Off the Grid (173)

Long House by Bruno Atkey

Bruno built this 30′×50′ building on a remote beach belonging to the Hesquiat tribe in British Columbia in 1999. It’s used in a “rediscovery” program, and now run by Hooksum Outdoor School, which educates young First Nations people about their history and heritage.

The entire building was framed with beach­combed logs — posts, beams, and purlins. Roofing is 3′-long split-cedar shakes; siding is also split cedar — 1×12’s and 1×15’s six to twelve feet long(!). His crew was mostly from the Hesquiat tribe…

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The Homes Kate Dodd Built

Kate Dodd built two off-the-grid houses in the Northern California woods in the early ’70s. She and her partner started the house in spring of 1972 and moved in that winter (with one wall covered with plastic sheeting).

The foundation was concrete piers. The pole frame was spiked to the piers with a vertical piece of 1″ galvanized pipe. For the attached greenhouse she poured a perimeter foundation…

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Solar-Powered School Bus Cabin

Lloyd,

Like many, I scrounge the internet for building ideas. I came across a really cool dish-rack/shelf that was built into a corner in a kitchen. You could stand the plates up to dry between the slats, and still set bowls and mugs on it like a shelf. Brilliant! I saved the picture, and put it in the “barn-house” folder on my computer for future reference, when it comes time to build.

A few months ago, you posted a video of how you do dishes. I nearly leapt out of my seat when I saw the very same dish shelf … was in your kitchen! You have a long history of collecting and publishing all the good ideas you can find, I guess it shouldn’t be such a surprise that a design like that ended up in your home!

My sister and my mother, both crafty individuals, each received one of your books for Christmas. They are being exchanged as we read them with interest around the fire.

Last year, I built a solar-powered cabin out of a school bus, which will be my base camp while I take my time building a house on the cheap over the next few years. I’m blogging my journey at www.day9975.com. Until then, during the workweek I’m living in the semi-finished upstairs of an un-plumbed post-and-beam barn my dad built 20 years ago, and saving up for my own build.

As I go into designing my home, your books are my favorite source for creative solutions to whatever design challenge I encounter. Thanks to you and your team for writing.

Hope you have a happy new year,
–Aaron DeAngelis

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Adventuring with Lola

I am a 19-year-old girl from Long Island, New York with a passion to travel and explore new places. Upon graduating high school I knew I didn’t want to jump right into college. I was never into books, nor was I the type that wanted to sit and study in a classroom. I didn’t even know what career I wanted to pursue. I felt that I could enjoy my life in a different way other than sitting in a classroom and if down the road I decided college was for me, then I would choose what I wanted to do and make a decision from there.

During high school and after I traveled to all kinds of different places with my mom, whether it was a trip to an island or somewhere in the states, it was always a thrill to explore new places, meet new people, and see new things. Working five days a week and saving up my money allowed me to take my time in deciding what I wanted to do.
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Beautifully Converted Bus



This dynamic young family is hitting the road, traveling all over North America in their incredible converted Blue Bird school bus. Dubbed ‘The School of Life‘, this skoolie conversion project was all about giving JT and Tamra the opportunity to travel and learn all about the continent, it’s landscapes, people and history. The bus’s name took on new meaning when they gave birth to their son Kalon.

The interior of the school bus has been converted into a beautiful tiny home with everything the family needs to live comfortably on the road, with a large lounge and entertainment area, wood stove, kitchen bedroom, and lots of room for storage of clothes and other items.

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Joaquin and Gypsy's Housetruck

Some years ago Joaquin De La Cruz traded his ’48 Triumph motorcycle for this vintage Chevy Flatbed — and with little money, much imagination, and found discards — set about making one of the most unique ever to roll along America’s roads.

For the last five years Joaquin, Gypsy, and their three kids — Heather, Bear, and Serena — have moved around the country and were last seen parked along California’s Feather River…

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