A lot of people dream of one day moving out to the countryside into their own home to get away from the hustle, bustle, and pollution of everyday city life. It’s a fantasy that moves in steps. First from urban living to suburban living, and then finally to your home away from the stress of honking horns and busy streets.
It’s never as easy as merely upping sticks and finding an old farmhouse, though. In most cases, if you want a country house all to yourself, you’ll need to build one. But you’re surely not going to let a little elbow grease get in the way of getting your dream home. If you feel you can’t spend another second in the city, here are eight things to consider when building a home in the country.
When looking for a house, location is often everything. Are you close enough to your friends? Is it in walking distance to the right supermarket? Will your kids need to trudge uphill both ways to get to school? And when building a country home, location is just as vital.
Bering out in the country is nothing like living in the city, or even in the suburbs. You lose a lot of the things you take for granted like regular buses and reliable phone or WiFi signal. So if you don’t drive or work online, a house in the country may not be the best thing for you just yet.
Most of the time, though, people who want to move away from the city have their driving license and only go online to order things or catch up with friends, so it’s unlikely this will be too much of an issue.
To minimise household clutter and protect your car, tools, and backyard furniture from the elements, you can think about outside storage options such as sheds or barns. This gives you items the protection they need to prevent rusting or wind damage and also helps you keep everything organised for when you need it.
However, outside storage is only possible if you have enough space, so think about this wisely. You may be willing to sacrifice some of your backyard to keep everything safe, but you also may not. You can, however, compromise by investing in smaller storage space, at least at first, if you are confident there will not be too many weather issues.
Electricity and Heating
Unless you want to go really old school, you can’t get by without electricity. In the countryside, though, you may encounter restrictions that limit what you can do on your proposed plot of land. Before laying the foundations, be sure to check with the local authority to guarantee electrical lines and gas pipes are available.
There are ways to overcome this, though. Often, those who build a home in the country do it by going off the grid. This allows you to live in a more sustainable way by building home wind turbines or solar panels for energy and investing in a propane tank to provide heat and stove cooking to the home.
If you want to lower the costs of heating your home, quality insulation is a must. You can identify areas of the home that will need insulation, but it shouldn’t be so that the house gets too hot during the summer. There is also the chance that the house is too cold. Your location could put it in a spot that causes draughts to whip in, and no matter how high you crank the heating up or how many sweaters you wear, you still can’t get warm.
The foundations of your home are what keeps it stable. The ground beneath your house should be suitable for building on, so the soil should not spread to help support the weight of the home. There are different soil types to consider and therefore different foundation styles to accommodate such soils, so get a reading by a local business, or if you’re experienced, you can do it yourself.
Without the proper preparation, you risk your house sinking or sloping, especially if the ground underneath gets damp and soft. This can affect the structural integrity of your home and could cause disaster later on.
You can’t just head out into the countryside and start building. You need to make sure what you’re planning is acceptable. First, you should think about the environmental ramifications of your house. If it affects local wildlife, then you will need to find a different spot.
You’ll also need to remember that a house does not just spring up overnight. These things cost both time and money. It’s essential to recognise if the idea is feasible for your current situation, and if it’s going to put your finances seriously into the red, then it’s not the right move for you.
If you don’t have any previous experience with building houses, then seek out reliable and certified architects to help manage the planning stages of your home. They will be able to recognise potential issues you might encounter and advise you on the best course of action to take.
One issue a lot of people run into when finding a place to live in the countryside is that they only consider the sweeping colours of the summer and neglect to think about how the area looks in the winter. It’s all well and good finding a place that looks straight out of a fantasy novel, but when the weather turns, and the leaves fall off, the landscape looks a little different.
You must also think about how the weather, be it storms or droughts can affect the surrounding area. Will the foundations be sturdy enough to cope with damp under-soil? Is there a chance of the area flooding and ruining your home when the rain comes? If you’re planning on growing crops to sustain yourself, will there be the right conditions for it?
A Very Big House In the Country
There are a lot of great things about living in the country, but it doesn’t come without its challenges. If you’re serious about purchasing the land and getting your hands dirty (with the help of some professional builders, that is), then it can be the start of a brand new, quiet life for you, and isn’t that just what you want?