Category Archives: Shed

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How to Get Rid of Skunks and Discourage Them from Visiting Your Off Grid Homestead

Off Grid Living – How to Get Rid of Skunks and
Discourage Them from Visiting Your Off Grid Homestead

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Off Grid Living - How to Get Rid of Skunks and Discourage Them from Visiting Your Off Grid Home

Off Grid Living – How to Get Rid of Skunks and Discourage Them from Visiting Your Off Grid Home

Getting Rid of Skunks and Discouraging Them from Visiting Your Off Grid Homes, Cabins, Sheds, Porches, Patios and Chicken Coops

Idaho – Having skunks around your home can present a number of health and safety hazards. Aside from the threat of being sprayed with their noxious musk, skunks are also known carriers of rabies and other diseases that can harm your family or pets.

Skunks will also tear open trash bags and topple garbage cans, which can attract other vermin and insects to your home. By removing food sources, eliminating hiding places and using an effective skunk repellent, you can make your home inhospitable to skunks, forcing them to go elsewhere.

Five Important Steps to Dissuade Skunks from Visiting

Step 1: Remove food sources around your home, such as pet-food bowls and low-hanging bird feeders.

Step 2: Place all trash in cans with tight-fitting, locking lids.

Step 3: Eliminate any insect infestations you have. Also be sure to take care of any rodent infestations, as skunks will eat small rodents.

Step 4: Remove piles of brush, wood or other debris in your yard that could serve as a hiding place for skunks.

Step 5: Use wire mesh to seal any openings in or around your home that skunks could be using to enter crawlspaces, basements or other areas.

Once you’ve eliminated food sources and hiding places, your home will be less appealing to skunks

Source: http://www.havahart.com/articles/rid-skunks-5-steps

Common Skunk Repellents and Their Effectiveness

There are numerous repellents on the market. However, many of these repellents contain harmful chemicals which may poison your pets or children if they come into contact with a treated area. In addition, they are often ineffective. Here are some other repellents which have varying effects:

Predator Urine – Sprinkling the urine of dogs, coyotes, or other predators near the den often has some effect. These may be obtained at many outdoor stores (or via your own pet). The downsides to using urine is that it must be reapplied every 24 hours, can be washed away when it rains, and is only a partial solution. You will still need to take precautions, such as installing a fence, in order to keep the skunks away. Be warned that your dog’s urine may attract stray dogs if they are not fixed.

Ammonia – Many home remedies call for mothballs or ammonia as a means to repel skunks. While skunks do have a sensitive sense of smell, these methods are not very effective. In addition, ammonia may be washed away by rain and must be reapplied frequently. If you choose to use ammonia to turn away a skunk, your best choice is the aforementioned predator urine.

Cayenne Pepper – when carefully sprinkled near the entrance of a den, will help drive the skunks away. Note that this method will require a fresh application after rain, and further measures, such as fencing, must be taken to keep the skunks from returning.

Citrus Peels – Orange or lemon peels are also quite effective. Sprinkle these around where the skunk likes to go and it will start to avoid those areas. Peels have the advantage of lasting until they decompose and will also repel many other pests. Once the skunk is out of your yard, fence him out for good.

Hot Pepper Spray – Cayenne pepper can also be used to make a repellent spray. Chop one yellow onion, and some Jalapeño peppers. Mix these with one tablespoon of cayenne pepper and boil in two quarts of water for at least 20 minutes. Strain the mixture with a cheesecloth and place into a spray bottle. The skunk will avoid anything sprayed with this liquid, although it must be reapplied once every three to five days or after rain.

Source: https://pestkilled.com/how-to-get-rid-of-skunks/

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How to Plant Nut Trees for a Sustainable Food Crop and Make Extra Money

Off Grid Living – How to Plant Nut Trees to
Grow a Sustainable Food Crop and Make Extra Money

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Off Grid Living - How to Plant Nut Trees to Grow a Sustainable Food Crop and Make Extra Money

Off Grid Living – How to Plant Nut Trees to Grow a Sustainable Food Crop and Make Extra Money

Planting Nut Trees to Grow a Sustainable Food Crop and Make Extra Money

California – Planting nut trees can certainly be very rewarding, in fact, it can also be very lucrative and a good way for off gridder to earn extra revenue by selling organically raised nuts at local farmers markets.

Consider nut trees such as almonds, hazel nuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts.

A single nut tree can produce enough nuts to sell at a local Farmer’s market or roadside stand to make between $250 to $1,000 a year. One black walnut tree can bring about $20,000 in timber alone.

And if it’s well-managed, a five-acre plot of nut trees is enough to produce a full-time income. According to Bruce Thompson, author of Black Walnut for Profit, a mature stand of black walnut trees can bring about $100,000 per acre in timber alone.

If you have the patience and perseverance, planting nut trees can offer not only a great income and food for your family, but a legacy for years to come.

Source: https://www.offthegridnews.com/survival-gardening-2/nut-trees-off-grid-food-supply-and-money-maker/

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How to Build and Insulate a Wooden Floor for an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

Off Grid Living: How to Build and Insulate
a Wooden Floor for an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

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Off Grid Living - How to Build and Insulate a Wooden Floor for an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

Off Grid Living – How to Build and Insulate a Wooden Floor for an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

Building and Insulating a Wooden Floor for an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

Colorado – One of the important areas that many people skip on insulating are shed and cabin floors due to limited access to the underside of floors because of small crawl spaces or budget problems. One of the main problems, especially in very cold environments is the combination of using propane to heat, cold furniture, and lots of humidity inside a shed, cabin or home.

Propane releases a lot of moisture when it burns and then cold furniture such as metal bed frames, claw feat on a bathtub and even the legs of a wood stove where the metal is cooler than the room or cold because the floor is not insulated causes water to condense, drip down and then saturate the wood underneath.  This will cause the wood to rot and black mold to spread underneath the floor and into the home’s walls. By the time you discover the problem, it will be a giant mess and very expensive to clean up properly. It is much better to insulate as much as your budget will allow.

The best way to protect against moisture build up during winter months is to insulate underneath the floors and all of the walls. Filling the spaces between the floor joists under the cottage with insulation batts is the simplest and most cost-effective method to prevent air leaks and cold air from seeping int. To get the highest R-value, completely fill the cavities between the joists and then seal with plastic sheets or tape all seams.

If you only use the cottage a couple of weekends each winter, adding minimal insulation would be enough to keep your tootsies from freezing solid when you step out of bed in the morning. But if you’re crawling under the cottage to insulate anyway, then make dodging the spiderwebs worthwhile by spending a little extra money and time and getting the most R-value for your efforts.

Cover your insulation with 1/4 “hardware cloth” also called #welded wire.” The size of metal screen should be small enough to keep out nuisance animals, such as mice. Place the insulation batts against the underside of the floor, then cover with the hardware cloth, securing it to the joists with a staple gun. Make sure you haven’t overfilled the space—squishing the batts a little bit is okay, but too much compression will reduce their insulating properties.

It would also be worth your while to either install welded wire all the way around the perimeter of the house and/or run soffit all the way to the ground.  And like the perimeter of a chicken coop also bury the welded wire flat going out 2 ft from the home’s edge. Then bury it and stack heavy rocks all the way around. This will keep skunks, coons, opossums, foxes, rabbits, rats, mice and all kinds of varmints from making a home underneath your cabin.

Source: https://cottagelife.com/design-diy/insulating-the-floor-of-a-cottage/

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How to Pour Cement Wall Foundation Footers for an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

Off Grid Living – How to Pour Cement Wall
Foundation Footers for an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

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Off Grid Living - How to Pour Cement Wall Foundation Footers for an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

Off Grid Living – How to Pour Cement Wall Foundation Footers for an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

Pouring Cement Wall Foundation Footers for an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

Alaska – All concrete block walls, both structural and non-structural,  require a solid, poured concrete footing. Concrete with high cured strength and rapid strength gain is recommended for pouring footing construction with cement.

All poured concrete/cement footings should be at least twice the width of the concrete blocks used. Standard 8” x 8” x 16” blocks would require a 16” wide footing. Make sure the footing depth extends below the frost line, and check local building codes for construction requirements in your area.

Tie rods should be set a minimum of 6” into the concrete footing for load bearing concrete block walls. Rebar should be placed in every other masonry core to provide structural support.

Source: https://www.todayshomeowner.com/how-to-build-a-concrete-block-wall/2/

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How to Pour Cement/Concrete Foundation Piers for an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

Off Grid Living – How to Pour Cement/Concrete
Foundation Piers for an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

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Off Grid Living - How to Pour Cement Foundation Piers for an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

Off Grid Living – How to Pour Cement Foundation Piers for an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

Pouring Cement/Concrete Foundation Piers for an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

Washington – Pouring a cement or concrete slab foundation on a slope or a hill can be an expensive pain. Heavy machinery is expensive to bring in and the soil type may not always conducive to you building a fully dug out basement. A poured foundation, or even a cement pad, can cost thousands and take weeks to build. Again, a cement truck may not even be able to access your shed, cabin or off grid home’s site.

But when building a foundation with a pier and beam footers, it becomes much, much more affordable and is less risky to install and there are many other benefits.

Source: https://theoffgridcabin.com/how-to-build-the-best-foundation-for-an-off-grid-cabin/

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How to Drill In Off Grid Foundation Piers with Helical Screw In Steel Footings

Off Grid Living – Metal Foundation Piers – How to Drill
In Off Grid Foundation Piers with Screw In Steel Footings

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Off Grid Living - Metal Foundation Piers - How to Drill In Off Grid Foundation Piers with Screw In Metal Posts

Off Grid Living – Metal Foundation Piers – How to Drill In Off Grid Foundation Piers with Screw In Metal Posts

Drilling In Off Grid Foundation Piers with Helical Screw In Steel Footings

Utah – Helical piers also known as helical piles, screw cylinder anchors and helical foundations started to be used in 1836. This revolutionary engineering technology was discovered and developed by Alexander Mitchell and became utilized as a successful foundation for lighthouses, bridges, piers and homes on hill tops.

After over 170 years of development and use, these helical foundations are successfully used throughout the world to support anything from small residential applications to supporting a variety of large-scale civil engineering structures. Deck footingsfence post basespier footings, metal post foundations for a porch or solarium, ground screw anchors to support an addition to a home are some of the more common residential applications. Helical piers are a foundation technology and can be considered for use in any application requiring a foundational support.

Source: https://www.technometalpost.com/en-US/advantages/helical-piers/

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The Benefits of Installing Hydronic Heating Systems for Floors and Walls

Off Grid Living:  The Benefits of Installing
Hydronic Heating Systems for Floors and Walls

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Off Grid Living - How to Use Solar Hot Water Heaters to Provide Floor and Wall Radiant Heating

Off Grid Living:  The Benefits of Installing a Hydronic Heating System for Floors and Walls

What are the Benefits of Hydronic Heating Systems for Floors and Walls?

North Dakota – While hydronic radiant heating has become more and more popular over the last several years, there are still many people who are not aware of the many hydronic heating system benefits when compared to a traditional heating plan. Radiant heat is clean and comfortable, while extremely energy efficient and flexible in design.

The single most important element that a heating system must give you and your family is comfort. Hydronic heating takes comfortable to a new level, as can be seen from the many benefits below:

  • Multi Zones – Radiant heating allows for personalized temperature control through the use of multiple zones throughout the home. This way parents and children can custom set their bedroom temperatures to their personal taste, while the kitchen and family room are kept comfortable for everyone. In addition, you don’t have to worry about keeping the doors closed in your rooms to trap heat. This is because radiant heat has no bursts of air that push warmth out of the areas you want it and into the spaces you don’t.
  • Warm Tiles and Floors – There is nothing as discouraging to the thought of getting out of bed in the morning then that frigid walk across cold bathroom tile on your way to the shower. Radiant flooring solves this problem by infusing the floors with heat, so that those previously chilly tiles become your source of warmth. People aren’t the only ones affected, since pets love nothing better than to stretch out on a warm floor.
  • Balanced Humidity Levels – It is far easier to maintain a balanced humidity level in the home with radiant hydronic heat because it will not dry out your home. Cold winter days already do enough to dry out skin without help from a forced air heating system, which sucks additional moisture out of the house in the process of heating the air.
  • Quieter – Radiant flooring and hydronic heating equipment work in silence while providing warmth for the whole house. There are no sounds of the heating unit kicking on and off during the night. Instead, steady heat radiates into the room with nothing to notice but the comfortable temperatures.

Source: https://www.hydronicheating.net/benefits.html 

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