Priorities....

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by oz in SC, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Or what to do first once you own the land. :)

    I am sure this has been posted a million times but still. :haha:

    We have land in NC that is partially cleared(mainly 'roads' pushed through to the corners so we can actually SEE what is there) and has a driveway cut in.It is about 300 miles away from our present location.

    There is power to the property line.

    Thats about it.

    So what should be done first?

    Open to anything but we have thought of the following:

    Land fully cleared of all the brush we don't want and ground sown for pasture.

    Well drilled.

    Power run to a temporary(or permananet if possible) pole.

    Fence the perimeter.

    Have driveway fully finished(it is clay right now but is passable)

    Septic installed.

    Foundation/basement put in.

    Cabin shell/shelter/modular put on land(we have nowhere to stay and it eats up $$$ staying at a hotel and eating out for every meal...)

    Barn with loft apartment.

    So what to do..... :D
     
  2. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    from the feminine perspective: get electric first, then water!
     

  3. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    first you need a place to get out of the weather thats what we did while we were working on the house every 3 days we got a room to shower and ours is a little farther then yours its 1100 miles from where we live our next trip is sat. we will stay 2 weeks long days
     
  4. milkstoolcowboy

    milkstoolcowboy Farmer

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    You've got the land, so you've got a place to stay. A canvas tarp or tent, some cookin' gear or mess kit and you can bring in the rest.

    I'd say first thing is to pick out your building site and then level/grade this site to prepare for building. You have to know where you're going to build house and outbuildings so you know where to drill well, run in electric service.

    Beyond that, we don't know when you're planning to go up there, whether you're going for good, what livestock you want to have and when.

    I suppose that for the big ticket items like drillin' the well and building the house, your timetable is going to be dictated by your finances.

    If you've got the property lines freshly-cleared, it would be easier to build that fence, but it doesn't sound like you've got anything to fence in.

    With a pickup full of hand tools, a chain saw, a tractor and a flatbed wagon, you could do a lot of clearing brush, building fence and site prep. Get a used portable generator and you could go a long time without electric. Say you go up most every weekend, bust your tail and take two weeks vacation each year in good weather, you could make real good headway in a couple years.
     
  5. snoozy

    snoozy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you were in this county, the first thing you do is get a septic design done, because the septic designer is the one who decides where the well is going to go. You have to know where you are going to build or place your house. Then you get the well drilled. ($$) Then you get the building site leveled, your building plan done and off to the county building dept, and wait. Meanwhile, camp on the land and get to know it and have a good pot of tea on a Sunday afternoon on it and envision your garden. :)
     
  6. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think the first thing I would do, since you plan to build new, would be to set up a shed of some sort. If you don't have time to put something together, buy one of the Amish sheds, delivered for free. I have a 10x16 that two adults could easily "live" in temporarily. Then when the home is built, you have a very nice storage shed or animal building. A mattress, a small table and 2 chairs, a stand that could hold a 2 burner campstove, lantern, and a large container of water, and you could even hang a curtain in the corner and set up a camping toilet (or 5 gallon bucket).

    The power is already there, all you have to do is have the power company come to bring the line to your new home. But you can't run the pump to the well without power. I had my well drilled and septic put in within a week of each other. Then I had the mobile home delivered and set up, and the electric run. (Back up--the driveway and gravel pad were put in when the septic was).

    You are going to love your new place, but just remember it will take years to get it the way you want it.
     
  7. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

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    My power company won't even run a temporary pole until they see you are doing something in the way of building, i.e. clearing and leveling the site, driveway in, etc. Also, the county requires the septic be put in before a building permit can be issued.
     
  8. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    Like Milkstool said, everything will pretty much be dictated by your finances. After you figure out where your house, barn, etc. will go, like Snoozy said: figure out where the septic and well will be. Talk with some drillers and installers; make sure it will perk and flow, etc. Then concentrate on getting your shelter set up. Tents are OK for a week or two, and a small shed will do in a pinch. But believe me, you will be much more willing to stay for an extended period and get the work done if you are comfortable. Been there, done that. This means a bathroom, shower, water, electricity, and a decent place to cook and sleep. A barn with a loft apt. is a great idea to me. I would do this BEFORE starting the serious work of clearing the land, fencing, etc.
     
  9. boxwoods

    boxwoods Well-Known Member

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    Two things really important

    1. Locate the plot for the home and take into consideration the direction the sun will be traveling
    2. make sure its compatible with a septic system

    other concerns:

    distance from power lines
    location for a well
    any water or drainage problems

    Then the fun starts
     
  10. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Okay sorry forgot a few things-we have a homesite cleared..well it was already a small clearing and the dozer guy made it bigger.We will be moving up there permanently in the next two years or so.

    We plan to finish this house off in SC and sell it and rent in town(It is cheaper to rent here than to own due to insurance costs-Hurricanes and flood plains :rolleyes: ) so we would be able to put a good bit of money into the land IF all goes well.

    As to staying in a tent,while it is possible,it might not be the best thing in terms of marital bliss :haha: .

    The dozer guy also does septic and foundations so when the time comes we will most likely have him do it and he will also know others in the area to do other jobs(well drilling for example).We got a rough estimate on a well at about $3500 all included-water just bubbles out the ground up there :D

    Septic system should not be a problem as the land is high,much higher than here where you can dig a hole and hit water at 4 feet.

    There is no zoning in the county but for some reason they are trying to pass zoning laws..hopefully we can get going BEFORE that happens :D

    It DOES make us VERY happy to stand on the land and think of the possibilities :D

    Snoozy,I even got Mrs oz to try hot tea so you never know :haha: (Southerners think tea is supposed to be served with ice in it :eek: )

    We have gone round and round AND round about what to do as far as shelter and can't decide what to do.

    Went looking at campers this past weekend and for the money they are JUNK it seems.

    There are plenty of companies that sell cabin shells up there and this would get a roof over ou heads and we could have it finished as we get the money...

    OR we could go the barn/garage/loft apartment route....

    Thanks for ALL the replies,it helps to get other peoples ideas.
     
  11. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    Fences can be more important than is immediately obvious. Even if you don't have things to fence on, you have things to fence out. Your orchard won't last long if someone's cattle wander in. However, from what I hear of the USA, you'd want to be there to protect your fencelines from trespassing hunters. It might be an idea to clear the fencelines a couple of years before you fence, just so people get used to the idea of where your boundaries are. However, you sure don't want them getting used to going through your fences while you're not there to stop them.

    Before you start much else you need a secure storage shed of some description. Without it anything - building supplies, tools, fencing wire - is likely to walk away while you're not there. Consider laying things out during building so that everything of significance can be covered by two (so you've got a spare) of those motion-sensing deer cameras.
     
  12. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    Don has some good points. A storage container makes a good, secure, water-tight and vermin-proof place to store your tools and other valuables. And I let my neighbors know that I have some wildlife cams and other devices around. So far (after 4 years), no problems (except for those pesky trespassing neighbors hunting on part of my land a couple of months ago).
     
  13. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    from my feminine perspective, i want water first!! LOL!! i can do without electric, but i want water to wash with.:)
     
  14. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    i agree.

    your best bet is to spend as much time as possible actually living ON the place. camping is an excellent way to do this. invest in a good water proof tent and tarps, and an air mattress. the rest you can make do with from home. the land itself will tell you what goes where. by being there as much as possible, you will soon notice which way the sun hits in in all seasons, and tims of day, which place is the warmest in winter, and what parts of the house you want to be there. you will see how the water runs off after a heavy rain, and avoid planting your garden there. or your well. or your basement. or your septic. or your driveway. stuff like that. you can try and plan ahead all you like, and it is fun to do. but if you mean for this place to be a permanent home, you will be a lot happier with it 20 years down the road, if you take the time to learn these things before you actually build anything.

    my .02.
     
  15. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    Just a word of caution: while high ground is good, there are other factors that go into deciding whether a site "perks" (percolates). For instance, soil with a lot of clay in it may not perk!

    Here's what I would recommend doing, in order:

    1. Figure out where you want to put the house.

    2. Find out if there's a charge to get electricity in and make sure you can afford it. (This could affect where you decide to build.)

    3. Next, find out what your county requires for a septic permit (usually it's a perk test). Have the test done and once it's okayed, get a well driller in.

    In short, make sure you have electricity, water and septic available at your home site BEFORE you start building anything!

    I have been where you're at right now, and it's fun, isn't it?! :)

    (Not sure I'd want to go through ALL that work again, though!) :haha:

    (Well I'm getting kind of long in the tooth to be starting from scratch again.) ;)

    Hubby #2 and I built a pole barn first, put a cement floor in it, insulation, drywall, lights, utility tub and shower stall, and lived in it while we built the house. Afterwards it became his workshop ... worked out real good.
     
  16. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I say if they'll survive (ie won't dry up and die or get deer eaten because you aren't there enough) put int your fruit trees and otehr slow to get productive things.
     
  17. MikeD

    MikeD Well-Known Member

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    Somewhere in your design process you might want to take a look at SIP panels for home construction and pre poured concrete foundations. If you WANT to build everything yourself the two may not be for you. IF, however, you want a solid, weathertight, energy efficient shell up fairly quickly I'd recommend taking a look at the two and see just how cost effective they are for you.
     
  18. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Well actually I just talked to a company that sells panelised homes...

    Also talked to a modular home builder about a new line of log cabin style homes.

    Thanks for the replies. :D
     
  19. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Have the land witched for water so you know your choice(s) to put the well. If you drill the well first you will know if you get water on the first try, or the second, or the third... Once you know where the well is you can stake out the rest of the property. Then get a temporary electric, if possible.