5 DIY Homestead Projects You Can Take on Yourself
A homestead lifestyle often allows for more freedom in life. Many look forward to the self-sufficiency lifestyle that ensues, but projects around your property can often take on a life of their own. Some may need professional intervention, but there are many homestead projects you can handle on your own.
Your land holds limitless possibilities, but don’t allow the dreaming scare you out of diving into them.
Allow the following five DIY homestead projects to inspire your next to-do list. You’ll have the satisfaction of playing a big role in creating the homestead of your dreams. Who knows, your first project may inspire more to follow.
1. Build a Wooden Planter Box
No homestead is complete without veggie gardens ready for the warmer months. Plus, there’s a natural appeal that comes from gorgeous landscaping, but what about smaller garden elements, like herbs, that would be better suited for deck or outside patio?
With a few materials, you can build your own planter box. The needed materials will depend on how large of a planter you want. Measure out the space you want it to fill, then pick your planks accordingly.
After gathering your supplies, and an hour of drilling everything together, you’ll have a nice self-built planter ready to go. Line it with tarp for easy cleaning and drill a few holes for adequate drainage.
2. Construct a Chicken Coop
Taking care of a homestead often means tending to the animals on your property. If farm-fresh morning eggs are on the menu, construct a chicken coup to help house your chickens. Having chickens on your homestead also offers another revenue stream if you plan to sell the eggs for a small profit.
Depending on the number of chickens you have or plan to have, you want to start by figuring out their size so you can determine the coop size to build. Six to eight hens will need at least a 5 x 20-foot coop. These are the basic materials every size coop will need:
- 2 x 4-foot planks, for the frame
- Plywood sheets, for the floor and ceiling
- Sheet metal or shingles, to cover the roof
Accessorize your finished chicken coop with food and water troughs, plus a six-inch deep layer of wood shavings or hay for nesting. After everything has been assembled, your chickens will have a very happy home waiting for them.
3. Make a Cheery Sign
Many homesteaders choose to identify their property via a farm name, or they might like the look of homemade signs throughout their gardens. You can create a unique sign for your homestead with the help of a few materials.
The materials and instructions for your sign will differ depending on what kind of sign you want to make. Your base should start by nailing a few small pieces of plywood together and covering with weatherproof paint for an outdoor sign. You can indicate which plants grow in which planters, or make one for each row of your garden.
Consider painting sealant over a welcome sign for your front porch. Include your children by having them write the word “welcome” on the sign, to preserve their handwriting forever. A layer of sealant will protect it from the sun and weather, so it’ll last as long as you’ll live in your home.
Whatever you decide to do, have a purpose or message in mind to guide the project along. Whether they welcome people to your home or guide them around your garden, constructing a cheery sign could make your homestead feel more like home.
4. Put Together a Greenhouse
Gardening is a fun summer activity, but often necessary all-year round for homesteaders. Greenhouses help keep your gardens thriving even throughout the winter months. Investing in a professionally made greenhouse may be something way outside your budget, but it can easily be built at home.
The secret to building a greenhouse is to use hardware wire mesh. Drape the mesh over the top and down the sides of a 2 x 4 wooden frame. Secure a plastic cover over the sides to protect plants in the winter, and remove the plastic in the summer so you can grow vine plants alongside the mesh. You’ll have more opportunity to grow different types of plants in a greenhouse, whether you garden to grow food or beautiful plants.
5. Create a Shed
If you’re thinking about building your own shed, it may take longer than a single weekend to accomplish, but when you’re done, you’ll have a useful structure for years to come.
Start by laying a concrete foundation. Once it’s laid, you’ll have to spend a few days misting it with water so it sets completely. Taking your time with this part is crucial, or you’ll end up with a cracked foundation.
After your concrete has solidified, you’ll want to build the frame for your shed. The size of your shed will determine what sized planks to get. You also want to pick out a material for the walls and ceiling, as well as for the doors and windows.
Time to Pick Your Next DIY Project
As a homesteader, you can personalize your home with DIY projects that will only boost efficiency around your property, not to mention they’ll save you money.
Start looking into the projects that might benefit your homestead, and you’ll find that the world of DIY projects has plenty of options for you to choose from.
Mail Call: Homemade Wheat Bread
We love the letters from our Grit readers. This month: firewood cutting tips, a wonderful whole wheat bread recipe, more switchel recipes, and photos of toad houses.
Cuttings for Propagation
Learn to propagate new plants by rooting cuttings inexpensively in small plastic boxes with perlite, coir, peat moss and/or sharp (builder’s) sand.
Plant Breeding for Gardeners
Chris Colby helps us understand plant breeding basics, hybridization, open-pollination, F2 crosses, allels, and fertilization.