More and more people are looking to the off-grid lifestyle as an alternative to city life. However, while you might be handy, there are a few specialty services you might need to engage to complete your off-grid cabin.
Surveyor and Civil Engineer
A surveyor and a civil engineer not only can pinpoint your land’s boundaries but also create a grading and erosion control plan. Have this done before you begin building your cabin. These professionals can help you find the ideal spot to begin building. This is especially important if your building site is on a mountain, or near a river, stream, or body of water. You’ll want to ensure that the ground you build on is stable.
Once your civil engineer has developed a plan, you may need to hire an excavation contractor to deploy that plan. This may involve digging drainage ditches, leveling your building site, and digging trenches for sewer and power lines. An excavation service can also clear away brush from your building site, haul away construction debris, and sculpt and level your yard.
If your cabin is off-grid, you’ll need a well. It takes a professional with the right equipment to locate the ideal spot and drill a well. In some areas, wells need to be drilled very deep, which takes very specialized equipment.
However, your well will also need to have well casings installed; this is essentially a long pipe running down to the water source. There is also a 2-inch gap between the casing and the dirt wall of the well, which must be filled with gravel.
A professional well drilling service can advise you on the right type of well pump for your property. In an off-grid situation, a solar or wind-powered pump is ideal. A properly drilled well is essential to provide your cabin with an abundant supply of fresh water.
Finally, most counties require that a septic system is installed, even off-grid. Many counties do not legally allow composting toilets. Like well drilling, installing a septic system requires specialized equipment and professional knowledge.
A septic system involves digging a very large hole and installing an underground tank to hold household sewage. It also involves laying out a leach field for waste liquids.
While you can do much of the building yourself, these four services involve very specialized knowledge and heavy equipment. Also, you may need to engage these services to satisfy local zoning requirements.