Small Cabin

Small Cabin Forum
 - Forums - Register/Sign Up - Reply - Search - Statistics -

Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / New to fully/half off the grid! Planning to move to PA - any tips?
Author Message
# Posted: 23 Oct 2021 22:56 - Edited by: BlinKyRTX


I'm planning to move to PA, around Monroe County, for off the grid/semi in a year or two and save up 20k max just to be safe. I want to buy at least 1-5 acres of land and build on a cabin on it; possibly live in my car or an RV/apt while it's in progress. I have a friend from Canada who does construction and is willing to help out with connections and what to pay/watch out for.

Since I'm new, I've been doing research online, via videos and now, books, which I've been reading for planting/gardening and what to invest into/learn for off the grid. Expectations as well.

I'm aware states have land taxes to pay and normally PA is above average. I do know there's regulations in terms of living and building a home on bought land but I just wanted to make sure for that.

It does have regulations for water/wells - how does the process work normally?

I'm not planning to buy equipment until later on down the line. I do plan on just paying for taxes and the internet bill once everything is sorted out. Everything else, I'd like to take care of it on my own.

What should I be learning the most now + and what should I pay attention to during the whole time? And especially, what do I need to know about PA and it's laws for going off the grid?

# Posted: 24 Oct 2021 06:28

Well, just an observation, we have MANY Amish coming up here now, a lot of them escaping PA and there has to be something to it, as I am in Ontario Canada. Besides good land at good prices, that is, or maybe not.

A few things for Ponderance which make a huge difference. Energy Conservation is far cheaper than Generation & Storage. I built my shack to be Hyper-Efficient, almost like a Passive-Haus with my own variant of SIPS (Structural Insulated Panels). With the frost protected slab foundation (complete with Radiant Heating) that acts as a thermal regulator my winter heating only requires 2 Hours runtime in 24 hours @-25C outside temps, keeping the house @ 25C inside.

Myself, I bought a Forest Property with a small clear area. Year 1 I cleaned up the property and really had a good look at "the land" and I got to watch what happens over winter, where the snow drifts and in the spring the melt and where the water goes etc... It also gave me time to watch how wind & air move across the property. (I am on top of a 1500' southern facing Ridge where 3 valleys connect). That gave me the opportunity to locate a "spot" to fit my shack into. By using the trees windbreak and shading in summer to keep the house cooler, it's saving energy while making it comfy. I GAVE AWAY MY AC ! 40C Outside and it's never been more than 28C inside with the windows open. That FPSF Foundation again working in my favour because during summer it's usually at 16C which in turn keeps the inside of the house cooler.

By leveraging the properties attributes such as shade trees to keep direct sun off the house and having enough around me to prevent wind effect cold because they are also a windbreak really reduces the amount of effort required to Heat & Cool. Effort = Energy.

BTW: I am also 100% Offgrid Solar Powered. Details located on the Link Below if interested. (I have to update that to my Final Config which I am doing now). -120vac.1484/

A Seacan is a Wonderful thing to have on site to store tools, equipment & materials when building and then to use afterwards. Currently prices are whacko but that will settle I am sure.

bc thunder
# Posted: 24 Oct 2021 08:33

Save twice as much as you think you will need, it costs a lot more than you think it will to get started....And like Steve said, learn to conserve, or go without.

Your reply
Bold Style  Italic Style  Underlined Style  Thumbnail Image Link  Large Image Link  URL Link           :) ;) :-( :confused: More smilies...

» Username  » Password 
Only registered users can post here. Please enter your login/password details before posting a message, or register here first.