Tips For Building Your House In The Country
The Progressive Farmer shows you what you need to know about building a country place. Here we talk about the land, where to place barns and the home, and other considerations to think about while planning your home. Visit www.progressivefarmer.com. We help you get more from your life on the land. Sponsored by John Deere.
Step 1: Plan Your Position
What we're going to talk about today is site planning. That is, where do you put your home? Where do you put your barn? Where do you put other buildings? There's a lot to talk about before you build anything.
Our Country Place offers a great opportunity to illustrate all this. We started with a raw piece of land and built a place with a home and a barn. This is not ground for cattle or to grow hay, but it is land where your family lives, where what's growing is memories.
Step 2: Decide What You Don't Like
When you're looking for a place to build your home or your barn or other outbuildings, the process is more about finding out what you don't like than what you do like. That helps narrow the process.
For example, do you want trees near your home or do you want a pasture out on the property? Do you want a creek nearby or do you want a pond in the back?
We really didn't want to build on top of a hill. The view from the top is great, but someday there'll be fifty acreage homes down here. The view from the hilltop will be rooftops. So we chose this area down low. It still has great views of these Texas hills, but the home is pretty well hidden among the oaks and elms. Walk away 100 feet and the home nearly disappears.
Step 3: Think Practically
But don't let the scenery fool you when you're looking for a place to build, look around. Think practicality first.
Look for those things that may affect your construction plans or that will present a problem later that may affect the value of your property.
For example, below me is the well. You need to make sure there's enough water underneath your property that will supply the needs of the house. This well supplies an adequate amount of water, but not an overabundance. It's not a problem. It's just something you need to know.
Another thing to consider is do you have a place for a septic field? The field needs to have a kind of soil in it that will drain the waste away from the house.
Not too far away from this property is a landfill. It is several miles away, so odour isn't really going to be the problem. But one day, the trucks going in and out of that landfill may cause problems on the road leading into Country Place. My point is this. Know what's going on around your land.
Step 4: Consider Everything
We took a lot of time to find just the right place for our home on the property.
We took two things into consideration.
First we didn't want the house to dominate the landscape. We wanted to kind of fit down into the landscape.
The other thing we took into account was energy conservation. The front of this house generally faces north and that lowers cooling bills in the summer. The back of the house faces south and that lowers your heating bills in the winter.
Step 5: Use Resourcs Around You
There are great trees all over this property and the builder worked hard to save every one he could. These oaks and elms take a long time to grow and they are assets that cannot be replaced.
This is a real interesting feature at Country Place. I wasn't sure I was going to like this project, but I did and so I wanted to tell you about it.
This is what's called a coyote fence. It's made from discarded branches from cedar trees. This fence keeps out deer. It keeps out the coyotes. And it's a real nice way to use something that would typically be burned.
Step 6: Decide Where To Place Your Barn
To be honest, the barn was a tough one to place. Any great country home needs a great barn and you want it close enough to the house that it's easily accessible, but you don't want it so close that it's blocking views.
One thing that you do need to know, though, is make sure there's no zoning codes or covenants that restrict where you put your building.
Here at our proper