Friday, January 20, 2017

On the Grid

I want to write about some of the big projects we have completed here on the homestead for two reasons, first to simply remember this process and second to give others who are out there homestead dreaming an idea of what one can expect if they decide to start literally from the ground up.

One of the first things we did to make this land comfortable to live on was to get electricity to the place. While the idea of being off grid is really appealing and I so admire those who can make it work, it was not a reasonable plan for us right now. I work full time and am often up and on the road well before dawn and I know that I would have a really hard time trying to live without electricity. I would love to see us add solar panels and other off grid means of heating and cooking but not at the expense of my sanity.

We were incredibly lucky that the local power company had already run power lines along the outer edge of our property, this saved us a ton of money.  The first thing we had to do is have a local electrician come in and put in a drop pole and the panel boxes that hold the breakers. After that we then had the local electrical company come out and run a line from the main power lines to the drop pole. Next, we had to have the State inspector come and give his blessing to the set up. After it passed inspection we were able to have the electrician come back and run the lines to our storage sheds, and install two fifty amp outlets to the two travel trailers we have brought up to the property to live in. We spent roughly around $7.000 for the whole electrical set up. As we add other dwellings, water pumps etc. we will pay the electrician for those upgrades as we go.

I wanted desperately to be on the property and had I not been fortunate enough to have the money to get the electricity installed I would have been looking at the best generator I could get to power the self contained trailers. With horses and other animals on the property keeping everyone in water would have been a much greater challenge. Speaking of water, did I mention that we have to haul water? Yes we do, and that is a post for another day.