A HOUSE DIVIDED
Most folks, buying land with cash or very short term financing to stay out from under the yolk of the banks and then moving there with a starter shelter, later add on to that shelter as cash flow permits. I won’t get into the whole part about you more than likely not having time to fiddle-hump around like that anymore, the collapse having jumped up in velocity. I assume you can all take that into account and plan accordingly as you wish. Let’s just say that if the collapse doesn’t happen on schedule you can play off-grid living by the old school method. If time permits, you add on to the original small space. Examples are a travel trailer that has an added enclosed porch which allows a wood stove addition, an added bedroom, a roof over, etc. Or, a single wide mobile home you slowly but surely add stick lumber rooms to expand. Or, a small shack that grows with your budget. Or, you dig a hole, cement block it, then slide the mobile over for a enclosed basement. What I would like to propose is a concept of separate shelters rather than continuous ones. A house consisting of many separate outbuildings NOT together but separately. You might argue against it, saying you need more building material, site the lack of interior spaces not needing as much energy for heat, wonder why folks would want to travel from room to room in inclement weather, etc. And normally you would be correct.
But separate shelters for separate rooms does solve separate problems. In a lot of cases, living in low everything else tax but high property tax states, such as I do in Nevada, if you build anything the bastards delight in humping you at 3% of assessed values. You might build cheap, but they tax at regular building costs. Then you must fight to get that lowered. By using belowground shelter and above ground RV’s and enclosed vehicles on axles, my taxes stay at raw unimproved land levels. If I started joining those shelters together with roofed and sided lumber, or enclosed them for solar envelopes, BOOM. Taxes out the wazoo. I also save money by not building. At first, we were in a quandary about this, which mainly revolved around our cats needs. As it turned out, the cats had much less problem walking outdoors than we did. And, we’ve gotten used to it. Since we dress for the season, layers of sweaters in winter with beanie hats, and shorts in the summer, moving outside from the bedroom ( the underground hovel ) to the living room ( the large RV ) to the book room/food storage ( the small RV ) is not uncomfortable. No one shelter is good for everything, but each has its strengths and weaknesses. Underground is comfortable year round without heating or cooling ( or, worst weather, very little heating outside coffee and dinner cooking ), but it is cramped and claustrophobic. The living room has great solar gain and is comfortable with easy-chairs, but is for sunny days only in the winter. And the small trailer is too cramped for anything else but keeps our other spaces clutter free. As a bonus, besides needing no investment in building material, should one shelter burn down or get damaged from an asteroid ( I’m thinking the odds are much better burning, but you never know ), there are others to go to. If they were all joined together, all your eggs are in one basket. Just food for thought.
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