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Is Self Building Worth It? | Clearing Land | Ep 2

Alright, let's dive in. Welcome to the Marshall Remodel, the first video of the Mad County  build series. To give you some background, my wife and I purchased 30 acres of land in Madison County, Iowa. The initial allure of the property was its rugged, overgrown state, presenting us with the perfect canvas for our self-building project. As we stood at the entrance of our future homestead, I couldn't help but feel a mix of excitement and apprehension. The land entrance was quite steep, which, looking back, is something I would have changed by digging it out more. We were set on building a post-frame building, although our plans weren't entirely solidified at that point. The overgrown state of the property attracted us, as we saw the potential to increase its value through some sweat equity.

Renting equipment for construction

Since we didn't own all the necessary equipment, we had to rent a small excavator to clear out the trees. Renting equipment can be a practical solution if you're in a similar situation. However, investing in a versatile tool like a skid steer is highly recommended for such projects. It's essential to prepare the land properly before starting construction, which includes ensuring the driveway can handle heavy vehicles and equipment.

Speaking of the driveway, it's crucial to use a base of 3-inch rock to withstand the construction process without getting damaged. Our initial driveway was a bit steep, which caused some inconvenience later on. Proper site preparation is essential for a smooth construction process and can save you money in the long run.

Preparing land for a driveway

I was excited to get started, having quit my job to focus on this project. However, unexpected delays, like the unusually wet spring, pushed our timeline back. Flexibility and preparedness are key when embarking on a self-building journey.

While I was busy clearing the land, my wife, Emily, was managing household duties and dealing with some health issues. Her resilience and unwavering support were invaluable as we faced the trials of self-building. Looking back, having a temporary living space on-site would have been beneficial, considering the distance from our previous residence.

Clearing land to build a home

Despite the challenges, we were determined to build our dream home debt-free, with a mortgage only on the land. The next post will dive into one of our biggest budget mistakes: gravel. Stay tuned for more insights and lessons learned in that post..

In closing, the journey of self-building is a testament to perseverance, adaptability, and the unwavering belief in the vision of a better future. As we embark on this transformative adventure, we invite you to join us in exploring the trials and triumphs of building from the ground up. 

Thank you,

MR Post Frame

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