The modern notion of homesteading has brought a renewed sense of pride among those who seek to carve out a life for themselves and their family. A property with multiple buildings and structures is a rustic dream for a lot of people desiring to learn to live off the land. Yet, every homestead has important annual maintenance issues that must be addressed in a timely fashion. Here are four such issues that should rank at the top of a homesteader’s list.

Fixing Pens and Cages

Containment areas for livestock and other animals are typically central to the successful operation of an established homestead. Consequently, building and repairing individual pens and cages inevitably becomes an important annual concern. These structures must both be fit for harboring the animals for which they are designed and for keeping predatorial animals away as well.

Patching Fences and Gates

Fences provide an additional artificial barrier to a homestead. Gates allow for controlled access in and out of the property at designated points. A fence may need mending each year to effectively ensure that unwanted wild animals and other intruders are prevented from having easy access to the interior of the property. This can include installing new sections of barbed or electric wiring, replacing rotted wooden posts and even hinges and latches for ensuring the gates function properly as intended.

Maintaining the Septic System

When a septic system starts having drainage problems, it can begin to behave in certain undesirable ways. Toilets may start to gurgle, there may be a foul-smelling wet area in the yard or the rate of sewage drainage could be slower than normal. These common signs will tend to indicate that there is either an obstruction preventing drainage from occurring properly or that drain line repair efforts will need to be carried out to resume the normal operation of the septic system.


From the main living area to the chicken coop, the need to maintain solid roofing is an important yearly task around a homestead. Leaks can cause the underlying wood of structures to rot, and give mold an opportunity to become a serious and often expensive problem to fix down the road. Therefore, it is important to regularly look for roof damage and leaks and to get repairs under way as soon as possible.

No one said owning and operating a homestead was going to be easy. Every day brings a series of required chores and even a few new unforeseen challenges. Yet, it is rewarding to be able to put forth the effort required to whip a homestead into shape and keep it running like a well-oiled machine. This can make the endeavor both profitable and a source of enduring satisfaction for years to come.