This post I want to touch on a lot of the random bits about our plans for development that don’t really seem to fit or be interesting enough for a full post and Segway into what imminent plans we have for this blog. So what do we want to address…
Off grid location, over two miles from closest power tie in, no natural gas pipelines, nothing and we haven’t developed a manure generator…yet, but there’s enough of that in the world that I need to probably invest more time and patent the crap, pun intended, out of it. Anyways, where we will be as referenced in the previous post about our seedlings are in hardiness zone 4b which means we have to prepare for sustained temps of twenty-five degrees below zero Fahrenheit. Also as seen in our Upgrading the Homeless shelter even though it’s likely going to be just the Dogfather and me and puppies obviously our home is going to have a lot of square footage. But of that square footage, maybe half will consistently be used. The solution we are going to primarily utilize…we think… is radiant heat floors.
With the radiant heat and the mass of concrete that will be not only our floors but also the walls of our home will hopefully maintain an ambient temperature in the home for the most part. But what will happen on the extreme cold that even the thermal mass of our home can’t negate? We have inherited a heirloom from Tyson’s side of the family of a wood burning stove that we intend to incorporate into the home combined with our mutual desire to also incorporate a wood burning oven into our kitchen / living room area as a multifunctional piece. Just envision it, sitting in our living room a slight chill in the air, we start up our wood burning oven and as long as we are stoking a fire, we might as well make some bread to proof and make some soup to stew on the stove top. Heat and dinner combined into one…can’t hardly wait!
On the note of radiant heat throughout, this is one of the major reasons that while we could consolidate our footprint and utilize the depth of the footers we will have to do per the Natrona County building code of 3 feet of frost line, we have decided to not do a basement. Why though? There are a few reasons and some are more logistical and others no good reason. Reason #1. The radiant heated floors throughout. Yes, there are ways to install radiant heat floors on second stories but then in our opinion you are loosing the thermal mass to air. We could use a metal reflector to redirect that thermal heat up but there are other reasons like….Reason #2. We have every single intention for this to be our last home ever, so we are going to try and make it as geriatric accessible as possible. This for this matter means as few stairs as possible and therefore a single story. But we are taking other thought for this into account, such as wider doorways, abilities for handrails and assists to be installed and multifunctional spaces for now and later. For example, we want to design the house so we don’t stoop or have to bend over now so we do not develop the hunchback of age, but have enough storage low enough so when the day comes and I can’t reach items on the eight foot high shelf any more I don’t have to stress over it. Reason #3. We have fifty-five acres…I think we have the room to have a ranch style home.
In the post called It’s Electric we do discuss what would happen if the wind and solar generators we intend to have fail and that we would want to have a propane generator to tide us over until we can address the issue that is confronting us of whether it’s a faulty connection or issue with the power generation source of lack of sun and wind (laugh stymied and scoffed at) or if there is an issue with the hardware. The installation of a generator has entered the realm of consideration for us even on the grid for as seen last year in force of what occurred in Texas, according to a power bill received, Wyoming even was within 2% of maxing out it’s resources and in a cold snap, that could have been equally devastating here. Living life off grid you have to think of all the what could happen and how you would address the what ifs of life which is not always cheap. The peace of mind with that price tag however would be priceless.
It is the year 2022, we ourselves are geriatric millennials, or so I am told but because of this, we have equal abilities to live a life without the technologies of the modern era of tap to pay, recalling the credit card transactions of yore when you had the carbon paper transfer slip with the bulk hand part that ran over the card back and forth which is why you had to have raised numbers (photo inserted for the youth of the world who have no clue what I am talking about) but equally adept and enjoy the ability to research the name of the guy with the thing from the place, you know…that one? Internet, wifi and connectivity that will help us in our security and longevity out at the peak. With our location literally at the peak of the area, we actually will have multiple option that we will investigate when the time draws closer. One is a local internet provide to the Casper area that would utilize satellite to bounce off of towers on Casper Mountain due south of us without issue. Our other option we’ll look into when the time comes is true satellite internet like SpaceX’s Starlink. Enough time and development will pass that who knows how many other options will become available as the years pass…but hopefully not too many years.
SO what about our other post of recent history and how we want to establish more self sufficiency and independence, a green house? That’s on the to do list too and after reaching out to the county, learned the max size of greenhouse / structure that we can do without permitting through the county is 199 sqft. Anything larger and we will need to permit and for the scale of operation we want to do…we’ll need to permit some day. But with the establishment and us learning everything that we are right now, it’s something else that we are excited to pursue and want to be able to grow our own food for maybe upwards of 8 months of the year.
What about windows? Um…what is there to say about windows? For our passive style home we obviously want high efficiency windows but we also want some big windows so as to be sure and enjoy the scenery and those window we want to be sure face south. Additionally though we even need to consider the color of frames, for example, we’ve learned that while the nice white frames of most windows blend into and compliment home exteriors, black framed windows fade and allow the outside of the home to be the focus.
Doors? We’re tall and want tall doors but as far as a front door, we have very strong opinions from helping others move. Think about the last time you moved-how’d that refrigerator fit? The Chair that was just too big, the sofa you had to do pilates and yoga to manipulate through the door? Nah-uh…This is it and we’re going to be old and want to make things as easy as possible. That front door is going to be a double front door or extra wide so we don’t have to have that problem.
And finally, what about a roof? As corny as it might sound, there are a lot of options out there from thatched, metal, asphalt, wood, or even solar. While we currently have an asphalt roof that has held up fabulously we definitely are leaning towards doing a mono pitch / shed style roof made out metal or if we can get a supplier to do the solar roof tiles that would definitely be our front running preference.
We have so many ideas and thoughts and small details that we want to make sure our home has, what are we forgetting / Let us know and if you have made it this far here is some of our future plans for this site. Somewhat obviously, we will have to think of additional content and we really have a passion and want to support local Wyoming businesses and intend to do features for them here that they can use to promote their businesses. We completely intend to continue to showcase our lives, on going Prickly Peak Project and the puppies, but these small businesses are the backbones of our communities here and we want to show our support of them.
Additionally, we are going to be doing a giveaway!
DO you want a $50 dollar gift card? We’ll be doing a drawing when our blog hits 500 Subscribers so be sure to share these posts, like our facebook page and follow us on Instagram. We currently are at 11…so we have some work to do. Checkout the facebook page and Instagram for additional incentives there to help us grow our base.
Thank you for everything you do for us and take care all!