Mother Earth Living


All Together: An Off-Grid Family Home in Rural New Hampshire

An off-the-grid New Hampshire home reunites a far-flung family.



Anna Von Mertens and Chris Anderson built their solar home in the New Hampshire woods with the help of family and friends.
Photo By Eric Roth
The home helped Chris and Anna provide their children, Hayden (pictured), now 4, and Rhys, 1, with a connection to nature.
Photo By Eric Roth
Polished concrete floors (made with recycled slag, a byproduct of steelmaking) with in-floor radiant heat bring warmth to the family room—and perfectly accommodate toy racecar-driving.
Photo By Eric Roth
Chris and Anna’s home stays cozy thanks to photovoltaic and solar thermal panels, triple-pane Loewen windows (loewen.com), blown-in cellulose insulation and a Harman pellet boiler.
Photo By Eric Roth
Concrete countertops, a soapstone sink and handmade wood bar stools give the kitchen a rustic charm that complements the woody scenery outside the walk-out deck door. Choosing efficient appliances and fluorescent lighting helps the family reduce the demands on their solar array.
Photo By Eric Roth
The wide-open floor plan and many windows offer expansive views across the home’s main floor and beyond.
Photo By Eric Roth
Bright graphic chairs and a checkered rug lend vibrancy to the great room’s natural wood and industrial concrete.
Photo By Eric Roth
Anna and Chris left their home’s cedar shingles unfinished so they will weather naturally over time.
Photo By Eric Roth
Anna and Chris preserved healthy indoor air quality with zero-VOC paints and nontoxic finishes.
Photo By Eric Roth
The home’s solar system has 24 Surrette backup batteries (surrette.com), which can run for three full days without a recharge.
Photo By Eric Roth
The family’s seven hens produce more eggs than they can eat each week.
Photo By Eric Roth
Anna Von Mertens and Chris Anderson built their solar home in the New Hampshire woods with the help of family and friends.
Anna Von Mertens and Chris Anderson built their solar home in the New Hampshire woods with the help of family and friends.

















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