Tiny Off-Grid Float Cabin Becomes Dream Retirement Home

Fair Companies/Video screen capture

From a self-sufficient, solar-powered barge through a stunning wooden houseboat to an artist's tiny converted fishing boat, floating homes have featured heavily among the tiny houses we like to drool over here at TreeHugger.

And with good reason.

But this might be the first time we've featured a British Columbian float cabin, which were a traditional form of dwelling for loggers working high up in the forests. Margy and Wayne Lutz have made one of these water-access-only cabins their permanent home, living entirely off-grid using solar electricity and a wood stove:

Today, the Lutzs live completely off-the-grid. There's no water heater (they boil it on the wood stove as a luxury) and no plumbing. They hand-pump water from the lake (for washing dishes, they remove most food first and use only biodegradable soap and the water is returned to the lake).

There's no trash pickup. They compost nearly everything. For their energy uses, the Lutzs rely on solar, wind, and thermoelectric power. For heat, they rely on a wood stove (fueled mostly with driftwood) that has been rigged with an experimental thermoelectric system generating a trickle charge to their batteries.

They've even created a floating vegetable garden to grow a good chunk of their food.

Fair Companies/Video screen capture

The 620 square foot house, which is built on a platform of floating cedar logs that was previously used as a helicopter landing pad, cost the couple about $25,000 US dollars in 2001, and the couple pays about $500 a year for their water lot.

Sure, it's not likely to be a living solution suitable for everyone. But those brave souls who do choose to lvie so far off the grid are a reminder to the rest of us of the things we take for granted. We could all learn a thing or two from the Lutz's self-reliance.

Another great video from Fair Companies.

Tags: Architecture | Canada | Green Building | Living With Less | Renewable Energy | Solar Power