There's something extremely satisfying about
building an off-grid homestead but you got a plan so that you don't make any mistakes and probably
the first thing you should do is actually get you a two shed or a place to work out of and that's
what Rebecca and I have done. So the first thing we did was to actually build this bodega as they call
it in Costa Rica. A place to house all of my tools. Because when you're going out to the work site
you don't want to have to work out of your vehicle. Now if you got a trailer great but in Costa Rica
you don't often see that but what you do see is almost everywhere where they're building they'll
throw up a temporary shed and that's where they'll put all their tools and everything and that's
where they work out of.
Well by building a tool shed we got a place where we can kind of begin
doing things and so today we're going to take you back in time and show you exactly what
we did to get the off-grid homestead started. It's a forest, but we've started
cleaning today as you can see. And somewhere in there we're
going to build a tiny house. The view from the tiny house is going to
be phenomenal. Once we get things cleaned up. The question is… Where in all
of that jungle do we build. And we've spent the day doing a lot of cleaning
and clearing so the area looks a whole lot better. While clearing out a spot in the jungle we
found this strange object. The jungle had taken over whatever this was and I'm curious what
is hidden underneath.
Who knows what I might find. And that's going to be the build site
right there. So let's see what I found. A rock. But this rock might be an interesting piece
for this homestead since it looks like it will be right next to where we're going to be building the
tiny house. So I strung up an area to get an idea where the tiny house would be and what it might
look like. I started playing around with some of the figures and started it eight foot but decided
that you know I think 10 foot wide would be much better. And since you don't get to see Cootie that
much well that's our cat and when she does come around it looks like she loves to hang out in the
car. All right welcome to the off-grid homestead. So as you know we've been looking for a perfect
piece of paradise our slice of paradise and well we have found one, I'll give you a little bit more
detail about that later but you know before we can actually get here we have to have internet.
have to work and there's no internet, there's no electricity, there's no cell phone signal. We are
very very remote and the bad thing about doing anything out here it's so far remote that you know
if I forget any of my materials well town is like an hour and a half two hours away to buy anything.
Today's project is that we're gonna be trying to install or build a six by six shed or bodega as
they call it in Costa Rica. Now the purpose is that I've got a guy coming out here in a few days.
gonna be putting up a solar unit okay just a small solar system. However, there's no walls. There's
nothing out here as you can see but trees and weeds okay. So I've gotta clear out an area and
I'm gonna build just a small six by six shed today I'm gonna lay the slab so I think this is where I
wanna do it but I got a mulberry tree right here that I planted some months ago to attract birds
we love nature but I'm have to move that mulberry tree but I'm kind of glad that I do because the
house is going to be this away 10 foot by about 24 foot and there's going to be a porch our main view
is not only the front but out here and I figure if I plant this mulberry tree here because I've got
a mulberry tree there then if I plant the mulberry tree right over there well then as it gets bigger
I'll be able to see the birds and possibly the monkeys as they come by to eat some of the fruit
okay so I'm gonna have to move that.
Well I just need to clear out this little area right here
and I need to get after it. So let's get started. All right I've got it all cleaned out. And
so now I just need to stake it get it level and get it square and that way I get ready
to pour some cement so we're getting closer. All right, I thought I was getting close and
then I ran into a problem. However, you know it all depends on how you
look at it could be a problem. Problems just seem to be negative
or it could be a challenge. And being here since November 2013, I've come
to realize that there's a lot of challenges in coming to Costa Rica. But they're not all
Some challenges will make you stronger. Other challenges, you know if there's a challenge
there's a resolution there's a solution to something, but your solution might be a quick
fix and your solution might lead to something that's going to make you a lot of money while
you're in Costa Rica. Obstacle that I run into the challenge is uh there's a rock. Uh and
found a rock and you know rocks are kind of like icebergs you only can see the tip of it and
then it's no telling how big it is and well same situation here. Let's take a closer look. All
right so the tip of my iceberg is right here and I thought it was going to be maybe a small
rock you never know but it turns out that as I dug it looks like my rock it goes at least well it
looks like it's at least four four foot long and it's no telling how big this is.
So the challenge
here is try to dig that whole thing up or you know this rock's probably not that strong.
I could probably take a good hammer and break this and because it only needs to come down a little
bit for my form. So if we take a look here, yeah some of that could be part of my foundation.
Yeeha! That's looking at the positive, now we got to figure out what to do here, so I'm going to test
it and I really should have some safety glasses but I just want to test to see how tough it's
going to be so don't hate on me here okay.
I don't think it's gonna be tough. I'm gonna
go get my safety glasses I'm gonna get my chisel and I'm gonna try to work
on this a little bit. Yeah… Here's my girl… Yeah! That's my mickey huh… Yeah yeah! Come see come see…
Whoa! You said you're good girl huh yeah you're such a good girl! All right, all right we got to get
this rock. You ready? You ready to get this rock? Huh? Okay you come over here. All right
let's see how strong this rock is. Yeah I think this rock's
gonna break off really easy. This is breaking off good! I don't have to go that far. They kind of give us
an idea. I need to come down a little bit more here. Of course a lot of that can be part of my slab. We gotta just make sure that
we're level and it looks like… All right looks like we're level on all sides
I do need to square it up though so let's see what we have.
We got 104 inches and a half. We should
have the exact same thing on this side. All right we're exactly 104 inches and
a half, so that means they're square. So I need to put in mistakes and I'll put in mistakes it'll stay in place
we hope. And here's where the rocks at. So we take a look we got at least a couple of
inches here above the rock. So we're good and that rock will just become a part of our foundation
how awesome is that we solved not a problem… We fix that challenge. There's a solution to every
challenge. And in Costa Rica you'll meet a bunch. But perseverance pays off and it between
that rock or this rock and this rock won.
And level… There's our rock. So our rock our rock is right here. So we can't get any
more square and any more level than that but I'm not done yet because Rebecca wants a little
temporary shower in here so that you know whenever uh we're working out here until
we actually get a shower we can have an outdoor shower right here. So uh now I gotta
form it up right here so that our shower will be a you know this part will be a little bit
lower than the rest of it so that water doesn't go all over the building. It'll go out
okay and I'll have to dig a drain at some point. All right so… We're getting close but it's starting to rain
a little bit but what's even more exciting is the monkeys are coming around. I'm gonna
try to see if I can't catch em on camera.
The monkeys are all around me and
they seem to be okay with me so far. This is really neat, I'm kind
of starting to feel like Tarzan. All right so so far we're looking pretty good.
We've got a little area right here for our shower and it's just going to be a small shower
but it's just a temporary shower so we have a place to get cleaned up while we're working.
So it's just a little bit of six by six it's almost ready to start pouring cement.
So but I'm
debating whether this rain is gonna kick in or not. And right now the monkeys are passing in the trees
right here which is really neat and the biggest reason why we want to live way out here where
it's remote and Nikki has been such a good girl she didn't try to chase him… Yes he was so good!
Yeah she was so good! So we're getting close to getting ready to pour some cement. I
got to put some concrete wire down here and I got to do a little work here for
my shower area but it's looking fabulous. Yesterday the weather wasn't so nice and so
it rained yesterday evening not a bad thing, just means I couldn't finish my project.
today we're going to try to finish it all up. It's an absolutely gorgeous day it's bright
and early. The sun's getting ready to come over the top of the mountains in a little while
it's going to dry things up nicely but let's take a look at what we've got to do today.
I've got almost everything ready and really all I need to do is haul a bunch of cement over
next to my working site here and then get ready to start mixing cement. So let's take a look at
our site. All right so this is a close-up shot. As you can see I've got my little area here.
It's only 30 inches by 30 inches so it's going to be a good little temporary outdoor shower uh
everything's all formed up. I have my concrete wire inside here. I've got everything leveled out and
it's about you know between three-three and a half four inches deep of concrete which is going
to be plenty since there's never going to be a lot of weight in there.
As you can see I ran my
strings here so everything is level everything looks real good, so I got a haul in my cement and
then after I haul in my cement well we're gonna mix that cement pour it all in here and now my
shower area well I'm gonna do that on another day because I'm gonna let that dry. This way I
can pull this form out and then I can pour my shower area which is going to be you know a
few inches lower than the top that away when we're taking a shower, all of the water stays here
and drains out. So it's time for us to get after. Got my cement over here. It looks like I got
two, four, six, eight, ten, twelve, fourteen, sixteen, eighteen bags of cement.
Now I'm a high-tech
redneck and so for all you contractors out there and cement mixers, hey if you know the
exact formula well then go ahead and tell me what the exact formula in the description below. I'm a
high-tech redneck so I just go to google and I say you know I put in I got six inches I mean six
feet by six feet three inches thick and it tells me how many sides of concrete I need. However, it
tells me I need this many 40 pound bags or this many 80 pound bags and in Costa Rica it's all on
kilos and so this is a 40 kilo bag and I'm not quite sure because I don't have internet right
now but 40 kilo bag I think is about 88 pounds and which brings me to our next challenge
or our biggest challenge living in Costa Rica is the internet.
And so pretty soon you'll be able
to watch a video and you'll see what we're doing to overcome the challenge of getting internet here
at the off-grid homestead it's a big challenge but we're overcoming that challenge and hopefully soon
within a day or two, I hope we'll have internet. All right it's time to get after it now I forget
to mention that you know I'm no pro at any of this stuff so if you got any good comments or
suggestions don't hate on me, hey educate me and let me know put your comments in the
description below and tell me what you would do differently or what would be a better way to do
So I'm by myself and it looks like I've got about uh 18 bags of cement to mix. I'm hoping it
ain't gonna take it all but it probably will but I'm gonna have to mix it really wet because I
need it to be wet so that whenever I level it and screed out my concrete, then it won't be dry since
I'm working by myself so I'm gonna have to work fast and work hard so I can get it done.
you know it just came to mind that some of you are probably thinking, well hey Allen why don't you
just get some plain old regular cement some sand and gravel and kind of mix this stuff instead of
using all this sackrete for this quickrete. Well I could do that however you know the we're very
very remote. The closest hardware store where I could buy all of that would be a little more than
two hours away and so I don't know what they would charge me to bring it up here and even and even if
they did charge a lot it's still probably worth it, however, the road is so narrow, so small, so
difficult you need a four-wheel drive to get here and I don't think any of those trucks would
even dare come this way so I don't have any choice but to use cement mix and I'm hoping that
eventually maybe I can get me a concrete mixer so I want to do so much work because this is a lot of
cement for a six by six when I get ready to do the tiny house that's 10 by 24 or 30…
lot of cement. Y'all pray for a concrete mixer. Now here's an interesting cultural side note. I'll
try to add these in as I'm working on the project but in Costa Rica you hardly ever you almost will
never see them mixing cement in a wheelbarrow okay. They almost always will find them a spot on
the ground and they will mix that cement on the ground somewhere close to the job site and
then just shovel it in wherever it needs to go. So of course after the job is over you got
this big hole in the ground that's a mess from the job site.
From the concrete of course it's never
cleaned up that's your job once you get the house and you almost never see a concrete mixer.
Of course depends on how you look at it. They got concrete mix all over
Costa Rica, it's called Tico labor. They get in there and they mix it themselves.
Now that's one of the things I really admire and it was one of the first things that just
impressed the heck out of me.
As I first came to Costa Rica and I saw they were starting on a
new job sited house and I saw these two Tico guys and man they was digging their butt off and it
was he was up to their chest and he was digging a hole for the septic tank. Now the septic tanks
here not nearly as big as what you might have the United States and you know and it might be
about uh six foot around for a large septic tank but you know Ticos don't have this mentality
where's the back hole where's the concrete mixer.
They just have this just do it mentality
and they get after it. So that's one of the interesting cultural side notes about Costa
Rica. As you can see my concrete is really wet. But concrete dries real fast and I need it
to be wet so that I can work it when I get done. So as you can see we got a concrete porch.
Looks pretty good it's really really wet and the last step is I need
to put some bolts in there. So I got these bolts and so I'll stick that into
the seam and all the way up to the threads.
Once that's in my cement then after it's dry
then I could take put that great big washer and on there in my nut so that I can fasten
down my metal building. So anyway we'll come along I'm gonna have to let it dry a little bit
but I'll keep working it but we're getting close. All right that's looking pretty good. Now as a
cultural side note you'll never see or I haven't ever seen concrete this smooth in Costa Rica.
I think it's probably a couple of things you know they just really don't care and most importantly
almost all concrete's gonna be covered with some tile anyway so if you know to them it's like
well why worry about making it smoother level if I'm just going to cover it up with tile.
So anyway just difference is all and if we take a look we've got six bags
of concrete left out of 18.
So it took us 12 bags of concrete. Keep in mind these are 40
kilo bags which is heavier than the heaviest bag of the United States which is 80 pounds in the
States okay. I think this converts to 88 pounds. So now I've got concrete that I can kind of
move back underneath a building or underneath tarp to keep it from getting wet but anyway it's
looking good. It's now time to put those bolts in. So before the concrete gets too hard, I gotta make
some holes put those boats in there. Let's do it. My bolts are in. The cement is getting really
dry so it's still got a little a long ways to go before it's cured. And I'll be back
here probably in a few days when I come back I'll dig out the shower area, pour some
cement down in the bottom and then we'll start putting up some walls. So hey if you like
this project and you enjoyed this project… Hey give us a thumbs up, give us lots of likes, give
us some comments.
Hey remember if you see something that I could be doing better, hey I'm
eager to learn from those that know so put your comments in the chatbox and look we look
forward to seeing you in the next video. So hey this is off-grid homestead where we
are building a tiny house, without electricity, without cell phone service, without internet, but
we do have a lot of water. But we're working on getting some of those other things and we'll find
out more in the next living in Costa Rica off-grid. you.