Beautiful 3,100 square foot, off-the-grid home includes 4 bedrooms and 3 baths. Large porches with wooden swings are present on both front and rear of the home. Home and out-buildings sit on 192+ acres of wooded land, approximately 30 of which are cleared.
Main floor contains kitchen with granite counter tops, large pantry with separate entrance to the garage to bring groceries in, laundry room, breakfast area, living room, formal dining room, smaller bedroom which can be used as office or craft room, bath powder room accessible from smaller bedroom and living area, and a large first floor master bedroom suite. The living room has built-in oak bookcases and cabinets with a stunning fireplace & mantel. Large windows adorn each room on the first floor affording a lovely view of a seemly endless valley located behind the home.
Upstairs offers two bedrooms, each with full bath with a spacious shared sitting room and walk-in closet as well as a large walk-in unfinished room currently used for storage. Large bonus room resides over the roomy two car attached garage and is currently used as a media room.
Master suite has separate door allowing access to the back porch, large walk-in closet and bath with jet-powered vintage looking tub, separate tiled shower with built-in seat and a set of his/her vintage vanities.
The home is primarily built on a crawl space but does have a partial basement used currently as the power center for the solar array, a spacious pantry extension, some storage, and is useful protection from severe weather and storms. There is an outside entry way to the basement as well.
This home also contains a secret passage! Original house plans, blueprints and land plat maps will be included in house sale along with owners manuals for all appliances and energy systems.
The home was originally built using Green Building Materials as much as possible making it a very clean home to live in. Examples include:
There is a Liquid Rubber lining verses petroleum based tar waterproofing the homes foundation
All lumber used in building the home was Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified.
Owens Corning Energy Star shingles on the roof reflect up to 25% of the suns heat.
LP TechShield helps block radiant heat in the roof from entering the homes attic, reducing attic temperatures, and reflecting up to another 10% of suns heat.
Hardie Board cement siding verses plastic vinyl lasts longer, retains beauty.
6 walls, R Value = 23 achieved with EcoBatt R-23HD Insulation. EcoBatt blown-in insulation was also used in ceilings obtaining an even higher R value. Interior walls were also insulated adding some sound proofing to the different rooms.
The windows are Energy-star Silverline V3. At the time of building, this brand was owned by Anderson, but they have since sold it off to another manufacturer.
Oak hardwood flooring with 100% wool area rugs.
Bedrooms and bonus room floors are covered with Mohawk Everstrand carpeting, a premium PET polyester fiber, made from 100% recycled content made from recycled #2 milk jugs.
Interior doors Safe N Sound Emerald door, with wheat-straw based DorCor, feature Green attributes such as pre-consumer recycled content, rapidly renewable content, no added urea-formaldehyde, Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, low VOC emissions and environmentally preferred products.
Pine wood shelving in pantry, closets, and moldings used throughout.
Valspar Zero VCO paint, primer used throughout.
Zero VOC water-based, clear polyurethane used on all wood floors.
Large porches on front and rear allow sunlight to enter the home in winter while shading the interior during the heat of summers. Both porches sport porch swings and outdoor fans. Minimal windows are on the east and west sides of the house keep morning and evening heat from entering the home in the summer months. House and barn are positioned precisely due solar south (verses magnetic south) to capture the maximum energy from the sun onto the built-in solar array.
Out-Buildings and Stage
The property sports four out-buildings- a small greenhouse, chicken coop with large run, 10 x 30 workshop/shed and 36 by 48 wooden barn with cement floor, three dirt floored horse stalls and a full-length loft. Barn has been used as a small event venue and includes LED Edison fashion lighting, with 10 round tables and 80 chairs for guests. Four frost-free faucets are located throughout the property for gardens and animals.
The property also has a backyard 18 x 24stage complete with professional lighting trusses.
For the eight years the current owners have lived in the house completely off-the-grid, living very comfortably off a large battery pack in the basement. The house was built of a mile from the nearest electrical poles and is still running off-the-grid today. In early 2020, a neighbor installed under-ground electrical service running past the home which now provides additional options for the new homeowner. (1) Continue as is living off-the-grid on the battery pack, (2) Install a line underground and disconnect the solar array all together, (3) Install a line underground and partially power the home from the grid (Example: electric car charger, air conditioners, forced air blower), (4) Eliminate the batteries and connect the solar array to the grid, selling power back to the power company, (5) Keep a minimal number of batteries for back-up and connect the solar array to the grid selling power back to the power company. Each of these options come with a variety of costs, current owner will be happy to discuss the options with any seriously interested buyer. The current battery bank should be enhanced for best living comfort if that is the buyers intention.
The home is powered by 52 REC solar panels, comprising a 10,000 plus watt solar array. The associated power center equipment is by Outback. The battery pack is Rolls/Surrette. Backwoods Solar provided all the components of the system and offer near unlimited free telephone support. A picture of the barns solar array was used as the cover photo of their catalog one year. Local professional on-site support is also available. The system can be optionally be remotely monitored over the internet as well.
Extra underground cabling and an additional charge controller are included in the sale. New owner could add a 4th array of (18) additional 300W panels (cost of approximately $5,000.00 plus installation) adding an additional 5400W of power resulting in a total 15,400-watt array.
A super quiet Honda EU7000is back-up generator provides power to recharge the battery pack should you have a series of very cloudy days or in the unlikely event of a system failure. You will find yourself using the generator more in December and January when the days and hours of sunlight are shorter. The generator can be started and shut off from inside the house, so you need not go outdoors to start the system. In eight years of living off-the-grid the current owners have never had a power outage.
AC and DC power
The home is equipped with 240V/120V AC power as well as offers 24V and 12V DC outlets. Solar arrays generate DC power and batteries store energy as DC. The home has two 3200W invertors that convert DC power to AC electricity allowing for the use of everyday appliances and lighting. In theory, the owner could have 7200 watts of appliances running all at once. Since there are two invertors and thus two lines of incoming power, the system provides for 240V AC appliances to also operate. Inverters do require about 15% of the power flowing through them just to perform the conversion process. If you bypass the invertors and run some appliances using DC power, you have more power for other things. It is impractical to live on DC power alone, too many everyday items require 120V AC. The 240/120 AC is very straight forward, it operates the same as any other standard home.
We did add (18), 12V DC outlets scattered throughout the house. Anything you can plug into a cigarette light you can plug into these. By running or charging cell phones and laptops off these connections you save the 15% of energy lost to AC power.
There are also two 24V DC outlets in the basement pantry area and one behind the upstairs refrigerator. These were meant to run the SunDanzer refrigerator-freezers. SunDanzer manufactures DC powered refrigerators and freezers which are super-efficient and since these appliances run on and off 50% of the day you save a lot of the 15% overhead required from the invertors. Two SunDanzer refrigerator/freezers come with the home. They can be either refrigerators or freezers at any time depending on your needs. Simply replace the freezer thermostat with the spare refrigerator thermostat and you can use them as either.
Finally, all the ceiling fans in the home are 24V DC allowing you to run them day and night and save the 15% invertor overhead there as well.
There are three sources of heating for the home providing lots of back-up options for the homeowner.
The solar powered Mini-split Heat Pumps are often able to be used in the spring and fall to heat the home. During this time of the year, the days are still longer which providers more sun to the solar panels and there is sufficient power to the home to heat it with electricity. The temperature difference between the indoors and outdoors is less as well so not as much heat is needed. Heating costs with these units are zero since the heat is generated from the sun.
By the end of November through the middle of March we use the dual fuel Central Boiler outdoor wood/propane boiler to heat the home. In a typical winter we use approximately 12 ricks or face-cords of wood which we have been able to buy for $50.00/rick, delivered and stacked. Total cost to heat the home is approximately $600.00 a year. The wood boiler has a four-foot fire box which technically allows you to fill it and not worry about adding wood again for three days. Best practices are to check on it twice a day, once in the morning and again at night. If you are gone for an extended period during the winter, not to worry. Once the wood burns down and the system senses it no longer is getting enough fuel to keep the temperature of the water hot enough, the propane will automatically kick-in. The unit is also very capable of running strictly on propane as well and you do not have to use wood to heat the home at all. In summary, this system is also very efficient. The home has a heat exchanger that the hot water passes across and a forced air system blows the heat through ductwork heating the home. Wood boiler also lends itself to baseboard water circulating heating if new owner opts that direction, it also has optional feeds to heat a future swimming pool.
Finally, the home also has a 22,000/33,000 BTU ventless propane fireplace insert that can be used to take the chill off the home or even heat the entire house.
The home is equipped with six Daikin mini-split heat-pumps that heat/cool various rooms in the home. Interior walls, floors and ceilings of the home are insulated as well as the exterior walls. Besides providing much more sound proofing throughout the home, this allows the homeowner to close off portions of the home that are not in use. The Daikin mini splits have energy SEER factor of 26.1 compared to a modern whole house air conditioner with a SEER factor of 16. Super energy efficient. They pull 600 watts of power when cooling first begins, once it hits its set point it throttles down to 250 watts to maintain the temperature in the home.
Water service is currently provided via Bon Aqua-Lyles Utility District. New owner could install a well if they so desired eliminating the monthly water bill.
Tankless Water Heater
The Noritz tankless (propane) hot water heater in the garage saves money and gas by heating water on demand providing an endless supply of hot water. This avoids keeping a 50 gal. tank of water hot all the time and even then, there is a potential to run out of hot water with heavy usage. Located in the garage it keeps heat out of the interior of the home keeping air conditioning electrical needs lower.
The dryer is currently also located in the garage to avoid generating heat in the home that additional electricity and air conditioning would have to off-set. In could be relocated inside the home. Large appliances generating heat such as stoves, dryers, and hot water heaters are run off propane as the electrical requirements for these appliances would stress an off-grid solar array.
The home utilizes a well sized septic system located directly behind the house.
Lighting and Appliances
The first rule in living in an off-the-grid solar powered home is conservation. Using the most efficient electrical devices conserves power. When the house was built 8 years ago, LED lighting was still very expensive hence you will find many compact fluorescence light bulbs in the house. Many have been replaced since then with LED bulbs cutting the power consumption for lighting in half. Lights in the main living area have smart bulbs installed and are controlled via a voice activated Google Home system. Additional lights and other devices can be easily added to the system and respond to voice commands including thermostats, door locks, alarm systems, fireplace units, garage door openers, blinds/curtains and more.
The homes modern washer, dryer (propane), microwave, garbage disposal, refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher were all chosen from the Energy Star listing for their super-efficient use of electricity. The range is a Premier, running on propane gas. Premier Gas Ranges do not have a 500W electric preheating coil found on many modern gas ranges. Yes, it takes a little longer to preheat but does not drain the battery pack either.
An upright standard freezer is located in the basement along with (2) SunDanzer Refrigerator/Freezers.
The home is protected by an ADT Alarm system and ownership can be transferred to the new owner.
Yes, we are remote, however we do get good internet service provided by Tennessee Wireless via a long-distance wireless technology. Currently we subscribe to the Movie Watcher level of service, a faster residential speed is available, or you can upgrade to a commercial connection through them for even faster speeds.
Electric Car Charger
The home is equipped with a Level (2) 240V electric car charger located in the garage. The owners used this to power their Chevy Volt. It is equipped with a J1772 plug that will work with any non-Tesla car. Tesla cars use their own proprietary plug however convertors are available. Note* The Chevy Volt battery has a range of only about 35 miles. The solar array could recharge both the battery pack in the basement feeding the house and charge the vehicle during sunny days for about 6 months of year, late spring through early fall. You could not charge the car off the batteries over-night and still run the house through the night. Modern, longer range electric cars take more electricity than even a large solar array can produce. It is recommended that if you own an electric car to have grid power brought to the house and at least connect the charger to the grid. At that point you could charge your car overnight if you like as well.
Present owner will provide a verbal tutorial on all electrical/heating/cooling systems with the new owner (can videotape taped). Present owner is also available for reasonable telephone assistance and advice for up to 1 year after purchase. A contact list of local professionals who can assist with operations and/or maintenance of all systems will also be provided.
Items to be retained by owner
The following items currently attached to the walls of the home will be retained by the present owner:
Vintage door between kitchen and formal dining room (family heirloom)
Antique phone on living room wall (family heirloom)
Antique medicine cabinet in first floor powder room (family heirloom)
Acreage: An adjoining 120 acres of adjoining land is available for purchase from another landowner allowing for a total of 312+ acres. Further, another adjoining landowner is interested in possibly purchasing 10 acres of property adjoining his from this plot possibly affording the new owner with some additional cash.