Off The Grid Office For $1500. Or Cabin for that matter.

Do you work from home? Do you want to? Do you want to show the world that you care? That you are an architect and you traded in your Saab 900 for a Prius? You should have kept the Saab...

Anyway, I think a small off-the-grid cabin is really cool, but in this case it might make more sense as an office in your backyard.

Costco sells a perfect little shed for such an endeavor, the Aston shed. When I checked, it was on sale for $999, including shipping, which seems like a pretty great deal.'-x-7.5'--Wood-Shed.product.100003338.html


At 10x7.5 you get... carry the one... 75sq ft of space. Which is about as much as a large closet. 

But the cool thing is the design: with windows built in and the big doors, you can be pretty much working outside all summer (and you might want a screen of some kind come to think of it). 

Here is where my upgrades come in:

1) Harbor Freight 45w Solar Kit $150 (with the right coupon)

The trick here is putting the shed in the right direction. The angle of the roof is already pretty good - so you can mount the panels flat and have it look nice. You just have to make sure that the roof itself is south facing to maximize time in the sun. 

The kit comes with a couple of 12v lights and an inverter and charge controller, so pretty much all you need to add to it is...

2) Optima Yellow Top Battery $150 (depending on size)
(that's what she said)
These are not explicitly deep cycle batteries but they work really well at that function. Alternately, a regular car battery would actually work, it just wouldn't last as long (each time, and over time.)(That's what she said)

3) The other stuff
How off the grid do you want to go? How often do you use it as an office? In reality, you probably want to run a power cord out to the place, especially if you are like me and enjoy working on a fast computer with a big screen. That said, I have also done a lot of work on my Acer Netbook with a 10.1' screen, Atom 1.6ghz processor and 65w power consumption. 

And then you have the other things. If it is you backyard, just got to the bathroom inside (or outside - depends on your neighbors really). Breaking it down you have three options: office, spare bedroom, or cabin. 

Office: Optional Stuff
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Spare Bedroom:
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Montana/New Hampshire/Maine Etc Etc Cabin:
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Kelly Kettle USA - Volcano Kettle - These things are awesome.
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or.... (since this would take up 1/2 the cabin)

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