BHM's Homesteading & Self-Reliance Forum

Posting requires Registration and the use of Cookies-enabled browser


Go Back   BHM Forum > Self-Reliance & Preparedness > Hands-on > Building/Tools

Building/Tools Anything to do with construction, remodeling, etc.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-12-2014, 06:52 PM
swampcedars's Avatar
swampcedars Male swampcedars is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 111
Default Anyone Breaking Ground?

Just wondering if anyone was in the process of building their home on their land yet...or maybe dong site work like grading, septic, well or power.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-13-2014, 02:39 AM
offgridbob's Avatar
offgridbob Male offgridbob is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,964
Default

Yes, all of the above two years ago and probably for the next two years.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-18-2014, 09:29 AM
swampcedars's Avatar
swampcedars Male swampcedars is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 111
Default

Thought there might be more comments on here.

Oh well...

Finally getting on with life...we have our septic and well permit from the DOH.

Plans are ready just finalizing a few things and need to get them stamped.

Just completed site grading and clearing. Ground has great drainage like we expected. Was hoping to find a spring up hill, but no luck there...the well will be fine. Area is free from any trees that could fall on the house to be built and free of trees that could grow into the septic. Grass is growing and mulched with silage so the soil is stabilized for winter/spring weather.

Ready to do well, septic and pad excavation next year.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-18-2014, 10:32 PM
doc doc is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: central WI--finally!
Posts: 1,473
Default

This thread probably got lost under the Ebola one...

We just had a driveway/access road graded in and I just mailed in the contract for the well drillers. I'll be meeting with an architect next month--- planning an earth-covered house with wood-burning boiler heating system.

We hope to start building next summer....getting antsy.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-19-2014, 03:47 PM
ArmySGT.'s Avatar
ArmySGT. Male ArmySGT. is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Colorado!!!!!!!!!!
Posts: 1,621
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by swampcedars View Post
Thought there might be more comments on here.

Oh well...
Now you know what is wrong with this forum and has been a problem for a few years.
__________________
This is a how-to, homesteading and self-reliance website and Forum. We want to attract people who are primarily interested in those areas and for whom politics is secondary.
Oliver
Here's an internet truth; just because it bothers you, doesn't mean anyone else cares! - Me.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-19-2014, 06:13 PM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,596
Default

Ground is freezing here, so I won't be doing any of that until spring.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-20-2014, 03:33 PM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Near Stockton Lake in MO
Posts: 258
Default

I have been doing ground work for the past 4-1/2 years, working one day a week.
This month I will finally start clearing for the homestead buildings. With luck we will be ready to start digging foundations next spring/summer.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-20-2014, 08:15 PM
swampcedars's Avatar
swampcedars Male swampcedars is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 111
Talking

We cleared off the building site like I said before.

Had a bit of a surprise, the 'mound' that had been there for 50 + years...well it was all cobble stones from an old gravel operation. Not good quality for building, but great for drainage and great for building a privacy berm. We put a stock pile to the side, so that next year we can use it for the base of our driveway extension.

The other surprise happened when they pushed of a rotted our black cherry tree that was about 60ft tall, when it hit the ground it split open and there was a bee swarm. The excavator operator stated that in his 30 years of doing this it was the worst he had ever seen...'nearly blocked out the day light'...at least that is what he said.

So we keep on planning and doing what we can...snow is surely on the way. We keep on saving money to either be mortgage free or have a minimal mortgage. We are calling in every favor we can in order to keep our cost's down...it is surprising some of the deals we have made...the best is supplying the mason with 10 years of logs for fire wood, I have 3 years or more from him already from the clearing we had done...and no big deal to skid several logs a year out for him to cut up...the deal is for logs...not cut and split...Overall the biggest thing is the amount of people we know who are willing to pitch in with labor pays to have some good relationships...honored to have good friends...but they ain't a movin' in with us when this is all done
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-21-2014, 01:55 AM
Ellendra Female Ellendra is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 197
Default

I'm slowly digging out the foundation for an earth-sheltered house. Can't afford to rent equipment, so it's all shovel work. And even then, only on the days I can get out there and don't have anything needing planted or harvested right then.

Living so far from my land and working a full-time job sure gets in the way of life.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-21-2014, 08:53 AM
doc doc is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: central WI--finally!
Posts: 1,473
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellendra View Post
I'm slowly digging out the foundation for an earth-sheltered house. Can't afford to rent equipment, so it's all shovel work. .
What construction form are you going with: cement, earth bag, wood retaining wall? Have your plans proceeded far enough that you're dealing with the zoning/building commission yet? Are they obstructing you?

[I just re-read my questions and it reminds me of the Three Little Pigs: straw, wood or bricks?-- and The Big Bad Wolf.]
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10-24-2014, 02:30 AM
Ellendra Female Ellendra is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 197
Default

I'm probably going to go with concrete, but I'm flexible on that.

As long as I refer to my hole in the ground as a "root cellar", I don't get any trouble from government busybodies. I'm going to be negotiating with the zoning board to let me build my house a little at a time, since I won't be able to build one that meets the minimum size requirements right away. I'm going to try and get them to let me build one room at a time, as long as the finished one meets all the codes.

As for the building inspector, that's a bit trickier. The rules state that I have to have an approved driveway before they'll issue a building permit. Technically, there is an approved driveway on my land . . . It's the one that crosses one corner and leads to my neighbor's house. If I build a house that's small enough, I won't need a permit, but that would mean building too small for the zoning board.

I don't need any permits to build a root cellar, I'm just not allowed to live in one. If I can't get the zoning board's permission to start small, I'll make this a root cellar. It'll just be the only root cellar with a bathroom inside.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-25-2014, 06:25 PM
doc doc is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: central WI--finally!
Posts: 1,473
Default

Gotta be cement if you live anywhere where it rains more than once in two years.

Basically, it's building a basement wrapped in plasitc with no house above it.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10-26-2014, 10:24 AM
swampcedars's Avatar
swampcedars Male swampcedars is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 111
Default

Hello Doc.

....'a basement wrapped in plastic'?

Could you share a bit more?

We are going with surface bonded dry stack block and 2 bond beams in the walls (1 a 1/3 up and the 2nd around the top 'sill'). The whole thing is water proofed the wrapped with rigid insulation.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-25-2015, 07:36 PM
swampcedars's Avatar
swampcedars Male swampcedars is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 111
Default

...been quiet here for a while...anyone got anything going on?
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-25-2015, 09:07 PM
Kachad Male Kachad is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: MN
Posts: 1,472
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by swampcedars View Post
...been quiet here for a while...anyone got anything going on?
Last fall I purchased a tractor and backhoe to kick off the real clearing and breaking ground process. Cleared a good section out during hunting season.

We don't do much work up there in the winter, but come spring we intend to clear out an area to start building structures.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 01-26-2015, 09:35 AM
doc doc is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: central WI--finally!
Posts: 1,473
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by swampcedars View Post
Hello Doc.

....'a basement wrapped in plastic'?

Could you share a bit more?

We are going with surface bonded dry stack block and 2 bond beams in the walls (1 a 1/3 up and the 2nd around the top 'sill'). The whole thing is water proofed the wrapped with rigid insulation.
Sorry it's taken so long to respond. Thanks, Swampcedars, for rejuvenating this thread.

You've seen houses built on a hillside where the basement foundation is covered by the hill on three sides and exposed only on the downhill side. An earth berm house is just that basement with a dirt covered roof instead of a house above it. It can be wrapped in waterproof plastic, often in three layers, to protect the walls from moisture.

Many authors call for insulation of the walls, but that seems to me to defeat the purpose of the underground installation. It seems you want to keep your inside air temp equilibrating with the perpetual 55* "outside temp" of the earth, rather than with the -20* - + 105* swings in atmospheric temps.

Without insulation, you'll burn a little more fuel in winter, but require no energy to keep cool in summer.

We're close enough to civilization that ready-mix can be delivered easily at no extra premium. Building with brick, you have the disadvantage of labor intensity, but the advantage that you could work by yourself on your own time scale.

How are you building your roof?
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01-27-2015, 07:20 AM
swampcedars's Avatar
swampcedars Male swampcedars is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 111
Default

Hi there Doc.

Rob Roy and the folks at thenaturalhome.com talk about wrapping a block or poured wall in rigid insulation on all outside areas.

The basic idea is creating an envelope around the concrete/block that comes into contact with the earth, which allows the thermal mass of masonry to store heat in the winter and radiate it back in to the living space...while in the warmer weather the thermal mass draws heat to moderate the temperature ( this is certainly not AC )

The insulation on all of the outside removes the dew point from the equation and stops the interior sweating of masonry walls.

...We are building into a small hill and will be doing earth berming. We are following a lot of what Rob Roy and the folks at thenaturalhome.com outline...masonry walls wrapped in rigid/xps insulation...

We are in the North and cold part of the country. I know a few people who have done things this way and they have very comfortable homes in the summer and they are super inexpensive to heat in the winter...

...so we are kind of running with what other's have done.

We have been fortunate enough to actually been invited to a few places and get to know the owners...the homes have been quiet and very comfortable.

...forever onward ...
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 01-27-2015, 05:30 PM
doc doc is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: central WI--finally!
Posts: 1,473
Default

We'll be meeting with the draftsmen this weekend to start drawing up the plans. Ours also will be built into the side of a hill. I started planning this as a kid around 1957. I was impressed at how cool it was in the basement in the summer and how we huddled there for warmth for a few days one winter when the power was out after an ice storm. We're also going to go with a wood burning boiler (10 of our 40 acres is woods) and in-floor heating pipes. We'll have propane back-up, but with essentially free fuel costs, the second system will be paid for by savings the first year.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 01-27-2015, 08:45 PM
swampcedars's Avatar
swampcedars Male swampcedars is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 111
Default

Hello there...

Doc...you started planning this in 1957? You got a few years on me.

I was dead set on wood heat...got the woods on the land like you do...I was looking at the coal stoves set up at the fair and the guy asked if he could answer any questions...I told him that I got woods and that is my fuel...he asked how I got the wood processed...I got 3 tractors, a wagon, 24 ton splitter, 5 chainsaws, mauls, wedges, and such...he asked how many days it took me to do all this....I said...ummm, too many.

That is when I investigated coal in terms of cost and my outlay of time...We have good access/supply here regionally to anthracite coal at an economical price.

We have met with several people that heat with coal...based on their real life use and based on what we are building/how we are building...we estimate that the bill for coal for a north country winter will run us about $300 a winter or a little less.

Based on that price and getting one delivery (by the ton on a pallet in 50# bags) and being done with it...well that is the path we are going down. Plus we can easily store a few years worth of coal in a very small space...the idea of good heat at a good price is peace of mind for us.

Let's see how these plans work out the next couple of years...gotta make sure it performs!

We met with our architect and her black lab at our land where we had things cleared and she loved the work that was done. We went over the sketches and made final notes...so stamped plans ( a must have here ) should be ready in about two weeks...then we get to price out materials for real...real expensive that is.

Lot of organizing...but exciting...just want to get this done before I get too old.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 01-29-2015, 08:33 AM
doc doc is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: central WI--finally!
Posts: 1,473
Default

Coal is efficient: we heated our two-flat in Chicago when I was a kid with coal, getting a single delivery each fall- probably only ~ 1/2 yd. [Delivery day was great adventure for a 5 y/o kid, but a lot of grumbling from Dad & Gramps as they wheel-barrowed the load from the street, up the narrow gangway between buildings to get it dumped into the bin.] I like the idea of total independence using wood. I'll be retired , so time isn't a factor and the exercise will keep me young.

I'm still cogitating over the need for insulating the walls. Outside insulation seems unnecessary, and inside insulation would need to be minimal: the cement wall would theoretically never go below 55*F.

It's the roof construction that has me concerned. Pre-stressed concrete on steel I-beams would probably be best, but I bet that's expensive. I haven't started pricing it yet. Any ideas?
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 11:45 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 1996 to Present. Backwoods Home Magazine, Inc.