BHM's Homesteading & Self-Reliance Forum

Posting requires Registration and the use of Cookies-enabled browser


Go Back   BHM Forum > Homesteading > Homesteading > Your Homestead

Your Homestead Tell and show others with words and pictures how you built or are building your homestead and how you keep things going day-to-day. One thread per member, please.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-23-2012, 05:13 PM
hunter88 hunter88 is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Nebraska
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,989
Default My project

Not really sure if mine should be called a homestead or just my project.

To give a little background I bought 16 acres 12 years ago after my divorce. I put an 1800 square foot manufactured home on the ground and built a 44x90 barn. Went along for a few years with my 3 kids and raising pets, horses, calves, and chickens for eggs. The kids all grew up and moved out so it was me and a little dog.

My oldest daughter and her husband wanted to buy a house, but couldn't really afford much. Plus I knew she would want to live in the country, the only one of the 3 kids that would, and wouldn't be able to afford an acreage. I didn't need or want such a big house anymore, and they were starting a family. So in 2009 a surveyed off the house, barn, and 6 acres and sold it to my daughter and her husband.

That left me with 10 acres for myself, and that is where the project began. First I needed something to live in. The county would not let me buy a single wide house trailer, and a double was too big for what I needed. Oddly enough they would let me build a barn and live in that. Crazy laws sometimes.

One of my customers mentioned their local school was selling some temporary classrooms. Turned out they were not the normal temporary classrooms that break in the middle like a trailer to move. These were stick built, and would require a house mover. After having a contractor friend go out with me and look them over, I decided this was the answer. The classroom was 24x36, and aside from a small bathroom, was just a shell. Problem was I needed to move it over 40 miles. Fortunately since it was a single story we had no power line problems. The move was still going to cost me $11,000. But I was able to buy the classroom for $100.

Here are a couple pictures before we set it on the crawl space. I didn't want a basement, but I made my crawlspace 5 feet tall so it isn't too bad moving around down there to do stuff or store vegetables from the garden.





Aside from the foundation I did about everything myself. Well, except the plumbing, I had some help with that since I wasn't really sure what I was doing.

I tore out all the wiring since it was surface mounted, and rewired the house after I built the interior walls. Basically I split the house in half. One half held the bedroom, bathroom, utility room, and kitchen. The other half got the living room.

I added an 8x18 back deck coming off the utility room, and was planning on a 16x22 covered patio on the west end of the house near the trees. In the end the covered patio turned into a room when I guy gave me the old windows out of his house, and I found some good deals on Craig's List.

Here is the house with the patio added to the west end, and the back deck.





I'll finish this with another post.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-23-2012, 05:16 PM
hunter88 hunter88 is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Nebraska
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,989
Default

The first winter the patio sat open on the west end. Then come spring when I was given the windows, I started the floor and closing it in. Here is where I started.



Today the patio is heated when I need it with an electric garage heater I bought at Menards for $160. I keep it at 45 overnight, and with all the windows the sun will warm it up during the day. Also my wood stove sometimes gets the house too warm, so by opening the door to the patio room I heat it with the wood stove and cool the house at the same time.

I have also added a set of kitchen cabinets and a utility sink. I process most of the meat I get from hunting, making my own sausage, brats, and other stuff, so this way I can do it here instead of the kitchen.

Here's the patio room today, and living room. Both still a work in progress.







This summers project is to add a garage on the east end of the house. My plan is to go out 33 feet. The first 11 feet will be a covered breezeway between the house and garage. Then the garage will be 22 feet wide by 36 feet deep.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-23-2012, 09:15 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Wherever theres liberty.
Posts: 804
Default

that is very resourceful
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-24-2012, 12:03 AM
humbug Female humbug is offline
Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Nevada
Posts: 555
Default

Wow ...looks like it is coming along..did you have to plumb a kitchen..and do the heating system?
__________________
Self Reliance is a state of mind!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-24-2012, 12:57 AM
hunter88 hunter88 is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Nebraska
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,989
Default

The plumbing wasn't too bad. I put a 2x6 wall between the bathroom and utility room. I then put all the water hookups for both rooms inside that wall. Then I only had to run an extra line over for the kitchen. When I put a sink in my patio room I just spliced into the water lines going to the kitchen and ran those to the patio room. By doing it this way all my water lines are either in an inside wall or under the house, so no problem with frozen water lines in the winter by being in an outside wall. I have a small indoor/outdoor thermometer in my living room that connects to the crawl space under the house. From my living room I can monitor the temp under the house to make sure nothing freezes. I'm on my third winter, and so far it's never gotten colder then 42 under there. Usually in the winter it stays 45 to 50, which just happens to be the perfect temp for fermenting some lager beer.

As for heating I put two electric baseboard heaters in the house, but they almost never run. The wood stove heats the house with no problem. Actually too good sometimes. When it's in the upper 30s or 40s outside it would get too warm. But after finishing the patio room, I can now open the sliding glass door that goes to that room and much of the heat goes out there. I do have a 5000 watt electric heater in the patio room so I can heat it up in a hurry if I want to use it. If it's sunny the room warms during the day and if a set the thermostat to 60 when I get home in the afternoon, the heater will come on for a bit. Then if the door is open and the wood stove going, the heater will not kick on again until I close the door and go to bed. At that point I turn the thermostat down to 45.

The stove is one my sister bought back in the 70s. She didn't want to use it anymore so I got it. It is very efficent.



The whole thing was kind of fun to do, and in the end I got a nice place to live for not a lot of money. Of course there were lots of things that came up that saved me some money. My siding came from the contractor I know. He had a guy that wanted to replace his siding because he didn't think it matched his garage. It had only been on his house for 2 months. So they carefully took it off and I got it. I ended up having to buy a little to finish, but it got me by for now. I think down the line I'd like to buy the wood siding made from 2x6 lumber that is rounded on one side to look like logs. I'd like the look of a log cabin, plus it would help insulate better then just plain siding.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-24-2012, 09:55 AM
Ciderman's Avatar
Ciderman Male Ciderman is offline
Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Central Indiana
Posts: 578
Default

That is a really good idea. I am putting that in the back of my memory. I like what you have done. Good job!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-24-2012, 10:57 AM
hunter88 hunter88 is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Nebraska
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,989
Default

The advantage of the portable classroom is you basically just have an open shell. Aside from the small bathroom at one end, which wasn't used at it's last location, it was just one big room. They had a 6x6 beam running the length of the building. At 36 feet and after many years it was sagging some when we got it on site. I jacked it back up, and put some 4x4 posts under it to hold it in place.

If you go back and look at the picture of the living room you can see two of the posts on either side of the TV. The other two posts are hidden inside the walls on either end. Basically it gave me a two foot deep recessed area on the side of the living room where I could put the TV, a desk, and some other stuff.

The totally open shell let me design things the way I wanted. A trailer was probably going to give me a floor plan that wasn't really right for my needs. Another advantage with this classroom was it was stick built. In my county if there is any steel framework under the house it's considered a trailer, and I've found steel under a house affects your ability to get a loan. This classroom has no steel underneath, so I was able to go with standard stick built house regulations, which made things a lot easier.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-24-2012, 11:45 AM
Dennis G Male Dennis G is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 377
Default

That is a really great story - I like the pics a lot!

Congrats on your efforts, and thanks for sharing!

Dennis G
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-25-2012, 03:23 PM
ajk1941 ajk1941 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Central Valley foothills of California
Posts: 34
Default

This is really a great project. I compliment you on doing most of the work yourself.
I hope you will enjoy the fruits of your labor for many years to come...
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-25-2012, 03:59 PM
hunter88 hunter88 is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Nebraska
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,989
Default

When you do things yourself you have to be willing to live with some things not quite finished. I still need to do a lot of trim work inside, but over the past year making the patio room liveable took top priority. And it looks like this year getting the garage in place will be more important then the trim work.

I guess there are only so many hours in the day, and so much money to work with.

I suppose it also helps it's just me and the dog. I've found the dog's not too picky, and there's no wife around to make up honey do lists.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-25-2012, 06:41 PM
warriorwolf47 Male warriorwolf47 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Bedford Co. Pa
Posts: 128
Default

Wow , that's very nice , I like your story !
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-26-2012, 07:51 PM
hunter88 hunter88 is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Nebraska
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,989
Default

Since I heat with wood I try to keep a weeks worth of wood in my patio room. That way if it looks like snow or a good cold snap, I have enough wood to get me by for a while.

My daughter and her husband also heat with wood, but they do burn some propane too since their hours don't allow them to keep the stove going all the time. We usually pile all the wood in their barn and split as needed.

Thought I'd show you my wood hauling cart.



It's actually a golf course maintenance cart, though I did a little work on it to make it a hunting cart as well as a farm maintenance cart. Here it is when I got it.



I raised it up a couple inches and put on bigger tires to get me through the woods and the mud. Plus I had to give it a paint job. Wish I would have gotten one of these years ago. Usually when I get home on Friday, my pickup doesn't get started till Monday because I use the cart for everything I do. I'd been running without a top, but I had an older top laying around from another cart, so I decided to add it to this cart. Now I'd like to close it in so it's a little warmer during the winter. Come spring I'll have to take the top off so I can paint it to match the cart.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-26-2012, 08:32 PM
MarshaAnn Female MarshaAnn is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Western PA
Posts: 13
Default

I love it!!! You did a wonderful job!!

MarshaAnn
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-27-2012, 07:27 AM
William William is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: E. Texas
Gender: Male
Posts: 23
Default

Very nice and you made it very interesting in telling the story.

Look forward to hearing more as time goes by.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-28-2012, 02:02 AM
Prepper27's Avatar
Prepper27 Male Prepper27 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Ohio
Posts: 17
Default

That is a neat story.

The pictures really help tell the story.

You have done a wonderful job.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 01-28-2012, 10:02 AM
Ciderman's Avatar
Ciderman Male Ciderman is offline
Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Central Indiana
Posts: 578
Default

Great pictures and gives me a chance to think outside the box.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01-28-2012, 11:45 AM
hunter88 hunter88 is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Nebraska
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,989
Default

Saved some images from Google Earth.

The first one is the whole 16 acres I originally purchased in 2000. The yellow line shows the property lines. The red line shows how I split the land with the original house, barn, and 6 acres. Then my new place closer to the trees and the 10 acres.



Here is one a little closer on the buildings. It's scary what the satellites can see. If you look below my house you can see the garden, the picture is from 2010. Towards the center of the garden is a green area, which would be my potato plants. And just to the left of them is something light colored in the garden, I'm going to assume that is me. Can't think of anything I would have just left sitting in the garden, and I doubt a deer would have been visiting in the middle of the day. Usually by midafternoon shadows are creeping across my backyard, and you can just start to see shadows near the trees. So I'm guessing the photo was taken right around lunch time, and it says on 6-28-2010.

Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 01-28-2012, 12:07 PM
Jimmy7114 Male Jimmy7114 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 54
Default

Very inspiring - hoping to do something very similar in north-central Washington State within ten years of retiring from the military (less than 2 years to go!!!).
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 05-23-2012, 07:09 PM
hunter88 hunter88 is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Nebraska
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,989
Default

Thought maybe I should update this a little.

Looks like the garage and covered patio may have to hold off till next year. Had to pay more taxes this year then last. But with luck I still may get a start on it this fall, we'll see.

I did build a small 10x13 building to house my chickens and give me a bit of backyard storage. Bought some chicks this spring to start my laying hen brood up again, looking forward to eggs again this fall.



Even though things warmed up earlier this spring, it sure seems like the garden has had an odd growing year so far. Some things seem to do good, and others seem so slow.

The stuff over the potato rows and around the pepper and tomato plants is sawdust. I put down newspaper first and cover with sawdust. A little water on top and you have a crust to hold it all down. By next spring the newspaper will easily disk in.



My June bearing strawberries are almost done for the year. So far I've gotten 5 ice cream buckets full, and I'm hoping to get one more before I'm done. I'm going to have to thin the patch later this year. I might start another patch with the ones I'm thinning out.

So do I wait till fall to thin, or can I do that at any time now that the strawberries are done for the year?
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 05-23-2012, 07:34 PM
bookwormom bookwormom is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 5,546
Default

Once the new plants have roots enough to grow on their own you can start a new bed. At least that is how I have done it in the past and that worked well. By next season they should be bearing.

Thanks for posting, I got a kick out of it. Little schoolhouse on the prairie. Great job.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -2. The time now is 05:38 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 1996 to Present. Backwoods Home Magazine, Inc.