Category Archives: land clearing

And, The Big Sky Saga continues…..Our Latest Homestead Adventure

Sometimes, crazy things get in the way and slow you down. Over the past couple of months we have experienced just that! Our goal has been to continue our dream of having our own little private place to call home in the mountains of Tennessee. We gave you the lowdown on our progress to get our land cleared and the septic tank installed. I had hoped (before now) to give you the latest on our water line and electric install, but, crazy things just get in the way.

While we were busy planning to move right along and hopefully have a home in place, that was not to be. We applied for the water meter installation at our local water utility and were met with little resistance on that end. The ELECTRIC was a completely different story. When we applied for electric service with the local Member owned electric co-op, we were informed that we needed to obtain easements from the adjoining property owners nearby. The end of line electric pole was on a neighbors right of way thus we needed to get his written permission for the electric company to install a separate pole on his property and to run the power line from his existing pole. While he initially agreed to give us an easement, we had to wait almost 90 days to FINALLY receive it.

Needless to say, and with some frustration on our part, we were forced to seek some legal intervention and a close look at the Electric Co-Op Bylaws. While an Attorney was busy trying to convince the neighbor to sign an easement, we found a section of the Bylaw which gives any new members automatic easement for themselves and any others wanting electric service. It took a phone call to the Electric Co-Op Attorney and even more to the Co-Op Management to finally get some much-needed progress. While they decided that we made our point, approval was finally taking place.

A ninety day delay really put us behind schedule in making some effort to move forward. In August we were finally able to make a return trip to our property and finish the utilities. It turned out to be an all-out effort to coordinate our contractors to finish up. We were able to get Tucker Farms LLC back to dig trenches for the underground Electric line from the pole to our pedestal and a water line from our water meter. We were also able to hire David Garrett, an electrician in Livingston Tennessee to install our electric service. I would happily provide you with some contact information but he doesn’t do email or websites.
I do have a phone number if interested! He and his crew do great work and are dependable and affordable.

Electric Pedestal Installed

Our Electric Company was able to come out that same morning and install the electric line through a 100 foot trench to our service pedestal in a trench of 30 inches deep and 18 inches wide. This is required in many areas per electric code and cannot be within the same trench as any other utility line such as water or sewer.

In a separate trench for our water line I decided to use underground 3/4 inch PEX tubing. PEX is so easy to work with and is great for colder climates. Unlike PVC piping, PEX will expand about five times its size if frozen without breaking. We buried it at 24 inches deep which is well below the freeze line for our area. During the water line install we placed a 3/4 inch Freeze-proof Yard Hydrant ( for outside watering needs) from our local Big Box Store. I also added a brass T and extended the PEX another 10 feet to allow for our cabin water supply and plumbing needs. Using SharkBite fittings is the way to go with plumbing these days. By the way, my wife and I got a great deal on that 300 Feet of PEX tubing.

PEX Water Line Install

After most of the day working at our property we were finally able to install our water line and turn on the water from our meter!

Running Water Finally!

We were happy that the electric and water line were both installed that day even if it took us a frustrating three months to get there. But, It doesn’t end there!

When we were just about ready to order our cabin and begin the work to be able to live in it, Hurricane Irma decided to pay us a visit in Florida. We had been following the forecasts for several days and it certainly looked like she would be a monster storm. We decided that our better option would be to evacuate out of the storm’s path and hope for the best. We had no idea what we would return to once it was over. Besides taking the essential clothing and bare necessities, we also packed up laptops, computers, and recently purchased products for our new homestead. We didn’t want to lose that too!

When it was over we came back to a partially downed fence and our tree across the neighbor’s roof. Fortunately, there was no significant damage and we were spared from much worse than we thought! It cost us from what we call our “Tennessee Fund” to remove the tree and evacuate two states north.

In the meantime, while trying to recoup and obligations of work, I was able to update our Homestead Store with some new and exciting products. We hope that you will take a look Homesteading Store and make a purchase from us. While we don’t make a lot of money on it all profits go towards our Blog Hosting and future Homestead in our Mountains of Tennessee! If you have any questions about our Products feel free to ask.

Until Next time!!

Preparing our Homestead for the next move…

Over the past few weeks my wife and I have discussed our next moves to get our future homestead going and making it livable.  We really needed to decide how we want the property laid out..where the cabin will be placed..and the other necessities that we will need. Since the property is now raw land  it is going to be a learning experience to start fresh.

We began by finding a contractor and asking for a quote to clear the land for us. We had originally thought about doing it ourselves by hand but knew that would be time consuming if not demanding on our body.  Hiring a contractor would also make the process go much faster.

When we began talking to the Contractor we also found that he is a licensed Septic System installer and could help us with that also. It turned into a win -win for us along with the great price he gave us.  He suggested that we begin by installing the septic system first.

During the permitting process the Inspector draws a diagram on the permit indicating where the tank and drain field should go on the property. That’s where he did the “percolation test”. This will give us an idea of where we would need to put the cabin on the property and any electrical poles and water lines. I don’t think anyone wants a power pole or water line in the middle of a septic field.

It also makes sense to place our cabin on the property where we can take advantage of energy efficiency, sunlight for solar– if we choose that later– and those great breezes through the windows.

Our Septic Contractor also recommended a local electrician to help us with the electric grid hookup.  We found that the best way to obtain electric on our property would be having an electrician install an RV service pole on the property. Depending on the type of dwelling you want for your residence it really made more sense with an RV service hookup. We could easily place a cabin on the property and simply Plug it in, with an extra weatherproof outdoor receptacle for our camper. We are considering adding 200 amp service for any later expansion. The local Electrical Inspector advised us that would be acceptable and pass inspection. Usually, the electric companies will not provide power to your property until they see some type of construction in progress.

We have also been fortunate that we found great neighbors who agreed to give us easements to run the power line drops across their properties to reach ours.

Even though we would like things to move a little faster we plan to head that way in early June to meet the contractor when he clears the property and installs the septic system. We want to take some time before his arrival and decide where and what we want cleared away from the septic system. Our visit will also give us a chance to apply for electric and water service. Feel free to follow along in the month of June as I will be providing updates and photos or videos from our project and its progress.

If you happen to need clearing or septic installation in the Livingston Tennessee area we will happily provide a free plug for the company we are using.  Feel free to contact Benton Tucker at Tucker Farms LLC 

Take the time to read my wife Cheri’s take on our upcoming plans at her Blog Here