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Thread: Buying a few acres, living in a shed and having a few mates over... Wise heads needed

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    Buying a few acres, living in a shed and having a few mates over... Wise heads needed

    Well PSB brains trust, it's getting close to end time on our suburban lifestyle and heading to the beyond.

    We are looking at buying a few acres and building a shed (?) to live in permanently. ( class 1 or 1a?)
    The plan is to have it built to as high level as budgets allow and do any finish work myself, albeit as minimal as possible. Block size we are interested in , is 25 acres.

    So, are we insane?
    It will be in the Great Southern regions, so will we freeze to death in a steel coffin, or live happily
    ever after?
    Any one have experience in the building of a shed type house ( not barn), or ever resided in one for a reasonable time?

    Am happy for reems of advice of the yays and nays of this idea. Cost effectiveness seems good, but am I sadly mistaken?
    What about power to a remote(ish) block with a 100 metre driveway? Any advice to pay particular attention to? Sandy soil with granite base.

    This leads me to part B of the plan, having a few mates over for a ride once we are settled in.

    If I contract a Bobcat operator or tractor to help shape a rudimentary track to fart around on the bikes, with a few smallish jumps and berms, how am I off for any sort of public liability if an accident occurs to non occupiers?
    None at all, or achievable to do?

    If will most definitely be PRIVATE and no funds will change hands. It is simply for fitness and enjoyment for my old bones , plus a few reprobates and assorted jail escapees..

    It will hardly be X games material, more amateur hour shenanigans.

    Fire away... 👍
    Sventek, being a predominantly lazy fuck can you please purchase some for me, bring me the stuff, create something I want after you think of it for me then clean my house, wash my car, dog, bike breathe for me.
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    See if you can rent lease for 6 months ,just in case you no likey
    Water will become your biggest issue with 25 acres ,you really want a unlimted sorce .
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    my friend had a small track on his property 12.5 acres, he used it only on weekends, one of the the neighbors complained (was not in the next block) long story short , he wasn't allowed to keep the track, tried to call it a fire break no dice. The law only allows for the unrestricted use for land over 100 acres without special provisions on the use. This lesson cost him mega bucks in lawyers fees and court costs. Check the laws before you go ahead
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    Quote Originally Posted by keys View Post
    See if you can rent lease for 6 months ,just in case you no likey
    Water will become your biggest issue with 25 acres ,you really want a unlimted sorce .
    Was that you in bed this morning when my Wife suggested this very subject matter keys ? 😉

    Finding this very type of property will be challenging, but far better than a bad decision made in haste though... cheers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Water pig View Post
    my friend had a small track on his property 12.5 acres, he used it only on weekends, one of the the neighbors complained (was not in the next block) long story short , he wasn't allowed to keep the track, tried to call it a fire break no dice. The law only allows for the unrestricted use for land over 100 acres without special provisions on the use. This lesson cost him mega bucks in lawyers fees and court costs. Check the laws before you go ahead
    Advice heeded thanks mate! Wil keep the legal fees and maybe buy another adv bike instead. Thought did seem attractive at the time though.
    Sventek, being a predominantly lazy fuck can you please purchase some for me, bring me the stuff, create something I want after you think of it for me then clean my house, wash my car, dog, bike breathe for me.
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    I like this plan.
    25 acres sounds a bit too remote and a lot of work.


    Personally, I'd go for 2 acres around Bridgetown with a shed/cheap house then use the roads
    in that region as your playground....will need insulation and wood fire though.
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    Have a friend (carpenter by trade) deck out a shed and lived in it for years. Was an awesome pad. Who else has a car hoist in their living room ? He basically built a home inside half the shed and left the other half for business/play. Can maybe get hold of some drawings if you're interested.


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    I am currently living in a class 1A shed albeit on 6.3 acres and managed to get a 6.5 star energy rating making it warmer in winter, cooler in summer and cheaper to heat and cool than the majority of houses built prior to 2000.

    There is as much red tape as any standard class 1A dwelling (aka house) build, you will find it impossible to find a shed company that will go through the 1A approval process so this is best done as owner builder. I will let you do your own research into that but it isn't without its challenges. Also have a talk with your relevant council as no matter what's been done by others or in the past, this can be the real make or break.

    The biggest challenge through the design phase was trying to get the minimum 10% floor area as windows which is a requirement for a 1A dwelling. Due to the standard size windows you need one on nearly every external section. Using sliding glass PA doors instead of the standard metal doors can really be a saviour here and probably a lesson learnt for me.

    For the build phase, site works and electrical can be the real killer to the cost effective nature, we are 280m off the street front and just the cable cost for 3 phase 35mm from street to shed adds up really quickly. The only avoidance for the block is granite as site works become astronomically expensive, everything else is differing expense but is all financially achievable. In saying that, our trench for services took 5 days of rock breaking. At $2k a day...

    I can go on for pages about the pro's and con's and am more than happy to elaborate as much or as little as you want on any questions you might have. Information is pretty limited but it is a worthwhile venture. The con's are mostly around valuation when completed as the outlay will not come close to the banks valuation after the fact. That and if you are borrowing money for anything other than the land, good luck to you. Banks aren't overly forthcoming when it comes to lending to owner builders. We actually got our loan on the block alone and paid cash from that point.

    We have just reached our third year of living in here. And we absolutely love it, but there are some things I would do differently which I'm also happy to elaborate on.


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    What about something like this???

    http://www.yorkfn.com.au/index.cfm?p...ertyID=3104126
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    Quote Originally Posted by GETAGRIP View Post
    I am currently living in a class 1A shed albeit on 6.3 acres and managed to get a 6.5 star energy rating making it warmer in winter, cooler in summer and cheaper to heat and cool than the majority of houses built prior to 2000.

    There is as much red tape as any standard class 1A dwelling (aka house) build, you will find it impossible to find a shed company that will go through the 1A approval process so this is best done as owner builder. I will let you do your own research into that but it isn't without its challenges. Also have a talk with your relevant council as no matter what's been done by others or in the past, this can be the real make or break.

    The biggest challenge through the design phase was trying to get the minimum 10% floor area as windows which is a requirement for a 1A dwelling. Due to the standard size windows you need one on nearly every external section. Using sliding glass PA doors instead of the standard metal doors can really be a saviour here and probably a lesson learnt for me.

    For the build phase, site works and electrical can be the real killer to the cost effective nature, we are 280m off the street front and just the cable cost for 3 phase 35mm from street to shed adds up really quickly. The only avoidance for the block is granite as site works become astronomically expensive, everything else is differing expense but is all financially achievable. In saying that, our trench for services took 5 days of rock breaking. At $2k a day...

    I can go on for pages about the pro's and con's and am more than happy to elaborate as much or as little as you want on any questions you might have. Information is pretty limited but it is a worthwhile venture. The con's are mostly around valuation when completed as the outlay will not come close to the banks valuation after the fact. That and if you are borrowing money for anything other than the land, good luck to you. Banks aren't overly forthcoming when it comes to lending to owner builders. We actually got our loan on the block alone and paid cash from that point.

    We have just reached our third year of living in here. And we absolutely love it, but there are some things I would do differently which I'm also happy to elaborate on.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    can i ask what area you're in? and what was your total cost of the electrical runin? been my dream to do the tree change thing, but i'm tempted to do the off grid thing.....it's a bit easier and cheaper when you work in the solar industry but then again, it'd also be cheap to do the runin when i can do it all myself, and my bro in law has excavator with rock breaker etc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blazon View Post
    I like this plan.
    25 acres sounds a bit too remote and a lot of work.


    Personally, I'd go for 2 acres around Bridgetown with a shed/cheap house then use the roads
    in that region as your playground....will need insulation and wood fire though.
    Have already poked around Nannup, Bridgey, Margs and Busso , so warped minds do think alike! 😊

    Strangely enough with our search, the larger acre blocks were cheaper, which carved our search towards this size.

    We too would prefer the smaller block, so will continue the search. ATM , we are suffering the curse of 1000 barking dogs and noisy neighbours. If the 2 acres resulted in a return to this scenario, it would be a strong possibility that violence would be the end result.
    Hopefully a quiet , smallish ,rural block would be just heaven. 👍

    Quote Originally Posted by Gim View Post
    Have a friend (carpenter by trade) deck out a shed and lived in it for years. Was an awesome pad. Who else has a car hoist in their living room ? He basically built a home inside half the shed and left the other half for business/play. Can maybe get hold of some drawings if you're interested.




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    We very well might do Gim! Am still in the 'trying to get answers' phase, so is still amateur hour with planing. Cheers

    Quote Originally Posted by GETAGRIP View Post
    I am currently living in a class 1A shed albeit on 6.3 acres and managed to get a 6.5 star energy rating making it warmer in winter, cooler in summer and cheaper to heat and cool than the majority of houses built prior to 2000.

    There is as much red tape as any standard class 1A dwelling (aka house) build, you will find it impossible to find a shed company that will go through the 1A approval process so this is best done as owner builder. I will let you do your own research into that but it isn't without its challenges. Also have a talk with your relevant council as no matter what's been done by others or in the past, this can be the real make or break.

    The biggest challenge through the design phase was trying to get the minimum 10% floor area as windows which is a requirement for a 1A dwelling. Due to the standard size windows you need one on nearly every external section. Using sliding glass PA doors instead of the standard metal doors can really be a saviour here and probably a lesson learnt for me.

    For the build phase, site works and electrical can be the real killer to the cost effective nature, we are 280m off the street front and just the cable cost for 3 phase 35mm from street to shed adds up really quickly. The only avoidance for the block is granite as site works become astronomically expensive, everything else is differing expense but is all financially achievable. In saying that, our trench for services took 5 days of rock breaking. At $2k a day...

    I can go on for pages about the pro's and con's and am more than happy to elaborate as much or as little as you want on any questions you might have. Information is pretty limited but it is a worthwhile venture. The con's are mostly around valuation when completed as the outlay will not come close to the banks valuation after the fact. That and if you are borrowing money for anything other than the land, good luck to you. Banks aren't overly forthcoming when it comes to lending to owner builders. We actually got our loan on the block alone and paid cash from that point.

    We have just reached our third year of living in here. And we absolutely love it, but there are some things I would do differently which I'm also happy to elaborate on.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Absolute gold and answered many a question that we just could not get answers to! 👍👍👍

    We are well into the info block that you have referred to re shed co's being less than enthusiastical about the 1a zoning and any sort of completion. This has provided us newbs with nothing but bewilderment and frustration on 'choice' of style and completion.

    We have been told to get an owner builder's license, but my skills are not near any sort of handy person with power tools and building materials. I have a shed full of professional tools, so might need to HTFU and get an act.

    We will flog our place in the 'burbs and , pray to god, we might be able to pay for much of the experiment, so hopefully finance will be not too ugly.

    Appreciate your advice and if possible could we meet up at some point so that I can take some very important notes?

    I too fully appreciate your privacy but would be EXTREMELY greatful to have a look at your set up, even from the outside only?
    Pm if you are agreed, but please don't feel any pressure.

    If I don't get a pm, I will understand fully your preference. We also promise not to be fb stalkerish either...


    Add the build issues to any sort of meeting though and it would be a vital part of our startup.

    Many, many thanks...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoneville View Post
    The shed is spot on with the style thanks Stoney (&#128522 , however we are , right now, chasing a south west sojourn.

    The property, price and location does look very attractive though. Have considered Beverly before, but the family want to head to south at present . Plans can change though...
    Thanks very much for the reference though. You have added yet another factor to consider for our new life.( a surprise bun in the oven has nearly finished baking, which ads to the planning complications and considerations!)

    Appreciate it very much! 🌻
    Sventek, being a predominantly lazy fuck can you please purchase some for me, bring me the stuff, create something I want after you think of it for me then clean my house, wash my car, dog, bike breathe for me.

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    how's the serenity?
    arn't we all just looking for a quiet place to ride trailbikes, shoot skeets and set off homemade fireworks?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gim View Post
    Have a friend (carpenter by trade) deck out a shed and lived in it for years. Was an awesome pad. Who else has a car hoist in their living room ? He basically built a home inside half the shed and left the other half for business/play. Can maybe get hold of some drawings if you're interested.
    +1 Had a friend also a carpenter/builder many years ago (~30) build a big shed in what was then the boonies (Carramar), was ~200m2 in living area and a third of it was his workshop where he had a wallsaw etc to cut out stuff for his work
    He was 1/2 way through building a huge house on the 5 acre block when his marriage went tits up Did spend a couple of pissy NYE parties there and slept in the basement he'd built under the shed which also doubled as a shooting range
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    Quote Originally Posted by chief wiggum View Post
    can i ask what area you're in? and what was your total cost of the electrical runin? been my dream to do the tree change thing, but i'm tempted to do the off grid thing.....it's a bit easier and cheaper when you work in the solar industry but then again, it'd also be cheap to do the runin when i can do it all myself, and my bro in law has excavator with rock breaker etc
    I'm in Brigadoon. I can't remember the exact cost of the run in to be honest, it was done as a mix as I got materials at cost due to my previous industry contacts. The cable alone was fairly pricey though, got 1200m of 35mm (ran 300m at 3 phase) and 300m of 10 core for phone/data.

    I just don't feel like the batteries are quite there yet for all solar, although being in the industry you would know better than me. I also dream to be off grid one day, but it will be my next and final move from where I am now.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ReCon View Post
    Absolute gold and answered many a question that we just could not get answers to!

    We are well into the info block that you have referred to re shed co's being less than enthusiastical about the 1a zoning and any sort of completion. This has provided us newbs with nothing but bewilderment and frustration on 'choice' of style and completion.
    It was really frustrating when I was going through the process, I had hope about a company out at Bullsbrook but they had closed down. I can't say I tried them all, but I did try 90% of the Perth shed builders and none could (or would) do a 1A shed under their builders license.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReCon View Post
    We have been told to get an owner builder's license, but my skills are not near any sort of handy person with power tools and building materials. I have a shed full of professional tools, so might need to HTFU and get an act.
    Ask a few round here and they would have said worse about my skills in this area. It's a lot easier than you think if you have the right tools as it sounds like you do. I can vouch for how intimidating it feels though, and the feeling of maybe biting off more than you can chew. But a couple of mates to help out when you need another set of hands and it all comes together over time. If you are anything like me, by the end I wanted to build the first walls again so I could do them better!

    Quote Originally Posted by ReCon View Post
    We will flog our place in the 'burbs and , pray to god, we might be able to pay for much of the experiment, so hopefully finance will be not too ugly.
    You would have to check with your bank, but my lender was 95% if just buying the block or 60% on my owner build. The 95% was a better deal so financed the land and built the house paying cash.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReCon View Post
    Appreciate your advice and if possible could we meet up at some point so that I can take some very important notes?

    I too fully appreciate your privacy but would be EXTREMELY greatful to have a look at your set up, even from the outside only?
    Pm if you are agreed, but please don't feel any pressure.

    If I don't get a pm, I will understand fully your preference. We also promise not to be fb stalkerish either...

    Add the build issues to any sort of meeting though and it would be a vital part of our startup.

    Many, many thanks...
    No problems at all, more than welcome to have a look inside, no point looking from the outside, it just looks like a shed! Will PM you soonish when I am free and you can come round for a look and poke and we can discuss over a beer or two. There is a lot you will want to talk about I'm sure.


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    There's a few American barn style homes about. Maybe have a look into those ones. The other option is to buy an established small farm. Why the shed? Why not buy a 3x1 with a few sheds and acreage around Manjimup?
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by GETAGRIP View Post
    It was really frustrating when I was going through the process, I had hope about a company out at Bullsbrook but they had closed down. I can't say I tried them all, but I did try 90% of the Perth shed builders and none could (or would) do a 1A shed under their builders license.




    Ask a few round here and they would have said worse about my skills in this area. It's a lot easier than you think if you have the right tools as it sounds like you do. I can vouch for how intimidating it feels though, and the feeling of maybe biting off more than you can chew. But a couple of mates to help out when you need another set of hands and it all comes together over time. If you are anything like me, by the end I wanted to build the first walls again so I could do them better!



    You would have to check with your bank, but my lender was 95% if just buying the block or 60% on my owner build. The 95% was a better deal so financed the land and built the house paying cash.



    No problems at all, more than welcome to have a look inside, no point looking from the outside, it just looks like a shed! Will PM you soonish when I am free and you can come round for a look and poke and we can discuss over a beer or two. There is a lot you will want to talk about I'm sure.


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    Thanks heaps for the pm Nick and much appreciated for the budget that you also had the good heart to compile for us.
    It makes A LOT of difference and gets us started in a forward direction, where before we were kind of running around in circles..

    Kudos to a very decent bloke! 👍


    Quote Originally Posted by Stephan View Post
    There's a few American barn style homes about. Maybe have a look into those ones. The other option is to buy an established small farm. Why the shed? Why not buy a 3x1 with a few sheds and acreage around Manjimup?
    All cards are on the table Stephan.

    My first thoughts were price point only, but as our eyes get opened up on this, the more we will look at all types of abode.

    Being in the one house since we bought 22 years ago and had no intention to move until relatively recently, we are pretty well open to any and all ideas.
    Seeing a few shed homes does seem to tickle our fancy atm, so if a small farmlet did arise then it's all systems go. ( money requirements met)

    Bridgey is about as far South as we are looking at present , ONLY due to proximity to a major hospital. If an absolute gem of a block comes up around there, then will just have to die 50 k's further south! 😉

    Once I'm dead though the fam are free to go live wherever they feel is the best place for their new life..
    Sventek, being a predominantly lazy fuck can you please purchase some for me, bring me the stuff, create something I want after you think of it for me then clean my house, wash my car, dog, bike breathe for me.

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    I would look for a existing house in any condition you may save a fortune in running services,power water septic phone driveways fences......




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    Keep an eye on trees near powerlines on the boundary of any property you are looking at. Each year we got a bill from the electricity supplier contractor to remove any branches that came less than 3 meters from the lines.

    Sold our Toodyay place last year prices are down so can get a nice house with all sight works done. We had a small motocross track as a firebreak. Next door had a full blown motocross track that appealed to me as a plus when buying the property. They built me my small one.

    We will also be looking South for retirement as finding the heat at Toodyay area in summer is not my liking.
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    Member Wahoo's Avatar
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    Have known quite a few living in sheds of all qualities and it can be done really badly or really well. Temperature control was the problem and the best was a double story area on the end of a high shed, and the worst retained tin walls with curtain barriers for rooms.
    If you are planning on a loan for property though, it will be based on income not equity, so if you are planning on not working for a while it will be unlikely you could get the loan you need. Good luck though.
    Life is NOT a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: "Wahoo!! What a ride!"
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