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Homestead, off grid, shelter

 
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Ok, I do not have a lot of money.  I am 64 years old this summer.  Average health, can work 8 hours a day,.

I must have my own own land, my garden, a few chickens.

I have built two complete houses. And have lost count of the number I have fixed.

I have some cash saved up, in a few weeks I will shop for 1 to 5 acres, in my price range, likely will be off grid.

I plan to move onto ok the land, camp out and go from there.

Of course I will check out local zoning  and such before I purchase

What do you think the plan should be??

I was thinking I need to build a shelter, semi permanent,  perhaps on skids.  Simple  stick  built, easy for one msn to build, say 14 x 24.  I hate 14 feet, extra cuts, Dad always built divided by 4, like 24x36, never 26x34!!  And he built a lot.

This place should last 20 years, dous not gave to last forever

I am open to built up post and  beam,  with pressure  treated wood in beded into the ground, or on the ground,with  patio  pavers floor

Your thoughts

Ty

Paul⁷
 
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paul salvaterra wrote:Ok, I do not have a lot of money.  I am 64 years old this summer.  Average health, can work 8 hours a day,.

I must have my own own land, my garden, a few chickens.

I have built two complete houses. And have lost count of the number I have fixed.

I have some cash saved up, in a few weeks I will shop for 1 to 5 acres, in my price range, likely will be off grid.

I plan to move onto ok the land, camp out and go from there.

Of course I will check out local zoning  and such before I purchase

What do you think the plan should be??

I was thinking I need to build a shelter, semi permanent,  perhaps on skids.  Simple  stick  built, easy for one msn to build, say 14 x 24.  I hate 14 feet, extra cuts, Dad always built divided by 4, like 24x36, never 26x34!!  And he built a lot.

This place should last 20 years, dous not gave to last forever

I am open to built up post and  beam,  with pressure  treated wood in beded into the ground, or on the ground,with  patio  pavers floor

Your thoughts

Ty

Paul⁷

Paul what part of the world are you building in? For something that size here I would say engineered insulated slab and stick frame. I'm in ontario and we have a very strict building code that insists on efficiency. I would invest in a used camper trailer for my build to give yourself a base of services to make the process less painful. Nothing like a shower, kitchen, and some lights after a long day building...
 
paul salvaterra
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north east or north centeral Pennsylvania.   Will see about code, slab is nice, but property  may be to remote.  I have had thoughts of 8 or 12 x 16 shed to store every thing in and sleep in one corner.

Shed on skids.

Paul
 
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> build plan...

Depends.
- How fast it _must_ go up and dry in.
- How cold outside.
- How long you want it to last.
- What materials you can get.
- How large you need. Two+ buildings in phases probably make most sense.
- Layout. One room? Partitioned space?
- Plumbing and electrical in the walls and under? (Not likely on skids.)
- What must it try to survive. Weather, quakes, floods, termites,  FIB attack, etc.
- What you're capable of doing. Stick built is just about the easiest there is when plywood and cut lumber is available.
- What you like. Windows? Floor? Appearance? Green build?

I'm sure you've got most of that settled in your mind, but it's yet a mystery to us.  <g>  Skids suggests you can live rough. But I suspect that would be too easy, so you probably have further plans.


Cheers,
Rufus
 
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If there was a need for speed, I would probably consider buying an already made wood shed and throwing in some insulation, electrical wiring, a wood stove, maybe a rain water catchment set up into a sink, etc.  

You could probably build it cheaper than you can buy it, and with better quality and materials, but an instant shelter is useful while you build, and can be repurposed as a workshop once you do have time to build something better.
 
paul salvaterra
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Well, it gets cold in Pennsylvania,  must have heat, I am thinking, wood , propane, kerosene.   Heat, hot water, cooking.  Also thinking small solar system, 3 - 12 volt battery.  For 12 volt dc.

I am thinking skids, 4x4's sitting on asphalt roof shingle, on 4x8x16 solid block on top of 10 inches of 3/4" stone on well drained soil., 7 of these spaced out over 24', so this under each skid.  

I have installed toilets, showers, sinks this way., likely to be composting toilet, shower, sinks.

More later

Paul
 
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I built something like this for a wood shed, on skids, perhaps a couple of axels under it would lower the tax bracket.



OK, adjust the measurements to your own specs.
 
Rufus Laggren
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Aha! </bell   DING   />   !!!

Skid = palette !  I was visualizing a towable structure like WL's "Loveshack". <GG>

That's some different. <g>  Your "foundation" sounds top notch quick & dirty. I have been thinking something like that for a work shed. But just using the blocks as the floor - flattening them real careful and skipping the roofing and "skids".


Cheers,
Rufus

 
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around here the is a sawmill that sells huge bundles of cants, 3/4-5/4 thick oak or poplar from 8-16' long 4"-12" wide,  5-' wide by about 5' tall bundle, between 1000 and 1500 board feet of rough cut lumber for $150. might be something like that not too far from where your at
 
David Baillie
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If you can get away with it I would try for a simple footing that you insulated horizontally at a 45 degrees buried 1ft outwards for each foot of frost you receive. I would then put 2 inches of foam inside the footing and build a pressure treated floor system then stick frame. Not perfect but it's a poor man's slab and does not use a lot of concrete so you could pour it... you would want well drained soil and no chance of critters getting underneath it...
 
paul salvaterra
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David, I think I like that idea, but do not fully understand,  any illustration  any where??⁸
 
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Paul, congrats on your plans. Those parts of PA are pretty indeed. If I was in your place wanting a small structure I would consider buying a readymade Amish shed or cabin if I could afford it. We have one, a wood board and batten model (10 x 14’ I think) and were very impressed with how well built and sturdy it is. They delivered it on an ingenious trailer that can position it exactly where needed, though placing onto raw land could be problematic without a sturdy road depending on the terrain. The delivery guys were pretty gung-ho and said they would place it anywhere we wanted if we wanted it moved in the future.
 
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paul salvaterra wrote:David, I think I like that idea, but do not fully understand,  any illustration  any where??⁸


I think these are also called Swedish Skirts.  The idea is that if you need 3' of frost protection in your area, the foundation insulation has to go 3'.  But it doesn't have to be straight down.  On my greenhouse I needed 4'.  I went down 1' alongside the footing, and then horizontally out 3'.  It required much less digging and then I could get away with what's called a Frost Protected Footing.
 
paul salvaterra
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Cool, that is very interesting, go a bit further have earth floor, patio pavers,  store heat and cool.  Alex wade books on home building  in the 1980s  had some similar features.

Ty

 
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Could you consider an insulated concrete slab.
140mm x 40mm stud framed walls, metal corrugated roof and use pallet timber on the inside as lining and corrugated iron on the outside of the walls.
It would go up quick. The 140mm frame thickness allows good space for insulation
If you built the whole slab and only framed in say half initially and when thats finished and you have save the cash, finish the rest.
What do you plan for hot water?
regards
 
paul salvaterra
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I guess I will heat water, pour it into a tank,  pipe to showe!!

Concrete slab is  nice, but not likely.  Probably  too remote.

Paul
 
David Baillie
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That is the gist of it. here is a more technical document to get ideas from. Again you might be forced by code to do something more conventional.
https://www.homeinnovation.com/~/media/Files/Reports/Revised-Builders-Guide-to-Frost-Protected-Shallow-Foundations.pdf
 
Rufus Laggren
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> frost protected foundations

I believe that method is found in the code in many areas. There are some considerations I have heard about. Protecting the insulation from physical and weather damage is serious. Insect problems may also be a biggee.

Question for any with experience using pallets:   Are they worthwhile as a source of construction wood? When mining them for wood rather than the pallet as a whole,  what's the best way to rip them apart? Sawzall? BFH and crow bar? There would be fasteners left which would need dealing with, also. Or am I off base here?


Cheers,
Rufus
 
Mike Haasl
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Pallets are borderline for construction wood.  Standard pallets are pretty wimpy.  I have a factory nearby that has 100 lb 6' long beefy pallets.  If they have thick boards on them, it's possible to remove them with a crowbar without them breaking.  Or if they're loose you can sawzall them off of the runners.  I've used them for siding on a chicken coop, ceiling and walls in my laundry room and interior siding in my wood shop.  But they shrink if you install them while they're fresh since the wood isn't as dry as kiln dried lumber.  

The beefier runner wood might be good for projects but it's the lowest grade of lumber available (that's why it's in pallets).  They tend to warp once they're disassembled and they get a chance to dry out.

Using pallets without deconstructing them may have more promise.  Then the pieces hold it together as it dries and it is more stable.
Pallet-coop.jpg
Pallet coop
Pallet coop
 
John C Daley
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This is a fantastic tool for lifting floors and dismantling pallets.
Crescent Bull bar
I have used pallets for years as a source of timber lining.
You can stop drafts by using insulation and sarking as specified by the manufacturers.
Pallets come in a range of sizes, and I have a range of places I collect them from, depending on the size I need.
I strip them and let them sit to dry out if they are green.
I dont get many green timber ones at all.
I butt them, ship lap them, run them vertical or horizontal.
I have painted them and left them raw,
The pricing is good.
 
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Have you considered an earthbag home?  
 
Rufus Laggren
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Thanks, Mike and John. I guess pallets might be worth a try. Free range pallets are getting scarce around here, though. I don't know if you'd get hung for rounding some up from behind buildings, but you might have to giddiyup  real quick and smartly!

John, that BullBar looks cute. I have one serious reservation, though: The hind end of the head where it's pinned to the base of the handle just cries, nay shrieks, for a 3# hand sledge! And since I didn't see that nice guy administering abuse like that in the vid, I bet the manufacturer labels it a NoNO. But that tool wouldn't make it through the first 5 minutes on any job I ever saw w/out getting the daylights walloped out of it.

You ever apply persuasion to it's rear end?


Rufus
 
John C Daley
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Rufus, I dont understand your problems with the tool.
I have used mine for 3 years and not had a single issue.
The moveable handle means you can work close to a wall say lifting flooring.
The small claw is great for big stubborn nails.

Why would you hit the tool with a sledge hammer?
 
paul salvaterra
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I have looked at earth bag construction, is a fine thing.  But insulating,  and many other specialized  consideration, want to be some what conventional to recoup  investment down the road

Maybe an earth bag root cellar one day
Paul
 
paul salvaterra
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This has been good,  I think perhaps it may be best to build even smaller first, like 14 'x16'. A 5 x 7 bath , 7 x 8 kit, and a simple open room, approximately  8 x 13., I can rent it, camp it  while I build that.  Do porch. Additions after.

Makes best sense  right now

Paul
 
Rufus Laggren
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John

>wrong with tool...

Nothing. But it looks to me that as a demo tool you want those leading claws _under_ your target. Much, maybe most, material that needs ripping is attached firmly to a strong surface and you need to hammer that claw under to get it started. And often hammer _hard_.  The joint with the pin at the base of the handle  looks like the weak point.

Now I'm not dumping on the tool - it's been around a few  years so it probably works pretty well. I'm just curious if it actually gets abused in the way I think likely, or whether the boss has made sure all the muscle is real polite with his BeeAyUtiful thoroughbred of a tool. <G>  

An example: 3/4"+ hardwood flooring, installed solid. You need to get the first few boards up and for one reason or another, you have to start at a wall. The locking pivot allows getting the handle out of the way and even aids with a good angle to lever stuff up - once the forks get under the material. One way I can see starting would be to set the forks at the joints of the last board against  the wall and the 2nd last board and HAMMER them in and under that last board. Then pry up and repeat a couples place where the tongue held on and the board broke w/out coming up. Then reverse the tool and get those fork under the 2nd board - but the wall is right there and you have very little leverage to get those forks under the next board. Time for a big hammer again. And repeat until you have enough space in front of the wall get a good slide and ram the fork under the next material manually.

It looks like a good tool for the right jobs. Good tools get the shit beat out of them because when the ape (like me) has them in his hands, they get used for everything and anything they might conceivably help with and often the get used _very_ creatively and any which way that looks like it _might_ work. In demo work that often involves a BigFuckingHammer.


Rufus
 
John C Daley
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I have ripped up many floors.
I have always sacrificed the first 1 or 2 boards.
With this tool is only one board sacrificed.
You do not need to hammer the tool into a groove, if used properly it will fit and you just lift the board any way you like.
 
Rufus Laggren
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John

Sounds like you done it more than I did. Couple, three?, times and the first boards were trash, of course. But I found it often difficult getting a blade or whatever under the next board as the floor came up. Might have been because the ones I'm think of were face nailed. Maybe it goes easier with tongue & groove.

Sorry, probably got off the wrong words. Not knocking your tools just cuz. <g>  And judging others by myself because I _know_ I'd be pounding on the heel of that tool first thing.  Least I think I would. <g>

I _like_ tools, got quite a few still in use from my father; was looking at something I was using yesterday thinking "I've been handling that for 20+ years...". Trying to think what it was. No! It was 19 years and it was a power tool, a  Makita 3" belt sander that ate a nail the 2nd week I got it in 2001. Just keeps going, albeit somewhat noisily and throwing dust all over the place.

Cheers,
Rufus
 
John C Daley
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Rufus, you are forgiven!
The tool costs enough to be treated wisely.
The trick with lifting boards is to be aware of the angle you start with and where you apply pressure to the board.
I start on the edge, and once the board lifts a bit I then push the tool in further.
Its shape actually helps with the curve and its very good on pallets.
 
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Paul, I'm with James on the Amish built shed at Sheds.com. I have two and love them. A small one for a Goat barn and the larger is my storage shed. You don't mention any help. I'm in my 60's with no help also and these babies are very well built. The walls are plywood not OSB. I have a 20' x 10' with two 8' x 10' lofts for $4500. They also offer rent to own but you end up paying twice the price for it. I have the Gambrel {barn) style roof. You have different options on where and what type of doors and windows you want. You can then add wiring (for when you get around to adding your solar), insulation, cut the hole for a stove pipe, and cover the walls with anything you like. I recommend you don't waste floor space with a porch model. Adding a porch for some outside living space can be done later. A 10' x 20' is big enough to section off a water closet for a composting toilet and a small kitchen area while still having room for a queen size bed. Unless you want to use one of the lofts for sleeping. You can make them any size you want. You might want to investigate small solar generators. I have a Yeti 1650 with two solar panels. You keep the generator inside, run the wires through the wall and hang the panels on the side or roof. You can run a small student type fridge, laptop and phone charger off it. I'm fond of using strings of the crystal LED Christmas lights for illumination. I'm very happy with my Yeti and it has wheels kind of like a dolly. The Yeti and the panels should run about $2500. Other brands may be cheaper.

Yes one could build it cheaper or you could get a smaller one for less. The beauty is how quickly you could have a comfortable space to live in while you build the rest of your homestead.  Oh and these come with a plywood floor some other companies do not include a floor! Delivery is included. Just an option for you to think about.
 
paul salvaterra
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Ty, it will depend how budget falls, it will be nice to have quick dry space.

I have figured with most pre built "sheds" can be built for about one half purchase price.

Just may be the best way, "camp" out in half of a shed,  store my stuff in other half, "rough" it for awhile if I half too.

Paul
 
James Whitelaw
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Paul,

Below is our shed and while yes, you could theoretically build the equivalent shed for half the cost (discounting your time and effort), but consider: The better versions of these types of structure that I purchased was made in a factory where jigs and forms are used to fit everything together, so the build is of very high quality. I understand the folks who make the board and batten sheds in PA do not make the vinyl or metal types of sheds which are made by other families.

Go to one of these places that sell these (scope out what’s in-stock first online) and make a close inspection of how they are built, the materials, etc. something like ours  can easily have a roundwood lean to added onto the side to expand storage space. Another less expensive option might be to go with a Run-In style horse shed and adapt that. Not having a floor might actually be better to allow for insulating, radiant heat, etc.

39DD485B-B57E-4CE3-8934-D320A192656B.png
[Thumbnail for 39DD485B-B57E-4CE3-8934-D320A192656B.png]
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