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New Home #1: 10 Year Plan, a Quick Summary

Blog entry by ww_kayak posted 04-03-2008 10:04 PM 3499 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Not exactly a refurb, but I have one those too…
OK, so a few years ago I decided to buy some property and have a house built. Not that I didn’t know it was expensive…but, when I got 3 different quotes for 250k to 300k for a 1200 square foot house (and this ain’t Florida or California mind you), I said forget it!

So, because I’m in no real hurry, and prefer to live debt free when possible, I decided to make this a long term project and do almost everything myself. At some point I may run out of time, energy or money, but for now I just plan to enjoy the journey.

Little did I know how far I would carry the “do everything myself” concept. I enjoy learning, and tend to get carried away with the “because I can” mentality:

  • “Can you clear me a 1200’ driveway?... HOW MUCH!” – So, I bought a full size Backhoe for half the cost.
  • “Gee I hate to waste these trees left from the clearing” – So I bought a band saw mill
Just those two have led to years of enjoyment and numerous skills:
  • heavy equipment repair
  • welding
  • hydraulics
  • septic design
  • sawyering
  • framing
  • concrete
  • electrical
  • masonry
  • and of course… residential building codes :)

Here is a VERY brief pictorial of where I started and where I stand now:

Purchased
I bought it in the Spring…

Clearing
I bought the backhoe and started clearing the driveway and building site…

Well Water
I had a well drilled… (man that was nice after months of sweat and dirt :)

Ready to Mill
Boy am I glad I was advised not to buy a compact tractor if I planned on logging :)

Mill
My trees( mostly hemlock) are small by comparison, but they sure seemed big to me!

Drying Lumber
2×4’s and 2×6’s, I gave them a year to dry and built a “test” barn.

Test building

This blog may not be updated too often, but I figured I’d contribute my 2 cents :)
(BTW there will be a house too …)

-- Tom, Central New York



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ww_kayak

12 posts in 4187 days

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12 comments so far

View MRTRIM's profile

MRTRIM

743 posts in 4187 days

posted 04-03-2008 11:02 PM

looks like you got quite a long term project underway here ! looks good so far

View Drsawdust's profile

Drsawdust

7 posts in 4187 days

posted 04-03-2008 11:10 PM

Kayak, you are definitely living the dream! Way to go!!! I’m sure I speak for the rest of us here when I say, “Please, please keep us up to date on your progress.”

That is a very impressive stack of wood. How much land do you have in total? How big is the test barn?

Thanks for sharing.

-- -- Making sawdust is what I do best

View tenontim's profile

tenontim

151 posts in 4187 days

posted 04-03-2008 11:55 PM

Tom, it’s the only way to go, if you can. I’ve found out a few things building my own house;
I don’t ever want to make living pouring foundations.
I don’t ever want to make a living roofing.
I don’t ever want to make a living taping and floating sheet rock.
I don’t ever want to make a living installing ceramic tile.

I finally got to the woodwork and I like that. Good luck with yours!

-- Tim

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

628 posts in 4201 days

posted 04-04-2008 01:11 AM

Bravo
Very impressive and inspirational.
bought the machine for half the price of having it done.. huh.. good thinking

-- ~ Debbie, Ontario Canada

View ww_kayak's profile

ww_kayak

12 posts in 4187 days

posted 04-04-2008 04:30 PM

Thanks guys and gals,

Yup, it is a ton of work, but it’s been fun. The lot is 40 acres and entirely wooded. Mostly hemlock, some cherry and alot of maple. The hemlock is great for framing. The barn is 12×16 with 8’ walls and a 12/12 pitch which is bigger than I thought it would be :) I had to buy a fair amount of lumber to frame the roof, because my first batch of wood was made from the trees I cleared for the driveway, which weren’t the best trees.

MsDebbieP: Like I said it is completely wooded so the cost of clearing and putting in a 1200’ driveway was pretty expensive… so half that was still pretty costly, but well worth it ;)

-- Tom, Central New York

View Bill's profile

Bill

131 posts in 4187 days

posted 04-04-2008 06:24 PM

Nice work Tom. It sounds like a great experience no matter the costs and the effort needed. I am looking forward to more chapters on the saga.

-- Bill - Turlock, Ca. - http://www.brookswoodworks.com

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

628 posts in 4201 days

posted 04-04-2008 06:44 PM

half price is half price!! excellent

-- ~ Debbie, Ontario Canada

View Dadoo's profile

Dadoo

30 posts in 4187 days

posted 04-10-2008 04:42 PM

Livin it as well…35miles S.E. of Syracuse! Took a look at your website too…nice blog. Are you planning on living off the grid?

-- Dadoo!

View ww_kayak's profile

ww_kayak

12 posts in 4187 days

posted 04-10-2008 05:40 PM

Well I didn’t plan on living off the grid, but each year I wait, the cost of running a couple of poles keeps going up ;)

-- Tom, Central New York

View Dadoo's profile

Dadoo

30 posts in 4187 days

posted 04-12-2008 06:02 AM

Have them bury your service. Power, telephone, cable TV, etc. Looks better.

-- Dadoo!

View ww_kayak's profile

ww_kayak

12 posts in 4187 days

posted 04-12-2008 06:17 AM

LOL, the poles are needed on the main road. THEN I need to bury a thousand feet into the property :O

-- Tom, Central New York

View MRTRIM's profile

MRTRIM

743 posts in 4187 days

posted 04-15-2008 03:15 AM

maybe you could turn that big tractor into a generator tom ! lol

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