suitable housing for the homesteader

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by crwilson, Feb 20, 2005.

  1. crwilson

    crwilson Well-Known Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    hey folks for those of you who read a few days ago i wanted to build a log cabin, but now im considering building a smaller cordwood house probably 12 X 15 with a stone foundation and living in it for a few years, and if i like it build a bigger one off to the side and have that as my tool/storage shed... I think that building a well built cordwood house would be easier then a well built log cabin. As well as probably warmer.. so if anyone can give me information on this type of houseing that would be a great help, as well as links... Originally i thought that you should use hardwood, but i hear softwoods are actually better, should i go with spruce and fir? i have plenty of those trees.

    Oh yeah the site i have selected was actually an old homestead probably built in the mid to late 1800s and there is still a stone foundation there, as well as a stone well. the well is all but closed in would it be possible to dig this back out, or would the water not likely be there anymore? the well actually had water about 20 years ago but my dad filled it in to keep cattle and kids from falling in.

    im so excited about this.. I really want to homestead, and raise pretty much all my own food.. the best thing is im not really that far from civilization like a 10 minute walk to a small village, but its a pretty private place with lots of nice feilds, a brook and lots of woods wich is starting to grow back pretty good after being cut 20 years ago. i want to be as completely self sufficient as i can, and the only reall conveniences i want are electric lights from hydro power and possibly a freezer if i can generate enough electricity... health care is free here in canada, so i dont need to wory about it if i ever get sick.... i hope i can grow fruit trees where im at, i know i can grow apples, but i live in a zone 5/6 so i should also be able to grow pears and possibly some plums and peaches in a green house. against my camp....

    i have 30 acres or more to work with but will probably only use 5 or 6 to start with cuz my dad still hays most of the acerage that im going to eventually use. but hes gonna be done farming in a couple of years.

    anyways thanks for reading this and if you can give me on the cordwood houses, thankyou in advance
  2. FolioMark

    FolioMark In Remembrance

    May 10, 2002
    illinois but i have a homestead building in missou
    CR: Heres the best site I know about cordwood building. What this guy dont know aint worth knowing. This is an ongoing site about building his own cord wood house. Your place sounds just perfect. I wish I lived within walking distance of a little town myself as I dont drive, but Im thinking about a donkey cart to get me down to the nearest village, about a 3 mile drive. Good luck.

  3. dreadstalker

    dreadstalker Well-Known Member

    Dec 22, 2004
    central nebraska
  4. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

    Sep 13, 2004
    Middle of nowhere along the Rim, Arizona
    On the well, your best bet would probably just to sink a new well. An old dug well of that era is going to be shallow and won't extend much below the water line -- meaning it'd be prone to going dry. Plus, cleaning it out will be a pain in the butt and DANGEROUS because if you have to go into the well, you may well find that whatever it was lined with has degraded over the years. Prime candidate for a collapse. Then when you get it cleared out, it'll be prone to contamination. Don't risk your life -- have someone put in a modern well.

    For what it's worth, my grandparents were sharecroppers in the 1930's -- worked with teams of horses, lived in a house Abraham Lincoln had stayed at during the 1860's -- and they had an old dug well, the kind you dropped a bucket in, according to gramma. Even THEN, they were so concerned about contamination with germs that they got drinking water from a neighbor or boiled the water. They used the well for wash water and for the stock, but got their drinking water from someone with a deeper, safer, well.

  5. cchapman84

    cchapman84 Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 2003
    Any info you can get from Rob Roy at Earthwood is great (don't have the link handy, but if you do a Google search it should show up, earthwood building school is a good search). I've read a couple of his books, and they're really informative. We're planning on building a cordwood house in a couple years, 24" thick walls with a 12" insulative cavity (wool insulation), probably a slate roof and a full basement. I'm hoping to mill all of the dimensional lumber we'll need (for interior framing, roof framing, timber frame and flooring) with a chainsaw mill. I've read up on the subject quite a bit, so if you have any particular questions, feel free to PM me.

    Cameron in VT