are the lights and our computers, including Matt’s massive gaming laptop. And remember, both of us work from the tiny house so we need access to our computers most of the day.

Our solar panels. Photo by Laura M. LaVoie

Do you want to see how we did it? Read the rest below:

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Northwestern Tiny House Project’s mission is to build this sustainable home by making their own improvements onto Tumbleweed Tiny Houses’ efficient use of space with new ideas and innovations in the areas of materials, electricity, and plumbing.

They call themselves Team CASITA. This particular home is just 128 square feet and yes: they’re using a trailer as a foundation.

The design includes:

  • Electrical and plumbing systems
  • Solar panels with battery bank
  • Water tank placement
  • Rainwater collection system

The home is planned to be finished this school year and the students have put together an excellent eBook (report) that you can download which details everything, including materials, layout, plumbing, composting, electricity, resources, and more.

Northwestern Tiny House Project

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