Homestead and solar designs to bring peace of mind
By Jillian Chandler
“I have no fear of building where others say it’s impossible. Anything is possible once it’s done.”
A life spent serving others is what inspired Rick Phebus to pursue a new, fulfilling path, off-grid path. “I spent my life serving others, and that is not something I’m willing to stop doing,” he shares. “In the Army, I was always leading units to establish camps literally anywhere in the world—so why not expand it and tie in my education?”
With degrees in forestry, land surveying and wildlife biology, plus time spent teaching and undergoing survival training in the Army—and a life living mostly off grid—it all made sense. In February of 2021, Rick introduced Off Grid Unlimited to Boundary County.
Building an off-grid home can be an overwhelming experience, and Rick’s number one goal is to help you in creating your dream homestead in the most friendly and effective manner possible, while properly communicating with the client every step of the way. With his knowledge and experience, and connections to some of the best electricians, plumbers, excavators, carpenters, well drillers and log home building sources, Rick ensures a seamless process—all the way to the finish line.
Though the current market is primary for solar, which is what Off Grid Unlimited caters to, Rick is working with partners on bringing other alternative energy resources to the area—think wind, geothermal and hydroelectric.
Due to the fact that Rick can custom tailor designs across the board (he is also a licensed general contractor), he can tie in all the additional things people forget (or regular contractors don’t manage) when building their homestead—like the water sources, how to build a root cellar, how to get paid for timber, and work with forest management. “There is a lot more to off-grid homesteads than slapping a solar panel on a roof,” he says.
Rick shares that working in areas where absolutely “nothing exists” has been the hallmark of his career through the Forest Service, Park Service and Army. “I can literally help anyone who needs it. If I can’t help them, I know who can. It’s identical to my time in the Army as a First Sergeant—with the added benefit that I can think more outside the box.”
After the initial conversation to discuss the client’s goals, Rick then travels to the job site to evaluate for improvement and installation. “It’s a good bit like being a cross between a combat engineer and Bear Grylls,” he smiles. “Off-grid clients like to be remote.”
Through Off Grid Unlimited, Rick is able to provide better than retail prices, as he has built strong business relationships, working through distributor/wholesale agreements with manufacturers of the industry standard products.
Rick attributes the fast success of his new business to his friends, family and mentors, and he is proud to have the opportunity to own a business and offer his services right here in Bonners Ferry. “The people here stick together when it’s bad. While the rest of the country is tearing itself apart, our county is standing strong,” he says. “People here are not afraid to work and build and be good to one another.”
If you are interested in making the move to solar, you can call the office or schedule an appointment online today. Don’t wait! It’s time to focus on living the way you want, and you will have peace of mind thanks to Rick’s expertise in homestead and solar designs.
“In the end, I save the client time, money, and offer insights based on my experiences across the world.”
Off Grid Unlimited