I have my doubts about Poly water tanks being a good choice for me here in Western Oklahoma where it gets near 100F and stays there for 3-1/2 months. I'm a super-taster- I can tell you if things with oil in them are rancid - nuts, flour, oil and also plastic. I can't drink bottled water that has been sitting in the sun or in a warm car for very long as I taste the plastic and sometimes right off the grocery store shelf too. To that end, I've been wondering about steel tanks. I see many of them in my area; they have been pulled out of the gas fields. I'm wondering if they can be 'scoured' and safely repurposed for water?
Ideally, there ought to be a forum for Ventilation/Condensation/Humidity Control in the Building forum as proper ventilation can make or break a building and the health of those living in it. I believe many self-design/builders do not understand the importance of moving air through a tiny house, or any house. I myself am behind the eight-ball in this department.
I'm designing a 20-foot shipping container tiny house. I'm not sure if I will have electricity or not. The 5-day winter storm we are having has me considering changing the location of the container so that instead of having electricity which necessitates facing North, I will face East instead but be off-grid. Moving on...
I am insulating the container on the outside to limit toxic gick and mold sources inside. That leaves me with a metal box interior. It's all open floor plan except the bucket toilet room. I will have a shower, washer/dryer, stove/oven and other humidity-making appliances. The stove will have it's own vent which exhausts out. My plan is to have a mini-split but they do not bring in fresh air, only circulate and dehumidify existing air. I am in Western Oklahoma which qualifies as a Mixed-Humid Climate. We have more cooling days than heating days so I was looking at an ERV, but all the ones I find are for ductwork which I don't have or need. The other issue is I am located in the middle of a gas field and two miles from an open pit disposal for fracking fluids and other smelly-bad-for-you chemicals. The wind doesn't blow from that direction most of the time, but it does sometimes so I need to be able to filter the air coming in or close it off. From the reading I have done that I somewhat understand it looks like two or three separate systems (1. AC-heat minisplit, 2. air intake and exhaust, 3. dehumidifier if needed) are better than one. I've attached my readings below.
So, two questions: 1.If I have electricity what are my options for bringing in outside air and filtering it if needed, and exhausting stale air? 2. Same question but with solar or wind electric?
I've decided to go with an 8'x20' shipping container insulated on the outside and attached to piers. Hopefully, not my forever house but could be rented or AirBnB later. I'm super glad I did not decide to put an RV or camping trailer out there as for three days and nights this week it blew 25mph the whole time a cold front was coming in. I would have been seasick!
I've just spent too much time looking for projects in temperate zones. I emailed toyota afforestation to ask for photo updates which I will share if they do. Anyone know of any Miyawaki projects in a temperate zone?
John F Dean and Andrea Locke, it's great to hear you both ran a dishwasher for so long with no problems. Andrea, did you eat the figs and bananas? What climate were you each in? I already make soapnut laundry detergent. Any idea what I want to avoid in my dishwasher soap?
I didn't think about indoor reed beds. I don't really want to be tied down all year round so not sure if that would work with me gone for months at a time. Do you know?
John C Daley, The Reed Bed book is $97AU. Do you highly recommend it?!
I didn't know that dishwashers are not recommended to be used in greywater systems because the dish soaps are too harsh. I've ordered Art Ludwig's New Oasis Design greywater book. I'm planning on only having greywater, no septic due to cost. I will have a composting toilet. I want a dishwasher, I like to cook with pots and pans and don't like banging them around in the sink. The house is a tiny so the counter is only 24" deep so not a very big sink. Please don't try to talk me out of the dishwasher by telling me how you enjoy washing dishes, I don't. Therefore, is there some low tech way to filter the dishwasher water so that it will be okay for greywater? Or, maybe I should just have a sacrifice area and not worry what it kills, I've got a lot of acreage to spare. Though downhill of the house is what used to be a (seasonal?) spring which was probably ruined by gas pipelines, a small dam, and the livestock feeding area all above it.
Also how might I recover some of the heat from the dishwasher and the bathtub? The tiny is a shipping container (8'x20') which will be on piers. I haven't decided how high off the ground it will be. I'm in Western Oklahoma where the wind comes blasting down the plain in winter, brrrrr.
And when you are sick of canning tomatoes cut an X in the bottom and freeze them. When you need tomatoes for dishes which will be cooked defrost the number you want, grab them by the top and sqeeze them out of the skin if they haven't already fallen out of the skin. Skins are whole so easy to remove.
How do these systems work in winter? I'm in Western Oklahoma and everything goes dormant in the winter when it can be pretty cold. Also, what about freezing? I don't think I can just attach a hose to the outside of my wall as I know it will freeze in winter. I'm also planning on not being here sometimes for months at a time, so what happens to reed beds and plants and trees when there's no water coming out of the house? Also, for those of you with dishwashers what are you using for dish soap?
Congratulations!! You are on an adventure now! It's a wild ride in my experience.
You said "I think that putting up some swells and berms in place would be the first step." I would search The permis forum for keywords such as dry land, low rainfall, swales. A number of people have reported that in low rainfall areas swales do not revegetate well. I can tell you that in my 20 odd inch rainfall area in Western Oklahoma The swales that were put in 50 years ago have much shorter grasses and less ground cover then the rest of the terrace. Brad Lancaster has good books about water retention and use. I borrowed mine from the library.
I am looking for my forever rocking chair. It needs a tall back so that I can take a nap in it without my head flopping back. Most rocking chairs are 45 in tall or thereabouts, and that does not work for me. I did find one called a Windsor that was 54 inches tall. The seats are also a bit low for me at 15 inches height, though if the back is tall enough I could perhaps add a firm cushion to raise myself up. A glider might be all right, again if it's tall enough.
The Hoister and pulley table Instructable look to be in my budget. Alex Chegne(sp?) did a video like Jay is talking about and it has a removable stick that you attach to a long screw which is clamped to the ceiling. As you twist the stick the bed rises.
I will not be unloading the desk at night because I like to keep my mess spread out and my laptop sitting there. The shipping container is 8 ft and the insulation will be on the outside so I won't lose any height because of that. I only have a laptop so the desk will go up to within about a foot of the ceiling leaving me six and a half or seven feet to not bump my head on it.
The kitchen walkway will be behind me so when I need to be in the kitchen I will just push my chair in under the bed.
It's possible the height of the bed might might be difficult for some but I prefer a dedk taller than the normal height. I like my chair taller too. I will need an adjustable office chair to make this work I think.
Great ideas everybody! Thanks for saving me more than $1,000.
I make laundry soap by boiling Soap Nuts also called Soap Berries. I make it because I'm sensitive to chemicals. It doesn't work on ground in dirt, though I haven't tried scrubbing stains with it. When I washed others stinky work clothes it didn't entirely get the smell out either but maybe I could have used more, I didn't try. it works fine for my work clothes. I just boil a cup of berries in 6 cups of water, then simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes. I add 1/2 c. vinegar to help preserve it or keep it in the fridge. I use 1-2 tablespoons per large wash. I don't know if it's less bad for the soil and plants but I don't have greywater yet.
The soap nuts come from a soap berry tree in the himalayas. But, most local cultures used a local plant for soap. I just found a soapberry tree in Western Oklahoma where I live and will look into using that when I run out of the ones I have.
Lye soap-making is a process. My grandmother used to use it. It can still be purchased.
I'm building a 20' shipping container house and thought a murphy desk-twin bed combo would help save space, but they are $$$. So what about building a twin bed high enough so that my legs can fit under it when sitting and the "desk" can be lowered from up high? What are some simple, inexpensive mechanisms for raising and lowering the desk which will be the length and width of the twin bed?
Is there some "lifter" that can be purchased and I will attach the desk - a twin bed sized piece of wood - to it?
Taylor Cleveland, what did you decide? I've got a similar situation where I could do that but it gets cold here so I'm not sure about the outlet freezing? What do you think John C Daley? And what about keeping critters out of the pipe - lots of snakes here!!! Any pics or drawings about plumbing this to the house? I like baths so what happens in winter, is the water bad for trees in winter?
Rebecca Norman, I believe you are in a cold climate? Do you have problems with the outlet pipe freezing in the winter? Are the trees you are watering ok with getting water in the winter? How to screen the pipe so critters (snakes here in Oklahahoma) don't crawl in?!
Rebecca Norman, if you can find something that is reflective like a silver emergency blanket and put that under the heating pad also the maybe won't lose so much heat. Of course it might sound a little crinkly at first.
Jesse glessner wrote "
I'm surprised that my modern Kenmore, top load, washing machine has lasted as long as it has. "
I either read or had a washing machine guy tell me that the more people that use a washer the quicker it will die because they load it differently and that wears out the washer somehow.
I'm washerless at the moment with a plunger and a medium sized trash can. Public laundromats are unsanitary. If I have to go I run a bleach cycle on the washer before I use it. I wear most outfits for a week and longer for pants. Work clothes get worn until I can't stand them.
I just really want to have a bathtub! Soaks are my luxury. I guess I could figure out how to do it outside. But then that lets out 20 mph wind days, winter, days when the gas guy's going to drive down the road, worrying about snakes sneaking up behind me,...