If you are intrigued by off-the-grid living but are put off by the expense of building your own self-sufficient house, you need to take a look at a couple’s home in Bisbee, Ariz. They built their 600-square-foot abode for only about $30,000.
Today, they are debt free and pay no bills for water, heat, trash pick-up or electricity, and they are gaining expertise as gardeners. Their only regular bills are for Internet service and property taxes.
Karen and Bill, who were both in their 50s when they began building their home in the fall of 2010 and moved in about 18 months later, did all the work themselves. They were profiled on the YouTube “Life Inside A Box” channel.
“We are loving it every day,” Karen says. “It was a lot of hard work, but we chose to do it.”
A video tour begins outside the front door where Karen and Bob explain that the home is made of cob and straw. They have experimented with different forms of plaster over the straw to help defend the home against Arizona’s unrelenting sunshine.
“We used the basic principles of solar design,” says Bob, “with south- and southeast-facing windows.”
As they enter the home, Karen is quick to mention that everything in their home —