Friday, October 29, 2010

On with the plan!

I've spent many hours looking at the Plan B design, imagining it, measuring, pondering, and redrawing. It's a keeper. So, on to the next order of business: ordering the container and prepping the land for it.

You may notice the plan does not have a microwave. I'm still thinking about that. I use the thing every day to heat water for coffee and to cook frozen veggies. Maybe 15 minutes use a day. I've been considering unplugging the thing for a day and see how much I miss it. It wasn't a big deal for the week of camping, so maybe it won't kill me not to have one... the fewer electrical gadgets I have, the better.

I think found the charge controller(s) I want for the cabin. I'm looking at having two separate power systems; one for an AC and electric radiant floor heat, and the other to run everything else. 500-600W of panels on each system. So I need to find a truly outstanding deal on panels so I can afford to do that :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Plan B

Ok, rearranged the cabin plan to put in a sliding glass door on the east side to give myself a stellar view of Nine Points Mesa.

You can see the outline of a 2nd slider on the south wall, and a door a bit to the right of it. I'm not sure that kitchen window will make it in; that's where the cooktop will be, above the under-counter refrigerator. The west wall is the door end of the container, so that could be left as-is, or I could open the doors and build a wall there to add a window AC unit. I would like to have a roof AC, like RV's have, but they don't make them low power enough to suit me. This thing should not take more than 5,000 BTU to cool, and they don't make RV air conditioners that small.

All it needs now is a nice covered patio for a living room and dining area :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Rough Sketch

Here's a rough sketch of the interior of the shipping container cabin; I created this using the Ikea Home Planner software. The kitchen is pretty well where I like it, the rest is a mock up using their furniture of approximately what I want and where it goes. This is far from exact, folks!

The object on the left is a rather tall bed, with the idea that the dogs' bed will be under it so I don't have dog beds all over the floor. Going to the right from there is a dresser/nightstand, wardrobe, desk, and broom closet. The back door will go out to the outdoor facilities. I will probably add more cabinetry above the desk and dresser and perhaps over the bed so there's plenty of storage.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Almost there...

I'm 95% sure I'm going to go with a shipping container cabin now. Still futzing around with the design, though. And have to figure out what to use for a foundation; I suppose it should be off the ground, so maybe something under the corners and in the middle? I wonder if anyone out there does the spray on foam insulation, and how well that would work on the outside, with maybe a layer of stucco over the top. And of course I'd need someone to weld on a big raised roof for water catchment.

I'm currently planning to get back out there the week between Christmas and New Year's, perhaps longer depending on how my vacation time accumulates. I don't think I want to stay in a tent this time, though; it's going to be cold!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Still entertaining ideas

Since my last post, I've been doing room rearranging, staring at various spaces and imagining how things would fit and look, and more work with an online room designer. Still haven't arrived at that "just right" design, but I'm getting closer.

To take a break from that design, I spent some time today designing my composting toilet. I made a cardboard template for the top (that the toilet seat sits on). I'm trying to work out a rounded front for it, rather than doing the big square box seen here. There are several options in materials that will wrap nicely around the curved front.  I'm lacking some of the tools I need to build this thing myself, though. I miss having a table saw at my disposal.

In other news, I got AT&T DSL last week to replace Charter. My bill from Charter, for just Internet, has been a hair over $60/mo. for their 5Mb speed, which in reality is closer to 13Mb. DSL is a bit slower, topping out at 5Mb, but is only $20/mo. for the first year. I don't watch TV and I haven't had a landline in almost 4 years; it used to be really hard to get Internet service without being forced to "bundle" it with TV or phone. I'm very glad that is no longer the case! This will save me some money I can put into my cabin.