Living in trailer while building a house - worth it? - Page 2 - Homesteading Today
Homesteading Today

Go Back   Homesteading Today > General Homesteading Forums > Homesteading Questions


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
  #21  
Old 04/11/09, 02:58 PM
ET1 SS's Avatar
zone 5 - riverfrontage
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Forests of maine
Posts: 5,603

I thing that I have seen many times [both here in Maine and in rural California where we tried homesteading previously], is to buy a 40 ft trailer. A single-wide mobile home that is 20 years old. Set it on a pad, with well, septic, power and phone. Then build around it a pole barn, and wall that in [keeping the trailer's hitch sticking out one end to prove that it is still there]. Then each year extend the structure out in a direction, adding one room at a time. You can extend in three directions, while leaving the trailer's hitch untouched. Finally one year, they pull down the wall around the trailer's hitch and pull the trailer out.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 04/11/09, 04:30 PM
prometheus's Avatar
I love boobies
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: SW Montana
Posts: 361

We lived in our camper for the last 2 summers while I got the house closed-in. We rented in town for the winters....it was probably cheaper than paying the propane to heat the camper, and the lil' lady refused to use a frosted outhouse. Our best friends also did this about 10 years ago. The bought a new cheaper camper and took a loss when they sold it, I bought a vintage Airstream that was sound but need utility work. If we choose to sell it we should make several thousand dollars. Good luck and enjoy the process. Oh, make sure the camper has an awning. Not only will they double your summer living space, but it will be cooler, have a prettier view and relaxing under it will help you plan your next steps on the house.

Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 04/11/09, 04:58 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 5,646

We lived in a small travel trailer and two tents for about six months or so while we built a house while our three daughters were small. It worked (except that we moved into the house before it was finished, and then nothing more ever got done to the house -- don't move into your new house until it is FINISHED!!!). Right now I'd be happy with nothing but a tent if I had my own land to put it on, and work on a cabin.

Kathleen

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 04/11/09, 05:12 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Western WA
Posts: 4,650

I think it is a good idea and have some thoughts based on experience.

- Any timeframe or cost estimates should be increased by 50% minimum right now.

- Be very careful about where you place the trailer relative to where you want the house. Make sure it is well out of the way of where the house will be or where any development work will need to take place. It is critical that all of the placement issues be well thought out and planned - trailer, house, well, septic, electric, driveways etc.

- If you are entertaining thoughts about living in a pole building that will also be the main storage/work area for the property development, make sure you completely wall off the living area.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 04/11/09, 05:12 PM
CJ's Avatar
CJ CJ is offline
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: The Ozarks
Posts: 5,117

I'd build a shop with a small apartment and live in it while you build. No loss at all that way, you can always use the guest quarters later!

__________________
http://tinksquared.com
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 04/11/09, 09:54 PM
prometheus's Avatar
I love boobies
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: SW Montana
Posts: 361
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueJuniperFarm View Post
We lived in a small travel trailer and two tents for about six months or so while we built a house while our three daughters were small. It worked (except that we moved into the house before it was finished, and then nothing more ever got done to the house -- don't move into your new house until it is FINISHED!!!). Right now I'd be happy with nothing but a tent if I had my own land to put it on, and work on a cabin.

Kathleen

This doesn't always happen. We moved in this fall and I did slow down from the hectic schedule I had to close it in, but I've still finished all the plumbing, wiring, bathroom (except tile), kitchen (except overhead cabinets), 90% of the insulation (to date), and 75% of our sheetrock (to date).
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 04/12/09, 12:48 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: B.C.
Posts: 386

Me and the dogs have been in a fifth wheel for near 4 years. Looks like my house will start getting built this year.
While I don't have any regrets I sure hope I don't have to do it again.
Cold winters and hot summers being the main reasons.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 04/12/09, 04:52 AM
In Remembrance
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,844

My sister and BIL are living in their 5th wheeler while rehabing a 16' x 80'. In West-central TN they are going through a 30-lb bottle of propane (for heat) in a couple of days. Two of the first things they got working in the mobile was a whirlpool bath and one of the new, taller, commodes. Barb said you don't know how wonderful it is to sit on a regular commode after using the one in the 5th wheeler for several weeks.

Were it me I'd site where you want to put in the house and then build/have built a detached 2 1/2 car garage. Have the opening put in for a garage door, but frame it in for now. Have plumbing for a small bathroom/shower stall and kitchen area in the garage slab. Connect it to what will eventually serve as a septic system, water and electric for the house. At your children's ages, bunk beds would serve them nicely, as would a fold-out couch for you.

When I lived in Ohio there was a company (Bullock Builders?) there which, if you have the slab down already, would put up an unfinished garage in about two days.

About ten years ago I had a local company (again, WC TN) put up a beam and metal siding shop building. About 25' x 50'. Four guys put it up over an existing slab in about a day and a half, which included scabbing it onto an existing two-car garage.

Places like Lowe's and Home Depot have kits for large outbuildings. Locally there are several places which sell (and will site) unfinished ones. Several could easily be made into cottages. Delivery, leveling and blocking is included in the purchase price.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 04/12/09, 06:06 AM
harplade's Avatar
loving life on the farm
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: louisana ( bush)
Posts: 421

Caution!!! We did this for a year while we were building our house. Both of my children (2 and 7) had many respiratory problems while living in the trailer. I would do it again but I would pull every bit of carpet out and put linoleum or leave the plywood. I would also purchase one of the lights that clean mold out of the air conditioner system. From what we learned, the AC units are way bigger than square footage on trailers b/c of poor insulation, etc. So they keep the trailer cool but the excess coolness, moisture can grow mold in the ducting, etc
My daughter (13 now) still has asthma-there is a family history. My son never had another problem with bronchial stuff after we moved into our home with only wood floors.

Just food for thought-
It was definitely nice living on the land while building. We put ours on the site where we planned on a barn. Since we had to put in separate septic, we had all electricity and a clay foundation for a barn and an eventual mil apartment.
Good luck!

__________________

Whatever you do,In word or deed, Do all in the name of Jesus- Colossians 3.17

Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 04/12/09, 07:07 AM
Jennifer L.'s Avatar  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: New York bordering Ontario
Posts: 4,472

I also would go with the apartment in the barn. And once you were moved into the house, it could be made over into different things, like heated shop, or commercial kitchen, or just left as guest quarters.

To me a trailer is just a waste of time and resources.

I know of someone in Hastings, NY (Northwest of Central Square on Route 11) that built an airplane hangar and put an apartment in it and used it while they built their house.

Good luck.

Jennifer

__________________

-Northern NYS

Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 04/12/09, 07:25 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: southeast
Posts: 95

Are you confident you can sell the house you are currently living in? That would be a big issue where I live.

__________________

Obama: Wrapping the lie of socialism in a smile.

Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 04/12/09, 02:51 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Former State of Franklin
Posts: 3,657

We did the trailer/build thing. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Nothing like being RIGHT THERE while building, then bop into the trailer for a meal/shower/rest, in addition to the money you'll save on a mortgage.

BUT one thing about used trailers.....buy something you can live with rather than brand new....and even then, you will likely take a beating on it unless you turn it into a rental, then junk it later. The market for used trailers is kinda slim.....especially slightly used ones you bought new.

Reason is, most folks that buy a trailer to live in long term don't have any money, and the trailer sales place wraps the moving/setup/electric/water/sewage hookup all into the finance package so people can literally move in for about nothing.....whereas when they come to buy your slightly used one, they have to come up with couple grand for all that, and many can't.....Sooo....you MAY have to actually PAY to get rid of the thing ( we did...$1000 ) or figure out something else to do with it.....

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 04/12/09, 08:01 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Western WA
Posts: 4,650
Quote:
Originally Posted by TnAndy View Post
.Sooo....you MAY have to actually PAY to get rid of the thing ( we did...$1000 ) or figure out something else to do with it.....
Yep, I know a family that is in this situation right now. The have begun building their house and the mobile home they have lived in for the last several years is worthless as nobody wants one of those albatrosses. So it seems there may be fire happen and the rest torn down and either recycled or buried using the excavator.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 04/12/09, 09:11 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: SoCal
Posts: 26

From a financial point, whether it's better to live at your current place or on site - you'll have to consider:

  • Living Costs - current total monthly costs to live where you are currently (mortgage, insurance, taxes, special assessments, association fees, elec, gas, sewer, phone, internet, anything else) versus estimated total monthly living costs on site
  • Housing Market - do you think your current house will significantly go up or down in price or ease of selling in 2 years
  • Automotive - cost of gas to/from work as well as trips to check up on construction; any difference in auto insurance based on annual millage and/or where car is garaged
There's certainly a lot of advantages in living on site while things are being built, especially since it doesn't sound like you'll be doing the building yourself. My dad had a new custom home built while he lived about 20 miles away. I can't tell you the number of times he'd come out on weekends to look at the progress only to find something had been done wrong. Or sometimes he'd take off work during the week and swing by unannounced only to discover there was no one or maybe just 1 guy working. A number of others building in the area had problems with thefts - a year after he had moved in, it made the local news that a house 1 block away had been built almost entirely out of stolen materials - the owner/builder, who was a general contractor, was arrested and charged with multiple counts of grand theft. The completion date kept getting pushed back for various reasons so eventually my dad had a phone installed on site (no cell service) so he could call the contractor on a daily basis and make sure there weren't any problems - that seemed to help, but one month he got a several hundred dollar phone bill from calls to phone-sex and other 900-lines.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 04/15/09, 05:03 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3

check into shipping containers/used ISBUs. Once you get into a trailer/ Mobile home situation plan to build a house mode there is 1 drawback. You have a harder time getting rid of them. Mobile homes are the most toxic death traps.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 04/15/09, 05:28 PM
willow_girl's Avatar
Very Dairy
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Dysfunction Junction
Posts: 13,787

I would:

Build the pole barn, turn 1/2 of it into an apartment, and live in it while building the house; OR

Build the pole barn, buy a travel trailer or 5th wheel (should be able to get one cheap, given the state of the economy), park it inside the barn, and live in it while building. (The RV probably will have a higher resale value when you go to unload it than will a used mobile home.)

__________________

I dream of a better world, one where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned.

Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 04/16/09, 12:42 AM
In Remembrance
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,844

If you want to go the mobilehome route check into what take down, moving and set-up costs will be. Can run well into the thousands of dollars, particularly if a doublewide.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 04/16/09, 10:10 AM
sunshinytraci's Avatar  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 362

We currently live in the living quarters we built in our pole barn. All we had to do was to provide plans that were up to the building codes for a residence in the whole structure of the building and in the parts we were going to live in. You need fire walls between your space and the rest of the building, ingress/egress windows, etc. It's very comfortable and we can build our house at our leisure; we are in no hurries to get out of a tiny, grubby place that we can't stand and we have no eyesore of an old mobile home to contend with. Then, once our house is built, we don't have to move anything and we have nice, detached mother-in-law quarters that visitors can stay in or we can rent out if need be.

One thing though - if your pole building is large enough, see about getting attic trusses and making the living quarters upstairs to save space. I did this in one building but not in the other. I wish I had because I have all this lovely space but the only thing it will hold is the insulation. Even if you don't make living quarters in your building, I highly recommend attic trusses just for storage. It's amazing how much equipment and other stuff a homestead can collect over the years. They are not an awful lot more considering the building's entire cost.

__________________
Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:19 AM.