ROCKY land?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Cygnet, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm looking at an acre in the area where I want to move that's a good price, and has a private water company (no well! yay!) power, phones, and cable tv (high speed internet!!!! yayyyy!!!.)

    Catch is? It's really rocky. REALLY rocky. Sandstone cobbles the size of basketballs everywhere.

    The immediate "pro" I see is that I'll have no shortage of building materials for walls, raised garden beds, etc. Also, there's not much chance of my pickup getting mired up to the running boards in wet sand, as has happened to me where I live now.

    The immediate "con" I see is that digging post holes or driving t-posts will probably require a bit more muscle than I'm used to -- my CURRENT lot is pure sand. Anything else requiring digging will be an issue as well.

    Sigh. It took me TWO HOURS to get home last night. The freeway I'm commuting on has reached critical mass in Phoenix -- growth has reached the point where what used to take 55 minutes to an hour is taking twice that because the traffic is unreal. I've got to move before I go insane. There will NEVER be much growth in the direction I'm looking because it's 99% national forest and reservation land and all the private land is almsot entirely built out. And I suspect for that reason, lots in this area will escalate in value. (Plus, there's almost nowhere else commuting distance to Phoenix that has big trees and running water for this price.)

    Regarding the rocks, what issues should I be aware of that might add cost to putting a house on the lot? They're loose, and bedrock looks like it's pretty deep down, so I don't think levelling a pad for a foundation will be all that hard.

    Leva
     
  2. edcopp

    edcopp Well-Known Member

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    Rocks are pretty permanent. They will most likely be around when you are dead and gone, so have a plan to live with them. Don't fight them just use them for your advantage. :dance:
     

  3. speedfunk

    speedfunk Rock On

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    I'm not sure about the area's septic regulation or maybe you have sewage lines running by your house that you can pipe into. However it might be a good idea to do a perk....if it's gravelly like you said you might have no prob. if you git a rock ledge a foot down..built up system time..which means anywhere from 4k -20k...now maybe arizona is alot more lax...I live in the 2nd most regulated state NY...so good luck i hope it works out for you. Other then that you would have a great draining driveway.
     
  4. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree with the earlier posters. Use the rocks for things that you have mentioned like walls, raised beds, and landscaping. Make sure you can get a septic system in place though...and water (but it sounds like you have that figured out). Sorry about your commute, and I can understand your woes. My farm is 45 miles from Atlanta, and the commute once took less than an hour. Now it is twice that. So, buy your land now before someone else does!!
     
  5. crashy

    crashy chickaholic goddess

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    We live in a rocky area you just get used to it...everyone around us had a rock pile you just deal with it. Rototilling is really hard bounces on rocks.
    We rented a heavy duty trench digger and broke the digger part because of rocks I am so glad we bought the insurance.
    They can be a pain but sounds like where you are living now is worse.
     
  6. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ah, good point on septic.

    Gila county has some regulations that'd make New York look lax. I'm sure they're picky about septic. I suspect it would perk fine, but it's close to groundwater, so they may be especially picky.

    Leva
     
  7. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    so if you are talking gila county is towards casa grande or flagstaff or winkleman from phoenix. i have lived in glendale and a couple of other phoenix places and i could not stand the traffic even 20 years ago! rocks are part of the planet, we have bed rock here, have to blast if you want a basement, which in arizona would be a wonderful thing to have during the summer. if this acre is at all workable for you - snatch it up. you can always do a compost toilet if you cant do one of the new fangled septic systems. just make sure they are up front with you about this piece of land and all its "issues"! best of luck!
     
  8. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm looking at the Gisela area. Bitty town with a population of about 500 between Payson and Phoenix.

    Leva
     
  9. Ozarks_1

    Ozarks_1 Well-Known Member

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    Everybody's offered some very good advice so far, but nobody has touched on the 'planting T-posts' issue - so I will.

    It's not a big deal to plant T-posts in solid rock. It's actually rather simple if you think outside the box:

    Get your T-posts and take the little metal 'wing' off, leaving just the post. Then go to your local rental place and rent a hammer drill with a long (18" or so) 2" diameter masonry bit and a smaller one for a pilot hole.
    Drill your pilot holes, followed by the 2" hole to depth ... you will need to keep the bit wet as you're drilling. After you have your holes drilled, clean them out with a shop vac. Fill the hole with something like QuikCrete and drop the T-post in ... give it a few days and string your fence.

    Just make sure you don't plan on moving those posts!

    I've planted many T-posts using this method.
     
  10. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Thats a good idea on the drill,I will file that gem away.

    BooBoo
     
  11. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    If it's loose rocks (not solid) you could probably have someone come in with a rock rake (or rent one yourself) and just pile the rocks where you want to use them.

    I've used a rock rake (mounted on a large tractor) on smaller areas (say 100 feet by 300 feet) and it worked great.

    Mike
     
  12. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Great tip ... :) I spotted t-post driving as an issue right away. I'm used to driving them in sand loose enough that in some areas all I have to do is jump up and down on the "wings" and the t-post goes right in. Of course, it doesn't always STAY in -- I've got a goat who simply bowls them over if he feels like.

    Might be worth buying that rocky lot just to watch Einstein's expression the first time he rammed a t-post cemented :nana: into solid rock.

    Leva

     
  13. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Then you can say "Good move EINSTEIN" :nana:

    BooBoo
     
  14. TnAndy

    TnAndy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Considering the population explosion in Arizona, I be way more concerned about my water than the rocks. I'd be checking into how secure the water source was for that private company. Water may get to be like liquid gold there not too far down the road.

    Your "yea !!" on not having a private well could turn into a nightmare on the price of water under someone else's control.

    Just a thought.
     
  15. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    build your fences from rock... youl clear the land in no time and have good fences.

    no posts needed.
     
  16. mountainman_bc

    mountainman_bc Well-Known Member

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    I paid extra to live on a dyked floodplain which floods sometimes, rather than deal with rocky ground . Goats may be ok, but it's no good for grazing (gets ruined and won't grow back), veggie gardening will always be a fight. In my opinion it just isn't worth living in a spot like that unless you don't plan to grow/graze anything.
     
  17. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    *LOL* Let's just say Einstein's name was NOT given as a compliment. Bit of sarcasm there. A dumb stunt -- iirc he tried to butt a dog, the dog ducked, and he fell into the water trough instead -- and a comment from a neighbor, "Good move, Einstein!" was exactly how he got his name!

    There are smart goats, and then there's Einstein, who's not. He's sort've the goat equivalent of a schoolyard bully -- all brawn, no brains.

    Leva