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re: mortgage-free housing question
24 aug 2002
pat meadows   wrote:

>b.  you own a piece of land, with a septic tank, well, and
>driveway already in place.

septic systems and wells aren't cheap...

>d.  it must be at least 600 square feet.  running water and
>electricity are also musts.

you might collect rainwater and pump it up into a small tank for
a gravity-pressurized system, and distill and reuse it. consider
a small pv system on cheaper land with no grid connection...

>i.  trailers are allowed - also expensive to heat and cool,
>but can be added to (covered with a 'skin')...

>j.  something wildly unconventional is ok (quonset hut?).  a
>yurt is not permanent or substantial enough, so a yurt is
>out unless made of something more permanent than fabric...

>what do you do?

build a quonset-shaped greenhouse and insulate the space between
two layers of polyethylene film with air during the day (lots of
daylight :-) and soap bubble foam at night, in wintertime, with
some dark-colored thermal mass to store solar heat.

put a layer of plastic film on the ground and pile some used carpet
over that. get a dog or a cat to deter invasive wildlife.

surround it with chain link fence for burglars, or slide an old
leaky burglarproof mobile home with poor insulation inside.

a 30x100' greenhouse might cost $3k, including labor (3 people, 1 day.)

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