A self-sufficient house is one that produces the majority of its own power and food, without help from any outside sources. Self-sufficient houses are becoming increasingly popular due to the advances in “green” technology that makes them more and more successful as family homes. Another factor that makes them attractive is the ever-increasing cost of food and utilities. Self-sufficient houses allow the owners to produce some or all of their own electricity, and to grow their own food in the land that surrounds the home.
The benefits of building a self-sufficient house
There are many benefits in occupying a self-sufficient house. Firstly, a self-sufficient house is obviously going to save its owner money on a regular and ongoing basis – utility prices and food prices are always increasing, and producing these from home can help to save a lot of money over the long-term. In some cases, homeowners may even be able to sell some of their produce and excess energy, to make an extra income.
A self-sufficient house is an energy efficient one – energy solutions are likely to be more environmentally friendly than the traditional ones, for example self-sufficient homes will produce electricity from wind turbines or by the use of a solar panel array.
Those who produce their own food can benefit from organic, homegrown products without the high price tag that such produce usually attracts. In addition, waste from vegetables and livestock can be used to power environmentally friendly bio-fuel systems.
How to build a self-sufficient house
The first step to building a self-sufficient house is to find a suitable plot of land for sale, and to buy a plot that is a suitable size and in a suitable location for the home that is planned. The next step is to have some plans drawn up, and obtain planning permission for the house.
Homeowners must then decide how their home is to function. Firstly, energy production is very important. There are many renewable energy sources to choose from, including wine turbines, solar panels, and geothermal systems. These systems can be expensive, although homeowners will make significant savings in the long run. They must also consider how they will get water for their home – some homeowners may be able to dig for their own private spring, however, if this is not possible, rainwater storage and reuse systems are an option. Such systems store water that is collected naturally so that it can be used around the home.
Homeowners should then consider how they will produce their food. They could keep livestock such as pigs, cows and chickens to provide meat, eggs and milk, and grow fruit and vegetables, to provide enough food for the whole family. The more land that is available, the more opportunities will be available – those with plenty of space could choose to grow and rear enough food to keep themselves full, and sell to others.