If you are a full-scale farmer, homesteader, hobby farmer, backyard farmer or anything in between, there comes a point (many actually) that you need to put some construction skills to practice. DIY farm projects are a regular thing around here, as I am sure they are for many!
DIY projects can come in so many forms. Whether it is something as small as a birdhouse or as large as a barn…. you can bet that something is going to need to be built, or at least fixed. Having, at least, basic construction skills will really come in handy-in fact they are a true necessity on the homestead.
I mean, sure, you can hire someone to come in and do all of your construction, but…. there goes that vacation you were planning, or that tractor you. need… or whatever else you were gonna spend your hard earned money on. If you can handle at least the bulk of your construction needs, you will save so much. Plus, I can tell you from experience, it is such a feeling of accomplishment to start and complete a construction project.
Anyone Can Learn
I know, …easy for me to say because I am a builder….however, I’ve been building for a very long time. I actually taught myself, in fact. And, I’ve taught my kids since then. I promise, it is not a difficult skill to learn. At least for the basics of it.
There are books on framing that will give you all of the basics in easy to understand terms. (I found this site with a list of good books on basic building.) Framing is the skeleton of all construction. That is the part that actually builds a project. All the rest is finish work. If you can learn the basics of framing, you can absolutely build just about anything that you will need on the farm.
DIY – Break it Down for Ease
Some of our diy farm projects have been pretty involved, but taking them piece by piece keeps them from being overwhelming. For instance, breaking a Large building project down into the steps; foundation, framework, sheathing, roofing, etc. I’ve always found that breaking the steps apart and having a plan for each, is a great way to tackle big projects.
The largest buildings that we have built here on the farm have been 2 barns. (Number one burned down, so we had to build number 2) However, here on this farm, we have also built a greenhouse, a hoop house, a Natural pool, a smokehouse and so many smaller diy farm projects.
Personally, I believe that your initial build is probably your most difficult, simply because you are unsure of yourself. Once you begin building, you learn that it is really just sets of simple tasks all strung together. My advice to new farmers/homesteaders, who are needing building projects handled, is to just have a plan and get started.
As far as tools that you need to carry out a building project, it could literally be as simple as a handsaw, a hammer and some nails, along with a tape measure and a level. However, a drill and screws are nice and helpful and if its a big project, I personally LOVE my nail gun!!!!
Plans and Design
I typically design our projects myself and I really do love that part of the process. It’s a good fit for me. I use grid paper and I make certain that I have good dimensions then I draw up my own plans. Of course, I’ve been doing this for a while. It’s easier, when you begin building, to use plans that are pre-designed.
However, if your are going to be using pre-made plans that you find, you will want to spend a little time studying how to read them properly. There are a lot of websites and videos that discuss the basics of reading plans. Many of the basic framing books give great tutorials on this as well.
You may also want to have a look at some of the building projects that we have done here at Two Oaks Farmstead. There is a lot of information there that could help you out and maybe even give you a few ideas for something that you would like to build!
Larger DIY Farm Projects
Smaller DIY Farm Projects
We have so many more terrific building projects, both large and small, coming up very soon. You don’t want to miss out on them!
Never Miss a Thing!
Be sure to check out Two Oaks Farmtalk and A life on the Farm for more down home info! And you don’t want to miss Two Oaks Farmstead YouTube Channel where everything collides! But make sure you subscribe to everything so that you always have the latest information!!