Friday, March 25, 2016

It's ours - a new homestead for us

Yesterday I did the scariest thing I've ever done, aside from signing to buy a car. I signed to buy 3 acres of land, then I signed to buy a 10 X 20 foot portable barn to turn into a tiny home/cabin on the same day. I honestly was just about ill from thinking about the commitment, especially on the land. It's a very long 30 year note and, unless I pay it off really early, I will probably never see the deed if I don't.

So, my plan is to pay it off early! The cabin pays off in 3 years which means I can then use that money to put on the land and pay it down much faster.

We've been using quadrille graph paper to work out how we want to deal with the inside of the cabin. Fortunately, this cabin has a 4 foot loft at each end so that gives more storage space at one end and a sleeping loft for my son in the other end. The seller said we can do what we want with the cabin as long as we don't tear out a side or end wall, or the floor.

First thing we need to do is insulate the walls and ceiling so that staying cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter is less of an issue. We are going to extend one of the lofts so there's just a place between them where a ladder or attic stairs can access them both.

We chose a white metal roof and off-white metal siding so help reflect sunlight, since there aren't really any trees around where it will be placed. We also opted for one more window, in the center of the rear wall, so it's across from the two front windows and the double front door. We plan to only actually use one of the barn-style doors and can place furniture in front of the other one.

We'll need to get the water going and the sewer connected to the septic tank. Bought a toilet yesterday for really cheap ($40) so we'll install that. Still working out how to get a shower stall in there that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Thinking of using a small livestock watering tub and fashioning a drain in that to also go into the septic.

Everything will run on solar power or be manually operated to completely eliminate an electric bill. That gives me a few extra bucks each month to get a new battery or expand the solar array. For example, we're thinking we'll put one 85 watt solar panel (which we already have) on top of the well house, add a battery inside the well house along with a small charge controller, and use that mainly for pumping the water. I found a suitable 12v pump on eBay for a reasonable price.

So, as I go along, there'll be lots of updates concerning this new adventure! Stay tuned!

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