Once it became official that the land was ours, the building plans officially started.
We were able to pick up an RV that had a blown motor cheaply. We pounced on it because of our plans.
Daryls main job, hauling fuel, was shut down due to a lot of uncertainty in 2020, so he went back to towing for a local company. That’s how we were able to run across this.
The theme song for Holiday Road from National Lampoon’s Vacation came to mind, to be honest with you, when I think of some of the finer details of our plans, which makes me chuckle, which is okay!
The first question was whether we would stay in the rental house we were currently in or live in our RV while we build at that point?
That would all be determined by a few things. 2020 seemed to be a year of uncertainty across the board, for everyone.
Living in an RV from May through September does not bother me. But, living in it while we build in the winter months out here is a whole different story. Can it be done? Yes, but there are many things to do to make that happen. In our area, the last thing you want to do is be caught unprepared when winter sets in.
The Old House On The New Property
It’s an old trailer that mother nature has been in the process of reclaiming for quite some time now. It has to go. There is no saving it.
Not everything is going to be a loss, however.
Living in Alaska – Chicken Coop
The man who used to live here did tire repairs. This was the little shop he used to repair those tires. Soon it might be a coop with a covered area and chicken runs that I can see from the front of the house once it’s built to keep an eye on the girls.
The moment I saw this and went inside, I knew what I wanted to use it for. I rarely stake claim to things without Daryl and me forging a plan together, but I knew that this would be the future home for our chickens with some cleanup and TLC!
Daryl was on board. Yay!
As you can see from some of the pictures I got with my phone, my hands were shaking more than average just out of excitement!
Plans include a small greenhouse offset from the kitchen in the house that I can access from inside to grow my herbs and other things that will get the heat from the woodstove in the winter months that face the south. We also want to have a big garden. Details of that were still being hatched out.
A very well insulated A-Frame.
900 square feet of living space downstairs and 300+ in the loft.
Our original plans were to have 800 square feet of living space, but we increased this to allow a utility room in the house itself. This will enable us to have indoor water tanks like we currently have in the rental house because we will be hauling our water. The sub-zero temps this area gets in the winter will not allow for outside water storage.
There is no water on this property, so a well is not an option.
Will You Have Running Water?
Yes, we will have running water.
A common misconception of a dry cabin is that you have no water at all.
You haul it in. (or have it hauled in if there is a company that does that in your area). Everyone has their own kind of setup. For us, we will have the tanks in the back of the house with Flex Pex pipes running to the sinks, shower, and toilet, with Sharkbite (Made in the USA) fittings. Everything will be run inside because there is nothing worse than frozen pipes!
Will You Be On Grid or Off Grid?
Since there is already an old pole set up on the property, for the time being, we will be on-grid as far as power is concerned once we move onto the property. If there are any issues, we will be completely off-grid faster than expected. The only reason we are doing it this way is to save costs upfront so we can get the house dried in, insulated, and livable while we finish. This project is not going to be done in one season.
The water, of course, is off the grid from the start and will stay that way. There are no public water utilities for many miles.
What Will you Heat With?
Our primary source of heat will be a wood cookstove. I am looking forward to it. If you knew how many old-school things we do anyway, a wood cookstove would add to it. Plus, my cast iron skillets will love it too.
Below is the Kitchen Queen (Made in the USA) in large and small models.
We are going with the larger model on the right, but it will have the warming shelf doors as seen on the left. I have done lots of research on various models and asked others who own different models lots of questions.
We will also have a small Toyo stove as backup, but I do not foresee it being used unless we are gone or in an emergency. We have chosen to have a backup because of the winter climate. There are days in the winter in our area that it will drop to -40 below and sometimes a little colder.
So as of 2020, that was the plan!