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How To Build a 400sqft Solar Powered Off Grid Cabin for $2k

How To Build a 400sqft Solar Powered Off Grid Cabin for $2k

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This off grid cabin is a beautiful example of a DIY, solar-powered tiny house built on a very small budget. If you are looking to go off grid and build your own home, Lamar Alexander’s build is a great example to follow. He built his 400 square foot cabin on his own for approximately $2000. He powers it with a 570 watt solar and wind power system.

off grid solar cabin

This whole system was very inexpensive, including the solar setup. The best part is, Lamar is living mortgage-free in a very cool little cabin that most off grid dreamers would love to call home. 

Off grid cabin with solar panels

To build the 14 x 14-foot cabin, Lamar started with concrete deck piers at the corners and 2×6 and 2×8 floor joists. The corner posts are 10-foot 4x4s. He insulated the floor to help keep the cabin warm in winter.

Building an off grid cabin

Tiny cabin build

Lamar framed the walls using 2×4 boards placed 16 inches apart. He then covered the walls in plywood sheeting. Above the main floor, the cabin includes a loft built with 14-foot 2×6 boards.

Cabin wall construction

DIY cabin construction

Here’s a sketch of how Lamar designed one of the most important parts of the cabin: the roof rafters. With any DIY build, you want to make sure you have general construction knowledge or you’ll find yourself with a sagging – or worse, collapsing – roof. 

Cabin rafter design

This process photo shows the cabin with the roof rafters up and windows and doors installed. Once the roof was finished, it was sheeted in particleboard and tar paper, then shingled.

Building a solar powered cabin

After the interior was finished, Lamar built a front porch with rough-cut lumber and installed a small solar panel setup. His materials came in at just under $2000, not including the door and windows.

Again, this is the perfect example of a small, sustainable cabin that is affordable enough for anyone! While many will doubt that these materials can be found for under $2,000, it is very doable, especially if you shop reclaimed lumber stores or keep an eye out for free materials in your area. The solar panels were the most expensive component of this cabin!

“…This cabin is 14×14 with a full loft and approximately 400 square feet of living space. Downstairs is Kitchen, Bathroom, Dining and Living area. Upstairs is a large Bedroom and Office. There is enough room for 6 people to sleep comfortably. Power system is 580 watts Solar electric and 400 Watts wind power which powers a 12 volt fridge, lights, water pump, TV’s, laptop and many gadgets. Heat source can be propane or wood stove. Toilet is composting or a septic tank system…” ~http://www.simplesolarhomesteading.com/

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Images of this off grid cabin and more information can be found at Lamar’s website: http://www.simplesolarhomesteading.com


 

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