New at this, where to start?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by jessimeredith, Sep 12, 2004.

  1. jessimeredith

    jessimeredith That's relativity. Supporter

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    I've been gardening and canning for a couple of years and now have decided to take the next big step. Hubby and I are planning a move in a few months, the exact location is as of yet undecided, but we know we will be going to MO. We intend to buy a couple of acres and build a home. I would like to do most of the work ourselves, but he isn't sure. Help me find a way to convince him that it is possible? ;)

    Also, anyone have a suggestion on some good books for beginners? Raising enough food to care for ourselves is the ideal for us. So where do we start?
     
  2. dla

    dla Well-Known Member

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    You might enjoy reading some previous threads on this subject - I don't know how to give you a direct link, but you can search for "threads started" by "C & P" called "the new homesteader"
    Good luck!
    (I'm a newbie, so I can't really answer much for myself, but best wishes on your dream!)
    DLA
     

  3. dla

    dla Well-Known Member

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    Oops, it was "C and P"
    Try this -
    go to the very top of the page and choose the grey "search" button.
    enter "The New Homesteader" in the Keyword search box.
    choose the "search titles only" option.
    scroll down to the title you're looking for.
    Give it a whirl. there are some great ideas there.
    :D
     
  4. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Since nobody was born a building contractor I think anyone can build a house. We did and then totally remodeled this 110 year old farm house. Yes, it will take longer but you will save thousands and the feeling of accomplishment will last forever. Perhaps you would feel better starting with a smaller project like barn. Whatever you do, buy good quality tools and read the instruction books. Safety first. Also know, if you move to MO in many parts of the state good paying jobs are hard to find and small acreages are astrominically priced near better paying large cities. I work in Columbia and starter homes there are $150,000 and land is worse....yet down where are farm is that same amount is a set-up 120 acres or so.
    Best book...Carla Emery's Old Fashioned Recipe book which isn't...recipes,yes, but how to do ANYTHING in the country. Best bucks you'll spend on homesteading books. Try going to local farm shows,fairs,etc. There are all kinds of ways to prepare. But know it will take 20x the money you think it will and you will never be done working on your place!! DEE who lives in MO and wants to acquaint you with ROCKS...perhaps you'd like to build your house with them?
     
  5. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I spoke about this with my husbands uncle, who was an old farmer who had built HIS house.

    He recommended building either a barn or the garage first. They are built much more quickly than a house, will give you building experience, and will give shelter to both you and your tools. I sippose there is nothing quite like getting rained on while using electric tools.

    He said that the biggest risk is to get so comfortable in the garage that the impetus to build the house is gone, and it doesn't get built. Building a house is a LOT of work! He and his family had a small, old farmhouse to live in, so they just started in on the house.

    Then agin, I have heard of people building a small house first, then expanded it with additions whenever the small house starts feeling cramped.
     
  6. Mudwoman

    Mudwoman Well-Known Member

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    I can only tell you what has worked for us. After talking to several people that built their own house, everyone of them recommended building the garage or the workshop first. Those that built the house first had to use the house as a workshop until they got one built. You have to have tools to build with. You have to have materials. If you have never built anything before, it is best to practice on something much more simple than a house and work out your mistakes on that.

    We had a travel trailer to live in. We purchased one of those metal portable carports and had the sides brought down to the ground on 2 sides and then used tarps on rope for the ends. That became the temporary place for tools and materials while we built the workshop. It took us 6 months to build that and we still do not have the siding on. We have the plywood and the tyvek on there. As soon as we got it to a point that we could function in it, we started the house.

    That was Mar 2003. We moved into the house June 2004. We still have no interior trim up. The cabinets are all temporary workbenches. We still have subfloor where the wood floors are supposed to be as Dh is still working on the wood floors. We have no interior doors up yet and are relying on old tablecloths on rods. We still have to get the siding on the house up too and the rear deck. We are putting wood on the ceilings and I have insulation showing right now. So, as you can see, after 18 months, we still have a long way to go.

    We have spent so much time on building that there wasn't time for gardens and chickens etc. We now are having to take time out and do that stuff if we are going to survive. I also have had to go to work to bring in money. We have gone through the savings and equity money and 401K money. Our place is paid for, but we no longer have a wad of money to fall back on.

    We could not afford to have a house built by a contractor or even to act as our own contractor. We looked at mobile/manufactured homes and decided that we had never seen one that was 20 or 30 years old that looked worth having, so that wasn't an option for us. That left building ourselves. If money were not an issue, we would have had this house and shop built. But, money was an issue and usually is for most people.

    You can do it. We had a bunch of building books. There were days that we spent hours reading and with chalk drawing on the floor and the pencils drawing on the wood and the walls trying to figure out what to do. We invested in a couple of tools that I would highly recommend. A good pneumatic nail gun and compressor,a good circular hand saw, an 8 ft level, and an 18V drill. Also nice was a DeWalt 12 inch sliding chop saw with stand. We used that a lot! Our neighbor down the road is building his own house and hasn't even started as he is relying on used materials to cut the costs drastically. So, he has piles and piles of materials laying around on pallets and under tarps. After a year, he just got the wood for framing the outer walls, so this route can be done, but takes time too.

    One of the building books we read said that you should figure on 2-3 man hours for every square foot of a garage/workshop building that is simple. Figure 3-5 man hours for every square foot of house depending on the size and style. It is taking us longer.
     
  7. FolioMark

    FolioMark In Remembrance

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    illinois but i have a homestead building in missou
    Start with a simple pole building, a loafing shed with a plain shed roof and an open front. You can leave it with a dirt floor over most of the area but you can put in a raised deck floor on one end of it and make an enclosed room. the enclosed space gives you a secure storage space or a room to sleep in. You can work and live in the open bit of the shed. 16x30 pole shed with 12x16 raised and enclosed and the other 18x16 open could easily be built in a weeks time even by amateurs. It would make a handy base of operations while you build a real house....or you could do like I did and keep adding onto that shed until you had a house. :) If you send me a private message I will send you some plans and ideas. Good luck convincing the other half.
     
  8. romancemelisa

    romancemelisa Well-Known Member

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    the best books i ever aquired were the foxfire books, i believe there are only three in the set, i bought them at a used bookstore for under 5 dollars. i bought them over ten years ago, and they are still in easy reach for whenever i need info.
     
  9. rgunzy

    rgunzy New Member

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    This might help.
    I'm headed for the local second hand book store with a list of books suggested online at
    http://www.minifarmhomestead.com/Library/books.htm

    The website also has a lot of usful information. It's how I found this site...:)