YOUR OWN INFRASTRUCTURE 2
Yesterday we covered insulation as your number one priority. Worse case, you are only able in insulate the garage. Figure two or three grand to do it right with triple insulation. But you don’t need to come up with all that cash right away. Unlike if you were, say, buying a super ninja FLIR scope for your plastic carbine poodle shooter. You can buy one or two rolls of fiberglass insulation at a time as cash comes available. Insulate using the existing studs until that is done, then lay studs down for floor insulation. Then do the “attic”. After that, you buy the rigid board for the cube. After that, another wall up against the rigid board with fiberglass. Not only can you do it as cash is available, a few bucks at a time, every layer is another step towards perfection and if you never complete it you are still much better off than before. Your goal of course is to eliminate the need for fuel to the best of your ability. Just as never needing money is better than earning it, so not needing heat is better than finding a source for it in the first place. If the garage is too much of a project, just super insulate one south facing room to live in during the day and have wool blankets and feather comforters ( synthetic works just fine in conjunction with wool ) for everyone so they can use the rest of the house at night ( thermal underwear and wool clothing is also a great idea-unless you get stupid with $300 overcoats-they are 10% of that cost as surplus at Sportsman’s Guide-it is also cheaper than buying heat for the house and pays for themselves the first winter ).
Your next project is a south facing porch ( I trust everyone understands that I’m in the north hemisphere and southern hemisphere types reverse this in all discussions with solar ). You can do this as cheap as can be by hanging a flat black painted sheet of aluminum from a curtain rod, but it won’t generate the heat you will soon be craving. Try to budget a porch. Even a simple eight foot cube with recycled windows will be great. You can sit in the sun on a winters day and luxuriate. Hell, you might even be able to take a comfortable sponge bath. If you give up on the sitting, you can shrink it to a closet size. The important thing is to have plenty of window to let the heat in. Then, you either have a window on the house wall, or a door, you open or close to allow the heat in. Then you can close that when the sun goes down to keep the heat from escaping. I’d have a roll of foil bubble wrap to cover the glass, and a thick blanket to cover that. Or, if it is a door, a blanket to cover that. The exercise here is to survive without central heat. You must maximize heat entry and minimize heat escape.
Remember, heat rises. You want the porch lower and the window up high. You could sink the floor below ground level a few feet, and have a slanted roof so that the heat is channeled. Then, use the new roof for rain catchment ( covered soon ). The thing about the porch is, you might also need it for a fireplace. The sun won’t be out all the time. So by building a sun room, you get extra rain water AND solar heat AND wood heat. It is a good expense. If you have just used the garage, you merely need one of those glass walls you attach to the outside wall with hatches at the bottom and top. The concrete slab inside the garage will support the weight of your rocket stove, but if you added that to an existing room you might have issues. Plus, in an interior room, where would you put the stove? The garage is open floor, the house is not. You might not have a choice but to build the porch. Anywhere from a few hundred for minimum space to a grand for a room size. You don’t have to insulate the sun room to the same standards, as you are quickly funneling the heat away from it and shutting it off from the living quarters after the sun sets.
Anymore, buying a cast iron wood stove is an exercise in greed and bureaucracy. Everyone wants you to sell your first born to finance it ( the same with the pellet stoves. If you must burn pellets, do NOT drop one to two grand on a sheet metal box with a computerized fan that clogs easily and breaks quickly, PLUS needs electricity. Use a rocket stove and build a pellet cradle by taking a BBQ rack and bending it into a V. This technique is all over You-Tube and is so simple it is embarrassing you would consider buying a pellet stove ) and if you can afford the unit the EPA will take time away from NOT regulating large corporate emissions but rather zero in on you and your burning log and act like you alone caused Gore Warming and must be stopped at all costs. In other words, the government doesn’t want you to burn wood. Then you might take profits away from Big Corporate and be-shock!-more independent. But one can’t help wondering why you are buying a wood burning stove. A rocket stove is nearly free and home built and comes with a built in big middle finger to meddlesome Yankee colonialists trying to keep you under their yoke ( Uncle Sugar could give a crap less that you are saving beans and bullets to fight his troops. He doesn’t care about his troops as long as they call in the arti coordinates on your homestead prior to bleeding out. What he does care about is you not being a good, obedient, docile colony subject. Make little mistake. Washington DC is a country. The rest of the landmass is its colonies ).
You can make a very pretty rocket stove out of cob ( straw mixed in with clay, then plastered ). Think of painted abode. Even the strictest Yuppie Scum wife should have few objections to a cob stove rather than a cast iron one. The only expense other than recycled metal is shoring up the floor beneath for the extra weight. If you cob the stove pipe that heads outside horizontally, you capture most of the waste heat and provide thermal mass. Rocket stoves are so much more efficient it is no contest. It is like comparing incandescent to LED’s. Use far less wood and be more comfortable. Just in the savings on the cast iron stove, all your projects become so much cheaper. Next article we continue, with light, water and composting.
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