$11,000 and 1 Year: Off-Grid in an Oregon Forest

$11,000 and 1 Year: Off-Grid in an Oregon Forest

Linda Ly
Feb 6, 2014
(Image credit: Brian Schulz)

What can you do with $11,000 and 1 year? That's exactly what it took kayaking instructor Brian Schulz to build this Japanese-inspired woodland home on the Oregon coast. It's solar-powered, wood stove-heated, and constructed almost entirely of materials salvaged from within a 10-mile radius of the site.

The Japanese Forest House, as it's called, sits on a small organic permaculture farm surrounded by coastal rainforest. Its trim 14 by 16 foot footprint is especially impressive when you see how spacious it looks in the photos; Schulz's minimalist sensibility really opens up the cabin, from the steep sloping roofline to the open-beam wooden ceilings.

Schulz admits that in building this home, he kept it "architecturally honest" — every fastener, screw, bolt was left as-is, with no attempt to conceal the hardware. As he explains, "This ethic reflects my general dislike for the veneers of all sorts that seek to mimic things that they are not."

Almost every piece of this home was salvaged locally, and all the timber was milled on-site by Schulz. All the windows were $40 from a local dump, the French doors were found on Craigslist, and the counters are live-edge walnut slabs milled off a tree. Most of the $11,000 cost went to concrete, shakes, and insulation, and the tiny home was completed in a year and a half in Schulz's spare time.

Like it? You can rent it on AirBnB!

To see more pics and read the specs (in case you're curious about building your own off-grid retreat), check out Cape Falcon Kayak.

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