We Finally Made the move….and then….

Finally, the Move ——-

After many months of planning and a  few delays we finally made our move from the suburbia of the Gulf Coast of Florida to our new homestead in the mountains of Tennessee.

What a ride it has been and one of many reasons why I haven’t been able to post an update since we moved.  Now that many rainy days have come it has given me the opportunity get Up-To-Date..

During the first week of January we rented a Penske truck and loaded all of the belongings that we wanted to take with us. In our attempts to be as minimal as possible we still ended up with a truck full.  Many of our  things we donated to Salvation Army and Goodwill that we really didn’t want or just decided against taking it with us.  We did have  things that time just didn’t give us the pleasure of doing anything with or getting rid of. With those things we made the decision to deal with it later, either by trying to sell it in Tennessee or donating to worthy causes.

With over 700 miles and a full day of traveling we finally made it to our rental cabin that we would be living in while we finished our own small cabin.   Between our efforts to settle in, arranging for mail delivery, our cabin shell delivery, frigid days and snowy nights it took a couple of weeks just to get the hang of things.  Our cabin shell was finally delivered at the end of January and we immediately began buying materials and starting  on the interior construction phase of our homesteading reality.

Our Cabin is FINALLY HERE……

We finally received that call from the delivery company that our building was ready and we scheduled the delivery date.  We had hoped to have a couple of dump truck loads of gravel delivered to make the driveway more solid and wait for the wet ground to somewhat dry up.  Unfortunately, the Dump Truck broke down and they were unable to deliver it before our cabin arrived.  We could only hope that the ground would dry up enough to get it setup without any issues. It seems that is it that time of the year in Tennessee for constant rain or snowfall.. The snow really hasn’t been that much, BUT THE RAIN!

With the mud, rain, and sometimes cold it hasn’t stopped us from working inside to start on framing, plumbing and wiring.  There were days when Cheri was able to work outside clearing brush, briars, vines, and small limbs hanging in the way.


And Now the Work Begins….

Once the cabin arrived, Cheri and I took the time to decide how the interior floor plan would work for us.  We started with sizing a bedroom  that would fit our furniture  and knowing where receptacles and storage would need to be.  After buying the needed materials the framing began.  At the same time we would need to measure for a bathroom to accommodate a shower, sink basin, toilet, and hot water heater.

Within the first three weeks we were able to get the interior framed, PEX Plumbing installed, and receptacle and light wiring installed.  Our main water line from the water meter at the road to the cabin is about 100 feet of 3/4 inch PEX.  We had that trenched in August along with the underground power line to the cabin.  We also installed a freeze proof in- line Yard Hydrant to give us a water source outdoors. The rest of the 3/4 goes into the cabin to provide us with  water. I really like to use PEX since it’s very easy to install and normally will not freeze and burst like PVC will.  PEX will also expand if frozen without rupturing..Who really wants to cut and replace broken water pipes?

You can see the Yard Hydrant and the Supply line we have going into the cabin. I have installed Pipe insulation on the PEX line going into the cabin for added protection during cold months.

3/4 Inch PEX Water line into the cabin with Ball valve for shut off.
Freeze Proof Yard Hydrant

Once the main water line was in, the interior framing begins for the bedroom and bathroom…

Bedroom framing begins. The 2×6 above the top plate will hold the rails for the sliding barn doors to be installed later.

And, then there is the beginning of a bathroom. Where to install our fixtures and designing how to run the plumbing was fairly simple since it was more convenient and cost effective to keep the plumbing and drains to the septic tank on one side.  We also chose to install a conventional hot water heater in one corner of the bathroom. As with any small building and limited space this was the most convenient place for us. We had also purchased a Rainfall Shower Head that we wanted to use. After a little research we did learn that with most rainfall shower heads we would need a conventional hot water heater instead of an on demand wall mounted model. It seems that due to the large volumes of water with the rainfall heads, the on demand heaters cant produce enough hot water to keep up with the heads unless you decide to take quick showers.  They do make  heaters that will produce that result, however, they run into the thousands of dollars and just not in our budget to do that.

Pex Manifolds for Hot and Cold Water

In the above photo you can see two 1 inch Copper PEX Manifolds or sometimes referred to as Headers.  For Convenience, our 3/4 inch water service line ends at the lower manifold with the Blue PEX  tubing ( cold water). The flexible hot water heater tubing will supply the hot water heater. In the main supply  line ( which you can’t see) I have also installed  two 3/4″ x 1/2″ Shark Bite Tees which will supply cold water to the bathroom sink basin and a secondary supply line to the toilet.  This will save us about 50 feet of tubing for other uses.  The two downward blue tubes will supply the shower and kitchen sink. The remaining valves i have capped for future use.    The Upper Manifold will supply hot water (Red) to the shower, bathroom sink basin, and the kitchen sink. Each Manifold is equipped with shut off valves for each line.  This allows easy access in case of a leak or problem and we can easily shut off a particular line without turning off water to the entire cabin.

I also decided instead of investing alot of money into shower mixing valves, I would build my own from copper tubing and fittings, PEX barbed fittings, and standard faucet valves. I will give the details on that project in a later edition.

Main 3″ Drain line to septic tank

As in the photo above I am installing a 3 inch pvc drain line to our 1000 gallon Lowboy septic system.  I had to remove part of the sub-flooring inside the bathroom to install the fittings and line them up with the inlet at the tank.  Raising the cabin  and piping from underneath would have been a suitable option, however,  the slope for the drain line would have been too high and ended with  exposed pipe above ground. Digging a trench and lowering the pipe will create better drainage into the tank.  I need one more fitting and adapter before i glue it and attach it to the tank.  When finished almost all of the drain line will be covered.

I hope to have the plumbing finished sometime next week and work on buying a water heater to finish it and test for leaks.  Next, we will start working on the wiring and trying to get it completed.

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