Saturday, December 14, 2013

Going Country Update...
Land Clearing and House Building

I thought I'd take the time to journal a bit today regarding our adventure in "Going Country".  We just arrived home and my two little boys are napping, a certain 4-year-old is playing dollhouse and the older two are outside helping Daddy mend a chicken coop wall which as conveniently knocked down by a certain Jersey cow (who shall remain nameless...ah-hem).

Today, we met with a very kind man who knows the area well in which we are moving to. We sat down as our little ones played with his and we talked about home building.

In the beginning of our adventure in wanting to build a home, we thought a Florida Cracker Home style would be best, but as we've been pricing out the cost (again, wanting to do this debt free), we've been leaning more towards a pole barn that carries the mere style of a cracker house (Cedar wood shingles on the exterior, wrap around porch, peaked roof for proper water drainage/rain collection, etc.).

Well, we met with "J" today and the more we talked, the more we were getting discouraged as we watch our nest egg of savings being spent rather quickly. We were given an estimate for land clearing which is supposed to be happening this week, HOWEVER, after discovering "Pa Mac's" videos, and after our meeting today, and after rethinking our very tight budget, we pulled away and immediately went to Home Depot to purchase a chainsaw. Yep. I think we're going to give this 5 acres a haircut by ourselves. {sigh}

The Lord has given us this land and our main goal is to be good stewards of it, making the most of it. I always appreciate and come back to Joel Salatin's video below and the advice of wise homesteaders who have gone before us.

1. Don't get into debt. Debt = enslavement. Shepherd that nest egg of money.
2. Do things that take time, not money.
3. Don't do anything for 1 year. Let the land speak to you.
4. Start with something you like (to eat, to do, etc.).
5. Start some income by doing extra of #4. The cash flow needs to catch up to the nest egg before it runs out.
6. Make connections from community and neighbors. Who owns machinery you might want to borrow.
7. Don't plan too far ahead. We over run our learning curve. Don't plan for more than 1-2 years down the road.
8. If it works, don't fit it. You don't want to go into more debt. Don't move from something until you're shoved out of it.
9. Only eating what you provide for yourself on your farm can help save and cut costs. Let farming be your entertainment. Don't buy expensive machinery.
10. Worry only about the things you have control over.

{All wise advice. Lord, help us to adhere to these helpful principles.}

My father has an aluminum contractor's license and while he's never built a home from the ground up, he's a VERY  knowledgeable man and between him and "J", my husband and I are thinking about subcontracting everything out ourselves, little by little, step by step. You see, contractor's typically make their money not from the main shell building of a home, but the interior details (cabinetry, woodwork, trim, carpet, tile, etc.) and once you share how you want to build a home a simplistic as possible, you lose their interest pretty quickly because they aren't going to make any money off of you. {grin}

We've been blessed in the fact that our county isn't requiring any impact fees currently this year. Hopefully, that will hold true for next year also.

I've been picking apart our book The Encyclopedia of Country Living and although it has a lot of information regarding finding land, gardening, animal husbandry, making soap, candles, etc. (don't get me wrong, this book is a GEM and every homesteader should own one), it doesn't have a ton of information on land clearing or house-building. Probably better to just buy a book on those topics alone as they can be quite detailed in themselves.

Some of the information given is:

Housebuilding - A Do-It-Yourself Guide book
Blueprints: 1-800-322-6797
The Owner Builder and the Code book
How To Build in the Country book

As we look at basic layouts for our pole barn home, we are praying that the Lord would show us exactly what He would like for us to build that would honor Him and the money He has loaned us to steward. May He protect us as we begin cutting down and stacking trees (which includes dangerous usage of a chainsaw, heavy lifting, cutting, hauling, etc.).


1 comment:

Jana said...

I so admire how you keep your priority goals in the forefront and not let yourselves get carried away in the "dream". It's hard I'm sure as the excitement of having your own land and the freedom to be more self sufficient calls. But self sufficient means no debt and I so appreciate as you share that you keep that in sight. I also appreciate how you are trusting God to lead and guide your timing and what and how to shape your land into what He wants it to be for your family. That is a lesson many have let to learn and for me has been a harder one to put in practice. I get impatient but I am grateful you share these things. It helps remind me and slow me down in my "dreams". Because ultimately living the dream wouldn't be so dreamy without the Lords guidance and without His timing as well. Thank you for being that example.