Well & Septic Cost??

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by rambler, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here in Minnesota you can't use a shallow well in my area, wells are about 230-260 feet deep. About $10,000 - 12,000 to have water flowing out the pipe.

    We also cannot do our own septic system, needs a licenced person. It is difficult to do anything other than a mound system, so about $8-10,000 for a working (if you can call them that) system with all the pumps & such.

    Going to depend where you live, can't answer your questions without that info.

    --->Paul
     
  2. coventry49

    coventry49 Well-Known Member

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    South Central Montana, foothills of the Beartooth
    I paid $10 per foot about 25 years ago. I am having a new place built this spring and the well is costing $25 per foot. I feel fortunate because the other wells in my specific area are only about 50 feet deep. Lots of wells are over 200 feet deep. Don't forget the casing, well pump and water line to your house. Oh, yeah, the presure tank, too.

    My septic system, designed by the county engineer (That's required in my county), is for a 3 BR house. It will run about $3200 for the tank, drain field and house connection.

    Hope for your sake, you can get yours cheaper.
     

  3. NikiandAlex

    NikiandAlex Member

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    First of all.... :waa:

    Secondly, my property is around Lynchburg, VA. I was thinking about a rainwater harvesting system, if the well was too expensive...which it seems like it would be. Anyone have one of those? Would it provide enough water for me and any animals (goats, maybe a horse, chickens, etc.)?

    Third, I'm trying to find the approx. cost per sq. ft. of home construction. I want to build a little cabin to start and then use it as a guest house once we build a bigger house. But searching online is such a hassle for me! I can never seem to find what I want. What I've heard seems to be far off the mark so far, but I heard it was $40 a while ago and that seems high. Maybe that figure was if you didn't build it yourself.

    Thanks!
     
  4. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    Montana is much like Minn. we drilled a 380 foot dry hole for only $8000.00 last summer. Going rate here for a well with casing is 26.00 per foot, add to that trenching, piping, pressure tanks etc and you are looking at 30 bucks a foot to get water coming out of your faucet!
     
  5. shorty'smom

    shorty'smom Well-Known Member

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    northern Oklahoma
    Check with the county to see about permits you will need and if they've got to come and do a perk test. Most installers won't come do an installation unless you give them that paper. Our septic system, digging, tank and lagoon (we didn't pass the perk test) was 3000 even. That was actually a reasonable price when we shopped around. Are you a backhoe or dozer operator? If you are, then you may be able to do your own digging. I like my system because it is trouble free. We had a system at another location that didn't perk very well, we had to double the lateral line. It was more trouble than this lagoon. Our lagoon rarely had an odor. Keep the trees from growing over it.
     
  6. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) This seems to be a matter of where you live as to what things cost. An engineer put our septic in and it was $2100 dollars and that included everything. This place had a cesspool when we bought it and I wasn't going to live with that!

    So, he also filled in and leveled the old cesspool too for that price. Used much of the dirt from where the septic is now.

    Can't help with the Well question as ours was already here.

    Good luck, I know in some areas things are really expensive!

    LQ
     
  7. DAVID In Wisconsin

    DAVID In Wisconsin Well-Known Member

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    There are many, many variables in the cost of home construction. If you were very careful and built it yourself, you might slide by with the $40.00 per square foot mentioned.

    Our well here ran about $4500.00 about 6 years ago. The septic system is old and I keep my fingers crossed for it. Now, it would require a mound system. That would set us back at least ten grand in this area.
     
  8. Helena

    Helena Well-Known Member

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    I know in our area of PA most of the time now they..the county..want you to have a "mound septic". Something about the land not perc-ing or something ?? Guess water won't drain...anyways...Anything you get is going to be pricey. Can you have a leach field for all of your gray water and go with a compost toilet?? Have friends that use compost toilets and I really think they are great !! If anything goes wrong with our old septic that is the way I would go. Now...our septic ONLY takes the toilet water. Not ALL of everything from the house which I think many people have done to their septic. The rest goes outside ..gray water..which is sink water, bath and washer..into the leach fields. I use a wringer washer so I conserve on the water usage and the amount of water that goes outside. In the summer I put the wringer on the deck and let it run out into the flower gardens. Look into the compost toilets please...I think you will be "pleasantly" surprised. Now our well is 250' deep. Great water..thank goodness..but since we have a couple of new neighbors on our road in the last 10 years..great people...I have noticed our water is now hard..so perhaps our water table has dropped some. But never..thank goodness ..a problem with the well all these many years. It is expensive to drill a well...can you have a gravity fed well on your property..any spring on your land ?? How about rainwater..or buying drinking water as my family did for sometime up in Canada near Lake Erie..not little bottles of water but tank trucks full. Also...some people don't believe in them but how about getting someone to "water witch" for a well for you. You might be surprised about using such a person ..but the alternative is just to take a chance on hitting water wherever the drilling team thinks their is water. Look into that also..ask around with some of the old timers. If nothing else it will be educational and will be an experience. Good Luck
     
  9. NikiandAlex

    NikiandAlex Member

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    Lynchburg, VA
    One important thing for us is the resale value of what will be a developed farm. We bought what we could afford now, in hopes that we would be able to afford what we want in a few years.
    So, I have looked into the compost toilets and think some people would find them, um, well, gross. I like the idea too, but everyone I've mentioned it too expresses ill feelings. Our land is guanteed to perk, so that shouldn't be a problem.
    The rainwater harvesting is an idea for us to entertain. But, again, I don't want prospective buyers to be offputted by what isn't viewed as normal utilities.
    In my perfect world, I would have a compost toilet and some of my gray water would drain into my flowers or garden. I am absolutely willing to put the work into a completely self-contained homestead. Solar power and everything. But with my first property I have to look at what people would be willing to buy. Do you all think people looking to buy a little farm would go for "interesting" utility options?
     
  10. FolioMark

    FolioMark In Remembrance

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    illinois but i have a homestead building in missou
    Only 60 feet down isnt very deep for a well in my area. I wish mine could be so shallow. My neighbors is about 140 feet so im not looking forward to digging my own well. Septic should cost about 1500 Im told.

    NIKKI AND ALEX: I know you are busy with all kinds of projects and I dont know how well you know the Lynchburg area, but if you get a spare moment once good weather is here, let me urge you to go pay a visit to Thomas Jeffersons lesser known home at Poplar Forest. Jefferson built Poplar Forest as a retreat from the constant company at Monticello. Back then Bedford County was about as rural as you could get and Jefferson could escape there and get some peace and quiet. Its a fascinating octogon shaped house in the process of being restored. Its full of wonderful ideas for country living and Im sure you would find it of interest.

    http://www.poplarforest.org/ thats the official website with directions from Lynchburg. Good luck.
     
  11. jgbndaudio

    jgbndaudio Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    New York
    Hello,

    I've been asking myself the same question, over and over, for more than a year. I'm also in my first home and it's not all I want but it's what I have now. Since there's no guarantee of the future, I'm doing everything I want to this house, I'm not worried that anything I do will affect the resale value.

    Not having any idea what the status of our septic is if it were to suddenly fail and they do do that (no pun intended). I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a non-water based toilet to put in until I could get a new septic system installed for a non-emergency price. If and when I did get the new septic I could either keep or sell the alternate toilet. In fact for an addition we like to put on another BR and bath and since it’ll only the second (less used) bathroom we’re definitely going to put in a non-water toilet.

    Also, these are different example but I've built an oil burner to burn WVO and heat the outdoor uncovered deck. If the time comes to sell the house and they don't want it I'll take it out and take it with me, but in the meantime it's keeping my deck warm and toasty when I use it. Before next winter I hope to enclose part of the deck with a green house made from all recycled glass. I'm also planning on setting up a water reclamation system even though I have a well. Again, if they don't want it, I'll gladly take it with me. Besides by the time I sell this place, these things will have paid for themselves many times over.

    Another thing I'm doing is keeping records of what this house costs to run per month. I've made a lot of improvements so far and plan to make more. It’s my belief that if you show someone that a particular property can run for X dollars a month and then show them what the average person would pay for the same property, as long as it doesn't sacrifice their comforts they will actually pay a premium.

    Scotty

    PS. I've become a lot more urgent about getting as self-sustaining as quickly as possible since seeing this guy, giving this speech.
    http://www.kunstler.com/spch_hudson.htm
     
  12. NikiandAlex

    NikiandAlex Member

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    I usually don't understand options until they smack me in the face, but what you said about having a non-water based toilet made me realize that we could buy something other then a total septic system and dig a well just to get us living out there. We have an RV we planned to live in after we installed the well and septic before we built, but if building a little cabin w/ alternant utilities would be the same or cheaper then installing both of them right now, I'd rather live out there asap and save up for utilites once we get stationed. I'm not sure that anyone would buy a used toilet, but I'm in Richmond, VA now and the city is getting to me so I'd be willing to waste that money.
     
  13. coalroadcabin

    coalroadcabin Well-Known Member

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    check the cost of 2X's, plywood, roofing material, siding, insulation, block work, plumbing fixtures, drywall, cabinetry, lighting, etc....even if you do all of the work yourself, I really think $40 a square foot is on the very very lowest end of the price scale-you would have to come across some exceptionally great deals on supplies or be willing to live with 'salvaged' materials to be able to build a home for $40/sq ft. here in VA.
     
  14. NikiandAlex

    NikiandAlex Member

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    Lynchburg, VA
    That sure seems like that's a lot of money if we do all the building ourselves. Like I said, my fiancee (I dunno what DH means?) is in construction and at the end of a job they just toss stuff that we would beg for, so maybe he could just get some of it for free. Cross your fingers....
     
  15. coalroadcabin

    coalroadcabin Well-Known Member

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    NikiandAlex,
    as far as $$$ goes, be sure to check w/ your local health department and building office. permits ususally don't run very high (for us here in Augusta County, VA we have budgeted $1000 for permits and inspections for the house we will be building) I have heard of some areas of the U.S. where the permit fees are 10X what we have budgeted :eek: . You also need to check your local zoning-where we are going to build you cannot build a house smaller than 900 sq feet without a special waiver from the county AND if you decide to go with the mobile home option, you cannot place one that was built before 1996. our county also reserves the right to require you to have engineered (stamped) blueprints which can run into big bucks! all of these costs add to the price per square foot.

    edited to add: I am not trying to sound negative here- but while re-reading my post I realized that, that's what it sounds like- but I have been looking at the cost to build for about 5 years now, and I just figured that if you have a little heads up, you wouldn't get sticker shock like I did :)
     
  16. NikiandAlex

    NikiandAlex Member

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    It doesn't sound negative at all. I want to know exactly what I can and cannot do. I know it takes forever to get through all the gov't regulations, but this land is unrestricted. I made sure that meant we could put up a yurt, a tiny cabin, or a mansion if we wanted. I think, at this point, we will just build the smallest, livable thing we can with alternative utilites until we can afford to build/install what would be sellable. Thanks for all of your advice!
     
  17. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    I've got to agree with coalroad here... you've GOT to find out what is required in your area before you do any planning. It may very well be that parking your RV on your own property and living in it is...

    illegal in your county!

    Seriously. It is in my town. As is a gray water system.. illegal in the whole state!

    What the town/county/state allow you to do is often widely at variant with what a bank allows. Banks don't make loans on things they can't sell. And they can't sell composting toilets. So if your plan is to build a small place with a composting toilet, and it is legal in your area to do it, AND you can pay cash... go for it. But if you need a bank loan you're going to have to comply with the bank's requirements as well.

    Life... it just keeps getting more and more complex!
     
  18. TheBlueOne

    TheBlueOne Well-Known Member

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    Michigan
    Here in MI a well runs $3000-4000, septic $6000 & up.
    In my county the well & septic has to be inspected before the house is sold. If there are any problems the sale is off until the problems are fixed by the current owner. There have been problems in the past with people putting in "alternative" systems and screwing up the ground water/streams/rivers, etc.
    Only consider an "alternative" if you're never planning on moving. A perspective buyer may be okay with it (?????) but the bank/mortgage company will not. It is there money actually buying the property and an "alternative" system destroys liquidity (as well as the envirement).
     
  19. coalroadcabin

    coalroadcabin Well-Known Member

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    I had to smile at this one--sounds like my county too. Our land is 7 miles down a gravel forestry road and surrounded by the Natl Forest, but our county won't let us park an RV on our property to live in while we build..........even though there are public campsites everywhere up and down our road. :no: Our land is zoned GA (general agriculture) but they won't let us build a pole barn until we have our house started. Sometimes I wonder who makes up these rules. :rolleyes:
     
  20. NikiandAlex

    NikiandAlex Member

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    I'm from Michigan too! From a tiny little village of about 30 people called Sylvester, right in the middle of Big Rapids, Mt. Pleasant, and Greenville. I think that's where I got all my information on what it would cost to install a well and septic, so I wasn't all that nervous, but all the horror stories I hear now give me pause.
    What I'm planning to do now is get estimates on well and septic in this area. If they're more then the cost of a little cabin w/ alternative utilities, I'll build the alternative cabin and save up for "regular" utilites in order to get a good resale value. That sounds like a good plan. Thanks for all your helpful advice!