Author Topic: Our Homestead Begins  (Read 9834 times)

Offline hutchsteaders

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Our Homestead Begins
« on: October 06, 2012, 07:09:17 PM »
My name is Donald. New to the forum as a poster. 27, married, living in North/central Maine. My wife and I recently bought 80 acres and put up a yurt. We moved in about 10 days ago. As of yet no water or electricity. The plan is to get a well as soon as we have the money. We are in the woods a bit so we will not be connecting to the grid. Thought I would share some pictures :)
View from Yurt Dome


The walls made from saplings we cut on our property.


The walls and rafters which we also cut.


The yurt nearly finished. Its been buttoned down a bit since this picture.


Interior pictures well be coming soon!

Offline ibboat

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Re: Our Homestead Begins
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2012, 08:24:15 PM »
Wow. Congrats on the move. Off grid must be tough. Good looking yurt there. I'm land shoping in N. alabama now. Good luck. Cb

Offline boboroshi

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Re: Our Homestead Begins
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2012, 08:56:56 PM »
Looks great! Lots of stuff you can do with just good ol sweat power. Keep us up to date as you settle in! Would love to see what you're doing to the property as it goes along.

Offline archer

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Re: Our Homestead Begins
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2012, 09:10:04 PM »
wow. congrats! good job! keep up updated on how it  goes!

Offline Vulcan

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Re: Our Homestead Begins
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2012, 12:23:30 AM »
Awesome! Keep us posted!

Offline Samuel Fairlane

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Re: Our Homestead Begins
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2012, 04:33:31 AM »
That looks awesome.

Offline ID_Joker

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Re: Our Homestead Begins
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2012, 10:03:35 PM »
Looks awesome!  Congratulations!  Lattice work looked cool.  Did you do your own?  I've been looking into yuerts and am curious because most I've seen come with the lattice walls!  Well done!

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: Our Homestead Begins
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2012, 08:05:44 AM »
That's pretty awesome! When do we get a tour of the inside?

Offline Zip

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Re: Our Homestead Begins
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2012, 09:18:41 AM »
Absolutely incredible.  Good luck man.  I look forward to hearing how it goes!  Keep posting as you proceed.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Our Homestead Begins
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2012, 09:49:37 AM »
Wonderful... you should compare notes with surfivor. He also has a yurt in Maine, iirc.

Offline Grannywhiskers

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Re: Our Homestead Begins
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2012, 09:58:14 PM »
Congratulations! How long did it take to build?  How much help did you have?
Keep us informed.

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: Our Homestead Begins
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2012, 11:27:25 AM »
Excellent, Donald.  One thing you might want to do before getting a well is starting some water catchment.  With a tarp, some rope, and a barrel, you can catch water off part of the roof of your yurt.  You can Berkey filter that for drinking, and use it directly for washing (use a bit of bleach if it makes you feel better about critters).

Offline Roundabouts

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Re: Our Homestead Begins
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2012, 09:46:59 AM »
CONGRATS!!   ENJOY YOUR JOURNEY!   Can't wait to see what follows.  :popcorn:

Offline hutchsteaders

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Re: Our Homestead Begins
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2012, 08:01:31 PM »
Here are the interior pictures as promised.


The door. Still working on gaps around the edges. lol


The sectioned off area will be the bathroom once we put a loft above it. For now its a bedroom. The intent was to keep the pups off the bed but as you can see Verne is still small enough to get through.


Heat! It is getting cold at night now. Low 30s already.


Don't mind the mess. My wife was in the middle of making lunch when I took these. This is one of our 2 6'X8' windows (splurged)



Sun shining through the dome. These supports are temporary and mostly for peace of mind. They were added after all the rafters were in and only then because I needed to work up there to attach the dome.


We built the walls in about 2 months inside the apartment we were renting working on it a couple of hours here and there. Then the platform went up in 2 days. The rest went up over 4 weekends but like most houses it is a work in progress lol Most of the time there were 2 or 3 of us working on it.

The modern yurts I have seen come as a kit. I decided I would save a few dollars by doing the lattice wall, rafters, and ring myself. As far as I've seen the platform doesn't come with the yurt so I only saved in labor on that. The canvas and the dome cost me about $6021 so we saved about $4500 this way. We got ours through White Mountain Yurts. We love the look of the saplings. I cannot thank my friends and family enough for helping and loaning tools! I was feeling like Pa Kettle for a while. lol

Water catchment is an excellent idea. We have a 35 gal drum so we will be doing that. With all the rain we've had this last month I've wished we had many more barrels to fill. I think we will put in some ponds in the next couple years, to help keep more usable water on the property.

For those who are land shopping try checking with logging companies. We got a good deal on our 80 acres. Its been cut over so its ready for some TLC. They left me a lot of sugar maples :)

Recent events:
Installed our wood stove :D
Built a pen for our compost/humanure.
Put up a bird feeder which has attracted a bunch of slate colored juncos, a few chick-a-dees, and a chipmunk.
Spotted a couple turkeys wandering our property.




Offline hutchsteaders

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Re: Our Homestead Begins
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2012, 07:28:13 PM »
We survived Sandy! (or the remnants anyway) I was a little concerned being in the yurt during 40+ mph winds in our yurt but even my stove pipe stayed up throughout.

Just bought a tractor. 07 60hp New Holland 1400 hrs for 20k. We need something to clear our .7 mi driveway in the winter, clear some stumps from our field, as well as hugelkulture & swales. For now I'll be working with just the front loader. Hopefully I can get a backhoe attachment by summer and a snow blower attachment for next winter.

With my 8 ft "roll-up-wall" I was able to use the rolled up canvas to act as a gutter and fill my rain barrel :) That's an extra 35 gallons of water for washing that I don't have to lug.

It has been over a month now that we've been living without electricity. Really I haven't missed it except that our cell has died twice between outings. If we didn't have a propane range to cook on it would be much MUCH tougher. lol

Offline Roundabouts

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Re: Our Homestead Begins
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2012, 07:39:49 PM »
Glad to hear all is well and in tact!  Shows how good a job you have done  :clap:

Offline desertmarine

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Re: Our Homestead Begins
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2012, 09:26:33 PM »
There is a wonderful Yurt Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/The_Yurt_Community

Anyone interested in Yurting should check them out.  I have seriously consider putting on up on our West Texas Land.  Time will tell.

Always pleased to see the practical applications of living off-Grid and close to nature.  If you can consider blogging and spread the word and your experiences.

Desert Marine

Offline cathleeninnh

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Re: Our Homestead Begins
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2012, 06:44:03 AM »
Very nice. I am not familiar with yurts. What is the life of this kind of construction? I am wondering about the winter heat on all those saplings.

Cathleen

Offline desertmarine

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Re: Our Homestead Begins
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2012, 05:38:48 AM »
Very nice. I am not familiar with yurts. What is the life of this kind of construction? I am wondering about the winter heat on all those saplings.

Cathleen

Cathleen,

A good quality Yurt can last easily over 20-25 years and that includes winter snow usage.  Many of the reputable companies offer nice warranty on their products.

Desert Marine

Offline Texas Sawduster

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Re: Our Homestead Begins
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2012, 12:34:39 PM »
Very nice work on your Yurt.
Congrats on doing most of it yourself.

I would consider buying the ceramic candles that either St. Paul Mercantile sell or the replacement ones that Berkey sells and make your own filtration unit for drinking water.

I bought 4 of the black filters from St. Paul and plan on making a counter top filter for the house to test the filters before building a larger unit.


Offline mortgageboss

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Re: Our Homestead Begins
« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2012, 08:26:53 PM »
Thanks for posting.  Its giving me some ideas.

Offline hutchsteaders

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Re: Our Homestead Begins
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2013, 12:53:47 PM »
We have made it to midwinter in our yurt. Here are a few things that we have learned that I thought I'd share.

A yurt needs insulation too (duh right? lol) We had some radiant barrier we put up but its not enough and it a pain. This summer we will be buying the insulation from the yurt company. The insulation also channels the gallons of condensation that forms on the canvas roof down the walls and out the yurt. The radiant barrier is somewhat doing this, but we've had to overlap it just right and tape together. So I highly advise someone to buy the insulation from the yurt company.

Airtight wood stoves are WAY better for our circumstances. We had a cheap Logwood 1261 wood stove. It was supposed to heat 900 sq ft. Perhaps 900 insulated sq ft but it couldn't keep out 458 not insulated sq ft very warm. We now have an airtight that does well enough to get us through the winter. I still have to get up during the night to feed it, but not every 90 minutes like I was.

It takes a lot of snow to get enough water to bathe & do dishes. We bought some 7 gal jugs to haul water in from work. I will be digging my own well this spring/summer.

Seasoned wood burns way better throwing off more heat. Thankfully we were able to buy some and will have some extra for next year and start building a couple years reserve.

It is important to have easy to use fire starter and kindling for those nights when you come home late and its cold or just to make it easier for your wife.

We've been using the Coleman duel fuel lanterns for light at night and like them a lot.

Have a backup plan for clearing snow from the driveway. The tractor broke down and we had to scramble to get plowed out. Thank goodness for friends.

Here are my wife's suggestions to anyone who is considering a life in a yurt without electricity, running water, or a regular toilet. "Be sure it is what you want. Then do it. Be patient and give yourself enough time to accomplish your tasks. Everything will take longer."






Offline scaffdog

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Re: Our Homestead Begins
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2013, 08:34:00 PM »
Got to say I am super proud of you guys!  No plan survives contact with the enemy!  Im sure some nights it probably sucks, but once you get the problems worked through this is going to be an awesome thing! 

Offline fishman1113

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Re: Our Homestead Begins
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2013, 05:54:24 AM »
This is amazing!  Keep the photos coming.  I hope your winter is short, and your preparations for next year are easier.

Offline Downeastwaves

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Re: Our Homestead Begins
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2013, 12:44:25 PM »
Nice! Thanks for the pix. Hope your stove takes bigger wood than is in the pile by it.