September 06, 2023
to scale our Camp experiment, we need more beds. which means we need more buildings. so i bought one for $44k. 

now that a couple months has passed, we finally have something to show for it.

prep work

i planned to hire a contractor to get all this done, but as it turns out the process is just as painful whether you are personally coordinating logistics or paying someone else who needs you to coordinate logistics.

a summary of what goes into a new build:

- permits
- soil evaluation (pre-requisite to county permit)
- septic tank
- land clearing (grading + tree removal)
- concrete slab
- electric line
- cable line
- water line
- dozens of phone calls, negotiations, and a few trips to govt offices

i considered doing everything without permits because i couldn't care less about government permission, but in the long term doing it "legit" will pay off in terms of resale value. (no plans to sell but we'll see)

expense tracker

we spent $6k on the septic tank + install, $4,000 to remove trees + grade the shoreline, $1,250 on the permits + soil evaluation, and have quotes for upcoming items which i'll cover later. 


construction progress

all in, it took over a month to get permits. the local government actually moves fast, it was contracting a private "soil inspector" that created this bottleneck. and man, that is some racket!

the same concrete guy who did our house's slab brough out a bulldozer and installed footings within a few hours. he's currently on pause until we get final confirmation from the builder on where conduits need to be run for water + electric.

location wise, this is at the southeast corner of our pond, where the first trail begins in the words. i'm satisfied with the distance from the water but would prefer it be another 20-30 feet to the left.

unfortunately this was not possible given a couple trees in the way, as depicted below. we can and will remove them, but the ground will never be packed in as strongly once stumps are removed, creating a possible crater situation if we put concrete on top.
damn trees

that's our main house to the far left, and several fallen trees from our island in the pond's back center. eventually we'll build or rent a barge to remove them because it's definitely an eyesore.

with the footings in place, we installed septic. this was also a 1 day job, very impressive stuff.
black, pastic, ~10 foot long sewage drains

in the Old Days (according to installer) you would dig a hole, lay gravel, place your drains, then cover them up with more gravel. now they come prepped with packing peanuts inside a netting, speeding up the installation.

here's the trench they dug, making sure to dig a little bit deeper every few feet. i opted to go with a gravity-only system (cheaper) vs buying a pump, which is what we have at the main house.
they installed 3 drains around 75 feet

the "leaching field" has to be at least 50 feet from the water, and essentially how it works is those black drain pipes have a bunch of small holes. all the solids (haha POOP) stay in the tank, and liquids (water, grey water) get filtered out into this leaching line.

here's our tank.
2 caps, 1 has access to the filter and 1 can be used to pump it out

this is a standard EZ Flow system, but i paid $500 extra for 2 "risers," which are just 24" diameter pipes that attach to the holes and have green plastic caps at the top. this makes it much easier to access your tanks later vs digging up the heavy cement leads depicted above.

by dinner time they had cleaned up the mess and our system was ready to rock.
our tank is a few feet below those caps, connected via Mario-style "risers"

i reckon we'll need to plan more grass, but that's OK. getting these 4 trees removed is the next priority, and landscaping may have to wait until everything is done.
the green ribbon on the far left tree is from the soil inspector

what's next

the concrete guy will be back soon to lay the pad. it will support the full structure (16x40 feet) plus a 3 foot 'skirt' around all 4 sides, with a step-down. i've also gotten confirmation from our ISP that they can run another 600 foot cable line, and i found a plumber who will extend our water line through the pastures. 
Spent: $55,250.00 | Time: 15.0 hours
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