Starting Afresh

Homes and Retreats
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Medusa
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Starting Afresh

Post by Medusa » Thu May 02, 2019 11:08 pm

Without going completely OTT as in buying an island and having unlimited cash to kit it out etc. What would you look for in a potential home? I'm thinking about things like having it partially rewired so that you have a way of flipping a switch to turn on a generator on, a stream, well or natural spring so that you have access to water without having to store hundreds/thousands of gallons, a small amount of land that you can keep a little livestock on and grow fruit and veggies with possible access to land to hunt game. Various types of fuel so that you don't have to rely on just electricity or gas. How far from a town/city or rural and out in the sticks? I realise this is pretty broad and up to the individual, but brainstorming tonight as to a potential property and would appreciate others points of view.
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Arzosah
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Re: Starting Afresh

Post by Arzosah » Fri May 03, 2019 8:41 am

Great stuff! The area: the first thing I'd look for is flood risk, on the DoE's website. Then crime levels. Access to shops, access to a hospital? Could you get about in the community by bike? Are there any rumours about the hospital being shut down? I have a 24 hour A&E in walking distance from my house, which must be quite rare these days. Going totally apocalyptic :oops: I'd check routes to and from wherever I was looking at: my own town, although I have direct routes to London and one of the big airports, isn't on the main *road* routes, it's 15 minutes driving away, which in SE England is about as good as it gets.

Then whether I could manage to buy detached, instead of semi or terrace. Water would be great, but unless the stream is literally 40 feet downhill, no! One of the effects of climate change is that extreme events happen in previously "safe" areas. A well would be fantastic. Enough land to grow a good amount of crops would be fantastic - especially if some slow-to-establish shrubs or trees were planted, like nut trees.

If you're looking for something like wiring that's ready to take a generator at the flick of a switch, things like that - you're ruling out 99.9% of the housing stock, which is totally just my opinion based on nothing whatsoever :mrgreen: but I imagine it's entirely possible to do during the course of an electrical upgrade.

Let us know what you decide!
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Arwen Thebard
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Re: Starting Afresh

Post by Arwen Thebard » Fri May 03, 2019 9:03 am

Some good points above from Arzosah

Our housing priorities for actual buildings are quite far down the list as we expect to adapt / add / build those as needed, although properties with with several existing buildings on site would get our interest. Our choices are governed to some degree by our ages, we are not in our thirties any longer so cannot wait too long for things to grow.

The higher priorities for us are the natural elements and the environmental ones some of which are;

Position / Location; Probably top of my list this one. My rule of thumb is that if I can see people from my house or garden then they are trespassing on my land, they will have crossed the perimeter fencing, passed the warning signs, cleared the trip wires and are now in the live fire zone and within reach of the dogs. Location can be anywhere in the UK, not too close to a large city, that meets these criteria. 8-)

Water; A reliable water supply ideally our own well or bore hole but an above ground moving water source would be a bonus. We would certainly have a large rainwater collection system going on as well and, in an ideal world, a decent sized pond or lake.

Soil / Aspect; Decent soil with a south to south westerly, gently sloping aspect.

Woodland / Orchard / Pasture; A reasonable amount of all three but unlikely to be less than 25 or 30 acres in total.

Neighbors / Access Not strictly an environmental issue :lol: but no neighbors within sight and a 4X4 probably needed for access.

Not too much to ask is it? 8-)

Over the past 18 months we've searched up the East coast as far North as Aberdeen and back down the West coast to Cardiff, along with many, many points inland in between. We are off to view some places in the South West in a few weeks and complete the tour in mid September with a trip along the South coast back up to East Anglia, so by the end of the year we should have covered everything we need to.
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Arwen Thebard
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Re: Starting Afresh

Post by Arwen Thebard » Fri May 03, 2019 9:18 am

I read a trade article recently that a German company had developed semi transparent / solar / thermal roof tiles. They looked almost black from outside, not unlike a shaded car window, but from inside they allowed 85% of the sunlight through into the the loft space. The system also incorporates a black, micro bore, low pressure tubing system around the outer contours of the framework for water heating. I will try to find the online version and post some pics if I can, but this would be an excellent item to include in any building refit if a) it works and b) its not stupidly expensive.

I'm thinking something like a greenhouse / atrium / sun lounge / lookout in the roof space. 8-)

I'm getting carried away again aren't I? :tinfoil
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Arzosah
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Re: Starting Afresh

Post by Arzosah » Fri May 03, 2019 11:49 am

Arwen Thebard wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 9:18 am
I read a trade article recently that a German company had developed semi transparent / solar / thermal roof tiles. They looked almost black from outside, not unlike a shaded car window, but from inside they allowed 85% of the sunlight through into the the loft space. The system also incorporates a black, micro bore, low pressure tubing system around the outer contours of the framework for water heating. I will try to find the online version and post some pics if I can, but this would be an excellent item to include in any building refit if a) it works and b) its not stupidly expensive.
I haven't seen that, but a search brought these guys up: http://www.polysolar.co.uk/BIPV-Solutio ... greenhouse
There are some houses near me that were built about 5 years ago which have rooftiles a bit like the ones you're mentioning - if they weren't surrounded by "normal" looking roof tiles, you'd think they *were* normal.
I'm thinking something like a greenhouse / atrium / sun lounge / lookout in the roof space. 8-)

I'm getting carried away again aren't I? :tinfoil
Yes you are, but I like it :mrgreen: I'm also thinking that some kind of little turret in the roof/ enclosed balcony on a top floor, would just look lush, not like a prepper. Disguise is all, innit :lol:
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Arzosah
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Re: Starting Afresh

Post by Arzosah » Fri May 03, 2019 12:28 pm

Arwen Thebard wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 9:03 am
Some good points above from Arzosah
Thanks :)
Our housing priorities for actual buildings are quite far down the list as we expect to adapt / add / build those as needed, although properties with with several existing buildings on site would get our interest. Our choices are governed to some degree by our ages, we are not in our thirties any longer so cannot wait too long for things to grow.
Definitely - while I've been catsitting/ ill, I've been watching Escape to the Chateau DIY recently, and adapting an existing space, even if its a couple of hundred years old, seems a lot simpler than building a new one.
Water; A reliable water supply ideally our own well or bore hole but an above ground moving water source would be a bonus. We would certainly have a large rainwater collection system going on as well and, in an ideal world, a decent sized pond or lake.
Potential exists for a waterwheel, a mill, fish, ducks, watercress, collecting duckweed for the hens, fire-fighting resource, site of swimming lessons. If you're careful on the siting, sewage reclamation.
Over the past 18 months we've searched up the East coast as far North as Aberdeen and back down the West coast to Cardiff, along with many, many points inland in between. We are off to view some places in the South West in a few weeks and complete the tour in mid September with a trip along the South coast back up to East Anglia, so by the end of the year we should have covered everything we need to.
That sounds wonderful! Being near the sea opens up all sorts of other opportunities:
- collecting seaweed and shells for the soil.
- shellfish foraging.
- collecting brine from a shallow bay to put in trays under freegled double glazing windows to get your own salt.
- actual fishing!
- come the apocalypse, there'd be birding, gulls eggs, and pebbles.
I have a thing about water :lol:
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There are some Amazon affiliate links in this blog

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Medusa
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Re: Starting Afresh

Post by Medusa » Fri May 03, 2019 7:40 pm

Some great tips, thanks! Sadly it doesn't have a look out tower, which I agree would have been great but there is potential for a tree house/hide/viewing platform.
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unsure
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Re: Starting Afresh

Post by unsure » Fri May 03, 2019 9:07 pm

there`s no need for a rewire or even partial rewire ,
all you need is a change over switch , this turns of the mains supply and turns on the gen side of the switch .
i had my house done in less than 2 hours .
i`m using a 6.5kva set up that runs on pertol or propane gas .
YES i walked away mid sentence , you were boring me to death and my survival instincts kick in .

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