SE TN Stead

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SE TN Stead

Postby wileythenord » Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:40 pm

My work in progress, I'll use this thread in a blog style to show our progress.
We plan to use the 15 acres to become self sufficient. We want to raise our kids on homegrown...food that is! So we have plans for fruit and nut trees, raised beds, free range chickens, rabbit hutches, a small bamboo forest, and a root cellar.

My wife and I broke ground last year on our house. We've got approximately 15 acres deeded to us on her parents farm that borders the Hiwassee River in East TN. For the house, it will have a full basement (24' X 36') with a bedroom, pantry, kitchenette (for future canning, for current cooking) and bathroom (we are living down there right now with our 7 year old!), a main level (24' X 36') with main bedroom, living space/kitchen, master bath and a "loft" (gambrel) room that will measure 16' X 18' for the boys. I plan for an 8" Rocket mass heater system and a solar hot water system. We have big plans! Did I mention we are doing this all debt free? So it's going to take some time. I've sub contracted out parts of the house, but we have done most of the work ourselves.

Onto the good stuff!


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That's my wife, offering her assistance at clearing the old sawmill site for our house.
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That crazy bearded dude is me!

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Once we got all of the structure torn down and the old tanks, wagon and tractor safely moved out of the way, it was time to excavate. The cows are optional...
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Big Hole in the ground!
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Footing dug, rebar started
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Time to pour!

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This is proof that the Hiwassee is God's country, we have spectacular displays like this every other night or so.

I'll keep this updated as I can!
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Re: SE TN Stead

Postby matt walker » Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:56 pm

Wiley, awesome spread man! So glad to have you sharing your progress here, it looks like it's gonna be a lot of fun to follow along. I did a month long road trip in November, through a whole lot of this country, and honestly, aside from home, my absolute favorite area of the whole country was E. Tennessee. I just absolutely fell in love with the country there, not sure what rivers I was near, I'll have to check a map, but man, I love where you are setting up a 'stead.
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Re: SE TN Stead

Postby wileythenord » Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:14 pm

Yeah I've visited a lot of the country and some foreign countries, and I haven't been anywhere yet that made me want to stay!

If you check out a map of SE TN, find the Tennessee River and the Hiwassee River, where they meet is less than a mile from our place. It's awesome, I have some other shots I'll post up soon of the countryside, some flora and fauna and some sunset/sunrises.
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Re: SE TN Stead

Postby DevilsBrew » Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:47 pm

Welcome Wiley! Looks good. Only been as far South in TN as Gatlinburg but I have been all over the SE. Lived in NC and SC. Good luck to you! Post pictures!
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Re: SE TN Stead

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:26 pm

We would all enjoy seeing the pictures of your stead Wiley. I love to see and hear what others are doing and what their thinking process was as to why they did it. It is great to see what progress you are making as you two build your home and your lives together. Good luck as you do all that hard work to make a future for your family and keep them out of debt. More people should take your lead.
Never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.
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Re: SE TN Stead

Postby Lollykoko » Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:21 am

Glad to see your 'stead thread, Wiley!
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Re: SE TN Stead

Postby wileythenord » Tue May 20, 2014 2:41 pm

Time to update! Most of these pics are from last year, I haven't done much this year since I had a son born in January. I'll try to get some updates as I can.
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Here is a nice shot of our main floor support beam being sawn. That thing was a beast!

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Stack of trusses getting ready to be set

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First truss going up! look at that monster! 32' W X 13' T

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North side of the house fully trussed up

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South Side fully trussed up

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Roof going up!

I'll try to get some pics in the next few days to show some progress, I've got some raised beds, lots of coarse sawdust, a full roof, and some landscape steps , and I'll try to get some pictures of the views from my porches.

Here are some freebies!
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Re: SE TN Stead

Postby matt walker » Wed May 21, 2014 4:10 am

Dang man, you've been busy! Congrats on the new son, and thanks for the pics. I love that last one, that's just great.
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Re: SE TN Stead

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Wed May 21, 2014 12:53 pm

Glad to see that you are making progress. Congratulations on the birth of your Son, I am sure that you two will have many Happy times at your place as he grows. :D
Never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.
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Re: SE TN Stead

Postby wileythenord » Wed May 21, 2014 3:49 pm

Pictures as promised!

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In this picture you can see the entire roof is up, I've got some house wrap on and you can see some piles of partially decomposed sawdust, we are covering our exposed ground with sawdust in a giant "Back to Eden" experiment.
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This is view off the front porch, our East view as it is today, pure beauty!
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This is a better view of the cedar fence running in front of the house, that was some hard work, its nice to have a father in law with a sawmill!
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These steps aren't completely finished yet, the rise is a little too steep for my beautiful bride so I'm going to add an extra step on each level and I still need to finish the landings at the top and bottom, but this is the general idea. I'm going to plant sweet potatoes to the left of the stairs and let them cover all the red clay, hopefully over the course of a few years, my sweet potato tilling and mulching will turn that hill into a bountiful spot!
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My potato experiment phase 1, I put out my raised bed mix about 7 inches deep, started some potatoes in it, and have since kept it covered with sawdust, Its nearly ready to add another layer of logs.




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Moonrise over the house
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Sunrise over the house
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The family at opening night of the Kentucky derby! Little man wouldn't keep his shades on!

More to come!
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