Here are a couple more... What type of sewer system do you have and what was the approx. cost? Do you have a recommended water well pump?

[RESPONSE: We put in a septic system. I don't remember the exact costs, but it wasn't that bad. I don't have a recommendation for a well pump. I wish I did. I wish I was more knowledgeable about deep well water pumping. I know that there are people out there who know of much better ways to do it than I do. For instance, I have been told that one solar panel will power a "jack" pump. The "jack" pump is either like an oil pump, or it is an oil pump. I'm not sure what is correct. It only pumps about 4 or 5 gallons a minute, but who cares? That's huge water pumping as far as I am concerned. I am going to look into this someday soon because I'd like to get completely away from water pumping with my generator.]

Thanks so much for your help! I see I need to study up on framing and building principles. (I am a novice too.) I am fairly familiar with solar/inverting etc. as I have a good electrical background. My weak point is home construction.

[RESPONSE: Just go to Lowe's or Home Depot and buy one of their How To Framing Books. You'll be amazed at how much info is in there. All I used was a Construction Manual which was a textbook and a How To book from Lowe's. What I didn't understand, I asked until I did. You may not want to do this, but I also used the guidelines listed in the books - as far as - what size lumber to use, etc. If the "code" called for a 2x4 - I used a 2x6. I always used one more size larger than what was recommended. Doing it yourself allows you to do this without breaking your wallet because you are saving so much doing it yourself. I meant every word of it when I said, "If I could do it, anyone could." If you have an electrical background, then you know way more about all of this than I did when I started.

Also, I went to job sites where new homes were being constructed. I wanted to see how things were done. Anyone can build. I am convinced of that. The difference is that the skilled builder knows the "tricks of the trade." Those things are invaluable. But I still wouldn't trade the experience that we had/have for letting someone else build our home.]

But I am encouraged by your answers and will start immediately to find these answers. Thanks for all your help and if you can think of anything else please feel free to email it to me. (Book recommendations for framing etc.)


Don S., Olathe, Kansas

Hi Charlie,

Do you know of a source where one can find a backup diesel generator like the mobile one you have for around $1000 or so? Was it a kubota?

Thanks, Don

RESPONSE: I would check auctions. I would do searches on the Internet for used generators. I would contact businesses that sell new units. You could also inquire with rental companies. You are in Kansas, right? If so, I might be able to help you find one if you'd be willing to come and get it.

The generator is a Kubota. Charlie

Okay, I didn't know if there was a particular web site that carried them so I thought that I would ask. I will do a more in depth search and check the sources you pointed out. I really have enjoyed the video that you made as I have watched it several times. Very kind of you to offer to help, but I don't want to trouble you. I will search locally here and see what I can come up with. I have a gas generator, so I am not without (could convert to propane). The diesel would no doubt last longer and be more versatile.

Thanks again! Don

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