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This picture shows the studding in for the porch ceiling, 16 inch centers and 4 foot long studs. When the last of the little ones left the nest I decided it was time to downsize the house and upsize my garages. I added a 36? man door to the existing side entrance garage and increase the door to 8x18?. There are two 50? long 1? main airline runs with ?? drops along the walls, one with a reel.
It took 45 gallons of Sherman William?s epoxy coating for this addition and my two other unattached garages (3,500 square feet total). A 42? steel door opens to 48? wide steps that will take you to the 16x50? by 7? tall storage area.
The John Deere tractor may look like a toy; but she proved her worth trenching all the utility lines.
When I pulled the county electrical permit they said I had to pass a test in order wire the place myself.
I installed the 400 Amp 240 Volt single phase meter box with Unistrut between two 4? diameter steel pipes sunk 3 feet in the ground incased in cement. I had to pay the gas company many $$$$ to have a 4? mainline extended a quarter of a mile to my property. Having the right equipment and or knowing how to improvise will make a job go easier and faster.
A project 30 years in the making, this tiny off-grid retreat on a coastal island in Maine is almost entirely self-sufficient.
Given the remote location of the property and the site’s lack of power, the design made careful use of all materials so that everything is spaced on 24-inch centers.
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It has 12? ceiling height one 18x8 2? thick (14.8 R Value) Wayne Dalton garage door with 3? high lift and a LiftMaster jackshaft opener. All 5 of the garages have underground connections to two central 5-HP air compressors with coalescing filters and a refrigerant dryer located in the pole barn.
The entire inside of the barn has 2? thick polyurethane foam insulation, which I?ll paint white once I take everything out. I may not be a certified electrician, however I have wired homes and factories (3 phase 480 Volt 2500 Amp) for 40 years.
The 200 Amp load center in the house and one 200 Amp load center in one of the garages are fed from the meter.
I installed a remote gas meter then ran a 1 ? high pressure yellow plastic 250 feet to a step down regulator at the closet garage. I just finished redoing some problem areas in the epoxy floor and have finished adding the base coving. One of the neighbor?s potbellied pig kept getting out of his pen and would chase me or one of my workers. Designed and built by Alex Porter for her father, the project features a shed roof and is wrapped in a distinctive blue-grey corrugated skin. The sturdy steel cladding was chosen for a good reason: the northern squall can be relentless.
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Three switches at the front door control 6 lights, while three switches at the rear door control 6 lights. The front driveway is 16? wide and 300? long and a second driveway to the street behind my property is 250? also 16? wide. The other garages and the pole building have a 100 Amp load centers that are fed from one of the 200 Amp boxes. I am now putting together a bridge crane to span 26 feet with a run of 40 feet with a 4,000 pound electric hoist for the attached garage. However dealing with the self-serving beaurocrasy from the city and county far outweighed anything else that I encountered.


I worked alone quite a bit and it would save lots of ups and downs and made it easy to reposition myself. Dwell recently profiled the home, which is the only solar-powered retreat on the isolated island – its sustainable power source actually makes life a lot more leisurely, as the family does not need to schlep in fuel to run a noisy generator. I pulled all the permits, purchased all the materials, subcontracted out parts of the construction and tackled a good part of it myself with the help of several friends over the past 12 months. The apron between the garages is large enough that I can make a U-turn with my Avalanche pulling my 26? car Haulmark Carhauler.
Being challenged and knowing they wouldn?t allow me a second chance to take the test, I purchased a new NEC book, studied it for a week and passed with flying colors. A tee was installed in the high pressure line and a 1? line run to the house to another reducing regulator. They didn’t give anything up, as they have all the conveniences of a regular home — but with a view you don’t get in an everyday residence. When the sun shines, a small solar-electric panel mounted to the southern facing roof feeds 12v DC to the batteries, which in turn powers lights, a super efficient Sunfrost Refrigerator, and a small water pump.
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I installed an Amstrong Thru-the-Wall combination ducted forced air gas furnace and electric air conditioner with 64,000 Btu heating and 29,000 Btu cooling. I mounted a boom on it and used it as a crane to install the three Armstrong HVAC units and the stairs. A large rainwater catchment tank provides more than enough water for the home, and a small on-demand water heater supplies an outdoor shower and the sink.
While none of the systems are ground-breaking, the design is a transparent example of how well off-grid living can work, and how we can live in nature without polluting it.
It also made a breeze putting up the Aluminum siding, Drywall, installing gas and airlines, wiring, lights, and painting.




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