The costs of a small house
I read an article today that small houses cost more to build than what people who advertise them sometimes lead people to believe they may.
When I first looked into building a small house, I had a contractor give me a building estimate. It came to $65,000 excluding land and utility hook-ups! Though I wasn’t deterred, I knew at that point that I would need to consider alternatives; $65,000 was out of the question, even including the land.
I paid more for the land I purchased than I planned to. However, my expenses at this point are $28,000 for the land and 360 sf building. This includes septic repair and clean up of the burned house currently on the property. It may also include a foundation. I should know within a week. I still need plumbing, interior wall work, and better flooring. Though I hadn’t planned for electric, having electric run underground to the house for free (except the trench and conduit) is worth it, because it will improve the property and increase the value quickly. The interior work will cost around $2000, I’m guessing. I should be around $35,000 when I’m done. $45,000 if things go disasterously wrong.
Some interesting things I’ve discovered: the county doesn’t require trash service. I can drive my trash to them… for $2.00 per trash can. This will decrease my monthly bills by $15, and the septic will save me $25/mo (except it will cost a few hundred to empty once every few years). Electric is automatically $15.00/month, but should never be more than $50. I’m going to try to make some wind generators. I’m told treadmill motors and alternators work well as major components of wind generators. Dad is interested in trying them too, as well as solar. If I can go off grid I will. If the sun’s not shining in MO the wind is usually blowing. The combination should do well. If not, there is the option with this electric co-op of paying a small bit extra for wind generated grid power. I’m willing to pay for that, even though I doubt they are really getting all that I’d pay for from wind.
At any rate, my bills should be cut dramatically by living smaller, as well as by having a large garden, fruit trees, and possibly chickens. I should be living free in 8-10 years at most. By that I mean that all expenses I’ve put into the house and land will have been paid for by the decrease in rent and utilities. It’s definitely something to look forward to. Now if I could just find a job there for that 10 year span, I’d be doing very well.