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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My family is about to purchase 100 acres of raw, wooded land. We want to build a mid-sized cabin or house. The land has a creek that goes through it and one unpaved road that leads to it.
I am looking for advice on where to start. First i need to start drafting ideas of what i want really and looking for blueprints.
My first priority is pick the location where there can be well water access so I guess i'll have to hire someone to come out and mark areas. I have never done anything like this so if anyone knows where to start with that it would be great.
Right now here is what I am wanting to do/have on the property:
- Mid-sized cabin with: basement, ground floor, and upper level.
- Well water (I can easily tie it to solar and/or generator. But I will definitely have a hand pump)
- Some sort of attached or detached workshop, garage, or barn.
- I'll put a garden area near the living area
- Cistern or water barrels for rain water collection and storage

So far that's what I have. I also want the road in the property to be manageable for my well built wrangler to get to, but more difficult on the basic cars without 4x4. All of the vehicles in our family are by Jeep and have 4x4 capabilities. We have never owned a vehicle without 4x4 so it won't be an issue.

I'd love to hear what others have done and get some great ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
My plan if I had to hire people was to merely say it was a family get away or vacation home. I tend to be cautious of people I don't know. Before hiring other workers I would see if any close friends could help do the work.
 

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I don't think....so
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My family is about to purchase 100 acres of raw, wooded land. We want to build a mid-sized cabin or house. The land has a creek that goes through it and one unpaved road that leads to it.
I am looking for advice on where to start. First i need to start drafting ideas of what i want really and looking for blueprints.
My first priority is pick the location where there can be well water access so I guess i'll have to hire someone to come out and mark areas. I have never done anything like this so if anyone knows where to start with that it would be great.
Right now here is what I am wanting to do/have on the property:
- Mid-sized cabin with: basement, ground floor, and upper level.
- Well water (I can easily tie it to solar and/or generator. But I will definitely have a hand pump)
- Some sort of attached or detached workshop, garage, or barn.
- I'll put a garden area near the living area
- Cistern or water barrels for rain water collection and storage

So far that's what I have. I also want the road in the property to be manageable for my well built wrangler to get to, but more difficult on the basic cars without 4x4. All of the vehicles in our family are by Jeep and have 4x4 capabilities. We have never owned a vehicle without 4x4 so it won't be an issue.

I'd love to hear what others have done and get some great ideas.
Congrats! We did much the same (140 acres at the end of a dirt road) small cabin, detached garage/ shop. My suggestion would be find where you want your well. Well drills costs were we are: $11/ft and $15/ft once they hit granite. Well guy witched the area we wanted a well and gave us 3 spots to choose from. Drill rigs are pretty good size so you might be clearing a lot of trees for them to get to the drill site.

We built 30 feet from well. And the garden is right next to it (put in a 5gpm Simple Pump for hand pump as secondary / backup). Consider the site for future solar. You don't want your house 300 feet from where you will have a ground mount solar array!

We angled the cabin so that no flat surface faced West / South West for reasons of wind and storms. Also did not build the cabin with soffits...so wind won't rip a roof off. Mother Nature can wreck your hard work faster than anything so I planned with her in mind first. We get tornadoes here...

Get your soil tested near the garden site. Very important! Trees near your garden like pines can wreck the nutrients so know what's near that very important garden!

Good luck and get some extra chain saw blades
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Congrats! We did much the same (140 acres at the end of a dirt road) small cabin, detached garage/ shop. My suggestion would be find where you want your well. Well drills costs were we are: $11/ft and $15/ft once they hit granite. Well guy witched the area we wanted a well and gave us 3 spots to choose from. Drill rigs are pretty good size so you might be clearing a lot of trees for them to get to the drill site.

We built 30 feet from well. And the garden is right next to it (put in a 5gpm Simple Pump for hand pump as secondary / backup). Consider the site for future solar. You don't want your house 300 feet from where you will have a ground mount solar array!

We angled the cabin so that no flat surface faced West / South West for reasons of wind and storms. Also did not build the cabin with soffits...so wind won't rip a roof off. Mother Nature can wreck your hard work faster than anything so I planned with her in mind first. We get tornadoes here...

Get your soil tested near the garden site. Very important! Trees near your garden like pines can wreck the nutrients so know what's near that very important garden!

Good luck and get some extra chain saw blades
Thanks for the info. I like hearing the personal experience. I'll keep that in mind. I am not sure how much the drill will cost here in Ohio.
 

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I don't think....so
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Thanks for the info. I like hearing the personal experience. I'll keep that in mind. I am not sure how much the drill will cost here in Ohio.
We had the well guy drill a second well...since he was there and gave us a great discount to pop another hole in the ground. 6" well casing is ~1.5 gallons of water per foot and the deep well hand pumps are reasonably priced for deep well hand applications. Our second is 227 feet deep so we have "stored" a water column of about 300 gallons and the well produces 6gpm. Basically endless clean water! All-in the first well, including 1hp deep well pump, pressure tank and all the stuff was $6,500 installed.
 

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Renaissance Man
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Scope out the land well. Walk it so you really see it up close and personal.

My personal layout for our new home in the woods is basement with an upper floor designed somewhat like a Roman Villa. Basically, the house is built around an interior courtyard that all the rooms open into. The well would ideally be in the courtyard area as well. The outer wall is poured concrete and the only windows are narrow slits to deter entrance of people or anything larger than a couple inches. No upper story is needed, I live in a basement/ground/upper story house now, and it's not ideal. Too many stairs. If you have the land, build out instead of up.

Also look into planting fruit/nut trees asap, as well as any defensive landscaping and fences.

Az
 

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How about a pole shed?

We have a very nice pole shed style house built by Morton. It went up quick, it was cheap, the building inspector loved it cause it was over designed for our snow load and residential code.

It was a VA loan, and no one had a problem with it.

I would only go with Morton, the building inspectors said, "this is overbuilt, why doesn't every shed-home dweller go with Morton?"

It is basically a big hollow structure we could do with what we wanted.

I wonder if it is close to a faraday cage? Cell phones inside do not work. we got a booster to deal with that since we have no land lines.

We paid a little more for some crazy insulation and thicker walls. When the weather is bad outside we have go out to see it. It is like living in a pressure vessel. We have a central room over built for storms and such.

One issue may be the basement, it will add cost.

We live in central Mn. very cold, kind of hot. We did geothermal ground coupled system. I think we pay $400 a year to keep our 2500 square feet at 75° f year round.

A 5000 watt gennie will maintain it off grid.

We built towards the back of our forty, although friends recommended building on the road, (think dirt township poorly maintained road).

Our 800 foot driveway cost about $8000, cause it crosses a creek and we needed a good culvert. Over the hill in the woods.

Another consideration for us was the cost to run power, I think $4 per foot to the house.

Point it south as you define it so it will or will not get heat from solar and consider panels on the roof if it may be your future. Site planning today will help your efforts forever.

The well witching thing (for us) was a joke, we had one driller come out and jump out of his $40,000 dollar truck with a stick and tell us we could only drill far from the house (he was paid by the foot) the next guy said, "you can drill anywhere you want and hit good water" we went with guy #2, we have a good well where we wanted it.

Consider a grey water set up going into the plumbing. I know that real survivalists don't wash much, but if you can separate the grey water from the sewage and use low impact soap, you may be able to wash yourself and water the garden with the same water.

How about a small hydro set up. If you can get some head on the creek, the power company may end up paying you for electricity?
 

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A few ideas 'd like to share in terms of security for your location.

-Water and fuel storage (like a propane tank) should be underground to avoid making your place look prepared.

-I would put gravel on the path leading up to where you are going to put the property, that way you can hear people coming from a mile away.

-Have you considered looking into Permaculture. These gardens are great because once set up they don't require as much maintenance as a normal garden and they don't look like a garden to the untrained eye.

-Don't store all your supplies in on areas, perhaps have two other storage areas place on the property that way if your place is lost in a fire or taken by undesirables you will have other places with food,water,gun etc. You could consider a small bunker or a root cellar, even a small cabin that you've camouflaged.

-Also considered the ability to funnel anyone who comes onto your property through the main entrance, not from the sides. Planting thick trees and thorny bushes around where you will build the cabin will force people to come up through one area.

Jack Spirko from the survival podcast has some great recordings on these types of gardens and security for these type of areas. I would check it out.
 

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Eclectic
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I don't know how much wind you get in Ohio, but I have wondered why I have never seen anyone on here mention the old fashioned water pumping windmill. We had a couple on the farm when I was a kid. In the link below, if you scroll down a little there is a picture of a windmill that pumps water up to a storage tank.

http://www.fasttrackteaching.com/burns/Unit_2_Westward/U2_adaptations_inventions_plains.html

I concur with the person who said get in fruit and nut trees ASAP. They take several years to mature, so the sooner you get them planted, the sooner you will get produce from them.
 

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Lots Of Important Stuff To Consider BEFORE Buying ...

This might be a long post. Sorry if so. Good to hear you have not yet bought the place. There are many important things to consider and decisions to be made before even an offer is made. Lets us turn through the top important 20 things or so. Actually there are many more considerations, but time space and stuff prohibit a long answer.

Quick considerations. Zoning. Can you build? Can you develop? Wet lands? A stream runs through it? Recent illegal EPA wet land considerations? You better know. Easements? Power lines across it? Mineral rights? Water table. Commercial drilled wells require permits. Paper trails. Septic types available and doable? Same thing. Permits. Cabin construction? Same thing. Building codes.

Schools? Type? Good, average, bad? School commute time? How? Your commute time to work, if any? Acreage soil type. Can you farm it? Growing seasons? What historically has grown there? More about wells. Good water? Bad water? Up stream pollutants in water table? Can you pull commercial power? How much to do so? Is your area good for PV power? More permits?

Tax bases? Local government? Property taxes? School taxes? Total taxes? Local job potential? Any bad things close by like nuke plants? Prisons? Heavy nighttime lighting? Nose pollution? Good neighbors? Any neighbors? Big one ... climate. Weather? Are wood stoves legal? Important. This sounds depressing. Not meant to be. The failing feeble point here is that you have lots of homework to do.

Start by asking yourself all the above valid important questions. Then find a good local Realtor who will work for you and not the seller. Cash is king. We save for years before locating from central CA to SW OR USA. You can do all of this. It just takes time and how badly you want it. PEM if you have any questions. We experienced ... trip wires. Do not want you to go through what we did 20 years ago. Passing it forward.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This might be a long post. Sorry if so. Good to hear you have not yet bought the place. There are many important things to consider and decisions to be made before even an offer is made. Lets us turn through the top important 20 things or so. Actually there are many more considerations, but time space and stuff prohibit a long answer.

Quick considerations. Zoning. Can you build? Can you develop? Wet lands? A stream runs through it? Recent illegal EPA wet land considerations? You better know. Easements? Power lines across it? Mineral rights? Water table. Commercial drilled wells require permits. Paper trails. Septic types available and doable? Same thing. Permits. Cabin construction? Same thing. Building codes.

Schools? Type? Good, average, bad? School commute time? How? Your commute time to work, if any? Acreage soil type. Can you farm it? Growing seasons? What historically has grown there? More about wells. Good water? Bad water? Up stream pollutants in water table? Can you pull commercial power? How much to do so? Is your area good for PV power? More permits?

Tax bases? Local government? Property taxes? School taxes? Total taxes? Local job potential? Any bad things close by like nuke plants? Prisons? Heavy nighttime lighting? Nose pollution? Good neighbors? Any neighbors? Big one ... climate. Weather? Are wood stoves legal? Important. This sounds depressing. Not meant to be. The failing feeble point here is that you have lots of homework to do.

Start by asking yourself all the above valid important questions. Then find a good local Realtor who will work for you and not the seller. Cash is king. We save for years before locating from central CA to SW OR USA. You can do all of this. It just takes time and how badly you want it. PEM if you have any questions. We experienced ... trip wires. Do not want you to go through what we did 20 years ago. Passing it forward.

Thanks for all of the ideas to consider and ponder! It is not depressing at all to hear all the things I need to look for. I'd rather hear it and cover it all now rather than later. If I run into questions about what you mentioned i'll surely PM you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Here's where I am at in this point in time:
-The land is 98.01 Acres.
- ~$160k
-It does have one road run through a small corner of the property but not much at all.
-Has a good sized creek through the middle portion of the property
-mostly steep hillside property
-ISSUE: current owner wants to reserve oil/mineral rights. I would have to negotiate so that wouldn't be the case.
-There is only one portion of completely flat land in one corner area

I will be going to go look at it over a weekend. I continue to search for others as well. There were other properties, but they were like 55 acres for $250k+

Screenshot (8).png
Left area that is flat would be optimal to build on from what i've seen in pics. Need to go scout out the actual land though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm looking for that now. I actually found land just now, double the price, over double the acreage, house already built on it (very outdated though) with stocked pond, 13.5 acres of fertile soil, and on a river. It is 230 acres. I'm doing my research on the waterways now.
 

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Beer Truck Door Gunner
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My family is about to purchase 100 acres of raw, wooded land. We want to build a mid-sized cabin or house. The land has a creek that goes through it and one unpaved road that leads to it.
I am looking for advice on where to start. First i need to start drafting ideas of what i want really and looking for blueprints.
My first priority is pick the location where there can be well water access so I guess i'll have to hire someone to come out and mark areas. I have never done anything like this so if anyone knows where to start with that it would be great.
Right now here is what I am wanting to do/have on the property:
- Mid-sized cabin with: basement, ground floor, and upper level.
- Well water (I can easily tie it to solar and/or generator. But I will definitely have a hand pump)
- Some sort of attached or detached workshop, garage, or barn.
- I'll put a garden area near the living area
- Cistern or water barrels for rain water collection and storage

So far that's what I have. I also want the road in the property to be manageable for my well built wrangler to get to, but more difficult on the basic cars without 4x4. All of the vehicles in our family are by Jeep and have 4x4 capabilities. We have never owned a vehicle without 4x4 so it won't be an issue.

I'd love to hear what others have done and get some great ideas.
First get that access road good enough for 18 wheelers to come in for any deliveries of building materials.

Next would be to get your well water tested and make plans to deal with anything that's off about it.

Next would be professional timber assessment of the property. Once done see if you can get the softwoods logged off for a bit of cash. Also make your plans after they give you the estimate of what will remain after the logging to replace those trees with useful hardwoods and food trees. Then work on your natural exterior barrier plans to keep people out as fences stop no one except the honest folks. Trees and hedge plants take a long time to grow and having that kind of work done before any buildings go up makes both jobs easier.

Find out what utilities you can reasonably get to the property and get the providers coming. Even if you plan to live off grid at some point it is nice to have utilities on hand until you work out all the bugs and hurdles.

Building a barn/workshop is easier than building a house. Having a barn/workshop around makes it easier to build a house and gives you a nice place to store tools and building materials that you and any contractor have there. So consider having an outbuilding made first before building a domicile there.
 

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GunControl=People Control
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You could make use of that creek. Assuming the water quality is good you could gravity pipe some of that water into water tanks, which in turn could be gravity fed to other locations on the property when you need it.
 
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