I have a 12×30 “portable building” I can put on the land I bought. But what it’s function will be remains to be seen. There’s a shed on the back of the property that might make a really nice chicken coop, a foundation and possibly some scrap lumber. And a whole lot of clean up since the original house burned down.
Dad called a foundation person and was told that a trailer cannot legally go on the cement block foundation that’s currently there. My suspicion is that’s partly because a trailer requires support under the trailer rather than around the outside edges, but I don’t know for sure. That’s just a guess, considering he told Dad runners had to be poured and they needed to be about 8′ apart.
And so there are options. I could bring in A LOT of fresh top soil, fill the original foundation in, and make a raised garden. I’m concerned about toxins that may have leached into the concrete block that would then leach into the soil, though. And the pipes are already there, so it would make sense to put something else there instead.
I don’t know how to anchor the portable building. Not the slightest clue. I need to talk to the building mover about that and how to prep it for plumbing soon.
There is an approximately 8×24 concrete pad that was once a garage and later part of the house. It would be interesting to reuse it, either to install a new garage or as something else if it’s still in good condition. But the main fire was over that portion, so the heat may have compromised the concrete. There is a fireplace there though, and that might be salvageable if it’s an insert. On the other hand, it would be extremely heavy and solidly set in a bunch of mortar. It might not be worth the effort, especially since it wouldn’t have been designed for a small house.
Burning the old building to the ground would be the cheapest option for removal, but might not be the wisest. I’m still in debate on that.
A square cut log cabin is still a temptation, at $15,000. Also, I can still envision a building with walls partially poured in concrete and logs or framing above that. I wish in a way I could get by with a straw bale construction, but this should be a permanent house that I can live in for the next 50 years, at least. The less work I have to do on it when I’m 90, the better. Straw bale takes some extra maintenance, if my understanding is right, since the mud cracks and has to be re-smoothed and patched at least every couple years. (Again, this is my understanding, it might not be accurate. But I don’t want to risk turning 90 and be making and applying new layers of mud to a house!)
Soon… soon I’ll be standing on my own acreage, deciding some of these things. It’s difficult right now because I’m so far from the land I want to be working. But the job is here and the land is there, and within a few months I’ll probably be laid off anyway. If a small house is waiting on me when/if I am, I will be very happy with that possibility. At that point I can take the time to finish the interior and unpack.
For now, whether I opt for 480’sq or 312, I have an enormous amount more downsizing to do.