Building our farm in the forest. Follow along here and YouTube

Discussion in 'Homestead Construction' started by ForestToFarm, Feb 28, 2016.

  1. ForestToFarm

    ForestToFarm Well-Known Member

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    Contacted a guy about hauling in some gravel for our driveway. Its 6oo' + so I expect the cost to be significant. We are thinking crush and run. Any suggestions? We will be meeting some time Monday during the day. They are working in the area. We are also going to let them remove the large stumps we have left on the property. It would cost us more to rent a piece of heavy equipment to remove those monster stumps than it will cost us to pay them to have them removed.

    Also contacted a guy about doing our footings and foundations. He is highly recommended by every single person we have asked that knew or knows him. They say he is extremely picky about how he does things. I am picky too so I look forward to talking with him about our options. We are planning to have poured concrete footings and foundations. I know its more expensive but they are solid and should outlast both our families if done correctly. I have always dreamed of building my own home ever since I was a kid. This will likely be the only time I do this and we will die here unless life takes us in a new direction.

    If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them.

    It won't be long now till we start building! Yahoo!!
    Terry
     
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  2. ozarkansas

    ozarkansas Member

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    Hi Terry - excited to see progress! I enjoy following along. And I'd be very interested in hearing about this cost if you decide to go this route. At some point in the next few years we'll be doing something similar. We have a private drive that's over 1000' and is in need of work. Knowing the cost per load for gravel and the number of loads to do your 600' would help me to estimate my future costs.

    Since we're in the middle of a forest too I feel like I have a lot to learn from what you and your son do! Keep it up!
     

  3. ozarkansas

    ozarkansas Member

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  4. ForestToFarm

    ForestToFarm Well-Known Member

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    I will definitely post our options,if any, and then which direction we end up going with costs. If they are OK with us filming we may do a video of the process as well. Some people are kinda funny about being on camera. Plus if we hold them up filming its more hours for them which translates into more cost for us.

    Thanks for the response. Its nice to get feedback so we know our efforts aren't in vein. I am as guilty as the next guy of reading threads and never responding. As we progress with this project I feel sure there are people who could benefit from our YouTube channel. So far we have just been in the clearing forest phase for the most part. When we are building and establishing the actual farm things will get much more complex and interesting.

    Hang around, things are going to get interesting!
    Terry
     
  5. LeLuni

    LeLuni Member

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    Great to hear things are progressing!

    If you remember, we will be building on 10 acres just a little ways from you - off HWY 14 in Greenville County - so I'm very interested in getting your local subcontractor recommendations. I'm currently contacting for land clearing bids to cut the 420ft drive and to selectively clear about .5 acre at the build site. We also want to do a 'kinder, gentler' method of clearing, but I'm just not going to be able to do it all by lonesome (though I've already started thinning out the holly and smaller trees myself). You mentioned Jeff H. in a private message, and he's on my call list.

    Crush and run was what we were going to use during the building phase, and then probably a layer of granite during the finishing phase. You're right that it is pretty expensive. S.H. Carter is on my list to be contacted for this type of work.

    This thread is the primary reason I stop by the forum every few days, so your efforts documenting your progress is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again,
    John
     
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  6. ForestToFarm

    ForestToFarm Well-Known Member

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    I do remember. Check your messages for info on Jeff H.

    We hope to be meeting the driveway/excavator guy and the foundation guy today. We'll see if they show up. I will definitely post what comes of the meetings.

    You may want to consider letting them leave all or most of the debris behind, it can save you a good bit of money. Maybe rent a chipper and chip the smaller limbs and branches. You could also have them (or cut yourself) cut the logs into firewood lengths and sell or use the wood. Not gonna make a fortune off of it but its money. Once we get moved to the farm we plan to do a lot of gardening and orchard work so the wood chips will be used in the gardens and all.

    Good luck
    Terry

    Glad you are following.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
  7. ForestToFarm

    ForestToFarm Well-Known Member

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    Well we met with the footing/foundation guy yesterday afternoon. He said he would have to figure things up before we could get a price. I hate waiting, it drives me crazy. We all hit it off pretty good and he was more interested in talking about hunting and what we were doing on our property. He said we were doing far more work than he would ever care to do, ha ha. Its funny the reactions we get from people when it comes to starting a small farm/homestead. People most times can not understand why a person or people like us would choose to do all this work on purpose. For us it is enjoyable and the work is not an issue at all. To each his own. Then you do have those few who actually envy you for doing this and they generally say they hope to some day do the same.

    The excavator guy was not able to come by. Guess he is to busy. That has been the story all along. Business is good in the construction world and these guys are in high demand. This has been the single biggest hold up for us. Waiting to get excavator people over here. We would be building by now if we could just get this phase complete. They don't have time for the little guy.

    I am on the verge of renting the heavy equipment and doing the work myself. It will likely cost us a bit more but at least it will be done. The larger excavator we need to get the big stumps out costs around $2500 for 40 hours use within 7 days including delivery. Then we will need a skid steer that would be around $850 a week including delivery. I think we can do what we need to do in a week, maybe.

    Terry
     
  8. ForestToFarm

    ForestToFarm Well-Known Member

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    The excavator guy.

    Finally talked with the excavator guy about doing our driveway and taking out the stumps in the house site areas. Boy am I glad we waited on him. Very knowledgeable, explained everything he would do in detail and compared the various types of gravel we could use and why he thinks Ballast, sometimes called surge stone, is the best way to go.

    He said that crush and run or any gravel with smaller grains of soil/gravel/media will allow plants to take root and they wash away much faster than Ballast. He said we would need to add gravel and fix wash out areas almost yearly.

    Ballast is approximately 2 to 3 inch size gravel. They will first form a dome shape out of the existing soil where the gravel will then be dumped out onto by the dump trucks. Next they will run it over with a smooth barrel roller to compact the gravel and soil down forming a road bed that should hold for a long time.

    When they form the road/driveway bed the soil on the sides will be used as the mound that forms the dome shape in the middle of the drive. The area where the soil comes off the edges will form a small ditch where water will be able to run off the drive and along the edge when its raining.

    The drive flows down hill from two directions and comes to a low point at the base of a corner in the drive. He is going to install a drain under the drive and it will be run about 40 foot over to the edge of the woods where the excess water will then flow down the hill through the woods to the creek where is has in the past anyway. Its really working out quite well actually.

    As far as the lots go he is going to remove all the remaining stumps which is around 20 or so very large stumps and a few smaller ones not worth mentioning. Then he will lower the high side of Brian's house site and create a level place to put his house. He will have to remove about 2 to 3 foot of dirt on the high side and tapering down to nothing on the low side nearest my house site.

    All total he said he could do all the above work for 8 to 10 thousand dollars. He can be here in about 1 month provided the weather allows.

    Hind sight he said if we left the big trees there he could have pushed them over which would have pulled the stumps out of the ground and it would have went much faster for him. It would have saved us some money but then we would have had a huge mess all at once to deal with. All in all I am glad we cut the trees down ourselves.

    If we can squeeze it in the next week or so we will do a video showing the areas to be worked and telling you guys what is going to happen and how.

    Getting anxious,
    Terry
     
  9. RonM

    RonM Well-Known Member

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    It is always better to pay a little extra and get someone who knows what they are doing. Cheaper in the long run., good move...
     
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  10. Hitch

    Hitch Well-Known Member

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    Terry does his price include the rock?