Tour: Tom’s house

Today’s tour will be of Tom’s house. Tom was a tall guy (former professional volleyball player). He was helping out to run the academy and he let us tour his house. We can start with their hut, which you can see below.

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This was the first “house” that Tom and his wife built. It is 120 square feet, so they didn’t need a permit to build it. It’s small and it has everything in one room, but it worked for them while they were building their main house. As you can see from the next picture, it’s just a tad bigger 😛

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Tom’s house is one of the older U-module style houses. It has a larger solar electrical system so his kids can watch TV and play XBox.

Here are two shots looking back at the entrance on the west side. You can see the banana trees in the planter.

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If you turn around and face the back you can see the living room. You may notice a rope hanging down near the back wall. That is to operate the skylight. The older Earthships all had their skylights at the back. The global models have their skylights at the front.

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Next we have the kitchen, which is right up against the front face glass, just like in Sally’s house.

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The fridge was on the back wall, opposite the main counter area. It was interestingly decorated. You can see a map of the local ski hill on the fridge. I think Tom said he had been out skiing around 140 times that season.

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Next we move to one of the bathrooms. Tom’s house had two full bathrooms. This first picture shows the funky sink they had and the concrete counter top.

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This is a shot of the shower stall, though I had trouble getting back far enough so you can’t really see how big it is.

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Next is the master bedroom. You can’t really tell from the picture, but it is quite spacious.

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Just off the master bedroom was the second bathroom. This one had a counter made from crushed glass.

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This one had a much smaller shower.

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More plants. This one was beside the bathroom you just saw above.

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This next one was the kids playroom. This was a colder room, as it doesn’t see the sun. I guess that’s why they painted one on the wall instead.

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Next we have some interesting exterior shots. This first one is the top of the cistern. This is where all of the water for the house is collected from the rain. This one was an older style cistern made from pounded tires and then lined, plastered, sealed and so forth. It’s a cheap way to build a cistern, and you can build them almost any size, but it is more labour intensive. You can also see Tom’s left hand on the right side of the picture 😛

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Here is a shot of the roof, looking back towards the west. Remember that skylight I mentioned in the living room? Well, here you can see the outside of it. That black gutter you see is where the water gathers and then flows into the cistern.

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And, at last, we come to the battery box. You can see Tom has eight batteries to run his house. You can also see that his batteries have been there a while; some of the connections are corroded.

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Older, but still very comfortable and still off the grid. Tom’s house had a very lived-in feeling to it and showed some of the regular maintenance things that you would need to do in any house.

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