Guest Post by Steve Hoffman
I bought plans from Jamaica Cottage Shop about two years ago and made a few modifications for my design. I built the Vermont Cottage on a 20 acre parcel in Calaveras County in the California Gold Country. This project has been my passion, my delight and my greatest satisfaction! After I finished the exterior, I finished the interior to have all of the comforts of home.
The property is off the grid so I put in a 400 watt voltaic power source and a 12 volt pump connected to a 275 water tank to provide water for the sink. I also build a 4 X 8 room off the back that I use for storage, power/inverter equipment, and a small shower (I have an outhouse for toilet needs).
The kitchen is self-contained with propane burners and a dual sink but I use the BBQ on the deck for much of the cooking. The power supply provides ample power for most of my power tools and I plan to add a small 6300 BTU air conditioner for the warm months. With low-voltage lights and 60 watt television, I’m able to pick up 13 stations with only a digital TV antenna or watch DVDs. Two deep cycle 12 volt batteries provide plenty of power for an evening of light, TV entertainment and music.
The only modifications I made to the original plans were to add a double French door that leads to the deck and our view of the mountains. I also purchased used windows and doors to keep costs down, including dual pane Viking windows. I wired the cottage with two 20 amp circuits that are in the storage area. Finally, I installed a used, but in very good condition, wood burning stove for the colder months. It keeps the place toasty warm.
I plan to build on a workshop as my next project–same size as the cottage but without the front porch for maximum utility.
Thanks Jamaica Cottage Shop for your great design and helping me to reach one of my life’s goals and greatest achievements!