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Hunkerin' in the Bunker
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Discussion Starter #1
My fiancee and I are planning on buying a spot of land and building a small cabin to live in, and using the land for gardening and raising livestock. Inasmuch, this would ideally be both our home, and our BOL. I guess you can say we're both pretty much PO'd at society, and we want to bug out and live like Davy Crockett...or at least Burt and Heather Gummer. :D:

We want to build a structure like this one:


I was wondering if anyone here has any idea whether or not I'm going to get into serious trouble with the local jackboots if I try to live in something like this. And if we wanted, could we even have something like this approved by an inspector if we did want electricity, running water, or any part of the grid?

I don't want to move into this thing, and then have some pencil-necked .gov bureaucrat pull up and evict me for living in a non-regulated, government approved dwelling. Any advice?
 

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Ask the local government code inforcement office about building codes and if your property even falls into their coverage area.
When I built several years ago, I found out that we were just (1/4 mile) outside the city's "MAPC" zone and therefore did not have to have building inspections done. Start with the county and if they don't do code inforcement for your land, go to the closest city.
 

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Live Secret, Live Happy
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My fiancee and I are planning on buying a spot of land and building a small cabin to live in, and using the land for gardening and raising livestock. Inasmuch, this would ideally be both our home, and our BOL. I guess you can say we're both pretty much PO'd at society, and we want to bug out and live like Davy Crockett...or at least Burt and Heather Gummer. :D:

We want to build a structure like this one:

2 STORY BARN / CABIN / SHED - YouTube

I was wondering if anyone here has any idea whether or not I'm going to get into serious trouble with the local jackboots if I try to live in something like this. And if we wanted, could we even have something like this approved by an inspector if we did want electricity, running water, or any part of the grid?

I don't want to move into this thing, and then have some pencil-necked .gov bureaucrat pull up and evict me for living in a non-regulated, government approved dwelling. Any advice?
The local state and county generally control building regs and what inspections are required.
This can vary a lot, from intrusive pencil necked BS, to absolutely no rules at all.

Small rural counties in states like Ok, Mo, Ks, and AR are usually the most reasonable. I suggest you start by asking your county building Dept or Assessor.
 

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Welcome to the rice field
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Screw the grid. If you're going that far, go all the way. With the cost of utility hook up fees you should easily be able to do solar and a well. Around here the only thing we worry about is avoiding the permit nazis while under construction. Once we're done nothing has ever been said. But I can't speak for where you are.
 

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Anyone?
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I'm guessing that comes from a shed company.
Reason why I say that is because I have a cabin built by a shed company on my hunting land (see my profile).


Few things:
I'm in a small poor county where no-one gives a s**t and I'm not living there full time so no problems. If I were, I doubt anyone would even question me.
It really depends on who runs your county and what kind of resources they have.

The "wonderboard" or whatever they call it stinks - literally. There is so much formaldehyde in the stuff that my blankets stink for days after I come home. Wouldn't want to live in that full time.

In the model you picture, most people use the loft as a bedroom. Okay idea in the winter. BAD idea in the summer.

If I were you, I'd take a chance (above exceptions noted), if the county was pretty lenient, neighbors and roads were far. But even so, you should at least plan that someday, they may come a knockin'.
In that case, you'll have to turn it into a workshop and plan to move a mobile home on the property. No way that will pass inspection.

An alternative is to talk to a general contractor about having him set up that cabin. Get a quote. In that case, he'll be responsible for making it meet code and he'll know what he has to do to make it happen. It will cost you more than just plopping it down on the land, but it may be worth it.

Added-
You can avoid inspectors (temporarily, at least) if you have the power and well set up first.
That's what I did. I had power run to an outside utility pole and then ran power to the cabin myself afterwards.
Same with a well (though I didn't do that yet). Have them set up a well house with a spigot and run it yourself.
 

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Pleasantly demented woman
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My fiancee and I are planning on buying a spot of land...

...with the local jackboots...

... some pencil-necked .gov bureaucrat...
Get to know the area and the neighbors and the nearest town before you buy the spot of land. Become part of the community. Join the volunteer fire department. Even if your neighbors are distant from you, get to know them. If you start off with this attitude, you are headed for trouble. Rural communities are COMMUNITIES.
 

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Procrastinate Now
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My fiancee and I are planning on buying a spot of land and building a small cabin to live in, and using the land for gardening and raising livestock. Inasmuch, this would ideally be both our home, and our BOL. I guess you can say we're both pretty much PO'd at society, and we want to bug out and live like Davy Crockett...or at least Burt and Heather Gummer. :D:

We want to build a structure like this one:

2 STORY BARN / CABIN / SHED - YouTube

I was wondering if anyone here has any idea whether or not I'm going to get into serious trouble with the local jackboots if I try to live in something like this. And if we wanted, could we even have something like this approved by an inspector if we did want electricity, running water, or any part of the grid?

I don't want to move into this thing, and then have some pencil-necked .gov bureaucrat pull up and evict me for living in a non-regulated, government approved dwelling. Any advice?
don't tell anybody you are building and they won't know that you need an inspection.
 

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OhMySoades
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Try to purchase land with an existing structure, small house, mobile home you can buy outright and repair. You can avoid permit issues and most of the time an electrical hook up is already provided, water storage or well, septic tank are already there. Huge headaches can be avoided this way.
 

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My fiancee and I are planning on buying a spot of land and building a small cabin to live in, and using the land for gardening and raising livestock. Inasmuch, this would ideally be both our home, and our BOL. I guess you can say we're both pretty much PO'd at society, and we want to bug out and live like Davy Crockett...or at least Burt and Heather Gummer. :D:

We want to build a structure like this one:

2 STORY BARN / CABIN / SHED - YouTube

I was wondering if anyone here has any idea whether or not I'm going to get into serious trouble with the local jackboots if I try to live in something like this. And if we wanted, could we even have something like this approved by an inspector if we did want electricity, running water, or any part of the grid?

I don't want to move into this thing, and then have some pencil-necked .gov bureaucrat pull up and evict me for living in a non-regulated, government approved dwelling. Any advice?


I saw one of those at Home depot and told the wife that that would make for a great mountain home. I looked at the price and what it costs for them to deliver and build would only cost a small more than what I could buy the materials for. They have them up to either 36' or 40' in length and 16' wide. All you would need to do is wire and insulate it and put up your inside material of choice and you would be pretty much set to go. Yeah, I really liked what I saw when I looked at it.
 

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I agree with BuellerBueller. If your in a area where there are zoning regulations you will eventually be talking to someone about it and quiet potentially be in some deep doo-doo and have fines to pay. Doesnt matter if your off the beaten path or not, the country tax assessor will be around once a year taking a look and they often use Goggle Earth to let them see whats not so obvious from the road way. So make sure your in the confines of the law. With most cities dealing with budget shortfalls to fund their wastefull spending habits, dont think for a second they are going to pass up an oppertunity to fine you or raise your taxes on your property the second you make any kind of improvement to it. The city and county want thier money!!!

On another note a neighbor just got one of those on his property and it didnt even take a day for them to toss it up and paint it and leave! It would need to have a thermal heat barrier installed and a lot of insulation put in before walling the inside off. By the time you wire it to meet code if any and plumb it, then install sinks, toilets, shower, counter tops and cabinets its going to cost at least double the 8K they are selling it for and thats if you do the work yourself.
 

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In our county you can put up a structure 200 sq ft or less with no permit. Look into sq footage laws and see what size you need to squeak by. You can put up multiple buildings of whatever size is allowed and connect them by floating (not attached) porches. It's an idea we've been toying with a lot lately.
 

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Psalm 23:4
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Permits are just another way for the govt to cash in. All they care about is the money. Aint giving them any more of mine unless I have to. I build within code and so if someone does turn me in it aint a big deal.

I would strongly urge you to go off grid. Have you considered cinder block construction?
 

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Anyone?
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Try to purchase land with an existing structure, small house, mobile home you can buy outright and repair. You can avoid permit issues and most of the time an electrical hook up is already provided, water storage or well, septic tank are already there. Huge headaches can be avoided this way.
That's actually a very good idea.
If you can buy land with an old POS mobile home, you can then quietly swap it out for a better one and no-one will be the wiser. Just make sure you can find contractors willing to do that.
Also make sure the existing structure has a CO. No CO and you won't be able to live in what's there let alone what you replace it with.
 

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Semper Fi
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Yeah, existing structures can be fixed up. Roofing, insulation, piping, wiring is easier to fix than build from scratch... They usually have septic, electric, driveway. Saves you alot of headache putting those things in, plus the heavy machinery, inspectors, etc needed. $$. Rural run-down cabins can be had cheap, usually as cheap as land itself, if not less. Some will even have established fruit trees 'n stuff.

As for off grid, you can be on the grid and have solar/wind backup with a generator... Theres an 11 ac place I was looking at, if I only had 8k cash. Nice rural ridgeline property, and its a ''shed'' conversion. Perfect to live in until an alternate can be built.
 

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Rational Being
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If you have the time and muscle, build it yourself. Small structures are easy, and you can get lots of advice and help from online sources like Country Plans or from stores like Menards where they will take your building plans and give you a complete breakdown of materials and costs.

Why pay someone else to do it?

Maybe I'm just a control freak, but after living in several houses where contractors and previous owners had mucked up just about every little detail I can think of, I'm a bit jaded on trusting the work of a stranger. Plus... what's better than having the knowledge that you did something yourself?
 

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Hunkerin' in the Bunker
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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks, all. Everyone here has some really good ideas about how to set everything up. The idea of having a trailer hooked up on a spot of land, and then setting up the cabin would work, given that I could get my camper hooked up. Since it has a breaker box and a sewage outlet, I could probably squeak by on getting it connected to the grid.

Then again, the ideas of going COMPLETELY off the grid and keepin' my trap shut are pretty good too. :thumb:

I guess it will all depend on how isolated the land is that we end up getting. I've already spotted a couple of acreages around here, but none are quite as isolated as I'd like. I want to be close enough to town that I don't go broke driving to town (10-15 mpg), yet so far removed from other people, that I can do as I please on my own land.

Whatever we do, it's sure to be very interesting. After all the weird weather, earthquakes, and global problems, my fiancee is almost all aboard on going all Sarah Connor. :D:
 

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Retired and luvin it!
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Burt (Michael Gross) and Heather Gummer( Reba McIntire) were from the Tremors movies. The character was a bit of a over-amplified 'survivalist' slash 'gun nut'. Had a really nice underground complex... past-tense any.... :)

What is ironic but typical of Hollywierd is that Burt is pro-gun while the actor is a known supporter of strict gun control...
 

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Hopefully you can find a property without too many restrictions. . .

In the meantime, take a look at solarcabin on youtube.



Lots of stuff in building what you are looking at.
 

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Anyone?
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Thanks, all. Everyone here has some really good ideas about how to set everything up. The idea of having a trailer hooked up on a spot of land, and then setting up the cabin would work, given that I could get my camper hooked up. Since it has a breaker box and a sewage outlet, I could probably squeak by on getting it connected to the grid.

Then again, the ideas of going COMPLETELY off the grid and keepin' my trap shut are pretty good too. :thumb:

...
In reading these threads, it's become clear to me that there are many definitions of "off grid".

If your definition is being completely anonymous - I don't think it can be done in this day and age honestly.
If you own the land, the deed will be in your name.
You could conceivably open a Nevada corporation and have it own the land. There are some options to further hide your ownership of said corporation, but I've looked into them and they all seem pretty weak.

There's an old identity changer book I have on my shelf that talks about doing a cash purchase of land and never recording the deed. So long as you keep the taxes current, it may never be discovered. In retrospect that seems kinda weak too.

I think for most of us, appearing "small" is sufficient. Just be that poor farmer living in a MH on his "undeveloped" land.
Don't present a big target.
 
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