My Homesteading Journey

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Homesteading Journey

My homesteading journey began about ten years ago with a dream of building a tiny house on a piece of land that I owned.  The homestead journey has taken me down many avenues and taught me much about zoning by-laws, building codes, and home size restrictions in the various provinces in Canada.  I have to say there have been many surprises along the way....not only does every municipality and city have buiilding size restriction that decide the smallest home you can build, but the buiding codes often vary from area to area: although, they are all based on the "Canadian Building Codes."

About five years ago, my interests intensified and I became more determine to achieve my retirement dream.  I spent many hours researching various communities, counties, and provinces.  I learned about "unorganized territories", but found that they also had to meet the "Canadian Building Code" guidelines.  As many of you may not know, these building codes dictate the size of rooms, walls, doors, and stairs permitted in a building that is to be used as a residence or dwelling.  Unfortunately, the majority of tiny houses don't meet the building code; therefore, most are built on a trailer and today carry the same classification as a travel trailer.  In the majority of municipalities, cities, and campgrounds, tiny houses are only permitted on a seasonal basis and cannot be dwelled in over the winter months in Canada, unless they are located in one of the "Tiny House Communities" currently available.  To find out where tiny house communities can be located, please check the "Links" page of this website.

Three years ago, I decided it was time to learn some permaculture practices that I planned to implement once I found a place I could build my dream home.  The days I could squeeze a few hours away from the office, I volunteers at my friends permaculture farm near Forest, Ontario.  While volunteering, I picked up a lot of information about animals, farming, and solar and wind power.  I learned how to build a hydraulic ram pump to move water uphill to various areas, a rocket stove, a rocket mass heater, and various other things that would help me when it came time to work on my own homestead.

February 2018

At the end of January 2018, I learned that mini houses were allowed in New Brunswick and was thrilled.  From that moment on, the search for land began.  I researched all the land companies I could find online and decided the land offered for sale by Wolter Land Estates was the best buy I could get.  (The link to this company can be found on my "Links" page.  Using this company was wonderful.  Steve's detailed listings told you about your land, the amount of deposit required, a discount if you sent the remaining payment in 30 days, and the option of making monthly payments until you paid it off; while still allowing you to build and use the land.

I chose to purchase my land outright and sent my payment in full. 

I purchased a three acre retangular parcel with an access drive off the highway, electricity and telephone at the road, and a fairly level terrain with 3/4 of an acre cleared of brush and trees.  The land is located just minutes from the Northumberland Straight and lovely sandy beachs and a short drive from the border of Nova Scotia and the bridge to P.E.I., so needless to say it is in the southeastern area of New Brunswick.

Within two months, from the deposit date, the legal paperwork was completed and the deed to the land was in my hands.

HELLO NEW BRUNSWICK

Homestead Updates:

 

  • January - April 2019

April - July 2018

The day after the deed arrived in the mail, I made a trip north to purchase a Mory Master 75, which is a slide-in truck topper.  While waiting for the deed, I realized I was going to need transportation that would take me, a single woman, my two Jack Russels named Shaggy and Jasmine, and my cat named Boo Boo out to New Brunswick to preview that land in real life that I had purchased online.  I also realized I needed to find contractors and contact them in advance to arrange to meet with them on the land.  Using online resources, I managed to find a contractor for each service I required and also managed to find the county office to find out exactly what was required and permitted.

It was while talking to the zoning officer that I learned "mini" and "tiny" are not necessary the same thing.  When you tell them you wish to build a tiny house, they automatically assume you are talking about what they call a mini house.  The two are entirely different things, so I soon learned that instead of building a tiny house, I would be building a mini house to meet with their regulations.  A mini house can be no smaller that 284 feet, so basically 22' x 22' and the size of a small double car garage.

I also found out that in order to live on this property year around, which is what I plan to do, it must have a septic system.  They actually didn't care where you obtained your drinking water from; but needless to say, I will be putting in a well.

Soon all the arrangements, as well as my house drawings were complete and it was time to get back to my transport problem.  My solution was to build a camper in the topper I put on my truck.  Let me tell you, this was no small feat.  There was not a straight wall inside so I had to work around wiggles and giggles and a couple times the screw gun managed to somehow fly out the double doors at the back and stick in the ground.  lol  I finished the camper the beginning of July and within a week, I took the dogs camping with me for a weekend to make sure everything worked the way I expected it to.  I also packed my tools, just in case. lol

Day 1 camping in the heat, I had to modify the sleeping area I had planned for the dogs and cat.  The cat no longer has a sleeping area and I have found a new place for her litter box.  She mainly sleeps with me anyway.  The other thing I discovered on our camping weekend was the need to create a screen door to keep the mosquitos out. They were horrid.

To learn more about the truck camper build and view pictures, please visit the "Truck Camper Build" page.

If you have questions, comments, or require information, Email Trish