We've Got Land!

Discussion in 'Homestead Construction' started by oldtruckbbq, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. oldtruckbbq

    oldtruckbbq Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Southeast Missouri
    The weather has been crazy warm for the most part, so we have taken advantage of that. I'm good with being out all day in 40+ weather, but below that I can't handle more than a couple hours at a time. I have Cold Urticaria and more than a couple hours around or below freezing overpowers my antihistamines and I start breaking out in hives. Before that happens, my nose begins running uncontrollably. Not fun because I actually enjoy the cold weather and when we lived in the Chicago suburbs we owned cross-country skis and spent a lot of time out on the snow.

    The winds charts for the area show that the prevailing winds are from the SSE, which I find puzzling because quite a few trees on the property either have a lean or bend to the E. Those trees, regardless of location, will be cut down because it is only a matter of time before they end up breaking or falling over anyway. Most of the rainstorms that blow through the area sweep from SW to NE. Winter storms come in from the NW. The trees make a noticeable difference in wind intensity, even with the leaves being off the trees. That will all change when finish clearing for the house. Our house will be oriented facing SSE with a shed roof, high side on the front which makes it pretty much a no-go for solar cells. Our garage, which will be about 15 feet from the house, will be oriented with the front facing almost due E, so it will be a good location for future solar panels when we go that way. We have already made a few changes in plans and layout since we started, and I'm sure there will be others as we get closer to having to make the final decision on building locations. One of the good things about clearing the area ourselves is that as we spend more time there and see the area at different times of day, varying degrees of sun/shade, and different amounts of foliage, we get a better feel for where we want things located. Had we gone in on day one with a contractor to clear and start construction, things would look a lot different than they are going to be now.

    It would definitely be easier to hire the clearing done, but we are doing as much grunt work as we can ourselves so we can devote more of our finances to building supplies and construction. The developer has a backhoe and a tractor with a box blade that he uses from time to time to work on drainage. He hired a contractor to clear and construct the roads. That contractor merely pushed trees up against the tree line and left us a mess to have to deal with. I've cut into a few of them to see if there was anything worth salvaging and struck out.

    The pile my wife is walking past is most likely the last burn pile we will be doing. We identified a place where we are going to clear to put our hugulkulture mounds and will begin stacking logs and debris there. Next trip out I'm taking some welded wire fence and T-posts with me to set up an area for a couple compost piles. We will start with leaves and small branches and take appropriate food waste from home to add to it when we go out there. When the contractor removes stumps and scrapes off organic material and topsoil for the road, garage, and house, we will use that to cover the hugulkulture mounds.

    In spite of my efforts, I ended up getting some poison ivy on my right arm. I bought some Tecnu poison ivy and oak scrub and rash relief spray and it seems to be doing a great job of limiting how many bumps are popping up. Definitely better than last month when my right forearm was a solid mass of nasty from wrist to elbow. My wife does not appear to be sensitive at all to poison ivy, so she suggested that I leave anything with poison ivy vine on it to her. Works for me! We are being very careful to keep anything with poison ivy vine off the burn pile. I won't have to worry about it for a few days because my vacation time is over and I'm getting ready to start a string of 10 days, most of them 12 hour days, before my next days off, and that will be the weekend before Christmas and we will be quite busy then.
     
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  2. oldtruckbbq

    oldtruckbbq Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Southeast Missouri
    Wouldn't you know it, the plant closed the week between Christmas and New Year's and the temps have been well below freezing so I haven't spent much time out at the property working. Long Johns and jeans just don't cut it for more than a couple hours when the temp is in the 20's. It really makes a difference when you don't have a place where you can go warm up. Hopefully I'll get some above freezing temps in a couple weeks when I have some time off.

    We paid down several of the bills for 3 surgeries for my wife and 1 for me in the past 3 years, so I've been looking at buying a compact utility tractor. Several manufactures have tractors with front end loaders, 3 point hitch, PTO, and an optional mower deck. I could get the payment around what we were paying on medical bills. I could sure get more work done in the same amount of time with a lot less effort if I had a small tractor with a front end loader. And with a 54" mower deck, I wouldn't be paying out $40 a week for 7 months of the year to get my yard mowed. When I presented the finances to my wife and told her that when we are clearing we could take the tractor to the area, cut stuff to the size to fit into the end loader, and use that to put it on the burn pile instead of dragging it by hand, she thought it sounded like a great idea. And it will sure beat using a come along, straps, and chains to drag logs a few feet at a time.

    I have managed to get a lot of work done on my truck engine though, even if I've had to come in and warm up every couple hours. Hard to wear gloves that will keep you hands warm when you are doing mechanical work.
     
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  3. oldtruckbbq

    oldtruckbbq Well-Known Member

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    Aug 7, 2016
    Location:
    Southeast Missouri
    Finally got a chance to go do some work on the property again over the weekend. Since it was raining Saturday, we took a trip to a building supply surplus and salvage place in a small town about 75 miles away. It was definitely worth the trip. We found doors, cabinets, windows, and bathroom fixtures for half what we would pay in a big box store. Even hardware was cheaper. If only they carried ceramic tile there.

    After all the rain and snow we have had, my wife has decided that she wants tile throughout the whole house. The dogs track in so much sand and dirt that it is doing a number on the hardwood floors in our current house. When I showed here the wood look ceramic tile at the local Menard's she was sold on the idea. I've been keeping my eye out for other surplus and salvage building supply places to see what kinds of deals I can find.

    I'm hoping to get the driveway put in early March. It will be nice to not have to park on the side of the road and tote stuff by hand, especially since our goal is to start putting in the piers for the house foundation in late March or early April.
     
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  4. Steve_S

    Steve_S Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    NE Ontario, Canada
    Oh Oh... your entering the "Hoarding Stage" where your looking at the goodies for the future home, seeing deals and getting antsy to get some for that "vision in the minds eye" secured for use. Where oh where to put it, so it's safe & sound till it can be used. YUP... Can you tell I've been there and done that ? LMAO... Your gonna need a Sea Can or decent shed or something to store the goodies somewhere.

    Lessons Learned Dept. I bought some stuff too early and had to store it, unfortunately stored too long in not best conditions caused some losses (luckily not major). Still a bit disappointing as I hate to waste anything, much rather yard sale it if unneeded that to chuck it cause it's gone punky or whatever.
     
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  5. oldtruckbbq

    oldtruckbbq Well-Known Member

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    Aug 7, 2016
    Location:
    Southeast Missouri
    We resisted the urge to purchase anything. I've done that before too. By the time you rent or purchase a space to store things, you have blown through any savings from the original purchase. Nothing like buying 2400 sq ft of laminate flooring because you found a great deal, then having half of it damaged or destroyed when a storage unit leaks. And don't buy indoor ceiling fans and put them in a storage unit that isn't climate controlled. By the time we took them out of the box, the blades were warped and coming apart. Kind of like Melli's debacle with the free kitchen cabinets.

    I've also resisted the urge to buy tools and equipment I will need later on and restricted myself strictly to items I need right now for the job at hand. But I do look forward to the day when I can put in a locking storage shed so I don't have to tote things back and forth or wonder if things I've left under a tarp on the wood pile will still be there. Needless to say, my chainsaw doesn't stay out there right now.

    It is so hard to window shop and plan for the future. Buying is so much more fun! There isn't much out there today that you won't be able to find somewhere 6 months from now when you need it. And if you are patient, you can always find a deal if you take the time to dig for it.
     
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  6. Steve_S

    Steve_S Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    NE Ontario, Canada
    Yeah, these are some of the Trials & Tribulations aren't they. Window shopping and thinking is fun yet oh so frustrating too... I got turned onto Pinterest which has the upside of many ideas on a theme so if you have an idea / thought, sure as heck someone else has too an pictures are likely on Pinterest. THAT can become addictive and distracting too... fortunately, can also present solutions, options & ideas not considered before which is good... solved some of my stuff that way.

    I'm happy I got the 20' Sea Can but wish I had have gotten a 40' one instead... oh well, should've, could've, would'ves...
     
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  7. oldtruckbbq

    oldtruckbbq Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Southeast Missouri
    Yeah, but if you had a 40' you would want another.
     
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  8. oldtruckbbq

    oldtruckbbq Well-Known Member

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    Aug 7, 2016
    Location:
    Southeast Missouri
    Friday I was off so I spent it out in the woods doing some more clearing. On days when my wife can go with me we can get so much more done. I can cut while she drags stuff to the burn pile. On those days I basically run the saw until it runs out of gas, then start hauling what I have bucked up. Depending on the weather, we should be ready to have a gravel drive put in and the garage and house sites graded by the end of March. I have 3 rollover vacation days to use before the end of March so that will help. Each step closer brings greater resolve and a renewed sense of purpose and excitement.

    Saturday brought freezing rain, so I stayed in town and put a pork loin roast on the smoker. I was anxious to try out my new smoker temperature controller anyway. It worked great and made a real difference in the quality of the end product. We took it to my Dad's and had a family dinner. As much as I love working on our place in the woods, i can't neglect family.

    My wife says she is taking a vacation day on my next 3 day weekend so she can go with me. Works for me, because not only is she good company, but she enjoys working toward the dream too.

    We had thought about doing a concrete slab but have decided to do pier and beam instead. The plan is to buy a compact tractor, and I'm debating on getting it with an auger or buying or renting a hand operated auger. I've seen good prices on both on CL and FB Marketplace.

    Now for 10 days of working the day job until my next weekend off.
     
  9. KansasBead

    KansasBead Active Member

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    Feb 17, 2006
    Congratulations!
     
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  10. Steve_S

    Steve_S Well-Known Member

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    Feb 25, 2015
    Location:
    NE Ontario, Canada
    Good going ! Every step forward is a good step indeed.

    I thought you wanted a Log Cabin, sis you change that idea ? Pier & Beam + Log Cabin, I dunno about that. That's a heck of a lot of weight for piers unless they are seriously huge and then the substructure to go on that to support a log building... longevity might be an issue as well resale ability & values too maybe.
     
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  11. HeavyHauler

    HeavyHauler Well-Known Member

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    Dec 21, 2017
    Right on! I'll be watching this thread with interest too!