50ish chick & gimp's cabin update & pics

Started by zion-diy, July 13, 2006, 08:25:03 AM

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Hi, Sorry we haven't posted in so long but I have been sneaking peeks when I can. We have all our pics so far on yahoo,below is the link,enjoy,....Well our 3 20'x20' boxes, are on the way to being a real home. We have ditched the RV and are living in the shell! Wahoo!!Now for all you people who want good news on costs, this project has cost us $21,480 to date, and now we are broke and working on our income only.This included the septic,spring, garage,planer,saws etc,and everything you see in the pics.Sounds impossible, but its true because that's all we had after selling the rv!I welcome questions on my costs,because of all the details I won't post unless asked.Now the only downside is that we have dome EVERYTHING on our own, just me and hubby, NO outside help at all, not even loading the wood at the sawmill!..would I do it again? you bet! We worked on the foundation/septic,well etc till the beginning of April, after that the weather let us build, pretty good for 3 months????I am willing o share any and all secrets,trial,tribulations,where deals were,costs etc, just ask that what this wonderful forum is about! Back to work...aaauuugghhh! Linda



Great Job. Linda.  Nice place in the Ozarks.

I moved into my Underground Cabin in November as I remember.  Dirt Floor -- Plastic on one side -- and it was still warmer than being above ground in the motorhome.  Please keep us posted;

I noticed the tank in the creek photos-- could you tell us a bit about your water supply?

Looks like the kids are enjoying the area too.  (4 legged kids)


Actually I guess it looks like the "tank" is in the creek.But there is a live year round spring feeding the 300 gallon concrete tank, at over 30 gpm! What you see is the runoff out of the overflow of the tank! We hope to divert the runoff sometime in the future into a pond we hope to dig out,but that will take another backhoe rental, and $$$ so it way in the future. The pics of the actual creek which is about 150 ft from the spring was taken during some awesome rains we had this spring, most of the time the creek is a tame little year round calm water!We put the tank in at the same time we had rented a backhoe to build our septic, the fellow that sold us the 1000 gallon septic,gave us a heck of a deal.Then we bought a myers 1 1/2 hp deep well pump on ebay for $200, and it pumps all the way up the hill to the house 500 feet, and has lots of pressure.Luckily 500 ft. of outdoor wire was very reasonable way back then before wire prices went nuts! We used a homedepot 20% off coupon at lowes, and they beat the homedepot wire price by 10%, so we saved 30% on the wire, and black water line.Had it all delivered free 56 miles from the nearest store.At the time there were 2 new stores,lowes& hd and they were having a price war.Our 7/16 sheathing was $7.20 sheet minus the discount of 20% and delivered free, well you know we took advantage of the price war for quite a few items! Gotta find them deals! Linda


Beautiful site and beautiful home!  Thanks for the pictures.



Really enjoyed looking through your pictures!  Great job, beautiful site.  I remember moving into our cabin - homemade bed, dirt floor with plastic & rug over it, wood stove & plastic walls!  It seemed very cozy!  We've done most of the work ourselves, also.  Amazing how you've only spent $21,000+ on the home - think what it would have cost if you bought it outright!  Keep sending the pictures - we like pictures.  BTW, how many dogs do you have?  They all look like they're enjoying themselves...  



21500 huh? Can I please have all the details you have time to give? I am impressed.

You even have a jacuzzi! LOL

This is exactly what I want to do although it will be me and my kids.......the ones I can bribe or beg anyway. It would be nice to barter the rest, but we'll see.

Is it difficult to do a septic? I don't think there are springs where I want to build but my son has had some practice now with drilling his own well - the old fashioned way with this weighted t-bar looking thing. I tried it and couldn't believe how heavy it was.

Just how did you do this? :)


There are sooo many answers to how we manage this.First you do ALL the labor yourself, and I mean ALL!Even loading your little 4x8 trailer with 12' boards from the sawmill,50 at a time.. Every single aspect of our buying was thought out,argued about,(haha)researched prices online,see if there were discount coupons,compare prices locally,by phone no driving around with these gas prices,put your wanted on any local,or as far as you will go, trading posts.Post wanted ads on discount stores,lumber outlets etc.Never be so proud to mention things you are looking to buy, to friends,people you meet in lowes,etc.Check on your local Freecycle.org. There are some wonderful people out there remodeling,and I don't mind taking there unwanted,like new items,because they can afford a whim to change.We bought,no lie now,our double whirlpool oven and cooktop on ebay for .99 each! The fellow was a doctor from memphis whos wife wanted stainless.these appliances look like they were never used,name brand! & then we found someone traveling from memphis coming near us and they offered to bring them! Now that's a deal!...I could go on, and on, there is a story behind every piece.If you want a particular how did I get/do that just ask! BUT the biggest saving is going to the sawmill and buying the boards, both 2x6's, and 1x8 for siding, and 1x6 for inside walls.the more wood you are willing to use the less the whole thing will cost you.We bought a new but on sale Delta planer on a stand for $199 free delivery and I will recommend it greatly, we are now just reversing the blades for the first time to do more inside boards.Some people don't like to but I try to buy alot online.saves gas and time and $$$$,I shop locally by phone. We bought 100 screw driver tips for $6 shipped on ebay, and we DO go thru them,since our whole house is screwed together,except the roofing.Thats another thing,we like using deck screws, because mistakes are easily fixed, and boy have we had some brain fades.:}  Thanks, enough gossip for now, the stories I could tell, but work calls! Linda

PS I realized I didn't answer all your question,no the septic wasn't hard at all,we don't have any zoning here on over 10 acres,no permits etc,but we have 12, but we did have a perk, and had the fellow that sold us the tanks tell us just how,where and everything we needed to know to lay in the leach lines etc.We had to have the septic in before entergy would string power to us.We rented a backhoe,and did everything we could imagine we needed a backhoe for,in the week we had it.septic cost us about $1100 plus the bakhoe, but we did use that for the spring,drivway,clearing trees etcetc.


Did you already have experience with the backhoe, or did this include your learning curve?

(One of the forklifts I used had a perfectly dreadful learning curve for a lot of people--including me, and I keep wondering how the next machine will be)


Quote.We bought,no lie now,our double whirlpool oven and cooktop on ebay for .99 each! The fellow was a doctor from memphis whos wife wanted stainless.these appliances look like they were never used,name brand!

This is so true, I troll eBay, Craigslist and Freecycle for appliances every couple of days. I have purchased a range top and oven (eBay) and dishwasher all at very low prices (not .99 :P) because they were NOT stainless.  I just have to thank all those slaves to style.  If you are OK with white, black or beige appliances there are very good deals out there.