Almost There!

My friend Tom who lives just a few miles from our farm sent me this picture of deer on his place.

My friend Tom who lives just a few miles from our farm sent me this picture of deer at his place. Click on the picture to make it larger to see all the deer.

We are almost there, in less than a month we will be leaving the big city of Chicago and moving to our farm in Iowa and we can’t wait. It has been over 6 years since we bought our farm and have been planning for this moment and dreaming about retirement and starting our hobby farm. The planning has not been easy, with this much time to plan, I have changed my mind more than I care to admit and that is what I want to now share in this post.

How our new house will look.

How our new house will look.

Those of you who have been following this blog know I first started out wanting to build a Pole Barn House and then the last you heard we had changed it to a log home. That has changed too and now we are going to build a regular stick built house. Thankfully we are so close to build time I can’t change our mind again. 🙂

I have always wanted a log home but in the end it was the maintenance of having to re-stain the logs every 3 to 5 years that made building the log home not practical for some one who was retiring. It was also going to cost about 30,000 more to build.

This home will have basically the same floor plan our home we just sold had.

This home will have basically the same floor plan our home we just sold had.

We didn’t go with the pole barn home because living in Iowa we need a basement or storm shelter for severe weather like tornadoes. I also didn’t want to be on a slab with my arthritis, the concrete would be too rough on my knees. Our conventional framed home will have a basement and wood floors. It will also have a steel roof and siding that a pole barn would have. We like the low maintenance of those materials.

We plan on doing most of the work but will be contracting out the basement, the outside framing, septic, and heating and cooling. My wife and I will have to sheet the outside walls, put the windows in and do all the interior framing and finish work. I also plan on doing the plumbing and most of the electrical. I do worry a lot about the whole thing. Will I be physically able to do the work and will I know enough to do it right so it will be worth living in when we are done? These thoughts keep me up late at night sometimes, I don’t know how it will all go. We move there April 13th and plan to break ground for the basement the next day. You all will have to keep following to see how it all turns out.





About Gordon Milligan

I am a retired conductor for a commuter railroad in Chicago IL, I now live in and have bought a 40 acre farm in South Central Iowa that I have built from the ground up. My wife and I are trying to raise and grow most of my own food using sustainible and organic methods. I have a blog that journals my journey to becoming a farmer.
This entry was posted in Farm Report, Our Log Home, Pole Barn House. Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Almost There!

  1. Arnold maxey says:

    You can do it G! I can’t wait to see the finished product!!! I know it will be great

  2. You need to look into ICF walls in the basement and blown in cellulose in walls & attic. I just built a house that looks like yours on 7 acres of woods. My utilities are dirt cheap.

  3. thistledog says:

    Absolutely, you two can do this! Great times, glad you are almost there, what an adventure it will be. Thanks for sharing and taking us along with you.

  4. Miss Bougie says:

    Hi Gordon, I’m very new to your blog. Our paths crossed on a cattle farmer’s (vaches de salers) blog from the south of France. You have quite an adventure ahead of you and I am in awe of what you hope to achieve. There’ll be ups and downs, no doubt, and I really hope you’ll get there in the end. Thanks for taking us along for the ride.

  5. langela1 says:

    Counting down the days… Make sure you let me know your new phone number so I can let you know when I’m coming over!

  6. Jewels says:

    Yay so wonderful you’re almost there! Wishing you all the best as you move forward! 🙂

  7. Thanks Julie, I appreciate your support.

  8. Lisa says:

    My husband and I are also working on a plan for our new home! He’s not retiring for 6-7 yrs! We have 12 acres of woods and pasture. We checked into a log barn, because we like that look for our home, but it was way to pricey compared to a pole building! So we’re continuing our search for now! I’ll be following along to see how you make out!! Good luck to you and your wife.

  9. suz says:

    love the views already – looking forward to following along. congratulations. –suz in ohio

  10. jack says:

    You will do it, good decision. Keep us up on progress!

  11. Zephyr Hill says:

    I’m so glad you’re finally this close to breaking ground, Gordon! Your reasons for changing your mind sound spot-on. You were so wise to spend time researching the options that interest you; changing your mind just shows you can learn! 🙂 I wouldn’t have wanted to have the re-staining of logs hanging over my head in a retirement home, either; nor would I want to go without a basement in tornado country! When we bought our house, it came with a storm shelter in the basement–steel beams on the ceiling and an air vent in the concrete block wall. Except for once or twice a year, it’s a wine cellar! Herb keeps a crow bar in there, and I’ve added an old-fashioned chamber pot, some TP, blankets and some jugs of water in case we should ever really need it.

    I’m sure you’re more than capable of doing what you want to for your house. You have so much practical experience, and you’re a careful researcher. Your new house will be all that more meaningful as you sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labors and the sweat of your brow! I look forward to following your progress!

  12. busterk k says:

    If you check with the local union they will give you the info you might need to get the job done!!

  13. Ray kasperas says:

    Hi Gordo,
    Once your to the point where more hands would be good, have Build and BBQ party, it might help with some of the big stuff, and meet and strengthen relationships with neighbors. Just a thought. Good luck.
    Ray Kasperas

  14. jack says:

    Nice! Very exited for you.

  15. Aaron says:

    I love following this along on this blog! I originally found it while researching poll frame houses my self. I think I’m as excited to see more updates as you are to move! 🙂

  16. Woody says:

    Cool! Looking forward to your updates.

  17. Jenna says:

    I’m so excited to have found your blog, thanks for sharing! My husband and I have been talking about this. Economical is the way to go! Looking forward to reading more.

  18. Keith says:

    I think you made the right call not going with the log home. They are rustic “cool” but most don’t like the long term maintenance headaches. A reader doesn’t want to be negative about someone’s “dream” but you reached the right decision for you and your wife. At the time you were talking about log, I was thinking “Man, don’t do it”

    • Thanks Keith, I thought long and hard on the matter and I just knew what direction I should go, but it was hard to let go of a dream I had so long. How this house is turning out I am convinced more than ever we made the right decision.

  19. eric says:

    would love to see copies of plan! great looking home!

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