Sunday, December 5, 2010

No More Trespassing

Well as you know we have purchased land for our new home.  It is raw land meaning that there are no utilities, phone, water, drive, nothing!  To access our property we had to enter on our neighbors lot and drive across it onto ours.  While this worked for awhile it obviously was not ideal and we knew we had to get our drive in ASAP.  We had been trying to get our driveway put in for several months but it had been one thing after another.  Either our money went somewhere else or the state decided to replace a bridge.  A friend agreed to utilize his expertise and equipment to build our drive.  We got the culvert hauled out to the property and were ready to go.  We were talking about having the gravel hauled out when we got to thinking, how much does a dump truck full of rock weigh?  The reason I ask is because the state decided to replace a bridge leading to our property and entering from the other direction requires crossing two low weight bridges that definitely would not hold a heavy truck full of rock.  Well the goal was to have the drive in before winter and I am pleased to announce, It is in!  The bridge was finally finished and my friends schedule was clear and he so graciously placed the culvert and laid the rock for the entrance to our property.  You may notice that we only set the entrance over the big ditch.  No I was not being cheap there is a reason for this.  See we have yet to decide where we will place the house.  If we build in the front part of our property the sewage system will need to be installed so we do not have to rip out all our expensive rock.

This is what we started with.  This picture is misleading as the ditch is actually deeper than it looks.

Here you get an idea of how deep the ditch was.  We used a lot of rock building up so our entrance into our property is level.  One option for the location of our future house is to build it in the front of our property.  Basically it would sit in about the middle of the top of the picture.  We would have to cut down a few trees so we could sit it back far enough for privacy.

Here it is.  The entrance to our long term dream.  You can see the pass to the rear of our property in the upper right side of the photo. 

Now that we can get onto our property we have to make a decision on where the house will sit.  I prefer to site it in the rear of our property, it is secluded from the county lane, has beautiful views to the stream to the south, and is further off the road which may help keep down the dust.  The only problem is getting electricity back there.  I have spoken with the electric provider and was told that the first 300 feet of line is free and then it is $5 per foot.  If the power has to be brought in along the road this may be a no go.  It would be cost prohibitive as we would have to pay for the extra 50 feet along the front and then approximately 500 feet to the back.  We have to make a decision soon because I am wanting the power in place by spring so we can get to work with the actual building.  Of course the best thing would be to go all solar.  If Missouri and the federal government got their acts together to sweeten the pot with rebates that would be the way to go.  It does not seem fair that if we lived out west it would cost us 50% less for the same solar system.  As it is now we plan on starting with a small solar system so that we reduce our power bill and have an emergency power source as we get lots of ice storms in the winter and severe weather the rest of the year.

We have really started looking at different house plans.  We found one today we both like with a few modifications.  When I finish drawing the revisions I will scan it onto this site.  It will be fun to look back when we are finished and see how close we were to our plan.  No matter which plan we decide it is going to be passive solar.  We are going to incorporate stained and stamped concrete as our finished floors which will reduce allergens, dust, and increase our ability to utilize the sun to heat the house.  Thank you Mr. Sun for providing all that energy and thank you to our neighbors M and R for letting us cut across your lot to get to ours!


  1. I'd give anything to be in your shoes, to be able to start over with a clear idea of which direction we are headed. When we bought our place, we had no idea we'd be homesteading. We would have done so many things differently! Can I make a few suggestions? Place the house somewhere close to where the garden area will be. The whole "out of sight out of mind" concept really is true when it comes to gardening. Have a basement or root cellar or something, if possible. Man, what we wouldn't give to have this house on a basement!! I'd love to have a cool place to store all of our canned goods and veggies, and a safe place to escape tornadoes! I wish we'd thought about living off-grid beforehand too. It cost us more to bury power lines out here than solar panels would have cost. *Sigh* Live and learn. I wish you guys the very best!! Take your time, and really think about all of your future plans while mapping out your homestead.