Porch complete [Weekly House Update]

We just got back from a trip down to the land. We were hoping to see the transformer and/or some of the work to bring the electricity to the house, but it still is pending. The porch, however, has been finished. So have the two small decks and stairs in the back. We also noticed a few small finishing touches like the electrical fixtures and some cleaning up around the house.

Another happy story this week is we had some business to carry out earlier in the week and had to stop by the house to talk to one of the contractors. While there we met one of our neighbors and had a good conversation with her. We all felt relieved after the meeting I think. Our neighbor runs a dog rescue where she rehabilitates and helps find homes for dogs and she was relieved that we had no issue with her dogs. On our side, we were relieved that she had no issues with us raising chickens or other livestock. Chickens and goats here we come! lol

And now… the pictures!

Homestead Plan

When we started this journey we had a budget for various expenses building the house (appraisals, perk tests, etc) and moving in (lawn equipment, sheds, etc). Our remaining budget set aside for those expenses is quickly dwindling and we still have two large expenses to go: trenching the electricity to the house and the pending water filtration system. Last night, Erica and I sat down to take a look at what was left and re-prioritize our plans for the house and property.

Immediate Goals (0 to 3 months)

  • Shed/Workshop
    • The shed or workshop is still a high priority, although we do not know where the funding is going to come from. So much hinges on have a place to store lawn equipment, tools, supplies, etc that we have to figure out how to make this one happen.
    • I’m really hoping for the workshop (14 ft x 18 ft), which would be a bit bigger than the shed (10 ft x 14 ft). Even though it wouldn’t be a true workshop in the beginning, in time as we add more structures (like a small garden shed) it would be a modest, but nice workshop (and just a workshop).
  • Garden
    • The start of the garden. We will face time and budget restraints doing too much this season, but we want to get started.
  • Evaluate land and make a plan
    • We will likely need to till and disc much of the land (around the house at least) to make the land flat enough to not destroy our garden tractor. Some of this will be done for us by the builder, but we need to evaluate if more will be needed.
  • Evaluate driveway and make a plan
    • 32 tons of gravel will be brought in for our driveway and we have a good base of sand already where the driveway will go. We will need to evaluate the driveway provided and possibly bring more gravel in to make a place for both cars to park off the dirt.
  • Evaluate tree availability and make a decision
    • We will be fairly late in the season to order trees in bulk from the Department of Forestry. We plan to at least see what is left (if anything) and evaluate if we want to get any this year.

Short-term Goals (3 to 6 months)

  • Evaluate gutters and make a plan
    • The house does not come with gutters. We could have had them installed, but we didn’t have the budget or the desire to pay someone else to do it.
  • Evaluate paint/draperies and make a plan
    • The house comes pre-painted, but all the walls are all flat-paint and the same color. Painting over the flat-paint with something a bit more washable where the kids roam is a must in our minds.
  • Evaluate house-related projects and make a plan
    • This one roughly translates to minor projects like making Adirondack chairs for the front porch, a bench for the entry way, shelves for the den, etc.

End-of-year Goals (6 to 12 months)

  • Adopt a Pyredoodle
    • Erica fell in love with Pyredoodles. We would love to adopt one sooner, but we really need to figure out the fencing below (not to mention the finances to adopt the puppy). It will be hard to wait!
  • Expand garden
  • Ceiling fan for MBR
  • Evaluate orchard and make a plan
  • Evaluate fencing and make a plan
  • Evaluate chickens/coop/paddocks and make a plan
  • Evaluate trees and make a plan

Mid-term Goals (year 2 and 3)

  • Back deck
  • Garden shed
  • Electricity to shed/workshop
  • Truck

Long-term Goals

  • Pond
    • Not a garden pond. A nice big pond to water the garden with and get soil to cover the root “cellar”.
  • Root “cellar”
    • Not underground because our water table is too high. We hope to dig down a foot or two, but mostly mound over the structure with dirt dug from the pond.
  • Green house
  • ATV
    • It would have some utility purposes, but this would be use for play as much as for work.

Home Progress…Just a few updates

Yesterday we visited the land. The septic was suppose to be started last week, however, the recent bought of rain and potential snow held things up. While we were walking around the property, a truck pulled up with the guy who would be putting in the culvert, driveway and septic. He said he would be starting today or tomorrow. Things are finally moving and we are really feeling like this is real. We are getting excited and trying to draw up some plans for the homestead. We have so much room to work with and are actually struggling to find use for it all right now! Our big discussion yesterday was to try to figure out where to place Alex’s garage and where to put the chickens. We decided to go with a paddock design for keeping our little chicken family. Idea Here. It’s a bit strange to think that we are only planning on starting with a few chickens, even though we could probably keep over a hundred on this size land!

The other exciting news is that we have an address!! When we bought the property it did not have an address yet. Now we just need to hunt for a better mailbox!