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Hi from Missouri,

We are looking to move out on some land we own a.s.a.p. We'd like to know of any ideas ya'll might have for quick starter dwellings that could be lived in temporarily while we build. We'd like to avoid trailers and motorhomes because we won't have a use for them afterwards. We've considered portable buildings, yurts, etc.

Introduction:

I used to read this forum often but I've been too occupied for so many years relocating, helping husband get through school, working at becoming debt free while raising our five kiddos and supporting them while they filed through college near-by.

We raised our kids in Idaho where we had a little homestead, growing what we could and raising all sorts of critters. We moved to the Midwest about 18 years ago. Recently our entire family of 11: kids, in-laws and grandkids sold our places and bought a piece of bare land. My husband and I plan to build a tiny house. He should retire in about 5 years and we hope to become as self-sufficient as possible by that time. Our adult children also plan on building, some tiny houses, some weekend places, and some bigger places with room for kiddos.
 

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Where in MO did you land? Are you in a really remote area? Is the terrain hilly (like the Ozarks) or flatter areas of the state? Is there a major metro area near you?

Lots of folks out our way utilize Dirksen buildings, as well as shipping containers, for quick housing. There are also campers, yurts, and a variety of "soft" buildings.

A lot depends on your resources, as well as local availability of building resources.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Where in MO did you land? Are you in a really remote area? Is the terrain hilly (like the Ozarks) or flatter areas of the state? Is there a major metro area near you?

Lots of folks out our way utilize Dirksen buildings, as well as shipping containers, for quick housing. There are also campers, yurts, and a variety of "soft" buildings.

A lot depends on your resources, as well as local availability of building resources.
We are in Dade County, Missouri. We are about 20 minutes from very small towns and 35 minutes to Springfield.

Our land is rolling to hilly. At the lowest part of our land are springs. It is higher up towards the small highway so we'll probably put our barn/shop up there close to utilities.

About 70 years ago it was all cleared except for a few trees and now we have a lot of medium sized trees as well as vegetation.

I'll research Dirksen buildings. I know of some folks who have used shipping containers but this is a bit overwhelming to me for some reason. :)

Thanks for the help,

Sandie
 

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One viable option I've seen on other threads (and other sites) is to build the "shop" first; in your case, the good news is it is up at the top next to utilities. So, one reasonable plan is to get hold of two 8' x 20' shipping containers, and get them out there in the area of the shop. By spacing these 12' or 16' apart, they form the shell of your interior shop, and you need only build the end walls with doors/garage doors, and a roof (up to, or even over the shipping containers).

In the meantime, the containers give you secure storage for everything, and later on, remain as very secure workshops and such. This shop could quickly become your temp home while you then build the tiny home over time.

With so many folks getting onto the property, I'd definitely spend lots of time working out the site planning details, in advance, to know where roads, shops/outbuildings, and homes of some sort go for each family. Pencil in ideas and questions, like gardens, chickens, etc., and you'll at least be thinking about things without losing any of the high-level stuff over time.

Another "clean slate" approach ... that's the way to do it!
 

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This is what I used , the tailer was free from a guy trying to sell it .
he had no takers and ended up giving it to me .
It was a 73 vintage and every thing worked .
It had some mice in it that had to be evicted .we built the little deck and roof to make it more livable
we added solar on the roof with golf cart battery and inverter and a roof gutter and water Collection .
I think with all the plans for building you would get a lot of use out of a trailer .
You could move it from site to site as people build .
In my area the town won’t let you stay in a trailer on site any more , I’m in the middle of nowhere .
this unit will go to free cycle or for sale cheep😁 it’s all steel and dosent leak .
I could rent a small house for 5/600 a month but it took years to build the place on weekends , the house is 400’ away , Off grid and runs on a solar / battery system .
I’m in year 5 and I’m allmost done , I need a kitchen and I want to build a shop in front of the pick up truck in the drive way . An my trail up to the house need a lot of work Now if I get a Visitor They have to walk up , or drive a 4x4 truck , winter time requires weight in the bed of the truck and 4 studied all terrain tires and or chains .
And a chain saw in case the trail is blocked
96488
96487

96486
 

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I vote RV camper also, it already has all of the infrastructure built into it to live comfortably, which means set it, and forget it, no double building living quarters !

Our 10 year old 32' Heartland camper is like a palace inside, very comfortable, and quiet, and a really good place to rest when you need to.
 

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For real.
Don't try to reinvent the wheel, or make things more complicated than they are. There is no need to build something to live in while you are building something to live in🙄
Don't want a trailer on your land? Sell it when you're done.
My kids bought a used Winnebago it worked very well for thrm with 3 kids.
 

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I think it really depends on how long it will take to get a structure you can sleep in.

If it is a few months a good tent will do if you don't have wind problems. If it will be over the winter then something that you can heat and keep dry will be important. A small storage shed is easy to build and can be used later for gardening stuff etc.
 

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Buy a used trailer of some sort that you'd be comfortable in. SELL it when your house is built. Why don't you think you can sell something you've bought and no longer have any use for?
 

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Maybe not enough detail yet to know which way OP will jump?

A trailer might indeed be the best answer for some ... I based my first suggestion on OP's own comment of "don't want a trailer" AND the fact that the upper area was going to have a shop (or barn). Building a shop, and building it first, seems reasonable ... it will be used for every other task out there, not only by OP, but by the others who might ultimately build on the site.

If the shop does get built first, like others on HT have built their barn first, then there is the unique opportunity to make it do double duty for a period of time, by living in a piece of it. So, they aren't building something to live in, just to build something else to live in; they're building the shop they stated they want ... and possibly getting extra mileage out of it.

Perhaps a good design method for this clean slate opportunity is to play with Pinterest for awhile ... it's a fascinating way to see what others have done, given anything as a starting point. Type in "container home" or "container shop" ... you'll lose hours seeing how others have done something, and it invariably leads to other side trips. Perhaps those of you on the trailer bandwagon can suggest the terms for temporary trailer living, or some such? Wellbuilt has one such picture ...

It's always interesting to see which way folks will do things, and that is what HT is about ... the many ways it's possible to do things! I hope OP tells us more ...

I tried to say all of this in as few words as Jeff ... just ... can't ... hit ... backspace ....
 

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I knew that it was going to take a few years for me to finish the house. I stayed in a fifth wheel camper for two winters, and fought freezing pipe all winter long. I built a small cabin inside a eight by twenty foot shipping container. I have never had a pipe freeze, and have orders to build two more of the shipping container cabins for neighbors. When I move into the house, my mother-in-law can stay in the cabin when she comes to visit.
 

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MS2 ... if you don't consider the info proprietary, could you start a thread on this forum about your container cabin, with pics? The last time I did one, in TX, it was warm enough that I just opened the double doors (which formed a porch), and built an end-wall in that space with a double french door. The rest wasn't insulated ...

I'd like to do it again, here in colorado, as I have an 8x20 getting to empty ... wasn't sure how to insulate it, nor how much space would be lost to the method chosen.
 

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I built a barn on my off grid 40 but it took several summers. I stayed in my popup tent trailer during warmer weather. In the cooler spring and fall I slept in my ice fishing house. It has a propane heater and stays cozy down to -40. I have a basic solar set up for lights and TV and charging the cell phone. An out house takes care of the waste.

You may not be able to put an ice fishing house out on the lake most years but the officials can't stop you from building one. Just tell them you are an optimist.
 

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+1 For a pull behind camper of some sort, bigger is better.
Sell it when you are done, or mash it up with a backhoe, scrap any metal, burn and bury the rest.
 

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We bought a lodge tent with the extension over the entry and the "fly" over the main part of the tent. It stayed dry inside. We also added a wood burner as it was easy - the tent and fly had the chimney flaps already in place and the wood burner had a stainless steel water jacket for hot water. It was warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It was up year around for three years.

But what we really miss from those days are all the sounds of the night. From the tree frogs to a grunting bear to the coyotes across the canyon and night hawks diving one slept lightly but never had a more enjoyable time. Plus we have a place for guests that goes up easily so they could enjoy the same. And no mouse maintenance. Just tightening ropes from time to time.
 

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We have 8 acres in Tennessee. We built the garage first with a "man room" added into it. While our house is being built, we are living in the "man room". It is a small room with a kitchenette and a bathroom. Using grills outside to cook also. Very comfy and my husband gets to have his room back after the house is built.
 

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That was my first plan build the garage first !
We drove our 2 hours up to the land and started working , at 1100 it started down pour then snow and freezeing rain it was the second week in may .
We had teepee made out of logs with a canvas tarp around it mostly closed up .
There is a lot of work to be done before you get to live in your garage ☹
We built a road in 2500 feet cleared most of the trees with saws .
Had a well drilled this took 3 months of weekends with some fishing in between .
I had a friend offer me the trailer in the pic and all I had to do is pick it up 11/2hours away .
I did not want to pull it with out plates on the road so I had a trailer dealer pick it up for me .
We rough cut the lumber for the deck and framed it up and we where living in style.

The build was rough it was my son and I we worked all week from 8 to 600
Friday night we left at 700 and drove for 2+ hours un packed and went to bed .
Sat morning I was up at 630 made coffee and started working at 730 and stoked for brunch/lunch at 1100 worked till 700 then went for dinner at the pizza place .
Came back and went to bed . Sunday same Routine but we let for home by 600 .
We did this for years
 
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