Rain Water Harvesting Shed Concept

Over the past week or so I’ve been exploring the idea of buying a virtually unbuildable lot in one of the most notorious real estate schemes in the west, California Pines.

One of the main issues up there is that the 15,000 1-acre lots are virtually worthless for development. This is due mostly to the remote location and the cost to put in a well and septic system. By the time you laid the ground work for a small cabin you’d have spent more than some houses in the area.

But since I like a conceptual challenge I started noodling over what it might take to build on unbuildable land, assuming one could get approval for an alternative, yet truly sustainable, approach to water collection and waste disposal.

I’m not rushing to buy land up there, but I am using the thought to generate some interesting ideas. This first design exploration is an alternative to drilling a well by building a simple rain water collection system that would be later augmented by a future cabin’s roof.


2 thoughts on “Rain Water Harvesting Shed Concept

  1. dzent1 says:

    How about a yurt up there?

    http://simplydifferently.org/Yurt_Notes
    http://homepage.mac.com/decthree/Menu11.html
    http://www.yurtinfo.org/buildingcodes.php
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Build-yourself-a-portable-home—a-mongolian-yurt/
    http://www.instructables.com/id/GerTee-Portable-tent-home-made-of-recycled-materia/
    http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/articles/yurt/

    I built a small one out of ripped 2x4x8′, rafters out of wood pulled from discarded box springs found in alleys, pallets stuffed with insulation for floor base, skin floor with OSB, swimming pool cover for roof, reflectix for insulation, canvas exterior walls waterproofed with silicone dissolved in paint thinner, which evaporates with little to no smell.

    Most people make a lightweight interior cover for the skeleton, then reflectix, then outer canvas. Walls are hung from the airplane wire band that encircles the top of the skeletal frame.

    Sounds like a ragtag mess from my description (and it can be), but as we know, the devil is in the details and artistry of the person doing the work.

    Easy to construct, erect, and take down. Easy to heat. Comfortable to inhabit, with a spiritual resonance well beyond most dwellings. Check out the links above and you’ll see. A 16′ diameter can be done for around a thousand bucks, less if you use the “free house” method 😉

    Lots of really wonderful links on the net about them these days. Don’t know if it’s an answer for you, but go stay in one sometime at a state park which rents them nightly and you’ll see what I mean. Sheer delight. And as affordable as a place can be for the income-stream-challenged…

    Thanks for the great newsletter, btw. Really appreciated. All the best!

    Dave in Bako

    • Michael Janzen says:

      I’m just guessing but I bet the county would approve a yurt. The POA might not and get in the way. From the few property owners I’ve connected with it sounds like the POA is doing no good anyway and needs to be disolved. I bet the folks profiting from it will fight tooth and nail too.

      IMHO a yurt would be ideal up there.

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