Guest article, by ‘NRP’…
Hi y-all, after a few interesting and thought provoking comments on Ken’s Blog I had an urge (crazy me) to write a short series of articles on what I thought the “Perfect Prepper House” would be. Now I know there are literally hundreds of web-sites out there that will show you anywhere from a Doomsday Prepper underground concrete bunker-style “home” to multi-million dollar custom island homes, to the most elaborate “bunkers” actually built in nuclear silos, imagine that. This series of articles is not about that, and I will make efforts to stay clear of the craziness of “over the top” type of structures and homes/lives they portray.
If time allows and I don’t get booed off the Blog with this, I want to offer a series of 5 articles starting with this and moving through a few ideas I deem necessary for a non-crazed realistic Prepper home.
First a small introduction, I have been in the construction industry for well over 40 years, I’m a 4th generation “construction-dude”, and currently am working at a very successful company as Senior Estimator and Project Manager. I have personally/physically built my own homes (4 in total) over the past few decades and am now considering a 5th somewhere in “BFE” as it has been said. I also have been a “prepper” as far back as I can remember, even though it was not called that. I fully consider Prepping as a life-style and to be honest I would not have it any other way. I want to say that I’m not worried about a lot of what some fear mongering Blogs portray. As someone a LOT smarter than I once said, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself”, if you prepare, then that’s all you can really do.
Emotions, Ups and Downs; Yes you’ll be so dang excited about building a house/home you won’t sleep for weeks on end, THEN about 1 month into construction you’ll start saying “What the H#ll were we thinking?” I have seen it over and over again. Again, not to worry as long as you realize it WILL happen. And seriously I have seen way too many Divorces because of a home being built, NOT good; most importantly, plan, plan, plan and realize the “end game” you’re looking for in your new home.
Ok, on to the Nuts and Bolts.
First, Location, Location, Location. Yes I said it 3 times; location is one of the most important things in building your home. There are a LOT of things to take into consideration in choosing “where”. Are you retired, are you healthy, do you need to be close to a town/schools/hospital/… Do you need others to be close around for social/emergencies/home-help/… Or do you want/need to be 200 miles from the nearest light source? Do you want to be in the mountains, desert, wetlands, 10 feet of snow, and so on. Do you need to continue to work? Are you able to work the land (farming)? Do you feel you need to repel 500 Zombies? Can you relocate 2000 miles to pursue your “home”, do you have children you need to consider, other family?
Finding the “perfect location” is all a matter of choice, my “location” may/probably would not be yours. Take time; look around, other states/countries. I know that my own search will take years, so at the age of 62, I’m already looking for that “retirement place”. Everyone wants that “perfect hunk of dirt” it IS out there, it may take you time to find it, but when you do, you will know.
Next, Utilities; now I’m going to have a lot of feedback on this, but my feeling is if you can hook to “power”, then do so. Solar is GREAT, do not misunderstand my thinking, and so is the idea of “I’m off-grid”, but I like the idea of having virtually unlimited power in my home (think 300-400 Amp service, big shop/garage, ‘guy thing’). I will be installing a Solar Battery-backup Grid-Tied System in my home. Why? Because I can “sell” the power back at 80% of what I pay for it, basically meaning I would have free use of the “Company’s” availability. And the fact if/when the grid goes down, ohhhhh well, I have my system in place.
I also feel the same with Water, if I can hook to a municipality great, again I will have a well/storage backup that will last a long time, if needed.
Sewer; Not where I plan on going, a Septic System is cheap to install.
Internet, Radios, Phone, TV, that’s all wireless or satellite now. I do like the idea of having a good Ham System set up for those “after days”.
Lastly, Propane I love the long life of Propane, I hate buying it, but again this is a “home” not a 200’ underground bunker beneath Cheyenne Mountain. Make sure your thinking includes wood-stoves in your plans; I will go more into that in a later article.
Lastly for this segment, please check all of the Laws concerning construction, talk to the Building Dept., talk to the local EPA of local hazards (land-fills, underground water regulations and so forth), find the local sheriff and check on Gun Laws (and other laws) and ask him on his views. Go to the local Church, talk to neighbors and check on food-bank usage (ideas on number of homeless or poor in the area). Find out where the local airport is and their air patterns (a 747 flying overhead is quite the distraction). Also visit the proposed site/land a LOT of times during your visit, walk the land, get a feel for the soil, trust your “gut” and how you feel when there. Honestly, if you don’t get that “warm fuzzy” feeling when you visit the land, move on.
The next few articles will be more concerning the actual design and needs you may want in your/my home. Please feel free to comment, all ideas are welcome.
Thank you for your time.