Owner-Built Log home Homestead Community

Discussion in 'General Homesteading & Building' started by Liltrouble, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. Liltrouble

    Liltrouble Member

    7
    0
    Hi Everyone :)

    I have recently purchased 52 acres in Savannah TN (southeast of Jackson near the TN river). I am planning on building my own log home by hand and want to see if anyone would like to join me on my land to build their own log homes as well and create a homestead Log Home community?

    I would like to have a community barn/livestock, chickens for eggs etc, an organic raised-bed garden, have well water with rainwater collection systems and eventually go completely off grid with a combination of wind/solar power. :D

    For now I will be using grid-power and I plan on starting construction of my own home on the land in April. This area has great schools, plenty of jobs locally and within a good driving distance, and a great mild climate. The property itself has springs, a creek, plenty of mature trees and pasture land and is located in a very nice area near a golf-course with up-scale homes which are all on large lots (no postage-stamp subdivisions nearby.) The TN River, a large lake, and numerous state parks are within a few miles, it is a very pretty area.

    I already own the land, so I'm not selling anything here, nor looking for anyone to "buy in" on anything. I'm more interested in finding like-minded people to join me and live as a community without reliance on a daily trip to Wal-Mart and with similar values and outlooks on nature and on living in harmony with the wild animals and eco-system that is both on and surrounding this beautiful piece of property. I am very intersted in opinions, suggestions, and ideas regarding this and how to make it possible and how to make it all work. :confused: So please, post-away and let me know what you think. I think I've got a great idea started, now I just need the people and the ideas to make it a reality. I'm looking forward to hearing what everyone here has to say good or bad. Many minds are better than one! :)
    Thank you everyone, and have a great day!
     
  2. Herbalpagan

    Herbalpagan Well-Known Member

    252
    0
    What you are talking about is something like an "intentional community" (I think that's what they are calling it)....a lot more rational and upscale than, but similar to a commune type of thing. Although, commune sounds off, the principle is sound. Have you given any thought to the legality of people building their own home on your land, but not owning the land? What about if they need to build to a certain quality? What if they want to leave?
    I've thought of doing something like this myself, but I've found that there isn't enough "road frontage" to build what I want, so I have to be content with what I have and a "guest cottage/bunk house" type of thing for visitors/kids.
    I love the idea nad if we weren't settled here, I would be looking for something like that. The idea of sharing the labor and the results is great when everyone works as a team! Sounds like you have a really nice place.
    Good luck.:)
     

  3. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

    1,512
    0
    Enjoy your land. If I lived closer I'd love to join in. I love log homes.
     
  4. Liltrouble

    Liltrouble Member

    7
    0
    Good points...

    Thanks for the reply. :) 'Intentional community' sounds about right, I was thinking that perhaps I could create some sort of membership deeds or something, I know people like security and would want to "own" their place especially if they want to build etc. I would. But I have no idea how to go about it, hence the reason I posted....but you put it into a better prospective certainly.
    I own the land, it was supposed to be a subdivision that just never sold, so the land is already subdivided on the deed but there are no roads or any of that mess in there...just some ATV/horse trails, so I'm not sure how that would work to give slices out? I'm not looking to make money or be a real-estate broker by any means, just share what I have with like-minded people and create a little "community" where we can share in the joys of gardening and critters and such - a good bombfire or two wouldn't hurt either!! LOL. : )

    I thought about just building more houses on it myself like you mentioned and then just doing rent to own or something? Most important is being fair to everyone and helping eachother so that everyone lives a little easier. :)
     
  5. Expeditioner

    Expeditioner Well-Known Member

    482
    0
    You have the basis for a good idea. Have you consulted with a real estate lawyer to protect yourself from "squatter" claims and issues of premises liability. What you are doing is extremely generous and it would be terrible if someone tries to abuse that generosity.
     
  6. Herbalpagan

    Herbalpagan Well-Known Member

    252
    0
    here is the web site for "intentional communities". It's pretty good and they also have a listing of ones that are up and running and looking for people. By checking these out and seeing what people offer and the terms, you can get a firmer idea of whata will or won't work. Some are like communes with small cabin homes close to the central home with shared meals, some are like fancy developements with a community garden and pasture. There is a wide range of ideas. I keep the link because I think it is such a cool idea. When I mention it to people though, they have questions like "why should I go build a house and be so restricted" to "why should I and my family be free labor". I guess you either get it or you don't.:p
     
  7. Expeditioner

    Expeditioner Well-Known Member

    482
    0
    I am sure there are some who would use the guise of an "intentional" community in an attempt to set up some kind of fuedal system or end up that way. I would want people to pose the question "why should I and my family be free labor?"

    As for me, I like the idea of an intentional community......the Pilgrims that settled in New England were more or less an intentional community.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2009
  8. Magi

    Magi Active Member

    38
    0
    How far are you from Shiloh Battlefield?
     
  9. Liltrouble

    Liltrouble Member

    7
    0
    Distance and Motives...lol

    It's only about 15 min from there, you have to pass by the entrance for it to get to the road that leads to the property. :)

    As for mal intentions....yes, I can see how some would do just that, and that's a real shame. My outlook is this...in a very greedy world, perhaps some sharing would do us all some good? I know I will never use all of the land myself and I know how hard it is to get land these days....so why not share? But yes, there are a lot of "legalities" and just as someone in my position could take advantage, there's a lot of "squatter" types that could do the same to someone trying to do what I envision...hence the reason I posted for some ideas and feedback. : )

    I don't want to have to make up some laundry list of rules and such to inhibit others from any freedom on the property but at the same time I suppose I have to make some rules to protect my investment too....I would like to limit the houses to just 3 or 4 besides my own, I would like to have "lots" that they can use as their own on the land like a normal subdivision, and I would like to make sure all the structures are of some similar quality, ie: log or timber frame to protect my resale value on down the road....and I certainly wouldn't want anyone to fear that I would sell their house on them!! LOL I thought about perhaps having "memberships" available that would entitle people to have selling rights to their houses etc....without screwing me either....has to be an equal playing field for everyone but how does one accomplish it???

    Anyway, I really appreciate the feedback, only now I have more questions than before! LOL ;) Keep it coming everyone....:)
     
  10. Expeditioner

    Expeditioner Well-Known Member

    482
    0
    Just throwing the ideas out there for consideration. It is a by product of my years in the risk management industry. I think you have a good idea and wish you much success. If I can help in any way form clearing land to building let me know.

    Use the KISS principle when establishing your rules. As to making it equal for everyone, that is hard to do. The rules can and should be to your advantage as you need to protect your interests. Those that want to participate will either agree to the conditions or they will move on. Fair and equal are not necessarily the same thing.


    Your personal liability is a concern only in the days leading up to a society altering event.
     
  11. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

    2,244
    47
    I think it would be awesome if you could get a group of your friends together on a fairly large plot to work in a communal type setup. Share gardening duties, share cooking, schooling, etc.
     
  12. NYPrepper

    NYPrepper Survivalist

    11
    0
    You sound like a very generous and trusting person - be careful! On another note, I built a 3000 sq.ft. log home from a Lincoln Logs (Kannapolis, NC) kit back in 1989. It was fun and interesting, but be advised there are specific problems and issues with log homes, not the least of which is frequent treatment of logs to prevent water and insect damage. THEY ARE NOT MAINTENANCE FREE!!! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I am planning on building another smaller one where I now live. A local lumber mill will provide all the white pine logs I can afford. The logs for a 1500 sq.ft. home will cost me about $12,000 milled and with gaskets and fasteners. It would be much cheaper to frame a house using rough cut 2 x 6 pine, but the allure of a log home is more attractive, despite the extra work. I've been thinking about moving out of enemy territory (NY state) for a while now. How is Tenn. as far as climate, repressive gov't, and gun rights?
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2009
  13. Liltrouble

    Liltrouble Member

    7
    0
    TN is an easy place to live

    Thanks for the well wishes, and yes I know I'll have to be careful to an extent, but I don't want to be the "rule master" either...lol I'm hoping if I just fing the RIGHT people it should be a happy and harmonious place to live. : )
    I have worked with the log home industry for over 13 years, and the one thing I learned was that I will never purchase a kit!! LOL If you take things back about 100 yrs and go "old school" it's very easy to make it a cheap, relatively easy project that won't require obscene amounts of maintainence. : ) Trick to it all is having proper overhangs and making sure your first treatment of the logs is done properly in order to not have to fix problems later on. I prefer the butt and pass method, if done properly it practically eliminates settling and is a far faster and easier way to build, the corners may not be as pretty, but the structure will be around for 200 years easy!
    As for climate here, it is mild during fall/spring...winters are non-existant compared to NY for sure (I'm from the IL/WI border originally so I'm familiar with harsh ones), summer can get a bit hot around August, but most years it's not too bad. :)
    As for guns, there's no waiting time...no stupid cards to own, and you can take a very easy class that allows you a conceal and carry permit. The only stipulation is that you can't take them anywhere that serves alchohol or into Gov't buildings. You're also allowed to carry them without the conceal cards so long as they are visible to any officer approaching your vehicle. I've had one for years and routinely carry my .380 in my front pocket. :)
    I don't find the gov't oppresive unless you get into a major city and then the ordinances and building code b.s. starts to come into play, but out in the boonies there's little to no restrictions on building and only one or two permits to build, like a perc test and your final electric hook up. :)
     
  14. NYPrepper

    NYPrepper Survivalist

    11
    0
    The gun laws sound reasonable there. I did manage to get a CCW permit up here about 16 years ago with no problem - but things aren't the same anymore with the assclowns like Schumer, McCarthy, Rangel and Clinton (who luckily is not here anymore - one down, three to go)
    As far as log maintenance goes, I agree you need at least 18" overhangs and preferrably 24", which is what I had. Lincoln Logs (no longer in business) only supplied the exterior logs, everything else was framed using local lumber and supplies. I chose Lincoln Logs because they were the only company that used Southern Yellow Pine (SYP) exclusively. It's the most dense of the pine species and I figured it would be the most durable as a result. The only thing I didn't figure was that the density of the wood actually works against you in terms of insulative value. The lighter pines like white pine are better due to the air pores caused by the open grain. SYP logs are like cinder blocks! An 8' x 12' wall section of SYP logs weighs almost 3500 lbs., very strong, but a poor insulator. Regardless of the species, logs need to be treated every 2-5 years depending on the product used. Sikens is the longest lasting but it is a two stage process and very expensive, and it only extends the time between treatments by 2 years. I used to buy 15 gallons of CWF-UV and spend my summer vacation treating my house! Lincoln also used the "butt & pass" system with one very nice feature - they milled a 4" socket into the "Pass" logs to accept the "butt" logs - this forms a weather tight corner rather than just relying on a gasket seal drawn tight with a lag bolt. I don't know of anyone else that offers this. I was happy with the log construction, but unhappy with the R-factor. My next house will have a hydronic heating system, unlike my first log home which was forced hot air. The hot air system was easiest in terms of log home construction, but my house was 73' x 33' with a 22' cathedral ceiling and took forever to heat up because of the long run of heating duct and subsequent heat loss by the time it reached the other end of the house! My furnace was running constantly, and I had a Charmaster combination wood/oil furnace. ( the name "Charmaster" never made me feel warm and fuzzy inside considering I had a log home!) Also due to the settling inherent in all log homes, 2-4" of headspace must be allowed over each door and window - making it less than ideal in terms of mitigating drafts. Not a concern in Tenn., but up here when the wind is howling and it's -20 outside you can find all the leaks very quickly! I wish you luck in your project and stay in touch - I'm interested in your progress!
     
  15. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    8,000
    10
    As the landowner, your best bet in building a community is to create a rental-zone. No-one owns anything built on the land except for yourself (or your company - a better choice). If I was you, I would build 8 sets of buildings - all similar.

    What I would do is build the first house w/ garage and a "community hall". Once you have settled in and everything is good, move yourself into the community-hall and start building the second home. While you are building the second home, rent out the first place to someone who will take good care of it. Offer them cheaper rent if they help you build the new place. (ie: if the going rent is $1200 in your area for a house, then offer it to them at $800) Live in the new place till you get the bugs worked out, move back into the community-hall and rent out the second pad.

    Repeat process of building places till you have ~8 homes w/ outbuildings put together - living in each and every one of them as you go. Keep the rent reasonable for the tenants (ie: don't try to make money off of them - just enough to pay the yearly taxes / mortgage - a "not-for-profit company" - break-even). Each home would have just over 5 acre of "personal space" and the rest of the land would be for the general community to work with (gardens, community-hall, butcher-shop, etc) - all built and controlled by yourself.
     
  16. youpock

    youpock Well-Known Member

    83
    0
    Back from the dead!


    Anyone set up shop here?
     
  17. TNmedicman

    TNmedicman NREMT-P

    31
    0
    I like the idea of what you propose. I lived all of my life in that area, Selmer to be exact. During my time I found that most of the people in the area talk a much better game about "preparedness" than they produce. Just be careful who you let in mostly the people that think they are "survivalists". If i still lived there I would definetly be looking you up. Please keep us updated on how your project progresses.
     
  18. leisarobyne

    leisarobyne New Member

    2
    0
    interested !

    I am very interested in your post; I absolutely love TN and would like to knw about your homesteading venture. I am in charleston, sc right now.

    Thanks. Leisa :wave:
     
  19. leisarobyne

    leisarobyne New Member

    2
    0
    More about me

    I am a 49 y.o. able-bodied female (single) who has had dreams of living an off-grid, self-sufficient lifestyle. I am sick of consumerism and living like a slave to pay for utilities and so-called necessities. I am eager, a hard worker and can swing a hammer or axe with the best of them. I am very much into organic gardening and very much NOT into going shopping or sitting like a zombie in front of the TV.

    I have been looking for like-minded people as I would like to have company and - heck - it's probably safer that way. I read some replies to your posts about people who might try to take advantage of the situation. That is not me. I just want to live a wholesome and full life, appreciating the wonderful things nature provides for us but few take advantage of. I want to get away from the traffic roar, strip malls, the mall ITSELF, the concrete, asphalt and stress-filled life of "normal" society.

    Question: I looked up Savannah, TN on a topo map. Is this area hilly or near mountains or more of a lower land? It doesn't look like there are any mountains - oh, how I love the mountains! But, even if it isn't, I am still very interested. And one more thing - I LOVE log houses, especially handmade ones!
     
  20. honeycutt

    honeycutt New Member

    1
    0
    I am very interested in doing something like this. I would love to and most definitely want to do this. I have nothing tying me down. I am young and able bodied.