One of the first things we see when homesteading is people wanting to build their own home.
Oftentimes, this home is off the grid–and terribly inefficient. Now, don’t get us wrong. We’ve seen a lot of homes that are indeed sufficient and energy efficient, but a lot of the time, the amount of effort that goes into building the home in the first place far surpasses the efficiency of the home. And that’s what we mean by inefficient.
Take this home for example:
Now, don’t get us wrong–the craftsmanship of this home is impeccable. The amount of love gone into the home extraordinary.
But, this heavily romanticized home isn’t very practical. Especially with technological advancements and also where this type of a home is likely to be. Please don’t misunderstand, we find it wonderful that these people have the know-how to build a strong and beautiful home using basic tools. Few people know how to today.
(We’ve even read a recent book from a Yale-trained University professor where it stated that our ancestors from over 75,000 years ago were smarter than we are today!) And really, it’s a valuable skill to have.
But the reason why we bring this up first and foremost is because when you’re homesteading—you’re likely to be far away from regular human civilization.
Think about that for a moment.
We’re not talking about the urban quasi-homesteading movement that has captured the hearts of a lot of New Yorkers (nothing wrong with you btw!). We’re talking about the people who want to live a bit farther out in the woods or in the mountains or some other area that’s remote.
What’s one of the first ideologies about homesteading?
How self-sufficient are you going to be though when your house catches on fire and you’re too far away for the fire department to come to the rescue in time? Each year, thousands of homes burn because of a variety of unfortunate reasons.
In Washington, we’ve seen our own fair share of fires, and while we wish it weren’t so, the truth is that too many of our homes burn because of a malfunctioning heater or stove, furnace, or just plain old human negligence.
Oftentimes, the thought is “Oh, it won’t happen to me,” but in truth, most Americans will suffer some sort of house fire in their lifetime.
And if you’re out with the old style homesteading, far away in the country, it will most likely be too late.
We don’t want that to happen.
Which is why we’re bringing this up now. Because homesteading is all about self-sustainable living, we need to shift the definition of self-sufficiency to more than just growing vegetables and raising livestock. We need to think about the first line of self-sufficiency—
Think about the peace of mind you would have knowing that your home is stronger and isn’t going to burn when an accident happens or a natural disaster happens.
If your base of operations is destroyed, it’s so much harder to be self-sufficient.
Here in Washington, the homesteading trend is on the rise. These Spokane builders, Benson Bondstone, have developed a system that allows you, the homesteader, to have a home that’s going to keep you safe against fires.
We highly recommend them.
Furthermore, we’ve noticed that a lot of homesteaders are do-it-yourselfers. And really, a lot of the time, that’s kind of the point of having a homestead is that you do things yourself so that you’re self-reliant, rather than relying on someone else (who may or may not have your best interest at heart) to do the work for you.
With this same system that we’ve mentioned, it’s designed for people who want build their homes themselves. So what does this mean? It means that you can have your home built without taking months and months (or even years) and your home will be safe and secure from disasters such as fires.
A lot of times, homesteaders burn wood for their primary source of heat during the winter. We have no qualms with this, of course. But we also understand just how dangerous this can actually be—especially when the homesteader is the one who’s built the home in first place.
A lot of modern building is designed to be consumed by fires. This isn’t a conspiracy theory, it’s simply that stick-frame building and fires love each other. Or rather, fires love stick-frame building. If you can build a home that doesn’t utilize wood at all, and that’s not conducive to burning, then you can have a stable “base of operations.”
Now, one other thing that we need to address is the cost. One reason why people are attracted to homesteading is that being self-sufficient means you don’t have to keep paying lots of outside people or services. And many times, that then also means building your own home.
According to Bondstone’s website, you can save a realistic 40% upfront on building your home—and that’s with someone else building it. If you build it yourself, you’re down to just the cost of materials—and it’s significantly cheaper in most instances.